If you’re baseball obsessed and want to pretend to be a major league manager, fantasy baseball is a lot of fun. It allows you to pick your dream team and track their performance based on real-life stats, so it involves a lot of baseball knowledge and a little luck. Here’s how to get started in fantasy baseball.

Learn the different types of fantasy baseball

Even within the fantasy leagues, there are different ways of playing and scoring fantasy baseball.

Rotisserie League Baseball is possibly the most popular type to play: you basically draft teams from MLB and follow them throughout the season, with points based on how well they perform in real life. This kind of fantasy baseball has been around since the 1980s, and it has contributed to baseball fans’ obsessions with statistics and box scores, which are used in many different ways.

Practice online

Before you commit to playing and sign up for a league, it’s worth getting some practice first. A good way to learn more about fantasy baseball is to use an MLB trade simulator, which uses historical stats to calculate scores. This is a lot of fun for classic baseball fans, as you can draft the heroes from your favorite teams, too. It also means you can get up to a certain level before you join a league.

Find a league to join

Fantasy baseball leagues are everywhere. Some people play with people they know, while others prefer to play with strangers online.

Some ways you can find a team include:

  • Searching Facebook and Meetup for local leagues that meet face to face
  • Joining virtual leagues on social media
  • Joining a team at work or one that’s run by friends
  • Using one of the many fantasy baseball websites

You’ll usually be asked to pay a fee or subscription, which, when playing with friends, is usually pooled as prize money or put towards the cost of running the league.

Start your own league

Another option, especially if you want to play face to face with people you know, is to start your own league. It’s best to do this once you know a little more about the game because you need to know the basic rules of fantasy baseball and how things are scored. Some people like to run their league the old-fashioned way, writing down scores and stats on paper, but there are also plenty of websites where you can start a league, invite people, or even have complete strangers join. As you get better, there are even some very competitive, high-level leagues for baseball experts, where you can really get into the game.

Bored with the lack of baseball on TV? Why not enjoy the thrill of baseball year-round by playing the fantasy version of the game? You get to play the role of a major league manager and make the decisions you always wish they’d make, and get to know more about your favorite game at the same time.