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How Does BWB Compare?

There are a lot of fantasy baseball options available for you.  Benchwarmer Baseball is definitely a game for fanatics - but the casual player can succeed too.  It's different in many ways from most every other fantasy baseball game you'll play.  How do we stack up against the others - and why should you choose Benchwarmer Baseball?   And what don't we do?


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Some of the things I've found while browsing through the web:
  • BWB's cost - $65 - compares quite well with what you'll find out there for fantasy baseball, particularly simulation games.  $89, $149, $169 - these are some of the prices I've seen.  There are also some cheaper, but may not provide the same gaming experience for you.
  • We don't do Head-to-head like Roto services.  One common option is that you play one team for a whole week and calculate your totals in 10 (more or less) categories - getting a "win" for each category you capture.  Other game-by-game options score games with a point system (X number of points for a home run, Y for a save, etc.)  Our scoring formula attempts to take the most relevant stats from real games and come up with a realistic outcome - one game at a time.
  • Some operators use simulation engines to derive game results.  This has certain appeal - kind of like the old table-top dice games I used to play.  Good or bad, that's not what we do.  We're more tied into actual performances affecting our game results.
  • We don't charge you for transactions.  One competitor I've found allows free trades and "supplemental drafts" throughout the season, but charges you for lineup changes - $3 to change either your hitting or pitching lineup, $5 for both.  We have some limits on transactions, like how many you can do in any given week, but we're not about to charge you for them.  And you can change your roster/lineup as much as your heart desires without any extra cost.
  • The inclusion of minor league prospects in BWB allows you the possibility to build your team for the future, something you don't see much of in a lot of games.
  • And the carry-over policy in BWB lets you keep up to 28 players each year.  So, sure, there's no huge draft each year - and we'll admit that's a fun time.  But you can mold your team continuously - making changes in August that could affect you next April.
  • At the same time, the salary cap structure and player salary formula generally prevents a Yankee-like domination to exist.  28 players is a lot to keep - but you're still going to have to make some tough decisions to meet your payroll.  And if you keep all your starters - you're going to have to pass on holding those young guys who might make it big next season.
  • If you stick around, you're going to play the same franchises each year.  You may never meet and may live on opposite ends of the country (or world?), but you'll play your divisional foes 18 times each season - will this finally be the year you beat the dreaded rival?
  • There are some teams in our original league that seem to do well each year.  However, as a testament to the balance and opportunity in our first league, the Hall of Fame League, which began play in 2000:
    • It took until the 6th season to get a 2-time league winner.
    • We don't expect to ever start a league with fewer than 16 teams again - the expansion season for the four new teams in 2001 was kind of ugly for them.  However, from those four expansion teams, all 4 have won the league championship and 2 of them have multiple championships.
    • All 16 franchises have won a division title at least once.  11 different franchises have league championships in the 18 seasons of the league.  No team has won more than 3 times.
    • Multiple teams have been able to go worst-to-first - from dead last in the league one season to the next year with a division, conference, or even a league championship.
Finally, as fair warning before you plunk down your money and join in, here are a few things that we are not - or that we don't do - or just some things you should be aware of:
  • Above all, remember that this is a single-person operation.  See Benchwarmer Baseball - Who are We? for more details on that.  While we think we have a great game and a great service we can't compete with the ESPNs or the CBSs of the fantasy gaming world - at least not yet.  There are some implications:
    • As such, we don't have any commentary on the site.  We don't provide current MLB stats.  If you've found this game somehow in the first place, then you're Internet-savvy enough to know you can easily open up another browser window and find someone who does while you work your franchise here.
    • We don't have an extensive customer service department.  There may occasionally be delays in returning messages.
    • This obviously isn't a full-time job (though it would be cool if it could be...).  Usually any reply or other communication from me will come during the night or weekends.
    • I'll try not to over-promise on when things will occur, but it will happen where some things will get pushed aside or delayed.  I'll focus on timely reporting of transaction results and game scores.
    • I may go on vacation every now and then...so occasionally we need to adjust deadlines - or there may be some delays of a few days for games and transactions.  Nothing planned yet for 2018.
  • Remember, we don't play for cash here.  That inevitably drives possible customers away, but adding those types of prizes could bring on a greater level of regulation and would certainly drive up entry fees and would bring about a possible risk of collusion.  Anyway, I think you'll find that if you can manage to win in this league, you've really done something special and that's reward enough.
  • You won't find daily game updates.  Part of this is due to the single-person nature of the game management, but primarily this is because of the way we map MLB performances to BWB games.  For example, all MLB teams must play their 56th game before we can score the results of BWB game #56. 


    Consequently, when we hit rainouts, and all-star breaks, and Jon's-not-at-home-to-score-games-tonight, you will hit some stretches where some of your players stats will be earned a week or so before they make it into a BWB game.  I'd love to have you wield instantaneous control over your team, like you can in many Roto sites (or at least next-day effect), but the nature of this game doesn't allow for that.  It may take some getting used to, but if you understand that up front, you'll be fine. Think of running your BWB team as a conductor and manipulator of trends and expectations, and not as a game-by-game engineering of your lineup.

  • Further note on timeliness of lineup-creation to game-replication: Our stat collection and game scoring processes are much more efficient than in 2000, but it still generally makes a better use of time to run 2-3 games at a time every few days rather than to try to run a single game each day.
  • There can be a little frustration in the game results.  It's not like Roto - or a points-based system where you know exactly what's going to happen if you hit more home runs than your opponent.  Our scoring is more subtle than that.  What we try to suggest is although in the long run understanding the scoring formula may prove to be a good thing, think of primarily building your team - your rotation - your batting order - your bench - as a strong baseball team - not necessarily as a Roto team.
  • Running a franchise is a commitment of time if you plan to be successful.  Some teams have been able to build up initially and coast to lots of wins, but most of the time a franchise will face injuries and other problems throughout the season.  You'll fare better if first of all your roster is deep enough (including low-priced players you can stick in the minors) so that you can make immediate lineup changes (transactions take a week to go into effect).  Quite frankly, owners who don't have the ability or desire or circumstances to allow checking in frequently usually don't stick around.  (On the flip side, you don't have to change your lineup every day like in some systems to be successful).

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