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March 14, 2014

TTO Scoresheet Podcast

Episode 9: SS/SIM

by Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss


You can keep your fantasy drafts—the hourly punctuality and mind-bending depth of a Scoresheet draft is the true rite of spring. We know that fantasy players love March for the madness that comes from being in multiple ongoing drafts. Isn’t that what that copyrighted alliterative phrase means?

As either an introduction or as a refresher course, we want to walk you through some of the tools at Baseball Prospectus that will help make your drafting life easier, thanks to the hard work of the technical folks behind the scenes.

If you’re a fan of the comprehensive single number metrics, SS/SIM is the Scoresheet equivalent of WARP. Tracing its lineage back to Nate Silver, who we can only assume dashed it off in between fixing political journalism and drafting a series of burritos, SS/SIM is a run-based metric that seeks to measure a player’s contributions to a Scoresheet team (or a team in a similar simulated fantasy league). Following Nate’s departure, we rekindled and revamped SS/SIM recently and added some additional components, gathered input and feedback from critics and experts, and released it with a little more disclosure toward the inner workings with an article back in 2011.

For offensive players, SS/SIM is a combination of their overall offensive value, a positionally adjusted offensive value, a defensive rating based on their Scoresheet range compared to average at their position, and a component for fielding errors. For pitchers, SS/SIM is essentially runs prevented using innings pitched and ERA. The breakeven threshold for starters is a 5.00 ERA and the breakeven threshold for relievers is a 5.40 ERA. While initially somewhat counter-intuitive, the higher threshold for relievers fits a Scoresheet context where reliever usage for your fantasy team has a cushion above real life usage and managers can put in low hook numbers that typically result in relievers posting better performances for Scoresheet teams than in real life, and allows a Scoresheet manager to maximize his best relief innings each week.

A couple of important things differentiate SS/SIM from other metrics meant to measure value comprehensively. The first and most important is a lack of park adjustment—Colorado is good for hitters in Scoresheet and bad for pitchers, and SS/SIM reflects that, and the opposite for parks like San Diego. The second important thing is an accounting for the expected output for replacement level players in a Scoresheet setting. As a result, only the very worst projections for players come close to an SS/SIM valuation near zero.

The result is a metric that sorts out some of the complexities of comparing across positions, valuation for the Scoresheet context, and a consideration for all the factors that were identified as influential in measuring value for Scoresheet. As part of our due diligence each year in ensuring that these benchmarks and thresholds are at appropriate levels, we look at the shape of predicted SS/SIM across all players, as shown in the following graph:

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Good ... (03/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (03/07)
Next Column >>
TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (03/21)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Auction Values... (03/14)

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