This is the final installment of a 3-part series in which we explain the reasoning behind the stats chosen for the SABR Fantasy Baseball pilot league. We will explore how these stats differ from traditional 5×5 fantasy format, how they contribute to wins for their teams, and how they explain a player’s true value.
Traditions 5×5 fantasy formats typically group starting pitcher and relief pitchers stats together: Wins (W), Earned Run Average (ERA), Walks+Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP), Saves (S), and Strike Outs (SO). We believe the statistics that best value a relief pitcher are not the same as those that best value a starting pitcher. By separating the two we are allowed to focus on the stats that truly define a quality reliever.
SABR Fantasy Baseball utilizes 2 relief pitcher categories (starting pitchers get 4; starting pitchers are more valuable than relief pitchers):
Strikeouts per 9 Innings (K/9): Relievers often enter the game with runners on base so it is essential for your relief pitchers to have strikeout stuff. Pitchers who pitch to contact are more of a risk when in the bullpen and might be better served as a starter or long reliever.
Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP): When a reliever comes into a game, often with runners on base, it is important for them to throw strikes and keep runners off base.
The one stat you may notice not used is saves (S). Saves were not included because saves are often a function of the team you play for and not necessarily the quality of the reliever. Mariano Rivera (Yankees) received 26 more save opportunities than Javy Guerra (Dodgers). Relief pitchers who are able to strikeout batters and keep runners off base are a valuable assets to any team; regardless of the inning. Yes, there is a certain makeup that a relief pitcher needs to be a closer but that does not mean a quality 7th or 8th inning guy cannot rise to the occasion when given the chance.
Click here for the Championship Matchup Page (excel file): https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/fj9xe15kr54ypbv86igb.xls
The Green Mountain Boys are champions of SABR Fantasy Baseball but let’s take a closer look at how they did it…
The Green Mountain Boys offense was powered by Carlos Santana, Albert Pujols, Dustin Padroia, Adrian Beltre, Starlin Castro, Jay Bruce, Matt Morse and Colby Rasmus. With All-Stars up and down their lineup it is no surprise the Green Mountain Boys put up a combined .868 OPS (.356 OBP & .512 SLG). The team grounded into an alarming 10 double plays but kept a solid 0.15 K/PA. Adrian Beltre led the offense with a .905 SLG, .429 OBP, 0.10 K/PA, 1 NSB, and 1 GIDP. The Green Mountain Boys ended up winning 3 of the 5 hitting stats.
The Green Mountain Boys rotation also resembles that of an All-Star team: Cole Hamels, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Hudson, Jamie Garcia, and Colby Lewis. The rotation put up a combined 6.89 IP/GS, 0.99 WHIP, 7.62 K/9, and 1.74 GB/FB ratio. Kershaw led the way with a 7 1/3 IP/GS, 0.89 WHIP, 7.36 K/9, and 0.94 GB/FB ratio. An overall dominating performance from the rotation gave the Mountain Boys a sweep of all four pitching categories and an insurmountable 7-2 lead.
The Green Mountain Boys relievers put up good numbers but the Monstars would not go down without a fight and stole the two relief pitching categories. The Monstars posted an outstanding 14.81 K/9 and .871 WHIP; but even a great bullpen can’t always cover up a spotty rotation. The final score was 7-4 in favor of the Green Mountain Boys.
Congratulations to the Green Mountain Boys! While I would have like my Monstars to take it all they lost to the better team. Hope I see you in the finals next year so I can get my revenge!
Congratulations to Chuck McGill of the Gardner-Waterman Chapter for being the first champion of SABR Fantasy Baseball! Chuck, who now resides in Westford, Vermont, grew up watching the Red Sox and Fred Lynn in his home state of Road Island. He now feeds his passion for baseball by uncovering previously undocumented minor league no-hitters. In only a year’s time Chuck has uncovered over 100 no-hitters! Thank you Chuck for your contribution to SABR and now you can add SABR Fantasy Baseball champion to your resume.
