SS-Notes, Misc.                                    

General Rules

While various private leagues allow a wide variety of roster sizes, there is a 30-man limit for lineups in any week (with the rest of your squad to be listed on your taxi squad).   Whether it's for your lineup vs RHP or vs LHP or defensive substitutions, the players must be those on your 30-man lineup.  (For individual games, there is a limit of 8 pitchers and/or 16 position players.) 

Lineups changes have to be made before any games are played on Mondays (a central feature of the Scoresheet game is trying to predict how your players will perform). 

Real Stats vs Scoresheet Stats (From a 2004 Newsletter)

Last week I said we'd talk some this week about why a player's Scoresheet stats don't exactly match his major league stats.

First off, the player's Scoresheet stats which should match his major league numbers are the 'individual dependent stats', not the 'team dependent' numbers. ERA, hits, walks and strikeouts per inning pitched, batting and slugging average, HRs, etc., are things each individual player does independent (mostly) of his teammates, and are the kind of stat the Scoresheet computer keeps track of. Such things as a pitcher's won-loss record, or a hitter's RBIs or runs scored, depend a lot on the team he is on, and will be a lot different in Scoresheet than in the majors!

The pitchers your hitters face in Scoresheet, and the hitters your Scoresheet pitchers face, do play a large factor in how those players do in Scoresheet. After only 4 weeks (and especially in any one week) you may have faced more than your fair share of hot or cold opponents. The best way to check what type of opponents you've faced is to look at that one line of stats that prints out at the end of your week's games. Those are the real major league stats of your opponents players that week, weighted by how much they played against you.

Another big factor in how your players are doing is how you use them in Scoresheet. For instance, if you had He Sop Choi buried deep on the bench the first 4 weeks of the season, when he hit 9 home runs for the Marlins, and so he got no at-bats for you, then of course you did not get the benefit of those 9 home runs. This means that if you play him full time the rest of the year, he should end up with about 9 less HRs for you than he gets for Florida.

Likewise, if you guessed that Jeter was going to start out hitting horribly, and you did not play him these first 4 weeks (when he hit only .181!), and then you do play him the rest of the season, and if he hits better than .181 in the majors the rest of the season, then Jeter should end the year with a higher Scoresheet batting average for your team than he has for the Yanks. After all, if you are a canny enough manager to bench a guy during the weeks he stinks in the majors, and you use him the weeks he does well, then his overall Scoresheet numbers can be better than his major league numbers. Of course, this is tough to do since we have you mail in lineups before the week starts, which is the whole point of a Monday deadline! For instance, who the heck actually had Jeter benched to start the year? But hopefully you get the point.

Besides simply deciding who to play each week, there are a number of other ways you can influence your guys Scoresheet numbers. Platooning hitters can definitely help their hitting - though it does take away from their total number of at-bats, thus lowering things like HR totals. (HRs, like any other stat, are based on the number hit per a player's at-bat - if a guy gets only half as many at-bats for you as he does in the majors then you'd expect him to end the year with half as many HRs, doubles, etc.) Pitcher's Scoresheet ERA's are influenced by your fielders. Also, hook numbers, along with how your relievers do in allowing inherited runners to score, do affect a pitcher's Scoresheet ERA. How your players perform on the field is the most important thing for your won-loss record - if your players are having a slow start then not even the greatest managing job ever will have you over .500. But if your managerial decisions change your record by just one game every two weeks that is a difference of 13 games over the course of the season - which is a big deal!

What the Scoresheet program does for each at-bat is set up a probability of what the batter is going to do, based on how well he hit in the majors that week, how the pitcher he is facing did in the majors that week, and the fielding range of the players on the field. Then the computer essentially 'rolls dice' to see what happens in that at-bat. (Basically, the better the batter hit that week in the majors, the greater the probability each dice roll will result in a hit - the better the opposing pitcher did in the majors the smaller the probability each dice roll will result in a hit.)

There is some chance (luck) involved in this 'dice roll', just as there is in any game based on probabilities. If because of the 'luck of the dice' your player is performing differently in Scoresheet than he should be, the computer will adjust for that difference in future at-bats or appearances (using what we call 'luck-balancing formulas'). So, if you had a player hit 3 home runs for his major league team, and even though he faced 'average' pitchers in Scoresheet he hit only 1 or 2 HRs for you that week (in the same number of at-bats), he will make up for the lost HR's in future weeks. This also works the other way. If because of the computer 'dice roll' a player does better for you than he should have he will make up for that in a later week also. However, if a pitcher doesn't get his shutout because you had him buried in the bullpen, or if your hitter did not get all the hits for you that he did in the majors because you had him on the bench, then those stats are lost to you.

