With the MLB All-Star Break upon us, it is a good point for a mid-season round-up from the 2023 season of Fantasy Baseball UK.
All the divisional and overall standings from the various leagues can be viewed in the Standings section of the website. The Standings pages include a column showing the number of innings pitched (IP) used by each team, which is useful context alongside the points tally, especially as we go through the second part of the season.
On that note, please remember 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.
For the FBUK League (standard game) and FBUK LTD (limited trade), in Yahoo at the bottom of the roster page it indicates how much of each limit has been used so far. For the two salary cap games — FBUK Classic and $5m Game — in Fantrax that is indicated on the ‘Min/Max’ tab of your Team Roster area. Those limits will come more into focus when reviewing the standings as we get closer to the end of the season on 1 October.
FBUK All-Star Team of the First Half
Based on fantasy points accumulated between 30 March and 9 July, here are the top performers at each position during the first part of the season:
|OF||Ronald Acuña Jr.||ATL||712|
Ronald Acuña Jr. stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of fantasy points accumulated. The Atlanta Braves’ right fielder has scored almost 150 points more than the next highest, Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers). Acuña Jr. is batting .331 with 21 home runs, 55 RBI and 41 stolen bases. He is the first player in MLB history to record 20 homers, 40 thefts and 50 RBI before the All-Star break.
Félix Bautista (Baltimore Orioles) is the highest scorer reliever, racking up 23 saves, 84 strikeouts over 42 innings and a 1.07 ERA.
There are three players in this season’s FBUK All-Star Team who also featured this time last year: Freddie Freeman, Marcus Semien and José Ramírez.
Although he is far from making the All-Star Team, honourable mention goes to Domingo Germán of the New York who, on 28 June, threw the first perfect game since Felix Hernandez did so for the Seattle Mariners in 2015. That feat earned Germán 61 points. For any fantasy managers that still had him in their rotation, it would have gone some way to make up for back-to-back negative points in his previous two starts in which he gave up 15 earned runs over 5.1 innings!
Notes: Monthly points and position eligibility is based on Fantrax, where the salary cap league is run. Although the Fantrax and Yahoo leagues use the same scoring system, position eligibility might vary slightly for some MLB players. The Utility spot is the highest-scoring hitter who didn’t top a position category. Here, the Relief Pitcher spot is reserved for true relievers/closers rather than starting pitchers who happen to also be eligible at the RP spot.
Fantasy League Standings (top): 9 July
In all formats except the $5m Game, fantasy teams are grouped into roughly regional divisions that are also combined to give overall standings. As the $5m Game is a smaller group of teams, they are all in one division. Here is a snapshot of the overall Top 10 in each league by the time of the All-Star Break.
|1||Jevinder’s Giants 2||7919|
|5||It’s Shohei Time||7137|
|9||Mookie The Cat||6959|
A massive month of June saw Jevinder’s Giants 2, managed by Jonathan Evans, score 2950 points to climb from the bottom half to the top of the overall FBUK League standings (Giants 1 resides in the limited trade game). That is the second highest monthly tally since the scoring system was overhauled in 2021. Add another 1200 points in the first week of July and Giants 2 has a lead of over 600 points at the All-Star Break as well as a buffer of almost 1000 points in its regional West division.
However, the team has already used 1266 of the 1400 innings pitched limit. History tells us that teams that eat up their IP limit this early in the season usually get pegged back and overtaken in the back end of the season once they can no longer score pitching points, so we shall see what transpires. Heading the chasing pack is Stephen Adamson’s Lydney Pirates, who had led the league at the end of May and currently has an advantage of over 300 points at the top of their South West regional division.
Two Top 10 finishers from last season — It’s Shohei Time (Simon Middleton) and beat gould&lengl (John Steele) — are currently among the top five in that chasing pack.
Besides the West, in the other divisional contests, some teams have established big leads of over 500 points, such as beat gould&lengl and TheUmpireStrikesOut (Dave Perrin) in the Central and East divisions respectively. At the other end of the scale, in the North West, Clash City Royals (Mark Ormrod) is in first place by just two points over Weebles (Jonathan Tugwood), the 2020 FBUK Champion.
|2||Cradley Red Sox||6009|
|3||Masters of Merriment||5990|
|4||Karl’s First-Class Team||5924|
|6||Steven’s Expert Team||5742|
|9||Ich Liebe Helene Fischer||5589|
|10||Science Maniacs UK Ltd||5549|
In FBUK LTD, where the number of player trades and acquisitions is limited, Coldfield Cardinals (Tony Fellows), the third place finisher in 2021, tops the Central division and overall standings. The top of the South and North divisions ares relatively close affairs. In the South, last season’s FBUK LTD Champion YabbaDabBaddoo (Daniel Perrin) is currently second behind Moneyballers (Greg Cessford). The North is currently led by the 2021 overall runner-up, Masters of Merriment (Blythe Robertson).
|1||Secret Agents Too||7367|
|2||Ready Eddie Go||7285|
|8||RBI or Rump?||7054|
In the salary cap league — where managers build a roster within a budget for player salaries — the overall standings sees the top three teams separated by fewer than 100 points and two of those teams are managed by last year’s FBUK Classic Champion, René Becker (Secret Agents / Secret Agents Too). Managers have the option of owning more than one team in the Fantrax salary cap league. Since an MLB player can be rostered by multiple teams and they do not trade between each other — as is possible in the Yahoo draft leagues — there is not the risk of a manager with multiple teams trading players between their own teams to load up one and gain an unfair advantage.
In second place, Ready Eddie Go is managed by John Borthwick who won the Limited Trade Game in back-to-back seasons 2016-17 with No Trade Clause. Last season’s runner-up, Bleacher Creatures (Wayne Mason) forms part of the chasing pack, which includes rookie FBUK manager Matt Farley (Tiggerrrrr) in fourth place.
Dunedin Dingers (Matthew Sutton) is looking to repeat last year’s Channel Conference title and currently leads by over 300 points in the regional division.
* In FBUK Classic, a technical glitch associated with the weekly trade/transactions deadline resulted in team Tiggerrrrr being incorrectly deducted a large amount of points in the standings. This table shows the position and points total the team should have, whereas on the Fantrax website it is much further down the standings while we work with Fantrax to resolve the issue.
|1||Jose Abreu Bombers||6043|
|3||Cano Money Mo Problems||5532|
|6||Sultans of Swat||4459|
Besides FBUK Classic, René Becker is in the hunt for a double championship as René’s team Jose Abreu Bombers has a healthy lead at the moment in the limited budget version of the salary cap league.
Touch base with FBUK
The forums on the FBUK website are where you can contribute to the conversation on how the game is run or ask technical questions.
Thanks for playing, and good luck for the second half of the season!
Fantasy Baseball UK