From the Astros draft saga to the Scoresheet mistakes, the Outcomes devote this week's podcast to what's gone wrong.
This week on the podcast, we tackled topics concerning failure. We did our part to run in circles around the Astros draft saga and also answered some reader questions. We also spent some time considering and discussing our collective failures as Scoresheet owners in 2014. One of the things we’d like to do is setup a framework for analyzing teams that underperform, in order to identify potential improvements, patterns of mistakes, or other ways that we could have done better on draft day.
The first step is to gather information and data, including the draft day valuations, the real life MLB performance of players to date, and the Scoresheet performance of players to date. The Baseball Prospectus Team Tracker is a helpful tool to get this information, and the remainder can be found on the Scoresheet league pages. Be careful when analyzing team-level results, especially if you’ve made personnel changes (i.e. traded away short term value), because they may not be indicative of mistakes you made on draft day, but the aftermath of going Full Rebuild (tm?).
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The Outcomes discuss the Home Run Derby, answer reader questions, and chat about various Scoresheet topics.
In this week’s podcast:
In this week’s podcast, the Three True Outcomes are down to Two True Outcomes, and without Ian chaos reigns supreme. Reader questions are answered. Some of them even helpfully! We talk about trading pitching for hitting, catcher keepers in the NL, and the Scoresheet rules on rookie eligibility. Because everything is better in a draft, we draft the Home Run Derby contestants, which is only made more exciting by the fact that you know who won. You remember who won the Home Run Derby, right? Finally, after wading through some real life baseball topics, we end up talking a little bit more about Scoresheet trade ethics.
And we’d love to hear any good stories you have about horrible rebuilding teams, so send them our way.
The Outcomes help you craft your swapping strategy in Scoresheet formats.
Most continuing Scoresheet leagues allow owners to be engaged throughout the year, regardless of their place in the standings, as opposed to many roto leagues, which find rebuilding teams trading away their one or two unkeepable studs for draft picks and then counting down the days until next year. The key advantages Scoresheet has here over most other forms of fantasy are the lack of a maximum roster size and the constant struggle to avoid Triple-A Player. In Scoresheet, a contender can always scavenge some sort of useful piece from a rebuilding team, even if it is a backup-to-the-backup middle infielder or an 11th starting pitcher to be stashed on the taxi squad in case of emergency.
Which leads to this week’s subject: maximizing value in midseason trades between contending and rebuilding teams.
The Scoresheet veteran offers tips on running a league successfully and talks about the preseason mock draft, the tournament of champions, and more.
This week, we were fortunate enough to get a chance to talk with Brian Dewberry-Jones. If you’ve played Scoresheet for any significant amount of time, you’ve most likely run across Brian, either as a leaguemate, a commissioner, or as the guy who runs the preseason mock draft and end-of-season tournament. And he’s also the person who decides how the orphan teams draft their teams. Brian obviously has years of Scoresheet experience in a whole host of capacities, so we learned a ton. He was also kind enough to write up a few good rules of thumb for running a league, which we are happy to share:
Keeping tabs on the hottest pickups in Scoresheet, plus answers to listener questions and a recap of the May Supplemental Draft.
In Scoresheet, it’s often best to keep abreast of what your competition is doing—and not just in your own league. The Scoresheet universe is filled with thousands of players, each bringing their own knowledge to the game. We’ve built a way to (unofficially) harness that knowledge in order to more accurately determine player availability in existing leagues. Using this tool, we can tell you that Doug Fister is the player on more Scoresheet teams than anyone else, which is fun trivia. By having it active over time, we’ve developed a better understanding of owner strategy.
The lists below are one breakdown of that understanding. We’ve used our tool to find out which players were added in the most leagues. Doing so gets you names such as Eduardo Escobar and Brandon League, who were the players picked up in the most AL and NL leagues, respectively. Since they are now owned in the majority of leagues, however, this may not be immediately actionable info. However, once you limit the list to players still available in more than half of the leagues, we can better see which players are currently “trending,” and who may still be available in your format. You can use this column to learn the wisdom of the crowds, or to trade away these players and bet against the masses.