Scoresheet is a game where you must predict how your players are going to do. If you choose not to play a guy, then his stats that week are lost to you. This 'luck-balancing' is designed to keep track of when your players do differently than they should because of the 'roll of the dice' only. If your pitchers are doing poorly because you have horrible fielders than the formulas will not force him to do better later on. And if your hitters are doing better because you platoon them, then they will not get penalized in future weeks. But if you play a hitter full-time all year then as the season goes on these formulas will guide that hitter's Scoresheet stats towards the numbers he should be putting up. (Just as the more times you flip a coin the closer to 50% percent heads and 50% tails you will get, the longer the season goes on the more the 'dice rolls' in the computer have a chance to balance out!) *NOTE: If in Scoresheet your hitters face a pitcher who got bombed in the majors that week (or face pitcherAAA), then your hitters are supposed to hit better against that pitcher than they did in the majors that week! So, if your team faces pitcherAAA and your hitters hit a couple extra HRs then that does NOT hurt you in future games - since hitters are supposed to hit better against pitcher AAA than against an average major league pitcher those extra hits they get are just what they are supposed to get, and your hitters will not be penalized in future games for those extra hits.

Also, if all of your pitcher's ERAs are higher in Scoresheet than you'd expect (compared to their real life ERAs), then you should look at your player's fielding ranges. Your fielder's range can have a significant impact on your staff's ERA - having a negative fielding range bonus in each game will make your pitchers give up more hits.

(Jeff Barton with another version of the Real vs SS stats, August 26, 2010)

Pitcher ERA is one of a number of things that go into the program's calculation of what happens each at bat. And yes, it has more weighting that calculation than does the number of RBIs the batter has for instance. But ERA is no more important than the batter's OPS - ERA is definitely not the sole determining factor in how many runs a team scores.

I think that many folks think that our program does something like try and determine how many runs a team should score in a game, based on the pitcher's ERA, the batter's stats, and the fielders. But that isactually *not* how the program works. There is nothing in the program that tries to drive a game to a certain score. instead, everything happens at-bat by at at-bat. For each at-bat the program looks at a number of things including the pitcher's ERA in the majors that week, the batter's hitting stats that week in the majors, the fielding range of the team currently in the field, any luck balancing owed that batter or hitter, the situation in the field (number of outs, runners on base, speed of the runner, batter's number of RBIs) and then determines a probability of every action that could occur. Then the program essentially 'rolls dice' to determine what actually happens. (And the probability determines how many of the possible dice rolls are hits, how many are outs, how many are HRs, etc.)

For instance, if everything else is identical (same pitcher, same batter, etc.) but in one scenario there is a man on first and in another game there is a man on second, more of the dice rolls would result in the man on second scoring than result in the man on first scoring. Similarly, if everything is the same in two games (same pitcher, hitter, fielder's etc) and there is a man on first in both games, and in one game the runner is thrown out trying to steal, and in the other game he does not attempt to steal, then there is much more chance of the team without the caught stealing scoring a run that inning.

In other words, how a team sets up its lineup, how often it steals and gets caught, whether it sacrifices or not - in short, all of your managerial strategies - *do* effect the chance of runs scoring. And once again, the program does not try and decide how many runs 'should' score in a game based on pitcher ERA - it simply plays the game out at bat by at bat.

As far as luck balancing, the program adjust player's future scoresheet performances if they have done differently 'than they should have' just because of the luck of the dice. So if a pitcher gives up one more run in Scoresheet than he did in the majors because he is facing a team that has a bunch of successful steals he may not be owed any luck balancing at all - the probabilities may have been such from those steals that he was 'supposed' to give up that extra run. Same thing if he gives them up because he has a lousy fielding team behind him, or because he is facing hitters who had good weeks in the majors. Our program does *not* try and force players to exactly match their real life numbers no matter what - things like opponents faced, and a manager's decisions do effect the probabilities of what is supposed to happen.

