STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

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Todd Zola
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STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#1 Post by Todd Zola » April 17th, 2010, 8:14 pm

This emanates from the introduction found here

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2032

I would like to come up with a game score for starting pitchers, based on their performance.

The purpose will be to see how effective the rankings mechanism is by looking at results. I would like it to be mostly skills incorporation and be a fairly large number, so there is some separation between the starters that went that day.

As an example, positive points can be awarded for innings and strikeouts and negative points for walks and homers.

The grey area is how to score hits and runs, as these may not be reflective of how the guy actually pitched.

I have done no work in this area yet so here is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor or what is hopefully going to be a fun and useful project.

Tag, you're it.
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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#2 Post by rotodog » April 26th, 2010, 10:05 am

First, I am not a sabermetric guru by any means... So take this with a grain of salt...

One thing that has aways bugged me. A guy pitches 7 strong innings...maybe even dominant innings.

In the eighth inning, he walks his first batter, gets a Strikeout, any easy flyball out then a guy makes weak contact with 2 outs and gets a bloop single. So now we have 2 outs, men on first and second... Pitcher gets pulled. Reliever comes in and coughs up a double. 2 runs score and are credited to the Strong outing of the SP. maybe even the dominant starter takes a loss because of this...

You ask about the Grey area.... Hits and runs. I would like some game score formula to take into account inherited runners scoring or not scoring via the bullpen. Not sure how, but I think it has to be considered.
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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#3 Post by viper » April 26th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Of course, he could have given up two hits and a walk before he was pulled. Those three runners are also his responsibility and he left the next guy up a true mess. Just bringing up an issue.

I agree that starters get a bit of a bum rap when the next pitchers messes up a not-so-bad situation. This is why many look at things like K/9 and K/W. Still using these ratios does not give a good picture of how a pitcher helps or hurts a teams fantasy situation.
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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#4 Post by AllstonRockCity » April 26th, 2010, 6:27 pm

while hits and runs may not be indicative of how well someone actually pitched, ultimately only the end result is what matters.

your WHIP does not care if they were bloop singles and your ERA doesn't care if the runs are allowed to score by a reliever.

if the purpose of the gamescore is to grade the matchups score, and the purpose of the matchup score is to set one's fantasy lineup, then the gamescore should be indicative of the end result.

perhaps a 2 part grade would be in order. the numeric score that is currently being defined, and a subjective A through F grade as to how well the guy actually pitched.

now we could see (for example) if 2 guys each scored a 60, but 1 was a 60-B and the other a 60-D we could conclude that the guy with the 60-B pitched well, but luck or his defense let him down. whereas the guy with the 60-D probably earned that score the old fashioned way, by sucking.
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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#5 Post by Todd Zola » April 26th, 2010, 6:54 pm

I think there needs to be a compromise between having the game score completely ignore the end result and having it be completely based on "skills".

Ultimately, I would like the game score to be a means of judging how well a pitcher is LIKELY to fare by grading the ranking process. That is, is there any correlation between the ranking number and the game score number. The better the correlation, the more trustworthy the ranking process is.

We have already discussed the fact that sometimes a reliever allows inherited runners to score.

Of course, the opposite is true as well and the bullpen may in fact strand more than the usual number of inherited runners. Baseball HQ calls this strand rate and has a proprietary means of determining the number. Mainstream, it is called LOB%.

It is not a strict measure of inherited runners that score, but a component is how well the bullpen did.

We obviously do not want to re-invent the wheel. We know some LOB% suggest a pitcher is lucky, some unlucky.

Perhaps that is the answer. Determine LOB% for that game and turn that into an index, based on league average LOB%.
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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#6 Post by daweasle » January 26th, 2012, 2:41 pm

I would think when coming up with this formula - that LOB% could be calculated for a given team's actual bullpen and be part of the statistics used to create game score.

(IE we know that ATL's combination of oflaherty/venters/kimbrel is a stud bullpen which should have a good LOB%) - so all ATL SP should have a little uptick added to their game score assuming if they left the game with runners on, those three should be able to get out of the jam.

On contrary Orioles bullpen is looking to be pretty bad, so their SP would all take a down tick.

I say some other factors that might be incorporated -

1. infielders range. example - if you have a guy like jose reyes eating up everything, you're going to get more outs than if d jeter is playing shortstop. same would apply if miggy cabrera moves to third base.

