# Mastersball

 Rotisserie Baseball Math
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook
Monday, 28 June 2010 00:00
Last week I suggested you could double the value of some trades. We have seen situations where you are one HR ahead or behind a competitor, so breaking that tie is a two point swing in the standings. You gain a point and he loses a point,  or vice-versa.  Well this “Rotisserie Math” is a calculated way to affect the same thing in different categories.

No, I am not about to unveil some new sabermetric formula for balls in play in east facing ballparks. I am I hope, going to help you find the right instances to make a specific type of trade in your baseball leagues. This article appears each year, but even for those who have read it in the past, a reread may prove very worthwhile.

In it’s simplest form, it is a variation of “Addition by Subtraction” for rotisserie scoring, based on the simple premise that while more points in a given category for your team is a higher place in the overall standings in your league, fewer points for one of your opponents in a given category is alsoa higher place for your team in the overall points.

Below are two examples from the 2008 season. The point is NOT the teams or leagues, but the places within categories, so the lessons are still valuable.

Let’s take a quick look at the standings in the FantasyBaseball.com Staff League for our first example:

 Rank Team Total Points 1 Perry Van Hook 121.5 2 Scott Warden 112.5 3 David Heiser 106.5 4 Bryan Clarke 99.0 5 Al Geelhaar 93.5 6 Rob Leibowitz 83.0 7 Gary Jennison 81.0 8 Ryan Brooks 80.0 9 Jim Dilk 66.5 10 Todd Zola 66.0 11 Patrick Garde 65.5 12 Scott Rudicil 60.0 13 Craig Davis 59.0 14 Ed Lilly 55.0 15 Fred Zinkie 51.0

Certainly, even if it is just for pride or bragging rights, all of us want to improve our place in the standings and any team wants to make a trade that will gain them more Total Points.

Now let’s take a look at just one of the ten categories – Stolen Bases

 Rank Team Stolen Bases 1 Rob Leibowitz 104 2 Al Geelhaar 89 3 Bryan Clarke 84 4 Todd Zola 76 5 Patrick Garde 76 6 Perry Van Hook 73 7 David Heiser 72 8 Scott Warden 68 9 Jim Dilk 68 10 Craig Davis 67 11 Ryan Brooks 62 12 Fred Zinkie 57 13 Scott Rudicil 53 14 Gary Jennison 49 15 Ed Lilly 34

Rob currently has fifteen points in Stolen Bases. He also has fifteen points in BAvg and is pretty good in Wins, but he could certainly use more power and he could also use some strikeouts. The 104 stolen bases he had at the time of the deal were  mainly contributed by Ichiro, but he also has Jimmy Rollins who should have more in the second half of the season than he had in the first half, as well as some contributions from Crisp, Kemp, Winn and Carlos Guillen.

So he decides he can trade some stolen bases and either maintain a lead or possibly lose a point or even two, but can improve his total by getting players who will help him more than that in other categories. Yes I know Basic…….BUT let’s look at where he should trade those extra SB. This is pretty obvious, really many of these situations are, BUT you need to learn to look for them. If he trades a stolen base guy to Jim Dilk, Dilk’s team can break the tie with Scott Warden and pass both David Heiser and me – all teams currently ahead of him in the overall standings. So he can DOUBLE the points he is gaining against those teams by trading the stolen bases to a specific team. (In this case, he probably could have done the same by making a trade with Craig Davis but Jim has been vigorously trying to make trades).

So this past weekend, Rob completed the following trade with Jim:

JD for Aramis Ramirez and Daisuke Matsuzaka

He gets some needed help in HR and RBI in the upgrade from LaRoche to Ramirez; gets more Strikeouts and likely more Wins in the upgrade from Olsen to DiceK (assuming he can stay healthy) and sends pac man Ichiro after Warden, Heiser and Van Hook’s stolen base points.

Now this perfect scenario doesn’t occur in every league even IF you have a surplus and can afford to trade right below your opponent(s); and of course you may not find a willing trade partner. However you should be more aware of the opportunity to make this play, as this is an especially satisfying roto strategy to pull off.

Let’s take a look at a different league – the Cannonball Run III American League.

Here are the current standings

 Rank Team Total Pts 1 Pt. Loma Quahogs 82.0 2 Surprise Royals 76.0 3 Framingham 72.5 4 Boston 71.0 5 Kilbourne 68.0 6 St. Paul 67.0 7 Beverly Hills Coyotes 65.0 8 Cape Cod 62.5 9 Brooklyn Cyclones 62.0 10 Salem 58.0 11 Scarsdale 54.5 12 Silver Lake Lookouts 41.5

Note how close the teams are –especially from 9th at 62 points really all the way up to 2nd at 76.0. And of course some of the categories are so close that point totals and places can shift from day to day.

Now let’s look at two categories – Strikeouts

Salem           562

Point Loma     466

Surprise        449

Boston          444

Scarsdale      437

Cape Cod       434

Framingham   425

Brooklyn        419

St. Paul          413

…and Saves

Surprise        38

Boston           33

Beverly Hills   28

Kilbourne       24

Silver Lake     21

Framingham   21

Scarsdale      19

If St. Paul could trade one of his premier closers – KRod or Sherrill…..AND trade him to Scarsdale for a SP who would add a decent amount of strikeouts, he could not only gain four+ points in K (and take away a point each from Framingham and Cape Cod), but Scarsdale with the additional saves would take away another point from Framingham AND Kilbourne. With any additional improvement in other categories, this one trade would put him in a battle for 2nd place in the league with only one point of downside.

Addition by Subtraction – watch for it in your leagues. It is a great way to make a useful trade for your team and also reduce the points your opponents have at the same time.

If any of you Platinum subscribers want to evaluate this concept to use for one of your teams, post the information in the Platinum Forum and we can work on it together.

(Editor’s note – this an adaption of an article originally written for Mastersball several years ago and edited last year for Perry Van Hook by Jesse Draper)

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 June 2010 22:11

#### More Articles by Perry Van Hook

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