How to Play

Creating a team

After you have signed up to play, you will be asked to create a team name. You can choose any name you would like that has not already been selected as long as it is not longer than thirty (30) characters and does not contain, in accordance with MLBAM's sole discretion, offensive, derogatory, profane or abusive language. MLBAM reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to approve and/or deny the submission and/or use of any and all team names.

Number of teams

You can enter up to five (5) teams into the Contest, but you cannot have more than one (1) team playing in the same league.

Leagues

Joining/Setting up a league

Once you have chosen your team name, you will have the following options when it comes to joining/playing in a league:

Set up a Private League (Live Draft, List Draft or Simple Draft)

This option allows you to set up your own Private League where only people you invite to play with you can join your league. It is up to you to decide whether your league will conduct a Live Draft, a List Draft or a Simple Draft. You will be able to invite others to join your Private League by going to the league homepage and entering the e-mail addresses of those you wish to invite in the "Invite Friends" section.

Join a Public League (Live Draft, List Draft or Simple Draft)

This option allows you to play against randomly selected group of eleven (11) other participants. If you choose to be in a Public League with a Live Draft, you will be placed in a group randomly selected based upon the draft time that you select (see below). If you choose to be in a Public League with a List Draft or a Simple Draft, you will get placed in a randomly selected group of eleven (11) other participants.

Join a Private League

This option allows you to join a Private League that your friends have already set up. You will need the league ID and password (sent via e-mail by MLBAM upon registration) in order to join a Private League.

League setup

Public and Private Leagues

The following options are standard for all Public and Private Leagues:

  • Head-to-head scoring system
  • Eight (8) to twenty-four (24) week seasons (depending on when you draft)
  • Two (2) weeks of League Playoffs
  • Sixteen (16) MLB player rosters (ten (10) starters: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, OF, OF, U, P)
  • Four (4) playoff teams

The following options in this format will be customizable for all Private Leagues:

  • Size of League: eight (8), ten (10) or twelve (12) teams
  • Season length: eight (8) to twenty-four (24) weeks (can be less depending on when you draft)
  • Wild Card teams: Can be either non-division winners with the best record during the Contest Regular Season (defined below) or non-division winners with the most total points scored during the Contest Regular Season

Drafting

Once you have joined a league, it is time to get ready for your draft. There are three (3) types of drafts: Live Drafts, List Drafts and Simple Drafts.

Live Drafts

Live Drafts are conducted online with the easy-to-use Contest application.

A draft time must be selected for your Live Draft by one of two (2) methods:

Commissioner:

In Private Leagues with a Live Draft, the participant who initially sets up the live draft ("League Commissioner") will select a date and time when the league will draft. The League Commissioner may change this date and time at any time up until sixty (60) minutes prior to the start of the draft. You will be notified via e-mail by MLBAM of such changes to the date and time of your Live Draft.

Public League:

In a Public League with a Live Draft, it is up to you to pick the date and time you will be drafting. Once you have selected a time, you will be placed in a Public League with other randomly selected participants who have chosen the same draft date and time.

Please keep the following in mind when participating in a Live Draft:

Log on to the Contest at least ten (10) minutes prior to the time your draft is scheduled to begin to ensure that you are able to enter the virtual draft room ("Live Draft Room") prior to the beginning of the draft.

Once the draft starts, you will have up to ninety (90) seconds to make a MLB player selection when it is your turn to draft. A "yellow" indicator will appear around your team icon/logo when it is your turn to pick.

When it is your turn to draft a player, select a player from the lists that are displayed on the left side of the Live Draft Room and click the "Draft" button. If you are not able to participate in the entire draft, you can set your team to "Autodraft." In this mode, the Contest will automatically select a MLB player for you when it is your turn to pick. This pick will take place immediately when it is your turn and will be automatically selected based upon your prerankings or default rankings in the event you do not have any prerankings selected. If you do not select "Autodraft" and do not make a selection when it is your turn to pick, the game will pick for you after ninety (90) seconds have expired. (For more details on prerankings, see the sections entitled "Prerankings" and "How to Prerank Players" below.)

