I’ve officially had it with head-to-head points leagues. That’s right. You heard me. I’ve finally encountered the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or should I say the Strawberry that broke the camel’s back since this is baseball. Or since this is Razzball perhaps I should say the Strawberry that did all my cocaine while I was taking a piss. I just can’t believe that he had the nerve to blame it on Lenny Dykstra. Speaking of Dykstra, have any of your heard him on Howard Stern the past year. The guy is seriously messed up.

So what’s got my panties in bunch? I’ll tell you. As I’ve mentioned several times over the past few years, I cannot stand how much of a role luck plays in head-to-head leagues. This goes for football too. The quintessential example is when your team has an awesome week and scores 400 points. Unfortunately (or unluckily), you played the only team in the league that scored more points than you. The next highest scoring team had 295 points. Meanwhile there was one team that scored 210 points, but they happened to play a team that scored 205. So at the end of the week the team that scored 210 points gets a win and you end up with a 400 point loss. It’s total bullshift.

For those that want to make the argument that it eventually averages out, it doesn’t. It’s completely random. And for those that want to make the even worse argument that this happens in real sports all the time, no it doesn’t. I real sports if the Yankees beat the Red Sox 15-14, it was the Red Sox pitching and defense that gave up those 15 runs. The Red Sox have themselves to blame. In head-to-head sports you have no defense. None. The fact that your opponent scored 401 points is completely out of your control.

So at the end of the season the standings essentially are decided by the luck of the draw of the schedule. Take a look at your schedule and the results. Now switch around the teams you played each week and you can easily turn your 10-12 record into a 19-3 record with little effort. I really hate to rehash a subject I have talked out before, but I am beyond mad right now.

Here’s why. I’m in a ten-team head-to-head points league. I finished with the most points, but I ended the season in fifth place. Only four teams make the playoffs. I also had the best breakdown record. The breakdown record is what your record would be if you played every team every week. This has always been my meter of which teams are the best teams in the league. So what I am saying is the best team (my team) did not make the playoffs. How the fark is that possible? I’ll tell you how. I had the most points against!

I came dangerously close to smashing my laptop Sunday night when the result were final. Then I remembered it was my laptop and doing so would only further aggravate me. After a few hazy New England Double IPAs, I realized that unless that league is willing to make a rule that the team with either the most points or best breakdown record is automatically in the playoffs, that it was time to end my 17 year career in said league.

For the record, I have no interest in Ryan Borucki. I used his name solely to conjure up this post’s title.

Kendrys Morales is fools gold. Speaking of gold, remember early in the season when everyone was panicking about Paul Goldschmidt and were ready to sell him for a rub and tug from Yu Darvish‘s wife. Look at him now. Goldschmidt has 30 home runs and a .292 batting average, giving him the fourth most points (372) among first basemen.

Tyler White is averaging a little more than 18 points a week over the last three weeks.

If I’m being honest I really just wanted to rant this week. If you have any questions, please ask.

 

 

Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney

  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Did you drop some Hebrew in the title?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Grey: Amen brother!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I should’ve known when your last name rhymed with Talmud

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          @Grey: Ha!

  2. Oldmanoldman says:
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    Lost posey. Cruising into the playoffs w a 1 seed and a bye but need to plug the hole at C. Grabbed narvaez due to him mostly hitting 6th, so rbi chances (inflated in our league) and that he plays a lot. Others on the wire include hedges, chirinos, weiters, t waRd, um and the rest. Any sleepers for some great playoff numbers in September?!?!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Oldmanoldman: They are all pretty shitty options, but you already knew that. If I’m being honest, and this isn’t a plug for Rudy’s tools, but I’d use HitterTron on a weekly basis and play the matchups/hot hand.

  3. Roger Anderson says:
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    I have only played for 8 years, always in the same H2H 6×6 league. I am in 2nd going into the playoffs because my worst week happens to fall when matched against the #1 team. Also, he then had a huge week against a zombie that is now crushing anyone it faces. Once we were 10, then last 2 years, only 8, and 3-4 zombie by May.

