Collette Calls: Scoring Tweaks

Collette Calls: Scoring Tweaks

This article is part of our Collette Calls series.

One of the requirements we have to fulfill in order to participate in Tout Wars each season is taking part in the weekly Tout Table topics. We aren't required to participate on every topic, but it is strongly encouraged. The benefit of the exercise is that the readers get insights on a variety of topics from 20+ industry writers each week, and this week's topic about scoring changes certainly had a high level of participation. I encourage you to read the entire piece to see what myself and 31 others had to say on the topic once you finish reading this piece as I break down my particular contribution to the conversation:

Expand the Saves category to some combination of SV + H or eliminating wins and saves & going with IP and SV+H+W as replacements. Too many pitchers are undesirable based on roles due to limitations of legacy scoring.

I am serious, because I long to play in a league which gets away from the standard scoring categories for pitching, as those no longer align with the reality of modern baseball. The original Rotisserie league began with with the core four of wins, saves, ERA and WHIP, and strikeouts were later added to the fold to get us the traditional 5x5 leagues most still enjoy today. Each of the eight leagues I play in this season uses those same five pitching categories, but I am hoping to find some league where we can change the status quo for pitching.

One of the requirements we have to fulfill in order to participate in Tout Wars each season is taking part in the weekly Tout Table topics. We aren't required to participate on every topic, but it is strongly encouraged. The benefit of the exercise is that the readers get insights on a variety of topics from 20+ industry writers each week, and this week's topic about scoring changes certainly had a high level of participation. I encourage you to read the entire piece to see what myself and 31 others had to say on the topic once you finish reading this piece as I break down my particular contribution to the conversation:

Expand the Saves category to some combination of SV + H or eliminating wins and saves & going with IP and SV+H+W as replacements. Too many pitchers are undesirable based on roles due to limitations of legacy scoring.

I am serious, because I long to play in a league which gets away from the standard scoring categories for pitching, as those no longer align with the reality of modern baseball. The original Rotisserie league began with with the core four of wins, saves, ERA and WHIP, and strikeouts were later added to the fold to get us the traditional 5x5 leagues most still enjoy today. Each of the eight leagues I play in this season uses those same five pitching categories, but I am hoping to find some league where we can change the status quo for pitching. Joe Sheehan touched on the same point in his comments in the roundtable when he desired to "find more ways to shape fantasy rosters to map to real baseball's usage patterns." 

We enter the draft season focused on starters and closers, and we only look at the arms in between when speculating on them being closers. 30 teams carrying 13 pitchers gives us 390 draftable pitchers in a 15-team mixed league on draft day, yet we are still drafting for nine pitching spots for most leagues, leaving 66 percent on the free agent pile once the regular phase of the draft ends. A large percentage of those will remain there most of the season because the standard scoring system lessens their fantasy value unless that reliever is pitching frequently with strong ratios and strikeouts in a middle relief role. 

Using our Earned Auction Values tool, and eliminating all relievers with more than five saves, 21 pitchers have a positive dollar value in 15-team standard mixed league formats:

Value

Player

Team

IP

W

SV

K

ERA

WHIP

$7

Evan Phillips

LAD

60

6

2

71

1.20

0.75

$6

A.J. Minter

ATL

66

5

5

90

2.05

0.89

$6

Brock Burke

TEX

79

7

0

85

1.71

1.04

$4

Adam Cimber

TOR

67

10

4

55

2.96

1.10

$3

Adam Ottavino

NYM

62

5

3

74

2.18

1.00

$3

Anthony Bass

TOR

67.1

4

0

71

1.47

1.00

$3

Andres Munoz

SEA

61.2

2

4

92

2.48

0.91

$2

Dillon Tate

BAL

71

4

4

59

2.66

0.94

$2

Griffin Jax

MIN

69.1

7

1

76

3.25

1.04

$2

Cionel Perez

BAL

55.2

7

1

51

1.29

1.15

$2

Matt Moore

TEX

70

5

3

77

2.06

1.21

$2

Penn Murfee

SEA

66

4

0

70

2.45

0.89

$2

Michael King

NYY

51

6

1

66

2.29

1.00

$2

Chase De Jong

PIT

68

5

1

58

2.25

1.04

$1

Hector Neris

HOU

63.2

6

3

78

3.82

1.01

$1

Trevor Stephan

CLE

61.1

6

2

79

2.79

1.17

$1

Reynaldo Lopez

CWS

63.1

5

0

61

2.84

0.93

$1

Bryan Abreu

HOU

58

4

2

83

2.02

1.19

$1

Collin McHugh

ATL

67

3

0

73

2.69

0.94

$1

Sam Hentges

CLE

59.2

3

1

68

2.41

0.94

These pitchers have some combination of excellent ratios and strong strikeout rates or have vultured a fair amount of wins this season. These 21 pitchers represent just eight percent of the aforementioned free agent pitcher pool. Most, if not all, of these names were undrafted during the regular phase of a draft. I know this because most of them were end-game $1 relievers in single-league formats, if they were even drafted. Those 21 plus 32 other relievers give us a total of 53 relievers currently earning positive dollar values under standard pitching formats. Our tool doesn't allow me to combine saves, holds, and wins into a singular category, but combining just saves and holds gives us additional pitchers turning a positive dollar value on the season. While that still leaves a large percentage of pitchers in the free agent pool, that is still an extra pitcher out there returning value in a "solds" league who is otherwise a non-factor in standard scoring leagues. The table below shows the change in player values going from the traditional saves to saves+holds. Effective relievers such as A.J. Minter, Cionel Perez, Brad Boxberger, Anthony Bass, Evan Phillips and Alex Lange gain value while the traditional closer values are pulled down

