It's not MLB opening day if people don't overreact to the first of thousands of results over the course of a six-month season.
Opening day 2020 is still not here, of course, because MLB is waiting for the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) to ease. Meanwhile, the creators of the Strat-O-Matic baseball simulation game are giving fans a chance to practice singing or cracking at the initial signs of success or failure.
MORE: The 15 things we miss about baseball, ranked
SOM will simulate the '20 calendar while the return of MLB is delayed. The first day of games was played on Thursday, through the company's Baseball Daily platform. The results were mostly realistic and naturally ripe for fun hyperbole. Here are nine initials for the start of the project:
Your new Lords of the American League East: the Red Sox and Orioles
Just like everyone expected. The Red Sox outscored the Blue Jays 3-2 on Rafael Devers 'second home run of the game, a solo shot on top of Ken Giles' ninth inning. The Orioles teamed up to beat the Yankees 3-2 at Camden Yards. (OK, so the game is not 100 percent accurate, although Gleyber Torres homered and Gary Sanchez was injured.) Opening day is the rush hour to dream, as fans of every 1-0 team can tell you.
Edwin Díaz still not good
The Nationals-Mets sim was tied after eight, and instead of Seth Lugo (broken finger) taking the mound, it was Díaz, who lost his closer's job with Lugo late last season. The Strat Diaz hit a solo homer for Howie Kendrick, who hits diners on any stage. Daniel Hudson closed the door at the end of the ninth for a 4-3 win for Washington.
Chris Archer had a better revenge game than Charlie Morton
This inaugural Pirates-Rays day would have been interesting in real life because the initial pitchers pitched for their respective enemies. In the sim, Archer outscored Morton by pitching six scoreless (Morton dropped two-over-six) and the Bucs posted a 4-1 victory at Tropicana Field.
Klubot is back
The true Rangers picked up Corey Kluber in a low season exchange with the Indians; On virtual opening day, Cyber Kluber launched as a Cy Young Cyborg twice. He blanked the Mariners on three hits and struck out 10 in seven innings as Texas led to a 10-0 victory.
Mike Trout: still good at baseball
He even pretends baseball. Trout homered twice and led the Angels to pass the Astros 9-6 at Minute Maid Park. The Halos ripped apart Astros starter Zack Greinke (installed in place of injured Justin Verlander) on the way to victory.
White Sox: Overrated
Chicago has made a noise in real life about being a playoff team this year; In the sim world, it is 0-1 after a 5-2 loss to the Royals. Lucas Giolito (five innings, four runs) was not an ace.
Dodgers can never lose
LA is on track to go 162-0 after defeating the Giants 10-3. Mookie Betts was unsuccessful, but Max Muncy and Justin Turner combined for five hits and five RBIs to back up Clayton Kershaw.
Rockies-Padres can only be weird
Do you remember the madmen of the real teams, historical series at Coors Field last June? The online alter egos proudly started the simulator for the 2020 season. San Diego scored four in the bottom of the ninth to force extras, and then both teams scored in 12th place before Colorado placed three in 13th. for a 10-7 victory.
Mixed bag for large engines
Here are the sim debuts for some of the stars who switched teams in the offseason:
Betting: 0 to 4 with a run driven.
Gerrit Cole: One race in six innings.
Anthony Rendon: 2 of 4, two runs scored.
Madison Bumgarner: Five innings, three runs, no decision.
Josh Donaldson: 0 for 3, two strikeouts.
Hyun-Jin Ryu: Five innings, one race won, six Ks.
If you are a sockethead player or just a fan who is going through baseball retreat, these sims should help you stay alert as you wait for the real games to start.