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BNFL Point Changes Thread


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#1 Caleb

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:11 PM

PRINCIPIA PITCHERUS POINTICA

Hey all--

We've talked about making some changes to the scoring system during the offseason, with a lot of haphazard thoughts and ideas on the message board. I've created a way for us to have some ongoing discussions so we can get some ideas out there with plenty of time to tinker, vote, etc.

I'll launch the first salvo with a proposal for adjustments to the starting pitching scores. I've given it a catchy name: Option 1.

I'd like to mention up-front a few beliefs that underlie these changes, and any changes we make generally.

1. Changes should be designed to reflect what we actually want to see in a pitcher. So, good things should be rewarded properly and bad things punished properly. This isn't an attempt to increase or decrease artificially the overall point totals for SP. We are merely trying to bring balance to the Force.

2. Please don't think of changes only as they relate to a specific pitcher, or to your favorite pitcher, or in such a way that would only benefit a certain style of pitcher that you plan on keeping, etc. Think of this as Theo/Jed would in evaluating Cubs pitching!

3. Fleaflicker has years of experience creating their scoring system. We, in turn, have had a full season getting used to the scoring as it stands now. That said, any changes should be conservative, cautious, and well thought-out.

Okay then. Here are the proposed changes of Option 1 and the reasons behind them:

Innings Pitched increased from 3 to 4.5
Strikeouts decreased from 2 to 1
Wins decreased from 10 to 7
Losses decreased from 5 to 3
Walks decreased from 1 to .5

The thought process here is that one of the key things you want a pitcher to do is stay out there, pitch long into a ballgame, and keep your team in the game. Increasing points per inning is the most dramatic change here, and rewards guys who can go deep into a ballgame. It also creates positive points to allow for the decrease in strikeouts.

Currently, strikeouts are triple the value of any other out. That seems excessive, and this Option lowers that to double. Ground ball pitchers who are very effective shouldn't be penalized.

Wins and losses, as most of us probably agree, are not very useful stats. However, there should still be some strategy involved with picking a pitcher who is likely to get run support, pitch for a hot team, etc. Plus, I don't want to change too much, too fast. So this Option includes a modest reduction in both stats.

Walks are currently 4 times more damaging than a hit. That's excessive, and this modest change brings them closer to hits (but still double, btw). If a pitcher walks a guy and that guy scores, he loses points on the earned run. But if he just pitches around a guy, walks him, and gets out of the inning, there's no reason to count that against him as hard as the current system does.

I pulled 4 dudes from my current matchup this week and applied the new Option 1 to their performance. I then did the same for the overall point leader of 2011 and another random top 20 pitcher (with a lower k/9IP rate). Overall, this change ends up being very modest, with a general across the board slight increase in points. Here are some hypos:

Kyle Lohse:
Current: 6IP, 9 hits, 5ER, 2 walks, 5 Ks, 1 Win, ===21.75 points
Option 1: ===23.75 points (+2)

Aaron Harang:
Current 5IP, 9 hits, 7 ER, 3 walks, 1 K, 1 Loss === -11.25
Option 1: === --1.25 (+10)

David Price:
Current: 7IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 2 walks, 11 K, 1 quality start ===36.75
Option 1: ===37.25 (+.5)

Justin Verlander (2011) (#1 overall)
Current: 251 IP, 174 hits, 67 ER, 57 BB, 250 K, 24-5 W/L, === 1,372.25
Option 1: === 1,464.75 (+92.5)

Matt Cain (2011): (#17 overall)
Current: 221 IP, 177 hits, 72 ER, 63 BB, 179 K, 12-11 W/L === 944
Option 1: === 1,114 (+170)

As you can see, this reduces the some of the sizable differences that arise because of wacky numbers, and doesn't "harm" strikeout pitchers at all. Just some balancing. It always seems odd to me that pitchers fluctuate so dramatically from start to start, even with similar performances. I feel that there should be some more consistency with pitching, and that their point totals should more closely reflect what you would say about them if you saw the game on TV.

