Before the 30 July Major League Baseball trade deadline was reached, there were some blockbuster trades conducted. Although there is no trade deadline in Fantasy Baseball UK there has been a recent flurry of trade attempts as fantasy teams towards the top of the main game standings that have already reached the Innings Pitched (IP) limit look to trade their best pitchers for valued position players that could boost their batting line-up. Once a team reaches the 1400 IP limit, it can score no more points from pitching for the rest of the season.
As we head into the business end of the season, five of the top six teams in the overall standings are at their IP limits. For the other one, Coffin Dodgers, the lid is close to coming down completely on its limit too. The first team to reach its IP limit about a month ago, Davy Dodgers, saw a commanding 500-point lead in first place wiped out fairly quickly by Wake Field Padres, who recently took over the top spot that the Dodgers had held for about two months.
For those fantasy managers whose strategy was to maximise use of pitching in the first half of the season, it makes sense in some ways. Given the much-shortened 2020 season, many pitchers are likely to be placed on restricted innings / pitch counts this season to avoid injury – or might end up succumbing to injury anyway – in the return to a full MLB season. As the regular season reaches its close, non-contending MLB clubs might rest or shut down their best pitchers to preserve them for next season while teams confident of reaching the playoffs might do the same to hold them over for the postseason. The question in the remaining two months of the fantasy season is whether the strategy has secured enough points already to allow a fantasy team to survive only on points from its batting lineup or whether the chasing pack that still have several hundred IP available will make them count and close the sizeable gap on the leading pack.
Don’t forget that you can view the full standings for each division and combined in the main and Limited Trade games in the Standings section of the website.
Manager of the Month: July
The previous two Manager of the Month top fives looked pretty similar but it is much changed for July. The one constant in the top five from the previous month was Neil Ramsden‘s Coffin Dodgers, who had another very healthy month and whose condition improved further to be the top scoring manager in July. Although the Dodgers and beat gould&lengl are well established in the top 10 of main game overall, the other three teams in the top five scorers in July were outside the top 10, with Uplands Yankees sitting around mid-table.
Out of curiosity, here are the top five ‘most improved’ teams in July, measured as a percentage rise on their total points at the end of June:
Ken Plumpton – Uplands Yankees – 44%
Neil Ramsden – Coffin Dodgers – 40%
Mark Bradley – Philly Knickers – 39%
Joshua Lucas – Year of the Cub – 39%
Simon Norminton – Clee Mariners – 39%
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few of the teams in the Manager of the Month top five also appear in this list but so do Clee Mariners, a team low down in the East division but whose July points tally improved its running total by almost 40%.
Fantasy League Standings (top): 3 August
In both the main and Limited Trade games (where there is a limit on the number of player transactions per team) fantasy teams are grouped into regional divisions but they are also combined to give overall standings across the two formats.
Besides trading first place with Davy Dodgers, Wake Field Padres also have an almighty lead of over 1500 points in the East division. In third place overall, Merriment Masters also closed the gap on top spot. After entering the top 10 last month, Coffin Dodgers‘ Manager of the Month performance in July saw them rise to fourth overall as well as cut the deficit in half (to 280 points) in the North division between itself in second place and Merriment Masters in first.
Heading into August, a number of the teams that have maxed out their IP limit still have fairly comfortable leads in their respective divisions, although they are reducing. Elsewhere, there are closer title races in some divisions. In the South, Mighty Mighty BoSox look to go from worst (last year) to first and currently have a 250-point lead. In the South East, Hakuna Moncada and Secret Agents are virtually neck and neck at the top and are also both in the chasing pack in the top 10 of the main game combined standings. In the North West, placing among the top five managers of the month in July has put Clash City Royals within 100 points of division leaders Detroit Technos.
Limited Trade game
Blythe Robertson‘s Masters of Merriment have enjoyed a steady lead of around 300 points for a couple of months in both the Limited Trade North regional division and the overall Limited Trade game. In the LT South division, things have opened up after being fairly close in the early months and The Sofa Boys have stretched out their lead in the top spot.
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