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Benchwarmer Baseball Rules

7.0 Scoring

This game is an attempt to statistically simulate a real game.  It averages the scoring of the hitters with the pitching of the opposition.  Batting order is important.  Players at the top of the order score higher for hits, runs, and stolen bases.   Those in the middle are rewarded more for RBIs.  Players at the bottom of the order do not score as high in any category.

Starting pitchers who pitch more innings are more valuable than those who struggle to finish 5 or 6, since the bullpens for those teams will not be used as much. The pitching score for a team will be largely dependent upon how many earned runs its pitchers allow. Although strikeouts and hits and walks come into play, earned runs are the most critical stats.


For bullpens, a healthy mix of long and short relievers is essential. There is no point for a team to load up on closers for two reasons. First, saves are only counted for the top two relievers in the bullpen. Second, the BWB scoring formulas require that as bullpens need to use more pitchers in a game (if the starter doesn’t last long enough), they must log more total innings. Thus, the pitchers in the lower spots of the bullpen should be capable of pitching more than one inning at a time.


The scoring formula for Benchwarmer Baseball is listed below.  It is also available in the pdf version of the Rulebook (see Appendix B).

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7.1 Score

Runs Scored = .5 (B + P) + HT + SP       rounded to the nearest integer



  • B = Your Batting score - defined below
  • P = Opponent's Pitching score - defined below
  • HT = .33 run added for home team
  • SP = Superior pitching performance by opponent.
    • -4 for a complete game perfect game.
    • -3 for a complete game no hitter.
    • -2 for complete game shutout
    • -1 if multiple pitchers used and give up 0 runs combined
    • -.25 for other complete games.
    • Otherwise it equals zero.

Notes: "Complete game" refers a starting pitching performance of 9 or more innings (regardless of whether the actual major league game goes longer or whether a pitcher completes a rain-shortened game).  In checking for no hitters and perfect games, the starting pitcher must complete 9 or more innings.  Then we check to see if the pitcher gave up any hits.  If hits = 0, and walks allowed = 0, we're going to count this as a "Perfect Game" - otherwise 0 hits will equal a "no hitter."  In practice, we don't get a no hitter/perfect game indicator in the stat service, so this allows for automated scoring.  Jonathan Sanchez' no hitter in 2009 included an error by the Giants, but we're not keeping track to that level...and for his part of the effort, it was as perfect as he could the BWB scoring system marked it as a perfect game.  (Notes added 9/5/09)


TIES - Because "Runs Scored" will always be an integer, there exists the possibility that some games will end in a tie. The real winner of any game is the one with the higher raw score – regardless of how many decimal places are required to determine that. In order to make the game result appear normal, one run will be added to the winning team OR one run will be subtracted from the loser in order to create a 1-run margin (the adjustment that produces the displayed total runs for both teams closer to the actual raw total will be used). To signify how close this game really was, the game will be flagged as an “extra inning game.”

7.2 Batting Score

B = .5(RR + ATB) + .5(HR)



  • RR = Runs/RBI factor – defined below
  • ATB = Adjusted Total Bases – defined below
  • HR = Total Home Runs for team

7.2.1 RR

This is essentially the number of runs a player scores multiplied by the RBIs of the next three batters after him.


  • R = Runs Scored by a Player
  • B = RBI (for the next three players in the order)
  • x = Runs multiplier – based on batting order
    • = 1 except for batters in positions:
      • 1 = 1.3; 2 & 3 = 1.2; 8 & 9 = .9
  • y = RBI multiplier – based on batting order
    • = 1 except for batters in positions:
      • 3 = 1.3; 4 = 1.4; 5 = 1.3; 8 = .9; 9 = .8
NOTE: This formula “rolls over.” Although it’s listed as i = 1-9, as i+1, i+2, and i+3 go above 9, the formula actually rolls over to the #1 position again.  So, the runs of the first batter in your order are combined with the RBIs of hitters #2, #3, and #4.  The runs of your 8th hitter in the lineup are combined with the RBIs of hitters #9, #1, and #2.

7.2.2 ATB

This value takes into account a player’s hits, extra base hits, and other methods of reaching base or advancing (BB, HBP, and SB).


