Ask Rotoman: How will multiple game suspensions for an individual player that were supposed to start at the beginning of the season in March, be calculated when and if the season does start. Will there be a reduction of games due to the late start?
Good question. Here’s what MLB says:
All suspensions of 80-or-fewer games will be served in 2020 if games are played. Should the season be canceled, those suspensions would not carry over to 2021.
What MLB doesn’t say is whether those suspensions will be pro-rated for the games that will be (we hope) played this year. For instance, if the season is scheduled for 81 games, will German’s suspension be 80 games (the full monte) or 40 games (the prorated part).
The canceling of the suspensions if the season isn’t played at all suggests that the suspensions will be pro-rated, I think, in recognition that the punishment is meant to be proportional. This is also how service time will be treated for all players. Given players’ limited shelf life, giving them a full season penalty when a half seasons worth of games are played seems excessive.
But since this isn’t stated we can’t really know for sure until issues like the length and shape of the schedule are worked out, and both players and owners can assess how things are going to go. That won’t be until late May, at the very earliest, it looks like. We hope.
Back in the bad old days of the internet, when AskRotoman had a bulletin board visited by hundreds, before spam and malicious interlopers wrecked it, the regulars at the bulletin board formed a funny league. Funny because the format was different than other leagues.
For one, 20 teams. But only nine hitters (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UT) and seven pitchers. A good man named Steve ran the league for a number of years. My memory is that the first year I finished second, and I’ve done worse every year since.
Actually, after the bulletin board was no more (I pulled the plug, sadly) the Regs league went on hiatus, but our friend Tim McLeod has revived it and I had my second new era draft last night.
You can see the results here. I’m not sure how transferable they are. Pitchers flew off the board because each round is so long you never know if the best ones will get back to you. Maybe that’s how we play now, or maybe it reflects these peculiar rules. In either case, it was a fun time.
As commissioner of our league we traditionally kept three players for three seasons with the three keepers counting as your first three picks just to keep it simple.
I was wondering if we gave owners the option to keep up to five players with those players going as your five first rounds. But I want to keep it fair for all owners, even ones that don’t have a too many true keepers.
My question is, would it necessarily hurt a weak team if he only kept one or two players and attempted to rebuild from the draft. My goal is not to put someone at disadvantage because these changes.
Your issue isn’t expansion, I don’t think, but rather your decision to make your keepers the first three picks in your draft. This setup means that the keeper comparison, the rationale for keeping a guy rather than throwing him back and taking the best available player, is much higher than it probably should be.
Assuming your league is 12 teams (but it doesn’t matter if it isn’t, the same rationale would apply to any size league), your three keeps are going to take 36 players off the draft board. Are these the top 36 players on your board? Almost certainly not.
Well, the first few years they might be close, but as freeze eligibilities expire for players they go back up on the board. If they are better than your third-best, or second-best, or even first-best freeze, you might as well not keep the keeper, or keepers.
This is sure to happen, and when it does your keeper system should break down quickly. The only way for it to not break down is if each owner is required to keep three players.
And, of course, expanding to five keepers, and giving owners the option to not keep five, will only make matters worse.
The right way to value keepers in a draft league is to keep them in the round they were taken originally. That way they have real value and don’t have to compete with the best available players on the draft board for value.
It isn’t as easy to track, but it isn’t that hard either, and should make your game much more fun.
Our three-player keeper/yahoo standard roster /10 team league/ daily moves. wants to modernize our standard 5×5 categories for next season, but we can’t come to an agreement.
Either 6×6 adding OPS, QS and replacing S with S+H.
Or 7×7 adding OBP, SLG, QS, Holds separate.
We are expanding the rosters slightly next season as well, and we also don’t want to drop the win category all together.
We don’t know what potential issues we will have with these potential set ups, thanks for your help.
I’m in favor of modernizing, for sure, but you were right to ask, because there are implications worth considering in all your potential moves.
The big one: Do more categories make for a better game? The obvious answer is with more categories you have more verisimilitude. More different players have value doing different things and that’s good, right?
Maybe not. Or rather, more categories means you run into a math problem. Back in ancient times we played 4×4 (no Runs or Strikeouts), but sometime around 2000 it became obvious that more and more people were playing 5×5 (with Runs and Strikeouts). In Tout Wars we switched over and those of us who do player pricing discovered something that makes total sense but wasn’t at all intuitive: More cats mean the most expensive players earn less.
The reason is math. Each category siphons off some value from the players at the top, and gives it to the players in the middle. Last year the game’s premiere strikeout pitcher, Max Scherzer, earned $40 in 5×5 (with strikeouts) and $41 in 4×4 (without strikeouts). Crazy, eh? Be prepared for that.
