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Benchwarmer Baseball Rules

2.0 Season Schedule

2.1 Regular Season

Teams will play a regular season of 150 games.  Leagues are divided into two conferences.  Each conference will have two divisions.   Each division has four teams.


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Schedule Breakdown


18 games against each of the other three teams in your division. (54 games)

12 games against each of the four teams in the other division of your conference. (48 games)

6 games against each of the eight teams in the opposing conference. (48 games)


=150 games total

Unlike Rotisserie baseball and other fantasy games, BWB does not deal with player performance based on calendar days or weeks. Instead, BWB games are scored on a game-by-game basis, no matter when they are played – allowing each player on the roster to appear in a BWB game if he plays in that particular major league game.

The performance of a player in a fantasy game is directly obtained from the real major league game.  However, since teams play on different days the schedule deals with game numbers, not game dates.  That is, in a team's first fantasy game of the season, the performances of the players are based upon the first real game that their major league teams play.  Game 40 of the fantasy season is based upon game 40 of the major league season. (Note: This mapping is not entirely accurate – there’s one twist – but that’s easier to explain in the Scoring section. This explanation should provide you with the basic idea).

Example: A team owns both Ken Griffey and Derek Jeter.  For fantasy game 100, those players would be scored depending upon how Griffey does in the 100th game for Cincinnati, while Jeter would be scored according to the Yankees' 100th game, despite the fact that those might be several days apart.

There can be a slight gap when a player is traded from one major league team to another. Let’s assume that Oakland has played 95 games and Washington has played 100.

Example One: John Doe is traded from Oakland to Washington. The last game he played for Oakland was Game 95, but now the first game he plays for Washington is Game 101. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get any stats for him for BWB Games 96-100.


Example Two: Sam Public is traded from Washington to Oakland, having already played through Game 100 with Washington. As long as there is any overlap/duplicate games (that is, until Oakland plays Game #101), the stats he earns first (with Washington) are the ones used for BWB games.

The regular season will cover major league games 1-150.  If a position player does not play in a particular major league game, he will not "play" in the corresponding fantasy game.  Pitchers work a little differently (see Lineups for more details).
Each week of the fantasy season will cover 6 games.  That creates a regular season schedule of 25 weeks.  Lineups and roster changes are submitted once per week.

2.2 Postseason

2.2.1 Playoff Format

Following the regular season, the division champions of each conference will meet in a best-of-seven conference championship series.  The winners will meet in a best-of-seven league championship series. There are no wild cards that advance to the championship round.

2.2.2 Game Selection

Modified 12/10/15

Since the very end of the season can often be a time of resting for the playoffs and calling up the minor leaguers, the playoffs will use major league games a little differently.  Instead of using games 151-162 for the playoffs, random games from the last portion of the season will be used.


This has been modified a few times over the years, but has always been some permutation of random games selected from the entire MLB season.  Beginning in 2007, these random games have only be selected from the 2nd half of the season, and this range is modified slightly in 2016 - from MLB games 81-155.


This allows for a couple of things: First, a team in BWB that makes a late-season run to get into the playoffs (or extend their lead) comes into the playoffs with momentum and may be - at that point, despite the overall record - the best team in the league.  Picking some major league games from the early part of the season may effectively kill that momentum and may mean - for all playoff teams - that some key players in the late part of the season may not have even been in the majors early and can cause some big roster holes.  Second, it may make the decision to hang on to an injured player or not an easier choice.  Before, you might want to keep a player with a hot April-May-June because they could help you in the playoffs.  Now, unless you just want to keep him for the next season anyway, there's no reason game-wise to do so.


There will no longer be any structure to force the random games to be spread out over the possible period. No game will be used more than once throughout the 2-week playoff season.  During the Benchwarmer Bash, the game selection process will be reset every 2 weeks (and all pitching performances become open again). If the Bash format requires an odd number of weeks, the first set of games/pitching performances (or a later round that involves byes) will be reset after 3 weeks instead of two. This will, in a sense, give a slight potential advantage to teams that earn byes.


The random game is different for each league.  During the Bash, association and federations brackets will use different random games, but the Bash final weeks after the federation round will all use the same random game


The post-season schedule will be conducted in this way:

  • Game one hitting statistics will be from a random game drawn from major league games 81-155.
  • Starting pitching performances will be selected from the available start nearest to the game used for hitting statistics (see below).
  • Relief appearances will use the 6-game span ending with the same game used for hitters.

