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No baseball on Opening Day, yet the Mariners are somehow 0-1

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: March 26
  • Published March 26

Opening day was rough on the Seattle Mariners.

The Texas Rangers hit four home runs and Corey Kluber struck out 10 in seven innings in a 10-0 clobbering of the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Say what?!?

A sports simulation company plans to simulate the 2020 Major League Baseball season for as long as the game is on hold due to the new coronavirus pandemic, beginning with 14 opening-day games Thursday.

Strat-O-Matic is playing a computerized version of every game on the schedule and then posting the results online — boxscores, standings, statistics, recaps and even manufactured quotes.

And best of all, there’s no need to stay up late for those West Coast scores. Each day’s results will be posted by 10 a.m. ADT at strat-o-matic.com.

Lineups and pitching matchups are selected in part by fans on social media — if you follow Strat-O-Matic on Twitter, you’ll see tweets asking people for their input. Guest managers and Strat-O-Matic staff members also help determine lineups.

In Thursday’s fake sports news, Washington’s Howie Kendrick hit a ninth-inning, tie-breaking homer off Edwin Diaz to lead the reigning World Series champs past the New York Mets 4-3 — one of six games decided in the last at-bat.

The simulated baseball games are just one way sports fans can fill the void left by the cancellation of competitions and suspension of sports leagues around the globe.

With part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex in North Carolina being used a testing site for the new coronavirus, NASCAR fans are turning their attention to virtual speedways.

Last Sunday, iRacing — an online simulated auto racing game — hooked up with NASCAR for an eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series event at (virtual) Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Denny Hamlin edged Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final corner to win the race, which was aired live on Fox Sports 1. It attracted 903,000 viewers, according to the Associated Press, making it the most watched esports event in U.S. history. Hamlin used a simulated racing gig that cost an estimated $40,000, the AP reported.

With the Indianapolis 500 postponed until August, IndyCar will hold its first iRacing event Saturday with a 25-car field at a track that will be determined by a fan vote. Among the drivers expected to participate are reigning IndyCar series champion Josef Newgarden and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud.

The race begins at noon, and you can watch it at indycar.com, on IndyCar’s YouTube channel and Facebook page and at iRacing’s Twitch.

The Phoenix Suns are giving basketball fans something to watch by streaming the remainder of their regular-season games on NBA2K20. Different athletes and celebrities are on the controls for each of the video games, which are streamed live on Twitch.tv/Phoenix_Suns.

On Friday at 2 p.m. ADT, the Suns will take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Mikal Bridges of the Suns will run the controls for Phoenix and Matisse Thybulle will play for the Sixers.

In five previous games, the Suns were represented by Phoenix players Ty Jerome and Frank Kaminsky, former Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson and professional 2K gamer Antonio Saldivar.

With nearly every competition and sports league in the world canceled or postponed because of the new coronavirus pandemic, these are tough times for bookies and bettors too.

But the world of wagering is nothing if not opportunistic, and from the oddsmakers at one online gambling site comes this: Over-under odds for phrases and words used frequently by Donald Trump at daily coronavirus press briefings.

“Absent real sports to bet on, have some fun with the most repetitive politician since Boutros Boutros-Ghali,” says the teaser at sportsbettingdime.com.

An over-under is a bet in which a bookmaker predicts a number for a score or statistic and the bettor wagers on whether the actual number will be higher or lower than predicted. A sample of Thursday’s presidential briefing over-under odds:

Words

Great — 11.5

Big/Bigger/Biggest — 10.5

Fantastic — 8.5

Incredible — 6.5

Amazing — 5.5

Tremendous — 5.5

Best — 5.5

Phrases

More tests than any other country — 9.5

I/We’ve been treated unfairly — 3.5

I/We inherited a broken system — 3.5

Working very hard — 2.5

We’re doing a great job — 2.5

Not our fault — 2.5

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