Scoresheet Baseball Strategy Guide

This guide is intended to help you translate your baseball knowledge into reasonably managing a team in Scoresheet. We’ll focus on the strategy of how to manage a baseball team and how Scoresheet lets you do that in broad terms.

We’ll explain:

This guide assumes you have baseball knowledge. However, for those of you with prior (non-Scoresheet) fantasy baseball experience, understand that you are not trying to win statistical categories in Scoresheet. You’re trying to win simulated games.

Stats are not used to win categories. Stats are used as probabilistic inputs per plate appearance, just like in real life. Stats such as steals, runs scored, RBIs, pitcher wins or saves which are mostly team-dependent play a much smaller role in Scoresheet. Just as in real life, player performance is primarily driven by ERA, WHIP, OBP, and OPS.

Since Scoresheet is designed to closely simulate what happens in real-life MLB, the one concept most important to mastering Scoresheet is:

The more closely you evaluate players and manage your team just like real owners, GMs, and managers do in the MLB, the better your team will do in Scoresheet.

How Real-life Weekly Stats Translate into Scoresheet Performance

The probability of how a player performs for each plate appearance (PA) in your weekly Scoresheet games is based both on how he did in real life that week and how the opposing pitcher he is facing in Scoresheet did in real life that week. The probabilities for a PA outcome are also impacted by other factors, such as individual platoon splits, the opposing team’s fielding range, and any luck balancing (discussed below) that may be owed to the pitcher or hitter. Once all of these factors are figured in, the program assigns probabilities to every possible outcome of an at bat.

Perhaps this is best demonstrated by an example: For instance, say Mike Trout had 24 plate appearances in the majors over the past week. He hit 8 singles, 1 double, and 3 HRs, for a total of 12 hits. In Scoresheet, he faces a pitcher who had average stats in real life. For this plate appearance, Trout has a 1 in 2 chance of getting a hit. More precisely, he has a 1 in 8 chance of getting a home run, a 1 in 24 chance of getting a double, and a 1 in 3 chance of getting a single.

Notice the mention of “average pitching” or “average stats.” Trout could face Scoresheet pitchers who did superbly well that week in real life. In that case, terrific pitching combined with Trout’s terrific hitting could mean that 1HR was exactly average luck for Trout.

Key concept:

Scoresheet performance for a given hitter comes about half from real-life hitter stats, and about half from opposing team pitching and defense.

What if the Scoresheet pitcher Trout faces had a much better than average week in the majors, giving up half as many hits per batter faced as the average major league pitcher? Then Trout’s probabilities for a single, double, and home run would all be reduced by approximately 50%: Trout would have a roughly 1 in 4 chance of getting a hit with each PA against this specific pitcher. Notice that even with these reductions, from the point of view of the opposing team, the pitcher will have a higher probability of giving up hits in Scoresheet than he did in real life for this plate appearance, due to facing hot-hitting Trout.

ERA also matters. A pitcher’s ERA that week in real life will impact the probabilities of a run scoring for that at-bat. If the pitcher had a good (lower-than-average) ERA that week and there is a runner on third in the current Scoresheet game, then Trout’s chances of getting a hit will go down. If the pitcher had a bad ERA that week in real life then the chances of a run scoring hit by Trout for that Scoresheet PA will go up.

Probabilities don’t guarantee anything. Just as it is possible to roll double sixes three straight times when throwing dice, it’s possible that Trout will hit just 1 HR for you in Scoresheet in a week despite hitting 3 HRs in real life, even though he faced average pitching in Scoresheet. It’s no fun to get consistently unlucky. So we devised a “luck balancing” algorithm which tracks luck and balances it out in the long term. In this example, the software tracks the 2 HR deficit and increases the probability for future plate appearances that Trout will get a HR beyond what he did in real life. It’s likely that later in the season, the luck balancing formula would cause Trout to hit a couple extra HRs beyond what would be expected until Trout gets to where he “should be,” at which point Trout’s home run probability is no longer adjusted by luck balancing.