SV+H $

SV $

CHANGE

PITCHER

TEAM

12

18

-6

Emmanuel Clase

CLE

15

16

-1

Ryan Helsley

STL

12

16

-4

Edwin Diaz

NYM

8

13

-6

Jordan Romano

TOR

7

13

-6

Daniel Bard

COL

9

12

-3

Scott Barlow

KC

5

12

-7

Kenley Jansen

ATL

4

11

-6

Liam Hendriks

CWS

8

10

-2

Paul Sewald

SEA

12

10

2

Devin Williams

MIL

3

9

-6

Ryan Pressly

HOU

6

9

-3

Clay Holmes

NYY

4

9

-5

Camilo Doval

SF

7

8

-1

Felix Bautista

BAL

10

7

3

Evan Phillips

LAD

8

7

1

Alexis Diaz

CIN

3

7

-4

David Robertson

PHI

12

7

5

A.J. Minter

ATL

2

6

-5

Jorge Lopez

MIN

1

6

-6

Taylor Rogers

MIL

8

6

2

Jason Adam

TB

7

6

1

Brock Burke

TEX

7

6

1

Rafael Montero

HOU

6

5

1

Jhoan Duran

MIN

3

5

-2

Raisel Iglesias

ATL

-2

4

-6

Gregory Soto

DET

-3

4

-7

Josh Hader

SD

6

4

2

Adam Cimber

TOR

0

4

-3

David Bednar

PIT

2

4

-1

Giovanny Gallegos

STL

-1

4

-5

Craig Kimbrel

LAD

6

3

2

Adam Ottavino

NYM

5

3

2

John Schreiber

BOS

2

3

-1

Jimmy Herget

LAA

6

3

3

Andres Munoz

SEA

6

3

3

Anthony Bass

TOR

3

3

0

Seranthony Dominguez

PHI

2

3

0

Kyle Finnegan

WAS

4

2

1

Dillon Tate

BAL

4

2

2

Griffin Jax

MIN

6

2

3

Cionel Perez

BAL

3

2

1

Matt Moore

TEX

2

2

0

Penn Murfee

SEA

3

2

2

Michael King

NYY

4

1

3

Hector Neris

HOU

3

1

2

Trevor Stephan

CLE

1

1

0

Reynaldo Lopez

CWS

0

1

0

Bryan Abreu

HOU

2

1

2

Collin McHugh

ATL

2

1

2

Alex Vesia

LAD

Meanwhile, we have 76 starting pitchers with positive dollar values in the standard scoring categories this season, led by Justin Verlander returning a $30 value in 15-team mixed league formats, with 15 other hurlers returning at least $20 of earned value this season. Changing the scoring from wins to innings pitched total adds 19 additional pitchers returning positive dollar values this season. This change has more of an impact than the change on relief pitchers, as it takes several negative earners and turns them into at least a non-negative impact. The following pitchers improve from having no value or negative value in standard scoring formats to neutral or positive value with IP replacing wins:

WIN $

IP $

CHANGE

Player

Team

-6

0

7

Dane Dunning

TEX

-5

0

6

Zach Davies

ARI

-3

3

6

Mitch Keller

PIT

-6

0

6

German Marquez

COL

-4

1

4

Kyle Freeland

COL

-3

0

4

Josiah Gray

WAS

-1

3

4

Marco Gonzales

SEA

-1

2

3

Hunter Greene

CIN

0

3

3

Justin Steele

CHC

-2

1

3

Jordan Lyles

BAL

-1

2

3

Kyle Gibson

PHI

-1

2

2

Chris Flexen

SEA

0

2

2

Tyler Mahle

MIN

0

2

2

Nick Martinez

SD

-1

0

2

Alex Wood

SF

0

1

2

Nick Lodolo

CIN

0

0

1

Noah Syndergaard

PHI

Many of these guys are on bad teams and are usually streaming options in standard scoring formats but now have some value in IP leagues where they are not penalized by their physical or collegial surroundings. Conversely, the top-end pitchers are not as impacted as the relievers were, with only one pitcher — Tony Gonsolin — losing as much as $5 in value:

WIN $

IP $

CHANGE

Player

Team

20

15

-5

Tony Gonsolin

LAD

19

15

-4

Kyle Wright

ATL

30

27

-3

Justin Verlander

HOU

25

22

-3

Julio Urias

LAD

4

1

-3

Jacob deGrom

NYM

7

5

-2

Carlos Carrasco

NYM

13

11

-2

Clayton Kershaw

LAD

2

0

-2

Keegan Thompson

CHC

8

6

-2

Michael Wacha

BOS

17

16

-1

Spencer Strider

ATL

10

9

-1

Luis Garcia

HOU

15

14

-1

Brandon Woodruff

MIL

20

19

-1

Max Scherzer

NYM

9

9

-1

Joe Ryan

MIN

19

18

-1

Tyler Anderson

LAD

24

23

-1

Yu Darvish

SD

I play in many leagues, some with some staunch Rotisserie conservatives who will never consider these moves and others where the group is more willing to adjust to the changing times in the real game. In Tout Wars, we've incorporated OBP and a swingman role over the years while experimenting with other categories in certain leagues within the Tout Wars kingdom. LABR and NFBC continue to hold to the traditional 5x5 formats and I would be surprised if either changed in the near future. You should consider this conversation in your local leagues this winter to help increase the number of attractive players in the player pool. Just these two simple changes alter the valuation of more than 50 pitchers who otherwise spend most of the season languishing on the free agent pile. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Collette
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Sleeper and the Bust podcast on iTunes. A ten-time FSWA finalist, Jason won the FSWA's Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year award in 2013 and the Baseball Series of the Year award in 2018 for Collette Calls.
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