What is Strat-O-Matic Baseball?
In Strat-O-Matic Baseball, actual baseball games are played wherein each at-bat is simulated by dice rolls (virtual dice rolls, in the context of the online game) which determine the outcome of each play. Each batter and pitcher is represented by their own individual Strat-O-Matic card, which is simply a table of possible play results, arranged so that the probability of each event occurring (e.g. homerun, strikeout) is accurate in proportion to their actual stats for a given year.
What is Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online?
- With SOM Online, you manage a SOM team against other managers in an individual league, through a 162-game season and playoffs.
- Each game is automatically simulated by the computer each night, i.e. there's no real-time, face-to-face, play-by-play action. You set your lineups, starting pitchers, and strategy preferences, and the computer manages your team the best it can based on your settings.
- Each morning you can log in, review the results of last night's games, check out the stats and standings, and make changes to your settings in preparation for that night's games, if necessary.
Strat-O-Matic game concepts
How each play is determined
Three six-sided dice are rolled - one white, and two colored.
If the white die is 1, 2, or 3, we look on the hitter's card for the result.
If the white die is 4, 5, or 6, we look on the pitcher's card.
Then, under the column referred to by the white die (1-6), we find the row pointed by the two colored dice (2-12). That is our play - a single, homerun, strikeout, groundout, etc.
As in real life, a hitter's performance is greatly affected by whether the pitcher he is facing throws left-handed or right-handed (and vice versa). You'll notice that a hitter's SOM card has two sets of 1-2-3 columns, and a pitcher's card has two sets of 4-5-6 columns. When consulting a card for a play result, you look at the appropriate side based on the handedness of the opposing player. Thus, the tendency for lefty sluggers like Darryl Strawberry and Jim Thome to be relatively weaker versus opposing lefty pitchers, but beat the living crap out of righties, is accurately simulated.
A player's Balance rating (9L to 9R) does not explicitly affect gameplay - it simply gives you a quick idea of how balanced (or imbalanced) the player's lefty/righty stat probabilities are. Note that this rating is relative to the player himself; a 9L doesn't necessarily mean he's actually a good hitter vs. lefties, just that he'd much rather face them.
Defense is a very important part of Strat-O-Matic Baseball. For every position that he is eligible to play, each player has a fielding rating which reflects his range, throwing arm, and error frequency.
- Range - 1 is best (Gold Glove caliber), 4 is worst, 5 is "super worst".
- Throwing arm - for OF, affects runners taking extra bases (-5 is best, +3 is worst); for C, affects stolen base attempts (-4 is best, +5 is worst).
- Error rating - the approximate number of errors the fielder is expected to commit over the course of a full season.
1B: Don Mattingly '86: 1e6 (great); Pedro Guerrero '86: 4e25 (terrible)
RF: Andre Dawson '86: 1(-4)e4 (great); Kirk Gibson '86: 3(+1)e3 (mediocre)
The particular ballpark that a given game is being played in has a significant effect on the game. Certain line drives fall in for singles more often in some ballparks than others. Certain deep fly balls are homeruns in some ballparks, and caught at the track in others.
Ballpark single chances Whenever a play reading has a > next to it, it is a chance for a ballpark single. A 20-sided die is rolled, and if it is less than or equal to the ballpark's single rating (for the corresponding handedness of the batter), it is a single. If it's greater, it's an out.
Ballpark homerun chances Whenever a play reading has a # next to it, it is a chance for a ballpark homerun. A 20-sided die is rolled, and if it is less than or equal to the ballpark's homerun rating (for the corresponding handedness of the batter), it is a homerun. If it's greater, it's a deep flyout.
Relatedly, some players' card probabilities are more affected by their ballpark than others, i.e. they have more results taken over by ballpark SI/HR chances. This element of the game's design allows a player whose real-life homerun totals were lowered by playing in an extreme pitcher's park to hit more homeruns in more hitter-friendly settings, and vice versa.
Pitcher Endurance ratings
Pitchers have an Endurance rating (e.g. S7 for starters, R2 for relievers) which basically indicates how long they can consistently last in starts/appearances.
Every hitter has an Injury rating from 0-6 which indicates how likely he is to undergo an injury check on any given at-bat. 0 means the hitter cannot ever get injured. 1 means that is he is a generally healthy, full-time player who will have rare chances for an injury. And so on up to 6, which means the highest frequency of injury chances.
Pitchers get injured in a different way.
- In a game that started with the DH rule in play, a pitcher undergoes an injury check
Every hitter has a Stealing rating ranging from AAA (~90+ SBs) to E (too fat). Although this particular rating doesn't directly affect gameplay, it does give you a basic idea of how good a basestealer he is.
Every player also a Running rating ranging from 9 (slowest) to 17 (fastest), which affects his chances to take extra bases on base hits and fly balls.we