Sometimes, Scoresheet players misunderstand the meaning of “where he should be” with performance and luck balancing. If you keep in mind the key concept that performance comes half/half from offense/defense, then you won’t be confused and/or disappointed when your player doesn’t hit as well in Scoresheet as he does in real life. It could be that your player who hit 3 HRs in real life should on average hit 1 HR in Scoresheet that week because he faces pitchers who did great that week in the majors. In cases like that, the luck balancing algorithm won’t trigger, and the player won’t be owed HRs in the future.

The above examples were purposely simplified to illustrate the basics of how stats generated in real life are used as inputs for the simulator. It’s actually more complicated because luck balancing happens with every hitter after every PA, and every pitcher after each batter faced. Therefore, luck balancing adjusts probabilities with almost every PA. Furthermore, there are other factors that impact individual and team performance such as fielding range and platoon effects (both of which have averages based on prior two complete seasons, NOT the past week). There are also many software tweaks to handle various edge cases such as extreme highs and lows, following the principle, “better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.” The most influential factors are discussed later in this guide, emphasizing the ones over which you have control and therefore will want to know about.

In the short term you will experience swings of luck both in the positive and negative direction, just like happens in real life. However, thanks to luck balancing, by the end of the season, the players you play full time will have numbers that are not too far off from MLB numbers for the season (though they’ll likely be at least slightly worse than MLB because of the “All-Star” effect of playing all the better players against each other).

We’re all human. We all feel annoyed by bad luck. And most of us notice our bad luck much more than we notice our good luck. However, you’ll be a happier and better Scoresheet player if you can ignore the short-term swings of luck and focus more on what you can control long-term. Luck plays such a significant part in real baseball that many baseball coaches counsel their players to have this same attitude:

Focus on improving what you can control and ignore the rest.

Ensuring Enough Playing Time

The challenges of managing playing time catch many first-year owners by surprise, most especially the impact of injuries.

You have at most 30 players on your active roster. Every player has his playing time (PA or IP) limited to approximately how much playing time he gets in the MLB that week. But, just like in the MLB, all positions must be covered when your team takes the field (see playing limits).

Some of the reasons you may run out of PA or IP at a position include:

  • Your MLB players get less PA or IP than expected in real life due to injury, increased bench time, being sent down to minors, etc.
  • Not drafting enough players to cover all the positions
  • Not managing lineups effectively

If you run out of PA or IP for a starting player on your 30-player roster, the software will first try to fill the position with bench players, then players from your farm, and then as a last resort an automatically assigned AAA player. Getting assigned a AAA player usually hurts performance substantially because AAA player stats in Scoresheet are about half as good as the average MLB player.

In Scoresheet, there are many different ways to minimize the effect of real-life surprises on playing time, and some of them also help your team’s performance. Following is a list of many avenues to explore managing playing time. The items that have the biggest impact on getting every position filled with quality players are in bold face and you’re therefore better off learning about the bold-faced items first:

  • Drafts
    • End your draft with at least 8 starting pitchers (each of whom you believe will start many games) and at least 13 pitchers altogether. You probably want more than these minimums because pitchers get injured. A lot!
    • End your draft with at least one backup for every position.
    • All else being equal, value starters with multiple positions higher than those with a single position. This flexibility makes it easier to absorb injuries to other starters.
    • Draft a few utility players in the later rounds who play many positions even if they don’t hit so well. This allows you to use less slots on the bench for backing up position players, and more slots for pitching.
    • Use supplemental 2-player drafts to fill holes that need filling due to injuries or poorly performing players. These occur once/month from April through August.
    • Automatic roster balancing is a feature that can be useful if you’re away from a computer in the later rounds of a draft and want to make sure that you get backups for every position.
  • Trades
    • Trades are the other way to fill holes. You can communicate your needs on the league page with a league-wide message, or you can seek trades privately by emailing players individually (click on their team number and it will launch an email). You can find which teams have excess players in positions you need by examining their rosters. You might also get some trade ideas from the “trade bait” section of the “rosters with major league stats” page for your league.
    • Plug your hole by plugging someone else’s hole. You can examine other player’s rosters by clicking on “Team Rosters” or “Player Stats” to see if they are lacking in a certain position for which you have excess. These are the easiest trades as both teams improve.
  • Lineup: General
    • Understand that the lineup you turn in impacts next week’s games. For example, if you turn in a lineup on Sunday night April 5, it will be applied to simulations on Monday April 13 using stats gathered from real MLB games April 6-12.
    • Make sure your starters cover all positions. If you try to submit an illegal lineup that doesn’t cover all positions, you’ll see feedback near the send button at the bottom of the lineup page. If you don’t submit a revised, corrected lineup, decisions will be made for you to make the lineup legal that will likely do a worse job of managing playing time than you would have.
    • Track injuries. Though our software automatically subs bench players in for injured players, your lineup is going to gradually get worse throughout the season if you never adjust it as injuries pile up. You can see playing time and a few stats for the last 3 weeks for any given player by clicking on the player’s name on some of our pages. But that doesn’t tell you why the player had reduced or zero playing time and what may happen to that player in the future. Some Scoresheet owners track injury news for their players using sites such as Rotowire or mobile apps such as TheScore.
  • Lineup: Pitchers
    • Hooks – The hook is the number that when reached causes your pitcher to be removed. Pitchers with very low hook numbers get pulled at the first sign of trouble, while pitchers with high hook numbers will be left in despite many runs scoring. You assign the hook number on the lineup card and it gets compared to the following current tally for the pitcher after each plate appearance:
      • the number of earned runs the pitcher has allowed in the game so far
      • + half the number of unearned runs
      • + half the men currently on base that the pitcher is responsible for
    • Hook numbers are probably the most difficult of the bold-faced items to master and is discussed further later in this guide. Assigning low hook numbers to most of your pitchers can enhance the performance of your team. However, be careful not to go too low or you might end up with a AAA pitcher for one or two games despite unused innings for some of your pitchers. Each week we generate scoresheets and stats for your players. Using this information, you can see what happened with your pitchers’ IP and whether you should make adjustments to any of your hook numbers.
    • You can choose any pitcher to be your closer. If you choose your closer to come in for the 9th inning only, make sure it’s someone who only pitches 1-3 innings per week, so you don’t end up with wasted innings. If you choose to use a mid-volume (2-5 innings/week) reliever as a closer, set inning to 8 so that most or all of his innings are used, and similarly set inning to 7 for a high-volume reliever who consistently pitches 4+ innings/week. Choosing to have no closer at all can sometimes be your best option depending on the composition of your pitching staff.
    • Reliever IP varies a lot in MLB from week to week, so the Scoresheet simulator makes allowances. For example, if the pitcher you designated as closer only pitched 2 innings in real life that week but had 3 9th inning save opportunities in your Scoresheet during your simulated week, the simulator will often let him pitch 3 innings for you to cover these three 9th inning appearances (and then will pitch one fewer inning in a future week). In the long run, IP will match reality if your reliever is near the top of the bullpen or is the sole closer. But in any given week your reliever may be over or under real-life IP by a considerable amount. On the other hand, if a starting pitcher has a high hook number, IP will not be that far off from real life IP each week, unless there is an issue with misaligned number of starts (described next).
    • Starting pitchers usually get 1 start each week in real life, though they sometimes get 0 or 2 starts. The real life starts often misalign with the number of starts you need in Scoresheet for your 5 starters. To help with this, Scoresheet has a “carryover” mechanism. If a Scoresheet pitcher starts 2 games in real life but 1 game for Scoresheet, then one of those starts and its innings will be banked for use in a future Scoresheet week when Scoresheet needs more than 5 starts, but the 5 pitchers in the starting rotation each started only once in the majors.
  • Lineup: Hitters