You are not required to be online during a Live Draft. If you are not online, the Contest will automatically make your player selections for you, based on your prerankings or default rankings in the event you do not have any prerankings selected. You can also add players to your draft queue. This list of players in your queue will supersede both prerankings and default rankings and will be used to make a selection if you are on "Autodraft" or do not make a selection after ninety (90) seconds. To add a player to your queue list, select a name from the list displayed on the left side of the Live Draft Room and click the "Queue" button.

You can check to see which positions you have filled on the right side of the Live Draft Room. This is an easy way to determine which players you should be targeting and drafting as the draft progresses.

You can also chat with other people who are drafting during the live draft. The chat feature is located in the bottom right corner of the Live Draft Room.

The draft will last sixteen (16) rounds. At the end of sixteen (16) rounds, the draft will end and you can begin managing your team.

List Drafts

If you do not wish to join a league with a Live Draft, you can choose to be in a league with a List Draft -- where MLB players are automatically selected for all teams in your league by the Contest.

The Contest will make your selections based upon preset default rankings. You can either decide to use MLB.com's default rankings or select your own prerankings. The automatic selection system looks to see which starting positions you need to fill, then selects the highest-rated player based on either MLB.com's default ranking or your prerankings to fill one of those positions. (For more details on prerankings, see the sections entitled "Prerankings" and "How to Prerank Players" below.)

Simple Drafts

If you do not wish to join a league with a Live Draft or a List Draft, you can choose to be in a league with a Simple Draft, where you will get a roster of players automatically assigned to you.

Prerankings

To set your prerankings, go to the prerankings page and click the players you wish to rank on your own.

How to Prerank Players

Rank the players at each position in order of your preference (or just use the default rankings listed below). You can change the rankings of multiple players at the same time using this method.

If you do not wish to rank your players, you will use MLB.com's default rankings.

Rosters and Lineup Changes

Roster Size

Your starting roster can consist of the following ten (10) players:

1 Catcher
1 First Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Shortstop
1 Third Baseman
3 Outfielders
1 Utility Hitter (can be any position)
1 Pitching Staff

You are not required to start a player/pitching staff at every position, but unless you opt for Top 10 Lineup Selection (see below), you will not score any points if that position is left empty for the applicable Fantasy Week. Important Note: If you do not have any players selected to be in your starting lineup during the first Fantasy Week of the Contest Period, you will not score any points during that Fantasy Week or in any subsequent Fantasy Week for which you do not have any players selected. See the section entitled "Setting Your Lineup" below for further details on how to set your lineups.

You may also have up to six (6) players on your bench. Bench players are eligible to start at any position for which they are listed in the Contest as being eligible.

Top 10 Lineup Selection: If you select Top 10 lineup selection ("Top 10 Lineup Selection") when you register for the Contest, the Contest will automatically select a starting lineup for you each Fantasy Week to ensure that each position includes the best performing player from your roster at that position for the applicable Fantasy Week. This will ensure that you receive a point total based on an optimal starting lineup from your roster for the applicable Fantasy Week. If you select Top 10 Lineup Selection, you will not be required to set a specific lineup for any Fantasy Week.

For example: If a user who opts for Top 10 Lineup Selection has three (3) catchers on his/her roster for a given Fantasy Week (e.g. Brian McCann, Joe Mauer and Russell Martin) and McCann scores thirty-four (34) points for the given Fantasy Week, Mauer scores twenty-nine (29) and Martin scores thirty-eight (38), Russell Martin would be considered that user's catcher in the lineup for the applicable Fantasy Week, and accordingly, Russell Martin's thirty-eight (38) points would count toward that user's point total for the applicable Fantasy Week.

DL Players

You can also have up to two (2) disabled list ("DL") players at any time. You can only place a player on the DL only if he is actually placed on the DL by his Major League Baseball Club. For the avoidance of doubt, a player who is injured in real life, but has not been placed on the DL by his Major League Baseball Club, cannot be placed on the DL in the Contest.

