A New Fantasy Pitching Points Proposal

(it takes me a while to get there, but in this post I propose an alternative to the current FanGraphs Points scoring system for pitchers)

Last week, LuckyStrikes asked me to do a post talking about and defending the scoring system used for pitchers in ottoneu FanGraphs Points leagues (I’m the one that developed it).  He pointed out that Doug Fister has been a top-20 pitcher thus far in FanGraphs Points, and went so far to say that it seemed like any scrub pitcher in San Diego or Seattle seems to do well in this system.

Here’s the thing: Fister arguably has been a top-20 pitcher thus far (or, at least, right on the fringes of top-20).  He has 2.7 WAR, which ranks exactly 20th in MLB right now among pitchers, with a 3.09 ERA and a 3.13 FIP in 125 innings!  He’s been fantastic.  In fact, the entire Seattle rotation has been fantastic:

 

 

 

 

 

Honestly, if a scoring system did NOT rank all of these pitchers highly, I’d be pretty concerned.  Maybe their xFIP indicates some of them won’t carry this forward.  But we’re scoring based on 2011 performance, not what they’ll do in the future.

To further illustrate the point, here’s a comparison of how the top 100 starters by FanGraphs Points compares to their current FanGraphs WAR:

Comparison of FanGraphs Points totals to fWAR for pitchers.

While not tremendously surprising given that they are both “built” upon FIP, it is the case that FanGraphs Points for pitchers tracks closely with FanGraphs pitcher WAR.  But there are differences.  Some of that is the fact that WAR corrects for park effects, while FanGraphs Points do not.  But more importantly, while WAR uses replacement level as its baseline, FanGraphs Points is designed to scale more like an absolute runs statistics like wRC to match up with the hitting points.  That means that FG Points will give a lot more credit for playing time than WAR, which is the main reason that you see more scatter on the left side of this figure.  Some pitchers have thrown a lot of innings, but have not performed well in those innings, and so they accumulate little WAR but a decent number of FG Points.  Again, this is by design.  To get a better comparison to WAR, you really should look at points above a replacement player in the same number of innings, which I’m not doing here.

The point is, the FG Points system works pretty darn well in terms of capturing season-level pitcher value.  That said, while I’ve gotten almost no questions about the hitter points (I assume everyone loves them), I’ve fielded a ton of questions over e-mail and in other contexts about how pitching is scored in ottoneu.  Some people simply do not like it.  The reason I think that there are so many questions about the pitcher scoring is that, on a start-to-start level, it doesn’t always jive our perceptions.  Take, for example, Francisco Liriano’s no hitter:
9 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 HR, 6 BB, 2 K.
It was worth 31 points in the FanGraphs Points system, which is the score you’d expect from a fairly average, solid start.  And it was a NO HITTER.  Perhaps a really lucky no-hitter, but a no-hitter nonetheless.

What about Madison Bumgarner’s disastrous start:
1/3 IP, 8 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 1 K
That was worth +4 points!  A positive score when it was a historically bad appearance.

The reason they are scored as they are is that FanGraphs Points uses only innings pitched, strikeouts, walks, and home runs to score pitchers (just like FIP).  It works great at the season level, but at the single-start level it can lead to some outcomes that are admittedly counterintuitive.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong, or in need of fixing.  But it takes a leap of faith to accept that Bumgarner’s start wasn’t really as bad as it appeared.

A Proposed Alternative

In an effort to come up with an alternative, I’ve been fiddling with a modified points system that includes point penalties for hits allowed.  I’ll provide discussion of the methodology at the end of the post, so scroll down for that.  But here’s what I’ve come up with:

IP: +7.4
K: +2
H: -2.6
BB: -3
HBP: -3
HR: -12.3
SV: +5
HLD: +4

The only differences between this system and FanGraphs Points are the points attributed to innings (previously +5), hits (previously 0), and home runs (previously -13).

Here’s a comparison between the current FanGraphs Points and this new system:


As you can see, it doesn’t much of a difference at the half-season level.  The correlation is 0.984 between the two scores, and the standard deviation of the difference among the top 200 pitchers is 32 points.  By season’s end, based on past years, the standard deviation will be ~46-50 points.  So we’re talking about a difference of one or two starts’ worth of points (or less) for two thirds of all pitchers.  Furthermore, the average scores track very well, with a slope very close to one.  Better pitchers score slightly (~20 points?) higher in this system, while poorer pitchers score a comparably lower amount.  It’s not a big difference.

