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  SS-Notes, Playoffs                                    


Playoff Rotations (Jeff Barton, USA SS, response September, 2001 to questions on playoff rotations) :

"Actually, in both the regular season and the playoffs, the computer does NOT adjust rotations during the week (or series) - rotations are entirely determined before the week (or playoff series) starts - mainly so that the computer will 'know' what pitchers are available for use as relievers. 

As far as this example, if you had won game 5, we assume you would not care if Randy got one or two starts, as you would have won the series!  (So no, our computer does NOT know who will win a game before it is even played!) 

The reason the playoff rotation went this way is that brother/programmer Dave figures that if a real team was gong to use 5 pitchers in a series, it would do so because they were resting their starters as much as possible, and they'd have their guys who got 2 starts go in games 6 and 7.  He also figures that the last thing you want is your #5 starters starting the all-important 7th game.

We don't guarantee that your #1 starters will get two starts if he has available - in fact, if you sweep (or get swept) he'll never get two starts.  As someone pointed out in a later post, what we do is have a guy sixth two starts take at least 3 games off between starts, and then as I explained above, if you need 5 starters in a series, Dave set it up so that they start the first 5 games, then game 6 is started by your top listed guy who has a second start, and game 7 by your second listed guy who has a second start available.  (If 3 guys can start twice you'd only need a 4 man rotation.)

Yes, we DO realize that if you lose in 5 games, and used 5 different starters, that this means that your two starters with 2 starts available would not use those second starts (since there'd be no sixth and seventh games).  But David figures his method is more 'realistic' than having the lowest starter sit around all series just to start the 7th game, so he has done it exactly this way for many years.  It seems to be generating more comments this year than I ever remember before - maybe due to Pedro?  

With our reluctance to change rules (or switch methods) in mid-season, especially with many games  having been played since the playoff deadline of September 3rd), this is how it will go this season also.  But we are of course happy to hear ideas for changes in future seasons - if you think the playoff rotation should be changed, please feel free to send us a note suggesting how it should be modified (and why.)  Thanks! - Jeff"

>Seems there is a fair amount of uncertainty on how SS deals with
>playoff rotations.  Perhaps Jeff will respond to clarify.
>
>A while ago I posted some information on how SS handled a playoff
>rotation for one of my clubs.  In re-checking the info, I am still
>not certain why the rotation turned out as it did.
>
>Assumptions:  SP needs at least one Sept start to get a playoff
>start, at least four Sept starts to get two playoff starts.  In the
>playoffs, each SP will get up to half the IP in Sept.
>
>Requested rotation:
>
>1 - Randy Johnson (4 Sept starts, 31 IP)
>2 - Rick Ankiel (2 starts, 16 IP)
>3 - Ryan Rupe (2 starts, 8 2/3 IP)
>4 - Ken Rogers (5 starts, 30 2/3s IP)
>5 - Hideki Irabu (4 starts, 18 1/3 IP)
>
>Thus, my expectation (left), what happened (right)
>
>1 - Randy        1 - Randy      Won
>2 - Ankiel         2 - Rogers    Won
>3 - Rupe          3 - Ankiel       Lost
>4 - Rogers       4 - Rupe        Won
>5 - Randy        5 - Irabu        Lost
>6 - Rogers       6 - Randy      Lost
>7 - Irabu          7 - Rogers     Lost
>
>A couple of interesting things here (I think).  A question of course
>of why SS altered the rotation as it did.  And, the slotting of Randy
>as the SP in the 1st and 6th games has to mean that SS "knew" I would
>lose game #5 (otherwise, if Irabu wins that I take the series and
>Randy gets only one start -- which isn't suppose to happen).  Thus,
>is it too much of a stretch to think that SS "knows" who will win the
>series (before the game to game matchups) and the actual games are
>just the "window dressing"?  Comments?
>
>And, in looking at the results of this series, some things I never
>noticed at the time ... for those counting on superb bullpens to
>carry them through to the championship ... this club had a great pen,
>with Hoffman as one of the anchors.
>
>Hoffman, to Sept 1999, 2.26 ... Hoffman, Sept 1999, 1.17
>
>Hoffman in playoffs 8.11
>
>Cheers,
>Jay


Playoffs (Info from SS re: 1999 Playoffs & 1998 Playoffs)

1999

In two and three division leagues that we set up, the division winners, plus one wild card, will make the playoffs. (If you are in a private league and have a different set-up it was printed as such with your season schedule.)

For 2 division leagues, the division winner with the best record gets a bye, while the division winner with the worse record plays the wild card team; then the winner of that series will move on to play the remaining division winner. 

