Preparation H2H: points-based

This article may turn into more like a personal aside. First of all, that is not my intention. Recently, a friend of mine approached me with a business opportunity of entering a high-stakes league as a team. Initially, my excitement was envisioning a boxer/promoter relationship. He would front the costs, I take care of the winning, and we would split the profit.

You’re thinking win-win situation, right? Well, I can’t really say that’s necessarily the case. I would have been stupid not to accept the invitation into a league where I make money without any risk of losing it.

After very little convincing, I signed on the dotted line. Then things got a little fuzzy. Now, I have competed in several leagues crossing all kinds of depth and competition levels. I consider myself an equal opportunity fantasy gamer. One of the most stringent restrictions I have placed upon myself is to compete in standard scoring leagues whether that be roto or head-to-head.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy categories like OBP and OPS. Bring on the doubles or quality starts. I even can enjoy a holds category every once in a while.

As you can probably gather, I opened the league’s browser this week, and my friend’s league follows a completely different set of rules than what I was accustomed to. In fact, it’s called a head-to-head, points-based system. I know some of you guys are far more familiar with this kind of format than I. Here is the scoring system those of you not as familiar.

Scoring System

Batting Categories	                  
1B – Singles                        1 point
2B – Doubles                       2 points
3B – Triples                       3 points
BB - Walks (Batters)             0.5 points
CS - Caught Stealing               -1 point
CYC – Hitting for the Cycle       20 points
HP - Hit by Pitch                0.5 points
HR - Home Runs                     4 points
KO - Strikeouts (Batter)           -1 point
R – Runs                            1 point
RBI - Runs Batted In                1 point
SB - Stolen Bases                1.5 points

Pitching Categories	                    
BBI - Walks Issued (Pitchers)    -0.5 points
BS - Blown Saves                  -3 points
CG - Complete Games                5 points
ER - Earned Runs                   -1 point
INN – Innings                    0.5 points
K - Strikeouts (Pitcher)            1 point
L – Losses                       -7.5 points
NH - No-Hitters                   20 points
PG - Perfect Games                30 points
QS - Quality Starts                3 points
RL - Relief Losses               3.75 points
RW - Relief Wins                  -5 points
S – Saves                          5 points
SO – Shutouts                     10 points
W – Wins                          10 points
WP - Wild Pitches                -0.5 points

Call me a purist, but the moment I saw wild pitches as a stat category, I threw up a little bit in my mouth. The addition of perfect games, no-hitters, and cycles only furthered that distaste.

Upon strategizing for the upcoming draft, I started to calculate by hand my own version of projections for a league of this kind. To my surprise, some names from 2010 that I liked more than ESPN’s player rater were ranked more accurately to their effect on the prior season.

Roy Halladay, for example, was the No. 1 player in this points-based league. ESPN has the ‘Doc’ ranked a disrespectful seventh as a thank you for his stellar 2010 campaign. Robinson Cano is seeded ahead of Carl Crawford, as he rightfully should have been. Guys like Ryan Braun and Matt Holliday get more love in the points-based league, and Carlos Gonzalez loses three spots from being tops in ESPN to fourth in this CBS league. On-base percentage and strikeouts caught up with him in this league, just like it will catch up with him in 2011.

My largest disagreement came in the form of the system’s Vernon Wells’ love as the 19th-best fantasy player for 2010. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would give Wells that distinction. He flourished in this points-based league due in large part to its non-inclusion of batting average, where Wells sported an unimpressive .273.

Earlier this year, I prospected on the possibility of future exploits from Vernon. His change of scenery may suit him well as an overall ballplayer, but I can’t allow myself to concede another 30+ home run season.

Here are some other interesting facets to this league that I found rather intriguing: ten dollar flat fee for trades, four dollar charge for most acquisitions, and two matchups in each period of one week. Pretty standard stuff for a high-stakes H2H league. The financial aspect just adds to my hesitation towards acceptance of the point-based way of gaming. There seems to be so many balls in the air at the same time, half the battle will be in finding a way to juggle them all.

I have decided to keep an open mind. For the past 13 years I have primarily only competed in the standard 5X5 format. Occasionally, I have ventured into other standard leagues with more numerous categories, but as a well-rounded fantasy player, it’s time for me to be more adventurous.

I say this until some guy throws a perfect game on me, and I lose the week. That week, I assuredly will curse the league and pray for my comfortable, macaroni ‘n’ cheese settings back in the 5X5.

