7/23/16 at 07:00 AM 0 Comments

5 Fast Facts About Fantasy Baseball

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Fantasy baseball is sweeping the US nation in a huge way. This isn’t news, it’s been this way for several years now. Some people are just getting into the game, however, and there are some things you will want to know. There are also just a few fun things about the game that you’ll want to absorb if you’re ready to become a real fantasy baseball enthusiast.

1. Fantasy Baseball Defined

Let’s start out with what Wikipedia has to say about the topic and expand from there.

Fantasy baseball is a game in which people manage rosters of league baseball players, either online or in a physical location. The participants compete against one another using those players' real life statistics to score points. - Wikipedia

 This is pretty accurate in the real world, but the majority of fantasy play happens online. The physical location bit happens mostly as a social component for players and fans. This can be especially important during the strategy phase where you pick your players. In the early days (this has been a thing since the 1970s), players had to not only get together, but also add up stats by hand. You had to be a sports fan and a math geek just to get into things. Yikes. Thanks, computers!

 The reason you want to be strategic about who you put on your team is that statistics matter. You earn points based on how your make believe players actually do in real life games. You’ll do best if you have a knack for picking players with strong gameplay. It’s also important to pray that nobody gets injured.

Leagues and Contests

Fantasy play falls into one of two different formats: league or contest. Several major media companies have teams that you can join, including ESPN, FoxSports and Yahoo! Sports. There is a live draft where everyone picks their players which is pretty intense and lots of fun. In contest play, users often choose players based on a salary cap and points are accumulated by mathematical formula. The top scorers win prizes. About those prizes…

 You can win real money by playing fantasy ball. It won’t compare to what the real players make, but some large leagues or contests have huge cash prizes. Smaller organizations often work a bit like a pool, where everyone pays an entry fee to get involved and the winner takes all.

 Leagues are also common, where players pick teams through a draft of auction and competition is based on year-to-date player standings or head to head records. Prizes won in leagues are often smaller, but frequently there is no entry fee.

 2. Watch The League

This show is technically about fantasy football, which is also a thing. I still believe any fantasy sports fan will enjoy it! It’s legitimately funny although often also a bit silly.

 Like most good shows, it was cancelled. You can stream it online through some of the pay to stream services and it is worth looking for. It was originally run on FX from 2009 through 2015.

 Will you see yourself in some of the characters? That’s very likely! The cast list features a group of friends who do supreme battle for the ultimate bragging rights. There is camaraderie and competition just like the league or contest you are probably in. It has an 8.3 rating on IMDB, so chances are, you’ll enjoy it too.

3. Fantasy Baseball In The News

 Let’s face it, most of the fantasy baseball news is really actual baseball news. It is interesting to note that many current stores do reference the fantasy play angle specifically. Fantasy game play has certainly become a part of mainstream culture in America.

 Just this week, Chris Towers of CBS takes a look at the types of players he calls Difference Makers and how they impact your fantasy team. Learn some strategy from someone who knows what he is talking about.

 Actually, CBS seems a bit obsessed with fantasy baseball. There is another helpful story from Al Melchior discussing what you can do if you picked a problematic first baseman. He makes some suggestions about players to pick up and bemoans Miguel Cabrera’s lackluster season. He has only hit .227 with five extra base hits in the last 30 days.

 Bottom line, if you are playing fantasy baseball, set up a Google News Alert for the keyword so you can stay up to date on what the media is saying. There could be a hot tip that you don’t want to miss.

4. Tips and Tricks to Improving Your Fantasy Baseball Game

Here are a few tips to get you started-

  • Stay on top of the stats- you can’t know what’s going on if you don’t crunch some numbers
  • Build your lineup around your starting pitcher- keep checking the player pool daily to decide if you want to chose one elite player and an average elite player, or if you aren’t ready to splurge at all.
  • Take advantage of a great player in a slump- this can be risky, but you can also make big gains by picking up a player who is usually awesome but happens to be having a tough season. Things can always look up and then you’ll be sitting pretty.
  • Stay on top of stuff with professional guide and collectable cards offered by Beckett Media accompanying great offer prices.

5. Fantasy Baseball International

There is some interest in fantasy baseball and other fantasy sports play from outside the US. Canada and Australia are referenced by as being in on the game.

 Most of the fantasy baseball players live in the United States, however. It may be some time before the sport gains any ground overseas. At the very same time, fantasy baseball is a really great way for a baseball enthusiast from another country to dive deep into baseball culture. It is a niche market with very loyal fans in the US and beyond, even if their numbers outside the States are small.

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