Vive la différence

Yesterday, I discussed the possibility of MLB games starting in June, with a 140-game slate. If so, it’s likely that fantasy baseball drafts will resume when a start date is announced. Some of you have already drafted teams, but others have not.

When I was in Florida attending spring training games with my brother-in-law in February, before all this COVID-19 madness started, I watched Jack and his wife, Candy, draft teams. They are diehard Head-to-Head players, while I favor Rotisserie.

While the best players (i.e. Mike Trout) are still the best, there are some who fare better in one format than in the other.  In this blog, I want to highlight reasons why certain players fare better in Head-to-Head (H2H) and others in Rotisserie (Roto).

Please keep in mind that for the purpose of this blog, when I talk about H2H leagues, I am referring to points-based scoring rather than category-based 5×5 scoring. In categories-based leagues, players are valued about like they are in Roto.

In H2H leagues, there’s no need to balance categories. Every point a player produces is of benefit to you, and the benefit isn’t relative to what you already have. You must consider  the full scope of a player’s contributions, which is different than Roto.

In H2H, players have value if they excel in the areas not normally rewarded, like hitting doubles, drawing walks, avoiding strikeouts and, for pitchers, accumulating innings. Percentage stats like batting average, ERA and WHIP have no direct value.

First baseman Carlos Santana is a good example of a player who is more valuable in H2H than in Roto. Santana’s walk rate is consistently among the highest in baseball, and his strikeout rate is low, which helps in H2H but not in Roto.

On the other hand, first baseman Jose Abreu is better in Roto than Santana because he makes up for his lack of on-base skills (which go unrewarded in Roto) with a consistently high batting average (which goes unrewarded in H2H).

Yankees’ infielder D.J. LeMahieu was a stud in both formats last year, batting .327,  with 26 home runs and 100 plus runs and RBI. But I expect him to regress in home runs and batting average this year, which makes him less valuable in Roto.

Lastly, let’s consider outfielder Victor Robles, who stole 28 bases in his rookie season. A steal leader is gold in Roto because there are so few of them. But Robles’ low walk rate and high strikeout rate make him much less valuable in H2H.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s