As I put this rant to close, I want to say how encouraged I have been by the involvement of the readership at THT. When I signed up to start writing for The Hardball Times, I didn’t realize that there would be such a large number of positive but differing opinions.

I am going to go a little off the reservation here. This is my call to the readers. Teach me the ways of the point-based league. My knowledge of sabermetrics and linear weights can only go so far in this completely foreign realm of competition.

Someone once said, “The secret to teaching is to appear that you have known your whole life what you just learned this morning.” I am not going to be a fantasy writer that acts like I have all the answers to all the questions. Please pardon my unfamiliarity, and help to educate me this week.

Also, next week my piece in “The Preparation: H2H” series will be the 1-50 section of my top 300 rankings. So, if you are competing in a head-to-head format, this will be a “can’t miss” series of articles in March. Just hold on for four more days. Spring training games begin Friday. That means drafts are just around the corner.

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Comments

  1. Millsy said...

    Points based are about as straight forward as you can get with projecting value.  However, I’d suggest looking for strange rules.

    For example, I dominated a league last year by noticing that SP were worth about 2x the points of relievers.  Since there were 2 RP slots required, I drafted RP-eligible SPs.  My hitting roster was very good, but much of my wins came from CJ Wilson, Phil Hughes, and Colby Lewis manning the RP slots. 

    Check to see if the negative point values for bad starts are at a minimum.  If so, then don’t draft pitchers and just rotate 2-start pitchers.  From the looks of things, that point system may give substantial negative points, but it’s always a good idea to check.

    Lastly, I always look for advantages by ensuring I take a guy before a huge dropoff.  In roto, Ian Desmond can contribute things to certain categories.  In points leagues, his SBs are not worth much.  Therefore, the points he loses out to snatching Hanley and a mediocre 1B compared to Desmond and, say, Mark Teixeira can hurt more than it may in Roto.  It’s all about the net points, and finding these big drop offs and ensuring you don’t fall victim to them is important.

  2. Dan said...

    I love H2H points. 5×5 baseball scoring is possibly one of the worst things to ever happen to fantasy sports. Who decided that batting average is more important than OBP? Points-based scoring gives players credit for actual production far more accurately.

    I play in a 14-team, 12-keeper points league. It is easily the best fantasy league I have ever participated in.

    I would have a few gripes with your league manager’s scoring, but overall it’s similar to our league. I do my own projections for a lot of players and it’s pretty simple to do with Excel.

    Fantasy baseball needs to shift away from 5×5 towards points. The most effective players are the best players, the way it should be.

  3. Ben Pritchett said...

    Good stuff guys. It may just be me, but I love hearing about league settings and strategies of other people in all kinds of leagues.

    I wrote this to foster discussion on new ways of doing leagues, and thanks to Dan and Millsy we’re starting off strong.

    @Dan- I have huge problems with the way he scores the league. Does your league track wild pitches?

    @Millsy- I, too, am a fan of OBP. It just opens up more talent and reduces the luck factor. Don’t even get me started on Wins.

  4. Millsy said...

    I think you meant to reverse the names above.  My H2H categories league we do have OBP.  And SLG (it’s 8×8).

    Back to points, there were no points for wild pitches.  I don’t find the thought particularly distasteful in any way though.  If Rick Ankiel throws 12 wild pitches, I imagine that reduces his performance and it would seem reasonable to dock them at a minimal level in fantasy. 

    However, there were no-hitter points.  Funny thing is that actually mattered for a couple teams last year.  There were also complete game points…and 1 point for every OUT made by the pitcher (5 IP with 4 K’s giving up 10 runs would net you positive points!).  But your scoring system looks to be a little more sound.  For example, HR guys in our league were much more important, as we got points for a hit, rbi, run, 8 for a home run, and one for each TB with grand slams being a 10 point bonus or something like that.

  5. Greg Simons said...

    I think the big bonuses for cycles, no-hitters, perfect games, etc. are ridiculous.  They aren’t things you can plan on or draft for, so there’s absolutely no strategy involved in getting those points.  It’s random chance and dumb luck, which goes against the idea of using one’s skill to put together the best team.

  6. Ben Pritchett said...

    You’re right Millsy. I think I just mixed your comments together, my bad. I’m not too much of a fan of your league’s settings either. Sounds like there’s way too many points accumulated in any particular week.

    You’ll have to let me know what an average game score is for the week.

