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Subject: Why Choose Starter Other Than #1? rss

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Chris Linneman
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I'm puzzled as to why a player would choose any Starter aside from the #1 (best) one. I can understand having to select different pitchers when playing a series of games (League play) but in a one-off game do both players automatically choose #1? The basic rules use #2 as the default and I'm wondering if always using him for one-off games would make the games more normalized (i.e., higher scoring and exciting).
 
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Why not randomize the starter? That way, you'll get both better stats if you're tracking them and above all, more variety.

(Obligatory we-had-real-winters-back-then comment: higher scoring and more exciting are not the same thing!)
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Chris Linneman
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Randomizing would have too big an impact on the outcome of the game. I wouldn't want to play a game drawing 4 cards every turn while my opponent draws 7 unless I knew this was just one game in a series and it meant she'd used up her best starter. And in this case I think it should be by player choice, not random (since it is a meaningful choice when playing a series).

I agree in real baseball higher scoring games are not always more exciting. But in PBB, they certainly are. A few innings of "Strikeout, Ground Out, Flyout, okay now you bat" gets a big yawn from me. The game gets interesting to me when pitchers become noticeably tired and start to throw nothing but balls, then crazy stuff starts happening like runs getting walked in.
 
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Do it so that the randomization applies to both teams.
 
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Martin Gallo
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This problem comes up in ay 'one-off' game for any of the various baseball games out there. We generally assign a starting rotation amongst our pitchers and then roll some dice to see which matchup happens. This can make for the occasional bad game, but that is what bullpens are for.
 
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Erik Smith
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QBert80 wrote:
Randomizing would have too big an impact on the outcome of the game. I wouldn't want to play a game drawing 4 cards every turn while my opponent draws 7 unless I knew this was just one game in a series and it meant she'd used up her best starter. And in this case I think it should be by player choice, not random (since it is a meaningful choice when playing a series).

I agree in real baseball higher scoring games are not always more exciting. But in PBB, they certainly are. A few innings of "Strikeout, Ground Out, Flyout, okay now you bat" gets a big yawn from me. The game gets interesting to me when pitchers become noticeably tired and start to throw nothing but balls, then crazy stuff starts happening like runs getting walked in.


The #1 Starters are best used in series play. As you've noticed the #1 Starter gives up fewer walks and hits each inning, which does lead to a lower-scoring affair. This is particularly true when playing by American League rules (where the pitcher does not bat 9th).

For a one-off game, I find that the #2 starters provide a good run-scoring environment and can heighten the tension in the game. That said, I also enjoy playing a #1 vs. #2 (or a #2 vs.#3) match-up as a one-off, especially for the extra challenge.

As for randomization, I think it could work if you were to eliminate Starter #5 from consideration. This again is best applied in series or championship play, when Starter #5 is not used as a starter.

I hope this reply was helpful. May you enjoy playing Pizza Box Baseball for years to come!

All the best,

Erik Smith
On The Line Game Company
The Makers of Pizza Box Baseball
and Pizza Box Football
www.OTLgames.com



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Chris Linneman
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These are good suggestions. I think I will randomize the starter (excluding #5) for one-off games, or agree on Starter #2. Both players will use the same Starter unless we want some handicapping.

Erik, in my set the Starter #2 and #3 are the same. Is that right?
 
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Erik Smith
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QBert80 wrote:
Erik, in my set the Starter #2 and #3 are the same. Is that right?


Starters #2, #3 and #4 are the same in the base set delivered with PBB. While teams typically carry 5 starters for consecutive days in rotation, most pitchers are indistinguishable from league average.

If a pitcher shows evidence of becoming distinguishably poorer than league average they're often replaced in the rotation with someone who might have a better shot at near-average performance. This is why 20-30 pitchers get stats for a team during the year (most in relief appearances).

To sum up, we gave the base teams in PBB 1 ace, 3 league-average and 1 low quality starter. I favor using league-average starters for one-off games, but if you like a higher scoring game, try #5 vs. #5!

All the best,

Erik Smith
On The Line Game Company
The Makers of Pizza Box Baseball
and Pizza Box Football
www.OTLgames.com

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