Where to Find Rotoman!

pattonlogoI’m posting here at blog.askrotoman.com from time to time, but most days you can find me over at Pattonandco.com, where Alex Patton and a great group of contributors and visitors are talking about baseball, fantasy baseball and everything in between. All you need is a free registration to post.

Sign up for the Subscriber package and get access to my projections and Alex’s and Mike Fenger’s and my bid prices for 5×5 and 4×4 Rotisserie baseball, updated all spring training long!

We would love for you to subscribe, but we’re happy to grow the community of excellent baseball fans we’ve already got.

Subscriber Benefits at Pattonandco.com, Available Now!

pattonlogoSpring training is rapidly approaching, which means fantasy baseball prep time is going into high gear.

Alex Patton and I, Rotoman, offer a fun baseball discussion board at pattonandco.com. Every player has his own discussion thread, so you can ask questions and get answers from a strong coterie of fantasy experts, baseball fans and roto players, including Alex and me. The discussion boards are free and open to everyone, though you need to register to be able to post.

On top of that we offer a Subscriber package each spring, for rotisserie and fantasy players who want a little bit more.

What are the benefits?

Rotoman’s projections

Roto bid prices from me (5×5), Alex (4×4) and Mike Fenger (5×5), in an Excel spreadsheet, text files, and as part of the Patton $ Online Window program. These include probable lineups, highlight the top prospects, and are updated each Thursday until the Thursday after opening day, incorporating the latest news, better thinking, and useful comments.

The package is $36.

And the player discussion boards are free all season long, so please check us out even if you’re not interested in the Subscriber benefits.

Not to Brag or Anything

We have the most loyal customer base in the universe, no kidding.

Why? We hear from our customers every year about their good seasons and their bad, and always with their thanks for providing straightforward draft prep information tailored, through the discussion board, to every person’s particular needs.

Our data is bespoke, from rotisserie veterans, but also open enough to help you make your own adjustments and tailor things better to the way you see them happening. This is a powerful combination, and we’re proud of it.

About the Software

Patton $ Online was one of the first fantasy baseball software packages available anywhere. It helps you make lists, adjust for inflation, update and change projections, and keep an eye on the prices you’re willing to pay at your auction.

It is also super fast, written in machine language back in the day when computers weren’t so fast. That’s the good part.

But the fact is that it is an old program that uses old menuing and interfacing, so while it is popular among our loyal veterans who are familiar with it, it presents a learning curve for newbies. We encourage you to try out last year’s edition. This archive has the program, the excel and text files, so you can try it out. We hope you find it helpful, but don’t want to overpromise what we can deliver.

The good news is that the spreadsheet has all the same data, and can be used to craft the same sorts of lists and adjusted bids.

The bad news is that the program runs on Windows. To use it on a Mac you’ll need a copy of Windows running in Boot Camp, or Windows running on the virtual machines Parallels or Fusion. The program run great in Parallels and Fusion, and will run on WINE for a while, but will then it will crash when you try to change data. Which limits it’s use there.

I’m running it this year on a Lenovo Ideastick 300, which cost me $69.99 at Best Buy. It’s a Windows 10 computer about the size of the original Ipod Shuffle that plugs into the HDMI port of a TV or monitor. Paired with bluetooth keyboard and mouse, it’s a limited but capable and protable addition if you have any reason to use Windows.

If you’re interested, please feel free to download last year’s program and data for free. If it works for you, great, if not you got to experience the Patton $ data and decide if you want to be a subscriber as you prepare to win the 2017 fantasy baseball season!

Let us know if you have any questions, and we hope to see you at pattonandco.com.




The Cadillac Edition of Patton $ Draft Prep Software and Data Is Out Now!

1976_Cadillac_Eldorado_convertible_1_--_10-23-2009The software is out now, full of projections, bid prices, expert league results, and prospect lists, in Windows software, Excel and Text Files.

