The Secret Formula 2007

Postby Mean Dean » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:02 am

Again, I think you're making a leap, this time from (again, not exact quotes, but this is what I see you as saying) "a high-priced bullpen might not necessarily outperform a cheaper one" to "bullpen performance is luck." If your Valverde/Beimel bullpen consistently outperforms a Papelbon/Wagner bullpen, there is probably a reason for it. Maybe the Papelbon/Wagner pen only has two other guys in it and the two aces get tired, or maybe your settings are better for the middle relievers in the Valverde/Beimel pen. If it happens once, of course that could be luck, but if it happens consistently, then IMO there's a reason. Outperforming salary doesn't necessarily equate to luck, especially in the bullpen where roster composition and managerial settings will have much more effect than on SP or offensive players.
Mean Dean
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Postby J-Pav » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:43 am


I watch time and again as Vizquel bats .285 with .340 obp for my opponents, but when [i:e50dee888b]I[/i:e50dee888b] draft him he bats .210 with .290 obp. HAL just plain hates me having him on my team! :evil:


I've passed through the five doors of Strat-O death and have reached the last door marked "acceptance." I understand now that it's not [i:e50dee888b]all[/i:e50dee888b] luck, but luck plays a very large role in a league where all twelve teams have lineups of efficiently priced players and where so many games are close ones. Back in my denial days, I blamed everything on bad luck.

I'm totally following you now, and I'm not saying bullpen performance is luck. I'm saying that the outcome of one run games is luck (like in the Studeman article) or mostly luck (as Bill James says).

So again, with regard to bullpens, I'm saying that[b:e50dee888b] [i:e50dee888b]you cannot forecast pythagorean outperformance by bullpen[/i:e50dee888b][/b:e50dee888b]. If you took the five most expensive (or hand picked) relievers, it still would not guarantee success [i:e50dee888b]in one run games[/i:e50dee888b]. There would be examples where it did work out, and where it didn't.

FWIW, I have no doubt that statistically speaking, five hand picked (high dollar) relievers would outperform the average $12m pen with regard to the pitching statistics like ERA, WHIP, etc. Logically, I agree that you would [i:e50dee888b]expect[/i:e50dee888b] them to do better in one run games. So I hear what you're saying and agree to some extent. Bullpens matter, so I'm not trying to argue that all bullpen performance is luck, but rather that "quality" can only determined in hindsight, so how much can this help you with your team building?
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Postby Jerlins » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:45 am

Mostly good points, but this man's opinion is that you've put way too much emphasis on pitching, specifically starting pitching. These pitching staffs won rings in 07 for me, the second # being the $ amount spent on SP's, including the #5 pitcher, who is normally mop-up, or L or R slanted specialist:


It must be noted, that ALL these teams have 2 things in common, a stud closer (Papelbon, Ryan, Nathan, Putz), and good, if not great D as you mentioned, with nothing less than at least one 1 and two 2's up the middle.

I'll also mention, since his winning % is second to none, that in the 5 or so leagues I've played with PBTR, his teams probably also average less than $25 to $26 on pitching. So I think we are of the same mindset, at least concerning the 07 set.

It's my belief, at least for the 07 set, starting pitching is out of whack salary wise, and that a $3 SP is much closer to the $7 SP, than the $3 hitter is in relation to the $7 hitter performance wise. Why spend 40% of your budget on a pitching staff, when only 35% of the final result of the rolls actually come from the pitcher's card?

Overall though, a well thought out post. Thanks!
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Postby J-Pav » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:54 am


Thx for the visit, I was wondering where the heck you were.

Two things:

1. You're bringing vet skills to the table. You always tend to work with lower dollar SPs, so I think you have a better grasp of how to keep the ERA/WHIP in that winning range (defense, relief pitching, ballpark selection, and other intangibles) than the average bear. I'm trying to present this as more of a newbie thread. It's much harder for a newb that thinks Johnny Damon is the best player on earth, and believing that's all that matters, to understanding all the computations involved in SOM.

Still, when you add them up and divide, at this point in time the magic number is $30m (for the average team with the best record in an $80m league, and assuming that average is somehow more magical than another figure). And again, I'm just saying that $30m is probably more forgiving than the lower figures. I don't deny at all that other ways can work. I too have have used $12m worth of starters with some success.

2. For a quick visual, here's the whole argument in action:

This is my team (veteran manager):

This is [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3]'s team (veteran manager):

Even though we got there in completely opposite ways ([b:83a2d2c7a3]J-Pav[/b:83a2d2c7a3] $25.94 SP, $10.75 RP, [b:83a2d2c7a3]$36.69 total[/b:83a2d2c7a3]; [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] $13.20 SP, 5.05 RP, [b:83a2d2c7a3]$18.25 total[/b:83a2d2c7a3]), we had nearly identical offensive statistics ([b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] was 5th in runs scored with 843, I was 6th with 827) and I had slightly better pitching (my ERA was 4.10 with a 1.27 whip to his 4.25 ERA, 1.33 whip). I was first in earned runs allowed, [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] was 5th.

Which style is easier to replicate is debatable, but [i:83a2d2c7a3]I[/i:83a2d2c7a3] think a newcomer to the game would find it [i:83a2d2c7a3]easier[/i:83a2d2c7a3] to err on the side of better pitching.

To bring us full circle, both [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] and I had identical 92-70 expected records (pythag records). I had ten ( :shock: ) gifts from HAL with Cordero ($0.90)/Beimel ($0.83) closing. [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] made some moves, but he had only two takeaways from HAL with what ended up to be a five dollar pen. We both had very good teams, but I don't think anyone would have been able to forecast ahead of time how we would perform in one run games: me 31-16, [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] 22-22.

Lastly, although I had love from HAL, homefield advantage and a 15-9 head-to-head record over the Tactics, [b:83a2d2c7a3]durantjerry[/b:83a2d2c7a3] smoked me in the playoffs with a sweep, and winning two one run games (ultimate irony here :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: ).
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Postby J-Pav » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:13 am

I meant to mention this earlier, but... [b:6c76b5a01d]Dean[/b:6c76b5a01d] started a very worthwhile thread called "Arm/range studies" over in the Strategy forum. Read it and learn from it, vets and newbs alike. :idea:
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Postby Jerlins » Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:35 pm


To add to your point in regards to pitching, yes, I have to agree, newer players should err to the side of pitching. Back in 05, and unfamiliar with the game still, the success of my teams relied for the most part, the formula you suscribe here, as well as other posts from the old boards (boy do I miss the amount of posts regarding strategies from those boards), from different players.

Yes, pitching should include the other intangibles such as ballpark selection, divisional opponents, etc into account. Having a Josh Beckett and Matt Capps on an AT&T team will surely yield different results than having them both on a Chase team.

I'm in no way advocating the hitting route as the path to success. I actually prefer a much balanced attack to the hitting and pitching side. Referring back to that 05 set, I couldn't imagine fielding a team that spent so little in pitching, but I also thought the pitching and hitting were more balanced $ wise. Last year, if you wanted a decent $30 pitching staff, you had to either sacrifice hitting, defense or both to accomplish that. This year's set is a little more forgiving in that regard, but not enough to push me back in that direction. Being involved in two 08 predrafts, and seeing what's out there in regards to hitting and pitching, as long as the salaries are in line, I could find myself heading back to the $30 direction.
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Postby J-Pav » Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:30 am


I look back at my '03, '04 and '05 teams once in awhile too. Lots of strategies made for a [b:61c91b9036]LOT[/b:61c91b9036] of interesting posts!

I go back and forth between "older was better" and "newer is better". I like experimenting, so for that, the old card sets were definitely better; however, if you missed waivers running you might as well forget it. The player pool was so thin back then! But with the thin pool you had all these wacky strategies, which made the boards so much more fun, too.

Today I love the deep player pool. You can skip waivers entirely and just step in any time and fix your team in a matter of minutes. I love not having to hover over the computer at 3:59pm CST for fear of missing the one good player who was passed over, but will remain available only until 30 seconds after waivers run.

However, the game tastes a lot like vanilla sometimes, and I've often considered following the Old [i:61c91b9036]Old Guard[/i:61c91b9036] into Strat-O retirement. We'll have to wait and see how the new '08 tweaks work out. I'd love to play 30 man leagues, but not if they take 4-6 weeks to fill.


With regard to bullpen, I didn't gel up the rubber glove to really get in there. My personal strategy is high dollar middle relief, super low dollar one-sided closers. It seems to me that HAL likes this set-up (as would Bill James, I think), so this is how I usually go. I like the number of innings assigned in descending order of salary (that is, the high dollar pitchers get the most innings). To [i:61c91b9036]me[/i:61c91b9036], this is the most efficient way to build [i:61c91b9036]my[/i:61c91b9036] bullpen.

I also like the R3 relievers such as Carrasco in that sub $3 range, or Hong Kong Kuo for a buck and two bits.

I used to go one stud closer, one stud set-up man, but I could never mentally resolve a $6 pitcher getting only 50 innings of work in my brain. The way to rationalize through it is to claim that the ninth inning of a close game is worth 6x more than the first inning. This would justify the Big Dollar Closer. One of the baseball stat books mentions this somewhere.

For me, I'll take Wheeler/Farnsworth, Ray/Thornton, Cordero/Beimel or Valverde/Beimel any time for one inning. But that's just my personal preference. I think any rational spending in that $12-15 dollar range will get you a bullpen set-up that works just fine.
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Postby the splinter » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:48 am

[quote:37c06fd5e1]I also like the R3 relievers such as Carrasco in that sub $3 range, or Hong Kong Kuo for a buck and two bits[/quote:37c06fd5e1]

In 07 I have routinely received 120+innings and 3.5-4.5 era's from the true steal of the set .....J.Sanchez! I have found that if I can keep him under 140 innings he is stellar! His best season for me was in The Cell where he went 10-2 with 2 saves and a 4.18 era in 146 innings! He has thrown over 150 innings for me in many seasons......all for .61!
the splinter
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Postby thegrayman » Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:47 am

[quote:5a7bb7367f="the splinter"][quote:5a7bb7367f]I'm not convinced that outstanding defensive ranges up the middle, as compared to other positive factors, has some extra special significance to building a winner in 2007[/quote:5a7bb7367f]

I can't and don't try to make the game too complicated but anyone who feels that Omar Vizqel, the single greatest D card Strat has ever produced, is over valued in 07 can let me draft him with the #1 pick every time.[/quote:5a7bb7367f]

I don't know, the Ryne Sandberg 1 with 4 wasn't he, was very sweet as well.
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