In other instances, you’re adding redundant categories. For instance, if you add OPS to a league that counts batting average, too, you’re counting batting average twice. And counting home runs twice, too, since they’re a big part of the SLG slice of OPS. I would recommend replacing BA with OBP, so that you count walks on the hitting side as well as the pitching side, and be done with it.
Similarly, adding QS as an extra category in addition to Wins, means starting pitchers games started are counted twice in counting stats (plus strikeouts! That’s three times) and they loom larger in ERA and WHIP as well. This will make good starting pitchers much more valuable, and much more pricey I would think.
Plus, adding Holds to the Saves category makes relievers much less valuable. The reason is supply and demand. Saves have value because there is only one fellow on a team getting a save in any given game. Holds can be spread between two or three pitchers, which expands the pool significantly. With more supply comes less demand, and lower prices. Is that what you want?
In The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2012, I think, Tim McLeod pitched the idea of using Saves + Half Holds as a category, to give recognition to middle relievers, but to continue to venerate those who are able to close games without getting hurt or becoming ineffective. I think this is much better way to go.
And while we’re at that, Wins + Half QS as a single cat recognizes that bad luck can hurt starters who are pitching effectively without destroying the notion that getting a win is something pitchers are trying to do and should be rewarded for.
Okay, so right now I’m on: OBP, Runs, HR, RBI, SB for hitters. ERA, WHIP, W+Half QS, Sv + Half Holds, and Strikeouts for pitchers. Hmm. 5×5.
I guess if you wanted to go to 6×6 I’d suggest adding SLG to the hitting side (count doubles as well as homers) and Innings Pitched to the pitching side, though I fear that doubling up on IP and Ks is going to push too much value to the pitchers again. Tristan Cockcroft has long suggested adding IP and changing Ks to K/9, making it a third pitching rate stat. That does restore some balance to the starter/reliever mix.
Might there be unintended consequences having half the pitching cats be rate stats? There might be, but Tristan swears by this and so it is surely worth a shot.
One other idea: Fielding stats. I know, they’re all flawed, but in fantasy baseball the goal isn’t a perfect reflection of a player’s contribution on a baseball field, but a given valuation based on the stats you choose to count.
Inside Edge has published fielding stats in recent years that track plays based on difficulty. So they have plays rated Impossible (no one can make them), Remote (a 1-10 percent chance), Unlikely (11-40 percent chance), Even (40-60), Likely (60-90), and Routine (91-100). My idea is to add Remote plays as a counting stat.
Last year, Nolan Arenado made 39 Remote plays, two more than Brandon Crawford, who made one more than Manny Machado. This would be a little like Home Runs, events that some players do regularly, but far from every day. Giving value to Brandon Crawford for his defense seems like a worthwhile idea.
The other category would be to count Routine as a rate stat, so every error or misplay on a play everyone should make would hurt your team in that one. Many outfielders and catchers top this list, having not made a mistake on a routine play last year, but there is Rougned Odor in 19th place, the highest ranked middle infielder by far. Let’s give him a hand.
The only problem is that this data is not available from Inside Edge in game, and FanGraphs is not even showing it for 2019. If no stats services have it, it doesn’t exist, so for now this is a pipe dream. But in the future, I’m all in.
Good luck with your decision. I hope you and your leaguemates have a fun discussion.
My friend Brian pays attention to the rules. He’s done that in Tout Wars for years, and in recent years has been writing a column at Creativesports.com (and Mastersball.com before that) about fantasy baseball rules.
This week I thought I’d caught him up in a rules violations in the XFL, a league we play in together.
And I did, but he’d already gotten clearance from the league’s poobahs, who said there was precedence for his position. Maybe there was, but whoever benefited from it should have also insisted that the language in the Constitution be changed. It wasn’t.
What I know is that I reverse engineered the box score, and Franmil Reyes had his 50th at bat of the season, changing his draft status, in the bottom of the 6th inning of Sunday night’s Padres game. That at bat clearly came before 9pm, draft time, when Brian took Reyes as a Farm player. That is, one with 49 or fewer at bats. But Brian was allowed the +$3 for his newest farm player.
My partner Alex and I were fine with the common sense rule being applied, rather than what was written in the Constitution, and yet we still nurse a grudge about the fact that the league didn’t apply the common sense ruling they should have, that when a Frozen player dies before the auction, as Oscar Taveras did a few years ago, you should be allowed to at least open up his slot on auction day to make room for a sentient body. The fact that no one had died in the last two weeks of October before meant that there was no precedent, but the exception is now in the Constitution.