2. offensive production - OK this is going to sound counter-intuitive - but being a pitcher on a team with a great offense has positive and negative consequences for a SP. Sure it's going to put him in line to get more wins. But if you are looking for good ratios - having a six run lead can kill a ERA. The coaching staff changes their philosophy on how to approach hitters and it often results in a run or two scoring that would not have scored in a close game. SO while I appreciate having a guy like john lackey getting 6+ runs of support in his starts last year, I don't appreciate that he pitched like he only had to hold the other team to 5. (and rarely did that) LACKEY is a bad example because most of your readers are smart enough to stay away from him - but there are plenty of cases where this applies.

3. another factor that would be harder to gauge but certainly is a factor - weather. IE hot temps/humidity makes the ball fly further. cold hard ground makes the infield harder. etc. I have no idea how to quantify that - but it may be worth considering because we all know texas pitchers are better in april than august.

4. playing on a field significantly different from your home field. IE - if you usually play on grass and go play an away game on grass - it's different. (but there are fewer differences than:)
But if you usually play on grass and then you go play an away game in tropicana field with turf and a ceiling that's oddly shaped, that can be really hard on fielders and I believe can decrease their range or lead to a few more errors. (I know unearned runs don't impact ERA - don't get me started on that topic cause I coach a travel ball team and I can't tell you how many time a shutout turned into a loss after a couple errors)

5. playing away games on fields with lots of foul territory. this can lead to more foul popouts and while it is a minute factor - it certainly could play a role in predicting performance.

6. Ability to hold runners - I am not sure how to quantify this - but let's say you're a pitcher who is not good at holding runners on base. If you face a team that doesn't run much(TIGERS) - that's not a big deal. But if you face a team who sends every runner and half their base runners have a green light(RAYS) - that can be a huge difference in the ball game.

Just a few factors I thought might end up in your overall formula. If they don't, it's cool, but it's something to think about and decide if you should toss it.

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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#7 Post by Todd Zola » January 26th, 2012, 4:29 pm

I had to put this project on hold. I'm not sure if I will dust it off this summer, depends on what I end up doing. Here are my quick reactions to these thoughtful ideas.

daweasle wrote:I would think when coming up with this formula - that LOB% could be calculated for a given team's actual bullpen and be part of the statistics used to create game score.

(IE we know that ATL's combination of oflaherty/venters/kimbrel is a stud bullpen which should have a good LOB%) - so all ATL SP should have a little uptick added to their game score assuming if they left the game with runners on, those three should be able to get out of the jam.

On contrary Orioles bullpen is looking to be pretty bad, so their SP would all take a down tick.
I understand the principle, but am not sure i agree it should be included. Obviously, this impacts the pitcher's ability to win the game, which to me is a small aspect of the game score. I'm not trying to determine who will win the game, but rather who will help your fantasy team more. Sure, a win is part of it, but only one category and how the pitcher himself does for 7 innings is more important than the bullpen. That said, in a points league where wins are a lot or points, I can see having strength of bullpen be part of the scoring.

I say some other factors that might be incorporated -
daweasle wrote:1. infielders range. example - if you have a guy like jose reyes eating up everything, you're going to get more outs than if d jeter is playing shortstop. same would apply if miggy cabrera moves to third base.
This would already be included, albeit indirectly, using the pitchers hit rate in the calculation, since hit rate is in part a result of the defense.
daweasle wrote:2. offensive production - OK this is going to sound counter-intuitive - but being a pitcher on a team with a great offense has positive and negative consequences for a SP. Sure it's going to put him in line to get more wins. But if you are looking for good ratios - having a six run lead can kill a ERA. The coaching staff changes their philosophy on how to approach hitters and it often results in a run or two scoring that would not have scored in a close game. SO while I appreciate having a guy like john lackey getting 6+ runs of support in his starts last year, I don't appreciate that he pitched like he only had to hold the other team to 5. (and rarely did that) LACKEY is a bad example because most of your readers are smart enough to stay away from him - but there are plenty of cases where this applies.
The whole "pitch to the score" thing is more announcer speak than anything. Basically, it is BS, it odes not happen. Pitchers do not want to give up runs, regardless of the score. Of course, your point about letting a run score and getting a DP instead or whatever is well taken, as is perhaps giving up some runs because defensive indifference led to an extra base and the guy scored on a single or whatever, but the bottom line is the number of these "garbage time" runs is insignificant, as well as unpredictable. Plus, in effect, they will already be accounted for in the peripherals for the pitcher.
daweasle wrote:3. another factor that would be harder to gauge but certainly is a factor - weather. IE hot temps/humidity makes the ball fly further. cold hard ground makes the infield harder. etc. I have no idea how to quantify that - but it may be worth considering because we all know texas pitchers are better in april than august.
And the wind blows in at Wrigley in April, etc. The way I would account for this is using a weighted average of seasonal performance versus recent performance. The recent performance would reflect the weather conditions of that time, or if that pitcher is not affected, that would be accounted or as well.
daweasle wrote:4. playing on a field significantly different from your home field. IE - if you usually play on grass and go play an away game on grass - it's different. (but there are fewer differences than:)
But if you usually play on grass and then you go play an away game in tropicana field with turf and a ceiling that's oddly shaped, that can be really hard on fielders and I believe can decrease their range or lead to a few more errors. (I know unearned runs don't impact ERA - don't get me started on that topic cause I coach a travel ball team and I can't tell you how many time a shutout turned into a loss after a couple errors)
The sample size would be so small that it is not possible to quantify it, plus I don't think it makes that much of a difference on this level. And, it if it is significant, that would be folded into the park factor which is already included in the algorithm.
daweasle wrote:5. playing away games on fields with lots of foul territory. this can lead to more foul popouts and while it is a minute factor - it certainly could play a role in predicting performance.
This is also accounted for in the park factor.
daweasle wrote:6. Ability to hold runners - I am not sure how to quantify this - but let's say you're a pitcher who is not good at holding runners on base. If you face a team that doesn't run much(TIGERS) - that's not a big deal. But if you face a team who sends every runner and half their base runners have a green light(RAYS) - that can be a huge difference in the ball game.


