Sitting down the night before the season starts, I got ready to do what I've been doing most nights over the past week and turned on MLB The Show. I'd already spent some time going through the ratings to compile them in one place for anyone who wanted to see how the Mariners fared in the game. It was that sentence that got me thinking... How is the team itself going to fare this season? Why not simulate a season on The Show and see what happens?
I decided to make it as realistic as I could. No, not by adjusting player ratings to get closer to the real thing. Instead, by allowing the computer to do its thing, letting the game adjust for injuries and lineup construction and bullpen composition. If things played out without any input from me, how would the Mariners fare in 2023?
We took to MLB The Show 23 to predict the 2023 season for the Seattle Mariners
Oh, buddy. The first one was weird. I had auto-manage on everything and didn't realize it meant that the team would be accepting trades. I thought about stopping it and re-starting the simulation, but I wanted to see how funky they would get, and the game did not disappoint. Check out some of these odd trades they pulled off.
- Diamondbacks trade Christian Walker to the Mariners for Paul Sewald and Isaiah Campbell
- Diamondbacks trade Wilderd Patino (DBacks 16th prospect) for Diego Castillo
- Giants trade Marco Luciano (22nd overall prospect) for Ty France
- Rangers trade Glenn Otto for Eugenio Suarez
- Yankees trade Gleybar Torres for AJ Pollock
- Twins trade Joey Gallo for Harry Ford (HAHAHAHAHA)
- Twins trade Ryan Jeffers and Max Kepler for Teoscar Hernandez
There is no way a handful of these happen. A lot of them don't make sense from the Mariners perspective. The one that does seem fully in-line with a crazed Dipoto thought process is what was essentially Ty France, Paul Sewald, and Isaiah Campbell for Christian Walker and Marco Luciano. Walker has a ton of power, would take over at 1B, and Luciano is supposed to be special.
But trading Teo for pieces and Harry Ford for Gallo? Ridiculous. The Mariners finished this season 6-17 over their last 23 games to go 83-79. Time to start over and turn off those dumb trades.
Here we go. A slow start (23-25) is followed by an immediate meteoric rise amidst a 30-10 stretch. The Mariners jump well above .500, and play a bit better than .500 ball over the second half of the season, finishing at 95-67. The Angels finally make the playoffs, as they win the division at 99-63. The Rangers finish right behind the Mariners at 94-68. The Astros go 84-78, and my heart leaps for joy.
JP Crawford starts hitting again, finishing with a .287 BA and 15 HR. France wins the Silver Slugger, hitting .312 with 28 HR. Julio doesn't quite repeat last year, but hits .281 with 29 HR and 17 SB. Geno hits really well, for a .277 clip with 27 HR. AJ Pollock is the full time LF, and hits .260 with 23 HR. However, both stolen bases and strikeouts seem broken in Franchise Mode, as no one really steals any bases at all, and no one on the pitching staff eclipses a 7.5 K/9 rate.
Logan Gilbert dominates with a 2.70 ERA over 210 IP, but has just 140 Ks. Luis Castillo is right there with him at a 2.75 ERA and 219.1 IP, but just 170 Ks. Andres Munoz cleans up in the pen, with a 2.05 ERA and only 52 Ks in 52.2 IP. At last year's pace, he should've had 78 Ks. Even Robbie Ray only finishes with a K rate of 6.5/9.
However, the postseason is shorter lived than last year, as the Mariners lose-win-lose against the Rangers in the Wild Card round. I thought about simulating this over and over until the Mariners won the World Series, but I'd rather wait and see it happen in about 7 months instead. For now, let's just enjoy the fact that, for the first time since October, it's once again time for Mariners baseball.