I have also toyed with the idea of reducing the overall point boost a bit, to preserve the current pitching balance and to further reflect "good" pitching. That is to increase the penalty for earned runs. They are a very key stat, and directly under the control of the pitcher. If the penalty was increased from -2 to -3 (per ER), Lohse would go from +2 to -3, Harang would go from +10 to +3, and Price would go from +.5 to -2.5. Cain and Verlander would still be, overall, positive points. With this change I would also tweak home runs down from -2 to -1 (or gotten rid of) to not overly punish a guy who gives up a homer (i.e. take it once from the homer and then again for the ER). After running some numbers, I like this change.

So there you have it. Think it over, discuss, and if you have some suggestions or new Options then please add them here and PROVIDE REASONING AND ANALYSIS!

Also, it's important to remember that these are discussion points, as any pitching changes will have to go hand-in-hand with batting changes (or RP changes) in order to keep a balance. Again, I remind you that changes should be modest and conservative. That way if we royally screw something up we don't eff up our entire season.

Your future inaugural champion,

Caleb

PS Here are some tidbit notes on pitching, from me:
-I like the Quality Start stat.
-we should boost (modestly, of course) RP somehow.
-I like the "special" stats (complete game, shutout, etc.) and think they add something exciting and dramatic to our league
-I think that pitchers having, on average, slightly lower scores than batters is good. The reason is that every so often they get two-start weeks, which if they were bumped up much higher would make for some stupid-ridiculous matchups. Of the fun-sucking variety.

#2 Edgar

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:24 PM

I think we should make pitchers score more so that they can keep uo with hitter. Another thing is that relief pitchers need major changes.

I drafted clippard early thinking he was goin to be great fit for a rp slop but it was a total waste

#3 Spencer

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:53 PM

I'm not really gelling with the IP increase, but I like everything else - especially the change to strikeouts.

#4 T C

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:55 PM

I don't think RP should be all that valuable since, well, they're not all that valuable in real life either.

As far as the whole "having wins and losses adds strategy" argument goes, I really dislike it. Yeah, it adds strategy, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing. (MLB could require all players to cartwheel from home to first. It would add strategy in roster decisions for GMs!) In a league this deep, it just seems silly to reward an owner for getting those extra wins from a lucky 5th starter on a good team. I would personally love to see wins/losses replaced with really strong incentives for QS, which are a pretty damn good stat for an individual game and give equal value to good pitchers on shitty teams.

On a similar note, special points for no-hitters and such seem useless to me. those events are, mostly, dumb luck in a lot of ways. I'd be in favor of increasing CG points, but scrapping points for shutouts, no hitters, and perfect games. Also, wasn't the argument for decreasing K points that it double-counts as a k and a 1/3 of an inning? How is that different from double-rewarding a great shutout?

About the k points being decreased, if you want to make great RP's valuable, k's should still be worth more points. What's the best quality in late-inning RP's that you would look for? The ability to miss fucktons of bats. Decreasing the k value really hurts RP.

And, in general, my best argument against the overall scoring changes may be what you showed in that Aaron Harang start. that is a fucking putrid start, and if that's actually going to increase in points, well, that makes me a bit uneasy.

#5 T C

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:05 PM

Also something I'd like to see? A homer allowed should be way way way worse than it is. Dingers are really bad for pitchers to give up, and theyre currently only -4.25. A solo homer for a hitter is currently 15pts.

#6 Luke

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

A hitter's homer should not stay at 15 points, but that's a different topic.

Taking Option 1, I'd replace Wins with Quality starts. I would also be in favor of removing losses entirely. We already penalize pitchers for giving up runs; I think that should be sufficient. Punishing them for losses seems to me too much like punishing the pitcher for having a bad defense, a crappy offense, or a weak bullpen.

I'm not a big fan of double counting or double punishing in general. On offense we award points for hits, home runs, and total bases. Why? Why not either award points for each hit type (maybe basing the point values on the wOBA weightings), or award a certain number of points per total base? Why both?

#7 Caleb

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:51 AM

I'm not really gelling with the IP increase, but I like everything else - especially the change to strikeouts.


The innings increase, among other reasons, is also to allow for some balance. Without it, decreasing Ks or the other changes would drag overall pitching scores down significantly. Plus, it seems odd sometimes how a pitcher who goes 6 innings with 2 or 3 runs only ends up scoring like 20 points. I'd have to run some more numbers, but I know in my gut that happens pretty often.

#8 King Jeff

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:53 AM

Strikeouts: I think need to be reduced, 3 points for a k, compared to 1 pt for any other out is excessive.
Wins/Losses: Are almost completely arbitrary stats, QS would be a much better way to give value to starters. I think punishing for a loss and rewarding for a win is very questionable.
IP: I like adding value here, guys who pitch deep should be rewarded, not outscored by twice their amount by a guy who pitches half the innings, gives up a ton of runs, but strikes out a lot of guys.
Relief Pitchers: They shouldn't be as valuable as starters, but we can't continue to make 30% of the players in MLB unrosterable. I think an IP increase is a good start, but holds and/or saves need to be increased slightly as well. I absolutely hate that some guys have 8 sp because one of their starters has a relief spot, it creates a huge matchup advantage that very few in the league can exploit, and it has nothing to do with merit, only a technicality. Having more valuable relievers would help balance that.

#9 King Jeff

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:56 AM


I'm not really gelling with the IP increase, but I like everything else - especially the change to strikeouts.


The innings increase, among other reasons, is also to allow for some balance. Without it, decreasing Ks or the other changes would drag overall pitching scores down significantly. Plus, it seems odd sometimes how a pitcher who goes 6 innings with 2 or 3 runs only ends up scoring like 20 points. I'd have to run some more numbers, but I know in my gut that happens pretty often.

It happens a lot. I had Derek Lowe at the beginning of the year, and although he stinks now, he was pretty great for a while. I can't count the number of games he had where he pitched into the 7th or 8th innings giving up a run or two, but barely hit 20 pts because he didn't strike anyone out, while James Shields was pitching 5 innings and giving up 5 or 6 runs, but scoring 30-40 points because he got 8-10 k's.

#10 Caleb

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:03 AM

I don't think RP should be all that valuable since, well, they're not all that valuable in real life either.

As far as the whole "having wins and losses adds strategy" argument goes, I really dislike it. Yeah, it adds strategy, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing. (MLB could require all players to cartwheel from home to first. It would add strategy in roster decisions for GMs!) In a league this deep, it just seems silly to reward an owner for getting those extra wins from a lucky 5th starter on a good team. I would personally love to see wins/losses replaced with really strong incentives for QS, which are a pretty damn good stat for an individual game and give equal value to good pitchers on shitty teams.

On a similar note, special points for no-hitters and such seem useless to me. those events are, mostly, dumb luck in a lot of ways. I'd be in favor of increasing CG points, but scrapping points for shutouts, no hitters, and perfect games. Also, wasn't the argument for decreasing K points that it double-counts as a k and a 1/3 of an inning? How is that different from double-rewarding a great shutout?

About the k points being decreased, if you want to make great RP's valuable, k's should still be worth more points. What's the best quality in late-inning RP's that you would look for? The ability to miss fucktons of bats. Decreasing the k value really hurts RP.

And, in general, my best argument against the overall scoring changes may be what you showed in that Aaron Harang start. that is a fucking putrid start, and if that's actually going to increase in points, well, that makes me a bit uneasy.


I hear what you're saying about RP, and know that strikeouts are important there. However, we have 2 RP slots that either get filled with closers/holders or starters with a P instead of a SP. Without getting much farther into relief, I could foresee some mild increases for saves and holds- at least enough to make the players worth putting on your team.

You only saw half of the W/L reasoning. Wins and losses are, overall, an Rtarded stat, but they're still much more valuable than cartwheels. Just less valuable than other stats. And, more importantly, the goal is to make smaller changes. Like it or not, W/L is still used and important- we're just decreasing the importance. If you are suggesting a corresponding boost to the quality start number, I would definitely be in support. I would have to look at numbers, but my guess would be to go from 5 to 8.

And on "special" scoring, we'll probably have to agree to disagree on a fundamental level. I've watched games where a perfect game is on heading into the 7th, or a guy looking for a no-hitter pitching in the ninth, etc. Those games are fricking EXCITING. And all the players and fans know it, too. There is something different about those last few outs when you know you're about to do something special. It's an integral part of baseball in my book, and should be part of our system. Plus, it's not common enough to really be that big of a concern.