When a player is removed from the DL by his Major League Baseball Club, he must be removed from the DL spot on your fantasy team before you will be allowed to make any more transactions. In addition, if you fail to remove any such player from the DL spot on your fantasy team before the Lock Time of any subsequent Fantasy Week(s), your entire lineup will be locked for each applicable Fantasy Week. The fantasy team may keep the player on the DL as long as it desires, as long as it does not make any other transactions (except for any trades pending).

Position Eligibility

You will be able to start a MLB player at a particular position if he:

1. Played ten (10) MLB games at that position in 2013; or
2. Has played ten (10) MLB games at the position in 2014.

Some MLB players in the Contest did not play ten (10) games at a position in 2013. These players will be eligible at the position that they appeared at the most in 2013. Example: In 2013, the most games Billy Hamilton played at any position was seven (7) games as an outfielder. Therefore, Hamilton would qualify at the outfield position for purposes of the Contest.

MLB players that have never played in a MLB game prior to the 2014 MLB season will be assigned a position by MLB.com in its sole discretion. Example: Oscar Taveras of the St. Louis Cardinals will be eligible at outfield as that is his expected position.

Setting Your Lineup

Unless you opt for Top 10 Lineup Selection, each Fantasy Week during the Contest Period you must set your starting lineup for that Fantasy Week. For each player on your roster, beginning as of 12:01 AM ET (Midnight) on Monday of each Fantasy Week during the Contest, you will have until five (5) minutes prior to the start of each player's first MLB game being played each Fantasy Week ( the "Lock Time") to place each player into your starting lineup for that Fantasy Week. If you do not have any players selected to be in your starting lineup following the Lock Time of the first Fantasy Week of the Contest Period at 1:00 PM ET on Monday, March 31, 2014, you will not score any points during that Fantasy Week or in any subsequent Fantasy Week for which you do not have any players selected. No changes can be made for that position after the Lock Time of the applicable Fantasy Week. A player's position in the lineup is locked for that Fantasy Week once the Lock Time has passed. If you miss the Lock Time for any given player in the applicable Fantasy Week of the Contest, your lineup for the Fantasy Week will remain as it was the prior Fantasy Week.

Any changes made after Lock Time of any Fantasy Week during the Contest will count toward the following Fantasy Week. Example, if you make a lineup change on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 9 PM ET (and the Lock Time for that position was 1 PM ET) and another change on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, both changes will take place for your lineup for the following Fantasy Week beginning on Monday, April 21, 2014.

To edit your lineup, click on the position dropdown next to a player's name and select the position you would like him to play, or if you would prefer to put that player on your bench. Once you have made all position changes, click "Submit." Players on your bench will not score points for your team.

Transactions

There are three (3) different ways to acquire new players after your draft has taken place and during the season: Free Agency, Waivers and Trades. Note: any player added to your roster via any transaction - whether via Free Agency, Waivers or Trades - will not be allowed to be inserted into your roster until the end of the then-current Fantasy Week.

Free Agents

Any player that is not owned by a participant in your league is considered a free agent. These players shall be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, unless they are on "waivers" (explained below).

To pick up a free agent click on the "Players" tab on the top of the game's navigation. Under the "action" header there will be a green box with a white plus sign indicating that a player is available to be picked up. Click on the green box and you will be taken to a screen with your roster where you will be asked to drop an existing player on your roster to make room for the player you want to pick up. Click on the grey checkbox next to the player you want to drop from your existing roster.

Any free agent that you add will immediately be placed on your roster. That player can be placed into your starting lineup for any subsequent Fantasy Week(s).

You can drop players at any time, but you can only pick up players without dropping a player if you have less than sixteen (16) players (not counting DL players) on your roster.

Undroppable players

Some players on the game shall be designated as "Undroppable," meaning a participant cannot drop these players. All-Star players such as Albert Pujols and Matt Kemp are on this list, to prevent people from dumping their superstars and having other people pick them up, leading to "loaded" teams. The list of Undroppable players may change throughout the season at MLB.com's discretion (e.g., as a result of injury or other roster changes).

Waivers

After your draft, all players will be placed on waivers for one (1) day. All players who are dropped during the season will also be on waivers for a period of at least one (1) full day ("Waiver Period").

