Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Table of Contents: Baseball and Basketball Blogs on this Site

This blog primarily divides the year in half to focus on two sports. Through the World Series in October the focus is on our free game Statis-Pro baseball and how we (and you) can play historic or current teams to better evaluate the best current and best of all time teams. In November, college basketball tips off and the focus shifts to our www.valueaddbasketball.com website that ranks all players from current, to projections for the future, and back to players in the 2001-02 season.

Our Facebook posts can be found @valueaddsports. Here is a table of contents with the baseball stories on the left and basketball on the right, and a couple of other sports stories below the baseball stories. We keep the frequently referenced stories at the top in yellow highlight, and then other stories are highlighted in yellow.

Baseball - Statis Pro @valueaddsports staple storiesDateBasketball - www.valueaddbasketball.com staple storiesDate
Instructions for Playing Statis-Pro Baseball from MLB, to minors/youth/college to Japan (Ohtani vs. Suzuki)4/17/2018Explanation and History of Value Add1/31/2018
Accurate way to enter numbers to quickly create Statis-Pro cards and playoff great teams7/11/2018SI and ESPN Quoting Value Add Basketball back in 20115/18/2017
Statis-Pro Standings, Pre-season ranking based on cards and Results (2018 Rosters, 2017 Player Cards) - All-Star results added4/7/2018Value Add Original Offensive Calculations Post1/31/2018
Central Division - the 10 Greatest Baseball Teams7/9/2018Value Add: Original Defensive Piece1/31/2018
Eastern Division - the 10 Greatest7/9/2018Value Add: Original Position Adjustment (No Longer Used)1/31/2018
Southern Division - the 10 Greatest7/9/2018Value Add 5.0 Adjustment for Top 31 Teams of this Century1/28/2018
Western Division - the 10 Greatest7/9/2018NBA Predictor Graph Based on Value Add and Year in School11/26/2017
Baseball Breakdown of Double Play Grounders and Would-be Sac Flies Per Out4/6/2018Other www.valueaddbasketball by date
Baseball Breakdown of win margins and sweeps9/30/2017LeBron now GOAT; Midnight Announcement Leaves Nevada No. 15/31/2018
Statis-Pro Adjustments When Playing Teams from Live Ball Year Against Dead Ball Year7/11/2018NBA Draft Raid of Nevada, Villanova and Kentucky In 24 Days Would Leave Duke No. 15/27/2018
Other baseball stories chronologicalProjected 1st Round March Madness Match-ups; Recent Transfer Winners and Losers4/22/2018
NL All-Star Considerations7/6/2018NFL Draft Takes Most Early Talent From; 1) LSU, 2) Bama, 3) Texas, 4) Stanford, 5) Ohio State4/22/2018
Statis-Pro All-Star Selections Finalized - All-Star result and composite box7/6/201815 players being dropped from Value Add Projections - Headed for NBA4/15/2018
3 New Yankees Sluggers Give Edge Over Astros; Red Sox and Indians Round Out For AL Contenders based on Statis-Pro5/1/2018Value Add Projects for All 2019 Players - Final Four of Auburn, Duke, Villanova, UNC4/4/2018
NFL Draft Takes Most Early Talent From; 1) LSU, 2) Bama, 3) Texas, 4) Stanford, 5) Ohio State4/22/2018Final Add: Bridges Misses MVP by 0.01 after Nova's Dominant Title Game4/3/2018
Irony: Georgia Rally Prevents Oklahoma Duo From Overtaking Tebow-Horford for Greatest of Century1/5/2018Nova Should Win With 2 of top 5 Value Add Players; While ACC, SEC & B12 Best Top-to-bottom (italics update after Championship)4/2/2018
Fox 11 in Los Angeles Mistakenly Flashes Screen Shot Announcing Dodgers Win in Game 5 of World Series10/29/2017SEC, ACC & Big 12 Get Even Stronger with JUCO Commitments to Mississippi, TCU and NC State4/2/2018
ERA and OPS of top 11 Players for 19 MLB Contenders: Nats, Astros, Dodgers, Diamondbacks Dominate8/4/201742 Catholic Schools of 351 D1 Basketball Programs3/26/2018
33 MLB Seasons In Which Top 2 Teams Combined for 64%+ Winning Percentage7/15/2017Bracket Goes for 3 of Final 4 & Possible 100th Percentile Sunday; Only 0.03% Picked Sister Jean's Loyola3/21/2018
Bracket Factoring Injuries Based on Value Add Best Option in 92nd Percentile3/16/2018
Experienced Guards & Hottest Teams Brackets the Best on Day 13/15/2018
March Madness 2018 Bracket Master of All Suggested Picks (Master)3/11/2018
March Madness: All-Americans and 3 Star Domination3/11/2018
March Madness: Coaching, Senior Guards, and Hot Streaks3/11/2018
March Madness Teams with Most NBA Talent3/10/2018
March Madness Updates Due to Mismatches in Steals, 3-pointers or Rebounds3/10/2018
March Madness: Top Team Value Adds Adjusted for Injuries, Returning Players (Most Important)3/10/2018
Value Add 2018 All-American Team2/25/2018
3 Weeks before March Madness picks w/ injures to Auburn, Marquette and Texas Tech2/18/2018
Top 100 Value Add Basketball Players Going into February 5, 2018 Games - Trae Young Detroned2/5/2018
Oklahoma Surges to #4 Behind Trae Young; Ohio State Star Deserves 1st Team All-American Status So Far1/15/2018
Arizona, Duke and Oklahoma Freshmen Best Value Add Trio in History1/7/2018
Irony: Georgia Rally Prevents Oklahoma Duo From Overtaking Tebow-Horford for Greatest of Century1/5/2018
Value Add Most Valuable Returning Players, and Most Damaging Injuries12/23/2017
Value Add Team Point Adjustments Based on Players Departing or Returning (injuries, semester transfers, etc.)12/23/2017
Updated Top 1% of All Basketball Players Based on www.valueaddbasketball.com12/22/2017
ACC: Duke Joins Louisville as National Contender with Bagley Signing9/24/2017
American Athletic: Ex-Football Big East Schools Add Basketball-only Wichita State9/24/2017
American East: Albany Chasing Vermont Again9/24/2017
Atlantic 10: St. Bonaventure Duo Could Challenge Dayton, Rhode Island and VCU9/24/2017
Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast Shoots for More Upsets If they can Hold Off Lipscomb9/24/2017
Big 12: TCU's Bursts into Football Title Hunt, Then Could Challenge in Toughest Hoops Conference9/24/2017
Big Sky: Top 100 Player Hall Leads Balanced Hoops Season after E. Washington Football Dominates9/24/2017
Big South: Asheville's Top 100 Duo One of Best, But Liberty a Balanced Threat9/24/2017
Big Ten: Purdue and Michigan State Ready to Seek Hoops Title After Other Big Ten Teams Shoot for Football Title9/24/2017
Big West Teams All Get to Visit Hawaii While Settling Balanced Hoops Season9/24/2017
CAA: After JMU Football, Charleston and Elon Should Battle for March Madness Bid9/24/2017
Conference USA: UAB Returns to Football Field While Future NBA Star Leads Middle Tennessee9/24/2017
Horizon League: Hayes Leads 4 Oakland Stars to Potential Title9/24/2017
Ivy League: Princeton Builds on 23-7 Season to try to hold off Harvard and Yale for Title9/24/2017
MAAC: Iona Once Again Team to Beat with Edogi Transferring to Join McGill9/24/2017
Mid-American: Western Michigan Battles for Top Football and Basketball Teams and Top Hoops Player9/24/2017
Mid-Eastern Athletic's Morgan State Favorite to Dethrone NC Central Behind POY Kendley9/24/2017
Missouri Valley Teams Battle for Title with Wichita State's Departure, Valpo's Arrival9/24/2017
Mountain West: UNLV Edges Nevada in Tough Hoops Conference, While San Diego State Football Power9/24/2017
Northeast: 5-foot-5 Star Shoots for Player of Year, Repeat Title for Mt. St. Mary's9/24/2017
Value Add - Links to all 32 conference preseason rankings9/24/2017
Ohio Valley:Jacksonville St. Football Dominance Builds on Hoops Upset of Belmont9/23/2017
Pac-12: USC Hoops Could Surpass Arizona Hoops and Even USC Football9/23/2017
33 Years After Football National Title, WAC Hosts 1st For-Profit Basketball School9/22/2017
Bucknell Dominance of Patriot League Hoops Should Follow Army-Navy Classic9/22/2017
Darryl Strawberry's Son Gives Mercer All-Southern Conference Duo, After Football Team Almost Shocks Auburn9/22/2017
Jalan West Given 7th Year for Quest for All-American Status and 1st Southland Title Over Stephen F. Austin9/22/2017
SEC: Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Mizzou Join Kentucky As 'Basketball' Schools This Year9/22/2017
Summit: Analytics See Denver Hoops Challenge to Dakota Schools That Dominate Football9/22/2017
Sun Belt: Lafayette or Georgia Southern Could Deny Troy and Arlington Repeat Hoops Titles9/22/2017
SWAC: Jerry Rice and Grambling NFL Greats Yield to March Madness Hopes9/22/2017
West Coast: After Football BYU Will Challenge Basketball-only St. Mary's & Gonzaga9/22/2017
Value Add Database Updated: Freshman, Returning Players, JUCOs, Transfers & NBA Bound6/16/2017
Value Add Group 1: Top 2017-18 Freshmen and How Many Points Each is Worth6/16/2017
Value Add Group 3: Top-ranked Transfers6/16/2017
Value Add Group 4: Top JUCO Transfers: Projected Value for 2018, and Best Since 20116/16/2017
Value Add Group 2: Top Returning Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors6/14/2017
Value Add Group 5: NBA Prospects Who Are Done with College6/7/2017
Team KenPom and Value Add Ratings Most Hurt by Injuries4/11/2017
Top 40 Freshman of 2017, Who Will Be Dominant Sophomores or NBA Players4/10/2017

