Fantasy baseball, the 2020 sequel: part 2, the season

Now that you are reminded of who plays on my fantasy baseball team of Shorebird of the Week Hall of Famers, you’d be welcome to ask: how would they do?

It took a few weeks of off and on work, but I updated the estimates for each remaining player from my 2019 team with their seasonal statistics, with the usual wild guesses of how injury-prone they would be and who would make for the best starting lineup, as I detailed last week.

So I had the set of individual statistics, but I needed a glue to put them together. Then I remembered how I did it last year:

Since I had figured out most of the main batting stats in order to define OPS and slugging percentage for the hitters, I decided to treat the pitchers the same way and figure out the batting stats against them. Once I had those numbers, I pored over about two decades’ worth of team batting stats to determine the closest parallels to runs scored based on average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS, numbers which I averaged together to determine projected totals of runs scored and runs allowed, which then allowed me to figure out a Pythagorean win-loss record that’s relatively accurate – most teams finish within a few games of their Pythagorean record.

My post from last season.

So I did that again, but it’s also worth recalling how the two squads compare in WAR.

2020 WAR2020 SotWPos.2019 SotW2019 WAR
0.6C. SiscoCA. Wynns1.5
2.0C. Walker1BT. Mancini2.0
1.4J. Schoop2BJ. Schoop2.3
1.4P. FlorimonSSP. Florimon1.5
5.8M. Machado3BM. Machado7.5
1.2S. WilkersonCFC. Mullins1.5
3.7T. ManciniRFL.J. Hoes-0.3
-0.4DelmonicoDHC. Walker0.9
4.0E. RodriguezSPE. Rodriguez2.9
2.8Z. DaviesSPZ. Davies2.7
3.4D. BundySPD. Bundy3.1
2.2S. BraultSPS. Brault0.9
2.5J. MeansSPP. Bridwell1.0
1.2Z. BrittonCLZ. Britton0.8
2.2J. HaderRPJ. Hader1.1
1.3M. GivensRPM. Givens 1.3
1.2O. DrakeRPE. Gamboa-0.8
41.9Total WARPos.Total WAR31.1

As you can see, the overall WAR is far better; in theory, this team is 10 wins better than last season’s. However, it’s worth noting that the aggregate WAR of the players lost from the 2019 squad is (-1.2) and they were replaced by three players who combined for 1.6 WAR. So that’s about 1/4 of the gain, plus the extra playing time may have increased some of the better players’ WAR numbers. This is important because when I did the aggregates of average, OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS, I came out with a negative run differential. Thus, this team wouldn’t flirt with .500 by picking up 10 games from its 72-90 record last season, but they would improve modestly to a 74-88 record.

And don’t forget: having done all these numbers meant that, just for the fun of it, I projected some 2020 statistics for the position players and pitchers. Of course, there are some players who will get nowhere near this much playing time – the now-retired Ty Kelly immediately comes to mind, but there are a handful of guys listed who, as far as I know, hadn’t signed a free agent deal as we begin spring training: pitchers Pedro Beato, Scott Copeland, and Eddie Gamboa as well as utility players Pedro Florimon and Brandon Snyder and catcher Mike Ohlman.

Losing a few pitchers from the 2021 team won’t really hurt me, but the lack of position players may put me in a bind in continuing this concept – which, you may notice, was slimmed down to two parts this year. I still have fun doing it, but I have to keep it somewhat real, too.

But until April 9, when the plan is for me to be back in my Perdue Stadium seat (hopefully not freezing to death) this will have to suffice. (Although…once again the UMES Hawks are playing their home contests at Perdue, with the first scheduled a week from tomorrow – weather permitting, of course.)

So here you go – my version of fantasy baseball is complete for another season. Can’t wait for the real thing!

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