The pitchers who get the biggest bump moving to this new system are those who have an ERA that is substantially better than their FIP: Justin Verlander (+108 pts), Jared Weaver (+87 pts), Josh Beckett (+84 pts), etc.  And the pitchers hurt the most are (mostly) those who have had FIP’s smaller than their ERA: Chris Carpenter (-47 pts), Jeff Francis (-65 pts), Jake Westbrook (-63 pts), etc.  So, what we’re doing in this system is rewarding pitchers for getting “lucky” and penalizing pitchers for getting “unlucky.”

What do we gain from this?  Here is a table showing all of last Sunday’s starts, along with their scores by FanGraphs Points and this new points system:

Three takeaways:

1. For the most part, it doesn’t matter much.  Most games are are scored within 4-7 points under the two systems.

2. It does matter in those games in which pitchers give up far more or far fewer hits than expected.  For example, Jake Peavy had a bad start on Sunday, lasting only 4.1 innings and giving up 5 runs.  The old system rates it as a not-good-not-terrible 20-point start: he walked 2, struck out 2, allowed no home runs, but didn’t last 5 innings.  The new system rates it as a bad, near-zero start because he gave up 10 hits in that time, which led to a lot of runs.

Similarly, Cole Hamels was very good over 8 innings on Sunday, striking out six, walking two, and allowing only 3 hits and one run.  FanGraphs Points gives him 46 points for the effort, which is great.  But this new system gives him 11 more points because he only allowed three hits, bumping his total up to 57 points overall.

Two other examples: Francisco Liriano’s no hitter I mentioned earlier?  Instead of 31 points, it’s worth 53 points under this new system.  And Madison Bumgarner’s disaster?  Now, it’s worth -19 points instead of +4.

3. It does tend to be the case that the best starts get a few more points under this system, while the poor starts get slightly fewer points.  That means that the spread for what a pitcher might score on a given day has increased under this system.  It also makes streaming more dangerous, which is probably a good thing.

Is This a Change Worth Making?

I have run this by Niv Shah, who owns/runs the ottoneu games, and he is considering changing over to this system in ottoneu points leagues and/or in pick six at some point (though he has yet to make a decision).  And unless I uncover significant problems with it, I’m also going to propose we move to this in the Yahoo league I run, which uses pretty much the same points system as ottoneu.  As I see it, these are the pros and cons to changing the system:

Pros
* Individual starts are more intuitively scored in the new system, and are a better match for what happened on the field.
* Overall season scores don’t change a lot (few pitchers would see a real change in value), but when they do they more closely follow stats like ERA than FIP (i.e. they match on-field performances better).
*  The rare pitcher that has the ability to consistently outperform his FIP will be rewarded in this system.
* Fantasy managers may be able to use knowledge of FIP/xFIP and such to gain an advantage over less savvy managers, as in most other fantasy leagues.

Cons
* Change means that some pitchers will inevitably see a change in their value.
* Fielders will have more influence over pitcher scores than before, and the same is probably true for park effects.
* Lucky pitchers get rewarded more than they used to when they are lucky, and unlucky pitchers get penalized.  This is how baseball works, of course, so we could view this as a “Pro.”  But we need to acknowledge that this is, by in large, what we’re imposing by adopting this system.

To me, the pros of a system that better matches real baseball outweighs the cons.  A google spreadsheet showing current 2011 statistics and scoring by both systems can be found here.  Please feel free to take a look.  I’d be interested to hear what you think about this in the comments below.

A few words on the methods (you can skip this if you want)

To figure out appropriate coefficients for hits and home runs under this new system, I used the pitcher statistic base runs equation found here to estimate total runs allowed for the 2010 season.  I then used the +1 method to determine how many extra runs would come from a hit or a home run.  This simply means you add one to the home run total and see how much your estimated total runs increases while holding the other factors constant.  Using this, an extra home run (but no extra hits) gives +1.23 runs, which equates (using 10 points per run, as in the hitting scoring) to -12.3 points.

