Welcome to the first in-season update of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball UK game, which got going with MLB Opening Day on 1 April. Around 120 managers set up their fantasy baseball teams in the main game, which is about twice as many as last year. Around 80% of last year’s managers returned for another season. Teams in the main game are split into one of nine divisions, roughly based on regions of the UK.
The Limited Trade Game also returned after missing out 2020, with slightly over 30 teams split across two divisions. Scroll on for a summary of the standings further down.
(Know, know) Know your limits!
A reminder to fantasy managers to be aware that there are season position limits on your roster: each line-up position (batters) has a maximum of 162 games (GP) for which it is eligible to score points over the course of the season; your team’s pitching staff is limited to a total of 1400 innings pitched (IP) across all starters and relievers over the season. If a position reaches its limit before the season ends, it will no longer score points for your team going forward.
All managers are able to see the position limits in terms of games played (offence) and innings pitched in the league settings, plus at the bottom of the roster page it indicates how much of each limit has been used so far and forecasts whether you are going to end up over or under.
Bear in mind that the season actually lasts around 180 days or so, but most line-up positions are not going to be filled every single day because of either rest days, injuries or no game scheduled for the player in that position.
There was a question as to whether the games played limit should be raised but the majority of those that responded felt it should remain at 162 because it makes sense within the context of MLB’s 162-game season and it prompts a bit of roster management rather than unlimited streaming of players through roster spots.
Following feedback from fantasy managers, this year we changed up the pitching points scoring system. We replaced the awarding of 20pts for a Win (and 10pts for a Relief Win) with a slightly more nuanced system focusing on what the pitcher can control in their performance. Previously, some had felt the points awards too high and so meant fantasy scoring was weighted too much towards starting pitching, or that Wins was an outdated stat altogether.
For the first time, FBUK introduced a negative scoring category with -2pts for each earned run given up by a pitcher. To balance it out hitters will now be penalised -1pt if they strike out. It adds a bit of extra jeopardy to your player selections!
Throwing a complete game will earn a pitcher 10pts plus a shutout another 10 points on top of that (plus points for outs and strikeouts). Some fantasy teams have reaped the benefits of this as there have already been four no-hitters thrown in this early part of the season (the modern record for most no-hitters in a whole season is seven).
Joe Musgrove (San Diego Padres) threw the first against the Texas Rangers on 10 April, followed five days later by Carlos Rodon (Chicago White Sox) who would have recorded a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians had it not been for one narrowly hit batter in the ninth inning. Similarly, the Baltimore Orioles’ John Means was a dropped third strike away from a perfect game in Seattle on 5 May, resulting in a unique no-hitter. Three days later, Wade Miley of the Cincinnati Reds chalked up the fourth no-hitter, the second one suffered by the Cleveland Indians in 2021.
In addition, nine other complete game shutouts have been pitched, albeit four took place in shortened seven-inning games of a doubleheader but they still count!
Manager of the Month: April
Well done to David Crabtree, whose team Detroit Technos drummed up the most fantasy points within the month of April and hit the top of the main game standings.
Fantasy League Standings (top): 10 May
In both the main and Limited Trade games the divisional standings are also combined to give overall standings across the two formats. The Standings section of the website has been updated so you can now view all the various divisions in one place plus the combined overall standings.
Cobra K led the main game for the first few weeks until Detroit Technos (North West division) overtook, team manager David Crabtree on the way to being named Manager of the Month. Nevertheless, Cobra K had opened a 285 point lead in the South West division at the time of writing.
Davy Dodgers recently joined Technos and Wake Field Padres (East division) in the top three of main game, having opened a 300+ point lead in the North East division. Hakuna Moncada and Secret Agents, in fourth and fifth respectively, are competing for top spot in the South East division.
Last year’s overall champion, Weebles, lies mid-table in North West and within the Top 30 overall at the moment.
The Limited Trade Game is the tale of two masters: Master Blasters (Michael Hart) lead the South division and the overall LTD game, and have been in first place since the early days of the season. Masters of Merriment (Blythe Robertson) lead the North division and second place overall. Blythe is also leading the North in the main game by a small margin. Another manager who is doing well in both formats is Tony Fellows, second in Limited Trade North (Coldfield Cardinals) as well as second in the Central division of the main game (Birmingham Redbirds).
Touch base with FBUK
In the lead-up to the season we launched new forums on the FBUK website, which is where you can contribute to the conversation on how the game is run or ask technical questions.
Thanks for playing, stay safe, and good luck for the rest of the season!
Fantasy Baseball UK