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Statis-Pro Adjustments When Playing Teams from Live Ball Year Against Dead Ball Year

When playing a Statis-Pro player from a dead ball year when very few runs were scored against a pitcher from a live ball year you must adjust the results of certain plays from an Out to a Double.

Note: If you have a Statis-Pro game or want to try this free version, I lay out the 10 teams in four regional all-time divisions (click on see SouthWest, East, and Central suggested teams) I played off against each other - and while the 1927 Yankees did win in my league there but that was played before I calculated the adjustments in this blog for all eras. I also show you how to quickly calculate player cards for pitchers and batters from any error or even your own league (calculations here and google sheet to enter numbers to calculate player cards here or just see the new player cards or how our current season is playing out).

Back to the excitement of finally figuring out who the best team's in history were, Carl Yastrzemski in 1968 hit .301 with 23 home runs and Babe Herman in 1930 hit .393 with 35 home runs, so Herman's Statis-Pro card calculates too much better than Yaz's. In Statis-Pro the average pitcher controls the result half of the time and allows 11 hits (11-23 random number), 11 strikeouts (25-37) etc. The half of the time the result was on Yaz's card he would hit a home run on four of the 64 random numbers (32-35) which makes his card much worse than Herman's card, which yields a home run on seven random numbers (44-52) and a hit on 34 of 64 total numbers on his card (45 of 128 counting the half the time it is on the pitcher's card. Yaz's Statis-Pro team would rarely beat Herman's team in Statis-Pro because Herman and his teammates would have much better cards.

Statis-Pro CardPitcher CardYaz CardYaz TotBabe H CardBabe Tot
1b (single)11-2311-232211-2827
2b (double)24-31631-419
3b (triple)042-443
HR (Home run)32-35444-527
K (Strikeout)25-3736-441811
W (Walk)38-4645-642353-5712
HPB (Hit by Pitch)0581
Other (BK,WP,PB)24,48,5133
Total Results128128
1968 Hitter v 1930 Pitcher81-86 doubleNo Change

However, we know through modern analytics that both players were almost identical in their value to their team. Yaz's slight edge in the two summary hitting stats, 171 to 169 in OPS+ and 7.6 to 7.5 in Offensive Wins Above Replacement in a few more games played lets us know these are almost identical players.