It runs great on a Mac with Windows and Boot Camp, Parallels, or Fusion. If you want help preparing for your league, learn more about Patton $ Software and data by clicking here.

And joining Pattonandco.com, a lively discussion board about fantasy and real baseball, is free!

Projections for The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2014 owners were updated

The March 15 release is complete. It has updated projections and prices for 4×4 and 5×5 leagues. Players have league identifiers.

Go to the download page, which is password protected. Fantasy Baseball Guide owners will find the password in the Guide. It is the first word of Rick Wilton’s injury report on Albert Pujols, in the hitter section of the Guide.

You can buy an electronic version of the magazine at thefantasysportsguide.com. Use the promo code rotoman2014 and get a dollar off.

You can also buy the Patton $ Data and Software, with more projections and prices updated through the first week of April. More info at software.askrotoman.com.

pattonandco.com is down. Nope, it’s back up!

UPDATE: The site was fixed earlier this evening.

Sorry for the inconvenience. The webhost of pattonandco.com is having some sort of problems and the site is down. As soon as it can be sorted out (I don’t have any details) we can get back to chatting about our players. (How about that Adam LaRoche!).

Patton $: March 1st Update is Out!

Some little fixes have been made to the program, but the big news is the inclusion of CBS Sports Expert League prices for the AL (thus far) in the Lg1 column, and full active 4×4 and 5×5 Patton$ formulas in the excel spreadsheet. When you change a projection the prices will change. It’s hours of good fun and a big help in making lists.

Available now!

Head over to software.askrotoman.com for all the detail and to order yours today.

Free Patton $ On Disk Evaluator! Available Now!

The Patton $ Evaluator is Windows software that lets you sort through last year’s stats, apply your 2011 fantasy team rosters, and analyze just what the hell happened, good or bad.

It’s free and we hope serves as in introduction to the Patton $ Projector, which will be released on February 5, with roto prices from Alex Patton, Mike Fenger and me, as well as my championship player projections.

To download and install the Windows program, right click here. Then click the option Save Linked File, or Save Target File. The file will download.

To install, rename the file setup.msi. (This is a security measure. Windows won’t allow you to download an executable file.)

Double-click to launch the installer, and follow the instructions.

Have fun!

The Sweeny Plan, Spelled Correctly

Bruce Buschel sings the ballad of Hugh Sweeny, the legendary roto player whose spot I slithered into in the American Dream League, many moons ago.

The Cardrunners Discussion

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about a new league I’m playing in called Cardrunners, after a poker instructional site that is sponsoring it. The league has a blog and home page, which has turned into a lively discussion about two divergent approaches to the game.

Bill Phipps is a poker player and a financial guy, and he thinks the general level of fantasy play is poor. He believes building a model of projections and valuation can help someone beat others consistently. Bill’s posts at the Cardrunners blog are provocative and confident. League organizer Eric Kesselman is a frequent contributor, too, with a sensibility similar to Bill’s, but without the bluster.

Rotowire’s Chris Liss argues that all the information of projections and valuation are shared by all the players in any competent fantasy league, and that the edge goes to the player who has the imagination to see what next year’s cheat sheet is going to look like this year, and draft accordingly. Chris has a post at Rotosynthesis called Lost in Translation: Why your projections and dollar values won’t save you.

One gets the sense that the Bill and the poker players don’t realize how tramped over this ground already is. Maybe I should send them to the Masochists Notes from Alex Patton’s books of the 80s and early 90s. The Masochists chapter that Alex blames for ending his run as a book author is here. It is about a retrospective draft experiment we set up, among other things.

A Nathan Mourns…

Everybody knows about Joe Nathan, the man with the most saves in baseball the last six years, who has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. The problem right now, for me, is that I’m preparing updated projections for the Patton Software and there is no way to know whether Nathan is out for two months or two years. You see, the odds of Nathan getting back onto a field after rehabbing from surgery are real long, so the first medical approach is to wait a couple/few weeks, try to strengthen the supporting muscles, and see if he can pitch through it.

