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Free online baseball sim game at Pennant Chase
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If your question isn’t answered here, you can send it via the feedback form, or check discussions on the public board.

Also, if you're a newbie, don't forget to check out the Tips page.

Is this really free?
Yes. I’m hoping ads and donations can cover any costs and extra time I put into it. If people enjoy it, I think they’ll support it.

How often do you work on the site?
I have a normal day job, and I do what I can in my spare time.

Which browsers are supported?
Most all major browsers work fine. Commissioners should have a high-speed broadband connection.

Is there a mobile version?
This website is "responsive" which means it will fit on any screen. But, we also have a mobile app available in the iPhone and Android App Stores. Just search for the Baseball Sim app from PennantChase!

How does baseball sim work?
You manage your team by setting the lineup, deciding on strategy, etc., and the game results are determined by computer simulation.

What was your inspiration?
In earlier years, I loved PC games like Earl Weaver and MicroLeague. I wanted to move my league online, so I built my own simulator and website. In recent years, I tried other online leagues out of curiosity, but wasn’t thrilled with the cost, and I always had complaints about the results, limitations and usability.

What players are available?
That depends on the league your commissioner has decided to set up, or which league you join. It could be All-Time Greats, modern players, or completely fictional – or a combination.

Who is in charge of the Auto Leagues?
I am listed as the commissioner for all Auto Leagues, but they essentially run on auto-pilot. I do not monitor these leagues, but there are rules in place to try to keep them as fair as possible. Contact me via one of the many forms on the site if you're having issues with an auto league.

Can I run my own league?
Yes, but it takes a lot of work and dedication, and it's bad for the site if we have commissioners who aren't really dedicated, so you must first visit the Test Drive league to see if you are comfortable about running your own league. Then you can create your own league via the link on the homepage of the Test Drive league.

When does the season start?
In Auto Leagues, the games start after all teams have an owner and all teams have drafted. For more details on Auto League, please read all the information on your league's homepage. For other leagues, check with your individual commissioner.

What time are games played?
For private leagues, this is at the discretion of your commissioner, and whether the commissioner allows user's to sim games. For Auto Leagues, barring any issues with the servers, there are two or three auto-sims run per day, and users in the league can trigger games every eight hours. See league homepage or My League List for more details.

Why don't your auto leagues use a salary cap like most other leagues?
I personally don't like salary cap leagues, because it usually means one player can show up on multiple teams, or it's used to help "inactive" owners remain competitive. In our leagues, active owners have the advantage, as it should be. Also, if you draft the player, he's on your team alone - there are no duplicate years for one player in a league.

How does the CPU determine game results?
A batter’s and pitcher’s stats are taken into consideration, as well as a few other variables, to determine a result for every at bat.

Why do you use stats instead of ratings?
Some sim games use arbitrary ratings instead of logical baseball stats to determine results. I prefer using stats because they are not arbitrary, and because real-life stats have been ruled by law to be public domain.

Do you adjust for the “era” a player was in?
No, I have decided not to do any era adjustments. This means a .400 hitter is considered a .400 hitter, period. (The All-Time Greats Leagues do not include any players before 1900 for this reason.) I know there are lots of debates and arguments around this, but my goal with this site is to keep it simple and understandable. If you disagree with this, I suggest sticking with the single-era leagues and avoid the All-Time leagues.

Why does my team suck?
Because you aren’t very smart. Just kidding! Hey, this is a game, don’t take it too seriously. It takes some time to learn how the simulator works – and even when you think you’ve figured it out, it doesn’t always play out as you expect. Baseball is just like that. Shocking teams often come from nowhere and strong teams on paper don't always win. It won’t always make sense, but that’s part of why we love the game.

Why is Babe Ruth playing terrible for me?
First off, consider the competition in your league. If you’re playing with All-Time Greats, no players will perform equal to their real stats. If you’re frustrated with results, I highly encourage you to browse the other active leagues to get a feeling for how players perform. Secondly, keep in mind baseball is a streaky game. Streaks happen naturally in the simulator. I’ve seen many great players have lousy seasons, only to bounce back the next season with an MVP performance. Many will bounce back within the same season.

How accurate are the results?
See the answer to the previous two questions. One thing is certain about sim games – there will always be complaints about the accuracy of results. I can’t help that. And no two simulators are the same, they all have their quirks, so if you've played in other leagues, you may have to adjust to the tendencies of this game. After running my own league for over seven years, I am very pleased with the results. For the most part, the great players play great, the weaker players play weak, and there’s enough random variation to keep it interesting. I will stress, the more games in your schedule, the more the stats tend to drift back toward the "mean". Shorter seasons don't always leave enough time for the great players to get on a hot streak. As more people play and send me feedback, I can make adjustments to get the results even more consistent. Having said that, I wouldn’t want the results to be so consistent that there is no element of surprise. That would be boring.

What strategic advice can you offer?
I think in general the game follows what baseball is all about: good pitching tends to beat good hitting. Nothing is more valuable in baseball than a top-flight starting rotation, and I think that tends to play out in this game. But keep in mind, baseball is about long-term trends, not short-term results. Don't give up on your best players right away. I've seen teams struggle out of the gate and come roaring back later in the season.

What does the "On Fire" rating mean?
This number is based off a formula using the player's other stats. It represents what percent of the time the player is "On Fire" (for example, "15" means the player has a 15% chance of being "On Fire" during any game). When a player is "On Fire" he has a better chance of getting hits or pitching well. Think of it as being "in the zone" for one game. Although keep in mind, there's no guarantee of success - even players who are "On Fire" can go 0-fer.

Is there a benefit to benching a slumping star?
Not really. Much like real life, you gotta wait for your best players to break out of it. Although, sometimes you can get lucky by just shaking up your lineup and putting in a new player. But statistically speaking, there's no benefit to benching someone who is slumping.

Why don’t you use more stats beyond the basics to determine results?
Okay, Bill James. Calm down. I love baseball stats as much as any geek, but I think throwing endless variables into a simulator only muddles the results. Simple, consistent and reliable are what I am shooting for.

Why do you only support the DH?
I appreciate baseball tradition as much as anyone. But I only have so much free time to put into this project, so for now, I chose to implement the easier option first.

I’ll add more questions here as they come in.

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