Secret Formula 2006

Postby J-Pav » Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:29 pm

And I'm glad you liked my quote!

[color=red:8ec8daf70c]I think this would be especially helpful for newbs who haven't yet mastered the joys of SPs like Bedard and Dempster and Cabrera. [/color:8ec8daf70c]

If you change "mastered" to "experienced" and "joys" to "bi-polared insanity" you would better understand the flavor of what I meant to say. My sense of sarcasm gets drowned out in some of my posts, sometimes.

What I meant to express was "newbies, if this is your first team, stay away from guys like [i:8ec8daf70c]this[/i:8ec8daf70c]!"

That's why Cabrera is going plus 5 ERA and almost plus 2 WHIP for me in another one of those five Minute Maid leagues!
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Postby Mean Dean » Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:11 am

[b:299e87dd0f]J-Pav[/b:299e87dd0f]: Although you can of course play with unique stadiums by pre-arranging it in a private league, it'd be nice to have it in the game. Absent a live draft app, though, I'm not sure how it could be done. If you let people list stadiums on their draft list like players, what happens when two people list the same one? And if you have every owner pick a stadium one by one, is that going to kill the momentum of a league just getting started, and what are you going to do when it's been two weeks and the person who's up hasn't picked yet? I guess I can come up with some answers to those questions, but they're pretty clunky and I can see why it would be decided that they weren't good enough answers.

If your larger point is "the pricing is too good, it's all luck now," I completely disagree with that. Yeah, it's all luck if you insist on a 4-man rotation and avoid the same players in the draft that everyone else avoids :roll: And maybe this lack of creativity is why the best "clone" team has tended to win. But if you can come up with ways to use the players that aren't being used, then you can get more players off your list and will be ahead of the game -- and that sure as hell is strategy. And maximizing the effectiveness of your roster is certainly not solely a question of adjusting a team to a stadium. Platoon players, injury-prone players, "versatile" players who play many positions, "matchup" starting pitchers, bullpens centered around super middle relievers, bullpens with many one-way specialists... these are all strategies that can be used to put players into situations where they produce more for you than their salary would suggest.
Mean Dean
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Postby J-Pav » Sun Dec 24, 2006 1:07 am

One of my first big insights into the game came about a couple of years ago when [b:00b05947ef]Glenn "The Biomechanical Man"[/b:00b05947ef] posted one of his teams in response to some obscure question on the boards. The team had a 3.50 ERA or something, and I looked at his players and noticed that his entire pitching staff consisted of guys who were regulars in the FA pool and always readily available. It was kind of an [i:00b05947ef]Aha![/i:00b05947ef] moment for me, because it drove me to ask What Works, What Doesn't and Why?

I understand what you're saying about creativity and strategy. Some of the things you mention have been priced away, in my opinion. The others are there, but I think they're becoming harder to distinguish as there's an increasingly bigger pool of knowledgeable players fighting for what I've called the "diminishing slice of SOM pie."

(If you can call it a successful strategy), I wonder if The Secret Formula works because it's a "lack of making big mistakes strategy", while the [i:00b05947ef]other guy[/i:00b05947ef] is too busy pursuing the unproductively clever strategy (which totally defines [b:00b05947ef]MY OWN[/b:00b05947ef] 2006 experience)??
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Postby Jerlins » Sun Dec 24, 2006 9:10 am

You know, I didn't really notice I had just a .500 record at home. Maybe I had the perfect Petco team despite playing at Great American. I might have to take a look at my roster and go from there with a new Petco team. 50 and 22 in away games with 5 Petco's in the league!! Odd too, that this is yet another team that falls against the grain with the $32 pitching rule. I'm still convinced that $23 to $28 in pitching is the way to go in 06.
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Postby J-Pav » Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:25 am

[quote:ba346e15e8="Aray0113"] But I'm either not spending on the high-ticket hitters, or I'm getting the wrong combination of them. Any insights on combinations of types of hitters to draft could be helpful here.[/quote:ba346e15e8]


Thx for the post. The salary construction portion of the thread speaks a little towards suggestions for the combinations, but I think you've got it down.

Your Crusaders team (Minute Maid) in our autoleague is doing very well, although me (Minute Maid) and the Archers (Minute Maid) are nipping at your heels. Of course, there was Cabrera last night, losing to an 8 RH batter lineup (again). I've never seen a guy get so many hitters card rolls in one season. He should be like 12-0 with a sub 1 ERA in that goofy league, but he continues to struggle.