In 3 division leagues,  the division winner with the best record will face the playoff team with the worst record (even if that is a wild card from the same division), while the 2nd and 3rd best record teams face off in the other first round matchup.  If your league is set up in only one division please let us know if you want playoffs, or if the regular season champ simply wins the league.  

In all playoff series, playing time limits will be based on player's major league playing time for games from September 6th through October 3rd (the final 4 weeks of the regular season). Pitchers in the Scoresheet playoffs will be allowed to pitch up to half as much as they did during those final 4 weeks of the major league season; and hitters have up to 40% of their total major league at-bats during those final 4 weeks available for Scoresheet playoff use.  This means that even if your players do some sitting in the majors in September, they should still be able to play pretty close to full time for you in the playoffs.  However, since playing time in the playoffs is just based on how much they play in those last 4 weeks, a player who does not play at all in the majors in those last weeks will not play at all for you in the Scoresheet playoffs!   (We base playing time on September so that a team can not trade for a hurt player who is not going to play again this year, such as Javy Lopez, and then use his early season stats for the playoffs.  After all, a team which is not headed to the playoffs would have no use for Lopez, so would give him up for virtually nothing.  We don't want some team getting unfairly strengthened for the playoffs by trading very little for such a player, and then getting to use him, so we made the September playing time limit to make such trades useless for the playoffs.)

How a player does will be based 40% on how he does in the majors the last 4 weeks of the season, the other 60% is based on how he did in the majors before September 6th, assuming he was a full-time player all year.  (For you folks who love exact numbers, the way we actually figure out what stats a player uses for the playoffs is: we multiply his major league stats for games beginning with September 6th by 3.33, then add in his stats from all the games before September 6th.  Thus if he played the same amount of time in the majors for the whole year, a player's major league stats after September 6th would count for 40%, and the ones before September 6th would count 60%.  If a guy plays more per week in the majors in September than he did earlier in the year then his September stats would count for more than 40%; if he plays less in September than his September stats would count less than the normal 40%.  And don't forget:  playing time is just based on September - if a player gets hurt and does not play at all in the majors in September then he will not play at all for you in the playoffs! 

Finally, all stats are based on a players major league performance, NOT his Scoresheet numbers.

All playoff series will be 7 games.  In each series a 4 man rotation will be used, in the order the pitchers are listed. For a pitcher to start for you in the playoffs he must start at least once in the majors the last 4 weeks of the season.  (If one of your top 4 starters listed does not get a start during that time then for the playoffs we will drop him to the bullpen, with an earliest inning of 1, a hook of 3, and a rank as a reliever versus both left and right handed batters of 3.  If your 5th starter is not needed to start then he goes to the pen with those same numbers.)  For a pitcher to start twice for you in the playoffs he must have at least 3 major-league starts the final 4 weeks of the season (and a pitcher can start at most 2 playoff games for your team - you will always use at least 4 different starting pitchers in the playoffs). 

Whatever lineup you have in effect for games played the week of September 6th thru September 13th is your playoff lineup also;  or, you can choose to submit a 'playoff only' lineup.  As the name implies, we will only use that lineup for the playoffs (assuming you make them).  If you want to turn in a 'playoff only' lineup it still needs to be postmarked by (or anytime before) Monday, September 6th. 

The reason we have this early deadline for playoff lineups is we want to keep Scoresheet a game of predicting how players will do in upcoming major league games.  We do use stats from earlier in the season because after listening to owners comments in past seasons it seems most of you feel the team that has been better all year long should have a better chance at winning the playoffs - but by using September stats so heavily the element of 'prediction' still exists. If you turn in a 'playoff only' lineup please clearly mark it as such - otherwise we'll think it is just a normal lineup change.   You do need to turn in the normal lineup change fee of $6 - if you don't make the playoffs we won't enter your playoff lineup (duh), and we'll  rip up your check.   And you do NOT have to turn in a special playoff lineup. If you don't, we'll simply use whatever lineup you have in effect for Scoresheet games of Sept. 6th thru 12th as your playoff lineup also.

1998

All playoff series will be 7 games.

"Almost all of our ALs, and some of our NLs, are split into 2 divisions, with the 2 division winners making the playoffs, plus one wild card.

In those 2 division leagues, the division winner with the best record gets a bye in the first round of the playoffs, while the other division winner plays the wild card team in a 7 game series. Then the winner of that series meets the division winner that had the bye in a best of 7 game playoff for the league crown.

Leagues with 3 divisions are set-up so that the 3 division winners, along with one wild card, make the playoffs. Then, among those 4 teams, the team with the best record faces the team with the worst record, and the team with the second best record plays against the team with the third best, regardless of what team is the wild card. (A division winner can playagainst a wild card from his own division in round 1 if that is the way the won- loss seedings end up.)