During the Waiver Period, any participant in your league can claim that player. The person with the highest waiver priority (explained below) when the waiver claim is processed will receive that player.

Example: If a player is dropped on a Tuesday afternoon, all managers can put in a claim for him during the Waiver Period. The participant with the highest waiver priority, who submitted a claim for the player, will receive that player. Waiver claims are not processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The waiver priority list is initially set based on the reverse order of your draft. Each time you add a player from waiver to your roster, you will fall to the bottom of the waiver priority list. This "rolling" list stays in effect for the entire season. The team ranked No. 1 on the list always has the highest (or best) waiver priority.

If nobody claims a player during the waiver period, he becomes a free agent. If you place a claim on more than one waived player at a time, each pending claim will appear on under "Active Waiver Claims" on the "Players" page. along with its current position in your waiver order. All new claims get added to the bottom of this list, but you can change this order by clicking on the swap buttons.

Trades

A trade occurs when one participant exchanges player(s) with another participant in a league. To propose a trade go to the game "Trade Center" and pick a team you want to trade with from the dropdown menu.

Once you have determined which team you want to attempt to trade with, select the player(s) you wish to trade away and the player(s) you wish to trade for, and click "Review Trade." In order to propose the trade, you will then need to click the "Submit Offer" button.

An e-mail will be sent by MLBAM to the other manager proposing your trade. That manager can then go to his/her Trade Center to accept, decline or to make a counter offer.

If a trade is accepted, the entire league will be notified and other participants will have the ability to vote "for" or "against" the trade. This process is put in place to ensure trades are fair and balanced and do not compromise the integrity of the Contest.

If four (4) or more participants vote against the trade within two (2) days, the trade will be officially vetoed by the league and the trade will not take place.

If four (4) or more participants vote for the trade, the trade will proceed the moment the fourth participant votes for the trade.

If the trade is neither vetoed nor accepted by the league within forty-eight (48) hours, the trade will proceed.

During the review period, trades are marked as pending.

In order to prevent players involved in pending trades from being dropped or waived, participants will not be allowed to make any such transactions involving any players involved in a trade once it has been accepted.

Trade Deadline

The trade deadline will be July 31, 2014. No trades can be offered or accepted after 11:59 p.m. ET (Midnight) on July 31, 2014.

Point Scoring System

Your players/pitching staffs will score points for you each day on which MLB games are played based on the following formula:

Hitters
Single = 1
Double = 2
Triple = 3
Home Run = 4
Run = 1
RBI = 1
Walk = 1
Stolen Base = 2
Caught Stealing = -1

Pitching Staffs
Win = 3

Strikeouts
0-5 = 0
6-7 = 1
8-9 = 2
10-12 = 3
13-15 = 5
16-19 = 7
20+ = 10

Earned Runs Allowed
0 = 7
1 = 5
2 = 3
3 = 2
4 = 1
5+ = 0

Hits + Walks allowed
0 = 20
1 = 16
2 = 12
3-4 = 8
5-7 = 4
8-10 = 2
11-12 = 1
13+ = 0

Only players/pitching staffs that are in your starting lineup each Fantasy Week will score points. Unless you opt for Top 10 Lineup Selection, players/pitching staffs on your bench will not score points for your team.

NOTE: Except as set forth in the Suspended Games section below, only statistics officially scored as statistics in 2014 MLB regular season games will be counted as valid statistics in the Contest.

Rainouts, Postponements, Cancelled Games

Your players will not score any points in the event that the game they are playing in is rained out, postponed or cancelled.

Suspended Games

The following shall apply in the event any MLB game(s) is suspended during the Contest Period:

1) In the event any 2014 MLB game(s) is suspended and subsequently completed within the same Fantasy Week during which any such game(s) was suspended, all official statistics for such suspended game(s) shall count as valid statistics for purposes of this Contest.

