Out of the Park Baseball 19 will ship worldwide on March 22, but there’s still time to pre-order it for $35.99 and get the game 3 days early, on March 19.
As we considered the 2018 MLB Opening Day rosters found in OOTP 19, one of the most sluggish free agent markets in recent memory remained oddly stalled well into Spring Training. Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta remained, strangely, unsigned well into March, despite the likelihood that at least a couple teams could have used his services. Lance Lynn and his career 3.38 ERA, is on the sidelines too. Where the two of them end up could swing the balance of power in some playoff races this year.
There were still some interesting moves made during the hot stove time of year, however. The San Francisco Giants picked up Andrew McCutcheon and Evan Longoria in trades as they made a push toward playoff contention again. The Yankees scooped up slugger Giancarlo Stanton in a trade that could easily push them to the top of the AL East this year.
And there are some other intriguing moves to consider. Does the Carlos Santana signing, while not a blockbuster, signal that the Phillies are ready to promote a “Win now!” philosophy? Does CC Sabathia have enough left in the tank to bolster the back end of the Yankees’ rotation? Do the signings of pitchers Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Morrow, Drew Smyly and Steve Cishek mean the Cubs will remain strong contenders this season?
You have questions, OOTP 19 has answers
There are plenty of other questions to answer this year, and the joy of OOTP 19 is that you can not only answer all of them but also learn the answers to questions yet to be asked. The game features complete minor league rosters too, all the way down to rookie leagues and including indie leagues, so some future stars waiting in the wings could help your team take home a World Series crown.
Eight international leagues (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Italy, The Netherlands, Mexico and Cuba) return to the game this year, along with several international independent leagues, and all of them have accurate 2018 rosters. Could a splashy foreign league player signing, comparable to the Angels’ acquisition of hitter/pitcher Shohei Ohtani, swing the balance of power in your sim?
All of the MLB players, as well as over 1,000 minor leaguers, have ratings based on Dan Szymborski’s popular ZiPS player projection system. The rest were rated by hand by OOTP’s research team, which leaves no stone unturned when trying to figure out the ratings for the most obscure minor league players.
But wait, there’s more
When it comes time to swing some deals with other teams, OOTP 19 obliges with better AI than it’s ever had before. Markus and his development team also ensured that the AI does a better job making game-time decisions, as well as handling starter and closer usage in the playoffs, when we all know that starters may be asked to enter games in relief and closers could throw more pitches than usual.
The development team even made sure that the AI knows what to do with a guy like Ohtani who is skilled at both pitching and hitting. Could he be a modern day Babe Ruth? Maybe.
In addition, OOTP 19 features scouting reports that have been completely rewritten, so your scouts deliver you information that’s clear and targeted to your needs. Now you can really feel like one of those guys sitting around the table in the movie Moneyball, talking about why on base percentage is so important.
While the rest of the world worries that AI could deliver us a future straight out of the Terminator movies, you can be assured that OOTP’s AI will never aspire to more than trying to execute a well-timed double-switch and swinging a deal for the perfect pitcher to put a team in the playoffs. Are you ready for OOTP 19?