An extra hit provided an extra 0.515 runs.  However, I opted to divide this total in two before converting to points, which resulted in the current point value of -2.6 points.  I did this for two reasons.  First, it adds some regression into the system.  Hits are important, but they are also subject to a lot of things that pitchers cannot control, and therefore I think it’s appropriate to reduce their impact a bit.  Second, if you don’t do this, you start seeing the scores for top pitchers soar from the 1200 range up into the 1400’s, which completely obliterates hitter scores.

Innings Pitched totals were just increased until the scores were on the same scale as the previous system.  I wish I could claim there was a better justification for them being 7.4 points, but there really isn’t.  It’s just a value that “works.”

I expected the home run scores to decrease more than they have once we added hits, maybe getting them into the -8 point range.  The reason they’ve continued to be important is that they, combined with hits, are used to estimate doubles and triples.  Once you start adding in points for hits, and adding more points for outs to counter this, you need the points on home runs to keep ground ball pitchers valuable.

Also, I considered changing the values of walks, hbp, and k’s as well.  However, the spreadsheet indicated that the value of walks and HBP’s should increase in magnitude (to -3.3 pts), and the value of strikeouts should decrease substantially.  This would mean adding even more points to innings pitched to offset those loses, which led (like with the hit points) to extreme values at the top of the scale, and to a loss in value to certain pitchers that seemed inappropriate.  Therefore, I opted to keep them as they are.




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Justin is a lifelong Reds fan, and first played fantasy baseball on Prodigy with a 2400 baud modem. His favorite Excel function is the vlookup(). You can find him on twitter @jinazreds, even though he no longer lives in AZ.


33 Responses to “A New Fantasy Pitching Points Proposal”

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  1. Byron says:

    Could you use types of balls in play instead of actual hits?

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    • Justin Merry says:

      My preference is to focus on official pitching statistics. I think this makes the game more approachable. That’s why I’m not using actual doubles/triples allowed, but rather estimating them from H’s and HR’s.

      Besides, there’s a lot of subjectivity that is at play with ball in play types. I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing anything but GB/FB. Furthermore, if you do that, I don’t think you’re doing much to resolve the issue of a lack of match between on-field outcomes of starts and scoring. I’d rather just stick with the FIP-based system than go that route.

      Fielding will influence outcomes. But really, fielding essentially becomes another type of park effect for pitchers, and we already have park effects.
      -j

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      • theeiffeltower says:

        Could you explain how an estimation of doubles and triples from hits and home runs is more “approachable” or closer to “official pitching statistics” than just using doubles and triples allowed? Seems like it’s precisely the opposite way around to me.

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      • Justin Merry says:

        By official pitching statistics, I mean the ones traditionally and officially tracked for pitchers. It’s what you find at MLB.com, and it’s what you find in the Baseball Databank database. It’s also how most projections are presented. IP, H, K, BB, HR, etc. 2B’s and 3B’s allowed are not tracked.

        I understand your point approachability. And you might be right. I just felt it was more helpful to stick with the stats that most people have accessible to them when doing the scoring, rather than using stats that aren’t typically tracked (even though they should be).

        Justin

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    • lk;klkl says:

      klklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklklfag

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  2. RMR says:

    Pretty simple explanation. Sabermetrically inclined folks intuitively give much more weight to strikeouts (and walks, to a lesser extent) than they do HRs. In other words, people are going to think that guys with a ow HR rate as being overrated in Otteneu. We’re so geared towards thinking about things from the predictive perspective that we sometimes struggle with look solely at past performance.

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  3. Tom B says:

    I have the original point system set up in a H2H league and the biggest issue I notice is that closers/setup men are barely worth being rostered, especially over an RP eligible starter.

    Also in a H2H format this point system needs an innings pitched limit or you can just stream yourself to a win every week. I like to try to force setup-men and closers to all be rostered, but its way more worth it to just roster another starter (even a mediocre one) as they will outscore a reliever almost every week.

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    • Kadjilliounaire says:

      There is a 1500 IP limit in ottoneu. Because of the bonuses given for holds and saves, RP earn far more points on a per inning basis.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      Yeah, this is always an issue in H2H points leagues, and that doesn’t change with this system.