  7. Pete said...

    My H2H points league doesn’t subtract for a WP, but we do subtract a point for a balk (as it should since a balk with a couple men on base is fairly costly).

    In my league we also subtract for a hit batsman. Strange that in your scoring rules you gain a point for getting hit but the pitcher isn’t impacted.

    Here are my leagues scoring rules:

    Batting:
    TB: 1 pt
    Runs/RBI: 1 pt
    BB/HBP: 1 pt
    GIDP: -1 pt
    SB: 1 pt
    CS: -1 pt
    Pitching:
    IP: 3 pts
    Hit allowed/Walk allowed/hit batsmen/balk: -1 pt
    Earned Run: -2 pts
    Strikeout: 1 pt
    Wins: 5 pts
    Loss: -5 pts
    QS: 5 pts
    Save: 5 pts
    Hold: 3 pts

    This dynasty league has been around for several years and has had only one scoring change (addition of QS, devaluing a Win from +10 to +5)

  8. Dan said...

    @Ben:
    My league definitely does not track wild pitches. I would definitely strike it from the record. I also think some of the bonuses need to go. If you pitch a 9-inning-complete-game-shutout-no-hitter-perfect-game…aren’t we getting redundant? When a pitcher has a phenomenal game in points scoring, we don’t need to give him bonuses; he’s already putting up huge points.

    I’m also not a fan of negative points for hitters. Steals should definitely be worth 2 points, or you’re going to have a very power-heavy league. 2-point steals help to balance a bit between power and speed guys.

    Something I am doing for a new league of mine, is reducing wins to just 5 points and increasing the value of innings-pitched and strikeouts. Sabermetricians should love that. Quality starts are pointless as well. It should be all about getting outs, preferably via strikeout, and not giving up runs. In this scoring system, Felix Hernandez was the second-best pitcher in 2010 behind Halladay.

    Basically, my hope for a points league is that it shows the true value of a player. Scoring should reflect that.

  9. Pete said...

    To follow on your Vernon Wells point, in my league’s structure he was the 33rd best hitter (and probably in the 65-70 range overall) so that wasn’t as exaggerated as your league but one thing to keep in mind is H2H points rewards:
    1. players with good health (Wells missed only 5 games)
    2. top of the order hitters
    3. High IsoP% (Wells’ was over .240)
    and specific to your league…
    4. High IsoP% who don’t strike out 150+ times a year (only 84 last year, career high of 90)

    Pitching plays pretty true to 5×5 though, the best 5×5 guys are usually the best in h2h points and in a similar order.

  10. Ben Pritchett said...

    First of all, I totally agree Greg. Why reward over and over again for the same feat?

    @Pete- I like your league’s settings alot more than my league. It keeps it simple but still values generally the same amount of accomplishment without overloading the categories. I dig the long ball though, so I like to see myself getting credit for it with more than just total bases. That may be a little silly, but I can’t help it.

    Additionally, I see your point on the “health” factor. The points based system does seem to reward healthy guys, but I seem to like the risky injury prone ones. I might find myself in an interesting conundrum there.

  11. Ben Pritchett said...

    @Dan- Love it that you are not sold into the whole quality start craze. I hate the use of wins, but quality starts have their problems too. I think Ron Shandler uses a “pure quality start”.

    “PQS was developed by Ron Shandler and stands for Pure Quality Start, which assigns a 0 to 5 score based on five measures, provided the pitcher has lasted at least five innings:
    • 1 if IP ≥ 6, measuring stamina.
    • 1 if Hits ≤ IP
    • 1 if (IP – SO) ≥ 2
    • 1 if SO/BB ≥ 2
    • 1 if HR ≤ 2”

    Shandler info from Blue Jays Stats Geek.

    It’s just hard to use that as a H2H category. There is an adjusted quality start that uses 7 IP, but they all have their flaws.

    Plus, I like the way you’re thinking with trying to value the dominant pitching performance while devaluing the team affect on the pitcher’s value.

  12. Millsy said...

    Average Game Score for that league was probably around the 420 mark.  I think my team averaged over 500.  I think the/my high was around 660. 

    The entire league was a mess.  The commish reversed the draft in the first round right after I picked Ryan Braun only to take him and claim ‘computer problems’.  Also, there was a delinquent team that no one took over in draft.  So, the commish set the team up to draft Jimmy Rollins and then only shortstops and bottom tier pitchers.  Needless to say, that made things a bit screwy as well…

  13. Mike said...

    I’ve done roto, h2h categories, and h2h points. h2h points is by far my favorite. I agree with a few posters who said that points give you a better cumulative picture of what a player did that week. Ultimately, the top players in a points league aren’t going to be THAT much different that a 5×5 league.

