What if MLB Teams Played Fantasy Baseball?

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

I’ve had this question for a long time and it wasn’t until today, for some reason, that I realized how easy it would be to answer. A buddy of mine and I used to wonder who would win in a fantasy baseball league in which you drafted only players from your favorite teams. Extending that question further, which MLB team would win if they played in a Roto Fantasy Baseball league?

Here’s how it worked. I took each team’s totals in the standard 10 categories (R, HR, SB, RBI, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP) and ranked each team and gave them a point total 1-30 in each category with 30 points for the best in the league at each category (Ties split points). I then summed the point totals and ranked each team by total point value.

Next I scaled the fantasy points total into the equivalent value of real wins, which turned out to be much more widely distributed than I was hoping for which led me to simply rank each by fantasy wins and real wins and then take the difference between the two. Teams with negative differences do worse in fantasy baseball and teams with positive differences do better in fantasy baseball.

Here are the results:


I’ll call your attention to the values in red. 27 teams had fantasy win ranks within six places of their real win rankings. The exceptions are the Brewers who would much rather play fantasy baseball and the Reds and Athletics who are very glad that they do not have to. This speaks to the Brewers as a very traditional stat heavy team and the Reds and A’s as teams who accumulate their wins through things like defense, walks, etc.

I’m not sure if we can take too much from this, but if you were wondering how your team would stack up if you drafted them all, this is how it would look. Yes, Tim Jennings, I would have won.

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