Harang putrid? Well it was certainly terrible. But even under the new option he is negative. And with ER going from -2 to -3 (my last mentioned possibility) he would only be slightly less negative than he was before. How much do you want to punish the man for a rough start? I think having one of your pitchers not score anything is already devastating, let alone worrying about them scoring huge negative numbers. Further, Harang was the most "changed" by the system, and he still ended up negative. It's just about bringing some balance to things. It's the guys that come in and give up 6 runs in 2 IP and get pulled that will feel the pain. A guy with a rough start but still hanging on for 5 innings should be bad, but maybe just slightly less bad.

#11 Caleb

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:06 AM

Also something I'd like to see? A homer allowed should be way way way worse than it is. Dingers are really bad for pitchers to give up, and theyre currently only -4.25. A solo homer for a hitter is currently 15pts.


Well, they don't need to "match" what the hitter gets. And you're only looking at direct costs of a homerun. A pitching who gives up a home run also adds to his risk of losing A) the win B) every "special" achievement C) a quality start D) staying in the game to earn more points E) risks earning a loss. Not every home run leads to this, but these are indirect costs that must be considered. Remember what Fergie Jenkins said "you'll never get beat by the solo homer."

#12 Caleb

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:09 AM

A hitter's homer should not stay at 15 points, but that's a different topic.

Taking Option 1, I'd replace Wins with Quality starts. I would also be in favor of removing losses entirely. We already penalize pitchers for giving up runs; I think that should be sufficient. Punishing them for losses seems to me too much like punishing the pitcher for having a bad defense, a crappy offense, or a weak bullpen.

I'm not a big fan of double counting or double punishing in general. On offense we award points for hits, home runs, and total bases. Why? Why not either award points for each hit type (maybe basing the point values on the wOBA weightings), or award a certain number of points per total base? Why both?


First, I look forward to taking a look at hitters (crunching the numbers) to see if we can move to a no-overlap system. I think it would be possible.

Second, simply doing away with W/L would be a shock to our fleaflicker system. I'm for lowering their importance, but I still like having the stat around. In fact, I like *more* stats rather than less. I mentioned it in another post, but an increase of points for QS is totally fine in my book, assuming that we balance it out elsewhere.

#13 Caleb

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:14 AM



I'm not really gelling with the IP increase, but I like everything else - especially the change to strikeouts.


The innings increase, among other reasons, is also to allow for some balance. Without it, decreasing Ks or the other changes would drag overall pitching scores down significantly. Plus, it seems odd sometimes how a pitcher who goes 6 innings with 2 or 3 runs only ends up scoring like 20 points. I'd have to run some more numbers, but I know in my gut that happens pretty often.

It happens a lot. I had Derek Lowe at the beginning of the year, and although he stinks now, he was pretty great for a while. I can't count the number of games he had where he pitched into the 7th or 8th innings giving up a run or two, but barely hit 20 pts because he didn't strike anyone out, while James Shields was pitching 5 innings and giving up 5 or 6 runs, but scoring 30-40 points because he got 8-10 k's.


Yeah, sounds about right. That's the stuff that needs some balancing out! And one thing I like about this option is that it doesn't hurt strikeout pitchers; they end up with the same or slightly higher scores than they already earn. This seems like a reasonable compromise option.

And, on your other comment about RP, I agree that holds and saves should be increased to at least make dudes palatable, but sometimes adding in (risky) starters who qualify as "P" is the only way a lesser team can compete. You essentially have to give up having a real "bench" to do it, but if the gamble pays off you can compete against teams that locked down better players.

But having value in closers would help balance all of that, too. Our league is big enough that we almost have to add them to free up more overall players! Our league is ballz deep.

#14 Spencer

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:39 AM

TL;DR

#15 FiveFifty550

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:02 PM

Caleb, well done with the changes. I think overall, its a good system maybe in need of just a couple tweeks. Just some things that I want to point out:

I think its important that for the purpose of fantasy, we keep starting pitchers just as competive and valuable as bats. I don't like leagues that are run by pitching or vice versa. Both need to be minded and considered for a winning team. Secondly, as you already pointed out, WIns/Losses is a useless stat that doesn't reflect the pitcher's game (necessarily). Although I'm not suggesting that we remove those points/deductions completely, I believe that the points earned or taken away based on those stats alone should be minimal.

With that said, I'm sure we can all agree on something that works for everyone and we should proceed deliberately and cautiously.

Cheers

-Andrew




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