WAR League 2020

Rules for 2020


The only statistic used by this league is Fangraphs WAR. We build a roster of players, total up their fWAR at the end of the month, and bet beers on the results.

Changes Since Last Year

Major League Baseball expanded rosters to 26 for the 2020 season while also making rules on the number of position players and pitchers each club could carry. In effect, this added a reliever to each team, so we've followed suit by adding the RP8 slot to the rosters. With the shortened season, we'll be going with a two-month format as opposed to our usual six. Totals for July/August will be combined, with September to follow.


Rosters consist of 26 players, and are designed to replicate a regular MLB roster.

The lineup:

1. Catcher
2. First Base
3. Second Base
4. Third Base
5. Shortstop
6. Left Field
7. Center Field
8. Right Field
9. Designated Hitter/Pinch Hitter

Players in these slots need to make one appearance at their associated position to qualify for the month. For the DH/PH slot, either a pinch hitting appearance or appearing in the lineup as the DH will work.

The bench:

10. Catcher
11. Infielder
12. Outfielder
13. Utility

To simulate reduced playing time, the WAR of all players in these bench slots is cut in half. An apperance at 2B, 3B, or SS is required to qualify for the Infielder slot. The Outfielder slot requires LF, CF, or RF. Any position works for the Utility slot, including DH.

The rotation:

14-18. Starting Pitchers

Five starting pitchers, like a traditional rotation. One game started on the mound will qualify a player here.

The bullpen:

19-26. Relief Pitchers

Eight relievers, as per MLB decree. A player has to make a relief appearance to qualify here. Note that appearing as an opener will not qualify a player for one of these bullpen slots.

What Stats Count

You can put any player in any roster slot, but if they fail to qualify for that slot, their stats won't count for that month and you'll get a zero. Once a player does qualify, all their batting and pitching WAR counts towards your total. In prior years, this gave National League pitchers a potential advantage, since they would get more opportunities to put up batting WAR. With the implementation of the universal DH this year, though, this rule will be of limited relevance.


At the end of each month, you owe a beer to the two players who finished ahead of you. Make it a good beer.

To be explicit, that means:
1st place owes: Nobody.
2nd place owes: First place.
3rd place owes: First and second place.
4th place owes: Second and third.
5th place owes: Third and fourth.

The Draft

The draft is on July 18 at 4:00 pm. The draft order will be determined randomly on draft day, and the draft order will snake from round to round.

September Roster Moves

In prior years these roster adjustments were made monthly, but with our two-month format this year we'll only be dealing with these things the one time.

There will be a waiver draft in which we can drop players from our current rosters and select unclaimed players to replace them. The order of this draft will be worst-to-first, based on the results from July/August. The draft order will not snake. The draft goes on as long as people still want to make picks. You can skip a round and re-enter the draft if you so choose.

Trades are allowed at any time, but they don't go into effect until the following month. That means there is an effective trade deadline when we set our September rosters. When trading, you have to keep your rosters at 26 players - no two-for-one deals. Trades can be vetoed by a league vote to prevent tanking.