Over the offseason, I’m going to endeavor to “invent” about 15 leagues – roughly one per week up until March, excluding vacations. This is the first entry in the series. Let’s kick things off with a real mindbender – 2×2 Roto.
Positions: C, CI, MI, 3 OF, UTIL, 5 P, 2 BN
Hitter Categories: TB+BB (total bases plus walks), K
Pitcher Categories: IP, K%-BB%
Waivers: Unlimited, Instant
This is intended to be a small, quick-to-draft league that pits quantity against quality. The format is almost ludicrously shallow, ensuring that the waiver wire is stocked with high value assets. Few players outside of MVP candidates will be uncuttable. Active daily management is required for success.
Positions and categories were chosen based on my preferences and are fully adjustable. On the hitting side, I wanted a counting stat highly correlated to plate appearances as the “quality” measure. Hitters who produce high totals of TB+BB also tend to strike out a lot. Those who don’t – like Mookie Betts and Jose Ramirez – are therefore hugely valuable first rounders. I view this as a feature rather than a bug, although I could foresee it becoming a game balancing issue.
Pitchers offered a cleaner path to juxtaposing quantity and quality, although I did suggest a difficult-to-implement stat to proxy quality. The best K%-BB% pitchers are relievers. Of the top 30 in the category, only eight were starting pitchers. However, to simply load up Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, and Jacob deGrom with some premium relievers probably isn’t a winning strategy. Nor is purely focusing on relievers. Top performers in the IP category will stream multiple starters per day without killing their K%-BB%. Top performers in K%-BB% will use elite arms. Marrying the two stats promises to be difficult.
I’m unaware of any platform offering K%-BB% so a less effective “quality” measure like ERA may be required. Similarly, TB+BB probably isn’t available on any major platforms. Using plain TB is a simple alternative. Using OPS isn’t a solution unless you switch strikeouts to K%. Unless I missed an obvious solution, both offensive categories must be counting stats OR ratios.
The format favors owner effort almost to a fault. Therefore, some simple rules about when waiver moves can be made could be helpful. For example, between 9:00am and 7:00pm ET.
- A monthly draft
- Daily FAAB
- Alternative positional or category configurations
- No or weekly waivers with a larger bench
- Fire and forget – draft a team and let ’em play without management
What’s missing? What did I fail to consider?
Additionally, I’m soliciting ideas for better offensive categories. Lay ’em on me.
A related poll is available on my Patreon.