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Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Tavish » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:41 am

sublime8414 wrote:
Tavish wrote:In real life a starter does not have as much of an impact as an everyday player. At 200 IP and a WHIP around 1.10 a starter will have an impact on about 820 PA. The amount of impact they will have during those match-ups are is constantly up for debate but it is fairly safe to take a conservative estimate that you can give the pitcher credit for about 75% of those and the rest giving credit to the fielders. So pin about 625 PA on the pitcher.

An everyday player will get on average about 650 PA along with the defensive plays they make in the field they will come out creating a much higher impact on a team's success.



The pitcher has an impact on the PA of everyone that they face, I don't understand why defense would diminish their impact. You could make a case that certain pitchers would have diminshed value if the team were poor defensively. But even in that case the fielders do not diminish the pitchers performance, just the resulting outcome. Perhaps i'm getting ethereal here. But if you look at DIPS then it makes it clear that a pitchers performance can be measured fairly accurately without taking fielding into account.

DIPS says exactly what I was saying. That pitchers don't control the outcome of every match-up. The outcome of Balls in Play are usually based on a combination of the pitcher, the fielders and a level of randomness.
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Atlas » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:51 pm

Since this thread is still zig-zagging between fantasy and reality (seems like most of my days ;-) )
let me share a few thoughts I had going into this year's drafts.

Assuming 14 position players (2C,1B,2B,SS,3B,DH,MI,CI,5OF) and 9 pitchers.....
1)Your postion players would contribute approx 7% each to the 5 categories
2) Your pitchers would be responsible for 11% of their 5 categories

You could take this even further and concede that while each of your hitters will contribute pretty evenly
to the total AB's (more or less), your starting pitchers would get much more of a chance to contribute to four out of their five categories, probably in a 2 to 1 ratio (or more) to the relievers. (Estimate 180-200 IP vs. 70-100IP)

It seems from a statistical standpoint that drafting pitchers early would be the more mathmatically logical way to go, but we all jump on the big boppers first and scavange for pitchers in later rounds.

The only real argument that supports this is the opinion that pitchers vary much more, year to year, in their success and hitters are much more consistant.

I'd love to do a couple of mocks and try to set a staff up first and see how it falls out.

Thoughts?
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Matthias » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:00 pm

Tavish wrote:In real life a starter does not have as much of an impact as an everyday player. At 200 IP and a WHIP around 1.10 a starter will have an impact on about 820 PA. The amount of impact they will have during those match-ups are is constantly up for debate but it is fairly safe to take a conservative estimate that you can give the pitcher credit for about 75% of those and the rest giving credit to the fielders. So pin about 625 PA on the pitcher.

An everyday player will get on average about 650 PA along with the defensive plays they make in the field they will come out creating a much higher impact on a team's success.

Two things.
First, it's also worthwhile to separate out impact and value. There's just always better hitting available than there is pitching... it's really kind of crazy that the Red Sox and the Yankees are willing to give up four prospects each, two MLB-ready, just for the right to pay Johan Santana market rate. Sure, he's slightly underpaid next year, but I imagine even that one-year discount will vanish on a contract extension. So even if hitters contribute more to your team success, pitchers are still more valuable due to scarcity.
Second, it's also worthwhile to think about the playoffs. Sure, any season making the playoffs is successful, but if a team is really loading for the World Series, they have to consider the value of their pitching in potentially several short series where these impacts might flip.
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Tavish » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:49 pm

Atlas wrote:Since this thread is still zig-zagging between fantasy and reality (seems like most of my days ;-) )
let me share a few thoughts I had going into this year's drafts.

Assuming 14 position players (2C,1B,2B,SS,3B,DH,MI,CI,5OF) and 9 pitchers.....
1)Your postion players would contribute approx 7% each to the 5 categories
2) Your pitchers would be responsible for 11% of their 5 categories


You would need to alter your math slightly. Starters can not contribute to 5 categories.
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Atlas » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:09 pm

Tavish
Perhaps I didn't word it correctly. If you re-read it you will see I was speaking about pitching in general and then specified the starters vs. relievers

Still doesn't change the math..at all!
Your pitching---as a group-- still contributes the same to THEIR categories,-- as a group-- vs hitters.

My point was and still is...should we spend earlier draft picks on pitching than what has been customary?

You can make the same arguement with hitters because you undoubtedly will have some players who will steal NO bases. Same as a pitchers contributing NO saves. Theoretically they could!! but won't!

Drafting early last year one would hace expected Papelbon and Meyers NOT to contribute saves, but they did. Who knows what Chamberline and Marmol, to give two examples, will do this year.
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby sublime8414 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:22 pm

Tavish wrote:
sublime8414 wrote:
Tavish wrote:In real life a starter does not have as much of an impact as an everyday player. At 200 IP and a WHIP around 1.10 a starter will have an impact on about 820 PA. The amount of impact they will have during those match-ups are is constantly up for debate but it is fairly safe to take a conservative estimate that you can give the pitcher credit for about 75% of those and the rest giving credit to the fielders. So pin about 625 PA on the pitcher.

An everyday player will get on average about 650 PA along with the defensive plays they make in the field they will come out creating a much higher impact on a team's success.



