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I tried to get a realistic sim of the Angels’ season in OOTP25. Somehow it made Arte Moreno look like a genius.

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I did a full season sim of the Angels in this year’s edition of OOTP, allowing the game to sim everything outside of lineups and intra-squad moves (moving players in and out of the minors, IL, etc.) to try to keep it to moves that seem realistic for Perry and Wash (no Trout leading off or Rendon hitting 9th). It showed an interesting but absolutely best-case scenario for the Angels this season. Below is a semi-detailed summary of the season.

TL;DR: According to this powerful baseball sim, the Angels technically could win 111 games and make the playoffs this season (DISCLAIMER: I have no expectation of this happening irl).

April: 24-6
The Angels started their season with an insanely hot start. Some notables: The offense carried the team despite slow starts from the team’s stars. Schanuel, O’Hoppe, Drury, and Neto carry the offense this month. Trout isn’t great, but he’s good enough. Rendon has a mild slump to start the season. The Hicks/Moniak/Adell group doesn’t look great, with all three players opening the season with an OPS+ below 85. Not much else to say this month. I’ll get into more detail as we go.
Hot starts: Schanuel, O’Hoppe, Drury, Neto, Canning, Estevez, Cimber
Slow starters: Trout, Rendon, Hicks, Moniak, Zuniga

May: 15-12
The team started to decline slightly, with 8 of their losses coming within the last 11 games of the month. The outfield situation is starting to look bleak. Hicks and Moniak have fallen below 70 OPS+, and the team has cut Hicks by the end of the month, relegating Moniak to 4th OF. But this is because ADELL FIGURED IT OUT! Adell hits 7 home runs and posts a 145 OPS+ on the month. Schanuel is up to a .400 OBP despite still not hitting a home run this year. The slow start by Trout is gone as he begins to hit, increasing his OPS+ from 112 to 134 within the month. Adam Cimber is a legit bullpen guy again, becoming the 4th option out of the pen behind Estevez, Stephenson, and Moore, who gets injured for a couple of weeks. Tyler Anderson was posting an ERA of 4.00, but it has ballooned to 4.98 this month. Some minor bullpen moves happen – Zuniga gets sent down and won’t play in MLB again this season. Kolarek takes his place as a lefty specialist. Rendon and Rengifo get injured, highlighting a problem in IF depth for the team. Stefanic is about to get a lot more playing time and Miguel Sano is finally back in MLB.Red hot: Schanuel, Drury, Canning, Estevez, Cimber, Adell
Warming up: Trout, Stefanic
Cold: Moniak, Anderson

June: 17-9
In Rengifo’s absence, Stefanic figures it out and likely reaches his potential – a slightly above-average hitter and a below-average defender. He ends up looking like a legit major leaguer, even out-performing Rengifo up to this point in the season. Unfortunately, Sano doesn’t figure it out. He’s DFA’d and back in Salt Lake by mid-June. Schanuel is becoming a fantastic table-setter, settling at a .410 OPS (where it will stay for the entire season) and posting a 140 OPS+. Still has little power right now though. Trout and Estevez look like world-enders. Trout hits 18 home runs this month somehow and already has 38 home runs this year. Oh, and his OPS+ is up to 180. Estevez has only allowed 4 runs this season, despite not getting a ton of save opportunities. The back-end combo of Estevez, Moore, Stephenson, Cimber, and now Ben Joyce, is proving to be really hard on opposing teams. Rendon gets injured but when he comes back, starts to heat up a bit. He doesn’t quite look like his old self, but far better than fans are expecting. Detmers, Silseth, and Anderson struggle, and Anderson is traded for peanuts with the team keeping most of his contract. With Wantz and Soriano struggling as starters in AAA, Davis Daniel gets the nod as 5th starter. Adell is out for 12 days, during which time Evan White gets a shot. He doesn’t get a hit in 6 games and when Adell comes back, White is DFA’d. Prospect watch: Caden Dana has a 1.12 ERA in A ball and is promoted to Rocket City.
Red hot: Schanuel, Estevez, Trout
Warming up: Rendon, Sandoval
Cold: Detmers, Silseth, Garcia

