Playoffs

The Playoffs. It’s why we play the game! For the chance to play into October – the chance to be crowned Champion of our league.

Here's what you need to know about the CSFBL playoff model – tie-breakers, how the playoffs work, and everything else.

Reaching the Playoffs

The top two teams from each of the four divisions make the playoffs – the division winner and the runner-up. Tiebreaker rules are based on the following:

1.) Overall record
2.) Division record
3.) Head-to-head record
4.) Run differential
5.) Coin flip

In the event of a 3-way tie, the list goes from division record straight to run differential, skipping over head-to-head.

Playoff Format

CSFBL uses a three-series playoff model. Each round is a maximum of 7 games, in other words, the first team to win 4 games wins the series. There are "travel days" in between Games 2 and 3 as well as between Games 5 and 6. The team with home-field advantage hosts games 1, 2, 6 and 7.

       * Division Championship: The four Division Championship Series (DCS) each feature the division winner playing the runner-up from that division. The division winner has home-field advantage. Game 1's are held each season on September 30th.
       * League Championship: The two League Championship Series (LCS) each feature the winners of the first round with divisions 1 and 2 matched against each other, and divisions 3 and 4 facing each other in the other LCS. Home-field advantage goes to the team with the best won-lost record. In the event of a tie, home-field is determined by the head-to-head record in the 9 regular season games between these two inter-division opponents. Game 1s are held each season on October 10th.
       * World Series: The two winners of the League Championship Series are Pennant winners of their conference and heading to the World Series. Home-field advantage goes to the team with the best won-lost record. In the event of a tie, home-field is determined by the head-to-head record in the 3 regular season games between these two inter-conference opponents. The Fall Classic kicks off each season with Game 1 on October 20th.

Pitching Rotations

With extra days off and a long off-season to rest, managing a pitching rotation in the playoffs is different than managing a pitching rotation in the regular season. Here are some suggestions for managing your pitching staff in the postseason:

  • When the playoffs start, if you have not adjusted your pitching rotation during the regular season, Division Championship Game 1 will use your SP1 pitcher, Game 2 SP2, Game 3 SP3, Game 4 SP4, and so on. If you did change it, you will need to make sure your rotation is setup properly before the playoffs begin.
  • When you advance to the next round, your rotation picks up where it ended in the previous round. For example, if your team sweeps (4-0) the Division Championship round using pitchers SP1, SP2, SP3, and SP4 – SP5 will be used in Game 1 of the League Championship round. If your series ends after 7 games, your Game 1 starter in the League Championship round will be SP3.
  • Because the playoffs are so competitive, it is possible and perfectly legal to use a 3-man rotation. Most starters can recover to full strength or very close to it on 3 complete days of rest. CSFBL currently allows you to select a 5-man or a 4-man rotation size, however you can do a 3-man rotation manually with great success. For example, move your Game 1 starter (usually SP1) to SP4 as soon as his start is completed, then move your Game 2 starter (usually SP2) to SP5, and so on. Use your worst pitchers to fill in the other starter pitcher roles (which, if you manipulate things correctly, they will never pitch). Things will turn out to look this way in a 7 game series (assuming all of your starters are able to pitch on schedule), guaranteeing your Ace three starts and the other two starters 2 starts:

    Game 1: SP1 (your Ace)
    Game 2: SP2 (your 2nd best starter)
    Off Day
    Game 3: SP3 (your 3rd best starter)
    Game 4: SP4 (your Ace)
    Game 5: SP5 (your 2nd best starter)
    Off Day
    Game 6: SP1 (your 3rd best starter)
    Game 7: SP2 (your Ace)

  • Special note: if you use a 3-man rotation, slot your other starters into the bullpen. If you have closer problems, maybe slot your 4th starter as closer. If you have a solid closer, move the extra starters to fill the long and middle relief roles, just in case your playoff starters falter.