    Those massive bonus totals for perfect game, etc. are really lame though.

  14. Braves Fan said...

    Ben, do you have the point values for Relief Wins and Relief Losses reversed? Also, do relief wins and losses count towards regular wins and losses as well? Does this redundancy also exist for CG, PG, and NH? This might be something you can take advantage of… It also seems that this league values power hitters that can get on-base much more than the speed-only guys.

    I also think the bonus points for cycles, no-hitters, etc. are ridiculous. It adds fun and intrigue, but I don’t think it belongs in a high-stakes league.

  15. Ben said...

    12 Team Keeper league. We play 182 game season with the 1st 162 representing the regular season and the last 20 representing the playoffs.

    There is a bunch more info I could share about how player salaries, contract years, prospects, and budgets etc. are determined, but here are the H2H points rules.

    Offense:
    Making an out -11
    K -2
    iBB 12
    BB 16
    HBP 16
    Single 21
    Double 30
    Triple 41
    HR 50
    Scoring a run 14
    RBI 14
    Sac Fly 5
    Sac 5
    SB 12
    CS -13
    GIDP -25

    Defense:
    PO 1
    Assist 2
    DP 6
    TP 12
    E -11

    Pitching:
    Recording an out 16
    Single -3
    Double -5
    Triple -7
    Home Run -9
    Walks -3
    Earned Runs -32
    Unearned Run -11
    Strike Out 5
    Win 10
    Loss -10
    Quality Start 20
    Save 20
    Hold 12
    Balk -5
    Pickoff 2
    Wild Pitch -5
    CG 25
    No Hitter 75
    Perfect Game 100

  16. Ben Pritchett said...

    That’s what I figured Millsy.

    @Braves Fan- I thought they had it backwards also then I realized that the -5 f
    or relief wins and +3.75 for relief losses was instituted to drop the value of a WIN down to 5 and the severity of a LOSS down to a -3.25 when involving relievers. It took me a while to figure out that one. Nice catch. There’s no redundancy with Perfect Game to No Hitter. If it’s a PG it will score the 30 and not count the No Hitter points. As for CG and Shutout, I think those cats will get counted. So to answer your question, it is very redundant.

    And I agree it seems to favor the OPS guys that can control strikeouts. There will be a run on starters I’m a afraid because they only have 5 SP slots and 1 RP slot in a 14 team league. I won’t fall into that, I’ll grab some of those OPS guys and get the lower valued stud pitchers later. I might just punt relief til the end.

  17. Ben Pritchett said...

    @Ben- Your league is ridiculous. Kudos to you for being brave enough to enter into that arena. I’m assuming that with the contracts/keepers, budgets, salaries, and undoubtedly a minor league system, you’re league could be fun. I just have to assume that is your only league. Sounds fun though.

    @Mike- Super lame, my friend, super lame. Thanks for the input.

    I’ll repost throughout the season, and I’ll give you guys my opinion. I’m in a few expert leagues also. Maybe I’ll do a comparison-of-the-settings article at a later date.

  18. Sir Larry said...

    This league looks similar to one I have competed in for a number of years.  Getting power hitters that have good BB/K ratios will be essential.  In fact, so-so power hitters with great BB/K ratios are likely to be underrated (e.g. Billy Butler) and guys that have great power and would normally get drafted highly, but suffer from bad BB/K ratios, you need to downgrade (e.g. Ryan Howard).

    For most of those odd, occasionally occurring stats (especially WP), I would generally not worry about them. The only thing worth noting for SPs is that there is some additional value for guys that can go the distance and are likely to rack up a few CGs and possibly CGSOs – a guy like Halladay pulls further away from the pack as a #1, IMO.

    Bottom line, if you have your own projections then it should be relatively easy to pump out point values for players through spreadsheet formulas.  In fact, I have found it easier to create values for this format than categories.

  19. Ben Pritchett said...

    I’m there with you on Billy Butler and dually noted on Howard. I have him on my radar in all leagues, but especially a league of this kind. Good call.

    So you are saying to reach for great starters that will go deep in games? I just don’t know if I can bring myself to do that, Sir Larry.

