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How To Play Fantasy Baseball

The first thing you want to do to play fantasy baseball is find, or form, a fantasy baseball league. Ten to twelve teams is usually the norm in a league, though you may have anywhere from four to 24 teams in a given league. Each team in the fantasy league must consist of 23 players. Many of the leagues you will find use only American or National League players, so the number of quality players is limited.

Your team’s roster will consist of nine pitchers, five outfielders, ...

baseball, fantasy baseball, sports

The first thing you want to do to play fantasy baseball is find, or form, a fantasy baseball league. Ten to twelve teams is usually the norm in a league, though you may have anywhere from four to 24 teams in a given league. Each team in the fantasy league must consist of 23 players. Many of the leagues you will find use only American or National League players, so the number of quality players is limited.

Your team’s roster will consist of nine pitchers, five outfielders, two catchers, one player for each of the three bases, a middle infielder, one corner man, and a miscellaneous player (designated hitter in AL based fantasy leagues, utility man in NL based fantasy leagues.

Players: Choosing Your Team

Each owner is given a list of players, and their eligible positions on draft day. There are two methods used to select your team in a fantasy baseball league. One method is the draft method, the other is the auction method.

Draft method- The teams are arranged in a random order. Following this order, owners take turns selecting players until all teams have twenty three players. The draft order is usually reversed for even numbered rounds. Before drafting starts, decide if the league will wipe the slate clean for the next season, or whether it will protect seven to fifteen players.

Auction method- In the auction method, each fantasy baseball team owner will start with 260 units of credit. Owners will take turns opening bids on players. Bidding proceeds, as with a normal auction, until only the highest bidder remains. Bidding will have a minimum increase of one unit of credit. With the auction method, you can force teams to stay under the 260 credit unit salary cap, or allow the purchase of remaining players once the bidding is complete and the owners have their teams completed.

Players and Their Eligibility

A player may play any position that he played in at least 20 major-league games the previous year. If he doesn’t have a position that he did play 20 times, he is eligible for the position he played the most often. The player is also allowed to play any position that he may appear in through the season.

How Fantasy Baseball is Scored

Cumulative scoring system-

There are a total of eight categories each team will be scored on. These are batting averages (pitcher excluded), home runs, runs batted, stolen bases, run average, wins, saves, and WHIP (Walks and Hits divided by total Innings Pitched). At the end of the season, each team is ranked from first to last in each category. In a ten team league, first place in each category will receive ten points. Second place receives nine, so on and so forth. The champion of the league is determined by the highest score at the end of the year.

Head to head scoring system-

Based on the same eight categories, teams play a game each week with another franchise. Each team will receive a point for each category they win, and ties are thrown away. Alternatively, teams can receive two points for wins, and one point for ties. If tied games will not be allowed to stand, strikeouts, doubles, runs, triples, and home team wins are excellent tie breaking categories.


ERA Versus WHIP in Betting and Fantasy Baseball

Rotisserie baseball players and sports bettors will want to check out this great article on how to weigh WHIP and ERA.

Fantasy baseball, betting, handicapping

I share oodles of information and debate philosophies with many sharp players on a continuous basis. Such locking of horns is imperative to knowledge progression. Said argumentations are to handicapping advisers what scholarly journals are to academia.

One of the most heated deliberations among the sharpest of the sharks is how to weigh a pitcher’s ERA relative to his WHIP.

I realize most baseball fans know what an ERA is, but many are not as versed on WHIP. It’s walks+hits/innings pitched. As much as I savor involving myself in debate with other masters of the trade, inevitably I am the one screaming the remedy is both.

I tell them it’s the equivalent of asking a doctor whether one should diet or exercise. Sure conquering one or the other is better than neither, but any reputable physician advises they are not mutually exclusive.

A true handicapping scientist knows that careful interpretation of both ERA and WHIP neutralizes the inherent flaws of both while reinforcing the stronghold of each numerator.

Here is a pro-WHIP argument I often hear and articulated on rec.gambling. sports newsgroup by one of the participants:

The ERA can be affected by good fortunate (luck) far more than WHIP. The walks and hits a pitcher gives up show his skills facing a batter and will rise as he continues to allow hits and walks as it should.

But the same poor pitching, which allowed the walks and hits onboard, isn’t necessarily reflected in his ERA stat. He may escape lucky. His ERA can be affected either direction by the help he gets from his mates and/or the wind and/or the size of the ballpark.

This is particularly important in the first handful of starts of the early season, where averages can be easily skewed by a few innings.

A pitcher allowing a 400’ shot to center for example when a breeze is blowing in or the fielder makes a circus catch over the wall escapes with no runs scored, saving his ERA.
But in a different park the same 400’ shot to center is a homerun, or the wind blows it in the gap for a double to score a couple and his ERA goes up!

So one fortunate guy gets a low ERA and the less fortunate guy, who allowed the SAME number of hits and walks, maybe even LESS, his ERA goes UP!

Meanwhile, the WHIP stat is not affected unfairly in that way, and as such I feel it more indicative of the pitcher’s skill.

I agree with many of the points raised but the dissertation was a bit one-sided review of the pros and cons.