      I run a Yahoo H2H points league. To combat this to at least some degree, we:
      a) Have weekly transactions, which reduces streaming.
      b) Bump up the saves points to +7 and holds to +6. I might even go to +8/+7 next year.
      c) Have three RP slots, so you need guys with RP eligibility. Quality SP/RP’s are a big deal, though, in their two-start weeks. Otherwise, they’re at best equal and sometimes inferior to true closers.
      d) have 20 teams, 5 bench slots per team.

      I think it works ok. The league is deep enough that all of the good SP/RP’s are owned, and yet all of the closers are also still owned (20 teams * 3 RP slots = 60 starting RP-eligible pitchers per week). There are some managers who are starting a closer in their one “P” slot, though I think that’s madness.

      The remaining SP/RP’s on the waiver wire are pretty horrible pitchers, like Jakubausas or Chen (though Chen actually just got picked up). There are some top-end setup guys available (I picked up David Robertson last week as an injury replacement, for example), and some potential closer candidates like Joe Nathan. But it’s pretty slim pickins out there.

      There are apparently leagues in which you can institute a weekly start limit of 7 GS in H2H points formats. I think ESPN can do this, but haven’t checked on this myself. It’s something worth considering.

      The other thing you could try is to use a higher baseline: bigger penalty for outs for hitters and smaller bonus for IP for pitchers. This wouldn’t work in a 20-team league, but could work in a shallower league (I think).
      -j
      -j

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      • Tom B says:

        Yahoo not allowing an inning/start limit on H2H leagues is definitely what’s killing RP value… your deep league seems to take care of the extra pitchers, but in a 10-12 team league there are way more “stream-able” pitchers around than normal. Even with a weekly moves limit (i have it at 4 right now) picking up 2 start pitchers is infinitely more valuable than rostering an RP.

        The only way I’ve been able to combat it this season is to enforce managers keeping 4 RP’s rostered. Do you think bumping the saves/holds points will solve it, or is adjusting the points per inning pitched a batter route?

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      • Tom B says:

        btw, i have the league set to:
        C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, OF, Util, Util, SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, RP, RP, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL

        4 moves per week

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      • Justin Merry says:

        As it is, most weeks, I see closers holding steady with SP/RP’s. If an SP/RP has a bad start, they can be overwhelmed by closers pretty easily (I’ve seen 50+ point weeks by closers this year, though 15-35 points is more typical). When SP/RP’s are two-start starters, however, they can be pretty dominant.

        My ideal point would be where a good closer is averaging as many points per week as an SP/RP. If the SP/RP has two starts, he wins. But if not, the closer usually wins. That would seem to be pretty good balance.

        I don’t think you’ll ever get completely away from the SP/RP issue unless you insist that no SP’s can be rostered in RP slots (which is hard to enforce as a commish). At this point, I think most managers in my league understand the effect of SP/RP’s, though, so it’s just a quirk of the league.

        That, or impose weekly start limits. I’m iffy on doing that, but it’s an option…
        -j

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    • Tom B says:

      Before there is more confusion let me elaborate on my request.

      Halladay – 5.8
      Sabathia – 5.4
      Verlander – 5.2
      Kimbrel – 9.5
      Venters – 7.2
      Hanrahan – 9.11

      That’s 2011 points per inning. My question is… in a H2H setup using this point system, should RP’s be worth more than this? Consider that pitchers will pitch roughly 6-12 innings per week and RP’s will only pitch 5. Essentially managers are better off rostering extra starters and no relievers.

      I’m looking for a “how do I fix this for H2H”, not an explanation of how Ottoneu is set up.

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  4. LuckyStrikes says:

    Excellent analysis, Justin. And, thanks for reviewing this in the first place.
    I haven’t crunched the numbers but I think I’m in favor of changing the points as you’ve proposed, but for another reason not mentioned here: Pitcher’s values are now closer to their perceived value.
    This comes to play mostly in trade discussions. Consider the fact that at the mid point of the season some teams are in it or out of it, and are making decisions based on their position. It’s been mentioned in our league several times that, because pitchers like Fister (high FG points value but low to zero “perceived” fantasy value) are more readily available at auction that “ace” SP’s are available from other teams, it seems counter-productive to trade a big bat like Matt Kemp for Dan Haren when you could hold onto Kemp and take a shot at a guy like Livan Hernandez for next to nothing. For many teams, the combo and Kemp/Hernandez is more valuable in the stretch run that Haren alone, a fact that has, in some small ways, limited the willingness of non-contending teams to trade offense even for properly priced starting pitchers with fantasy “name recognition”. In summary, I think this helps align “perceived” player fantasy value with actual Ottoneu market value.
    Not sure that makes sense, but I like the new setup – I’d be in favor of the change. The Peavy paragraph seems like the best argument – it wasn’t a good start at all, and under the new system it wouldn’t be scored like one either.
    Regardless of what changes are made, Ottoneu is awesome.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      Just to clarify, I’m sure Niv wouldn’t make a change to the scoring system mid-season.

      I think it would change some players slightly. Fister really sees no change in value at all, as you’d expect given that his FIP is almost the same as his ERA (though it’s actually not the ERA that it directly tracks. It’s more of a component ERA, which you can see as BsR/9 in the spreadsheet linked above).

      But yes, guys like Justin Verlander get a nice bump, which is in keeping with his perceived dominance (he’s legitimately awesome, but probably has gotten a bit lucky).
      -j

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    • Kadjilliounaire says:

      I might be in favor of the new scoring system, but I disagree with your logic here Strikes.

      Aren’t differences in perceived value what successful owners are supposed to exploit in order to win? Why incent owners who don’t understand or give proper creedence to fielding-independent statistics by changing the scoring to compensate for their ignorance?

      If owners want to believe Max Scherzer is more valuable than Doug Fister because that is what their 5×5 experience has taught them, I’m happy to let them overpay and snatch up the traditionally-under-the-radar FIP stars on the cheap.

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      • Justin Merry says:

        Yeah, this is one potential advantage to the new system. Pitcher point totals should be more in line with normal fantasy player values, which lets savvy owners find the undervalued players who will have better performance in the future. This was a complaint that surfaced when I first introduced the pitching points system here at FanGraphs, and I think it’s a compelling argument.

        The issue of whether ERA-FIP discrepancies are meaningful is always a fun one. Everyone always thinks they’ve found the exception to the rule… usually they haven’t. :)
        -j

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  5. bahozak says:

    Great stuff. Adding hits, while seemingly intuitive, really scares me. Why not, instead, reward pitchers more for going deeper into games (instead of penalizing them per “hit” when it could be more a function of the defense behind them). Perhaps each IP through the 5th is worth 5 pts, but each IP after 5 in a start increases in value by a point or so. Pitchers that surrender a bunch of hits will rack up pitch counts and pitch more “stressful” innings, likely limiting their ability to get deep into games. This way, individual hits aren’t so penalizing, but it still satisfies the intuition that pitchers who give up a ton of hits had less valuable starts than those that got efficient outs.

    A few natural by-products of this change add to its appeal:
    – It would account for higher-leverage pitching at the end of games
    – It would naturally level-off a bit of the advantage that RP’s have from a points-per-inning perspective (getting 4 and 5 points for saves/holds).
    – It levels off the value of efficient pitchers against purely strikeout pitchers. For example, Jurrjens goes 8 IP, only strikes out 2; Norris goes 5 IP, strikes out 10. Jurrjens: 42 pts, Norris 45 pts AND Norris didn’t “cost” his team as many IP’s which can then be used to accumulate MORE points.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      I’m not sure if Niv could do this. He probably could, because he’s awesome like that. But even if so, while I think I see your point, I’m not really attracted to this idea.

      On your last point, one thing you’ll likely see is that Jurrjens will give up more hits than Norris, which may deplete his value a tad. Then again, he won’t walk anyone either, so maybe not. Jurrjens has been a bit lucky thus far, and does see a small bump up in his value under this new system compared to the current system.