Keep your eyes open because I will be announcing Chucks prize and hopefully some other exciting news about the future of SABR Fantasy Baseball in the coming days.
Thank you all again for your patience and help in making this a successful pilot league for SABR Fantasy Baseball. I hope to see you all back next year!
Click here for Playoffs: Week 2 Matchup Page (excel file): https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/bj8dqxjp6t6y556sn2hg.xls
Week two of the playoffs concluded last night and we are down to our final two teams. First let’s take a look at how week 2 two went down…
The Monstars (2) eliminated the San Francisco Seals (5) 8-3-0. The matchup was a lot closer than the score indicated (see matchup page). The Monstars needed to edged out 3 categories in dramatic fashion (NET SB: 4 v. 3; SP WHIP: 1.31 v. 1.34; SP IP/GP: 6.40 v. 6.37) to win the week. The Monstars ended up sweeping all 4 starting pitching categories and 5 out of the 6 total pitching categories. The Monstars will need another strong week from their rotation to go the distance.
The Green Mountain Boys sent Goin’ Goin’ See Ya home with a 7-4-0 win. The Green Mountain Boys also found success from their starters by winning all 4 of the SP categories. Goin’ Goin’ won both relief pitching categories to pick up their starters but the offense could never get it going and it showed with a weak team .560 OPS (.265 OBP & .295 SLG).
The finals, Monstars (2) @ Green Mountain Boys (1), begin today and will go through this Sunday (9/19-9/25). Playball!
Note: The finals will not show up on the Fantrax live scoring page since they have started the playoffs. I will have to keep close attention to which pichers/batters are starting each game when calculating the final week.
This is the second installment of a 3-part series in which we explain the reasoning behind the stats chosen for the SABR Fantasy Baseball pilot league. We will explore how these stats differ from the traditional 5×5 fantasy format, how they contribute to wins for their teams, and how they explain a player’s true value.
Traditional 5×5 fantasy baseball formats typically included the following pitching categories: Wins (W), Earned Run Average (ERA), Walks-Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP), Saves (S), and Strike Outs (SO). These stats are applicable to starting and relief pitchers alike. We believe the statistics that best describe a starting pitcher are not the same statistics that should be used to value a relief pitcher; which is why we decided to separate the two from each other.
SABR Fantasy Baseball utilizes 4 starting pitcher categories to value a starter’s skill set. They are:
Innings Pitched per Game Started (IP/GS): Is a measure of how deep a starter pitches into a game. It rewards pitchers who are able to pitch deep into games and reduce the workload of the bullpen.
Ground Ball to Fly Ball Ratio (GB/FB): It displays a pitchers ability to induce ground ball outs vs. flyball outs. The reason behind this category is the percentage of runs scored per out off a flyball is greater than groundball. Groundball pitchers usually give up more hits but those hits rarely go for extra bases (and rarely for homeruns).
Strikeouts per 9 Innings (K/9): Is the number of strikeouts divided by innings pitched multiplied by 9 ((K/IP)*9). A strikeout is a pitching stat independent of the pitchers defense or ball park. A strikeout is also a good judge of how well a batter is seeing or not seeing the opposing pitcher. High strikeout pitchers usually have valuable “swing and miss” stuff.
Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP): This is the only category we have kept completely the same from traditional fantasy baseball. It’s a good judge of a pitchers control and ability to keep runners off base.
Click here for Playoffs: Week 1 Matchup Page (excel file): https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/cmxmrqvfc38y9sse53m2.xls
Week 1 of the playoffs is over and it was an upset filled week with some stellar performances…
Goin’ Goin’ See Ya (6) upset DEVILS REJECTS (3) 7-4-0. See Ya’s offense posted a .782 OPS (.339 OBP and .443 SLG) and managed to only ground into two double plays. DEVILS REJECTS had a little more trouble at the plate but swiped 3 NET SB to win that category and keep it close. See Ya put this one away with a strong performance from his pitching staff, particularly his bullpen. His bullpen had a combined 0.75 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 which was good enough to win both categories. Even though DEVILS REJECTS Starting Pitchers were had some great starts it was not enough to overcome their deficiencies at the plate and in the bullpen.