Folks such as Dick Craswell, Gary Huckabay, Theron Skyles, etc etc. who ran numerical studies on tons of Scoresheet games/leagues/seasons came to the same conclusion (that manager's decisions matter). And, as others have pointed out, Craswell came up with a success rate of 70% a the break even as to whether a guy will help or hurt you when trying to steal. Though I think some other posters today have added to the discussion by pointing out that all circumstances are not the same - stealing a base in front of a singles hitter is probably more valuable than in front of a HR hitter, and getting caught in front of a power hitter probably hurts more.

Trades & Lineups

When making lineup changes by fax or email, Scoresheet requests money be on account to cover the lineup fees.  For those in perpetual leagues, Scoresheet asks for a $25 deposit for the following season if trades are made involving "next season" draft picks.

" Futures" trades and comebackers are not allowed.  Scoresheet deems it  "highly unethical to make a trade for the playoffs where you agree to either give a player back in the off-season or offer to "even up" the trade in the off-season.  A trade should stand on its own. If you make one of these deals, you will forfeit your trading rights and if you are offered one, please let us know."

"We remind you that if you deliberately send in a bad lineup (bench your better players) to get a better pick for next year, you will lose your first round pick."  

To report a trade, both owners must turn in a trade note with their new lineups (with the players you have traded away off of your lineup, and with any newly acquired players that you want to use listed on your new lineup card.) We do need to receive a note confirming the trade from BOTH owners involved in the trade before implementing the trade. There is no extra fee for trades, just the normal $6 charge for turning in a new lineup card is needed ($5 if you only change one side of the card.)


New in 2010, with the merger of SS USA & Canada :

Fewer than 130 career major league at-bats or fewer than 50 career major league innings pitched.

Supplementary Drafts

Effective with the 2009 season, Scoresheet is to hold three supplementary drafts (first week of May, late June and first week of August).  And, in regular SS leagues the June draftees WILL be eligible in the supplementaries. 

Taxi Squad   

Players on your roster who are not listed on your 30 man lineup card are considered your taxi squad.  These taxi squad players will come in to play for you if needed, before we shuffle other players out of position, and before we go to AAA players

For example, if you only have 2 shortstops listed on your active lineup card, and they do not have enough major league playing time to start all your games some week, then if you have a SS on your taxi squad he will start a game before we move a 2B or 3B out of position to start at SS. 

Also, before using a taxi squad player the computer does check to see if any of your 30 players on the lineup card qualify at the position needed - if they qualify there they will be used before the taxi squad player, even if you do not list that position for them on the card.  But, taxi squad players will be used before we move guys 'out of position'. 

Of course, just like any player, a guy on your taxi squad can only appear in a Scoresheet game if he has major league playing time that week.  

When you have a player automatically brought up from the taxi squad they are called up in order of playing time for the season.

If you run out of eligible players at a position, we automatically shuffle positions for you. We'll move players between 2B, 3B and SS; we'll move the player on the bench with the top pinch hit rank to 1B and/or DH; and we'll take the top listed player and move him to OF. (Such shuffling changes do incur the fielding penalties discussed later in the Fielding Numbers section.)  This shuffling only occurs when you have no one else on your team who qualifies at that position. If there are substitute OFers on the bench then naturally we'll move the top listed sub OFer to the starting lineup.

If you are subject to a very large number of injuries, we assign you an anonymous replacement. These replacements, appearing as Catcher (AAA), OF(AAA), Pitcher(AAA), etc., will be roughly .200 (or worse) hitters, or pitchers with an ERA 1.7 times the league average (in 1997 Pitcher(AAA) had an ERA of about 7.75). (AAA) players will bat differently depending on the position at which they appear. (AAA) OFers and first baseman hit about .205, with a .255 slugging percentage, catcher(AAA) hits about .150 with a .200 slugging average, and (AAA) infielders hit about .190, but with only a .220 slugging average. These are the same types of players that are called up from the minors when injuries occur on a major league club. The use of (AAA) players enables your team to continue playing, but certainly decreases your chance of winning games - you should try to get a solid backup with plenty of playing time at as many positions as possible!

Why did SS do this to my defense?

Q :  I had a game this week where the sim put Prince Fielder, who I had listed only at 1B of course, in LF, Corey Hart (2.03, listed at "OF") in CF and Paul Janish (4.78 at SS, on my farm team) at 1B. Why did it do this? Doesn't it automatically create the best possible defense?  For the best defense, the sim should have left Fielder at 1B, Hart in a corner and Janish in CF. Putting Fielder in LF and Janish at 1B, rather than the reverse, cost me .13 in range vs. average.