    • Thoroughly learn how subs work with bench order. Scoresheet’s sim does a remarkable job of filling positions with your subs, in the order you list them on the lineup card. For example, if your starting 2nd baseman runs out of plate appearances for your Scoresheet games, the software selects the player closest to the top of your bench who is eligible to play 2nd base and has plate appearances remaining for the week.
    • Consider carefully which players get used up first on the bench. Example: Your only backup catcher also qualifies to play first base and has hitting stats that are better than most of your other bench players. However, you’re probably better off listing bench players qualified to play 1B before this catcher, because catching is scarce and 1B is not. You won’t be happy if you had a AAA catcher come in because your only backup catcher used most or all of his PA to play 1B, while other first basemen never came in to play.
    • Manage the position listings for each of your position players. At the beginning of the season, our software lists every position for which the player is qualified. You can change this. Continuing with the previous example, the catcher’s positions are listed on the lineup card as “C-1B”. To prevent your only backup catcher from using PA on 1B, you can delete the 1B so that he only has “C” listed.
    • Players qualify to play every position for which they played at least 20 games in the MLB the prior year. Additionally, they can also qualify for a new position in the current year after playing 10 games at that position. These new positions are not automatically added to your player on the lineup form but you can manually add them in the lineup card to make your players more flexible. New positions are announced in weekly emails (just after stats) and on the web. If you attempt to add a position to a player for which he is not qualified, then in some cases it will be ignored by the software (such as listing a player qualified at outfield only as a catcher or shortstop). However, in some cases they can play at an unqualified position, but with a penalty (see next point):
    • Players can play at some positions for which they are not qualified, but at a fielding range penalty. Sometimes the penalty is minor (a shortstop playing almost any other position), and sometimes it is major (a second baseman playing shortstop). Shortstops are such versatile fielders that they are nearly as good at fielding other positions as having a utility player who is qualified at all the infield positions.
    • Defensive replacements (on lineup card, just above the farm for position players) can preserve a small number of plate appearances for starters and are particularly effective when replacing a good hitter with a better fielder when you have a lead. Starting with the 8th inning, if you are ahead by 2 or more runs, the listed player for defensive substitutions will take over at that position.
    • Learn to use pinch hitting on scoresheet by reading the pinch hit section of the lineup instructions page, which describes how pinch hitting works and under what circumstances the players come in. The impact on plate appearances is subtle, but the impact on performance can be substantial, especially in close games and in NL games where pitchers hit. Pinch hitting works hand in hand with platoon splits (how you set up your lineup versus LHP and versus RHP).
    • Platoons: Scoresheet teams have larger rosters then major league teams, and thus platooning in Scoresheet can be used quite a bit more than in the majors. If you have two somewhat similar players who play the same position, but one bats right handed and one bats left handed, then you should start the left handed player versus right handed pitchers, and should start the right handed batter versus left handed pitchers. NOTE: Most left handed hitters, even the good ones, really struggle against left handed pitchers, so generally you want to have a righty dominated starting lineup versus left handed pitchers. You can see the actual platoon adjustment used for the upcoming season on Scoresheet’s platoon splits page.
    • Platoons are also a good way to use players with good stats but limited PA. For example, let’s say you have a half-time catcher with good hitting stats, especially against right-handed pitching (RHP) because he hits left-handed. It makes sense to have him far down the bench against LHP, but a starting player against RHP. Furthermore, against RHP he can have a “-“ so that another player may pinch hit for him, thus sometimes preserving even more PA that might allow him to start in more games.
    • Players who bat early in the batting order get more plate appearances than those who bat later in the order, as detailed on this Fangraphs Plate Appearances by Lineup Spot page. If you have limited PA at a certain position, you can extend PA by batting the player 7th, 8th, or 9th, and even further by assigning “-“ for PH.
  • Lineup: Farm
    • Smart use of your farm system will effectively extend your roster beyond 30 active players. For example, let’s say that out of your roster of 35 players, only 2 are qualified to play the catcher position, and one of them plays full time in real life and the other plays part time and is a poor hitter. You put the full-time catcher in both your LHP and RHP lineups, while the other catcher is in the farm. If the main catcher runs out of PA, the software will sub in the other catcher because nobody else on the active 30-player roster is qualified.
    • Some players in your farm system are there because they have been performing very poorly lately and you really don’t want them to play. Make sure they are “blocked” from coming in by having ample playing time for that player’s position in your active 30-player roster.
    • When there is a choice of more than one position-qualified player in the farm system, the software will choose whoever had the most playing time so far that season. Just like any player on your team, Scoresheet playing time that week is based on how much they played that week in real life. Farm system players who have playing time available for the current week are used before AAA players, and also will be used before bench players are played out of position.