ATB = (∑(zTBi + SBBi))/3   i=1-9



  • TB = Adjusted total bases for a player: TB + BB + HBP + SB
  • z = Total bases multiplier – based on batting order
    • = 1 except for batters in positions:
      • 1 & 2= 1.3; 3 = 1.1; 8 & 9 = .9
  • SBB = Stolen Base Bonus - based on batting order
    • = (SB * .25) for players in batting order slots 1 & 2
    • = 0 for players in batting order slots 3-9

Note - SBB portion of the formula has been in existence since 2001, but was missed when converting original scoring spreadsheet to written rules.  Added here on 8/7/14.

7.3 Pitching Score

P = ER + (BP * BI) – a ( K + BK) – ((b * S) / NumCl) + HBB  + c (E)



  • ER = number of earned runs allowed by starting pitcher
  • BP = Derived Bullpen earned runs - defined below
  • BI = Number of innings pitched by the bullpen – defined below
  • NumBP = Number of Relievers used in the game - see below (no longer used in formula but definition retained for future needs)
  • NumCl = Number of Closers used in the game - see below
  • K = Strikeouts by starting pitcher
  • BK = Derived bullpen strikeouts – defined below
  • S = Accumulated saves by 1st and 2nd relievers (counted only if they are used in a game)
  • HBB = Hits/Walks adjustment - defined below
  • E = Total errors by position players, other than the DH. (Benchwarmer Batters make 2 errors).
  • a = strikeout multiplier = .1
  • b = saves multiplier = .5
  • c = errors multiplier = .5

Note 9/5/09 and 7/18/14 - The formula was updated twice in the rules pages to match the actual program code that scored the save portion of the pitching scores. These were not actual rule changes, but the save part of the formula had been reproduced incorrectly in the written version of the rules.  (See 2009 rule changes and 2014 rule changes for details).


Note 12/23/14 - For 2015 there is an actual formula change for scoring saves.  See the 2015 rule changes for a full discussion of the change.  The formula on this page is the current version in effect.


7.3.1 BP

Basically this is a cumulative value of Earned Runs per Inning Pitched by the Bullpen

BP = Sum of the needed relievers’ ER over the last six games / Sum of the needed relievers’ IP in those games . (“needed relievers” is defined below)

(This formula is slightly different than the one in the hardcopy of the rule book.  This version is correct)

7.3.2 BI

BI = Bullpen innings = 9 – Starter’s IP.

7.3.3 BK

BK = Bullpen strikeouts = Accumulated K/IP for the number of relievers needed, times BI.

(This formula is slightly different than the one in the hardcopy of the rule book.  This version is correct)

7.3.4 HBB

HBB is an adjustment based on the total number of hits and walks allowed by the team. For the starting pitcher, that is simply the number he allows in his start. For the bullpen, the number of hits and walks per inning is calculated for the relievers that are used in the scoring formula. This value is then multiplied by the number of bullpen innings (BI) and rounded to the nearest integer.

Total Hits + Walks allowed


8 or fewer






11 to 13






16 or more



7.3.5 Determining the number of relievers

Relief pitching is determined by the number of innings the starter pitches.

Relievers are defined in the roster as:

  • R1 – Closer
  • R2 – Set up man / Backup closer
  • R3 – Set up / Middle relief
  • R4 – Middle reliever
  • R5 – Mop up / Long relief

If the starter goes 9 innings, no relief stats are used.

If the starter pitches less than 9 innings, the bullpen use is as follows: Minimum IP modified 1/14/10

Starter Pitches: Relievers Used* Minimum IP** Eligible Saves***
8 to 8 2/3 1 1 2/3 R1
7 to 7 2/3 2 4 1/3 R1 & R2
6 to 6 2/3 3 8 R1 & R2
5 to 5 2/3 4 10 2/3 R1 & R2
Less than 5 All 5 12 2/3 R1 & R2

*Relievers used always starts from the top. If a listed reliever does not pitch in the six previous games, all others move up a spot to fill his place. For example, if 3 relievers are needed for the game, and R2 does not have any qualifying appearances, then R3 will move up to the R2 spot and the listed R4 will move up to R3.


** If the reliever, or group of relievers, does not reach the IP minimum, 1 ER is added to ER total for each inning or part of an inning less than the minimum. The minimum is then used as the denominator in the BP function. This number is tallied up for all six games used in the formula for relief pitching. (Before this season, the minimums were last modified for 2005 season).


*** For use in the main pitching equation. Only the saves for the top two relievers used in a game are ever counted in the scoring formula.