  20. Goodshot said...

    I enjoy H2H points based leagues as well.  I agree with others about the massive bonus point totals screwing up outcomes of games.

    I’ll post our point values below.  We have a few bonus points cats, but they aren’t nearly as large.  I had them reduce batter k’s from -1.0 point to -0.5 points since a strike out really isn’t much worse than any other out.  I also had them reduce k’s for a picther from 1 point to 0.8 points and earned runs allowed from -1.0 to -2.0 to make the points accumulated by the top pitchers and batters more in line with each other.  And allowing a run is basically the worst thing a pitcher can do right?  So, I thought that should be penalized justly.

    Batting:
    Singles (1B) 1
    Doubles (2B) 2
    Triples (3B) 3
    Home Runs (HR) 4
    Walks (BB) 1
    Runs Scored (R) 1
    Runs Batted In (RBI) 1
    Stolen Bases (SB) 2
    Strikeouts (K) -0.5
    Intentional Walks (IBB) 1
    Hit by Pitch (HBP) 1
    Caught Stealing (CS) -1
    Hitting for the Cycle (CYC) 2

    Pitching:
    Innings Pitched (IP) 3
    Earned Runs (ER) -2
    Wins (W) 7
    Losses (L) -5
    Saves (SV) 7
    Blown Saves (BS) -2
    Strikeouts (K) 0.8
    Hits Allowed (H) -1
    Walks Issued (BB) -1
    Shutouts (SO) 5
    Hit Batsmen (HB) -1
    Complete Games (CG) 3
    Quality Starts (QS) 3
    No Hitters (NH) 5
    Perfect Games (PG) 5

  21. Sir Larry said...

    Ben, I would say that you should only go for those top starters if the value comes into your range of comfort. Not “reach” for them per se.

    But if in upgrading Halladay et al (Lee, Sabathia, other guys that can have shown the ability to pitch deeply into games) the relative value, versus other SPs, gets to a place you feel comfortable with…consider drafting a bit higher than you usually would.

  22. Pops said...

    I’m joining a money league that is very similar to the league that Ben described.  Lineups can only be adjusted at the beginning of the week and are “locked in” on Monday before the first game.  Can anyone comment on a league that operates like this?  A couple of thoughts:

    I can’t see middle relievers being of any use in this type of setting because you can’t move them in and out of your lineup. 

    I’m going to shoot for balanced players that have a high OBP and low strikeout %.  I just can’t see guys that fill up the stat sheet in just one category being all that useful.

  23. Vinny said...

    I play in a very similar league, the Perefect game, no hitters & cycles are random & rare occurrences that are not to be worried about, usually (not last yr) maybe 1 or 2 of each a season and just as likley to come from a bench/waiver guy like Dallas Braden or Jody Gerut as a starter like Roy halladay or Hanley.  The 1/2 point minus for WP is also nothing to be concerned with.

    Anyway like others have said, I like the patient power hitters, (I dont even bother w/ speed only guys and Ichiro usually get drafted way too soon,)  and high K/High IP pitchers. Great pitching can win weeks as long as you have average hitters putting up solid weeks.

    Over the years have also gronn weary of closers, the 1/3 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, 2BB, BS, L are killers, also even top relivers tend to score way less than top hitters or starters, but they start to go early, then later your dealing w/ the so/so closers who could lose thier jobs, I tend to let most established closers go instead like last yr drafting Feliz, Bard, Storen types.

  24. Makana said...

    I for one love points leagues and have been enjoying them for a couple of years now. A few tips:

    Rule #1 of points leagues: Points are Points. Doesn’t matter if they come from HRs or INNs.

    Rule #2of points leagues: High BA guys with decent power are awesome.

    Take the number of starts you can make in a week and divide by half, rounding down. Draft that number of killer SPs. Don’t have to be aces per say, but as many darkhorse picks to finish in the 20 top as you can. Workhorse guys that go late into the game are worth more in points.

    Fill you bench with middle relievers that get Ks. Aroldis Chapman is your friend. Every slot on your roster needs to be getting you points every day. Middle Relief wins points leagues.

  25. Maurice said...

    I run a league that has a similar scoring system.  One thing I do to try and account for batting average and on-base percentage is to automatically score each at-bat with -0.5 points, then score 1.5 for singles, 2.5 for doubles, etc.  Since plate appearances ending in a walk aren’t counted as at-bats, they don’t get the -0.5 point penalty.  This seems to work reasonably well in terms of balancing the contributions of players with differing skill sets.

