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Old 04-09-2019, 08:30 PM   #61
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Take a look at Juan Soto for LF. He is a 99 and more points than Judge, but less than Harper with a chance to move to perfect.
whoa. That's a sick card, for sure. Definitely will keep that in mind, but it's not likely to be affordable soon.



In related news, I got home today to find Giancarlo Stanton had homered in seven straight games for the SaberCats, which apparently is worth 5,000 PP - my best achievement ever. So I am close to Judge at least.


The SmallBallers already have a seven game lead in their division, the SaberCats have settled into second behind the megawhale, and the Balancers are tied for first with a fairly evenly matched team (so far). Interestingly, that team's offense is built like the SaberCats (obviously tilted towards eye & power) but with a neutral park and pitchers. I'm curious how that will work out for them.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:14 PM   #62
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Seems like a no-brainer to sell Rendon, right? I can quicksell him for 20k, replace him with a solid player, (say, Bregman) and still have 15k left over for other upgrades. Any reason I shouldn't do that??
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:31 PM   #63
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Seems like a no-brainer to sell Rendon, right? I can quicksell him for 20k, replace him with a solid player, (say, Bregman) and still have 15k left over for other upgrades. Any reason I shouldn't do that??
Rendon could be the MVP and end up with Trout-like ratings plus he plays a superb 3B. That’s why I am keeping him. However, I drew him in a pack so I feel like I am playing with house money.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:48 PM   #64
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yeah don't get me wrong, I do like Rendon quite a lot...his skills are very well-rounded, and he is a great fit for the Balancers team. There's no doubt my defense would take a bit of a hit as well. But that 15k PP in upgrades could have a huge impact on my team right now, most likely well beyond the difference between Rendon & Bregman. I think...
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:11 PM   #65
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yeah don't get me wrong, I do like Rendon quite a lot...his skills are very well-rounded, and he is a great fit for the Balancers team. There's no doubt my defense would take a bit of a hit as well. But that 15k PP in upgrades could have a huge impact on my team right now, most likely well beyond the difference between Rendon & Bregman. I think...
Take a look at Justin Turner compared to Bregman before you buy. He is also very "balanced", better CON vs. RHP, and plays a bit better defense. Does not have the versatility though.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:24 PM   #66
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Take a look at Justin Turner compared to Bregman before you buy. He is also very "balanced", better CON vs. RHP, and plays a bit better defense. Does not have the versatility though.
Whoa, he must have taken a hit on contact/avoid K in the rating update. He was a better fit for the Smallballers before, but yeah you're right he looks more like a Balancer now. Man, now I gotta find a new 3B for the other team...
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:31 PM   #67
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Whoa, he must have taken a hit on contact/avoid K in the rating update. He was a better fit for the Smallballers before, but yeah you're right he looks more like a Balancer now. Man, now I gotta find a new 3B for the other team...
That is a problem with Live cards... today they fit your theme, tomorrow they don't.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:51 AM   #68
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I've been wheeling & dealing a bit. Starting with the Balancers, I pulled the trigger on Rendon and swapped in Justin Turner to bank that sweet 15k PP. With the proceeds (and some achievement PP) I've made several upgrades - added Warren Spahn, Frank Thomas, Tim Raines & Bobby Doerr. They are gonna need it, because I have some good teams in my division with the Balancers. We currently have a 4.5 game lead, and the 3rd best run differential in the league, so the playoffs seem likely. But not a sure thing.

In the spirit of fairness, it only seemed right to give some PP to the other two teams. I am trying to keep the teams somewhat even, after all. So I purchased $10 in PP for each of the SmallBallers and SaberCats (12,000 PP each). It's not exact science or anything, but should keep the teams on a somewhat even playing field.

For the SmallBallers I have significantly revamped the offense, adding some really nice historical gold players - Rod Carew & Stan Musial. I also dropped Justin Turner (too balanced) and picked up Freddie Lindstrom to play 3B, who is much closer to the theme. Just good contact & defense, not a lot of power or eye. The SmallBallers have a 12-game division lead, and 3rd best run differential in the league. The offense is really cranking, and should get even better with the new guys. We are leading the league in AVG by 30 points and OBP by almost 20.