When we drafted for that particular autoleague, I went all hard righty SP, but abandoned most of them after surveying the opposing lineups. Cabrera is 3-7 for me (against super hard RH lineups only, mind you), but Dominguez (3L) and Vargas (4L) are a combined 15-5 (with five saves to boot), so go figure.


I have noticed several times in '06 that a team will have a MUCH better record on the road than at home, despite being well designed for their own ballpark. It is very strange, indeed.

* * * * *

I'll be off the boards the rest of today, but will check back tomorrow, when Mrs. Claus says it's okay. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
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Postby MARCPELLETIER » Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:41 pm

Time prevents me from reading the thread, I'll try to comeback later.

But, just to put in my own thoughts on the initial post, let me say:

1-Great work and great writing J-Pav! You know how to electrify the SOM passion.

2- While working around a 32M/48M budget won't harm you necessarily, I whole-heartedly disagree with the logic that it's the surest way to have a winning record. My argument didn't change much from last year, which could be summarized in 2 simple sentences:

1-spend your 80M on players who will play or pitch (don't have a 5M reliever sitting on the bench and not needed)
2-when playing in a pitching stadium, spend as much as you can on pitching/defense; when playing in an offensive stadium, spend as much as you can on offense.

As for my Secret Searching team, J=Pav, you seem to forget that I had Randy Johnson up untill game 144, when I drop him for Elarton and pick up Howard. So this pitching sqaud had about 38M spent on pitching. In a pitching stadium. 96 wins to back up this strategy. :wink:

Have great holidays all.
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Postby The Biomechanical Man » Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:25 pm

Happy Holidays, everyone. While my Christian friends are enjoying the [i:7d248ae03a]thrills[/i:7d248ae03a] of last-second shopping, I can spend time here while my kids are content with last week’s Chanukah gifts. :wink:

Anyway, onto subject.

While I have found luckyman / marcus wilby to give some of the best insight over the years, I agree more with J-Pav on the 60-40 dollar issue.

I agree with the importance of approximately 40% / 60% breakup in salary in building a strat team. This is not because of any philosophy of the importance of pitching-vs-hitting in real-life baseball, but because of how Stratomatic baseball is played. In Strat, the results of a play are determined by the pitcher’s card half the time and by the hitter’s card the other half. However, some of the pitcher’s card is of course determined by his fielders’ defense (x-rolls). Therefore, assuming that cards are accurately priced in Strat 2006 (which I believe is generally true), you should spend 50% of the budget on hitting and 50% on pitching+defense. Since the defense money is priced into the hitters’ cards, 60 / 40 has worked well for me.

I think in Strat – as in real baseball – the best teams generally win the most games in the long, regular season. But a short, postseason series, it’s more luck of the roll than statistical certainty.

One thing I like to do in 2006 strat and 2005 strat is get the best #1 starting pitcher available. This is for two reasons. (1) if I do get to the semifinals, your #1 guy can pitch 2 of the 5 games. Having an ace is one small advantage for winning 3 games in the semis. (2) Your #1 guy faces a slew of #1 other guys throughout the regular season. J-Pav and others above talk about well-spent money; I think if you are going to drop major bucks for #1 starter, you want one that’s slightly better than his competitors, not slightly worse.

Something I learned from marcus wilby was to avoid putting 4s in the field. I'm not against placing 1, 2, and 3's out there, as their fielding ability (and inability) is built into their price. With a 4, you get an iron glove, but not priced much cheaper than a comparable player who is a 3 in the field.

Another thing that makes some difference is small adjustments against specific opponents/stadiums. I think that could add a few wins per season.

To win, you have to build a team to your stadium. I don’t overdo it (like, I don’t have a lineup with 9 lefty batters). On the other hand, I don’t worry too much about any opponent’s stadium. You play 81 games in your home stadium, and only 12 or so in a division opponent’s stadium. I’ll be happy to dominate in 81 and be mediocre in 12. The exception is if you find yourself in a skewed league - such as 9 opponents in a hitters park or 10 teams with no lefty starting pitchers – but I think that is very rare.

While I think players are well-priced, I don have my favorites in 2006. For example, I found Luis Castillo and Aaron Heilman good bargains, if Castillo stays healthy and if Heilman gets lots of setup and closer innings. I don’t think platoons are usually worth it. For instance, I usually find a balanced $6m hitter does better than a $4m 5R and $2m 5L platoon.