    Also, Ben – one thing that gets glossed over in roto leagues are streaky players.  Since scoring is computed over a much larger time-frame, week-to-week fluctuations don’t really matter.  But in head-to-head leagues, these guys can have a huge impact.  It helps to analyze the deviation in weekly scoring for individual players to determine who you should target.

  26. Braves Fan said...

    While I think most of us agree on the ideal hitters for Ben’s league, I just wanted to point out that under the scoring system listed in the article, Juan Pierre scored surprisingly well last season. Unless I’ve messed up the calculations, he scored in the top 10 amongst OF overall. It seems it’s more important to not strikeout than it is to draw a free pass (which seems obvious now).

    Of course, with the additional scoring rules that Maurice mentioned, I think Juan Pierre’s scoring advantage would be negated. Additionally, would a SO be penalized twice (-0.5 AB and -1 SO)?

  27. Maurice said...

    In my league, I set the SO penalty as -0.5 points, in addition to the -0.5 points for making an out. 

    The nice thing about points systems is that you can tailor them to reflect baseball in whatever way you think is appropriate.  If you don’t think SO’s are any different then regular outs, eliminate the SO penalty; if you think speed and baserunning are undervalued, increase the points for SB’s and Runs Scored; etc.  Roto leagues are a lot of fun, but they’re really inflexible and don’t really reflect the true talent level of players.

  28. Ben Pritchett said...

    Great input guys. I love the league settings banter and advice. That’s what I love about writing for The Hardball Times.

    @Braves Fan- Juan Pierre ranked 18th best hitter in the league ahead of names like Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, and Alex Rodriguez. So if k’s are controlled there is value for speed guys.

    @Maurice- I love the point about streaky players. I plan on touching on that in my article next week. Troy Tulowitzki was money in Sept. but hurt the H2H guy for the majority of the year. Give me the consistency of a Joey Votto or David Wright or Ryan Braun.

    @Pops @Makana @Sir Larry @Maurice- thanks for the settings input and advice. Banter like that is why I wrote the article to begin with.

    We’ll see how much you guys love me when I bust out the Top 50 next week.

  29. Will Hatheway said...

    Ben -

    I agree with a lot here, and have witnessed an even greater horror in terms of scoring: I’ve seen non-points leagues use grand-slams, cycles, etc., which means those totally random categories count as much as any other. The only thing going for complete games is that it values Holliday for what he, and only he, seems to do year in year out (Lee a bit less so). But I don’t love it…

    Ok, so here’s what I like that is actually readily available: Ottoneu has a new “fangraphs” setting that works off of Justin Merry’s altered version of Tango’s linear weights system (the main alteration is that he doesn’t use T’s replacement level system since that would make it more worthwhile to leave a slot vacant when a player goes down and only a crap replacement is available—especially in the case of Ottoneu, where you draft 40(!) players):

    Hitting
    AB -1.0
    H 5.6
    2B 2.9
    3B 5.7
    HR 9.4
    BB 3.0
    HBP 3.0
    SB 1.9
    CS -2.8

    Pitching
    IP 5.0
    K 2.0
    BB -3.0
    HBP -3.0
    HR -13.0
    SV 5.0
    HOLDS 4.0

    I like the methodology behind it, and not just the LW aspect. IP, for example, is 5 points per, or taken as a whole is in effect .5 wins per 9IP, which makes a pitcher responsible for half a game if they pitch the whole thing. Sensible, right?

    Tango gives a breakdown that makes it make further sense:

    “idealy you want average hitter in 650 PA
    = average starter in 171 IP
    = average closer in 72 IP
    = single best setup guy in the league in 90 IP”

    At any rate, as per your question regarding draft strategy, a quick and dirty suggestion is to forecast wOBA for hitters, or better yet wRC so you include an adjustment for playing time. Furthering the “quick and dirty”, I compared two projections (Marcel and the much more adjusted RotoChamps… though I should really try Oliver), and came up with some examples of potentially good values:

    Votto should probably move up to top-3, Hamilton and Fielder top-12, Youk—if healthy, lol—soars to 6th-ish, with Holliday also top-10. Dunn, Werth, and Manny are amongst the biggest potential values.

    Downgrades: Longo, Cano, Crawford—a HUGE departure from 5×5, Kinsler but not Uggla, to name a few.