The SaberCats are playing well too. As predicted, I can't catch the whale in my division, but I'm comfortably atop the wildcard spot with a +11 game lead. I have added 3 diamonds recently - Aaron Judge, Pee Wee Reese and Blake Treinen. My pitching staff is now composed entirely of groundballers, with 9 of 13 guys being extreme-GB. And I've got three ace middle-infielders to catch all those grounders. The SaberCats lead their league in runs allowed, so this seems like an effective strategy. The offense is just league average, but 2nd in HR and 3rd in walks. The whale team has Ruth-Bonds-Trout-etc., so yeah.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:08 PM   #69
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This is a fun thread to follow, so thanks for doing this!

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The SaberCats are playing well too. ... My pitching staff is now composed entirely of groundballers, with 9 of 13 guys being extreme-GB. And I've got three ace middle-infielders to catch all those grounders. The SaberCats lead their league in runs allowed, so this seems like an effective strategy. The offense is just league average, but 2nd in HR and 3rd in walks. The whale team has Ruth-Bonds-Trout-etc., so yeah.
I vaguely recall reading a thread in PT19 about how at higher levels (I would expect Diamond and Perfect leagues) that Groundball pitchers stop working so well even if you have outstanding infielders, because you hit a limit as to how well they can stop groundballs.... so eventually the great hitters you're continually facing will get their hits regardless as to your infield D. As a result, the theory went, you will need to transition to flyball pitchers. Don't ask me to explain it any more than that because I can't!

1. Have you seen any effect that supports this theory? and
2. Does this make any sense at all or does it seem like mumbo jumbo?
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:51 PM   #70
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I have definitely read some similar comments, and honestly am not sure about it. The logic behind the argument doesn't seem terribly strong...I mean yeah, you will be facing higher contact ratings in higher levels, making them more likely to get a hit on a grounder. But they will have better power ratings too, so do you really want to give up more flyballs? They will also have better eye & avoid K ratings, so do you really want to be relying more on K/BB ratios than grounders to get your outs? I don't know. It's complicated.

I suspect it's more a question of general talent level vs. one type or another. Like, Blake Treinen is an extreme GB guy with a 96 rating - I just checked my 19 team - he's on his 4th straight season of sub-3 ERA work with over 90 IP each season (1 season perfect/3 diamond). But how many diamond extreme GB cards are there? I think maybe there were just better flyballer cards available...not that one type is necessarily better than the other (with proper defense & park factors of course).

Maybe this will help shed some light!
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:32 PM   #71
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All three teams cruised to the bronze playoffs, but they are not going well so far. The 105-win SmallBallers were swept out of the first round by an 85-win team. The SaberCats lost their wildcard game too, leaving only the Balancers alive. At least they are currently up 2-0 in the division round.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:11 PM   #72
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The Balancers ended up losing three straight to get booted out of the first round as well. Playoff dreams crushed, again.

Onward to silver level.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:49 PM   #73
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I've got a team that is built around OBP that did great in Bronze, ok in Silver, and finished just below .500 in Gold (unfortunately, it looks like I'm the last team being promoted to Diamond). I feel stuck on how to improve them given a non-extreme budget. So I'm looking to this thread for inspiration.

I doubt I will do well in Diamond so I guess once I see how badly I'm getting crushed I will make over my team. Not exactly sure which direction to go though.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:37 PM   #74
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Here are the final Bronze league stats:

SmallBallers
Record: 105-57 (2nd)
Run Differential: +221 (3rd)
Division: 1st (+23 games)
Runs Scored: 903 (2nd)
Runs Allowed: 682 (8th)
Notable Ranks: 1st in AVG, OBP, Bullpen ERA. 2nd in SB. Last in HR
MVPs: Michael Brantley (5.2 WAR), Jameson Taillon (4.7 WAR)

SaberCats
Record: 98-64 (5th)
Run Differential: +113 (6th)
Division: 2nd (-30 games)
Runs Scored: 652 (21st)
Runs Allowed: 539 (2nd)
Notable Ranks: 3rd in HR, BB. 2nd in Defensive Eff, Starter ERA.
MVPs: Michael Conforto (4.7 WAR), Rick Reuschel (5.1 WAR)

Balancers
Record: 102-60 (3rd)
Run Differential: +168 (4th)
Division: 1st (+12 games)
Runs Scored: 768 (7th)
Runs Allowed: 600 (3rd)
Notable Ranks: 3rd in Starter ERA, FIP
MVPs: Anthony Rizzo (4.9 WAR), Charles Nagy (5.7 WAR)

I think the SaberCats stats look much worse than reality due to sharing the division with that megawhale. I had a run differential of -60 against just that one team, so if you add that back in, the SaberCats look to be roughly on par with the Balancers. The SmallBallers are still looking the strongest overall, especially on offense, by a long shot. The SaberCats so far have been much more dependent on the pitching/defense strategy of high MOV/GB pitchers with elite infield.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:53 AM   #75
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Thanks for continuing to post on this. Always food for thought.

