Adventures in Team Building

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J-Pav

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Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 11:30 am

As we wind down the 2011 season set and start gearing up for 2012, I thought I'd open up a post dedicated to reviewing our experimental teams. Let's see who had The Most Interesting Team of 2011.

My first offering is a two for one I call The Alpha & The Omega.

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/803747

Theory: Exploit the big hitter's park (US Cellular) to win the ring because it's too damn hard to win in Petco (see below).
Result: CHAMPS (102-60)
What's interesting: 237 net runs :o (pythag record of 106-56). In 40 some odd leagues I've been in, no one else has broken 200 net runs ($80 mil standard - no theme leagues). If someone has broken 200, please post it here, I'd love to see it. This team was first in OPS and first in stolen bases. I also gave up more stolen bases (174) than I got (160) and committed over 100 errors.

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/379948

Theory: Exploit net productive outs to win the ring.
Result: DFL (62-100)
What's interesting: I thought I had discovered the wheel when I set out to draft this team. I had been reading an article in Baseball Think Factory or Baseball Musings that discussed the benefits of productive outs: ie, pitchers who get strike outs and double plays combined with hitters who do not strike out and do not hit into double plays. I think I got every single player I wanted in the autodraft. Now we know why.

In hindsight, this was still a decent team (I think). The fly in the ointment was choosing Petco. This might have been a completely different story if I had chosen a neutral ballpark or maybe a baserunner friendly park like Kauffman. It took me a dozen teams before I realized that the 2011 set was highly skewed to big hitter's parks, unlike the last several years where the ballpark tilts were basically irrelevant.

Has anybody won a ring in Petco?
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J-Pav

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 11:40 am

My next offering:

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/812504

Theory: Use "The Secret Formula" to win the ring.
Results: Lost semis (100-62)
What's interesting: The Secret Formula has been around a long, long time now. It's longevity is what's interesting. Use SP salaries of $7,6,5,4 with RP salaries of $3,2,1,1,1 and hitters salaries of roughly $9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Use 1s and 2s only at 2B, SS and CF. Exploit a ballpark (Great American in this example). No in-season drops. Score about 750 runs and allow less than 650.

If only I'd draft all my teams like this.

But then you wouldn't get...
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J-Pav

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 12:03 pm

The All 4s On Defense Team! :lol:

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/812073

Theory: Win the ring despite having all starting fielders playing a position with a range rating of 4 (ie, Reed Johnson in CF, not the corner OF spot).
Results: Last in the division (74-88)
What's interesting: I really, really put a lot of thought into this one. I think this is truly about as optimal as you can get with all 4s on defense. I had the perfect ballpark (US Cellular) which allowed me to exploit the strengths of the 4 defender, which is often that he's a long ball hitter, while simultaneously allowing fewer baserunners with the low singles splits. I hit my dingers and was second in the league in doubles. I had three stud starting pitchers with good holds. I had low errors (despite the poor range) and low opponent stolen bases.

I got off to a very hot start in the opening week and actually thought I might pull this one off. I scored 750 runs. Unfortunately I ended up giving back 752. That's 505 x-outs out of a possible 845, or 59.7% converted, which is about as poorly as you can do if you're trying hard.

And I really started to irrationally dislike Doug Fister after this team.
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J-Pav

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 12:18 pm

The polar opposite of course is the All 1s On Defense Team.

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/812581

Theory: Win the ring while having all defenders with a range rating of 1.
Results: Last in the division (81-81).
What's interesting: (Note: yes, I had Fooky, a 2, in RF). What's really interesting is that in spite of the stellar defense here (664 x-outs out of 795 for an 83.5% conversion rate), I've had other teams convert almost as many x-chances without the added emphasis of demanding 1s. All those infield ins and holding the runners and all that take their toll regardless of your range ratings.

A poor fielding team will be in the 60% range, an average team will convert 70% and a great fielding team will get you 80%. I'm not completely sold that you need to be much better than average to be successful though, so maybe the all 1s thing is actually too much of a good thing.

