Card Values - Tom Seaver

Discuss different strategies for any of our player sets

Moderator: Palmtana

  • Author
  • Message


  • Posts: 361
  • Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:56 pm

Card Values - Tom Seaver

PostFri Aug 10, 2018 1:42 pm

I have been playing for a few years but haven't really delved into the cards deeply, just take players I like that I think will be good and match my stadium. Probably why my record isn't that great. But in trying to understand the game better I have a question regarding Tom Seaver specifically which may help me understand other cards as well. Seaver's 1971 card is S9* with WHIP .95, ERA 1.76, K per inning of 1.01, HRs of .57 per 9 innings. His 1973 card is S9* with WHIP .98, ERA 2.08, K per inning of .87, HRs of .71 per 9 innings.

For all these measures Seaver's 1971 card appears to be a little better than his 1973 card. But his 1971 card is $8.30 while his 1973 card is $9.85. I didn't go into the card and count up total chances but his 1971 card should be just a little better as his actual stats are just a little better. The only place where I can see the 1973 being better is hold, which is -1 in '73 vs. 0 in '71 and balk, which is 0 in '73 vs. 2 in '71. I wouldn't think those two rankings would be enough to make the '73 card $1.5 higher. What am I missing that makes that 1973 card so much more than the 1971 card?


  • Posts: 1159
  • Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:01 pm
  • Location: Colorado

Re: Card Values - Tom Seaver

PostSat Aug 11, 2018 12:59 am

The 71 card gives up significantly more chances to reach base.

Numbers below are approximate, and I didn't count ballpark homeruns which slightly favors the 71 card:

OB chances

left = 17
right = 13

left = 10.5
right = 10
Furthermore, the 73 card has no ballpark singles chance against left-handed hitters!

So, you see that you just can't just compare statistical raw numbers. For example, any 1968 pitcher card will be much worse than his stats will indicate because the hitting was so poor that year. (Conversely, 1968 hitters cards will be better than stats would suggest.) Other factors can affect what goes on a pitcher's card, such as team defense and the pitcher's home stadium.


  • Posts: 2656
  • Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:08 pm

Re: Card Values - Tom Seaver

PostSat Aug 11, 2018 12:22 pm

The 1971 Seaver got royally screwed by strat!


  • Posts: 361
  • Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:56 pm

Re: Card Values - Tom Seaver

PostSat Aug 11, 2018 9:22 pm

Thanks. Guess I will need to start looking at card chances instead of just stats.


  • Posts: 912
  • Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Card Values - Tom Seaver

PostMon Aug 13, 2018 10:33 pm

Perhaps just stating the obvious, but you can see the value of the cards on the site here:

Choose the pitcher list, take your stadium or a neutral stadium, say Veteran Stadium (10/10/10/10) and you look at the NERP value (the best value, it incorporates gbA):

Name........vs lhp...vs rhp
Zack Greinke:-0.80/-2.67
Kevin Brown -2.15/-0.85
Jake Arrieta -6.43/1.62
9.85 Tom Seaver 2.22/-1.74
8.30 Tom Seaver 2.40/3.53
Philippe Deacon 3.73/1.43

From this first look, the 9.85 Seaver card (1973) appears much weaker vs lh than the other 10M pitchers I targeted. The 8.30M Seaver card looks just as good vs lhp, but a bit weaker vs rhp (1971). So yes, the 1973 card looks better than the 1971 card, but on first look, it certainly doesn't look it's worth the price difference (at least for Veteran Stadium)

Perhaps it's easier to compare all pitchers on one metric. Consider that a typical lineup, facing a rhp, has 5 left-handed bats (so's perhaps a bit closer to 50% in non-dh league), and the NERP per hitter faced is:

Zack Greinke=-1.63
Kevin Brown=-1.57
Jake Arrieta=-2.85
9.85 Seaver=0.46
8.30 Seaver=2.90

The more expensive Seaver still better than the 8.30M card, but looks definitively worse than the other 10M pitchers,

Now, Arrieta appears much better than Greinke or Brown, but this is because there are several things that NERP value that is given on the Diamond-Dope website doesn't factor in: for example, it doesn't include the negative value of having a bad hold. Arrieta has a bad hold, and he also allows more hits and erros with his glove.

Among the stats that the NERP doesn't factor which have the most impact are : holding, bk/wp, and defensive errors.

You can use these rules of thumb in order to incorporate these stats in the overall NERP value:
[*]Defense: 0e0=0...2e13=0.2.....3e26=+0.5...4e40=0.8.....5e51=+1
[*]Bk/wp: For every block of 20, add +1
[*][*]Hold: Conservative Way: add +1/-1 for extreme hold (holds that +5 or worse or -5 or better)...
[*][*]Hold: Liberal way (in leagues with lots of speed): double that, that is add (+2/-2)

If we make the adjustments:
9.85 Seaver...+0.5......+0.1.........-0.2.....+0.86
8.30 Seaver...+0........+0.1.........0........+3.00

10M Collectively: -1.25
9.85 Seaver: +0.86
8.3M Collectively:+3.01

So the 9.85 Seaver is still better than the 8.30M card...but it stands roughly at the middle ground between the 10M pitchers and the 8.3M pitchers we picked up. So Seaver's value is probably closer to 9.15M rather than 9.85M.

All the stats were derived from Veteran Stadium, though. If you play the expensive card at Petco, Seaver's 9.85M card's NERP (after adjustments) is within the range of the other 10M the 9.85M Seaver appears adequately priced in an extreme low-homerun environment....


  • Posts: 912
  • Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Card Values - Tom Seaver

PostMon Aug 13, 2018 11:02 pm

Perhaps a quick note as a signal of warning: NERP undervalues the value of outs somehow...

To make a long story short, NERP as calculated here is based on chances as read on a card (so all pitchers have their NERP estimated on 108 chances), but within these 108 chances, some pitchers will be quicker to get 27 outs than others, which is at the end the real finish line (after 27 outs, we close the books and look at how many runs were scored to determine the winner). And NERP as calculated on 108 chances doesn't capture the extra value of getting 27 outs with lesser chances.

Technically, NERP for pitchers should be based on outs, not on chances.

I'm writing this because in our little example, with the use of our "rules-of-thumb" Grienke looks somewhat better than Arrieta, but in fact the difference is not as large, especially when NERP is based on outs.

The bottom line here: if two pitchers have the same NERP, consider the one that allows the least on-base.

Return to General Strategy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests