Thursday, January 13, 2005

SportsIllustrated.Com: The Value of the SV

I'm happy to tell you that I have recently had one of my articles published at CNNSI.COM. For those of you who wish to read the article it can be veiwed at:

Here is the lead-in to the story taken from

"CASE CLOSED. Baseball drafts are still down the road, but's Ray Flowers says if there's one rule you need to remember, it's that closers are more valuable than starters."

"Ray Flowers is the statistical guru for His work has appeared on numerous Web sites and will be found exclusively at the ALL-NEW starting later this month. will be the "Official Site for Fantasy Baseball" and feature in-depth analysis, message boards, live chats and much, much more."


Some people have been a bit confused about what I wrote so let me clarify.
According to our review of the top SP and RP, we were able to establish a baseline for STRIKEOUTS of:
SP = 0.72 K per 9 IP
RP = 0.93 K per 9 IP

Let’s assume that your league has a 1000 IP maximum.
Now let’s set up two teams.

TEAM A: 5 SP who all pitch 200 innings.
TEAM B: 4 SP who pitch 200 innings, and 3 relievers who pitch 67 innings each.

TEAM A = 1000 IP
TEAM B = 1000 IP

Which team would have more K?

According to our baseline, this is what we would get.

TEAM A: 1000 IP of Starters at .72 K per IP
1000 x .72 = 720 K

Team B: 800 IP of Starters at .72 K per IP
200 IP of Relievers at .93 K per IP
800 x .72 = 576
200 x .93 =186
576 + 186 = 762

TEAM A (total) : 720 K
TEAM B (total) : 762 K

Therefore, per my discussion in the article posted at CNNSI, the team with the top relievers would most probably “win” ERA, WHIP, Saves AND K, while losing only the Win category. That’s four out of five categories for the team that focuses on RP.

REMEMBER…it’s the rate per IP that really matter for ERA/WHIP/K, not necessarily the huge individual numbers posted by some hurlers.

I would like to thank the gentlemen at for their help and support (specifically Craig Davis and Ryan Houston). Also, look for lots of big things at the site when it opens in the next few weeks...I think you're all in for a big treat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is fundamentally flawed. Value is determined by both supply and demand, while you article focuses solely on supply. The value of a category is not how plentiful that stat is but how hard it is to get relative to your opponents.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interetsing piece. Would you say this theory applies to head to head leagues as well?

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starters aren't even a lock to have more wins, either. Depending on your league rules, three decent relievers will usually get you 10-15 wins and saves, around 200 Ks, a sub 1.25 WHIP and an ERA under 3.50, in about 200 IPs. Would you pay much for a starter with the same line? Besides, it's a way to get some mileage out of those "closers-in-waiting".

7:39 PM  
Blogger Oblique Devon said...

"This means that Estaban Loaiza's 10 wins are worth half as much as Rocky Biddle's 11 saves in the fantasy universe (remember our 1.97 to 1 ratio from above). Or to state it yet another way, Loaiza's 10 wins are roughly equal to David Riske's five saves."

So by same logic Gagne's 2004 save total (45) is worth more than Santana 20, RJ 16, Schmidt18, Peavy 15. Pedro 16 wins.

Hum... think you forgot the available population contributing to each category. Kind of changes the multipler.. just a bit.You can't compare total population (all SP) unless you are in a fantasy league that drafts all of them. Need to tailor to the top150 or so. There are only 30 fantasy worthy closers.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the article, closers are worth more than starters, plain and simple. However, a simple way to help restore some balance is to use total K and not K/9, while enacting a no innings limit. This makes the K category obviously tilted towards starters and makes starters more worth while than in a k/9 league.

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