Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, Good Grief.

Fantasy baseball has not been very good to me this year. I though I was off the schneid but variance has gotten the better of me.

I have cashed in only 3 of my last 46 contests and have decimated most of my bankroll. This seems to happen once a year, usually during baseball season. Coincidence?

The analysis of my losing streak is quite simple. I didn't have any pitching. Here's a list of my pitching (with results) so far this year:

Sabathia NYY -12: 8 for 38, ROI -30.80%.
Dempster CHC +10: 4 for 22, ROI -22.68%.
Wang NYY -15: 1 for 19, ROI -94.71%.
Danks CWS +17: 9 for 14, ROI +90.84%.
Harden CHC +21: 12 for 19, ROI +93.12%.
Peavy SDP +30: 6 for 16, ROI -10.27%.
Jurrjens ATL +9: 1 for 15, ROI -90.10%.
Pelfrey NYM -2: 2 for 15, ROI -85.24%.
Dice-K BOS -14: 0 for 16, ROI -100%.

No pitching = no wins. I didn't even sniff a winning day unless I was +17 or higher.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this gem: 44% of the time, I would have scored better if I did not have a pitcher on my roster.

The point here is that you need a good pitching performance to win. It sucks that one player counts for so much of the score.

Just to show you how much pitching matters, I averaged the scores from each winning roster in every 10 player multi from the last week.

Over 35 contests, the winning roster had an average pitching score of +24.2 and an average total score of +72.6. This neatly worked out to an average 33.3%. Pitching counts for one third.

I realize this is a small sample size, but consider this - those 10 player events had the highest caps, which means users could afford the best position players. Move down to lower caps and pitching counts EVEN MORE.

So I'm not sure how I'm going to proceed from here. I'll probably carry on in some capacity. However, I'll need a heater to get back to playing the same volume in the future.

I do have one painful reminder that I'm a long term winner at this. I just paid my taxes on my 2008 fantasy winnings.


lemoyneken said...

Someone gave me a link to a poker training site that gives a freeroll afterward. Know anything about it?

What are your thoughts?

Blinders said...

In a 10 player league it is obvious the winner will have a good pitcher. Lets say there are 6 different pitchers selected. 2 or 3 are bound to put up 20+ points, and one of those players will win the league. I agree that you can't win a 10 player league with a bad pitcher, but are you honestly going to beat 9 others with a setback like that? Heads up it does not matter as much I would guess. BTW, 33% is still a nice improvement over last year.

Buffalo66 said...


In football, the QB counts for 25% of the cap, yet you can still win multis without a good QB performance.

In hockey, The goalie also counts 25%. He can put up a -15 and you can still win, thanks to the balance of the scoring.

In basketball and NASCAR, all players are scored equally per event.

Only in baseball does ONE roster spot count for 40+% of the cap and often 50+% of the score.

It's not balanced. High variance.

Blinders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blinders said...

It sure seems that that the pitcher scoring is coming in at about 33% this year. 33% and 25% are hugely different? I completely agree that baseball is the highest variance sport we run by far. Any sport where 45 points is an average score, and a single play like a three run HR counts for 12 points is going to be very high variance. It's the nature of the beast. NL Holdem is also very high variance. Variance has zero bearing on long-term win rate, so I am surprised you find it so critical. Variance does mess with the human mind though. I think if we found a way to bring down pitcher scoring to 25% from 33% you would still be looking at our highest variance sport by a huge margin.

I did a post a long time ago on variance. The main point is that it was key to NL holdem, because it allowed new players to think they were better than they actually were keeping them in the game, and was the reason the best players could lose short term. Those two things helped spark the online poker boom. Eliminate the variance, and you might as well just try to collect a check from the bad players and not bother playing at all.