When you scan to the bottom of this blog to see the average runs scored each season you see the reason for the difference - Herman's numbers were compiled in the best hitters season of all time - when 5.6 runs per game were scored - and Yaz put up his numbers in one of the two most dominant pitchers' seasons, in which only 3.4 run were scored.

Luckily, an adjustment as simple as the right-left adjustment in Statis-Pro balances seasons almost exactly so you can put both teams on even footing.

In this extreme case, every time a Random Number of 81-86 comes up on either Yaz's batting card OR the card of the pitcher he is facing, the result is changed to a double with any runner on first stopping at third base.

Using Bill James runs created formula, which still nails exactly the 4.4 runs per game being scored in the Majors this year, calculates that changing those 12 (6 batter card and 6 pitcher card) results from outs to doubles will increase the average runs scored by 2.37 runs per game to make the 1968 teams even with the 1930 teams - and Yaz equal to Hermann.

This folds neatly into the game, which already makes adjustments in certain left-handed pitcher (LHP) vs. right-handed batter (RN or RP) and vice versa, so it can be combined into this one adjustment table used for both batters' and hitters' results:

VariableRandom NumberNew ResultR/G Impact
LHP vs LN or LP Cht11-15K or Foul Out
RHP vs RN or RP Cht11-12K or Foul Out
LHP vs RN or RP Cht87-88Single
RHP vs LN or LP Cht87-88Single
Batters' Year 0.2 to 0.5 lower R/G     86Double0.35
Batters' Year 0.6 to 0.9 lower R/G85-86Double0.72
Batters' Year 1.0 to 1.3 lower R/G84-86Double1.10
Batters' Year 1.4 to 1.7 lower R/G83-86Double1.50
Batters' Year 1.8 to 2.1 lower R/G82-86Double1.92
Batters' Year 2.1+ lower R/G81-86Double2.37

If playing a game between two teams from different years, look at the list below and subtract the R/G between the two years and apply it above. If the batters team is from 0.2 to 0.5 lower than the pitcher he is fancing, then an 86 is a double. If 0.6 to 0.6, then an 85 or 86 becomes a double, etc. the number to the right simply shows how much that would adjust scoring over the whole season.

Runs Per Game

Year       R/G (Runs per game)
2018      4.4
2017      4.7
2016      4.5
2015      4.3
2014      4.1
2013      4.2
2012      4.3
2011      4.3
2010      4.4
2009      4.6
2008      4.7
2007      4.8
2006      4.9
2005      4.6
2004      4.8
2003      4.7
2002      4.6
2001      4.8
2000      5.1
1999      5.1
1998      4.8
1997      4.8
1996      5.0
1995      4.9
1994      4.9
1993      4.6
1992      4.1
1991      4.3
1990      4.3
1989      4.1
1988      4.1
1987      4.7
1986      4.4
1985      4.3
1984      4.3
1983      4.3
1982      4.3
1981      4.0
1980      4.3
1979      4.5
1978      4.1
1977      4.5
1976      4.0
1975      4.2
1974      4.1
1973      4.2
1972      3.7
1971      3.9
1970      4.3
1969      4.1
1968      3.4
1967      3.8
1966      4.0
1965      4.0
1964      4.0
1963      4.0
1962      4.5
1961      4.5
1960      4.3
1959      4.4
1958      4.3
1957      4.3
1956      4.5
1955      4.5
1954      4.4
1953      4.6
1952      4.2
1951      4.6
1950      4.9
1949      4.6
1948      4.6
1947      4.4
1946      4.0
1945      4.2
1944      4.2
1943      3.9
1942      4.1
1941      4.5
1940      4.7
1939      4.8
1938      4.9
1937      4.9
1936      5.2
1935      4.9
1934      4.9
1933      4.5
1932      4.9
1931      4.8
1930      5.6
1929      5.2
1928      4.7
1927      4.8
1926      4.6
1925      5.1
1924      4.8
1923      4.8
1922      4.9
1921      4.9
1920      4.4
1919      3.9
1918      3.6
1917      3.6
1916      3.6
1915      3.8
1914      3.9
1913      4.0
1912      4.5
1911      4.5
1910      3.8
1909      3.5
1908      3.4
1907      3.5
1906      3.6
1905      3.9
1904      3.7
1903      4.4
1902      4.4

1901      5.0

Accurate way to enter numbers to quickly create Statis-Pro cards and playoff great teams

Anytime you want to create your own Statis-Pro cards - whether they be for and Asian or Western league or college or historic teams - or current new players as we created here - you can plug in just a few stats on the google sheet at https://tinyurl.com/yd2cln8k and then use the player cards with the free Statis-Pro game.

On each sheet, enter the numbers in shaded yellow for the player, then card will be calculated below. You do not need to know the explanation, but for those who do we run through the ways that pitcher, hitting and fielding numbers are determined for the card.

Note for past players: If you've played Statis-Pro before, the only difference is that now when a Wild Pitch or Passed Ball results on the pitchers card it automatically happens (in the past Fast Action Cards then gave you a "yes" or "no" on the next card, which should now only be checked for Balks). 

Calculating Pitching Cards

Now for the important part - the calculations for the pitching cards are much easier than the old charts indicate.

The importance of doing the pitching cards this way is that the batters' cards are extremely accurate if and only if the pitchers card average out to 11 hits, 11 strikeouts and 7 walks, but with the pitchers' now average 17 strikeouts on their cards that is the new number used on the card - and you can search for "Yearly ave" to find the table below that shows the correct adjustment for every season from now back through 1901.

Formula to Calculate Pitcher’s PB – final number appears in Row 19

Square Root of (League ERA/Pitcher’s ERA) * 6.3 = PB

  • Limits: PB cannot be lower than 2-5, so if number calculates as 4 or lower change to a PB 2-5
  • If the pitchers (Games+Games Started)/2 in Row 17 equals at least 20, then his PB can be as high as a 2-9, so if pitcher calculates as 10 or higher, then change to PB 2-9.
  • If the pitchers (Games+Games Started)/2 in Row 17 equals 10-19, then the highest PB can be 2-8.
  • If the pitchers (Games+Games Started)/2 in Row 17 is 9 or lower, then his highest PB can be 2-7.

Formula to Calculate Pitcher’s SR and RR – Results in Row 20 and 21

Factor 1 = Walks + Hits
Factor 2 = (Games + Games Started)/2
Factor 3 = ERA * 1.75
(Factor 1 / Factor 2) + Factor 3 = SR
SR/2 = RR

  • If pitcher did not start any games, then put only the RR on the card and leave the SR 0, and if pitcher did not relieve in any games then put the SR on the card and leave the RR 0.
  • If you are planning to play a team from one year against other years, we we do with our match-up of 40 great teams from Honus Wagner's 1902 Pirates to the 2017 Houston Astros with the greatest three teams in history in between (1927, 1939 and 1998 Yankees), then you also need to look at the table to determine if you need to add to the SR. (e.g. Bob Gibson pitched in 1968 when there were almost no runners, so his SR increases by 4 when calculated).

Formula to Calculate Number of Hits on Cards

(Hits / Innings Pitched) * 11 = Hits on Card

Keep in mind the Random numbers do not include any digits of 0 or 8, so a pitcher allowing 0.68 to 0.76 hits per inning (bolded below) would allow 8 hits and thus an 11-18 on the card, but a pitcher in the next highest range (0.77 to 0.85 hits per inning) would have nine hits and go 11-21 since there is no Random Number of 19 or 20.

H/IP Range
Top Range
Hit Range on card
The old formula showed that the 11 hits on the average pitcher's card was subtracted when calculating the batter's card (see the bottom below the chart). This is often the case, but we actually use the number in the H/(PA/128)-below column on the big table further down so that in a year like 2007 when the average number of hits on a pitcher's card was 12, then that number is subtracted from the batters calculations.

The original charts that changed the ratio based on the pitcher’s PB of 2-9 to 2-5 were actually wrong because the ratios were set up backward and actually 2-9 pitchers should have had more hits on their card per H/IP, so use these calculations regardless of PB.

Formula to Calculate Number of Balks on Cards – Row 23 on spreadsheet

(Balks / IP) *25 = Balks on Card

The average is a little less than one balk per card, so just giving each pitcher one balk is pretty accurate if you don’t have that stat handy. So if your range of hits is the average 11-23, just putting 24 by the Balk is accurate most of the time though some would be blank. After drawing a balk number in a fast action deck the next “Pitch” card of YES or NO tells you if it was a balk or not – and if using dice you can roll one 6-sided die again and if the roll is 1 or 2 consider it a balk and if not ignore it. To be accurate, the next Random Number should stay on the pitcher’s card.

Formula to Calculate Number of Strikeouts on Cards – Row 24

(((Strikeouts / IP) - .38)) * 20 = Strikeouts on Card

A pitcher with the average number of hits and one balk number, who also had the average number of strikeouts on card (11) would have a range of 24-37 for strikeouts in most seasons. However, with the record strikeouts in baseball today the average pitcher has 17 strikeouts on his card - so a 24-44 strikeout range is average on 2017 and 2018 cards.

Formula to Calculate Number of Walks on Cards – Row 25

(Walks / IP) * 20 = Walks on card

Luckily walks have stayed pretty consistent over time, so the traditional number of 7 as an average has held up. However, as you can see from the table it does vary in some years - and you will see going back to 2015 it went down to 6 for the average number on a pitcher's card - and thus that is subtracted. But with the current average the same as the typical 7, the average pitcher's card now would have walks on 45-53.

Formula to Calculate Number of Passed Balls on Cards – Row 26

Walks on card x .1 = Passed Balls on Card

These should actually always be passed balls on cards based on the number of times they are likely to come up and the 45% of time there is a player on base to create the possibility of a passed ball, wild pitch or balk. I based this on breaking down the numbers from this study https://tinyurl.com/y83knjll of all base situations from 1984 to 1994 that showed there was no one on base 863,404 of 1,621,812 at bats (53% of the time) and estimating that the greater number of home runs and lower batting averages likely trimmed a couple of percent off the then 47% of the time to about 45% today. 

Formula to Calculate Number of Wild Pitches on Cards – Row 27

(Wild Pitches / IP) * 80 = Wild Pitches on card

You can use league default average of 3 numbers for Wild Pitch, but if you do calculate then the league leader in wild pitches last year - Jake Arrietta - had 14 wild pitches in 168 1/3 innings, which multiplied by 80 indicates 7 wild pitches on his card (6.54). However, for statistical accuracy, when no one is on base then a Balk, Wild Pitch or Passed Ball should all be scored as an out.

The fielding figures for a pitchers card and other players (E for Error of 0 to 10 and CD for Clutch Defense of CD1, CD2, CD3 or CD4 are on another sheet at that same spreadsheet.

Here is the year-by-year adjustment sheet for how many hits, walks and strikeouts were on the average pitcher's card every year and thus the number subtracted during the hitters' formulas below.

Yearly Adj          H/(PA/128)-belowH/(PA/128)-belowH/(PA/128)-belowIncrease SR if playing other yr

Formulas for calculating batter's cards (very simple)

Batting Formulas

At Bats + Walks + Hit by Pitch / 128 = Batting Factor
(Hits / Batting Factor) - NUMBER IN THE FIRST COLUMN TO THE LEFT OF THE YEAR ABOVE = total hits on card
(Strikeouts / Batting Factor) - NUMBER IN THE THIRD COLUMN TO THE RIGHT OF THE YEAR = total strikeouts on card
(Walks / Batting Factor) - NUMBER IN THE 2ND COLUMN TO THE LEFT OF THE YEAR (USUALLY A -7) = total walks on card
(2b / Batting Factor) - total doubles on card
(3b / Batting Factor) - total doubles on card
(HR / Batting Factor) - total doubles on card
(HBP/ Batting Factor) - total doubles on card

The average card this year calculated to 18 hits, which would go from 11-32 on the Random Number scale of 64 numbers from 11-88 since no 0s or 9s are included. The average player also calculates to 4 home run numbers, so the 27-32 would be Home Runs, then fill in all the numbers. Record if the player is right-handed, left-handed or a switch hitter, and based on if he has at least 4 Home run numbers he is a Power hitter, or 3 or less and he is a normal hitter, so combine for one of these: RN, RP, LN, LP, SP, SN or for a pitcher batting always just put P by Cht.