The Outcomes interview Scoresheet veteran Nate Stephens about implementing an auction format.
We know that running a Scoresheet team isn’t for everyone. Many baseball fans and even hardcore fantasy players are perfectly content with a traditional fantasy format, where you don’t need to keep track of the Mets’ middle relievers to nearly the same degree. But for some who stumble across this format, with its labyrinthine draft and rich simulation engine, it feels like the perfect fit. Of course, there’s the occasional person, who when faced with the same constraints, may remark, “I wish there was something even more complicated.” Dear reader, these are their stories.
Scoresheet’s private leagues have many variants of play. This week, our Scoresheet podcast team interviewed Nate Stephens. Not only is Nate a longtime Scoresheet owner, a former contributor to Rotoworld and current participant in the Scoresheet Talk and annual Mock Draft forums, and a general mensch, he is also the co-founder of a couple of leagues that use an auction format. The concept was born from a Scoresheet league that used to conduct a live auction, which ended up taking about a day and a half. As fun as that can be, it’s hard to carve out enough time in many players’ schedule to devote to a player-by-player auction that accommodates Scoresheet’s unusually deep rosters. A new system was built and refined over time.
The Outcomes help you identify players worth acquiring, answer listener emails, and offer start-sit advice for next week.
Now that we’ve progressed past the point in the season where most owners’ initial reluctance to tinker with their teams has melted away, it is time to begin searching for value in the trade market. As we looked for specific players to target, we identified four general themes which may prove profitable, if properly exploited.
A first step in identifying players who are likely to increase in value could be to sort a list of players by BABIP. There’s no need to sell out for the metric, but hitters with an absurdly low BABIP have a good chance to positively regress, just like pitchers with a ridiculously high BABIP, and owners who only focus on traditional statistics may simply chalk these players up as being broken.
Advice on how to approach your league's supplemental draft, plus matchup-based start/sit decisions for the coming week.
In Scoresheet baseball, the first supplemental draft is a time when the dreams of spring training are dashed against the rocks of designated for assignment statuses and hamstring strains. For all but the most active/desperate traders, this is your first chance to reshape your team, if even slightly, to cover up for some of the inevitable strains against your depth chart.
To help prepare you for the upcoming draft, we podcasted what may be the first-ever mock Scoresheet supplemental draft, a feat for which we are duly proud and ashamed. In order to determine who was eligible for the draft, we randomly selected 25 public continuing Scoresheet leagues, both American and National format, and found whether the players were available in that league. Players who were available in 60 percent or more of these index leagues were listed as available.
In the debut edition of the Three True Outcomes podcast, our fantasy crew looks at catchers for Scoresheet leagues.
Welcome to BP’s take on Scoresheet fantasy baseball. Scoresheet, for those unfamiliar, is a type of fantasy baseball in which your drafted team plays simulated games each week against other teams in your league, with your players’ performance depending on how they played in real life that week—but not entirely, unlike in a roto or head-to-head league. Other differences from most roto leagues include the importance of real-life fielding ability and a tendency for rosters to be rather deep. While many Scoresheet leagues have their own unique quirky rules, most allow players to be kept for an indefinite number of years, and allow rookies to be kept very cheaply. For non-Scoresheet players in deep or dynasty leagues, we urge you to check out BP’s new TINO podcast, but after you listen to that, we think we will be able to provide some supplementary value as well. Or, better yet, sign up for a Scoresheet team to explore a whole new world of fantasy baseball.
We want to thank BP for this chance to contribute to their suite of fantasy baseball offerings. Our goal is for the weekly column and podcast to complement each other. Both will cover similar ground and maybe even the same jokes. But we believe reading the article will make the podcast more meaningful. And vice versa. In upcoming weeks we look forward to joining in the BP Fantasy fun by taking a position-by-position look at the upcoming season, starting with catcher this week. We’ve got lots more planned after that, but if there’s anything you’d like us to tackle, please feel free to contact us @TTOScoresheet on Twitter or at email@example.com