March 10, 2014
Adjusting Bid Limits for Different League Sizes
So far, the question I have received most frequently this winter has been a variation on the same theme:
Your bid limits are for a 12-team mixed league, but I am in a 14-team mixed league. How do I adjust my prices to fit?
There are two adjustments that you need to make. The first adjustment is mathematical, and the second involves using your intuition/gut feel.
Below is an example, in which I convert prices from a 15-team mixed league to a 14-team mixed league, but you can use these steps to convert prices to any league size.
1. Since I don’t produce bids for 15-team mixed leagues, I used 2013’s Tout Wars mixed-league prices in order to establish a baseline. Time permitting, I would have used a three-year average of mixed-league prices from Tout Wars instead, but for the purposes of this exercise, this will do.
2. In descending order (highest salary to lowest), I sorted all of the hitters, put them into 14 groups of 15 (14 roster slots and 15 teams), and added up the total salary for each group.
3. I calculated what percentage of money the Tout Wars mixed expert league spent on hitters in total. In 2013, Tout Wars spent 68.5 percent of its league budget on hitting, or $2,664 out of $3,887, with $13 unspent). I then multiply .685 times $3,640 ($260 for 14 teams) to come up with a $2,495 budget for hitters.
4. For each group of 15 hitters in Tout Wars, I multiply their total salaries by .9366 ($2,495 divided by $2,664) to come up with what the total should be for each new group of 14 hitters in a 14-team league. (Observant readers will notice that I should have adjusted the $2,664 total to adjust for the unspent money in Tout Wars, but I want to push more money to offense, so I’m leaving it unchanged.)
5. Return to the Tout Wars mixed-league bids and put the hitters together in groups of 14.
6. Adjust the bid amounts by subtracting the total in each group in step no. 5 from the total from each group in step no. 4.
7. Repeat steps no. 2 through no. 6 for the pitchers.
Below is the finished product for the hitters.
Table 1: 2013 Price Conversion: 15-team Mixed League to 14-Team Mixed League
Table 2 shows what the price shift actually looks like for every single player.
Table 2: 2013 Price Conversion: 15-team Mixed League to 14-Team Mixed League
There are a couple of obvious adjustments you will need to make to Table 2 before using it in your auction. First, you will have to convert the $0 bid players into $1 players. You can take this money from anywhere you like, but I would recommend taking it from $2 players. Second, you will need to re-sort your new 14-team-mixed-league values in descending order or price. If you are using these new bid limits as straight-up bid values, then you want to be careful that you don’t accidentally change my raw rankings by simply resorting. Manually reorder the bids in descending order of price until they are correct.
If you so desire, you can simply stop here and let these new-and-improved adjusted bid prices stand. However, I would recommend making additional adjustments.
In a mixed league or in a shallow NL-only league, I would add even more money to the top hitters and pitchers. The math already shaves more money from the middle-of-the-road hitters and pitchers than it does from the best hitters and pitchers, but I would create more $1 bids. This is particularly true in a mixed league. There is enough variance at the bottom of the player pool that there are going to be a lot of players you might have ranked at $4-5 who go for $1 or don’t get purchased at all.
You will also want to make adjustments based on this year’s reality. The prices from Tout Wars at the top of Table 2 are Miguel Cabrera ($47) and Mike Trout ($43). There should not be that much separation this year, and those prices should be adjusted to reflect this year’s reality.
The best adjustments you can possibly make, though, are by studying the recent history of your league’s auctions and skewing your bid prices based upon how your league actually plays. If hitters like Cabrera and Trout are going for $50-55 consistently in your mixed league and your end game is littered with even more one-dollar players, adjust your bids. It doesn’t make sense to get “bargains” on a large band of $8-10 players and leave $30-40 behind at your auction.
If you have the time and the inclination, the mathematical adjustment above should be used as a starting point for changing your bids. In truth, this also should be the case even with my “standard” 12-team AL, NL, and mixed league bids. You want to have a bid list that you’re comfortable with and that works best for your league under any circumstances.