On-base Running and Steals

Running Opportunity Factor = (Hits + Walks - Home Runs - Triples)

(Stolen Bases / Running Opportunity Factor) * 44 = Number to use for SB

(Triples + Stolen Bases + Runs - Home Runs) / Running Opportunity Factor) * 5.5 = Number to use for OBR

Once you have that number for each, 0 = E, 1 = D, 2 = C, 3 = B, 4 = A and 7 or higher on SB only equals AA.

Fielding Stats can be standard

CD2, E4, TB or T3 can be standard, but below are ways they can be calculated.

However, the fielding tab does give you a table to determine the Error (E) rating based on fielding percentage. A catcher who throws out 33% or more of baserunners is a TA, while 25% or more is a TB, and others are a TC. Outfielders with great arms are a T5, good arms are a T4, average is a T3 and weak arms are a T2 if you want to go that far.

For Clutch Defense, we only give CD4 ratings to players nominated for a gold glove within the past couple of years, and after that look at Defensive War (2.0 or higher is a CD3, 0.5 or higher is a CD2, and 0.4 down to negatives is a CD1.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Western Division – the 10 Greatest

We play the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants in the east, but we will put Fernando Valenzuela against Barry Bonds post move. However, the 1960s matchuos if Dodgers pitchers and Giants hitters were all compelling too.
  1. Oakland Athletics, 1972, J.Rudi and the A's kicked off the most significant run in western baseball with the first of three championships in a year in which they allowed fewer than 3 runs a game - and who knows how many titles the low budget A's could have won except for free agency. Indeed the incredible slugging of the 1989 team of Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire, as well as the astonishing turn of the century teams that were the subject of Moneyball, would be run as well, but the early 1970s run was the greatest in the history of baseball in the west and perhaps the most magnificent 3-year run of non-Yankees teams ever.
  2. Anaheim Angels, 2002, The greatest two teams in the history of western MLB outside of Oakland had the misfortune of playing in the same year, and the close call as to the best was only settled in seven games as D.Erstad and company had just enough to hold off Barry Bonds. That 2014 Mike Trout team looked on the verge of being great, and with the additions of Ohtani and Upton, it sure seems like a new team could make a run in the years ahead but this year the Mariners and Astros are off to such a head start in the AL West that it could be a while.
  3. San Francisco Giants, 2002, B.Bonds incredible career included a near miss with the Pirates against the Braves for a trip to the World Series, and then a nail-biting loss to Anaheim to deny him a World Series ring. Willie Mays 1962 team likewise fell just one game short of the title, and as incredible as the Giants even year run of titles was in 2010, 2012 and 2014, those teams do not seem to have the ability to dominate like the near misses under Mays and Bonds. I do believe this team was even better than the World Series champions of Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers 1981) and Randy Johnson (2001) as well, but obviously, Mays and Bonds would have preferred the ring.
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1981, F.Valenzuela arrived from Mexico and led one of many great Los Angeles Dodgers teams to the World Series title. You can certainly opt for the 1965 World Series champions, who had the greater lefty in Sandy Koufax who improved on his 2.04 regular season ERA with an incredible 0.38 ERA in three World Series starts that included pitching complete games shutouts in Games 5 and 7. However, even Koufax would be unlikely to come close to that number and consider that feat to drag what was not that strong a team. Certainly, another option is the incredible 2017 team that fell just short to the Astros.
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001, R.Johnson went to the desert to make the Arizona Diamondbacks World Series Champions with help from Curt Schilling in a thriller series to end the 3-year run of one of the three greatest teams in history - Derek Jeter's New York Yankees - not long after the 9/11 tragedy hit New York. The Diamondbacks two years earlier looked as good as the team that would win it all.
  6. Texas Rangers, 2011, I.Kinsler and the Rangers came within one game of finally getting the Lone Star state their first World Series title just six years before the Astros won it all.
  7.  Seattle Mariners, 1995, While the rest of the pitching staff was very weak, on days that Randy Johnson pitched I believe the team of Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Edgar Martinez was one of the best. If the Seattle rain could have canceled all the games between Johnson's starts, this team would have been very hard to beat.
  8. San Diego Padres, 1984, While Kevin Brown's 1998 Padres team that went up against one of the greatest teams in history could be a little better, I opted for the great Tony Gwynn's team that also went up against one of the all-time great teams in the Detroit Tigers that started their season 35-5. The Padres simply pick the wrong years to go to the World Series, but off a game against that Tigers team says a lot about Gwynn, who even dialed it up for the long ball despite normally deliberately being a line drive hitter.
  9. Colorado Rockies, 2007, T.Tulowitzki and the Rockies overachieved to give the city it's only World Series appearance, and I am going to have to label this as the weakest team to ever make it to a World Series. They were coming off a 76-86 season and were only 76-72 on September 16 and looking like a MAYBE average baseball team, but give Tulowitzki and company credit for one of the most excellent and most improbable runs ever. They won 14 of their final 15 to force a one-game playoff with the Padres for the wild card birth and won that 9-8 before shockingly sweeping both the Phillies and Diamondbacks to make the World Series on a 22-1 run. At that point, the Red Sox swept them, but one of the most amazing few weeks in sports history.
  10. Seattle Pilots, 1969, The 1969 Seattle Pilots were not very good in their one year in town before going to Milwaukee to become the Brewers, but I appreciate their stay because they round out my final 10-team Division. Wayne Comer was the team's best player despite this being his only full major league season - and he hit 15 of his career 16 home runs in this one season in Seattle.