A:  This happens because the sim does not try and maximize fielding range by trying various possibilities - if it did that it could/would get caught in endless 'what if' loops. Instead the program fills positions one by one, in order of fielding difficulty. And it first uses guys in your starting lineup, then guys on the bench, then pulls guys from your farm system if necessary.. Since Janish was on your farm system he got pulled last, and so filled 1B (the last position filled on the fielding spectrum.)  (Jeff Barton, June 3, 2011)

Run-clumping  (note from the 97 off-season)

Every off-season we tinker with the game somewhat, either making major rule changes such as adding a wild card, or else simply re-working the program to make the game more realistic. And this off-season one thing we will be taking yet another look at is what some of you call 'run-clumping'.

One of the most frustrating things for any manager is reading their weekly reports and seeing their team win a 13-1 game, then lose the next two games 1-0, and 3-2. Of course, the same kind of thing also goes on in the majors. If you gather a couple of weeks worth of major league boxscores it is amazing to see how often a team will score 8 runs one game, and none the next.

I am sure it is just as frustrating for a major league manager as it is when it happens to your Scoresheet team, but it is a fact of baseball (both in major league ball and in Scoresheet ball) that teams do NOT score the same amount of runs in every game.

However, I think there are more big blowouts in Scoresheet than in the majors. In games where the dreaded PAAA comes in a lot of runs can score, and also in real life teams tend to slack off a bit once they get 10 runs ahead. And since getting frustrated is not something we all strive for by playing fantasy baseball, Dave is going to try and come up with changes to reduce the number of blowout games in Scoresheet. Maybe we will automatically sub for some starters once you get a certain number of runs ahead, or maybe we can put in some sort of 'run-saving' formula into the game so that you don't use up all your hits in a game you are winning by a dozen runs. Of course, we do want to have Scoresheet be like the real thing - there will be times where you win a game by 6 runs, then get shutout the next game. But we will look farther into the numbers and make sure Scoresheet games have roughly the same distribution of runs as in the majors.

The All-Star Factor

In Scoresheet Baseball, individual player stats are affected by what we call the 'All-Star factor'. There are only 10 teams in most Scoresheet American leagues, and either 10 or 12 in most National leagues, while there are 14 teams in the real AL, and now 16 in the real NL.

This means that the bottom 25% of the major leaguers are playing very little in most Scoresheet leagues. Thus, Scoresheet pitchers are facing overall better hitting in Scoresheet than in real life and Scoresheet batters face better pitching overall in Scoresheet than they do in the majors. This has the effect of slightly lowering every hitter's individual Scoresheet batting numbers and slightly raising every individual pitcher's Scoresheet ERA. (After all, if your pitcher faces a lineup of only good hitters it is harder to get an out!)

This All-Star effect means every batter in your league should be averaging about 15 points lower in Scoresheet batting average. All pitchers should average about .25 higher in ERA (for teams with average fielding). And if you are in a league with fewer teams the 'All-Star effect' will be even greater.

At first glance it seems impossible to have both batting averages going down, and ERAs going up, at the same time. But we are talking about comparing individual hitters and pitchers Scoresheet stats to their major league stats, so it does happen! If one of your guys is exactly matching his major league numbers than he is actually doing better than he 'should' be! Scoresheet league leaders will still be roughly in the same order as the major league leaders (if those players are being used full time), but each player's Scoresheet numbers will be a little lower than their major league numbers.

This 'All-Star effect 'is NOT something we have intentionally built into the game program! If your hitter faces exactly average pitching in Scoresheet that week then the program tries to exactly match his major league stats (the individual stats such as batting, slugging and on-base percentage; team dependent stats such as RBIs and runs scored will not match.) But, if your hitter faces better than average pitching that week in Scoresheet then his Scoresheet stats will be worse than his major league stats - if he faces worse than average pitching his Scoresheet stats will be better than his major league numbers. And because there are fewer teams in Scoresheet leagues than in the majors, your hitters will more often than not be facing above average pitching, and this is what leads to this 'All-Star effect'. This works exactly the same for pitching - if they face better than average hitters in Scoresheet their individual ERA will be higher in Scoresheet than in the majors. We do try and match hitter and pitcher stats equally - so this 'All-Star effect' should affect both hitters and pitchers equally.

