As tough as it is for a ballplayer to sustain himself through a 162-game season, fantasy baseball is just as rigorous in comparison with other fantasy game. Typically the cyber-owner is switching pitchers in and out of rotations each day, benching players whose teams have the day off, and it’s extremely difficult to gauge when a player on your startling lineup won’t be in his actual lineup.
So we have to look at other ways to twist statistics for our own trivial benefit.
One game I’ve invented this offseason is much simpler to play, yet it requires thinking that may not have been used in traditional rotisserie leagues.
The game’s called Two Eighty. Sounds like a card game from the ’40s, doesn’t it?
The goal of Two Eighty is to predict which players will end the season with a batting average of .280. You’re rewarded for being closest to that number.
The game’s one part “Cliff Hangers” (from TV’s The Price is Right) and one part Cliff Floyd (career batting average: close to .280).
Why .280? Why not? A .280 batting average implies a quality player who doesn’t get a lot of attention. It could also imply a slugger who often strikes out. Or maybe it’s a leadoff batter who draws several walks. But it definitely doesn’t make you think Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, or Ichiro. Hence the deliciousness of the idea.
1. Pick one player from each team, excluding pitchers, that you think will end the season with a batting average of .280. There is a points incentive to select everyday players vs. bench players
2. If player gets injured before May 15 and is not likely to play by the end of the season, you have the option to acquire an “alternate” from that roster, selected at random from a pool of their everyday players, or to keep the player.
… and that’s it.
+1 for each thousandth of a point away from .280 a player’s batting average is
-10 for each player who ends up with exactly a .280 average (between .2800 and .2809)
-2 for each player who ends up with at least 500 plate appearances. (400 if it’s a catcher)
Lowest score wins.
1. Highest number of games played (total)
2. Highest number of plate appearances (total)
3. Highest number of extra-base hits (total)
4. Coin flip, paper rock scissors, 1-2-3 shoot, Eenie Meeny Miney Moe, or any of a garden variety of second grade argument-settlers.
[CAVEAT: A few rules may be tweaked in the next couple days to prepare for certain contingencies, but rest assured the goal of the game will not change. You want batting averages to be as close to .280 as possible. If this happens, I will update it here and e-mail those who signed up.]
Space is limited, but I am unsure what size this will be. It depends on how well I can script this game for score generating purposes. Let me know by Wednesday at 11:59 PM ET if you wish to participate. Lineup card is due Friday at 11:59 ET. Please don’t leave it in the comments (cause other people will see it and steal it!); instead, e-mail it to me. Be sure to include your name and your blog if you have one. Your e-mail address won’t be posted. (Or sold. Or hacked into. Or made fun of. Well, I can’t promise that last one. But definitely not sold.)
Results will be posted on some kind of regular basis.
Go nuts, fantasy nuts.