Jarsday 3: How long will he number these things

I have a feeling this is going to be the easiest to write and longest blog entry I ever do. Considering this is only the third one and my attention span is notoriously short, that probably means very little. Regardless, I heard a saying on my commute home that hammers home a message I’ve been trying to deliver to my kids for a while. The message relates to everything you do and that includes CSFBL. The message is: Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.

I’ll spare you the kids’ stories and keep the topic on CSFBL today.  There are limitless ways to play CSFBL.  I generally play with 3 styles.  I have some teams that are Draft & Follow.  I have some that I micromanage.  I have a few where I manage with a style in the middle of the two.  

My Draft & Follow teams are just that.  I don’t miss draft picks, because in this game that is the death of you.  And I follow the team, I set the rotation and lineups in the preseason and check the standings once a week.  I don’t check games unless things are going much worse or better than expected.  I know that for those teams, those that put in the time will perform better than I will.  They will sign good players that are released. They will trade to improve weaknesses.  But that is the choice I’ve made.  Someday I’ll go into more depth on how I manage a Draft and Follow team to best compete with the least amount of time/effort.

But, today I’m going to focus on what I call micromanaging a team.  Some of you may simply call this managing, because you are that detailed.  You may notice a lack of trading as part of these notes.  Trading is not one of my favorite parts of the game, and I try to avoid it.  Many people really enjoy it and can improve their team this way.  It is just not part of my strategy or style.

But, no matter what your style, you will find that the more you play, the better you’ll be.  Some people play with spreadsheets, some play with trade talks, some play with conversations.  Some work their roster while some work the free agent list.  Here are a few tips that I have if you do want to try to outwork your leaguemates.  These tips are directed towards leagues with standard rules.  You have to adjust your strategies to your league’s rules.  For example, if you have Full FOA in a league, 4/1 isn’t an important date like it is in a standard league.

Get the best free agents: Do a full scan of free agents in the preseason. Sign all that you desire while balancing front office funds. Monitor the transactions list once per sim from 3/28-3/31, as teams will release good players for dev/drill/scout money. Utilize sign and drop bids for the best of these players before 4/1 as you will be managing your front office at that time as well. During the end of March, you will likely be able to sign a free agent with little or no competition. After 4/1, many more teams will be bidding on players, but you need to fill out your roster then as well. Monitor the transactions list as much as possible throughout the season, as you will only need to check out the most recently released players to decide if the player will help your team.

Tailor your lineups to your opponent:  There will be teams that have unbalanced lineups with many lefties or all righty batters.  Adjust your rotation handedness to get the best matchups.  Pushing a start back or forward a game to get a better matchup can sometimes be the difference between a win and a loss.  It is sometimes even wise to spot-start a bullpen guy to face your opponent’s weaker lineup. 

Check the running game: If a team steals often (not necessarily fast, but a high steal rate), put the best throwing catcher or start a high Hold Rating pitcher. Likewise, if a team never runs, put your best hitting catcher (or non-catcher) in the catching spot. Opposite of that, scout your opponents catcher AR and pitchers HR. Adjust Base Stealing aggressiveness to your findings.

Have a home and away lineup:  The game has RHP and LHP lineups.  But it is sometimes useful to have a home and away lineup.  If you have an extremely small stadium, it may be wise to lightly regard OF defense at home, but it will hurt if you have no range when you play at huge stadiums.  If you have a huge stadium, those all RA corner outfielders are generally a bad play when you visit small stadiums.  I try to build my lineup to my home stadium and adjust it for games in opposite sized stadiums.  

Know your leaguemates:  When I am in micromanaging mode, and I’m playing pimp, I like to put a decoy pitcher in the next SP spot until very close to gametime.  This is something I’ll also do in the playoffs, because many more teams micromanage in the playoffs.  If you choose to do this, beware that it can backfire if/when you forget to switch the players.

Rest your players: If a playoff spot is safe, get all your pitchers to zero SeaFat. It will let them throw more pitches, go deeper in games and be more effective. If a team was bad the previous season, they will likely be bad again. I like to try to save my best pitchers for the tougher teams. Make sure your best players are rested going into an important series.

Ride your high EN pitchers or best pitchers: Maybe this one should have been first. If you only do one of these tips, do this one. This is the most important. Skip your 5th starter when you have days off. Bump your best starter up a day or two. If you have a good starter with 80+ EN, try to get him to 36 starts. If you have a 95+ EN starter, he could start 40 games if you are aggressive with moving the rotation. Start your EN beast twice in a 4 game series vs your closest competitor.

Adjust manager settings:  This can be done on a game by game basis.  If a high endurance pitcher is starting, I’ll turn closer to off.  You may also want to hide a poor reliever in the closer role.  If a low endurance pitcher is starting, make sure a good pitcher is in the closer role and turn the setting to On.

Bullpen makeup: I’ll be honest, this is one of my weakest skills. I fail to get the sim manager to regularly pick the reliever I’d like. But you should be able to increase your chance to get the reliever of your choice into the game if you can predict when the starter will tire by looking at his fatigue/endurance. There are 4 pitchers that will not pitch in a game, the SP 1-5 that are not the starting pitcher. Put the pitchers you don’t want to pitch in these spots.

Be careful:  If you start micromanaging, then decide not to do it, you may have some settings or lineups that need attention.  You will hear of players that started their worst pitcher in a playoff game or had much of their lineup resting because they are micromanaging but failed to adjust for the next game/series.  

Got some tips that I didn’t mention that you would like to share?  Feel free to post below or create a thread in the forums or discord.

Contests update

No new contests this week.

CSFBL Playoffs Update: Here is the tracking sheet. There were 5 entries into the CSFBL contest. Only clone and jar have submitted entries into both contests, so they will likely have a lead on the yearly totals. But if I have learned anything from Rallyman: GT, you just have to get back on track. Some of the playoffs have started, but most are starting soon.

Buntsville lost to Osborne in the DCS in Kapsileta, giving clone, cy and humie 2 early points. You could say they came out bobflat after winning 104 regular season games. I’ll have more updates on this contest next week.

MLB Opening Segment Update: We are 2 weeks into this contest that lasts about 5 weeks. The ‘Live’ standings are: 22 mhardy_03 and ohtanki, 20 marsupial311, 15 fyewiks, 13 CF and clone and 10 andujar. These standings are as of Tuesday morning and are very volatile so don’t think you have beaten me yet. The leaders are boosted by their choice of the Dodgers for most wins and their strong 7-2 start.

There has not been a no-hitter, although Kershaw (the real CK!) took a perfect game into the 8th.  No suspensions yet as well, so a No answer for those questions is looking good.  

The tiebreaker has already been decided as Miami had over 30K in attendance for the opener.  Since ohtanki had our highest guess of 22000, he will win in the event of a tie.