The pitcher has an impact on the PA of everyone that they face, I don't understand why defense would diminish their impact. You could make a case that certain pitchers would have diminshed value if the team were poor defensively. But even in that case the fielders do not diminish the pitchers performance, just the resulting outcome. Perhaps i'm getting ethereal here. But if you look at DIPS then it makes it clear that a pitchers performance can be measured fairly accurately without taking fielding into account.

DIPS says exactly what I was saying. That pitchers don't control the outcome of every match-up. The outcome of Balls in Play are usually based on a combination of the pitcher, the fielders and a level of randomness.



DIPS are often used to try and predict performance because often they outliers are only for a single year, in an attempt to predicts variances in future performance. And Usually there about only 20 pitchers a year or so that you use the DIPS and compare to numbers produced to find variances that are statistically significant. And usually it's not an entire staff, but pitchers from different teams. This would lead me to believe that it's usual a sample size/luck issue, and individual pitchers performance is not related to team defense. By team defense i mean after the ball is put into play. I would assume that a catcher can usually make a large impact in how he calls the game and the comfort level he provides a pitcher, but I've yet to see this quantified.

Also there are certain pitchers every year that exceed or underachieve their DIPS year in and year out. This would leave me to believe that While defense certainly has an impact on wins and losses because it's a much larger statistical sample . Only in extreme cases or a few outliers (caused by small sample sizes) does it have an impact on pitchers performance.
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Tavish » Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:41 pm

Atlas wrote:Tavish
Perhaps I didn't word it correctly. If you re-read it you will see I was speaking about pitching in general and then specified the starters vs. relievers

Still doesn't change the math..at all!
Your pitching---as a group-- still contributes the same to THEIR categories,-- as a group-- vs hitters.

My point was and still is...should we spend earlier draft picks on pitching than what has been customary?

You can make the same arguement with hitters because you undoubtedly will have some players who will steal NO bases. Same as a pitchers contributing NO saves. Theoretically they could!! but won't!



It absolutely changes the math. A player's value is based on their contributions against others at the same position. When filling in your position for a SP you compare his value at 4 categories vs the other starters. It doesn't matter that he contributes 0 saves because that is the same for every other player across the board. When you compare at hitter you have to factor in the 5th category because there are other players at the position who would give you more/less value in that category.

Peavy theoretically could give you saves but won't. That applies to every other starter (except for the occasional multi-position guy like Myers) so it doesn't really change Peavy's value.

Ortiz theoretically could give you SBs but won't. There are other DH/1B who will give you SBs so that affects Ortiz's value.

Drafting early last year one would hace expected Papelbon and Meyers NOT to contribute saves, but they did. Who knows what Chamberline and Marmol, to give two examples, will do this year.

Projections are a completely different thing. This is more of a question like "If I did know exactly what Chamberlain and Marmol will do this year, are they more valuable than Hitter X".
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Atlas » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:23 pm

I think we're saying the same thing, but applying it to different situations.

I'm not comparing pitchers to other pitchers, in this situation. I'm comparing taking the best pitcher available to taking the best hitter available and who will have the biggest impact on the statistics.
There are more hitters, therefore each one's contribution is watered down in their 5 categories.

Forget what postion they play for a moment.
If I told you player "P" will impact your overall statistics by 11% and player "H" can only affect your standing by 7%, which one would you be more careful about selecting?

And part of that 11% may be that he produces NO saves and part of that 7% may be that he produces NO SB's. That's still part of the general equation. They are still affecting it, but negatively,...you see?
Its like drafting a low avg. hitter for other benefits. His low avg or no steals is still a FULL 7% contribution...it just may be "0". It doesn't get weighted any more or less than the others on your squad. You can hit .400 or .100 ...its still the same fraction of the team....assuming similar AB's.

You can certainly redo the math and calculate the specific impact of a starting pitcher vs. relief pitcher, but the total of that equation would force you to quantify how many starters vs. relievers you are going to carry on the staff. If you carry all starters (one extreme) then their ERA (assuming similar innnings pitched) will represent 1/9 of the whole. Same if you carry all relievers. Once you start to divide up the staff it shifts.
Lets say a 5 SP/4 RP staff. Again, assuming generally that each SP will be the about the same IP and probably 2X the innings of a RP, you can now more closely approximate value WITHIN the staff and their 5 categories. Now you can say that since your SP are LESS (5 not 9) and they affect 80% (4 of the 5 categories) TWICE as much as the relievers, doesn't this make them MORE valuable?

This still doesn't answer the original question of should we spend our first couple picks on filling out a staff, or continue as has been traditionally done and, with few exceptions, go for hitting early?

I'll throw you a real curve now....

I'm in a 14 team league. We draft 2 C's each. That's 28 out of 30 possible starters (93%).
We have 5 outfielders. That's 70 out of a possible 90 (78%). Allowing that some teams have 4 viable OF's and that there is also DH to fill out, negating each other.....shouldn't we consider catching more valuable than OF?
I'll tell you this....if Santana goes to NY...I'm going pitching :-)
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Re: Discussion about the value of hitters and starters

Postby Ender » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:10 am

It also depends on what you are playing. Pitching is much more valuable in Roto than it is in H2H. In H2H the pitching categories are almost random who wins them because of the small samples involved and the ability to load up on two start pitchers. If you are playing H2H always load up on hitting first but make sure you get a bunch of solid upside pitchers, like Haren/Bedard types from last season. You want depth in your staff, not aces.

In roto pitching is a lot more important, especially ace starters/closers because of the innings limits.
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