Saturday, April 5, 2008

Moving Away From 5X5

Most of the leagues I participate in are actually not your standard 5 X 5 roto leagues. My ideal scoring system would be a rotisserie regular season with a H2H playoffs, but since that's not offered on Yahoo, I opt for H2H because it honestly is much more exciting. I also make sure there is a high minimum innings pitched (discussed in a recent article) and if there isn't, I make sure to take advantage of it. Still those are not the two things I find most annoying about "standard" leagues.

I hate the 5 hitting categories. They tell you nothing of how your team performed. If you see this stat line,

1/4H/AB 1R 0HR 1RBI 0SB .250 AVG

you know absolutely nothing about the game! Perhaps the player got a a double for his hit, maybe he walked in the 3rd and got the run and later got the rbi on a sac fly. This completely changes how well the player played.

There is no easy way to fix this, but one stat that is a great addition is total bases. Total bases are basically slugging percentage without dividing the slugging by at bats. The simple formula is:

(Singles * 1) + (Doubles * 2) + (Triples * 3) + (Homeruns * 4) = TB

Now at least players who hit doubles do get extra value instead of just the higher chance of getting an rbi or run for their hit. Also, as simple as total bases is, players ranked highly by more advanced statistics tend to be ranked similarly by their amount of total bases.

You can't have a 6X5 so now you must add another pitching category. My favorites are either K/BB or holds. I'd opt with holds because it just adds another interesting dimension to the relief pitcher market, and relievers are becoming more valued in MLB baseball every year.

Total bases isn't perfect, yet since fantasy baseball still remains discouragingly tied to traditional statistics, it will suffice for current seasons. I do hope however that in the coming seasons the large fantasy baseball providers will allow you to choose more advanced statistics. For now, we wait.



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