Spot pitchers with eligible relief appearances will fill in for a reliever with no qualifying games, starting at the bottom of the bullpen.


Clarifications January 2010 on Relievers moving up

1) When you have bullpen pitchers missing time, the "R1" and "R2" designation for saves is dependent upon the pitchers in that game for you, not their original lineup designation.  Example: In your game, you require 3 relievers and your bullpen is: R1-Joe Nathan, R2-Huston Street, R3-Phil Coke; R4-Craig Breslow (not needed in this game).  Normally, you would only get credit for saves from Nathan and Street.  But let's say that Street hasn't pitched in the previous 6 MLB games, so none of his stats count.  For this game, your bullpen is now: R1-Nathan, R2-Coke, R3-Breslow.  If Coke has any saves, they will count for the game.


2) On the spot pitchers taking a bullpen role in a game.  Same example as above, but now you need 4 relievers for your game score.  Your R5 is Scot Shields and let's say he's injured and not pitching, so although he moves up to R4, there are no stats for him.  You have Ian Snell at Spot Pitcher 1 and J.C. Romero sitting at Spot Pitcher 2.  Snell doesn't have any relief appearances, but Romero does and for this game, he fills the role of R4.

7.3.6 Determining the Number of Closers (2015 modification)

As mentioned above, only the saves for the top two relievers used in a game are ever counted in the scoring formula.  From 2000 to 2014 the save portion of the score was divided by the number of total relievers used in a game - which eventually was determined to be incorrect.  The score you get for saves should not be different if you use 2 or 5 relievers - since you can only count saves earned by at most 2 pitchers.


Number of Relievers Number of Closers Eligible Saves*
1 1 R1
2 2 R1 & R2
3-5 2 R1 & R2

*Eligible Saves: Which saves to count?  What if your closer is demoted?  Changes in closer roles can be quick and you may not be able to change your lineup in time.  It could be an injury or could just be a manager's decision.  So, if one of your top two relief pitchers used do not have any save opportunities in the 6 games of bullpen stats used to score a BWB game, we'll check with your 3rd pitcher in line to see if he had any saves.

  • We use this on the top 2/3 relievers used in the game.  If one of your closers doesn't pitch at all in those 6 games, we're already moving up the other relievers in the lineup/game scoring.  If your R2 is out, then the R3 moves up and is the R2 in terms of that game, your R4 moves up to be considered R3.
  • Based on our MLB stats, "save opportunities" = 0 Saves + 0 Blown Saves
  • This is not reordering your bullpen.  If your R1 has no save opportunities, we still must get to using R2 and R3 in the game before we count their saves.
  • Even if we get down to the 3rd reliever in this case, the "number of Closers" (NumCl in the score formula) is maxxed at 2.


7.4 Benchwarmers

7.4.1 Benchwarmer Batters

For each spot in the starting lineup that is not filled - either by the listed starter or by a player off the bench, a Benchwarmer Batter becomes the substitute. The Benchwarmer’s statistical performance for the game is: 0 for 5, no RBI, no walks, no SB, 2 errors.

7.4.2 Pinesitter Pitcher – Starting Pitcher

If the normally scheduled starter cannot pitch in the BWB game (whether because there are no starts in the queue or he has not had the proper rest), and no spot starter can fill in, and no other pitcher in the rotation can move up to pitch early, then a substitute is needed to start the game. If no starters qualify for the game, a Pinesitter Pitcher fills in with the following line score: 3 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 0 K, and 5 ER.

7.4.3 Pinesitter Pitcher - Bullpen

Formula modified for 1st Pinesitter 1/14/10

For each reliever a team is short of the relief pitchers needed, (that is, no appearances eligible for the current fantasy game), a Pinesitter Pitcher will come in from the bullpen. The performance of this extra pitcher will depend on how many Pinesitters are necessary to fill the entire complement of relievers needed for the game. The first Pinesitter used will be mediocre/below average, while additional extra relievers will get progressively worse.
The stats “earned” by each Pinesitter:


Pinesitter #












2 & 3


















Keep in mind, that the bullpen score is a derived average. So the earned runs given up by Pinesitters don’t go straight to the bullpen line, but instead work to increase the runs per inning average (the “BP” portion of the pitching score).

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Top : BWB Rules Contents

Next: 8.0 Finances >

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