In the other playoff matchup the San Francisco Seals (5) upset Not as Bad as I Thought (4) 9-2-0. Not as Bad had a great regular season and up until two weeks ago was looking like the #1 seed but they stumbled down the stretch and it cost them in the playoffs, sorry Dave. The Seals put on a show only losing NET SB and Relief Pitchers WHIP. Most impressive was the Seals starters’ ability to pitch deep into games (6.67 IP/GS), keep runners of base (1.03 WHIP), and not letting the opposing hitters even put the ball in play (10.13 K/9). When the hitters did put the ball in play the pitchers were able to keep the ball on the ground and out of danger (1.58 GB/FB Ratio). It was an dominant pitching performance and should make the Seals a force in the next round…
Round two of the playoffs starts today and goes through Sunday (9/12/11-9/18/11). The matchups are as followed: San Francisco Seals (5) @ Monstars (2) and Goin’ Goin’ See Ya (6) @ Green Mountain Boys.
Good luck to the remaining teams!
Playoffs Baby, Playoffs!
Week 17 matchup page: https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/re4b0nq3155mug74cy9k.xls
Week 18 matchup page: https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/2dqyk0kiky6qdny5qo35.xls
Week 19 matchup page: https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/eznip4t43frf0n6m9ai2.xls
Weeks 17, 18 and 19 are in the books and it’s finally playoff time! The top 6 teams (check standings page) have qualified with the top 2 teams benefiting from a 1st round bye.
The first round of the playoffs began yesterday and will run through Sunday (9/5/11-9/11/11). The matchups are as followed: Goin’ Goin’ See Ya (6) @ DEVILS REJECTS (3) and San Francisco Seals (5) @ Not as Bad as I Thought (4).
The second round of the playoffs will run from 9/12/11-9/18/11. The Green Mountain Boys (1) will play the lowest seed left and the Monstars (2) will play the other remaining team. The finals will run from 9/19/11-9/25/11.
Playoffs will run the same way as the regular season. The team that wins the most categories moves on and in the event of a tie the home team will move on. Remember that since the league playoffs will be scored by hand there will be no playoff page or matchup page on www.fantrax.com. I want to make it clear that the matchup page on fantrax will not represent the playoffs.
Good luck to the remaining playoff teams!
Click here for the Week 16 Matchup Page (excel file): https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/ruh6oboi7fc3m837jcq3.xls
Here’s a quick look at what happened in Week 16…
Genco Olive Oil stuck it to The Sporting Hippeaux 8-3-0. Genco’s pitching staff carried them to victory by winning 5 of the 6 pitching categories.
Bombo Rivera All-Star Squad lost a close one 6-4-1 to the San Francisco Seals. The difference was that the Seals were able to steal away both K/9 (8.32 to 8.24) and Net SB (-1 to -3) to seal the win.
The Monstars were better than Not as Bad as I Thought this week in a 7-4-0 victory. The Monstars pitchers were able to keep the ball on the ground (2.35 GB/FB Ratio) which helped them pitch late into games (7.28 IP/GP).
The Green Mountain Boys snacked on the Magnolia Cracker 7-4-0. Goin’ Goin’ See Ya lost 2-7-2 to Domo Arigato Me. Joe Votto.
Fort Myers Palms took advantage of the sleeping October Dreamin 7-3-1. October Dreamin managed to win 3 of the 5 hitting categories but his starting pitchers didn’t show up.