Southern Division – the 10 Greatest

The 1948 Indians were the surprise winners of this division when I played the 40 off years ago, but Hammering Hank Aaron doubled off the great Bob Lemon to give the 1957 Milwaukee Braves a win. Meanwhile the 1975 Cincinnati Reds finally wore down the Big Train to come from behind in the 9th against the 1924 Washington Senators bullpen. (Correction - an earlier version referred to the 1976 Reds as losing one playoff game - that was incorrect - in real life the 1976 Reds are the only team in history to sweep both the NL and the AL in their 1976 World Series run.
  1. Cincinnati Reds, 1975, Are people right to consider the Big Red Machine the best NL team ever? Even our ranking of them as first of 10 teams in our South Division - which follows the old Mason-Dixon line except for taking the Reds in from just north of the Kentucky line and then giving the Rangers to the West to balance the four divisions at 10 teams each. The arguments against are that the average score of 5.2 to 3.6 is strong but hardly dominant, and it then did take them seven games to even pull off the classic World Series against the Red Sox. However, I do rank the Big Red Machine as the greatest NL team in history for the following reasons. Their 108 wins tie the New York Mets, who ironically also barely beat the Red Sox for the title, as the most wins by an NL team in the last 100 years despite having nothing to play for the last couple of months of the season because they clinched the playoffs September 7, 1975, the earliest of any team in history. When you clinch early you rest players to avoid injury, so much as Sparky Anderson did again nine years later with the Detroit Tigers, he took care of business so early that he didn't need to play the stars every day to roll up victory margins. Further, while I weigh a 4-3 World Series win as close, it is a small sample and the fact that the Reds came back the next year to become the only team in history to sweep both there league playoffs and the World Series - as they swept the Yankees to confirm their greatness as the best team of all time both in the NL and in my South region. We did not consider the utterly dominant Red Stockings teams of the 1800s, and you could certainly argue for inclusion of outstanding Reds World Series champions of 1919 and 1940.
  2. Baltimore Orioles, 1970, The Reds as the top NL team ever was an easier call than the Reds as my top South Division team ever, since Jim Palmer's 1970 Orioles matched their 108 wins. There average score of 4.9 to 3.5 is superior with a projected 66% winning percentage that they reached, and the four games to one World Series win looks strong.
  3.  St. Louis Cardinals, 1968, I know the Cardinals won the World Series in seven games in 1967 and lost it in 1968, but they were almost exactly as good, and I want to play with Bob Gibson's card reflecting the 1.12 ERA and 13 complete game shutouts that forced Major League baseball to lower the mound to give batters some chance against him. As much as I would love O. Cepeda's incredible 1967 season, this is the one. Despite the great history of the Cardinals as the second greatest organization behind the Yankees, I believe Gibson gives them a little better chance against the all-time greats than the incredible teams of the late 20th century including the Ozzie Smith 1980s and more recent dominant teams. I would love to play Stan Musial, but I did try to avoid the World War II years which were some of his best because those were against weaker opponents due to so many players were in the war. For me, the 1967-68 Cardinals are not the equals of the 1970 Orioles or 1975-76 Reds in the South Region, but I project them as nudging out last year's Houston Astros for third in the South - though if the Astros can repeat I would move them ahead.
  4. Houston Astros, 2017, J.Altuve finally delivered the Astros a World Series title in 2017, after their one other team that probably was the best in baseball (1998 with the Killer B's and Randy Johnson) was stunned by Kevin Brown and the Padres and the 2005 miracle team ran out of steam when facing the White Sox in the World Series. However, the current 2018 season could be historic because their average score this year of 5.2 to 3.1 would rank as the best projected winning percentage of the last 100 years except for Joe DiMaggio's 1939 Yankees. The betting odds give them only a 27 percent chance of repeating this year mainly because the Yankees and Red Sox have even better overall records, but if the Astros pitching stays anywhere near as dominant and they pull off another title then they would pass Bob Gibson's Cardinals as the third best team in our all-time South Division.  That being said, I still may play the 1998 Astros in Statis-Pro season just because I'm playing the great current players in my 2018 Statis-Pro season and the brief overlap of Randy Johnson with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio may well have been even more dominant than the current squad despite being bounced by two Kevin Brown starts in the playoffs.
  5. Washington Senators, 1924, How eerily similar the two Washington teams are, as in 1924 Walther Johnson led the league for the 5th time in 13 years - holding the new live ball hitters down with a 23-7 mark and 2.72 ERA to take his second MVP award and bring the city its first title. This occurred just over a decade after won his first MVP at the conclusion of two consecutive innings during which he pitched more than 700 innings in back-to-back seasons with an ERA of less than 1.30 and record of 69-19. This team looks almost identical to the 2016 Washington Nationals team that looked so ready to win it all but takes the title of top Washington DC team ever due to winning the title.
  6. Atlanta Braves, 1995, As most Braves fans will tell you, this did not seem to be the best of the great Braves teams and at 90-54 in a strike-shortened season with an offense well below average (4.5 runs per game compared to 4.9 league-wide, though it was a pitchers' park) we cannot rank them that high among the all-time great Southern Division teams. However, this was the year that Greg Maddux and company finally brought home the World Series title - and by dominating an incredible Indians line-up in a pitching stops hitting year - so this is the team we play.
  7. Washington Nationals, 2016, M.Scherzer seemed the closest thing to Walter Johnson and certainly pitched every bit well enough to give Washington a second title, but because they could not advance to the World Series, they rank behind the Senators.
  8. St. Louis Browns, 1922, G.Sisler's St. Louis American League team, the Browns, had their only great year - a year in which Sisler hit .420 (3rd highest total since 1900) and the team his .313 and Ken Williams become the first 30 home run 30 stolen base player and the only until Willie Mays in 1957. This incredible one-year wonder still lost out to Babe Ruth's Yankees by one game, and would not make the playoffs until years later as the Baltimore Orioles.
  9. Florida Marlins, 1997, Kevin Brown showed how dominant one pitcher can be in the playoffs by taking the 92-70 Florida Marlins all the way to the World Series title. He did this again the next year with the Padres, who pulled a similar incredible playoff upset by stunning Randy Johnson and the Houston Astros before finally losing to one of the three greatest teams in history in the 1998 New York Yankees. However, the team itself ranks next to last of the great South Region teams here because of their .568 winning percentage at a time when the wild card team basically got the same deal as the division winners and therefore did not even need to fight for the divisional title. This fact led to MLB changing the rules to make two Wild Card teams go through a sudden death one game series - though the odds are Brown would have won that match-up against anyone.
  10. Tampa Bay Rays, 2008, C.Pena and the Rays won the AL East over the high salaries Yankees and Red Sox and then all the way to the World Series, a great overachievement.