      Also, do you think the special RP points are a problem currently? I’ve wondered about this. You do need at least a five-man rotation of good pitchers plus a full bullpen to hit the innings cap, and even then you likely still have some room to work with. The RP’s with SP eligibility seem like they could be a big deal, but I’m not sure what the effect size is….30-50 points over a full season? Interested to hear input on this.
      -j

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      • bahozak says:

        I understand your comment about Jurrjens luck specifically, but I was just using him as an example of a low-K guy who has been successful at going late into games based on efficiently getting outs.

        This ties into your follow up question about RP’s because the Pts/IP is an important consideration with an innings max. I agree with you that you’d need at least a 5 man rotation to get to the IP max. I wouldn’t say that RP’s having substantially higher Pts/IP is a “problem” under the current system for this reason, but I think a system that allows SP’s to increase their Pts/IP without having to strikeout a ton of hitters would be an improvement. Getting outs efficiently should be rewarded.

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      • Justin Merry says:

        Efficient outings are rewarded, though, because efficient outs will mean more IP’s. These get even more points than usual under the proposed system.

        There was a concern that the leagues would be won by fantasy managers who best “streamed” RP’s to get holds and saves. For example, putting SP eligible relievers into starting slots to get some extra holds or saves shouldn’t be what decides a league. But we wanted RP’s to have some extra value to make them worth fretting over, and to acknowledge the higher leverage in which they pitch..
        -j

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  6. Kadjilliounaire says:

    Minimizing the effects of luck/unluck is a big part of ottoneu’s charm. I agree that this proposed new system makes game-level scoring more intuitive in terms of reflecting the on-field results, but is that really the purpose of ottoneu?

    Also, a point about Bumgarner’s awful outing: I can’t argue the oddity that he netted +4 points with that stat line. That said, I can make the argument that any Bumgarner owner was penalized to a degree because he only pitched a third of an inning when 6 or 7 were expected. MadBum forfeited his turn in the rotation and as a result, the lost innings now have to be pitched by what is likely to be an inferior option from an FIP standpoint.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      It’s a good point. I guess as I see it, the scoring system’s main goal is to reflect player value as we generally measure it (in WAR, etc). Whether that includes hits allowed is subject to opinion, I guess–that’s the big difference between WAR at FanGraphs and WAR at Baseball-Reference.

      As it is, the system does minimize luck/unluck. What we’d be doing here is basically minimizing situation-based luck (wins, rbi’s, 3-run homers)…but still including (regressed) hit-em-where-they-aint luck. In a sense, though, we already do that, because we use outs (be they strikeouts other other outs) as a major part of pitcher scoring with the IP term.

      In the end, it doesn’t matter much at the seasonal level. But I think it does make the game more intuitive and approachable, and that has some merit.
      -j

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      • Kadjilliounaire says:

        You are right, it absolutely does make the game more intuitive and approachable and as the creator of the scoring system I think you can and should be looking for ways to make it sensible for a wider audience while maintaining its statistical integrity.

        As a user, I rather enjoy some of the quirks of the scoring system and am okay with game-level results that aren’t necessarily intuitive. The game is geared toward season-long results not game-level and as you’ve alluded to, I believe the oddities smooth over the course of a season.

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      • Justin Merry says:

        You’re right that it mostly doesn’t matter at the season level. And part of the reason I’m only doing half-points on hits is so they don’t take over..

        Another reason to consider it: not all non-repeatable hits are necessarily luck. Some if them are probably due to bad performance by pitchers, who will later make adjustments to prevent them from continuing to happen. This new system recognizes that kind of real event as having value. I don’t know how prevalent this sort of thing is, but it’s probably more common than is often recognized in saver circles. -j

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  7. bahozak says:

    “Efficient outings are rewarded, though, because efficient outs will mean more IP’s.”

    The problem is that more IP’s is not an advantage. All teams will have the benefit of the max 1,600 IP’s. Going deeper into a game, pitching efficiently, is actually a DISADVANTAGE if your pitcher does not also accumulate strikeouts – your Pts/IP is diluted. Go back to the example, for instance. Jurrjens’ 8 IP’s with 2 K’s gets 42 points, but Norris’ 5 IP’s with even just 3 K’s is still better because (1) his pts/IP is higher and (2) add a 3 IP performance from another SP with, say 2 K’s, and you’ve scored more points while using the same number of IP’s.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      Ah, yes, you’re right. Mostly, anyway. You do need to fill your innings cap somehow, and can’t do it efficiently with waiver wire garbage. And you can’t do it all with RP’s, despite their high Pts/IP, because they don’t throw enough innings to get to the cap. That goes to Kadj’s point above about Bumgarner.