4 division leagues simply have the 4 division winners going to the post-season, with the 2 winners from the 'odd-numbered team' divisions meeting each other, and the 2 winners from the 'even numbered team' divisions also meeting each other in the semi-final round. If you are in a private league and your league is doing something different than what is described above, please give us a call in the next week!

If 2 or more division winners have the same won-loss record at the end of the regular season then the first tie-breaker for playoff seeding is head to head record against each other, and the second tie-breaker is run differential. (Run differential is the difference between runs scored and runs allowed.)

If there is a tie for first place in a division, and/or a tie for the wild card, then a 7 game playoff will be played to break the tie. Those tie- breaking series will use the same rules as our normal playoff series (using playing time from September only, and a combination of September stats and season long stats to determine how a player does in the playoffs.)

If there are more than 2 teams tied there will be a 7 game series round robin (we don't have travel problems or time constraints like they do in the majors - we say the more games the merrier!)

Also, each playoff series is played as if it is the only series being played. No matter if the first series goes only 4 games, or as many as 7, in the next playoff series each team's #1 pitcher will start game 1, the #2 pitcher will start game 2, etc. (You can think of it as if we have a 5 day layoff between series to rest up each team's pitching staff.)

In each series, the team with the better won-loss record gets to be the home team in games 1, 2, 6 and 7, and the other team is home games 3, 4 and 5. (If the 2 teams are tied with the same won-loss record then the computer will just flip a coin to determine who is home 4 of the 7 games.

Also, division winners are always at home games 1, 2, 6 and 7 versus wild card teams.)

In all playoff series, playing time limits will be based on player's major league playing time for games from August 31st through September 27th (the final 4 weeks of the regular season).

Pitchers in the Scoresheet playoffs will be allowed to pitch up to half as much as they did during those final 4 weeks of the major league season; and hitters have up to 40% oftheir total major league at-bats during those final 4 weeks available for Scoresheet playoff use. This means that even if your players do some sitting in the majors in September, they should still be able to play pretty close to full time for you in the playoffs.

However, since playing time in the playoffs is just based on how much they play in September, a player who does not play at all in the majors in September will not play at all for you in the Scoresheet playoffs! (We base playing time on September so that a team can not trade for a hurt player who is not going to play again this year, such as Rondell White, and then use his early season stats for the playoffs. After all, a team which is not headed to the playoffs would have no use for Rondell, so would give him up for virtually nothing. We don't want some team getting unfairly strengthened for the playoffs by trading very little for such a player, and then getting to use him, so we made the September playing time limit to make such trades useless for the playoffs.)

How a player does will be based 40% on how he does in the majors the last 4 weeks of the season, the other 60% is based on how he did in the majors before August 31st, assuming he was a full-time player all year.

The way we actually figure out what stats a player uses for the playoffs is: we multiply his major league stats in the last month of the season by 3.33,then add in his stats for the first 5 months. Thus if he played the same amount of time in the majors for the whole year, a player's major league stats after August 31st would count for 40%, and the ones before August 31st would count 60%.If a guy plays more per week in the majors in September than he did earlier in the year then his September stats would count for more than 40%; if he plays less in September than his September stats would count less than the normal 40%.

And don't forget: playing time is just based on September - if a player gets hurt and does not play at all in the majors inSeptember then he will not play at all for you in the playoffs!

Finally, all stats are based on a players major league performance, NOT his Scoresheet numbers.

In the playoffs a 4 man rotation will be used, in the order the pitchers are listed. For a pitcher to start for you in the playoffs he must start at least once in the majors the last 4 weeks of the season.(If one of your top 4 starters listed does not get a start during that time then for the playoffs we will drop him to the bullpen, with an earliest inning of 1, a hook of 3, and a rank as a reliever versus both left and right handed batters of 3. If your 5th starter is not needed to start then he goes to the pen with those same numbers.) For a pitcher to start twice for you in the playoffs he must have at least 3 major-league starts the final 4 weeks of the season (and a pitcher can start at most 2 playoff games for your team - you will always use at least 4 different starting pitchers in the playoffs).

Whatever lineup you have in effect for games played the week of August 31st thru September 6th is your playoff lineup also; or, you can choose to submit a 'playoff only' lineup. As the name implies, we will only use that lineup for (if you make) the playoffs. If you want to turn in a 'playoff only' lineup it still needs to be postmarked by (or anytime before) Monday, August 31st. The reason we have this early deadline for playoff lineups is we want to keep Scoresheet a game of predicting how players will do in upcoming major league games. We do use stats from earlier in the season because after listening to owners comments in past seasons it seems most of you feel the team that has been better all year long should have a better chance at winning the playoffs - but by using September stats so heavily the element of 'prediction' still exists.