I'm falling a bit out of love with the sabermetric lineup approach and now my lineups are looking a little more traditional. But on the other hand, I am valuing eye more now than I had. Reason being, I think 'eye' is a lot more consistent year-to-year than contact/gap. I'm hoping that if I can get a high eye guy on a career year and his OBP goes up above .400 then my offense would be more formidable.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #76
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Yeah, this is a fun thread. I guess I'm going to make my team over with the SaberCats as inspiration, so consider me your protege!

I understand the value of good infield defense with all the groundball pitchers, but I have a couple of questions:

1. How important do you think 3B and 1B defense are in the greater scheme of things? Could you skimp a bit by focusing your elite defenders at 2B/SS and not worrying (too much) about the corners?

2. Do you think there's value in focusing on elite defenders at C and CF also? That way you'd have a pretty traditional solid "up the middle" defense. I think it would be possible to get good defense there without sacrificing too much of the PWR/EYE theme the club is built around.

I've reworked my pitching staff to an acceptable starting point in terms of groundballs vs. flyballs, but I still need to upgrade pitchers in terms of MOV.

I have low expectations since I'm in Diamond this week but I guess we'll see how it plays out.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:24 PM   #77
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1. How important do you think 3B and 1B defense are in the greater scheme of things? Could you skimp a bit by focusing your elite defenders at 2B/SS and not worrying (too much) about the corners?
Yeah, you could probably skimp a bit on the corner defense. But the question is, to what extent. In general third base is really confusing to me...I have a hard time judging defense there. I was expecting Chapman to be great, but he's actually put up a negative ZR over two full seasons...so who knows. I do agree that up the middle (SS/2B) is the most important. Elite defenders like Tulo & Frey regularly put up +20 to +30 ZR seasons for me, which I've never seen any 3B come close to. For first base, I think with all those grounders, you want at least a competent fielder. It's still first base, I wouldn't prioritize it that strongly, but at least try to get a decent error rating.
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2. Do you think there's value in focusing on elite defenders at C and CF also? That way you'd have a pretty traditional solid "up the middle" defense. I think it would be possible to get good defense there without sacrificing too much of the PWR/EYE theme the club is built around.
This is a good question I've been wondering about a lot myself. I have been really curious to see how badly Kyle Schwarber's defense would affect my team, but so far, it just hasn't really. He played 2 full seasons with no C rating at all, but his ZR was just -7 and catcher ERA 3.15. Losing 7 runs over the course of two seasons is really not a deal-breaker at all, and they were easily outweighed by his contributions with the bat.

My theory on that, is catcher rating mostly affects walks & strikeouts (framing) as well as the running game. But my pitching staff is all low-stuff high-control guys, meaning both my strikeouts and walks are very low anyway. Also, with my park factors, running is discouraged because of how easy it is to hit homers. So I think between these factors, it's about the best possible situation to use a bat-first catcher.

I might need to change this approach at some point as I move up, but for now, I am happy with the way things are working out.

As far as center field goes, it's a similar situation. In general I always try go get an elite defender there, but for this team it's really not as important. The pitching staff barely gives up flyballs which really does minimize the impact of tossing average fielders out there. My very average-fielding platoon of Ian Happ/Aaron Hicks has started about 300 games in CF, with a combined ZR of just -2.6. So again, losing just above 1 run per season due to defense, is really just not worth worrying about. It's their offense that is more the problem actually. Eventually, the end-game card for CF is Mike Trout, who will solve both problems
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:38 PM   #78
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So many ratings changes! And some of them pretty good for me.

