In 2019 I launched a new fantasy baseball game that had never been attempted previously: the MLB Survivor League. In its inaugural season the league had 150 participants, lasted 11 weeks, and crowned Taylor Cobb (@_tcobb on Twitter) as its first champion.
Congratulations to @_tcobb for winning the inaugural season of MLB Survivor League!!
Thank you to everyone that played this season! I hope you enjoyed playing this league as much as I enjoyed running it, and I hope to see everyone return next season to challenge for the title. https://t.co/Db8iiFvi2R
— Jim Passon 🇵🇷 (@PassonJim) June 9, 2019
This blog post serves two purposes: to answer the most commonly asked questions about the MLB Survivor League, and to get you signed up to play.
“What is the MLB Survivor League?”
The MLB Survivor League is a free, manually operated fantasy baseball league with rules very similar to the survival leagues for football, found on popular sites like Yahoo! and ESPN.
“What are the rules for the MLB Survivor League?”
In the MLB Survivor League, participants begin the league by picking a team that they feel will outscore their opponents in Week 1. Unlike football teams though, baseball teams play multiple games each week. So in MLB Survivor League we will total each team’s games for the whole week to determine which teams have outscored their opponents. If your pick finishes the week with a positive run differential, you survive to pick again the following week. Here’s the catch (pun intended): survivors will not be allowed to select a team that they have already chosen previously. YOU CAN ONLY EVER CHOOSE A TEAM ONCE! The person who survives the longest will be declared the winner.
“How do I sign up for the 2020 MLB Survivor League?”
You’ll need to have a few things in order prior to signing up for the MLB Survivor League. First, you’ll need a Twitter account. Until the day I figure out how to automate this league, I will need a social network platform to assist in the communication and operation of it. So I’ve chosen Twitter, since that’s where my outreach to baseball fans currently resides. You’ll also need to follow a few Twitter accounts before signing up; @PassonJim (creator), @RmntcBaseball (host), and @league_mlb (you’ll be receiving direct messages from this account). If you’ve checked those boxes on your to-do list, you’re now ready to fill out the sign up sheet, which you can find here → 2020 MLB Survivor League sign up form.
DEADLINE FOR ENTRY IS MARCH 19, 2020
“How do I make my pick?”
For the first week of the season, I will post a Google Form on the Twitter feed for @league_mlb and at the Romantic About Baseball website asking for your Twitter handle and selection. Each week thereafter, that form will be delivered via direct message to your Twitter account.
“What defines ‘a week’ in the MLB Survivor League?“
Weeks will typically run on a Monday through Sunday schedule, with an exception for weeks 1 and 16. Both of those weeks will be longer than seven days, but will still end on a Sunday night. Week 1 is longer than seven days due to the regular season’s first pitches being thrown on a Thursday, and week 16 exceeds the seven days due to the half a week’s worth of games that appear on the schedule following the All Star Break. Instead of ignoring those half-weeks, I have decided to include them with a full week of baseball—because more baseball is always better!
“If the team I choose finishes the week with a run differential of zero, do I survive to pick the next week?”
In MLB Survivor League, only picks with a positive run differential will advance you to the next round. So a team finishing a week with a zero run differential will NOT help you survive another week.
“When do I need to submit my selection made?”
You will be allowed to submit your next pick as long as your selection hasn’t already begun play for the week. For example, if the Nationals start their game at 7:05 PM Eastern Time on Monday night and you want to choose them, then you must get your pick in before their first game of the week starts. But if they don’t play their first game of the week until Tuesday at 4:05 PM Eastern Time, then you will have until then to choose them by submitting your form. All submitted forms are timestamped upon arrival, so we’ll know if a selection was made in time or not.
“What happens if there is a tie at the end of the league?”
If there is a tie when the league ends, the only tiebreaker that will be used to break that tie will be each participants’ total run differential for the league. If there is still a tie after that tiebreaker, the league will continue on for the participants that tied with the highest run differential (because I’m not a fan of ties in baseball). Those remaining players will continue playing the league, following the rules they’ve been using all season, until we have a champion.
“Where can I find the league schedule and everyone’s selections?”
The MLB Survivor League uses Google Sheets to track its league. You can find league schedules, current run differentials, league picks, and rules here → 2020 MLB Survivor League spreadsheet.
I hope that I was able to answer a majority of your questions and that you’ll join us for year number two of the MLB Survivor League. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to flip us a direct message on Twitter at @league_mlb. Good luck to everyone this year!