You should always read Brian, he’s a punctilious thinker and a good guy. Plus, among a lot of things, he knows his Cardinals. His story is here.
And the Constitution has been changed to reflect reality. Yeah for that.
We have a veteran 20 year sharks 5X5 ultra roto league in a quandary. We’ve lost four teams from our original 12, working frantically to replace them and return to 12 via a dispersal draft from the vacated rosters. If we ultimately return with only 11 or even 10 owners, would it necessitate throwing back all players frozen from the previous season (max 15 with carry over salaries and contracts) because there will be fewer teams and less $ avail to spend? I.e., will the salaries be skewed since they’re based on a 12 team league, not 11 or 10? We’re desperately trying to maintain status quo and not start over. Are there ways to augment or artificially level the playing field and legitimize the salaries of those frozen players?
That’s tough luck losing four teams, and good luck restocking your roster of owners.
To answer your question: A dispersal draft, distributing the best keeps from four teams to three teams, will skew in favor of the three new teams. While the original franchises will be keeping 15 x 8 = 120 players of a potential 120 best keeps, or 100 percent, the new franchises will be keeping 45 of 60, or 75 percent. The new teams would be able to be more selective and end up with better freeze lists. You don’t want that.
I think the fairest way to solve this problem is to let each owner who signs up adopt one of the existing franchises, so he’ll be keeping 100 percent of the best keepers. There’s no selection advantage to that, but there is the likelihood that some abandoned freeze lists will be better than others. There are two ways to handle that.
One would be to reward early movers by giving them their choice of franchise. It’s probably best to let your targets know that they’ll be in a draft of teams if they sign up by, say February 1. Then on February 1, have the new owners play paper-rock-scissors or flip coins to determine an order or selection, and then let them pick the teams by that established priority.
The other way to go is to randomize. Put the names of the abandoned teams in a hat, and as new owners sign up randomly give them one of the franchises. Each will get what he gets, for better or worse. But each will be getting 100 percent of the best freezes, which seems totally fair. This has the advantage of possibly keeping a better freeze list available, should early selecters be unlucky, and you can use it as an incentive for new owners to join up. Although, if these freeze lists were really good, what sort of owner would bail?
Hope this helps and good luck getting it together for the new year!
My league 8 team AL only 5×5 pitching categories are QS, SV, Holds, K and ERA.
We have had holds for at least seven years. I always struggle with it. Since its a bit of an odd ball category not much is written about it. A hold is a terrible stat, but it brings value to middle relievers. I was wondering if you had any good advice on how to attack Holds?
Holds is a terrible stat, just about as terrible as Saves, though a little worse because a staff can have more holds in a game than Saves, or Wins, for that matter.
But in the fantasy game, holds can have a solid role, as a way to value productive relief pitchers, even if they don’t find their way into the closing job.
What’s curious about your league is that instead of combining Saves and Holds in a single category that values relief pitchers, you’ve split the two imperfect stats so that you have to man two less-than-perfect categories.
The cool thing about that is that you’ll need to roster a closer, and an eighth inning guy, at least, so i guess your question is, how do you identify the eighth inning guy.
Path No. 1: Read many comments from each team’s manager about how he is going to set up his bullpen. Of course you’re going to roster a closer or two, but then also keep an eye on the guys who are identified as setup guys. These are the guys likely to run up high holds totals.
Path No. 2: Identify guys with high strikeout totals and low walk totals. These guys may not be identified by their managers as closers in waiting or setup guys, but they’re likely–if they can keep it up–to be increasingly trusted in game situations, which means they’re likely to add Holds or Saves as the season goes along.
The quirkiness of your rules also means that you can mess around with your roster configuration. Clayton Kershaw plus a roster of high strikeout relievers could finish high in ERA, Holds, and Saves, and in the middle of the pack in Strikeouts, for middle of the pack money. But even if you put together a more traditional staff, high strikeout pitchers are going to help you in Ks and ERA, and maybe Holds and Saves, too.
Past performance and youth are the best predictors of high strikeout rates among relievers.
This could be a dumb one but I cant find the answer anywhere. Last week I picked up Jake Elmore. In his first game he went 1 for 1 giving him a batting average of 1.000 on that particular day. If I don’t play him again and remove him from my roster do I retain that batting average towards the category? There’s nothing in my league settings that states you have to use a player a minimum amount of times. Is this a loophole that could be used towards batting average and also ERA and WHIP for pitchers? I really don’t want to question my Commissioner in case I have stumbled onto an advantage. I’m a first time player so I hope I’m not coming across as an idiot. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
The short answer is that without knowing your league rules, it’s hard to say exactly what having a 1-1 Jake Elmore means.
