While some fans of the Detroit Tigers are a little apprehensive that the team may take a step back in 2015 amid increased competition from division rivals, a virtual simulation shows that some of that apprehensiveness could be a little off-base.
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Our FanSided affiliate, which covers everything gaming, GameSided simulated the entire 2015 baseball season from Opening Day through the final game of the World Series by running a full season in the PlayStation 4 game, MLB 15: The Show.
If you have never played MLB 15: The Show, and are a baseball freak, you are truly missing out. The game simulates everything from the game including major and minor league play, uniform details, shoes, variances for day or night games, and so much more.
Although the simulation showed the Detroit Tigers’ run of division supremacy coming to a close, they still make it to the postseason as a wild-card though no Tigers’ fan will likely be happy to see who defeats them in the postseason.
Before we outline what happened in virtual land to the Tigers, see how GameSided’s Daniel George ran his simulation:
"Using MLB 15: The Show’s Franchise Mode, I started a new game using the game’s current live rosters. The process is not absolutely perfect, as some modifications have to be made to ensure that players who are injured or demoted due to Spring Training results are reflected as such. Therefore, I corrected the team compositions of all 30 teams as best as I could, prior to the start of the in-game MLB 2015 regular season, in order to get things just right.After Spring Training was over, I then set all Franchise Mode gameplay options to “Auto” in order to make sure no specific teams are unintentionally made worse due to a lack of transactional updates from any of the thirty 2015 MLB General Managers. From there, I pressed the “Sim Season” button in the menu and let the computers do their thing. The results: perhaps one of the more intriguing simulations I’ve ever seen."
Many people are predicting the AL Central to be the best division in baseball, and in this one simulation it absolutely was. The Cleveland Indians won the division with 100–yes 100–victories while the Tigers finished nine games behind in second place.
Those 91 victories were good enough for Detroit to go to their fifth straight postseason along with division rival and defending AL Champion Kansas City Royals, meaning three teams from the Central went to the postseason in MLB 15: The Show.
The simulation saw a tremendous bounce back season for Miguel Cabrera. In this virtual season, the two-time AL MVP won the award again in 2015, posting a .349 batting average with 45 homers and 105 RBIs.
"Even though pitcher wins are mostly meaningless, having an average of 15 each across your top-4 starters helped the Tigers in their 2015 MLB season. Alfredo Simon, Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander all had ERA’s under 3, with David Price not too far behind at 3.14 ERA. Their team ERA of 2.93 across all pitchers (including the bullpen) is an MLB-best, aided by sub-2 bullpen ERA’s from Joba Chamberlain, Joakim Soria and Joe Nathan. You know it’s opposite day when there’s a lot to be said about the Tigers bullpen. Must have been the change from Coke to healthier alternatives.Miguel Cabrera was tired of letting deserving players finally win long-overdue MVP awards, so Miggy made baseballs die hard. With a vengeance. So does his .349/.413/.633/1.047 slash line attest, complete with only 36 more strikeouts than walks, 45 home runs and 105 RBI. It more than made up for cruel, season-ending injuries for Victor Martinez and Jose Iglesias, as players like Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose had to fill in with baserunning runs options. J.D. Martinez also roped 21 over the fence, so that’s pretty nice of him."
The Tigers faced the Royals in the wild-card game, knocking them out, but were swept in three games in the ALDS by the–you guessed it–Cleveland Indians.
The Indians would go on to lose in a ALCS seventh game to the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
So what do you think of this simulation? Accurate or way off-base? See all 30 teams’ fate for 2015, it’s a fascinating read.
One thing is for sure, MLB 15: The Show for PS4 is a must-have for Detroit Tigers and MLB fans to pass the time until the next “real” game.