Ray’s first point: “Baseball is a marathon with 162 games. H2H turns that marathon into a sprint.”
I’m not sure how h2h turns the 162-game schedule into a sprint. h2h leagues run for the entire season. Sure some of that includes the fantasy play-offs, however, aren’t there play-offs in baseball? Isn’t the World Champion the winner of the play-offs? Do they give the regular season winner the World Series trophy? Nope. The best team is decided by a play-off. h2h has that, roto doesn’t.Neither is exactly like real baseball, each have their similarities and differences.
Ray’s second point: “Baseball is about consistency and working through the grind as much as anything. When you play H2H you remove that aspect of the game completely.”
His main argument, I think, is that Pujols alternating good weeks with wretched weeks would ruin you in h2h, but not roto. Well, that kind of runs against his point. In roto, all that matters are stats at the end of the year, you don’t have to weather slumps at all.
In h2h, your entire team has to produce. If Pujols slumps, other members of your roster have to step up. Your team has to be good week-in and week-out across several categories. One bad week in roto is meaningless and you don’t have to worry about it. In h2h, you have to work through the grind every week, worrying about categories. You can manage roto on autopilot a lot of the time.
Ray’s third point: “we’re not rewarding the fantasy owner who rostered the players with the best skill.”
I’m not sure I agree with this but I do understand it. You can win h2h with some bush league looking squads, that’s true. However, to me, that’s an indicator of who managed best. You have tougher decisions to make in h2h than roto. Roto will likely reward the best team (that’s a given), however h2h rewards the best manager who worked every week to maximize his categories.So it’s really a preference thing.
Obviously, two start pitchers are incredibly important in h2h and I agree wholeheartedly with Ray that leagues where you can rush to the waiver to pluck two-start pitchers doesn’t take much skill. That said, I don’t know many leagues that allow that, many have weekly/yearly move caps or innings caps. There are certainly ways around allowing the streaming two start pitchers.
Further, I don’t see why it’s problematic that two stats from Gavin Floyd could be worth more than Dan Haren when roto has a similar issue. If you are down in steals in roto, you’d trade Jay Bruce for Juan Pierre. Would you ever do that in real life? No, nor would you in h2h. Because you have to continually be good in categories, you can’t just give up on power. In roto, if you are dominating HRs, trading power for steals makes sense. It doesn’t in real life, nor does it in h2h.
Each version of fantasy baseball has its pluses and minuses. I play in all kinds. I like h2h the most, but could never do more than two leagues because it is more time intensive. I love playing roto because I just set my line-ups and am done. It’s nice to have my team and not have to worry about anyone else’s squad.
That said, to say one bastardizes the game of baseball makes no sense. Fantasy baseball isn’t an approximation of the game of baseball (if you want that, play Strat-O-Matic and I suggest you do).
Lastly, anything that gets more people involved in baseball, which h2h does, is a good thing. Ray is beginning to sound like those people who rail against interleague play and the DH rule.
In all seriousness, this is a fun debate to have, with, I believe no right answer.