SCORESHEET FANTASY BASEBALL: SCORESHEET PLAYOFFS

How players perform in the Scoresheet playoffs is based on how they did in the majors thruout the entire season, with MLB stats from the last 4 weeks of the regular season weighted more heavily. Playing time however is based strictly on how much players play in the majors during the final 4 weeks of the regular season. Scoresheet playoff lineups are set before the Week 23 games begin (before the final 4 weeks of major league games).

1. PLAYOFF LINEUP: The 'playoff only' lineup form will be available on your league's webpage (link provided on your regular lineup card) from mid-August through the morning of the first Monday in September (Labor Day in the US) which is the deadline for playoff lineups. The playoff lineup form is separate from your regular lineup, meaning that it will not erase or change your regular lineup. If you do not turn in a special 'playoff only lineup', the lineup you have in effect for major league games week 23 (the week that begins on Labor Day) will be used if your team makes the playoffs. You can continue to make make regular season lineup changes after Labor Day - new lineups will affect only that week's games, and if you make the playoffs, we'll either use the 'playoff only' lineup, or revert back to your lineup from Week 23 (if you haven't submitted a 'playoff only' lineup).

If you want to turn in a 'playoff only' lineup, it needs to be submitted by/before the first MLB game begins on the first Monday of September. The reason for this early deadline is that we want to keep Scoresheet a game of predicting how players will do in upcoming major league games. We use stats from earlier in the season because after listening to owners' comments in past seasons, it seems most owners feel the team that has been better all year should have a better chance at winning the playoffs. However, by using September stats heavily, the element of 'prediction' still exists in Scoresheet Baseball. Please note that the trading deadline is also on Labor Day.

As an alternative to turning in your 'playoff only' lineup from your league website, you can send it in by postal mail, fax or regular e-mail. If you are sending in a lineup by postal mail, fax or regular e-mail, and want that lineup used only for the playoffs (and not for regular season Scoresheet games that week), make sure you clearly mark 'PLAYOFF ONLY' at the top of the lineup. If you want your lineup used for both regular season games and the playoffs, do not write 'playoffs' on your lineup card since the lineup used for Week 23 games will automatically be used for the playoffs (if you do not send in a 'playoff only' lineup).

A 4-man pitching rotation is used in the playoffs. When sending in the 'playoff only' lineup, you will need to have just 4 starting pitchers listed. NOTE: when you first access the 'playoff only' lineup form, there will be 5 starting pitchers shown, since the form pulls in an exact copy of your regular season lineup. Before sending in your playoff lineup, please change it so that only 4 starting pitchers are listed. Once you submit the changes, the next time you open your 'playoff only' lineup form, it will have saved the latest playoff changes you made.

2.PLAYING TIME LIMITS: In all playoff series, playing time limits are based on players' playing time in major league games from Labor Day through the last day of the MLB regular season (the final 4 weeks of the regular season). Please note that if you have a player who does not play at all in the majors during the last 4 weeks of the season, he will not play at all for your Scoresheet team in the playoffs! Hitters have up to 40% of their total major league plate appearances during the final 4 weeks of the MLB season available for use in each Scoresheet playoff series. Pitchers in the Scoresheet playoffs will be limited to pitching up to 45% as many innings in each series as they pitched in the majors during the final 4 weeks of the season. These limits start over for each series.

All playoff series will be a best of 7 games. A pitcher can start, at most, 2 playoff games for your team during a 7-game series. You will always use at least 4 different starting pitchers in the playoffs. For a pitcher to start for you in the playoffs, he must start at least once in the majors the last 4 weeks of the season. For a pitcher to start twice for you in the playoffs, he must have at least 3 major league starts the final 4 weeks of the season.

If you need a pitcher pulled from the bullpen to start, then the regular Scoresheet procedures apply - the first pitcher listed in your bullpen that had at least one start in the last 4 weeks of the major league season will be used (ignoring the 'earliest inning to use as a reliever' and 'rank as a reliever' columns). If one of your top 4 listed starting pitchers does not get a start during the last 4 weeks of the major league season, we will drop him to the bullpen for the playoffs, with an earliest inning of 1, a hook of 3, and a reliever rank of 5 versus both left and right handed batters. Also, to pitch a complete game in the playoffs, a starter must have a complete game in the majors during the final 4 weeks of the season. NOTE: The pitchers you have who will start twice during a 7-game series will start Games 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in the order they are listed in your rotation. However, if a pitcher is eligible to start only once, he will start Game 4 even if he is listed as your number 1, 2 or 3 starter.

The playing time limits are set up so that even if your players do some resting on the bench in the majors in September, they should still be able to play close to full-time for you in the Scoresheet playoffs. However, since playing time in the playoffs is based on how much they play in the major league during those last 4 weeks, a player who does not play at all in the majors in the last 4 weeks of the season will not play at all for you in the Scoresheet playoffs! This rule specifically helps to prevent a team from trading for an injured player who is not going to play again this year; and being able to use his earlier season stats for the playoffs. This assumes that a team that is not headed for the playoffs would have no use for an injured player, and would therefore give him up for almost nothing in return. We don't want a team to become unfairly strengthened for the playoffs by trading very little for such a player, and then being able to use him.

3. PLAYER PERFORMANCE: How a player performs in the playoffs will be based 40% on how he does in the majors during the last 4 weeks of the season; the other 60% is based on how he performed in the majors before Labor Day (assuming he was a full-time player all year). For those who love precise numbers, the exact way we figure out what stats a player uses for the playoffs is as follows:

Scoresheet multiplies a player's major league stats for games beginning on Labor Day by 3.33, then adds in his stats from all games before then. Thus, if he played the same amount of time in the majors for the whole year, a player's major league stats after Labor Day would count for 40%, and the stats before Labor Day would count 60%. If he plays more per week in the majors in the last 4 weeks than he did earlier in the year, his stats for the last 4 weeks would count for more than 40%; and if he plays less in the last 4 weeks, his stats would count less than 40%.

All stats are based on a player's major league performance, NOT his Scoresheet numbers.

4. PLAYOFF MATCHUPS: In two and three division leagues that follow standard Scoresheet rules, the division winners, plus one wild card, make the playoffs. For 2-division leagues, the division winner with the best record gets a bye, while the division winner with the worse record plays the wild card team in Round 1 of the playoffs. In 3-division leagues, the division winner with the best record faces the playoff team with the worst record (even if that is a wild card from the same division), while the teams with the 2nd- and 3rd-best records face off in the other matchup. If you are in a private league, your playoff configuration was sent out with your draft results, and also is shown each week on your league webpage (above the season schedule). Please let us know if the configuration we show is not correct!