    I haven’t worked on pitching much, though at first glance I wonder if Tango might flip the valuing of BB over K, since he recently suggested—I think, that we should at the very least use K-BB rather than K/BB.

    Only other thoughts are that guys like Verlander might actually be worth it, Danks among others could be good buys with reasonable control and highish IP, while I’d downgrade some of my favorites, like Chacin, because his high Ks are worth less than the negative value proffered by his poor control. Finally, whether a player is on a team with a good defense or offense is meaningless, while park factors and FB%, to name a few, remain paramount considering that a HR-allowed is far and away the most impactive (impactful?) of all pitching events.

  30. Makana said...

    Be sure to note the depth of league when you do your rankings. Replacement level matters a lot in points leagues and its easy to put a number on it. Once you can put the production drop off on different positions under one category (points earned) it becomes pretty easy to know who you want.

    Also, points leagues really make you realize how much a player who don’t make as many PAs hurts your team.

  31. Ben Pritchett said...

    And the winner for best post about the Points-based H2H goes to Will Hatheway even if he made the “Holliday” snafu. I was already with you on every one of your values except Youky. His health scares me. I like the 3B eligibity he’ll gain though.

    Love the downgrades as well. Just an overall near perfect post.

  32. Brandon said...

    My first time commisioning a brand new league, any feedback you guys have on this scoring system would be awesome, ie how balanced it is, if it favors anything too much, etc

    Batting
    Singles (1B) 1
    Doubles (2B) 2
    Triples (3B) 3
    Home Runs (HR) 4
    Walks (BB) 1
    Runs Scored (R) 1
    Runs Batted In (RBI) 1
    Stolen Bases (SB) 2
    Strikeouts (K) -1
    Caught Stealing (CS) -1
    Ground into Double Plays (GIDP) -1
    Hitting for the Cycle (CYC) 15
    Grand Slam Home Runs (GSHR) 10  

    Pitching
    Earned Runs (ER) -1
    Wins (W) 10
    Losses (L) -5
    Saves (SV) 5
    Blown Saves (BS) -5
    Strikeouts (K) 1
    Walks Issued (BB) -1
    Shutouts (SO) 10
    Home Runs Allowed (HR) -1
    Complete Games (CG) 5
    Quality Starts (QS) 3
    No Hitters (NH) 20
    Perfect Games (PG) 25

    My one other question, if someone throws a no hitter…do they get 20NH+5CG+10w+10SO= 45 extra points for technically completing all those tasks? Or would they just get the 10 for a win and 20 for a No Hitter.

    Same with Grand Slams, do they get 10 for the GS and also 4 for the HR?

  33. Will Hatheway said...

    The comments above would suggest a number of things to reconsider, but I’ll add one: getting caught stealing is considerably more harmful than stealing a base is helpful, so you might want to switch those two numbers.

  34. Brandon said...

    Well what would be a fair point total for Grand Slams? I feel one should be rewarded for starting a player who can come through with power in a clutch situation like that for a Grand Slam.

    The reasoning for having the Stolen Base 2 and Caught stealing only -1 was that I wanted speed guys to still have more relevance in our draft then just power hitters.

  35. Maurice said...

    Brandon – I don’t think there should be any extra reward for grand slams – how much more different/clutch is it than a three run home run? I don’t have much of a problem with points for the cycle, as it’s a fluky enough event that it won’t have much of an overall impact. 

    I do think your pitching points need some work, though.  First of all, the points for wins and losses are way too large.  Since you’re here at THT, I assume you share the view that wins and losses are a poor way to gauge pitcher performance.  In my opinion, there should be more of an emphasis on how many outs a pitcher is able to record.  I noticed that you don’t have any way of tracking this – no points for innings pitched or outs recorded or anything of the like.  Second, I don’t think it’s necessary for categories like shutouts or no hitters or perfect games.  Those performances will garner enough points of their own without requiring huge bonuses. 

    If you kept your pitcher scoring system as is, I think you would end up with a wildly imbalanced distribution of pitching points, with a lot of week-to-week variation.  If that’s what you want, go for it.  For me, it’s too much like fantasy football – more about luck than skill.