      And pitchers that regularly go deep into games also tend to be those pitchers earning more than average points per inning. Those with fewer K’s tend to be those with fewer walks, or else they just don’t survive (Jurrjens is 4.85 pts/IP and Norris is 4.54 pts/IP this year under the current system).

      But I see your point. I just can’t seem to get overly excited about your proposal, however. I don’t know if Niv can do it, for one. Two, it’s less approachable for those new to the game. Three, I’m not sure how one would do it in a manner that is fair and equitable. I guess you could look at average leverage index per inning and use that as your guide. And four, I’m not sure whether it really is a real problem. Are there a lot of pitchers that are substantially under- or over-valued because they go too long into games and yet don’t put up good points/IP rates?
      -j

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      • Tom B says:

        Isn’t this one of the driving concepts of projecting production? That pitchers with low k totals and high walk totals just flat out don’t last long in games to begin with? They would not be the pitchers you would target in an Ottoneu league, because they would be highly unreliable. Worrying about adjusting the points for the one or two pitchers in the league that can sidestep this is not worth any amount of trouble.

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  8. LuckyStrikes says:

    Kadjilliounaire, there will still be plenty of exploitation opportunities if the scoring changed. That is evident by the minimal standard deviation in Justin’s graph about – there just aren’t that many significant changes. But my point is that just because you can “exploit” some owners into thinking a $20 Max Scherzer is better than a $1 Doug Fister, there’s no way you’ll be able to trade a $1 Doug Fister for a $35 Jason Heyward in the second half if you need the offense. Regardless of how efficient Fister is in Ottoneu, he’s still Doug Fister. The slight change in point values bridges some of the gap between actual production and name recognition in Ottoneu.
    As for RP scoring, I love it. Please don’t change it. High leverage RP should be rewarded. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much of an impact my relatively nameless bullpen has kept me high in the standings for 2011. Just like in MLB, a great bullpen makes a huge difference.

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  9. Shankly says:

    I have yet to play Ottoneu but do enjoy Picksix. I personally would not be in favour of such a change. I enjoy the idea of using FIP to gauge points. Liriano had a no hitter but it wasn’t a good one. 6BB and 2K! He was tremendously helped by fielding. Bumgarner less so in his start. I think the luck should be stripped out of the scoring and stay out. FIP is based on things a pitchet can control, ERA less so. Why should a pitcher be judged on how his fielders didn’t get to batted balls and allowed them to fall for hits? Or, how a scorer judged a particular play by allowing a hit rather than an error.
    I suppose it really depends on whether FIP is seen as the ultimate measure of a pitcher’s performance. If it is seen as so then the scoring should stay. If ERA and all its faults is preferred then by all means change it. However, to do that means FIP becomes redundant in the game as it will not be a good indicator of performance. Thus a knowledge of FIP and xFIP, two things seen as beneficial to a fantasy manager in the article, will be irrelevant as a great FIP performance would be ruined by a few unlucky hits.
    Just my thoughts.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      Thanks for the feedback! A few things:

      First, knowledge of FIP/xFIP is still very much relevant because it will be more predictive of future performance than ERA (or current scoring per inning, or what have you). After all, that’s sort of the point of those stats: FIP is more predictive of future ERA than ERA itself. If anything, it gives savvy players an even bigger advantage.

      Second, while FIP is a great stat, it is not the be all, end all. There are pitchers who have skill in beating their peripherals. Not by a lot, but it’s a real skill. This system will better reward those pitchers.

      Third, while fielders do have more influence in this new system, fielders already do influence the scoring by creating outs (innings pitched). Errors will still not count against pitchers. Furthermore, we’re only giving a 50% penalty for hits, so their effect is muted relative to reality. It’s a component ERA we’d be using, which tracks FIP more closely than ERA does.

      Food for thought!
      Justin

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  10. Sim says:

    If you were to include doubles allowed and triples allowed in this system instead of just hits, what would it look like?

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