DEVILS REJECTS put up some impressive numbers in a 9-1-1 victory over Miami Sugar Kings. The Rejects RP posted a 0.00 WHIP and 18.41 K/9. With a bullpen like that a team can effectively shorten the game to 6 innings…
Boston Bombers stole the week, 6-5-0, from Cool WHIP. The Bombers starting pitchers swept all 5 categories while Cool WHIP took both relief pitching categories. This goes to show that while a shut down bullpen is valuable nothing trumps a lights out rotation.
Click here for the Week 15 Matchup Page (excel file): https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/cseufamda16ul5y3od2b.xls
Here’s a quick look at what happened in Week 15…
The Monstars won a close one, 6-5-0, over the San Francisco Seals. The Monstars relied on a strong performance from their pitchers (won 5 of 6 pitching categories) to slip past the Seals.
October Dreamin came out of its coma and stuck it to Not as Bad as I Thought 7-4-0. October Dreamin woke up in the offensive week and it showed (OPS 0.938, 5 Net SB, 0.09 SO/PA), combine that with some solid pitching and October Dreamin came out of the dark and into the win collum.
Miami Sugar Kings lost a rough one to Boston Bombers 4-7-0. The Sugar Kings put up better offensive numbers but failed to qualify for any of the 4 starting pitchers categories.
Genco Olive Oil hit their way past the Fort Myers Palms 6-4-1. The Fort Myers Palms could not get out of their own way offensively (.293 SLG and .260 OBP) but their pitching staff kept this one close.
Domo Arigato Mr. Joe Votto lost 4-7-0 to the Green Mountain Boys. The Mountain Boys won 5 of the 6 pitching categories and posted a 1.00+ OPS…this one could have been worse.
DEVILS REJECTS were spurned 5-6-0 by the Sporting Hippeaux. The Hippeaux ability to stay out of double plays and their pitchers ability induce ground balls made the difference in this one.
Cool WHIP breezed by Goin’ Goin’ See Ya 6-3-2. Cool WHIP swept all 6 pitching categories, helping them overcome a futile effort at the plate.
Magnolia Crackers showed some moxy with a 6-5-0 win over Bombo Rivera All-Star Squad. As usual Bombo Rivera’s starters were aces (.97 WHIP, 9.46 K/9, 7.48 IP/GP)…however the bullpen and batters struggled.
Click here for the Week 14 Matchup Page (excel file):https://sabr.box.net/shared/static/5xy45eipc1ecegzl70hk.xls
Here’s a quick look at what happened in Week 14…
The DEVILS REJECTS invaded and conquered Fort Myers Palms this week in a 7-4-0 victory. The DEVILS REJECTS were led by strong bullpen (.90 WHIP; 9.0 K/9) while his hitters posted a strong .931 OPS (OBS+SLG).
Goin’ Goin’ See Ya took care of the Miami Sugar Kinga 9-2-0. While the Sugar Kings lost they put together a strong showing and qualified for both SP and Hitting categories.
Cool WHIP lost a close one to the Green Mountain Boys 4-6-1. The Green Mountain Boys failed to qualify for the two RP categories but his Starting Pitchers and Hitters were able to overcome and steal a win this week.
Magnolia Crackers walked away from Domo Arigato Mr. Joe Votto with a 6-5-0 win. Magnolia Crackers won 5 out of the 6 pitching categories to edge out Mr. Votto.
Boston Bombers put up a fight but was not able to mount any offense against The Sporting Hippeaux. The Bombers were able to qualify for all the categories, making them competitive, but it still was not enough.
Monstars hit their way past the hard throwing Bombo Rivera All-Star Squad with a 7-3-0. The Monstars RP’s were lights out with a 0.38 WHIP and 10.0 K/9.
Not as Bad as I Thought got back on the winning track by beating the slipping Genco Olive Oil 9-2-0. Uncharacteristically Genco Olive Oil did not qualify for the hitting categories, which allowed Not as Bad to skate away with the win.
San Francisco Seals slid past October Dreamin 6-4-1. October Dreamin took down 3 of the 5 hitting categories but the Seals superior pitching staff was the difference (won 5 of 6 pitching categories).