With all this discussion of getting enough playing time, you might get the impression that playing time in Scoresheet matters more than traditional stats such as ERA and WHIP for pitchers and OBP and OPS for hitters. Don’t think that way. Players with ample playing time but poor stats are going to help your team much less than players with great stats who play a bit less. An injured star in April may be your best player from May through September. Of course, if a player doesn’t play at all in real life, they won’t help you at all in Scoresheet either.

How to improve team performance

Several of the items listed in playing time section are also helpful to getting your team to perform better, such as hooks, platoons, and clever use of your farm system. In this section, we’ll focus more on the stats that matter most for performance and how you can use certain player stats to make your team better. As usual, what matters most in real life is also what matters most in Scoresheet.

Hitting Stats

Evaluating hitting in Scoresheet is pretty much the same as evaluating real-life MLB hitting. Historical hitting stats have more predictive value than pitching stats, primarily because they’re based on higher sample sizes. A variety of different hitting stats matter depending on what role you intend for the hitter. Roughly in order of importance, here are the stats that matter and the role they play:

  • OPS (OBP + SLG) is an overall measure of batting effectiveness. Some people prefer to see it broken out into three numbers, the “slash line” of BA/OBP/SLG. Batting average (BA), while popular, is not a good overall stat but can be useful just because many folks are used to that number. There are fancier versions of OPS that can be used if you prefer such as OPS+, but for Scoresheet purposes, OPS is typically good enough.
  • OBP – Your 2-3 highest OBP players are likely to fill in the top 2-3 spots in the batting order. By using OBP, you don’t have to examine batting average and BB and HBP separately. Note that OBP is labeled OBA (On Base Average) on our site.
  • HR – as in real life, HRs are valuable and you’ll usually want to put your best HR hitters in the 3rd through 6th spots of your lineup. The hope is that one or more runners will be on base when a power hitter hits a double or HR, which is why want your #1 and #2 hitters to have high OBP.
  • Platoon splits – Lefty/Righty hitting varies by hitter and you can examine these Scoresheet platoon splits by individual player on some of your league pages or in one long list on Scoresheet’s platoon splits page. These numbers are what will help you intelligently build your LHP and RHP lineups. Players with extreme splits can be limited to where they are most effective with appropriate lineup and pinch hitting choices.
  • Stealing – see stealing section below. Choosing the top 2-3 batters of your lineup based on OBP matters more than base stealing ability but with two players who have close OBPs, you’ll want your #1 and #2 hitters to be the ones who steal more. If you have a player who is very good at stealing but doesn’t get on base so much, the last spot in the batting order is worth considering as a slow runner can get in the way of a fast runner who wants to steal or advance 2 bases on a single.
  • Real life RBI, R – These have only a slight impact, such as the probability that a single will score a lone runner on 2nd.


