A couple months ago, I shared a piece that explained how I pro-rate standings in ottoneu leagues to figure out where I ACTUALLY stand and what I should be doing moving forward. Now that we are at the half-way mark, I wanted to revisit that piece, make a couple adjustments to my process, and update my plans.
If you haven’t read that piece, you can start with that and take a look at how I look at all stats on a per-game and per inning basis in roto leagues and the score I use in points leagues to see a more realistic look at what each team is doing.
The one change I make to my process now that we are later in the season, is to no longer assume every team will fill out all their games played (I continue to assume IP will be maxed out, but that will change later in the season, too).
At the bottom of each team’s lineup page, you can see how many games that team has used at each position and how many they are projected to reach by the end of the year.If you assume that every team has a “starter” at each position and a “backup” (I know some teams use platoons, but for our purposes that won’t matter), there are only two ways (at least as far as I can tell) to make up games and get your projected games played back up to 162 (or 810 for OF):
The most common method is to use your backup on Mondays and Thursdays when your starter’s team is not playing. When your starter gets an off day on a weekend, Tuesday or Wednesday, using your backup just helps you keep pace, using your backup when your starter doesn’t miss a game actually adds a game you otherwise would not have.
The other method is taking advantage of any doubleheaders on the calendar. Playing a backup on a day when he has two games and your starter has one may be a bad strategy (it depends on the gap between the two and whether you need to improve your rates or your counting stats) but it can help you catch up in games played.
There are 23 Mondays or Thursdays left in the season. If most teams play on just over half of those days, that leaves 10-11 chances to make up a game. If we assume a double-header in there too, each team will be able to make up about 12 games per position. If you are currently on pace for 156 games at 1B, you should be able to hit 162 if you want, but if you are on pace for 140, you are likely to max out closer to 150-152.
The two exceptions are catcher, where you can play two every day and make up ground in a hurry, and OF, where I instead assume you can make up two games per Monday/Thursday, or about 46 total.
Based on this, the calculations for expected games played at a given position are:
- C: Assume 162 for now
- 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, Util: Current Project Games Played+12, unless that is greater than 162 – then you use 162
- OF: Current Project Games Played+46, unless that is greater than 810 – then you use 810
Once I have these projected games played, I can use the per-game stats to calculate projected final stats for each team. For example, runs per game to date times projected total games played gives me total expected runs for the year.
Obviously this has it’s faults. A team way over the pace at 1B and behind at SS will see their offense fall off, while a team catching up at 1B may be able to improve. A team generally ahead of the pace can be more picky the rest of the way and likely do better than they have so far, while a team behind will have to be more aggressive and will do worse on a per game basis. Finally, teams that make made trades, have prospects promoted, etc. will likely see some improvement, as well. But I think this gives you a more realistic picture than you get from the standings alone.
In points leagues, I take my new projected games played and my assumed 1500 IP per team, and multiply them by the current Pts/G and Pts/IP. This has similar faults to the roto process, but again, I believe it is a better system than just looking at the standings.
In my leagues, this has given me some very helpful data. In the original ottoneu, I currently sit third, far from second and with the fourth place team getting close. But when I reconsider in light of projected games, I gain a couple points and the fourth place teams loses a couple, and I actually have a 10 point lead, rather than four. I have been trying to add a SP in that league, since HR/9 is my biggest problem area, but my willingness to spend just dropped a bit.
In the FanGraphs Experts League, I am six points clear in first, and was slowing down trade talks. But the second place team and I flip when I recalculate the standings, and I am down six instead of up. In large part, this is a result of my team currently sitting on nine points for K’s, but actually only being on pace to finish with five. Might be time to add some high K pitching!
And lastly, in the FanGraphs Staff League, I am currently in first, but when I look at my ranking stat ([1944/1500]*Pts/G+Pts/IP) or at projected standings, things are still very tight. While a 200 point lead at this point in the season is actually not bad, I only project to end up with a 200 point lead – so I will likely start looking to buy another piece or two.
For teams in the middle of the standings, this can really help you understand if you are likely to get back in the race or if it is time to bail and focus on 2014. It’s a pretty simple process, but it can give you some serious information on your league and may help you see through the fogginess created by discrepancies in player usage.
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