bigmck wrote:Just curious about your thinking on this. -- What would it matter if other NL teams played games against the Pirates and Diamond Backs? I am in a NL only fantasy league. It is not a problem when the NL plays AL teams, wouldn't the above example be the same thing?
This is a fix that defines the player universe, and more importantly only one small aspect of the quality of those players. It doesn't address the number and quality of games played by those players.
The AL owners now have 14 teams worth of players to choose from. 14x9 hitters on a daily basis, playing an average of 84 games per week (6 games x 14 teams). 14x5 starting pitchers per week, again over those 84 starts. 14 closers available to close out those 42 games. Out of that approximate 215 player universe, a 10 team league is going to own every one of them and more (MLB bench/platoon players, bullpen guys, etc).
The NL owners now have 14
teams worth of players to choose from (taking away access to two NL teams). 14x8 hitters daily, 14x5 starting pitchers weekly, 14 closers available, all 215+ players owned, etc, etc. All the same, right? Wrong. Those NL teams are playing an average of 96 games per week (6 games x 16 teams), not 84. That's a 13% increase. While their choices are limited in scope, the quality
of those choices will be better as they have more matchups to pick from. An outfielder from the Dodgers going up against SD's ace is going to get benched in favor of a player facing the Pirates #4 starter. The number of games played ends up the same, but the chances to get a more favorable matchup are increased.
They've got less hitters going every week due to the lack of DH, and that may offset many of the issues and bring the scales closer, but then you're still trading pitching-category quality for hitting-category quantity... not something that's necessarily even.
Yes, we're getting into the tiny details of league creation here, and to some owners it may not make a difference, but if I were signing up for this league I'm asking to be put in one league or the other every
time (depending on the pitching/hitting categories). If I'm in the NL, I've got a competitive advantage for my team by being able to pick and choose more matchups, utilizing my bench players more effectively, and having more
quality-start opportunities for my pitchers. While I'm not playing "more games", I'm playing more "better games". If I'm in the AL, I've got an extra "everyday" hitter who's racking up hitting statistics for me that the NL teams are only getting out of platoon or bench players off the end of an NL team's lineup.
Even in AL- or NL-only leagues, these systems create imbalances. The MLB doesn't play a balanced schedule, they don't even play a "fair" game with standardized fields and rules. Interleague play is not set up as a fair system, even in the long run over many seasons, the idea of "rivals" in interleague play creates advantages for some teams and disadvantages for others. MLB owners and fans are able to get over all this and still enjoy and profit from it, that's fine. Most fantasy owners are able to get over it all as well, and that's great too.... but you have to at least acknowledge
the fact that it creates an unbalanced competition.
If you're willing to build that imbalance into your fantasy league as well, I guess that's up to you and your players, but as someone who realizes how slim the margins are in fantasy baseball, how hard you have to work to get even a slight advantage in this huge statistical game, I think adding more
imbalance is just asking for trouble. The game of baseball is already imbalanced and skewed, and most savvy fantasy players will know that (drafting pitchers from the NL West, increasing the value of power hitters who play in small fields, etc.), but the more you tweak the rules, the further you take it away from a "standard" game, the more disparity you build in. A savvy player who finds the loopholes are able to take advantage while everybody else is in the dark, whereas in a standard rules league just about everybody already knows the loopholes and the advantage is minimal.