Ever wanted to be able to participate in fantasy baseball/MLB, but you do not know how? Here are the basic things you should know before you enter the pool.
Two types of players: pitchers and batters
The pitchers throw the ball to the opposing team’s batters. The goal for the pitcher is to throw difficult balls, so the opposing team cannot hit them and score runs. Playing many innings and getting strikeouts is what results in the highest fantasy score for a pitcher. A strikeout is when a player is out after three swings and misses.
Batters score points not only by home runs
Batters score fantasy points when they hit a fair ball that lets them or their teammates run safely to the next base. Depending on how far the ball lets them run, these are called singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. Additional points are awarded when the batter’s hit let someone run from a base to home, and when the batter himself runs from a base to home thanks to a teammate’s good hit.
TIP1: Check form in the players’ list
Like in any other sport, form is important in baseball. An easy way to check how well a player is doing is to use the columns in the players’ list when you create your team. “Form” means the average fantasy points the player has scored in his last 5 matches. “Points” are the total of fantasy points the player has scored during the current season.
TIP2: Pay attention to the batting order
The players considered to be best in an MLB team will usually be placed in the starting spots 1 to 5. You can now see the expected batting order for each player in our players’ list, and closer to match start, the confirmed batting order.
TIP3: Check expected runs for a team
Like in soccer, there is a line on how many “goals” a team is expected to score on average in a baseball match. Often you can spot this number in the lineup section, when it is called “Vegas” or “O/U”. If a team is expected to get 5 or more runs, this is a good sign if you are planning to pick a batter from that team.
TIP4: Consider stacking
In baseball fantasy, it is a common strategy to pick several players from the same team, especially those who are close to each other in the batting order. The reason for this, is that if one of them does well, it increases the chance for his neighbor to do well also. Depending on which individual players you like best, you can go with 1-2-3, 2-3-4 or maybe even 2-3-5. You can stack up to 5 players from the same team.
TIP5: Get help from the experts
There are many projection services – like Rotowire.com – that will estimate the likely (average) fantasy points for a player in the upcoming match. Some release these numbers for a fee, others do it for free. While you may not find any yet that have projections specifically for FanTeam tournaments, our scoring is similar to DraftKings’, so you can use those numbers without a problem.
TIP6: Focus on “value”
As you rarely will be able to afford all the players you like, you need to be economical about it. Look for moderately priced players that you expect to score many points. The classic definition of “value” = Expected fantasy points/price. You can use the projected points from the services, but make sure that you use our prices and not DraftKings’ – as they are often different. Stay away from players with value lower than 1.00 in MLB. Ideally, you want value above 1.25.
TIP7: Look for confirmed players
At FanTeam we color code confirmed starters as blue. If they are green, it means they are very likely to start, but there is no guarantee for that. So, if you can wait for confirmed lineups, that is best. But if your player does not show up, we have a great safety net for this sport, so you will get a replacement player with a similar price and hopefully a similar performance.
TIP8: When picking batters, the opposing pitcher is important
Obviously, the form of the batter is something you could consider when selecting batters. But just as important is the opposition he is facing. A strong pitcher can reduce the batter’s chance to score points by a lot. “WHIP” is a measure of how tough the pitcher is. A number around 1.00 means the pitcher is pretty strong. 1.50 would be a soft pitcher. WHIP is short for “walks and hits per innings”.
And that’s it! Armed with this knowledge, we urge you to go out and wet your feet in the MLB tournaments! It is a sport well-suited for fantasy, with a lot of events resulting in fantasy points, so it is quite exciting! We hope you hit a home run!