Not many do, but if he can, then he might get a few months of the season in and have some value this year. If he can’t, he has no value this year at all, and no value next year either. So, what should I do with his projection? And what should I do with the interesting set of relievers in the Twins’ bullpen, any of whom might actually be able to do the job if given the chance?

Let’s call what I do “pussyfootin’,” because it’s a lot like the gait of Violet, the cat that just walked over my keyboard and curled up on the back of my desk and didn’t knock over a thing (and only introduced a few typos along the way). I’m careful, thoughtful, and when I’m clear I leap. And, like Woody Allen, I always usually (yeah, right) land on my feet.

In the new set of projections I cut Nathan’s projection in half, to 35 innings pitched, and I bump his ERA and WHIP up just a bit, then cut his bid price down to $10, which I don’t think I’d pay if I was drafting tonight, but I do think someone else would bid $11 if I did. $10 isn’t likely to be the bid price in two weeks, when we’re supposed to know more, but it does reflect the market now. I don’t think you want Nathan, but you don’t want someone else to get him too cheaply. There is too much we don’t know.

My first impulse after Nathan’s injury was to bump up Jon Rauch’s projection, giving him most of the saves, but while I still think he has to be the favorite to win the job, because he did some time in the past as a closer in Washington, he’s not a lock. I made him $9 at first, because he can earn that as a middle reliever even if he doesn’t get the job, but I’ve now knocked him down to $7 because, well, there are too many alternatives to assume that he will get the job, and too many questions about his work last year to be confident he’ll hold the job if it is given to him.

Matt Guerrier is usually cited as next in line after Rauch, but even though he was a closer in college and has been an excellent middle reliever–other than in 2008–he doesn’t profile as a closer. He doesn’t blow guys away, in other words. I’ve bumped him up to $4 (he earned $15 in 2009) and allocated him some of the saves sliced from Nathan’s line. I think that’s safe, even though he doesn’t have closer upside.

The guy everybody likes for the job, talentwise, is Pat Neshek, who missed most of the last two years following a 2008 breakdown that led to TJ surgery. He’s healthy now, but still working his way back. He’s got an interesting sidearmed delivery that is deceptive and brings lots of movement. Historically, he hasn’t had much of a platoon split. The issue is whether he is really back. Chances are the Twins aren’t going to throw him into the fire immediately, so I give him a few of the saves and a bid of a couple dollars in the new version. You have to be aware of him, but he’s still a long shot at this point.

The other closer-quality pitcher on the Twins’ staff is Jose Mijares, who is the only lefty in the Twins’ pen right now. Even if that situation persists he could get some saves, but he won’t get a lot of saves. I added a couple of saves to his projection, but kept him as a $1 bid. He won’t go for more until the Twins add a lefty to their pen.

Saves are a tricky business. Any pitcher going good can get saves, but we can see with our own eyes that not everyone is able to keep going good when the pressure rises. There are some who say that Mijares is a choker, but his Leverage Index (see baseball-reference.com) shows that he performed best in the toughest situations last year. Until we’ve seen a big enough sample, it’s impossible to really judge a pitcher’s readiness for the role, but easy to understand why guys in high leverage jobs lose their jobs before they can prove that they are victims of the random thing.

Projecting player performance is a tricky business. The talent evaluation part is fairly straight forward, but projecting playing time is usually the difference between a good and bad projection. While pussyfootin’, I try to split the difference, to balance the expression of talent with the possibility of opportunity. Those of us drafting next week are going to have to make catlike choices when it comes to selecting the Twins’ closer. My adjusted bid prices are an attempt to equalize the odds of success vs. price for each player.

Ps. There was speculation today that the Twins might move Francisco Liriano to the pen, maybe even the closer spot, given their situation. This isn’t an obvious move, but if Liriano is struggling as a starter it seems like a natural next step. That, of course, screws all the values above, all of which will be updated next time no matter what happens.