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Ratings FAQ

What are the ratings based on?
This system has evolved over 16 years and there’s over a man-year of effort  put into it. It’s not trivial.  Initially, it was an OPS type system for hitting and pitching. Then fielding was incorporated.

The newest generation includes situational elements and "chain" assumptions. In other words, it takes into account how many times certain situations occur and then translates the situational probabilities into a rating based on the probability of an outcome on each card. It even takes into account the fact that some players hit into many double plays or that if someone is a good clutch hitter. The system is based on total bases. It looks at how often on average situations will occur and then measures the bases advanced by runners and the batter based on the outcome.

In the  system, a point is awarded for each base a runner is advanced. So reaching first on a walk, single, or E1 gets you 1 base. We then looked at average situations occuring to determine how many bases an outcome impacts. For example, a walk will move up any forced runner. We sum up the probability of each situation that advances a runner by the # of runners advancing. For example, a home run will advance all the base runners. As stated before, we assume bases empty occurs 49.2% of the time. A runner on first only occurs 22.2% of the time. A home run will give 3 points for any runner on first so we multiply the probability of this occuring by 3. We do this for all possible situations to come up with the total bases factor that is the heart of the rating system.

One other note, the rating system is slightly different for hitters than pitchers. That's because a hitter's average situational occurance (number of runners on base) is independent of his card. Whereas, a pitcher's average situational occurance is dependent on his card. That is, a batter can't influence the outcome of the preceding batter, but a pitcher influences all outcomes as long as he's on the mound.

Defensive ratings, speed, steal, wild pitch, passed balls, hold and balks are all taken into consideration by the ratings.

How have your teams done?
My partner (Wineman) and I have had 60 teams over 12 seasons. Our winning percentage is .533. This includes 31 teams in the very tough NLD live draft leagues.

We have 36 playoff teams (60%) and 11 Champs (31% of playoff teams)

Only 12 teams have finished below .500.

In 28 autodraft leagues we have made the playoffs 24 times (83%) with 8 championships (28% of our teams).

In addition, many top rated managers have used the ratings system including  Petrosian, Kaviksdad, Springer, Semper Gumby, and  JPav.

Are the Ratings perfect?
First off, let me say that this rating system isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good at sorting guys into ranges where they can be compared. Ratings within a few points (20-30) of each other mean the players are basically equivalent and you have to look at what makes them different to decide which one you want. In the 2003 season stats we added injury adjusted ratings (thanks for the suggestion Luckyman!) and listed averages adjusted for the percentage of the time a clutch opportunity occurs.

How does defense affect the ratings?
Yes, fielding effects the ratings, but, obviously, not the hit ratings. We figure the probability of the results from the X Chart, figure out how often it's going to happen, apply the factors for the bad results (or good in the cas of DPs) and then subtract that from the hit factors. Stealing and running are also factored into the overall (and L and R ) ratings in similar fashion.

How do you account for player's performance against both sides?
I currently use 70/30 ratio for hitters and a more complicated method for pitchers that takes into account if they are better or worse against lefties or righties. The percentage calculation for pitchers is more complicated and depends on whether the pitcher is better against RHB or LHB.

Does it take into account BP issues or does it assume parks are neutral?
Yes, ballpark effects are taken into account, but, by default, I do the ratings using  average of all parks.

How do you do the team ratings?
The method by which I rate a team is pretty general. For example, I take an educated guess at the number of innings pitched by all the relievers. For example, it is quite likely that your best set up guy will get more innings than the other guys including your closer. I also adjust for strong versus weak starting rotations and how many innings they'll get vis-a-vis the relievers.

Overall Rating - Sum of Starting Lineup points –( 9* the average pitcher rating)

The Average pitcher rating is:
(Aver Start rating) * %of anticipated starter innings + (Avg Rel rating)*(1-%of anticipated starter innings)

Start rating is computed by entering the anticipated number of starts for each starter and calculating the average from there.

Relief Ratings take into account how often a RP is expected to pitch. This is to compensate for the way Hal will (over) use setup and closers.

The starting lineup points take into consideration platoons on a 70/30 ratio.

Injury adjusted ratings are used in the calculation. These ratings are adjusted assuming a "standard" backup.

Bench is not considered.

How accurate are the team ratings?
Team ratings are a rough guide unless I know details about the division and league. The margin of error is probably around 200 points. There are so many variables that go into how a team performs in relation to their rating. The biggest is how tough is the division. Given the unbalanced nature of the schedule this is a huge factor.

Will improving my team rating always give me a better team?
Not always, slight increases don't always correlate to more wins. Good teams have a synergy of the components that can't be fully rated by a ranking system. For example, the team rating doesn't account for whether you have a closer or not or  for the fact that you have only right handed hitters.

Why do managers have their team rated?
Some of the teams looking for ratings were either pre-draft, or pre-starting so they can still make moves, and others are looking for either validation that they stink and should make moves, or that they are just off to a slow start and should sit tight.

Do ratings take injuries into account?

Can you win without the ratings?

Clearly you can. I just think it takes a lot more time and experience to really understand who's a bargain and who's not without them. An important factor is to know how to put a team together. The ratings are going to help the less experienced players, especially those who are not very familiar with SOM, much more than the experienced guys.

Who are the bargain players?
Buy the player rankings and find out! Ratings can be easily compared to the price of the player to find the bargains.

What if you didn't answer my question?

Email me at  or gmail