Note – the game used for hitters will be the actual game drawn. No 5-game gap is used in the playoffs.


Thus, the playoff schedule adheres to a season-long approach toward games, but allows for some variation in when those games are used. Keep in mind that even though you have an injured player, it might be worth keeping him on your roster for use in the playoffs. This isn’t a perfect system, but does tend to favor a team that has more consistent players in the last half of the season rather than just streaking ones in the very last weeks. The only way to really fix this would be to shorten the regular season and feedback so far has favored the current regular season length (we’ve had many late-season comebacks that would have fallen short).

2.2.3 Selecting Starting Pitching Performances

Modified 12/10/15

For playoff games, we will use the starting pitching stats from the MLB game NEAREST to the randomly selected MLB game used for hitters. This is not unlimited, however. The game must be within 7 games of the hitters’ game or the pitcher will have no starts available for the game (and fall within the range of used games – though for starting pitchers we will use games 76-162).

A start can only be used once during the entire playoffs (for the Benchwarmer Bash, this will be reset after every two series). For standardization, if the pitcher has 2 starts equidistant from the hitters' game, the start that occurred first will be used.

2.3 Divisional Tiebreakers

2.3.1 First-place Ties

Any teams tied for 1st-place after the regular season will meet in a one-game, winner-take-all playoff game.  This will be treated as Game 151 of the season.  Teams will not be able to make lineup changes - the rosters for Week 25 will continue into the playoff as though there were 7 games, not 6, that week.  The pitching rotation will continue, thus both teams will use their #1 starters.  The tiebreaker system for places 2-4 will be used to determine which team is the home team.


Should there be a 3-way tie, the teams will play each other once in a round-robin format.  The team with the best record will advance to the playoffs.  They will use the following schedule:


Game #


Starting pitchers


A vs. B

A: P1 - B: P1


A vs. C

A: P2 - C: P1


B vs. C

B: P2 - C: P2

Home teams for each game will be determined the same way as in a 2-team tie.  Team order will be determined through a random process.

Note: If Team A wins both Game 151 and 152, it wins the round robin format with a 2-0 record.  There is no need to play Game 153.


Should all three teams end up tied again (1-1 in the round-robins), there will be a final set of divisional playoff games, this time single elimination.  The standard tie breakers will be used to rank the teams 1-3 and determine which team gets a bye in the first game, with one change - the head-to-head records will be cumulative for all teams involved in the tie, not just between two individual teams, and will include the first set of playoff games.  If we cannot get a definite 1-3 ranking, but can eliminate 1 team as either the top seed or bottom seed, we will attempt to sort the other two teams using the tie breakers in a head-to-head manner. This will be the schedule for the final two games:  

Game #


Starting pitchers


Team #3 at Team #2

P3 for both teams


Winner of 154 at Team #1

Team #2/#3: P4  --  Team #1: P3

If by some cataclysmic event there is a 4-way tie, this process will be modified to include 4 teams instead of 3.


10/4/20: Clarification on rest for starting pitchers in tiebreakers:

In 2-way ties, for Game 151, P1 will be the regular pitcher in the rotation.  For purposes of games of rest, P1 - or any pitcher that needs to be attempted to fill the spot - cannot have started in Game 147 or later.


For 3-way ties, when a pitcher's turn comes up as noted above, the games of rest for any team are determined as though there is no day off in between any of that team's games.  For example in the schedule above, "Game 152" is really Game 151 for Team C - P1 is the scheduled pitcher for the day and if P1 or any other pitcher that is attempted to put into the game cannot have started in Game 147 or later and be eligible.  In "Game 153," that is actually the 152nd game for both Team B and Team C - and so any pitcher to be used cannot have pitched in Game 148 or later.

2.3.2 Ties for 2nd-4th place

This may seem academic, but is necessary for determining post-season cash, placement and seeding in the extra post-season tournaments, and draft order for the off-season.


Ties are broken using these methods in order:

  1. Head-to-head records
  2. Division records
  3. Conference records
  4. Coin Flip or other criteria TBA
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Top : BWB Rules Contents

Next: 3.0 Post Season >

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