Eastern Division – the 10 Greatest

When I last played off these 40 teams in Statis-pro baseball, the 1927 Yankees win it all. However, in my first game with the advanced Statis-Pro cards yield an upset by Bob Ojeda and the 1986 Mets. Anyone can win one baseball game, but it was interesting to see that in addition to Ojeda being one of the hardest pitchers ever for lefties to hit, the 1927 Yankees did drop off a bit against lefties. Honus Wagner led the 1902 Pirates to an upset of Joe DiMaggio's 1939 Yankees - but this was also the case of one great ace pitcher - the 1939 and 1927 Yankees will tee off on most pitchers.
  1. (3-way tie), New York Yankees, 1927, One of three teams is the greatest in the history of baseball - Babe Ruth's 1927-32 Yankees, Joe DiMaggio's 1938-39 Yankees, or Derek Jeter's 1998-2000 Yankees. For that reason, while the other 39 teams all get only one entry in my Statis-Pro all-time championships, I am letting the 1927, 1939 and 1998 Yankees all compete to expand the Eastern Division to 12 teams while the Central, West, and South will all have 10 teams. The first all-time season I played, I did allow all 30 current teams to have only one entry for each city in which they played (40 total teams), and Ruth's 1927 Yankees backed up their reputation as the best team in history by winning the 40-team league. However, I believe the closest call is whether or not this or J.DiMaggio's 1939 squad was better, and Jeter's 1998 squad is right there. You could put M.Mantle's 1953 Yankees and many of the Yankees 27 World Series champs not far behind, BUT DiMaggio's 1939 squad edges out Ruth's 1927 for the best average score with a 6.4 to 3.7 margin that projects a 75% winning percentage even though Ruth's squad had a slightly better record - and to see DiMaggio's Statis-Pro card that is not only one of the greatest home run cards ever but also one of the best defensive cards ever and NEVER strikes out. (tie) New York Yankees, 1939, The second of two dominant years led by Joe DiMaggio - rivaling Ruth's 1927-32 Yankees and Jeter's 1998-2000 teams as not only the greatest Yankees teams of all time but the three greatest teams of all time. (tie) New York Yankees, 1998, D.Jeter's dominant run started here and continued through 2000 to form one of the best three teams in history - all New York Yankees squads. One reader asked my the 1961 Yankees were not also included - and they are not close to these three for best Yankees team ever. Worse record and their run differential was just over a run at 5.1-3.8 as and average score - and these three won by a solid 2 runs a game. Maris and Mantle rank ahead of many other teams among the 42 I rank, but not on the level of these three for greatest Yankees team ever.
  2. Boston Red Sox, 2007, Three years after breaking the curse with the 2004 World Series, the Red Sox  J.Beckett's Red Sox 5.4 to 4.1 average score was dominant, and their playoff blitz showed they were much better than their 96 wins in the regular season showed. Consider that they won the NL Divisional Series and World Series 7 games to 0 and 48 runs to 14. The great Cleveland Indians team gave them a classic series in between, 12-2 and 11-2. Certainly, you could opt instead for the 1912 Red Sox of J. Sain, but they were just a bit behind the great Giants and Athletics teams from a few years earlier and did barely win their World Series, so I give the 2007 version the edge. The sentimental pick, however, could be Ted Williams' 1941 season just to see the card of the last person to hit over .400, or his one World Series team when he came back from the war in 1946 - or even the Red Sox great 1953 team on which Williams' actual card is even better than his 1941 card because he hit home runs on 12 percent of his plate appearances and hit over .400 again - if you ignore the fact that he came up just more than 100 times that year.
  3. New York Giants, 1905, C.Mathewson's New York Giant easily won the World Series after one of the greatest average scores (5.0 to 3.3 for a projected 70 percent winning percentage) to give the East a title in between the dominant Central duo of the Cubs and Pirates.
  4. Philadelphia Athletics, 1910, E.Collins led the first of many great Philadelphia A's teams to an easy World Series, and this team was almost exactly as dominant as the 1905 Giants before them with a 4.3 to 2.9 average score projecting the same 70 percent winning percentage, and both teams winning the World Series 4 games to 1. The only thing that puts them just behind the Giants is three more tie games, which left them 102-48 to the 1905 Giants 105-48. If you prefer offense, you can take the 1929 Philadelphia A's who averaged almost as many runs as the 1927 Yankees (6.3 to 6.0 runs per game). However, I do point out to those who say this was an even better line-up that in fact, the average runs in MLB had increased from 4.8 to 5.2 those two years, so the team doesn't quite match-up to Ruth's Yankees from two years earlier.
  5. New York Mets, 1986, K.Hernandez finally brought the Mets' back to the title, albeit in a Series more remembered for Billy Buckner than the great Mets team that put up a 4.8 to 3.6 average score. Some will argue this team should be considered alongside the 1975-76 Reds as the best NL team of the past 100 years because they were the only other team to win 108 games. As great as that record is, I just do not believe they were quite and they did more games than their 4.8-3.6 average score.. The appeared ready to lose the World Series four games to two before John McNamara decided to pinch hit Roger Clemens, who led the league with a 24-4 record, 2.48 ERA and 0.69 WHIP, and then left left the defensively challenged Billy Buckner at first base so he could be on the field to celebrate the championship only to have the most famous grounder through the legs play in history. While it's true, the Reds also were taken to seven games by the Red Sox after their 108-win season, but that was based on Carlton Fisk's clutch home run. The Reds then proved their superiority by following up with another World Series title the next year in a sweep over the Yankees. Two great teams with interesting similarities, so this is not to degrade the great 1986 Yankees, only to say I believe the 1975 Reds earned their reputation as the best NL team of the last 100 years.Yye can opt for the 1969 Miracle Mets and Tom Seaver, who followed up Joe Namath's stunning upset of another Baltimore team (the Colts) for the biggest upset in NFL history by shocking the equally heavily favored Baltimore Orioles for the World Series. For good measure, the New York Knicks then defeated the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA playoffs en route to Willis Reed delivering the third major title in the three most prominent American sports in just over a year.
  6. Philadelphia Phillies, 1976, M.Schmidt's Phillies had the best-run differential of any non-Yankees team out of the East since 1910 (4.8 to 3.4 for a projected 66% winning percentage), and so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt despite being swept in the NL playoffs by the only team to ever sweep their league playoffs and the Series - the Reds. While I do weigh the playoffs as well, in this case the Phillies may have just hit the best team in the history of the NL as the Reds clinched the pennant the year before the earliest of any team in history (September 7, 1975) before sweeping the Phillies and Yankees. I believe they hit the wrong team, but this was a great team - albeit not as good as many, many other Yankees teams. If you don't buy this squad being that good, the 1915 NL champ Phillies are another great option.
  7. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1955, D.Snider's Brooklyn Dodgers finally followed up a great season with a World Series a few years after Jackie Robinson arrived, and in time to give New York a title before the team took the lure of Los Angeles.
  8. Montreal Expos, 1994, OF a lot of excellent Montreal Expos' teams, M.Alou's squad looked like the best chance at a World Series with a .649 winning percentage and 5.1 to 4.0 average score - only to have the players go on strike and the playoffs cancelled.
  9. Boston Braves, 1948, While it is true B.James Braves of 1914 gave the franchise a World Series in Boston, to be followed by a title in Milwaukee in 1957 and then in Atlanta in 1995, I opted for the NL champs who fell short only to my Statis-Pro best "non-Yankees" team the Cleveland Indians. It is just hard to turn down one of the greatest one-two pitching duos of all time that led to the battle cry, "Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain!" In fact, it was Johnny Sain who went 24-15 with 28 complete games a 2.60 ERA for a team with a barely average offense (4.8 runs per game to a 4.6 league average). Warren Spahn gave the team another solid 257 innings pitched but was not as dominant in the run to the NL title (15-12, 3.71) to help the team have an NL best 3.38 team ERA, 70 complete games, 43 walks and give up the second best 93 homers for a 91-62 mark. It was Spahn's worst year of his 18 years after returning from World War II and the year before he led the league with both a 2.33 ERA and 289.2 innings pitched and 1.14 WHIP, and he was in the top 20 in MVP voting his first eight years back from the War. Both pitchers beat Bob Feller during the Series, including Spahn winning in front of a record 86,288 fans who saw Satchel Paige relieve as the first black player to appear in a World Series game - but the Braves averaged less than three runs a game to lose the Series 4-2.
  10. Toronto Blue Jays, 1992, The incredible J.Donaldson's 2015 Blue Jays look even better than the World Series champions from the early 1990s, but R. Alomar just seemed to be able to pull out the title despite fairly average seasons with weak defense and decent hitting. But the fact that they repeated in 1993 with another team that hardly looked dominant, is a great credit, and it is ironic that the great Expos team of 1994 might have made it three straight Canadian titles to make it a truly "World" Series if not for the players strike. Neither this team or the 1993 champion that one few games (96 in 2002 and 95 in 2003) looked dominant, but back-to-back titles is quite an accomplishment.

