Playoff pool rankings: Pick your winners first

Welcome to October -- and a little more fantasy baseball! Yes, the regular season has ended, but here are some rankings for playoff pools, for those so inclined to get some buddies, coworkers or others together to keep the fun going. We’re posting the rankings prior to the wild-card games this season, which is, of course, a bit dangerous because players on any of four teams one selects early could literally be gone after one game, but that’s the risk and reward!

In general I like to predict the teams I think will advance and tailor my rankings in that direction. For example, I think the home teams will win the wild-card games and one of them, in the National League, can even win a series or two. In the American League, I’ve got the team that just about won the World Series last year returning to the final round, which is why the AL batting champ and top hitter from the Player Rater is not first among hitters. You probably have other teams advancing, so switch things up and go with a few more players from those teams. Go all in for the win, too. No point in finishing in second place.

As for a scoring system, there is no actual standard here but I go with what my colleague Tristan H. Cockcroft has used for years, and it’s weighted toward top starting pitchers: 1 point for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple, 4 for a home run, 1 for an RBI, 1 for a run scored, 1 for a walk, 1 for a hit by pitch (batter), 2 for a stolen base, 4 for a win, 8 for a save, 1 per pitching out (so 3 per inning), minus-1 for each hit allowed, minus-1 for each walk allowed, minus-1 for a hit by pitch (pitcher), minus-3 for an earned run, and 2 for a pitcher strikeout.

Please note that this file was published Monday afternoon, before rotations and 25-man rosters were announced. There is a very long list of hitters and a very long list of pitchers and one should aim for a balanced squad, but if an ace is there early, that’s a wise first-round pick. Do your best and where you see names missing, add them to your rankings!