2) In the event any 2014 MLB game(s) is suspended and subsequently completed within any Fantasy Week other than the Fantasy Week during which such game(s) was suspended (i.e., the game(s) is completed on a date following the Sunday of the Fantasy Week in which the game(s) was suspended), ONLY the official statistics of the portion of the game(s) that was played prior to the suspension will count as valid statistics for purposes of this Contest, provided either of the following conditions apply at the time such game(s) is suspended:

a. The MLB team that is trailing in the portion of the game that was suspended (i) makes fifteen (15) or more outs in the game, and/or (ii) completes all of its at-bats for five (5) innings; or

b. The home MLB team (i) makes fifteen (15) outs or more, (ii) completes all of its at-bats for five (5) innings, and/or (iii) ties the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Under any of these circumstances, only the official statistics of the portion of the game(s) that was played prior to the suspension will count for purposes of this Contest. As such, the statistics from any such suspended game(s) that are completed in a subsequent Fantasy Week will NOT count toward either (1) the original Fantasy Week in which the suspended game(s) started; or (2) the Fantasy Week in which the suspended game(s) was completed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the avoidance of doubt, team pitching staffs will not receive credit for wins in the Contest for any suspended game(s) that are completed in any Fantasy Week other than the Fantasy Week in which such game(s) was suspended.

Example: A game started on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 between the Tigers and Indians is suspended with the score tied at 2-2 in the 7th inning. The game isn't resumed until Friday, July 11, 2014 and the Indians go on to win 3-2. In this case, all statistics from the first portion of the game (May 20, before the game was suspended) will count toward the May 19-May 25 Fantasy Week. The statistics from the second portion of the game that was completed on July 11, 2014 will NOT count toward either the Fantasy Week of May 19-May 25 or the Fantasy Week of July 7-July 13.

3) In the event any 2014 MLB game(s) is suspended and subsequently completed in any Fantasy Week other than the Fantasy Week during which such game(s) was suspended (i.e., the game(s) is completed on a date following the Sunday of the Fantasy Week during which the game(s) was suspended), NONE of the official statistics of any portion of the suspended game(s) will count for purposes of this Contest, provided either of the following conditions apply at the time such game(s) is suspended:

a. The MLB team which is trailing does NOT (i) make fifteen (15) or more outs in the game, and/or (ii) complete all of its at-bats for five (5) innings; or

b. The visiting MLB team does NOT (i) make fifteen (15) or more outs in the game, and/or (ii) complete all of its at-bats for five (5) or more innings. Under any of these circumstances, official statistics for any portion(s) of any suspended game(s) will NOT count for purposes of this Contest (i.e., such statistics shall not apply to either the (1) original Fantasy Week in which the suspended game(s) was started, or (2) Fantasy Week in which the suspended game(s) was completed.

Example: A game played on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 between the Angels and Astros is suspended with the score tied at 4-4 in the 4th inning. The game isn't resumed until Thursday, July 10, 2014 and the Angels go on to win 8-5. In this case, none of the statistics will count for either portion of the game for any Fantasy Week.

Stat Corrections

Your league scoring will not be updated to reflect official MLB statistics corrections that occur after scoring locks each Fantasy Week, which occurs at the completion of games on Sunday. For example, for a Saturday game, the official scoring change would have to be made before scoring for the Fantasy Week ends on Sunday night, to count for that Fantasy Week. If a scoring change for the Saturday game were to take place on Tuesday, the scoring change would NOT be reflected in your league, since the previous Fantasy Week had already completed and a winner for the Fantasy Week was announced.

League Schedule

The Contest regular season begins on March 31, 2014 and ends with the final MLB game played on September 28, 2014 (the "Contest Regular Season").

Each Fantasy Week you will compete against one opponent in your league in a head-to-head matchup. Your goal each Fantasy Week is for your ten (10) starting MLB players to accumulate more points than your opponent's ten (10) starting players. The team with the most points will receive a win, while the other team will receive a loss.

