Simulated League 3.0 coming Soon
Soon a most memorable postseason will come to an end. By that time, the third simulated league will be underway using the facilities of www.whatifsports.com.
Sim league 1.0 ran from May through July in 2013 using the 1998-2012 alignment. Any player who had at least 50 at bats or 25 innings pitched was a candidate to be on a roster. All players in the WIS database are assigned a salary value based on numerous factors including innings thrown or plate appearances. Teams played an uncapped league, so those long time franchises like the Yankees and Red Sox had among the highest payroll totals and were most successful. Any player who played from 1901-2013 could be used, but only on one team, meaning a player like Moises Alou could play for the Cubs, or Astros, or marlins, or nationals being a former Expo. One of the better if not the best season was used in picking each player and assigning that player to the appropriate roster. Only players who played the entire season with a given team were used, players who split time between two teams were not. The Yankees, Indians, Athletics, Braves, Cubs and Giants won division crowns, the Red Sox took the AL wild card, the Reds and Nationals tied for the NL wild card, Cincinnati winning the playoff. The Nationals franchise was the only expansion era team to even have this much success beyond the regular season.
League 2.0 ran from December 2013 to February 2014 and several changes took place. IN league 1, only AL teams used a DH, now all teams did because the alignment was significantly different. The alignment, which still uses a 1998-2012 style, the latest offfered by WIS at this time, was based on geography. The AL West was won by the White Sox, edging the Twins, Cubs, and Brewers, Milwaukee finishing way out in last place. The AL Central was home to the Cardinals, Rockies, Royals, Mariners, and Diamondbacks, St. Louis winning the division rather easily. The very competetive AL East was won by the Indians, who held off the wild card Reds, plus the very competetive Pirates and Blue Jays, while the Tigers came in last 14 games back.
The NL West was the California division taken by the Dodgers, while the Giants were competetive, the Athletics .500 and the Padres did OK, the Angels finished dead last. The NL East was a close division won by the Braves who caught the Astros, the Rangers, Marlins, and Rays never were a factor. The six team NL Central was a wonderful race with the yankees edging the wild card Red Sox, while the Orioles fell short despite a long run in first. All others, the Phillies, Nationals, and Mets were competetive.
IN this league, the cap was moved down to 135 million and players who were on a team for a portion of the season could now be used. The player could only play for one team and use his statistical performance based on the given team, so 2000 Gabe White could only use his Rockies stats to qualify for the Rockies roster as an example.
League 3 which starts this month and which will end near Christmas is very similar to league 2.0, with a couple of minor changes. The cap was reduced again to 130 million and the alignment changes to place the original 16 teams on the NL side of the alignment, the 14 expansion era teams on the AL side. The NL divvisions are set so that the five original AL franchises which have not relocated to a new city are grouped together, the Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, Indians and Tigers are in the NL East. Five NL franchises of the original eight have not relocated as well, those teams are the Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates and Phillies, they are all together in the NL West. The NL Central with six slots to fill is home to the teams who have relocated from their original home citties, the Athletics, Giants, Dodgers, Twins, Braves, and Orioles.
ON the AL side, the teams that came into MLB since 1993 are in the AL West, so the Rockies, marlins, Rays and Diamondbacks are in a division together. The AL Central is home to the two 1977 expansion teams, the Mariners and Blue Jays, plus the three franchises from previous expansion that have relocated, the Brewers, Rangers, and Nationals. The remaining five expansion teams are together in the AL East, the Mets, Astros, Royals, Padres, and Angels.
The first two leagues used a balanced 1998-2000 style of scheduling. League 3.0 will use a 2001-2012 style of scheduling with a focus on more divisional play.
Teams in league 3 are also focused more on defensive play where possible. More of the rosters were built with a players defensive range and fielding grades playing a larger roll in deciding upon how the roster should be constructed.
Updates on how the league is playing out will be posted later this fall and winter.