At the end of the night on April 23, I pulled down all of the standings for all of the ottoneu points leagues that had a full complement of 12 active teams. This being my first year playing in a points league, I wanted to know how my (at the time) third place team stacked up against the rest of the teams out there.
Was my 1,813.4 points a solid number that deserved to be in third? Would my 5.3 points per game and 4.7 points per inning hold up against stiff competition? I still not sure I have clear answers, but at least I have some additional data.
Let’s start with total scoring. As of April 23, there was a pretty large range in total points scored, from 541.2 at the bottom, to 2,546.3 at the top. The average team had 1,693.6 points at the time, putting my team comfortably above average, but well outside upper echelon.
Of course this doesn’t make the team at the top the “best” or the team at the bottom the “worst” – the number of games and innings used makes a huge difference. A team that is eating away all their innings as quickly as possible could be at the top of the pitching stats, but actually be just an average (or below average) team. In fact, the team with the highest total score had 4.9 points per game and 5.4 points per inning pitched to date. As you can see, putting up 700 more points than me didn’t mean that team was 700 points better, per se, just that they had played guys more often.
The average team was actually scoring slightly less than that team, but not a ton. On average, teams were putting up 4.85 points per game and 4.84 points per inning pitched. The balance there is quite interesting. Basically, on average, you expect an inning of work to equal a single game. As with total points, the range here is rather large. 6.6 points per game and 6.7 points per inning pitched were the top scorers; 3.0 per game and 2.1 per inning were the bottom. This also tells me that while my offense is hitting at a pretty solid clip above average, my pitching lags a bit behind.
Finally, at this point in the season, the average team has accumulated about 45% of their points from their pitching staff, which means that teams are likely using their games played and innings pitched at relatively similar rates. By the end of the year, teams can play up to 1,944 games on offense (162 games per position times 12 positions) and throw as many as 1,500 innings pitched. A team reaching both those targets and earning roughly the same per inning as per game would put up 43.5% of their points from pitching.
Moving forward, this data can be helpful in managing your team. Pitchers under 4.8 points per inning are, on average, bringing your team down, while anything above that level is helping you out. Similarly, hitters under 4.8 points per game are not carrying their weight.
Also, knowing the stark gap that can be created in the standings by a team using up their games as quickly as possible, I am going probably going to ignore the overall standings the rest of the way (at least for the next 2-3 months) and focus instead on where I stand in those averages. As long as I don’t fall too far behind in innings or games, I am not going to stress because I am 500 points behind a team that is ahead of the necessary pace. Keep those averages up, and I’ll be able to make a late run as I use pitchers and hitters my opposition doesn’t have space for.