Head to Head Match-up Tiebreakers

If a tie occurs in any match-up during the Contest Regular Season or League Playoffs, the following tiebreakers in the following order will be used to determine the winner:

1. The team with the highest weekly point total for a single player/pitching staff (in the Fantasy Week in question) wins - this continues with the second highest weekly point total for a single player/pitching staff, etc. through the entire roster until all players and pitching staff have been examined;

2. The team with the highest daily point total (in the Fantasy Week in question) wins - this continues with the second highest daily point total, etc. until all days of the Fantasy Week have been examined; and

3. The team with the highest point total during the Contest Regular Season to date wins.

Divisions

For Private Leagues, League Commissioners must choose to have eight (8), ten (10) or twelve (12) teams in a league, and in each case, there will be only two divisions. All Public Leagues will consist of twelve (12) teams.

The teams in your league will be randomly placed in two (2) separate divisions within the league, with each division consisting of an equal number of teams (for example, if your league has eight (8) teams, there will be two (2) divisions of four (4) teams apiece). Teams within the same division will play each other more during the Contest Regular Season than teams from different divisions.

LEAGUE PLAYOFFS (THE "LEAGUE PLAYOFFS")

Following the end of the Contest Regular Season, the team with the best record in each division will be the division winner (the "Division Winner") and will advance to the League Playoffs (there will be a total of two (2) Division Winners from each league). There will also be two (2) "Wild Card" teams from each league, which will be the teams with the best records that did NOT win their divisions.

For Private Leagues, League Commissioners can choose to have the Wild Card teams be either the two teams with the best records that did NOT win their divisions, or the two teams that scored the most points that did NOT win their divisions.

Division Winner Tiebreakers

If two (2) or more teams in the same division finish the Contest Regular Season with identical records, the following tiebreakers will be used in the following order to help determine the Division Winner:

1. The team with the most points scored during the entire Contest Regular Season; and

2. The team with the highest weekly point total during the Contest Regular Season; and

3. If there is still a tie this continues with the second highest weekly point total, etc. until all Fantasy Weeks of the Contest Regular Season have been examined.

Wild Card Tiebreakers

For Leagues where the Wild Cards are the non-division winners with the best records during the Contest Regular Season:

If two (2) or more teams finish the Contest Regular Season with identical records, the following tiebreakers will be used in the following order in order to determine the Wild Card:

1. The team with the most points scored during the entire Contest Regular Season; and

2. The team with the highest weekly point total during the Contest Regular Season; and

3. If there is still a tie this continues with the second highest weekly point total, etc. until all Fantasy Weeks of the Contest Regular Season have been examined.

For Leagues where the Wild Cards are the non-division winners with the most points scored during the Contest Regular Season:

If two (2) or more teams finish the Contest Regular Season with identical point totals, the following tiebreakers will be used in the following order in order to determine the Wild Card:

1. The team with the highest weekly point total during the Contest Regular Season; and

2. If there is still a tie this continues with the second highest weekly point total, etc. until all Fantasy Weeks of the Contest Regular Season have been examined.

League Playoff Schedule

Private Leagues

The start date of the first round of the League Playoffs depends on which option was selected when your league was created. All league playoffs consist of two rounds and run for a period of two weeks.

If your league chose Week 21 as the start date of your playoffs, they will begin on August 18, 2014, and end on August 31, 2014.

If your league chose Week 22 as the start date of your playoffs, they will begin on August 25, 2014, and end on September 7, 2014.

If your league chose Week 23 as the start date of your playoffs, they will begin on September 1, 2014, and end on September 14, 2014.

If your league chose Week 24 as the start date of your playoffs, they will begin on September 8, 2014, and end on September 21, 2014.

If your league chose Week 25 as the start date of your playoffs, they will begin on September 15, 2014, and end on September 28, 2014.

Public Leagues

Playoffs begin the week of Sept. 15, 2014, and end on Sept. 28, 2014.

League Playoff Matchups

The first round matchups will be:

Division Winner 1 (Team with the best record) vs. Wild Card Winner 2 (Wild Card team with either worst record or fewest points scored)

Division Winner 2 (Team with the second best record) vs. Wild Card Winner 1 (Wild Card team with either best record or most points scored)

If two (2) or more teams finish the Contest Regular Season tied with the best record, the team with the most points scored during the entire Contest Regular Season will be "Division Winner 1".

The league championship match-up will consist of the two (2) first round winners. The winner of this match-up will be the league champion (each, a "League Champion").