There are several brand new Benchwarmer owners taking over Orphan teams this season and you're putting yourself into a game where probably 13-15 of the 16 teams in your league are back for their 2nd BWB season...or maybe their 10th. So as we proceed to Opening Day, you've got to make some decisions and moves (or refrain from moves) against experienced foes.
So let's quickly start off with what you're trying to do - win games.
And let's look at a sample of that....go to http://www.benchwarmerbaseball.net/season/schedule.asp?lg=A1
This is the final week schedule of the 2009 season in the Hall of Fame League - our charter league in BWB (started back in 2000). Each week in BWB, you play 6 games. Each game is scored individually.
In the upper left corner of the schedule - right under the heading Game 145, you'll see that Michigan beat New Fairfield 3-2. Click the "Box" link just to the right of that and you'll find the game box score.
Let's not deal with the specifics of the scoring formula here, but just deal with what you see in the box score. Each week, you'll set a starting lineup of 9 hitters - and you put them in order 1-9 - and they must fill all the 8 standard fielding spots plus DH (we don't care about specific OF positions).
If you look at the very bottom of the box score page, you'll see that the performances for Major League game #150 were used for this game (yeah, it's Game 145 in BWB....that's another story...but the important thing here is that it's a single MLB game mapped to a single BWB game). Whatever your players did in that game goes into our scoring formula.
Notice in Michigan's lineup that after Carlos Ruiz there's a "(B5)" listed? In that game, Michigan's starting catcher did not appear in the corresponding MLB game. So, we grabbed a catcher from the bench. Each team has a 5-person bench, so you want to try to cover all the positions. What about the 3rd slot in Michigan's order - it says "Benchwarmer First Baseman"? Well, Michigan's starting 1B did not play that day and he didn't have an eligible guy on the bench for 1B who played either. So the Benchwarmer filled in - went 0-5, and even worse, had 2 errors.
As you look at the very bottom of the box score, you'll see the "Raw Scores for the game and this shows how the game score came about. Games in Benchwarmer are a combination of your hitting score and your opponent's pitching score. The team with the highest Total Raw Score wins the game - we just round them to integers to make them appear as runs.
At the moment, don't get too wound up in the scoring formula itself. What you're doing in Benchwarmer Baseball is essentially - build the best "baseball" team you can with the amount of money you have to spend and put them into a solid batting order and pitching rotation. And make sure you have bench players who can fill holes when they're needed (so if you can fill your bench with real-life starters, that's best).
As we continue this week and beyond, I'll make some suggestions on how to proceed with your roster as we enter free agency - whether you've got a lot of cash to spend or not. I would say generally don't make a lot of rash decisions this first week. 15 other guys in your league may be waiting to take advantage of you.