Rookie Protects 

A 'Scoresheet minor leaguer' is a player who at the end of the season still has fewer than 130 career major league at-bats, or fewer than 50 career major league innings pitched. (Scoresheet 'minor leaguers' have an asterisk next to their name in your league roster print-out.)

Each minor leaguer costs you one of your draft picks - if you protect one you lose your 35th round pick, if you protect 2 you lose your 34th and 35th round picks, if you protect 3 you lose your 33rd, 34th and 35th round picks, etc. etc. (**NOTE: If you've traded away a late pick then you lose your next pick instead. It is only your own team's picks you lose for protecting minor leaguers - if you have traded for other team's late picks they can not be used as the fee when you protect 'minor leaguers'.)

You CAN also protect as many minor leaguers as you like with your 13 regular protected spots if for some reason you want to do that. (2010 Note)

Luck Balancing

(From Jeff Barton SS USA, August 7, 2001) " ... Luck balancing adjusts stats that are 'off' just because of the luck of the dice - the luck balancing formulas tend to force players in Scoresheet AFTER taking into account the opponents they are facing in Scoresheet. If your guys hits .400 for the week in the majors, and faces AVERAGE pitching in Scoresheet, but only hits .350 in your games, then he is 'owed' some hits by the computer. But, if he only hits .350 for you because he faced pitching that was that much better than average, then he did 'what he was supposed to', and so is owed nothing by the luck balancing formulas. Likewise, if your hitters did really well in Scoresheet because they faced lousy pitching then they will NOT be hurt by luck balancing in future weeks - when facing lousy pitching hitters 'should' do better than their real stats. - Jeff"

(More from Jeff, 2013) 

On 5/8/13 12:46 PM, Greg Hardy wrote: Kind of also explains why the final game of the week can feel like an offensive frenzy, as the sim seems to desperately try to fit in all the offense suppressed by good pitching earlier.

(Jeff ) Have you done any kind of study showing that there are more runs scored in the last game of a Scoresheet week than any other game? I have never seen any indication of that - I would be very surprised if a study showed that to be true. I am sure it happens once in a awhile. However I am also sure that sometimes the most runs are scored in the second game of the week, other times the most are scored in game 5, etc etc. But overall I believe the distribution of runs over the course of a week is the same - I would be shocked if you studied a hundred weekly reports and found that a higher percentage of times the most runs were scored in the last game compared to any other game.

Also, if your second comment is driven by a belief that our luck balancing formulas will somehow try and increase hitting to make up for hitters dong poorly because they faced hot pitching earlier in the week, then that is *not* how luck balancing works.

What our luck balancing formulas are designed to do is to adjust future performances for players if they performed differently than they *should have* in an earlier game/week due to the roll of the dice. But *should have* means after taking into account opponent's stats, fielders in the game and past luck balancing owed. If a hitter does worse in Scoresheet than he should have because he faced hot pitching (pitchers who performed very well that week in the majors) then he will *not* be owed any luck balancing - if a hitter faced hot pitchers he is supposed to do worse in Scoresheet than in the majors. Vice-versa, if hitters face pitchers who got shelled that week in the majors they are supposed to hit better in Scoresheet, and so if they do hit better they would not be owed any bad luck balancing. for instance, if a team faces pitcher AAA all game, and each hitter bats twice as well as he did in real life that week, that is what he is supposed to do, so their performance in a future game would not be adversely effected.

Luck balancing only kicks in if players (batters or pitchers) perform differently than they should *after* taking into account all the factors - luck balancing does *not* simply try and have players match their major league stats regardless of the competition, or how they are used in Scoresheet. Likewise, as explained by others quite well, it is the ratios that matter (for instance ERA, or HRs per at-bat, or slugging percentage), not total numbers, that the program tries to match.

So if a player hits 4 HRs in a week in 30 at-bats in the majors, and (if facing average pitching in Scoresheet) he hits 2 HRs in 15 at-bats, then he is not owed anything - his ratio is the same - he simply 'loses' 2 HRs because his manager did not play him as much in Scoresheet as he did in the majors. The same is true for pitchers - if they had a horrendous ERA of 27 in real life that week (say allowing 9 earned runs in 3 IP, a la Halladay), and they have a 27 ERA that week in Scoresheet (even if that was only allowing 3 earned runs in one IP) then they are not owed any runs allowed by luck balancing - they did what they should have (assuming they are facing average hitters in Scoresheet that week.)