  36. Brandon said...

    Thank you for the feedback Maurice

    The only thing that scared me about rewarding points for Outs recorded or Innings Pitched is streaming. I figured if that was a category some guys would plug in anyone with the pretty decent chance they would atleast last 5-6 innings and get a couple points even with given up a couple walks or Earned Runs. What would be the best way to prevent this, max starts per week? If so how many?  (Right now my roster is 5SP and 2RP allowed)

    Also, everyone in my league is coming over from our fantasy football league, where most of them probably WANT it to be more like fantasy football and vary from week to week, so maybe thats why I have it like that, but im willing to re-consider.

    What would you suggest for a point total on Wins and Losses to not make it vary so much but still make pitchers relevant?

  37. Maurice said...

    One way to prevent streaming is to bump up the penalty for earned runs.  You can also put in a penalty for hits allowed.  This way, short starts with several runs can be really damaging.  Also, use bigger rosters.  With only 7 pitchers per team, there will be a lot of quality pitchers available on the waiver wire.  I purposely use bigger rosters with small benches so that there won’t be a surplus of talent on the waiver wire, and owners have to think a little harder about who they’re going to add/drop.

    For innings pitched, I use 3 points per inning which is basically 1 point per out.  Also, a good way to judge your scoring system is to test it against last year’s stats.  If your scoring system ends up with some crazy names at the top, you might need to do some tweaking.

    I also want to say that while I really like the scoring system offered by Fangraphs via their Ottoneu system, not everyone in my league is so sabermetrically inclined.  I try to keep the scoring as simple as possible while also trying to reflect what I think is the appropriate level of talent for each player.

  38. Derek Ambrosino said...

    A little late here, but one observation I had is that it’s probably viable to nearly punt drafting closers. If you have RP settings, your best bet is probably, as Millsy said, to fill them with starters who are RP eligible. (I argue against SP and RP distinctions every time I get to comment on league settings, btw).

    But, elite middle relievers will probably come much cheaper than closers, and while you don’t get the value of saves, many of them pitch more innings (chances for Ks) and get more decisions (more chances for Ws). I guess a finer point is that they probably take on more blown saves too though… but one thing that kind of negates that as compared to closers is that very often when a closer gets a win, he also earned a blown save, so that hurts the value of a closer’s win. This is not the case with middle relievers.

    All in all, it seems like you could build a roster where your relief aces cheaper middle relievers and then just invest in a few lower tier closers with job security just so you don’t get shut out of those 5 point saves.

    Starting pitching is quite valuable, so this strategy, which relegates addressing relief until late in the draft would help you be able to take more higher level starters early, without that coming at the expense of elite bats.

    …And, since you seems like you need more encouragement to invest more heavily in starting pitching (I know, it’s not my inclination either), here’s another point. It seems like the values of SPs are more straight forward than hitters, that is the format alters their value less, when compared to the standard 5×5 roto values that all the mainstream outlets consider when rating players. So, market for pitching will likely be better informed, and thus more competitive. In this comment section, you’ve already identified Vernon Wells and Juan Pierre as players who will have elite value, but will likely not be valued as such. This should give you greater confidence that you can wait on more hitting than you are normally comfortable with. Doing your homework will likely identify more offensive values than pitching values.

  39. Pink said...

    I’ve got a very low maintenance (besides the draft) league going with Linear Weights and “expected” Linear Weights for pitchers:

    Batting
     
    Singles (1B)      0.46    
    Doubles (2B)      0.8
    Triples (3B)      1.02    
    Home Runs (HR)      1.4
    Walks (BB)      0.33    
    Stolen Bases (SB)    0.3
    At Bats (AB)      -0.26    
    Hits (H)      0.26
    Hit by Pitch (HBP)  0.33    
    Caught Stealing (CS) -0.6

    Pitching  

    Innings Pitched (IP)    0.73    
    Strikeouts (K)        0.05
    Hits Allowed (H)  -0.54    
    Walks Issued (BB)  -0.33
    Hit Batsmen (HB)  -0.33    
    Home Runs Allowed (HR)  -0.86

    Top Batters from 2010:

    Pujols 69.5
    Cabrera 68.2
    Votto 67.5
    Hamilton 62.2
    Bautista 60.8
    C Gonzalez 54.6
    Konerko 52.9
    Werth 47.7
    Holliday 46.2
    Cano 45.3

    Top Pitchers from 2010:

    Hernandez 49.2
    Wainwright 46.1
    Jimenez 42.5
    Oswalt 41
    Lee 39.3
    Weaver 37.3
    Halladay 37.2
    Johnson 36.5
    Verlander 35.1
    Cain 34.2

    (Included the league URL with further settings in case anyone wants to join)

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