July: 16-9
It’s worth noting to this point that the most consistent player on the team is Brandon Drury. Despite not hitting for a high average, his OPS ranges between 320-350 all season and he consistently hits for power no matter what position he’s playing. He’s played at DH, 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, and RF and provided a great power bat in the middle of the lineup nearly every day. Trout, Estevez, Schanuel, Stefanic, Stephenson, Moore, and Cimber are becoming more consistent and are the clear bright spots through the halfway point. Patrick Sandoval has finally figured it out. Despite posting an ERA of 4.11 from April through June, from this point forward he will post a 1.21 ERA and become the true ace of this team. This is greatly needed, as Detmers and Silseth are struggling (4.5 ERAs) and Canning has regressed closer to the mean around an ERA of 4. Davis Daniel has been a revelation, posting a 3.38 ERA in his first month in the big leagues. Rengifo gets injured again, this time for about a month. Drury and Rendon also get injured for about 15 days. Needing someone other than Ehire Adrianza backing up the infield, the Angels trade a few smaller prospects for (OLD FRIEND ALERT) Gio Urshela! Welcome back! Urshela will prove a great bench piece for the rest of the season and fills in during this thin roster month juuuuuust fine. At the trade deadline, with Silseth’s ERA reaching 5.58, the Angels trade a few smaller prospects including Walbert Urena for Zach Eflin, who is also struggling in Tampa. Eflin fills in better than Silseth, but will turn into a mediocre trade at best, posting a 4.50 ERA in Anaheim and is left off the playoff roster in October. Silseth will stay in Salt Lake until September callups. Suarez has done poorly in every spot start he’s had (6 ERA), but has been fine out of the pen in a Jaime Barria-style role, with a 3.98 ERA out of the pen to this point. He’ll stay in this spot for the season and end up with a 100 ERA+ perfect for the role he’ll play from here on out.
Trades: Tons of minor prospects and Urena for Gio Urshela and Zach Eflin
Red hot: Trout, Sandoval, Daniel
Warming up: Adell, Rendon
Cold: Silseth, Detmers, various guys with short cups of coffee

August: 22-6 – plus, a little catch-up on some little-mentioned players
The Angels prove in August that they are a playoff team. My mind begins to turn to mush as I begin to wonder if this “accurate baseball simulator” is actually all that accurate. Mike Trout is posting an OPS+ of 240 now. Nolan Schanuel finds his power and hits 10 homers this month. Jo Adell began the season hitting .230 with nice power numbers but is now up to hitting .280 with only 6 homers in July and August. He turned his power into slap power to figure out how to hit and his speed is thanking him for it. He’ll start hitting for power in September and his average will drop slightly to account for it, but he’s a legit player verging on top-10 right fielder because apparently, he’s playing great defense. Let’s check in with O’Hoppe and Neto, because we all love them and I haven’t spoken much of them. They’ve both been consistently good. O’Hoppe is a top-3 offensive catcher and certainly a top-15 defender at the position. He’s been hitting in the 6 spot for most of the season and there will never be a reason to remove him from that spot this season. Neto didn’t hit great for the first couple months of the season, hitting around a 95 OPS+, but is starting to pick it up. Stefanic has become the leadoff man against righties, but struggles against lefties. Neto has played well against lefties and will start hitting leadoff against them now for the rest of the season. He’ll play top-10 defense at short and end the season with a 111 OPS+ while playing 158 games this season. He’s the rock on which this team stands. I also haven’t said much of Matt Thaiss. That’s because he’s become a fine backup catcher. He’d probably start on several other teams, hitting a 119 OPS+ and playing good enough defense. The big news in August, though: Anthony Rendon. Rendon goes insane this month. maybe the injuries of the last few years really were all that were holding him back. His OPS+ goes from 109 to 135 this month as he hits 7 homers and 8 doubles and gets on base nearly every game. Trout begins to see legit lineup protection from him while he destroys every pitch thrown in the strike zone. Moniak finally starts hitting like an average hitter after struggling through his first couple of months. He’ll remain relegated to an oft-playing 4th outfielder and do just fine in the role while Ward starts to play a whole lot more like we all expect him to, going from 93 OPS+ during the first two months up to a 123 OPS+ by the end of the season. Ben Joyce has a good month and makes the team’s pen look even stronger, which helps the mediocre 3-5 starters look a lot better. Wantz and Bachman get call ups for a short time to fill in and get playoff eligibility. They’ll be the September callups.
Red hot: Trout, Adell, Schanuel, Rendon
Warming up: Detmers, Joyce
Cold: Eflin, Canning

