Postseason fantasy baseball rankings

Updated: October 4, 2010, 7:31 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Fantasy baseball postseason pools can be a blast. The important thing to remember is the best players from the regular season often don't get the chance to show their stuff enough in October. Take Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, for example. He might/should win the National League MVP award, and he ended up fantasy's No. 4 player for the season. But here, in this pool, when it's possible he and the Reds will play only three games, it's dangerous to rely on Votto. Those three games better be really good or he will have trouble outscoring, as an example from below, New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes.

Opportunity plays a huge role in baseball postseason pools, and it often comes down to games played. Votto and the Reds are not only heavy underdogs against the Philadelphia Phillies, but have to face three top starting pitchers. The San Francisco Giants also are favored over the Atlanta Braves, so you'll see Atlanta players didn't fare so well in the rankings. In the American League, things appear more even, but there was special consideration given to the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. Yes, the Minnesota Twins have home-field advantage over the Yankees, but they also don't have much of a postseason track record head to head. The Twins have lost nine consecutive division series games dating back to 2004.

Ultimately, take these rankings with a grain of salt, as a guide if you will. If you think the Reds are headed to the World Series, make Votto a first-round pick. Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers had a monster season, so if the Rangers can upend the Rays, he'd be a top pick. But if they can't, he's not going to generate many points.

Thanks to colleague Tristan H. Cockcroft for sharing his thoughts on the list below, as well as running our office pool. The scoring rules we use in our pool: 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), -1 for each hit allowed, -1 for each walk allowed, -1 for a hit by pitch (pitcher), -3 for an earned run, 2 for a pitcher strikeout. Got all that? Here we go!