Scoresheet does use real life weekly steals and caught stealing numbers. You can stop a player from ever stealing by assigning “N” in the steal column for that player. Many Scoresheet owners recommend at least 60% (or even 67%) minimum success rate to assign “Y” to the steal column for a particular player.

Though Scoresheet software does not use measurements such as 60-yard dash times, it does approximate player speed using stealing data and runs scored. A player with many steals and runs scored is assumed to be faster than a player with few steals and few runs scored. A faster base runner starting at 1st or 2nd will, on average, advance further on the bases when a ball is hit into play.

Fielding Stats

A position player can play a position for which he is qualified using the fielding range assigned to that position. In Scoresheet player lists (AL, NL, or Combined), you can see this year’s fielding range for each player and the average for the position by the headings.

As an example, 4.75 is average for shortstops, and 4.85 represents the fielding range for Francisco Lindor:

Shortstops (avg. 4.75)

505 B 26 4.85 Cle Francisco Lindor

Fielding range represents how much impact a fielder has relative to others in that same position, whether through better jumps, faster running speed, greater quickness at shortstop, a better arm at right field, better scooping ability to dig out bad throws to first, etc.

What matters as far as fielding range is the difference from the average for the position. For example, a 4.75 fielding range is exactly the league average for a shortstop, while a 4.85 fielding range is .1 better than the average shortstop, which is really good. That difference is how many hits per game the fielder will “rob” from hitters, so that .1 would mean that on average opposing teams would get 1 less hit every 10 games.

To compare two players at the same position, use the following conversion formula:

.10 difference in fielding range approximately equates to .055 OPS

For example, for two shortstops with identical stats except OPS and fielding range, the shortstop with .745 OPS and 4.85 fielding range will have approximately equal value to the team as a shortstop with .800 OPS and 4.75 fielding range. The shortstop with .800 OPS will help your team more on offense, while the shortstop with 4.85 fielding range will reduce opponent hitting performance through good defense.

Scoresheet also takes into account errors, which is a completely separate and unrelated stat to fielding range. A shortstop with great fielding range could have his great range cancelled out by a much higher number of errors than is typical for a shortstop. Errors in Scoresheet are simply based on the number of errors the player committed that week in the majors.

Don’t worry about the fact that the average shortstop has a higher number of errors than the average at any other position. Scoresheet software is programmed to take this into account. For example – if a SS is qualified to play 2B as well, and has exactly average errors for the SS position, then when that player plays 2B, the chance of getting an error will be average for a second baseman.

Pitching Stats

The weekly real-life performance stats which best encapsulate what drives pitching performance in Scoresheet are WHIP and ERA. However, it’s important to understand that for pitching, past performance is not a very good predictor of future performance, especially with ERA. Stats like HR/9, K, and BB are directly related to the pitcher and have better predictive value at lower sample sizes, which is why FIP is an interesting stat to some.

Nevertheless, fickle ERAs are used as a key input and cause extreme variance from week to week. Hook numbers are a great way to manage your pitcher’s performance extremes.

Reliable pitching superstars like Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander arguably merit hook numbers higher than 6. But most starting pitchers are best off with hook numbers between 3 and 5.5 (minimum hook numbers for starters is 3.0). If you assign a hook number of 3.25, the starter will stay in after the third run is scored. But a relief pitcher will come in as soon as there’s another base runner or run. You still have a shot at winning if you’ve given up 3 runs and a good reliever comes in with a single runner on base.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Scoresheet and real life is that the MLB has 25 player active rosters while Scoresheet allows up to 30. With 30 players, a very deep bullpen is possible. Recall that a low hook number means a pitcher gets pulled at the first sign of trouble. Having starters with low hook numbers combined with many good relievers with low hook numbers (between 1.0 and 1.5) tends to be a winning pitching strategy.

However, just like in real life, playoffs are different. Two superstar starting pitchers tend to be better than a large relief staff because the starting rotation gets reduced from 5 to 4 pitchers. Some of those 4 playoff pitchers will get 2 starts if the 7-game playoff series exceeds 4 games.