September: 17-9
At this point, there’s little else to say. O’Hoppe ends the season with a mild slump, but not a big one. Canning absolutely crushes it, bringing his ERA on the season from 4.21 to 3.99. He’ll be the #2 starter in the playoffs behind the ace, Sandoval, who posts a 2.92 ERA and a 143 ERA+ to end the season. Estevez doesn’t slump at the end of the season this year. I’ll post the end roster in the comments with some stats. By this point, there are no injuries through September and the team pretty much knows exactly what they want from their roster through the month and into the playoffs.
Team MVP: Trout
#2 Hitter: Schanuel
Best Starter: Sandoval
Best Reliever: Estevez

PLAYOFFS!? YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS!?
The playoffs are intense. The Angels end the season with a 111-51 record, skip the WC, and head into the ALDS against the Astros. Every game goes into the 9th or extras. Estevez decides to slump this series and blows 2 saves, but manages to pull out a save and a win in the last two games. Schanuel, Trout, and Rengifo all hit walk-offs/go-ahead hits to beat the Astros 3-2 in the ALDS.

The ALCS is Angels/Orioles. The Orioles are really good. Mike Trout hits a walk-off grand slam in game 1 to win, 5-4. Sandoval pitches well, but the Astros get to Joyce, Moore, and Estevez.
Game 2 goes poorly as Canning gets hit in the 2nd. The Orioles proceed to get 14 runs on Suarez, Wantz, Kolarek, and Garcia. They take game 2, 14-5.
Game 3 also goes to the Orioles, though Daniel does well, only allowing 2 runs. Unfortunately, Corbin Burnes is really good. Orioles win, 3-1.
Detmers does well through 4 in game 4, but implodes in the 5th, allowing 5 runs. The Orioles end up winning, 5-3. The Angels are losing the series 3-1, but start to fight back.
In game 5, Anthony Rendon hits two homers, one a grand slam, Nolan Schanuel goes 5-5, and Jo Adell goes 3-5 with a homer for himself. Sandoval blanks the Orioles. Angels win, 9-0.
In game 6, Mike Trout takes over. He goes 5-5 and hits two homers, leading the team to a 7-2 win as Canning finally gets to pitch a full game (7 good innings).
Game 7 is intense. In the 8th, it’s tied at 5-5. Estevez comes in with the bases loaded after Stephenson gets hit around with 2 outs. Gunnar Henderson hits a bases-clearing double and Estevez strikes out the next batter. Trout hits a two run home-run in the ninth to get the team within one run. Anthony Rendon hits a double and is pinch-run by Rengifo. Drury walks. O’Hoppe walks. Corbin Burnes comes out of the pen and strikes out Taylor Ward. Season over. The Orioles will go on to push the Braves to 7 games before losing to Atlanta in the World Series.

CONCLUSION:
There’s very little chance this actually happens this year. It’s far more likely the Angels end up with another 75-85 win season and Arte Moreno continues to look like an absolute clod. But somehow… everything that happened in this simulation, however unlikely, seems possible. There wasn’t a moment in which things seemed truly unbelievable, besides Trout having his best-ever season (but even then, I’ve learned not to expect any less of Trout than the unbelievable). The one despair in this simulation – it will prove Arte Moreno right, at least in his mind. A season this crazy is likely not sustainable, but in Arte Moreno’s mind, in this reality I’ve uncovered, this was all a part of his ten year plan to bring the team back into contention. I’m sure he’ll follow this up with a free agency full of bad veteran signings to big contracts once again.

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