I think that deciding on whether to use low hooks or high hooks based on a hope that luck balancing will help or hurt pitchers based on the hook number is not the best way at all to plan hook numbers. Instead, I think the rule of thumb should be that the deeper/better a team's bullpen the lower the hooks that team should use for their starting pitchers. But if a team has a thin pen I recommend using high hooks so as to avoid not using all of a starter's innings, and thus having pitcher AAA come into a game. - Jeff

SIM Particulars

Jeff Barton : Actually, I have to rather strongly disagree! (Disagreeing with the rather long posts below my reply. I apologize for leaving those in, but I think they bear re-reading so you know what all I am strongly disagreeing with.) Maybe you mis-read or misunderstood some answer Dave or I gave to a question once upon a time. But Dave or myself have never said (or meant to imply in any way) that "Once the simulator knows the opposing pitchers ERA and your hitters OPS, it has a target earned runs allowed in mind". Nor is it true that "A pitcher with a real life .300 average, during a week when the average Scoresheet ERA is 4.20 will bat .357 against a 5.00 ERA pitcher and will bat .214 against a 3.00 ERA pitcher." That may have been a very simplistic answer given once as a sample of how one facet of the program works (maybe that is where you got that idea?). BUT, we do NOT just use batter's OPS and pitcher's ERA - how many hits a pitcher allowed per inning certainly factors into the equation of what will happen in a given at-bat, as does the baserunner's speed, the batter's number of RBIs, etc.

It is also true that how you set up a lineup CAN effect how many runs you score. Once again, you are right that a pitcher's real life ERA figures into the probabilities of a run scoring, but MUCH more goes into it than just that. For instance, if you have the exact same lineup as another team, but you choose to have a bunch of low percentage stealers get thrown out attempting to steal, while another owner only lets the high percentage steal guys run, then you (the team letting low percentage guys get caught) will score less runs. Likewise, if you get more guys on base than another team facing the same pitcher then you (the team with more baserunners) will tend to score more runs.

The sim does NOT simply 'decide' before the game how many runs 'should score' based on a pitcher's ERA and the lineup's OPS - that is simply not how it works! Instead, each at-bat a probability for every action is established, and then the computer 'rolls dice' to see which occurs. And yes, those probabilities are heavily dependent on the pitcher's ERA and batter's stats (and the fielder's range.) But setting up a lineup does/should matter to the same extent as it does in real life (small as that may be based on studies I've seen), and certainly your strategies as to platooning, sacrificing, stealing, pinch hitting, etc etc. DO matter. That is because we try and match such things as era AFTER figuring in how batter's did in real life, the baserunner situation, fielders, etc etc - once again, it is NOT just ERA that matters, or even just ERA with OPS factored in.

As an extreme example - if you had a team lineup where every hitter had a real OPS that week of .750, and they all stole every time they got on base with a 100% success rate, then that lineup will score more runs (when facing the exact same pitcher) as would a lineup where every hitter also has a .750 OPS but that has a half dozen caught stealings that game. (I say 'will score more' assuming the dice rolls balance out - certainly if this same scenario occurred time and time again the good stealing team would score far more runs, though in any single at-bat or game the 'luck of the dice' will have a bearing.)

To repeat - I do not believe it is true at all that "no matter how successful we are in developing a strategy to get more base-runners, it doesn't mean we get more runs, etc etc etc" - jeff barton

>Unfortunately, no matter how successful we are in developing a strategy to get more
>base-runners, it doesn't mean we get more runs. That is heavily dependent on the
>weekly ERA of the pitchers we face in a particular week adjusted for the OPS of our
>hitters. How we manage our offensive resources (bunting, line-up order, base
>stealing) likely makes no difference in how many runs we score. This is actually the
>most frustrating part of Scoresheet's stat matching philosophy. I think that successful
>platooning will potentially increase your OPS for that game, thereby increasing the
>number of earned runs that the simulator would like your team to score.