Note that if you have plenty of lefty and righty relief pitchers, there is a slight advantage in giving hook numbers that end in .0 or .5, as it means that when the hook number is exactly reached, the pitcher will stay in if it’s a good handedness matchup, or be pulled for an opposite hand pitcher if it isn’t in the pitcher’s favor.

You can’t know in advance how much advantage handedness matchups will give to your pitcher because each hitter has his own unique platoon split. But to give you a rough idea, in the Old Timer’s variant of Scoresheet we use the same platoon split for all hitters, and it is:

vs Right-Handed Pitchers (RHPs):

  • a RHB's batting average drops by 5 points
  • a LHB's batting average rises by 9 points

vs Left-Handed Pitchers (LHPs):

  • a RHB's batting average rises 11 points
  • a LHB's batting average loses 28 points

Do understand that these averages are from decades ago. Our regular game uses actual platoon performance for the prior two years as inputs as part of a formula to calculate these platoon splits.

Another winning strategy is to put a pitcher with few weekly IP but a great WHIP and ERA in the closer role (Scoresheet doesn’t care whether they were a closer or whether they had any saves in real life. All that matters is WHIP and ERA). Make sure the “hook for closer” number you assign for starters is low. If you’re winning 2-1 after 8 innings, your closer will usually have better stats than your starter and therefore have a better chance of successfully closing out the game than your starting pitcher.

Drafting Strategy

The first step in putting together a winning fantasy season is drafting your team. So why is this section last in the strategy guide? Because understanding the basic strategies of how players are used in the game goes a long way to helping you assess player value.

Using the information that you learned in the prior sections, drafting strategy when you’re doing a full preseason draft (starting round 1) can be summed up as follows:

Draft the players that will do well for you in the game as described above. This means:

  • cover all positions, including backup
  • select hitters with the best stats you can get, emphasizing OPS, OBP, fielding range, and errors
  • select pitchers with the best stats you can get, emphasizing ERA and WHIP
  • keep in mind PA and IP – a pitcher with a great WHIP and ERA isn’t all that useful to you if he pitches 20 innings per year.
  • Take utility players in later rounds to reduce the number of bench slots needed for position players.
  • Start by selecting the very best player you can get – but as you get deeper into the later rounds of the draft, start filling in the holes on your team.
  • Make sure you understand Scoresheet draft rules.
  • Advanced tip: Evaluate as many players as you can before the draft begins. If you evaluate enough players, you’ll get many insights that help you draft better. For example, you’ll realize which positions have lots of talent and which have only a couple of good players. In positions where there are very few good players, you’ll want to either draft one of those good players early or ignore the position completely until late in the draft.

Note that drafting and trading strategy differ significantly between one-year teams and perpetual, (keeper) teams. When drafting or trading players or draft picks for keeper teams, you’ll want to choose whether this year the team is going to contend for the title, or plan for a better future with a rebuild. This has many ramifications on drafting and trading, which are not discussed in this guide.

Last Words

Most of you who read this guide all the way through will be in your first season of Scoresheet baseball. Most of you are also very knowledgeable about baseball and curious to know how you can make use of your extensive baseball knowledge. Baseball is complicated in real life, so it should come as no surprise that a realistic simulation is going to mirror some of that complexity.

Some Scoresheet features such as automatic substitutions can simplify some of that complexity. So if you want, you can put in about the same amount of time into Scoresheet as you would a points-based fantasy game. Or, you can delve deeply into many of the strategies suggested in this guide, applying many Scoresheet fine-tuning mechanisms to your team. The choice is obviously yours.

However deeply you choose to dive into this game, don’t expect to master every Scoresheet strategy your first year. Part of what makes Scoresheet so fun is that you can try out many different strategies (including ones not mentioned here) and have fun seeing how they play out in the simulated games. So try it out, see what happens, and above all, have fun!