Having said all that, I've seen some pretty good all 1s teams (or nearly all 1s teams) this season. If you managed a ring, post it here.
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J-Pav

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 12:49 pm

Here's a fun one in real time:

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/818131

Theory: Exploit the GB-FB ratio to win the ring.
Results: Lost semis (94-68).
What's interesting: I read a whole bunch of stuff at Fangraphs as well as Rich Lederer's articles at Baseball Analysts, absorbed the info and compiled the above listed team.

The gist of it is to have your pitchers in the top 25% of all pitchers (w/ 180 innings min) in both strikeouts and groundball/flyball ratio. Lederer calls this the Northeast Quadrant, where these stats correlate very well with low ERAs. The hitters I selected by viewing five SOM Online seasons where they more often than not had a GB/FB ratio below 50% (ie, they fly out more than they ground out). This has the added bonus of reducing the double plays you hit into while boosting a few more sac flies (theoretically?).

About halfway thru the season, I've managed to have a very high GB rate (and double play rate) for my pitchers and I currently have an extremely low GB rate of just below 50% for my offense. I have seen no other team anywhere near this. So far it looks like a good experiment, but we're only halfway there.

I understand some think that the GB-FB ratio might only be illusory, because the outs are outs and the salaries may have factored in any statistical edge. Even if I concede that, the fly ball hitters stat is still a very good proxy for SLG percentage, which correlates very well with scoring runs (and winning games).

It's a fun thought experiment, if nothing else. Once I recognized who the top GB pitchers were, I realized a few other managers were also actively seeking out these same pitchers, because it's actually a pretty small group (among the *SPs). So I know I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. :idea:
Last edited by J-Pav on Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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J-Pav

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 12:55 pm

Last one:

The All Injury Team

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/820117

Theory: Utilize 28 roster spots (the max) to exploit the offense of a high injury team and of course, win the ring!
Results: Lost semis (86-76).
What's interesting: Injury teams by definition are just plain interesting. The difference maker is one that wins the ring.

Are there any out there...? :geek:
Last edited by J-Pav on Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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J-Pav

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 12:55 pm

:ugeek:
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MrHacktastic

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 1:14 pm

I am enjoying this thread. I haven't played a lot of 2011 as I mostly play 86. However I have had some success LH batters in Safeco and using pitchers that are slanted towards getting lefties out. Overall I think this strategy is effective but dangerous to try as often somebody else in the league seems to have a similar idea and I have yet to land Ellsbury or a couple other lefties I want when trying the theory leaving me scrambling and not quite able to maximize the strategy.

My playoff teams:

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/808587

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/813474

I also failed miserably one time (in fairness this time I simply didn't land the hitters I wanted in the draft but still was stuck in the park so I tried to still use the theory):

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/808773

I currently have my final team in the players championship trying the theory but it's not going to happen. I need at least 88 points or so out of this team. Every time I think I'm going to get something going I go on a losing streak and can't seem to get very far away from .500 in either direction. Cueto has been very disappointing. Every time he gets out to a big lead he blows it. He has been the difference between this team working or not working. Pence seems to perform very well in Safeco and Progressive and has become a favorite of mine with this theory because he seems to be often available late in the draft, waivers, or frenzy. He might be slightly overpriced but he is RH and doesn't rely heavily on the BP for his power so he has value to me.

http://onlinegames.strat-o-matic.com/team/817353
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lev.cohen

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 8:35 pm

I don't have many teams that are worthy of being on this thread, but I am curious to see some results from other teams in..
Most Homers
Best Clutch Hitting
Best catcher caught stealing rate
Best opponent GIDP to your GIDP ratio
Biggest home/road splits
Pitcher with most run support

Sorry I don't have any teams that I can really put on this thread.. still working on it! 8-) :oops: :?
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tony best

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Re: Adventures in Team Building

PostSat Feb 23, 2013 8:46 pm

Interesting reading your predraft theories and how they turned out.

Now I sorta hope the GB/FB plan comes up short :) (I`m in the same league-Harrisville )

My theory was rather basic A righty batter line up in a righty batter park Great American.( and three out of four parks in my Division also Righty favoring). I built my entire starting staff out of free agents-- Fister 8-8,Halliday 15-2,Hamels 8-10 and Marcum 11-4. Rather lucky in that regard.
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