WHIP can be very imperfect as well. It does not measure a pitcher’s ability to pitch out of tough situations or whether or not he gives up a disproportionate number of singles and walks relative to the pitcher who has a propensity to give up the long ball.

Pitchers who can get the ground ball double play when they need it or have the ability to bear down with runners in scoring position will generally do better in the ERA category than WHIP.

Plus in a discussion with some of the top baseball predictors on the planet, one of the elite of the elite reminded us that the team that scores more runs wins 100 percent of the time. The team that gets the most walks plus hits often loses. As devil’s advocate, I added the team that gets the most runs is not always the team that allowed the fewer earned runs.

Hence, I must be adamant as an inescapable stipulation that because baseball’s definition of "earned run" is not without glitch, especially from a handicapping standpoint, an old hand also must pay heed to unearned runs. After all, there are no such things as an "unearned" hit or walk in the WHIP stat.

However seeing some of the top handicapping geniuses get in heated dispute of the pros and cons of each statistic only reinforced what I believed all along the few wizards out there never, ever ignore one math unit at the expense of the other.

As a sports doctor the only baseball picks that I give my patients will be from the knowledge that a steady diet of winners involves exercising both ERA and WHIP.


Fantasy Baseball Breakdown

We’re three weeks into the 2006 baseball season, and if your fantasy team looks anything like mine, you’re ready to unload half of your roster.

MLB, baseball, sports betting, online sportsbooks, baseball news

The Six-Month Grind

We’re three weeks into the 2006 baseball season, and if your fantasy team looks anything like mine, you’re ready to unload half of your roster. I know it’s hard, but be patient. The worse thing you could do right now is panic and make a bad trade or drop a good player.

Baseball, more than any other sport, is driven by statistics. It’s a long season with a lot of ups and downs for most players. In the end, the numbers usually even out. If you stick with your guys long enough, they should come around and start producing like you expected them to.

MLB Baseball Future Betting @ Sportsbook

Off to a Hot Start

While it’s very difficult to watch your team stumble out of the gate (as I’m writing this, my offense is a collective 0-15 today and I’m about ready to have a fire sale), there was a reason why you drafted these guys. If you were lucky enough – or smart enough, depending on how you look at it – to draft Chris Shelton, Jonny Gomes or Nick Swisher, you’re probably at the top of your league, right now. But are these guys really going to lead the league in home runs?

Manny Ramirez hit his first two home runs of the season, last weekend. Mark Teixeira and Richie Sexson have three and two homers, respectively, through the first three weeks. These guys are all perennial 40-home-run-hitters, and barring injury, you can be sure that they will get their numbers by the season’s end.

Waiting for the Right Time

Everyone’s heard the cliché “buy low, sell high.” It’s sound advice. Knowing the right time to deal that guy who’s off to a hot start is the key to making this happen. There’s no way Shelton, Gomes and Swisher are going to keep up the pace they’ve set so far – Shelton’s already started to slow down – but how can you not ride their hot streaks a little longer? Just don’t wait too long if you’re planning on dealing them.

Knowing players’ trends is another key in making the right deal at the right time. Some players are traditionally slow starters, like Ramirez and Jim Edmonds, and
trading for them at the end of their slow start could mean big stats for you the rest of the way. A lot of hitters heat up when the weather does too, so they could be busting out of these slumps any day now.

On the Rise

Targeting players who are showing signs of breaking out is another key to making the right roster adjustments. Here are a few players who might be available and could definitely help some teams:

Josh Barfield – The rookie second baseman has excelled since being moved to the No. 2 spot in the Padres lineup. He’s got his average over .300 and has 2 HRs and 6 steals. Grab him if he’s still available.

Ty Wigginton – Playing for his third team in four years, the journeyman third baseman seems to have found a home in Tampa Bay. He’s taken advantage of Aubrey Huff’s knee injury and already has 8 home runs and 20 RBI. Playing in hitter-friendly Tropicana Field should help, too. Ride him while he’s hot.

Brad Hawpe – The Colorado Rockies outfielder has established himself as the everyday right fielder and is firmly entrenched in the heart of the Rockies lineup. He’s batting over .340 and already has slugged 5 HRs. The 2000 College World Series MVP is well on his way to a .300-30-100 season. You never can go wrong having a Rockie in your lineup.

The Pitching Hole

While there is plenty of time to make up ground on offense, falling behind in the pitching categories – especially ERA and WHIP – can be a killer. Avoiding those complete disasters in the early season is a key to remaining competitive on the mound.

With pitchers, it’s all about the matchups. Don’t be afraid to bench one of your better pitchers for a riskier play if the matchup is right. Throwing a marginal starter against Kansas City or Pittsburgh is always better than having just about any starter face the Yankees or pitch at Colorado.

Whether you find yourself at the top of your league or at the bottom of the pack after these first three weeks, don’t stop looking to make your team better. Stocking your bench with productive players who
could be used as trade bait is always a good idea. The inevitable injuries will come, and having players to step in during those times will help you avoid having to make a desperate deal.

Bet MLB Baseball Player and Game Propositions @ Sportsbook


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