Diamond-->Perfect: Chapman
Gold--> Diamond: Carrasco, Stanton, Conforto
Bronze-->Silver: Gott

So I've got more strategic decisions to make re: Chapman. I don't really want to do the same thing I did last week with Rendon...mostly because I don't want to spend more money again. Maybe I will just hold.

On the flip side:

Gold-->Silver: Crawford, Nicasio
Silver-->Bronze: Watson

Not too bad overall. Brandon Crawford is down 5 points since opening day, but it looks like it's his ratings vs. lefties that have suffered the most, and he's on my bench vs. lefties. So hopefully it's not the end of the world. Nicasio definitely stings. He has been my best reliever on the SmallBallers through the first two seasons, even winning reliever of the year this week. But overall I can't complain.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #79
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Thanks for the good discussion!

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Yeah, you could probably skimp a bit on the corner defense. But the question is, to what extent. In general third base is really confusing to me...I have a hard time judging defense there. I was expecting Chapman to be great, but he's actually put up a negative ZR over two full seasons...so who knows. I do agree that up the middle (SS/2B) is the most important. Elite defenders like Tulo & Frey regularly put up +20 to +30 ZR seasons for me, which I've never seen any 3B come close to. For first base, I think with all those grounders, you want at least a competent fielder. It's still first base, I wouldn't prioritize it that strongly, but at least try to get a decent error rating.
I will have to look at my defense-first team and see what kind of ZR the 3B is putting up. Last year I think I used Cirillo about half the year and then trained Bowa there so I might have some useful data.

(about the need for good defense at C and CF)
Quote:

This is a good question I've been wondering about a lot myself. I have been really curious to see how badly Kyle Schwarber's defense would affect my team, but so far, it just hasn't really. He played 2 full seasons with no C rating at all, but his ZR was just -7 and catcher ERA 3.15. Losing 7 runs over the course of two seasons is really not a deal-breaker at all, and they were easily outweighed by his contributions with the bat.

My theory on that, is catcher rating mostly affects walks & strikeouts (framing) as well as the running game. But my pitching staff is all low-stuff high-control guys, meaning both my strikeouts and walks are very low anyway. Also, with my park factors, running is discouraged because of how easy it is to hit homers. So I think between these factors, it's about the best possible situation to use a bat-first catcher.

I might need to change this approach at some point as I move up, but for now, I am happy with the way things are working out.

As far as center field goes, it's a similar situation. In general I always try go get an elite defender there, but for this team it's really not as important. The pitching staff barely gives up flyballs which really does minimize the impact of tossing average fielders out there. My very average-fielding platoon of Ian Happ/Aaron Hicks has started about 300 games in CF, with a combined ZR of just -2.6. So again, losing just above 1 run per season due to defense, is really just not worth worrying about. It's their offense that is more the problem actually. Eventually, the end-game card for CF is Mike Trout, who will solve both problems
I didn't even know I could see Catcher ERA as a stat - I'll have to see what my guys are providing there! And your point about CF not being *as* important due to the relative lack of flyballs is a very good one.

I think given this discussion I'd be willing to go with moderate defense at C and CF, and will keep an eye on error rating at 1B.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:46 PM   #80
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I vaguely recall reading a thread in PT19 about how at higher levels (I would expect Diamond and Perfect leagues) that Groundball pitchers stop working so well even if you have outstanding infielders, because you hit a limit as to how well they can stop groundballs.... so eventually the great hitters you're continually facing will get their hits regardless as to your infield D. As a result, the theory went, you will need to transition to flyball pitchers. Don't ask me to explain it any more than that because I can't!

1. Have you seen any effect that supports this theory? and
2. Does this make any sense at all or does it seem like mumbo jumbo?
I was one who tried using GB Pitchers exclusively in PT19. One issue was that there was just a complete dearth of GB Pitchers in general. I no longer have my comprehensive list of GB pitchers, but I remember being frustrated not being able to even have a full Diamond staff, and that's assuming you were content to use the much maligned Live Kershaw.

There are a lot more carrying a Groundball profile in this version. This is in part because they've started giving it to players pitching before accurate stats regarding groundball percentages were kept (2002 or there abouts, maybe).

I still have my doubts that even the best defense can suppress the high BABIP these pitchers inherently carry. However, the increase in available options makes this theme more viable now than it ever could have been in 19. Hopefully that means that it is actually viable now...
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