What can be said with certainty is that your ignorant question goes to the very heart of fantasy game theory when the game is played with category rankings.
That’s because one maximizes the qualitative categories (BA, OBP, ERA, WHIP) by reducing the number of AB or IP relative to productive evens (Hits for hitters, Outs for pitchers) by reducing the number of AB and IP, trying to prune away the bad ones and focus on the productive ones.
For instance, a pitching roster of middle relievers would almost certainly win ERA and WHIP, but would do very poorly in Wins, WHIP, and Strikeouts, the quantitative categories.
The challenge of Rotisserie style scoring is to find the balance between these two inexorable and mostly contradictory forces, though the challenge was reduced as the game moved from 4×4 (in which 37.5 percent of the categories were qualitative) to 5×5 (in which they are 30 percent). Still, in recent years a lot of roto thought has turned on how to take advantage of strong middle relievers in 5×5.
Still, it’s hard to see the advantage you’re going to get out of a 1 for 1 performance by Elmore. That’s just one of thousands of at bats your team is going to accumulate over the course of the season, which makes it the smallest of advantages possible.
There are so many things wrong with your question, they must be addressed.
A salutation isn’t required, but it is nice. I’m fine with just Rotoman! or Hey Rotoman! or Hey! Or even something without an exclamation point.
Secondly, we are too deep into the 21st century for anyone to not know about the caps lock. Don’t use it to communicate. It is that easy. WHY? Because it feels like shouting.
It isn’t that hard to type “for.” Or FOR if you must.
If you’re going to type 2, you might as well type 2B. That gets it done. 2 BASE sounds like a small boy band.
The premise of your question is either impossibly specific or hits the sweet spot of my opinion.
If you want to know how many games it takes for Addison Russell (LL at the end, or I prefer ll) in your fantasy league to qualify at second base, I have no idea because you didn’t say what league you’re in.
And since looking up rules is easier, there is always a link on your stat service, than typing with thumbs, you should look there.
If you’re asking how Addison Russell is performing as a second baseman, since he has always played shortstop until this year, I’m interested, too.
Russell had only played five minor league games at second base before the Cubs called him up to the major leagues. And he’s played five major league games at second base. He made one error in each five-game set, which is too many, but errors are not a fair way to grade a fielder, at least not entirely.
Joe Maddon says Russell is doing a fine job as a fielder at second base, which could be the truth, or Maddon could be blowing smoke. We do know that Russell is a fine shortstop, so any problems he has at the less-demanding second base position are likely due to the learning curve, which he should quickly move along.
The big issue for Russell right now is the bat. He drove in two with a double yesterday, but he’s struck out 12 times in 22 AB. Even for a Cubs player that’s a lot. But Maddon seems fine with letting him work it out, and the Cubs have been winning, so maybe he’ll get a chance to develop his big league talent in the big leagues.
Only 4 pitching categories in my keeper league. Wins+Saves is one category…Greinke or Melancon?
My 5×5 projections for both Greinke and Melancon are worth $17 this year, so I thought this would be an easy one to answer. Combine the value of the Wins and Saves for the pitchers, divide in half, and replace the values of Wins and Saves with that number and bingo. Or voila! Or eureka!
Instead, I’m not sure. I used the Razzball, FanGraphs and Patton $ Online value calculators on whatever projections they used (Grey Albright, Steamer, Rotoman) and found that though the numbers they spit out were different, all favored Greinke. In order: $10.4/$8.2, $7.6/$1.9, $10.1/$7.55.
Fangraphs clearly punishes relievers more for their lack of strikeouts, but I’m sure a closer look would show they’re rewarded more for their low ERA and Ratio. Razzball and Patton were close enough to declare a winner, but I was nagged by the question of population. You see, pricing systems are based on the performance of some group of players. In the regular 5×5 world this means one thing, but when you make guys who get saves more valuable, as you do when you combine saves and wins, the population changes. That changes the value of an earned run, it alters WHIP, it means a strikeout is worth something different.
So, I ran the numbers on last year’s stats using my own pricing calculator.
Last year, in 5×5, my pricer says Greinke earned $21 and Melancon earned $19, Combine Wins and Saves into one category for all ML pitchers, re-sort, and their prices change to $21 and $20.
Which means, if you agree with me that they’re each worth $17 this year, that Melancon gains a little edge in value over Greinke using your rules. But prices didn’t change as much at the high end as I expected they would.
Of course, value is only part of the equation. Keeper questions start there, but always come back to what the guy is going to go for in your league. You want to keep the one you think is going to cost more. That’s a question only you can figure out.