With a change in the rules, and learning from last season, many key points were discovered in how to survive the 26 week HWC Baseball season. Here are some keys to this year's season
1) Offense - Last season the stats were split 6-6 in pitching and hitting, leading to the infamous "Pitcher-Hitter" tie where one team would take all the pitching stats and the other would sweep the hitting. This year the stats are tilted slightly towards offense as the pitching stats stayed at 6 when the holds stat was removed, and replaced with losses, but the offensive stats increased to 7 with the addition of the hits stat. This means that you'll see a shift from teams with a platoon of pitchers to a full set of benched offense powerhouses. Like the real MLB, the heavy hitters have begun to out price the low ERA pitchers.
2) Consistency - There's a saying that goes, "A dog that sh#$s fast won't sh#$ long." Columbia Cardinals found that out as he went from 51-30-3 in weeks 14-20 to losing to Wyatt in week 21 then losing in his first playoff game badly to fm.
3) Updating Your Roster - Games can be won or lost depending on who checks their roster more than the other. I've seen it so many times that a manager who doesn't check their roster misses out on a pitcher throwing a solid 9 innings allowing only one or 2 runs. Also I've seen managers who aren't paying attention to slumping players leave them in, costing them stats. Other managers just get tired of keeping up with the team, but endurance is part of the game. As if it actually takes any kind of real endurance to manage a fantasy team.
4) Strategy - You're up in pitching 5 wins to 3, 1.75 to 1.9 in ERA, and 1.0 - 1.1 in WHIP on Sunday afternoon. You've got an iffy pitcher starting today, and your opponent does too. What do you do? You kick your starter like a bad habit! You've got 3 of the 6 pitching stats locked, but a bad performance from your starter can lose 2 of those stats on the last day. I've almost been caught like this more than once. This week my fantasy hockey team is playing for the championship, and on the first night, Manny Fernandez scored a shootout loss 1-0, but the game counted as a GAA of 0.00, a save percentage of 1.000, and as a shut-out. That's 3 stats that likely will not be accomplished by the other team. Mistakenly, I started Manny the next time he went into goal, He allowed 2 goals on 2 shots in the first minute and a half of the game. He got a GAA for that game of 90.0, and a save percentage of .000. Fortunately his week's save percentage is counted out of saves, and not games so it only dropped to .923, and the GAA jumped to a still good 1.81. But needless to say, I was scared. It might be cheap to block like that, but when the game is on the line, the winner is the one who wants it the most.