>Once the simulator knows the opposing pitchers ERA and your hitters OPS, it has
>a target earned runs allowed in mind. And getting more runners on base isn't going
>to change the simulators mind (as it should), although it could increase the number
>of unearned runs you score.  Ken

>Scoresheet adjusts the probability of a hitter getting a hit by multiplying his hit rate
>by the opposing pitchers ERA/average ERA for scoresheet pitchers. A pitcher
>with a real life .300 average, during a week when the average Scoresheet ERA is
>4.20 will bat .357 against a 5.00 ERA pitcher and will bat .214 against a 3.00 ERA
>pitcher. As I understand Dave Barton's explanation, this same adjustment factor
>is used for walks, extra base hits etc. Ken W

To which acleary@c... replied:

> [also snipping quite a lot]  I'll buy that; but it's not the same as they will score the
>same amount more in the SS sim as they would have had this situation occurred
>in real life. In particular, if a pitcher has already given up more runs than his
>"target" ERA would indicate and a base is stolen, there is a strong tendency
> for the sim to have the next batters walk rather than hit, say, a double, and a
>strong tendency for singles to be one-base singles instead of two-base singles,
>because the sim is trying to ERA match. That tendency simply isn't there in real life:
>the odds of hitting two-base singles do not go down because to hit one would
>be giving a pitcher "too many runs". There simply is no causal dependence in
>real baseball of a PA on the number of earned runs already allowed by that
>pitcher. ...  Andy C [snip]

It always seemed to me that Andy's analysis *ought* to be right, at least as a matter of theory. But the empirical work I've done doesn't bear this out, *at least over the course of an entire season.* Which leads me to think that it may help to separate (1) what we think or know to be true over the course of an entire season (which is most relevant in, e.g., deciding which players to draft), from (2) what we think or know to be true in a single game (which might be relevant when we're "watching" a game on Score-It).

That is, if you look at Scoresheet teams' statistics *over the course of an entire season*, teams that steal or bunt more often do tend to score more runs (or fewer runs, in the case of teams that bunt a lot). Moreover, the effect of steals and bunts on scoring in Scoresheet seems to be about the same as it is in real MLB (again, I'm talking about the effect on scoring *over the course of an entire season*).

For instance, in my data from 2003 SS leagues, each successful steal added about 0.14 to 0.20 runs in standard AL leagues, and about 0.19 to 0.25 runs in standard NL leagues. Similarly, each bunt attempt reduced a team's total runs by something like -0.05 to -0.10 runs. These are at least roughly in line with similar studies done using actual MLB stats.

However, this does *not* necessarily mean that a steal or a bunt (or any other strategy) will have that same effect in any particular game, or against any particular pitcher. That is, it's entirely possible that SBs and bunts produce way more runs than this in games when the opposing pitcher had a horrible ERA that week, and far fewer runs in games when the opposing pitcher had a great ERA. Or maybe SBs and bunts produce way fewer runs in games (or innings) where the pitcher is owed some luck-balancing, and way more runs in games (or innings) where the pitcher is due for some negative luck-balancing. I'm not saying that necessarily *is* the case, of course; it's just that my end-of-the-season stats can't answer questions like that.

All I know is that the *average* effect, over the course of an entire season, works out to about the same as it does in real MLB. Still, that's probably all I need to know when I'm deciding who to draft, or when I'm deciding to set my strategy on my lineup card (without knowing exactly which pitchers I'm going to face). As usual, the kind of information that's needed depends on the exact question one is trying to answer.

For what it's worth, Dick Craswell

Dumping a player from your roster

Yes, if a team wants to cut a player (and get nothing in return) then they can do that (essentially trading a guy for nothing.) But they do not get an extra player in a future draft or anything - they simply can cut a player for nothing in return.

ALSO, just like a trade or lineup change, the cut has the same deadline as usual (the start of the first MLB game on Monday that week) For instance, a team owner can't see a pitcher get shelled during the week, and then call and get him cut *before* that week's games are played. So it is now *too late* to cut anyone off your roster for the playoffs - any cuts that would effect your playoff lineup/roster would have had to be requested before the playoff lineup deadline of Labor Day morning.

We do have some private leagues that have roster limits, so teams in those leagues have to cut players when they draft a player during the season. But for our public leagues, since a team gets nothing in return for cutting players (and as pointed out, since it is pretty unusual for a player to have worse major league stats than player AAA), it is extremely rare that we ever get asked to do cuts (thus we don't write about it, as I think we have more than enough written rules already that actually do matter.) But yes, if in the future you want to cut players you can request to do so. - jeff (September, 2009)