Fantasy baseball is fun. It gives you something to care about when watching a summer interleague game between Arizona and Texas. It lets you see how smart you actually are. It provides a reason to ridicule and be ridiculed.
But for the sabermetrically enlightened and for the prospect wonks, it can be a frustrating experience:
- "What do you mean Dee Gordon is better than Edwin Encarnacion?"
- "I know this is wrong, but swing the damn bat, Joey Votto!"
- "If I draft Miguel Sano every year, I'll have a decent DH four years from now."
If you've ever said any of the above, the league you're looking for is FanGraphs Ottoneu. Here's how it works:
- You have a 40-man roster and an annual salary cap of $400.
- All major and minor league players are available (but only major-leaugers accrue points).
- Scoring for hitters is based on linear weights (something close to wOBA), so players help your fantasy team at the same rate that they help their real teams.
- Scoring for pitchers is based statistics they have control over, so you can still be happy when your starter loses a 1-0 pitching duel.
- You can keep as many players as you wish, so during the offseason, the cost for players who played in the majors increases by $2. The cost for players who did not increases by $1. So yes, cap management, windows of opportunity, and deadline trades matter.
Because most of us are nerds in our mothers' basements without real friends to compete against, we should settle for the next best thing, which is playing against online friends who we've probably never met. To that end, we're launching the DRaysBay Fantasy Baseball Association. Here's the gist:
- We will create enough leagues to satisfy everyone who expresses interest.
- The leagues will be ranked, and there will be a system of promotion and relegation between them (this ensures good, active, competitive leagues once you get past the first few tiers).
- Initial ceding will be done using a complex formula I've created that totals your comments on this site within the past year.
- Ottoneu league costs are $9.99, which you will pay directly to the site; however, we will cover the entry fee for all participants in the top league.
- If you join, you will be the subject of public analysis, and very possibly ridicule.
- If you win, you will be the subject of praise, and very possibly ridicule. There will also be some sort of prize (to be named later) for winning each league.
- If you are interested, first read the constitution. Then fill out the form below. Our target date for league creation is next Monday, and at that point we'll get down to scheduling the auctions.