How Does Scoring Work In Fantasy Baseball?

fantasy baseball

So you’re ready to start playing fantasy baseball. You’ve joined a league and drafted the perfect team, but how does scoring work in fantasy baseball? Just like in real-life baseball, a greater understanding of the rules and scoring can help you edge out important victories throughout the grueling season. Keep reading to find out how scoring works in each of the most popular fantasy baseball formats.


Rotisserie

Originating in 1950s New York City, Rotisserie scoring, or “Roto” for short, is the oldest and most traditional format for scoring a fantasy baseball league. In Rotisserie scoring, every team in the league competes directly with each other, scoring points in selected statistical categories over a season. 

Typically, leagues attempt to balance an equal number of hitter and pitcher statistical categories; sometimes, fielding statistics are also used. There are a huge number of statistical categories that can be used for scoring, such as hits, on-base percentage, times picked off, hits allowed, batting average against, strikeout to walk ratio, errors, and fielding percentage. The original Rotisserie leagues scored eight categories, but most modern leagues use ten categories. Additionally, these first Rotisserie leagues evaluated runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and batting average for hitters, as well as wins, saves, WHIP, and ERA for pitchers.

In Rotisserie scoring, all teams compete against one another in each of the league’s statistical categories. The highest-ranking team in a category receives a number of points equal to the number of teams in the league, with the other teams getting a descending number of points, down to one point for the lowest-ranking team. The points are not cumulative and are recalculated daily. Each team’s points are totaled to determine overall standing; the team with the highest overall standing at the end of the season is the champion.

Head-to-Head

Head-to-head scoring pits individual teams against each other, in matchups that change weekly. Like Rotisserie, each team is scored based on their performance in select statistical categories. However, each team only competes against the opposing team in the head-to-head matchup. Whichever team out of the two has the higher ranking in a category is awarded a point; the team with the most points wins the matchup. Teams are ranked based on their performance over a matchup period which is typically a week. 

Each week the matchups change, and a new matchup period begins. Matchup wins accrue over the course of the regular season, with the teams possessing the best records making it to the playoffs. The postseason takes the form of a single-elimination tournament, with the winner declared the fantasy league champion.

Season Points

In season points scoring, each team in a fantasy league competes with one another over the course of a season based on scores in weighted categories. Like other formats, there are hitter, pitcher, and fielder statistics. However, each statistical category awards different numbers of points for different outcomes. For instance, in the hits category, a single may earn one point, a double two points, and a home run four points. Negative points are also possible; in the same category, a strikeout may earn one negative point. 

Points are totaled across all categories over the course of the season. At the end of the season, the team with the highest number of cumulative total points is declared the league champion. As a result of the weighted structure, a team may win the championship without winning the majority of statistical categories.