The sun is shining brighter and warmer as each day passes, and my mind inevitably starts wandering to baseball. It’s still a fantasy at this point, but that’s not a bad thing because: fantasy + baseball = Fantasy Baseball.
I’ve never played Fantasy Baseball before (I played Fantasy Football a few years ago, won my league and promptly retired on top). Baseball has been my favorite sport for a while, but I’ve never been a huge stats guy (ironically enough for someone who kept score of over sixty games last summer). I can’t tell you what Babe Ruth’s batting average was in 1920, but I do know that Ruth’s father once owned a bar on the same site that is now Camden Yards. I love trivia like that.
Only a few days into this, however, I can see how easy it would be for someone to become consumed by all these numbers.
Each league will differ—part of the attraction is that any group of friends can shape their league to their liking. The most common form of Fantasy Baseball today has a league of ten teams. Each team owner drafts a player from each position, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, middle infielder (either a 2B or SS), corner guy (either 1B or 3B), five outfielders, a utility man (any position except pitcher), and nine pitchers. Your own 25 man roster.
Drafting was pretty cool. Each team has 90 seconds per pick, there’s a live chat, sound effects, stats and rankings galore.
Lineups are set daily. Three position players sit on the bench. That’s easy when their team has the day off, but when everyone is playing you have to pay attention to what team each player will be facing? How good are they against the opposing starter? What ballpark are they playing in? There’s a million factors to consider.
Players are ranked in five categories. For batters: Runs, Home Runs, RBI, Stolen Bases, and Average. For pitchers: Wins, Saves, Strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP (Walks plus Hits Per Innings Pitched).
Two teams are matched up against each other for a week and the whoever has more points at the end of the week is the winner.
My Lineup: C Jorge Posada, 1B Chris Davis, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Kevin Youkilis, SS Troy Tulowitzki, OF Justin Upton, OF Curtis Granderson, OF Bobby Abreu, OF Torii Hunter, OF Josh Hamilton, SS Jason Bartlett, 3B Chipper Jones, DH Hideki Matsui, 1B Garrett Jones, 2B Scott Sizemore, OF Juan Pierre
Pitchers: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Ubaldo Jimenez, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, Joe Blanton, Brandon Lyon, Brad Lidge, Francisco Liriano
Originally published on March 21, 2010.