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April 25, 2014

TTO Scoresheet Podcast

Taking Stock of Your Team

by Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss


We hate to be the ones to break the bad news to you, but you won’t win your Scoresheet league every year. Once you can bring yourself to accept that, the key is to identify the years you won’t win as early as possible so you can get a head start on preparing for next year’s shot at the title. To comprehensively assess your team’s chances, you have to start by looking at the individual players on your team, and then examine your overall team performance, and finally, see how you compare to the other teams in your league.

While small sample size alerts still abound a month into the season, it is still important to determine if your players are over- or under-performing in order to make your decision on throwing in the towel for the year. If you have Miguel Cabrera, for example, it is probably fairly reasonable to assume your team will add some wins to its pace in the coming months. Conversely, if you have Devin Mesoraco, Charlie Blackmon, and Chris Colabello on your team, you probably shouldn’t expect to continue your undefeated season. You still want to put a lot of stock in your preseason beliefs, presumably based on SS/SIM projections, but you can start giving some weight to current season performance. And don’t forget to factor in players coming back from injury in the near future. Basically, you want to assess how accurate you think your win total represents your team’s talent.

Next, look at your team as a whole. Is the record indicative of performance? Every year for virtually every one of our teams, we’ll manually calculate our Pythagorean expected record and compare that to our actual record. And if we are underperforming, we’ll publicly give our manager the dreaded vote of confidence while privately calling him into our office and chew him out. This early in the season you don’t want to be fooled by a lucky or unlucky streak.

Finally, you want to take a look at the rest of the teams in your league. Ideally, you’ll have enough free time on your hands to do the same assessment of them that you just did of your team. If you think you have a good team, but seven teams have a better record and you don’t see how you are going to catch them, it is time to call it.

The point of doing this assessment at least monthly is that while it would be great to be competing for this year while building for next year, that isn’t always feasible. With your few supplemental picks each month, you’ll often have to decide between a spot SP who is almost certainly going to be sent down to the minors in three weeks versus a hot prospect who might be a stud when he reaches majors in three years. And, of course, your goals in trading could be wildly different, given your intentions for this year. So long as you think you have a legitimate shot, you should absolutely make transactions with that goal in mind. But as soon as you are realistically out of contention, it is important to start selling off short-term assets while you can set the price, and it is vital to have the flexibility to switch to playing for next year even if you were making moves to compete for this year only weeks prior.

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Related Content:  Podcast,  Scoresheet,  Fantasy

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (04/24)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (04/18)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (05/02)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (04/25)

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