If you’re about to enter your first fantasy baseball league, Larry Schechter’s “Winning Fantasy Baseball” (Emerald Book Co., $19.99) might not be for you.
Sure, the book has an introductory set of chapters that sets the ground rules of different fantasy baseball leagues and offers some basic ground rules for conducting an auction or draft. But if you’re just starting out, the majority of this book is going to be over your head.
If you have a draft or auction under your belt and you’re ready to take the next step, or you’ve been playing fantasy baseball for years and want to improve, Schechter’s book is a perfect pickup. “Winning Fantasy Baseball” gets into the details that many fantasy books avoid because they worry they will be digging too deep for the casual fan.
The casual fan isn’t likely to pick up a book about fantasy baseball that doesn’t include price guides or rankings for the upcoming season. There are plenty of websites and magazines (including our Baseball America Fantasy Guide) for just that purpose. This is a book that will be as valuable to re-read before your 2015 or 2016 draft as it is to read this year.
By getting into the details and the math, Schechter is able to spell out his strategies for winning leagues. Considering he’s won five Tout Wars crowns, he’s got the credibility to spell out his system. And if you get through the entire book and follow the steps, you will be better prepared for your next draft.
The details and the math mean that this isn’t always a breezy read. Expect to spend some time with the book and a spreadsheet open at the same time to make sure you are executing the concepts properly. But if you’re willing to put in the work, “Winning Fantasy Baseball” will help you jump from fantasy baseball high school to graduate studies over the course of 300+ pages.