Thread: Patton & Co. League

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I was confused by the way you phrased the previous post.

Mike Gianella MikeG
Apr 1 '16

Kent: I was in a league awhile back where it wasn't that competitive. Guys knew the players, they just didn't understand about prices and inflation. Every year I'd do pretty well, getting tons of guys under my bids.

Then one year, out of the blue, everyone had started hitting the prices, and I was sort of stuck since I was planning on big bargains like usual. I decided that I had to just play along and get my guys at par, or even spend $1 more just to make sure I spent money.

But you're correct, it was a nightmare.

Keith Prosseda andypro
Apr 1 '16

MikeG: Give me some credit. OF COURSE I don't want to pay par for every player I get. I was merely suggesting that the part of me that 'wants to get it right' wants all my prices to be spot on. The excel spreadsheet I created and use for auctions turns green or red depending on if the auction is overbid on underbid, giving me a quasi buy-or-hold notification.

I recall jumping for joy last year when I had Wainwright priced at $27 and I got him for $22 in the PCL. I thought that was a huge get with that kind of inflation.

If you read my 'Stage Four' post about one of our teams picking a Tout team as his own, I can tell you that the owner's first choice was your team. As commish I made an executive decision not to allow it due to your crazy four catcher strategy. You couldn't have legally done it in our league.

But the guy looked at it for awhile and decided your team was best, before he took BEHRENS. I really liked your team as well. I've never been a 'Stars & Scrubs' guy, and I really appreciated that you could assemble a competitive team without spending more than $18 on any one player. It's beautifully ugly.

Keith Prosseda andypro
Apr 1 '16

An auction where every player was purchased for my exact bid limit would be my f***ing nightmare.

I try to buy as many players as possible at $2 or more below my bid limit. In a league like CBS, this is easy peasy, and the league is so loose that I even have the luxury of buying a $30+ player at par, since I know the bargains that are coming later will be steep.

In Tout Wars, this approach is nearly impossible. Even though there are one or two owners like the ones Eugene describes who aren't price disciplined (yes, this happens even in expert leagues), it is still extremely tough to put together a team with bargains across the board. Alternately, you have the problem that I had in Tout Wars NL this year, where I purchased +2 bargains at nearly every slot but have a wacky team with three closers and four catchers. Value is value (although the two catchers slotted in at non-catcher positions lose $2 or so in auction value), but in a perfect world having four catchers to start the season isn't ideal.

andypro: perhaps you're using different terminology than I do, but what you're describing sounds to me like a blueprint to build a team that earns $260 and finishes sixth or seventh. I can do a great job guessing what players in Tout Wars will cost, but the purpose of my bids (and Alex and Peter and Mike Fenger's, I'm guessing) isn't to guess the price but rather to distinguish yourself from everyone else. On 90-95% of the player pool my bids are "boring" and match or come close to matching what I believe the market value is. It is the 5-10% of the player pool where I want my bids to stand out so I can construct the team I want to build on Auction Day. Guessing the market comes into play because there can - and should - be a realistic ceiling on a player no matter how much I like him. Paying $45 for Mike Trout because he's great and I want him and he's a $35-40 anchor is fine; paying $55 is a loser. At some point, I'm going to let go, even if it's a player in my 5-10%.

Eugene: yes, that's the craziest thing about expert leagues. There are people like Chris Liss and Lawr Michaels who don't use pricing at all but know the market cold and read the room well and just go by feel. And there are others like you describe, who group players into buckets or have a system where they spend $200 on hitters and $60 on pitchers or don't buy closers or whatever their secret sauce is. But it doesn't matter, because all of them are seasoned players who might not be price disciplinarians but who know what the hell they're doing. In CBS and every redraft home league ever, I can auction on autopilot off of my prices and finish in the Top 3 without injuries and in the Top 5 with injuries. In Tout Wars, without some kind of game plan of  "I must accomplish a, b, and c" price discipline only does so much for you. And home leagues like ADL and Billy Almon - where we have been going at it for 30+ years - present the same kind of challenge.

Mike Gianella MikeG
Apr 1 '16

Andy -- I had your scenario one year, but it was a nightmare.

Several players went right for my bid with me not getting them.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Apr 1 '16

The funny thing is, I go through my own projections, applying Alex's formulas to the projections, then I balance the books, put in the keepers, re-add inflation in a non-linear fashion, rebalance the books as players join or exit the 168/108 pools respectively.  I keep it to $182/$78 almost to the penny so I divide inflation by hitters/pitchers.  Other successful owners in my league just group players by class. Others do prices based upon gut instinct.  We're usually all within $1 of each other.  It's Stage 4 Hell.  We all get there a different way and it still results in the same prices.  It's those one or two guys who we get off by $2 or more from everyone else that wind up on our teams, plus the guys we really want.  There's also a few owners who don't balance their books, so they will throw things off a bit.  Not everyone allocates exactly $3120 and not everyone cares to.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Apr 1 '16

Same here, Mike. My OCD-Perfect auction would be one where every player went for exactly the price I had written down.

If you've learned to calculate inflation correctly, and if you've learned what other owners are going to pay, then your regular auction becomes like Doubt Wars. You just look at all the salaries beforehand and decide which guys you want.

The problem arises when all the main guys you are targeting are the ones that are getting run up, as in "who knew that 9 other owners would be interested in Bryce Harper?"

Keith Prosseda andypro
Apr 1 '16

andypro: Oh, I see. I usually come very close on my guesses and only miss on a small handful of players. Typically, it is one or two weaker owners who keep extremely high priced players who skew things, and make the overall inflation lower than what I was expecting. I've become better at figuring this out, but I also use a broad baseline for inflation when trying to figure out whether or not I should keep a player like Holliday.

TMU2009: you mean with the freezes and the auction combined? i wouldn't use the term inflation but, yes, there is virtually a 100% chance that some of the players on your sheet at $2 or higher won't be purchased and that some of the players at $1 or not listed will.

Mike Gianella MikeG
Apr 1 '16

Mike G: You are correct, that's never going to happen. And it's not what happened. It has happened AFTER I gave players inflation prices but BEFORE keepers were announced.

It's not league-wide real negative inflation. It's only negative inflation compared to my educated guesses.

KENT: Yea, I'm counting on some of that coming back. But I should warn you, based upon my early calculations, Bryce Harper is going to cost north of $30.

Keith Prosseda andypro
Apr 1 '16

Certainly seems impossible to have OVERALL negative inflation.

Mike Dean TMU2009
Apr 1 '16