Central Division – the 10 Greatest Baseball Teams

  1. 1, Detroit Tigers, 1984, I rank this team the best to come out of my "Central" on the strength of how dominant they showed they were with a 35-5 start to the season that let them cruise, and thus not rack up the stats and run deferential I they would have if they had to fight all year to make the playoffs. By the time K. Gibson blasted Goose Gossage's pitch into the upper level to clinch a 4-1 World Series win it was clear this team was an all-time great, as A. Trammell took MVP on a loaded team. Of course, fans could choose to include instead C. Gehringer's 1935 champs or D. McLain's 1968 champs - both of whom put up even better run differentials - but the overall record and eye test make this team the best Tigers' squad and best out of my "Central" region ever.
  2. 2, Pittsburgh Pirates, 1902, H.Wagner's 1902 Pirates may have been the greatest to ever come out of my "Central," as they went 103-36 - unfortunately just before the World Series was invented. There 5.5 to 3.1 average score projects a 76% winning percentage, the best except for the 1906 Cubs, who then lost the World Series. You could also choose K. Cuyler's 1925 squad or Willie Stargell's 1971 squad that both won World Series 4 games to 3.
  3. 3, Cleveland Indians, 1948, L.Boudreau's last Indians World Series champs actually came in 2nd to the New York Yankees when I played off all 40 teams and averaging winning games 5.4 to 3.6 is the most dominant mark ever, and six years later the Indians put up what is still the best winning percentage since 1910 before falling in the World Series. The heartbreaking loss for Albert Belle's 1995 team and Corey Kluber's team last year are two of the most dominant teams ever not to win a title.
  4. 4, Chicago Cubs, 1907, O.Overall's Cubs followed up the disappointment of losing the 1906 World Series after the best record and run differential ever with a 1907 World Series sweep.
  5. 5, Chicago White Sox, 1917, E.Cicotte's squad put together one of the great champions ever just two years before the Black Sox scandal. While M. Buerhle's 2005 World Series title was a great scrappy win, it honestly featured two of the weakest World Series teams in history.
  6. 6, Minnesota Twins, 1965, Z.Versalles Twins team that lost to the Dodgers in seven games is actually stronger than the teams that pulled off surprising World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. The Twins lost only because Sandy Koufax pitched The Twins scored 18 runs in the 34 innings Sandy Koufax was NOT on the mound - but Koufax had an 0.38 ERA in his three starts. You could try your hand with Frank Viola's team - the only team to win a World Series despite being outscored during the regular season as a very marginal, but clutch team in a very weak division.
  7. 7, Kansas City Royals, 1977, G.Brett's Hall of Fame dominance made this the best overall Royals team ever, though you could certainly choose to play the 2015 World Series' champs led by L. Cain instead.
  8. 8, Milwaukee Braves, 1957, H.Aaron's one World Series champion before the Braves headed to Atlanta and he went on to become the Home Run King makes this the best team from Milwaukee, by a hair.
  9. 9, Milwaukee Brewers, 1982, R.Yount did enough to give the Brewers the World Series in the all-time power vs. speed (Cardinals) series - and if Rollie Fingers was not injured one must suspect this team would have also pulled out the exciting World Series. However, I need to give the 1957 Milwaukee Braves the edge because they did have a better overall record (0.617 to 0.586) in addition to pulling off the World Series.
  10. 10, Kansas City Athletics, 1958, B.Cerv led the Kansas City Athletics their one decent team in between the great years in Philadelphia and Oakland. They did not play .500 even in this, their best year, thus ranking last in my "Central" region but rounding out a 10-team all-time division.