    Still, I don’t even know how the other formats work and I have no idea if I would find some similar querk to those systems. I need a change. As much as I hate to lose, having nearly unlimited waiver options, and 12/21 matches are against zombies has lost its’ appeal.

    What format is best where paying attention actually has a marked impact on the outcome versus random chance?

  4. dau says:
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    I have found that h2h daily regular season is very winnable (3 of 4 years for my team) if one exercises due diligence (works at it obsessively, and has lots of time to do it). The playoffs are a total crapshoot. Good luck is a huge factor. The challenge of beating a different opponent each week makes it worth it to me.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @dau: Daily leagues are another story. I guess I left out the fact that this is a weekly league. Weekly leagues suck. Playoffs are a crapshoot, but each round being two weeks is a must…

      • Roger Anderson says:
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        @malamoney: our’s is a daily and I agree, I have won the regular season 4/8 but lost in the finals twice in those 4 years.

  5. smallwine says:
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    Interesting discussion. I’ve been playing in a 12 team weekly H2H for about 10 yrs and mostly I enjoy it. The luck factor is huge and usually bites each of us at least 2-3 timers per year. Thankfully everyone plays with intent which helps mitigate those zombie weeks. We also allow 6 teams in the playoffs with top two seeds getting bye weeks which in our league helps those strong teams with really bad matchup luck at least get into the playoffs.

    Speaking of luck, for a variety of reasons we start our playoffs in week 19 of the baseball season at which point I have lost Sale, Bauer, Didi, and Ozuna to the DL……no format can guard against this.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @smallwine: We only have ten teams. You can’t have more than four make the playoffs. Zombie weeks are never an issue. This is our 18th year, and we have nearly all the original members.

      This is the first year the team with the most points did not make the playoffs, but it was close to happening once or twice before.

      While I consider injuries luck (or dumb luck/no luck) they are at least understandable. The crux of the problem with head to head is that it is pretty much meaningless who your opponent is. Every week every team piles up points and each week you compare your points some other arbitrary team.

  6. The Scrant Dog

    PotentSkittles says:
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    I once missed fantasy football playoffs in a 10 teamer….with the third most points for.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @PotentSkittles: Try missing out and having the MOST points for. It’s traumatizing…

  7. Gimped says:
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    We are head to head also with 6 teams in the playoffs. The 6th place team is the team with the most points scored and not based necessarily on record. That kind of offsets the super teams with horrible luck.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Gimped: So the team with the most points is guaranteed to make the playoffs. That’s how it should be. We only have four teams make the playoffs because there are only ten teams total.

  8. Brian says:
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    Thoughts on Brian Dozier, Gary Sanchez, and Eduardo Escobar rest of season?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Brian: Sanchez is a legit injury concern, however I’d have to think that Yankees are not going to bring him back until he is physically ready. When playing he’s a top catcher. If not the top catcher. But the risk becomes bigger considering it’s the playoffs.

      At this point, I’d rather have Escobar over Dozier. Dozier has been a bust this year, but he is part of a great lineup.

      When you ask for my thoughts, what exactly are you looking for. Are they on the waiver wire?

      • Brian says:
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        @malamoney: I have them all, about to activate Sanchez but don’t fully know if I would be better off streaming the position the rest of the way as I hear he is expected to share duties upon return this Saturday. I have both Dozier and Escobar now, and I stashed Vlad Guerrero Jr just in case he gets called up when rosters expand. Think that’s a worthwhile stash? Or should I stop clogging the roster spot? I’d have to drop him, of course, if he doesn’t get called up this weekend in time for playoffs. Holding hope Dozier has a huge month, which is why I’m reluctant to drop him.

        • Brian says:
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          @Brian: Also, sorry to hear about your #1 scorer//missed playoffs scenario, truly unfortunate, from one #1 scorer to another, heh :P

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