I call this the Mark Buehrle effect but I am not sure how to quantify it. Some pitchers that consistently out pitch their peripherals, or sustain a BABIP below average do so because they have a great pick off move or are excellent at fielding their position. This is actually something I would love to build into my projection model, but the data is still sketchy. Perhaps including LOB% into the algorithm would account for this -- actually, I like this idea.

Just a few factors I thought might end up in your overall formula. If they don't, it's cool, but it's something to think about and decide if you should toss it.
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Always remember, never forget, never say always or never. - The Forum Funklord

You know you have to seek therapy when you see one of your pitchers had a bad night and it takes you 15 minutes to find the team you have him on. - The Forum Funklord

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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#8 Post by daweasle » January 26th, 2012, 8:53 pm


Post subject: Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION Reply with quote
I had to put this project on hold. I'm not sure if I will dust it off this summer, depends on what I end up doing. Here are my quick reactions to these thoughtful ideas.


daweasle wrote:
I would think when coming up with this formula - that LOB% could be calculated for a given team's actual bullpen and be part of the statistics used to create game score.

(IE we know that ATL's combination of oflaherty/venters/kimbrel is a stud bullpen which should have a good LOB%) - so all ATL SP should have a little uptick added to their game score assuming if they left the game with runners on, those three should be able to get out of the jam.

On contrary Orioles bullpen is looking to be pretty bad, so their SP would all take a down tick.


I understand the principle, but am not sure i agree it should be included. Obviously, this impacts the pitcher's ability to win the game, which to me is a small aspect of the game score. I'm not trying to determine who will win the game, but rather who will help your fantasy team more. Sure, a win is part of it, but only one category and how the pitcher himself does for 7 innings is more important than the bullpen. That said, in a points league where wins are a lot or points, I can see having strength of bullpen be part of the scoring.
I think you misunderstood the part I was mentioning in this one.
I wasn't mentioning that ATL's good bullpen would help tim hudson get more wins(which it should)
I was meaning more than in the case of if hudson gets into the 7th and gives up a double followed by a walk (and then gets pulled) - then it's less likely they the bullpen would allow the inherited runners to score.

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Re: STARTING PITCHER GAME SCORE DISCUSSION

#9 Post by Todd Zola » January 26th, 2012, 9:02 pm

daweasle wrote:
I think you misunderstood the part I was mentioning in this one.
I wasn't mentioning that ATL's good bullpen would help tim hudson get more wins(which it should)
I was meaning more than in the case of if hudson gets into the 7th and gives up a double followed by a walk (and then gets pulled) - then it's less likely they the bullpen would allow the inherited runners to score.
Got it -- that can also be incorporated by using LOB% in the algorithm. I did not not have LOB% in the original incarnation of the formula and you have presented two instances where it would make sense, so that is definitely on the list.
Catchers are like prostate exams -- comes a time where you can't put if off any longer, so you may as well get it over with and take it up the butt - The Forum Funklord

I'd rather be wrong for the right reasons than right for the wrong reasons - The Forum Funklord

Always remember, never forget, never say always or never. - The Forum Funklord

You know you have to seek therapy when you see one of your pitchers had a bad night and it takes you 15 minutes to find the team you have him on. - The Forum Funklord

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