That’s all for now. Time to watch some NFL, and get our Kosher ham in the oven. :lol:

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Happy New Year.
The Biomechanical Man
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Postby J-Pav » Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:44 pm

[b:16387f4ff0]Glenn[/b:16387f4ff0] & [b:16387f4ff0]luckyman[/b:16387f4ff0]:

Thx for the posts!

All the feedback for this thread has been fantastic, it's providing plenty of food for thought.

I'm working on a couple of things to contribute to the thread, but don't have a lot of time to write just now. One thing that I'd like to toss out for opinion is this item for consideration:

Should SOM provide feedback from our autoleagues on draft rankings (that is, to know [i:16387f4ff0]on average[/i:16387f4ff0], where players rank on managers autodraft cards)?

I'm not technically inclined, but I envision something on the order of [b:16387f4ff0]average rank[/b:16387f4ff0] [b:16387f4ff0]on cards when chosen [/b:16387f4ff0](one thru 25) or accumulated points (25 pts for #1 pick, 24 pts for #2, etc).

I think that the experience of playing several (or many) leagues gives us an intuitive grasp of who goes where in the draft order, but spending all this time on team construction I was wondering if anyone else thought it might save some heartache to know that if you considered some approximate probabilities, knowing you wouldn't likely get the player you wanted at salary [i:16387f4ff0]A[/i:16387f4ff0], you could adjust so as not get stuck with salary [i:16387f4ff0]M[/i:16387f4ff0] as a proxy when you were wrong.

I'll be coming back around to The Secret Formula as soon as I can. This might be a good place to hear from any newbs that are pondering any/all of this with their perspectives...
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Great Thread

Postby PAULMINICUCCI » Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:51 pm

Maybe the best thread I have seen. Just one note. I kind of think the ballpark factor is a little difficult to measue. here is why. I note that most of the time good to great players (you know who you are and I am not either) get very good at one park. I would bet that every good player does know at least one specialty park well. I am NOT sayinmg that's all they play but the guys with really high winning percentages play a lot of specialty parks. So the specialty parks win championships partly because great players choose to play there often. Of the MM park champs I bet most of the winners are players you all know. That's because they know how to build a team oriented to a particular park and the more extreme the park, the more you can take advantage of weaker players. Winning at specialty parks requires a lot of sophisticated stat usage. Almost all of my best teams came from extreme parks. So, the winning percentage is skewed. I bet that if you take the top ranked 50 players they will play 80% of their games in specialty parks, and the rest of the pack will play consideredably fewer. What would be fun is to do a couple of 80 Million one park only leagues just to wash out the ballpark factor as a meaningful stat and test some of the other theories.

Also, while it is true that good players know how to use the park, it is equally true that bad players play worse at specialty parks. Bad players try it and make big mistakes and get killed, (like using threes at ss and 2nd with a 30 million dollar starting rotation) they find that they have a better shot of winning 70 games at more neutral parks.

On MM I also think it is the best example of using the deck in your favor. There are many more opportunities to get RH hitters and pitchers than LHers. In the autodraft, what happens to me in Shea or PNC is you get three or four LH parks in your league and wham you miss most of the top draft picks.

I would argue that there is more room for error in RH parks, simply because there is less demand for good players, particularly starting pitchers.

Soooo, I think the park does make a difference. Good players know how to exploit the park's attributes and they play there more often than not, while bad players or newbies get a little nervous playing in a extreme park. The specialty park is a natural advantage for a good player.

One time i had a newbie in a league with me and I was using the number one theory" I use to good effect at Petco. Basically, I get as many number ones as I can get and spend no more than 15 million on SP. I also try and pick the best hiters (a combo on OBP) and OPS AMONG the number one defensive pool. That means Chavez instead of Beltre, etc with two to thee big hitters. This means you gotta have Jones, or Lee or A-Rod.

Anyway the newbie tells me there is no way I will win 70 wins with my crummy staff. I won 89. The point is, if you know park factors you can exploit them in many ways.

Last, I think in general J-Pav is right. I say that because by and large I can never beat him, but really the 48/32 formula is a great starting point.
You can start there and kind of titrate around it.

In any case the most wonderful thread. I am in awe of the stat guys. It is no wonder they are hard to beat.
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