July was a great month for the Razzball daily projections. Based on our ongoing testing vs actual stats (aka our Ombostman), July 2015 was our most accurate month ever (tracking since May 2014) for:

  • Projected starting pitcher values – both Roto $ and DFS Points
  • ERA and WHIP
  • Hitter Plate Appearances, At Bats, Hits, Runs (tied with June 2015), SLG %

July also represented our 2nd best performance for RBIs (with tops being last month) so I am feeling very positive about the enhancements chronicled in our July update.

I guess our competitors have been wise not to take us up on our MLB daily projections challenge. And it is only going to get harder based on our latest update….

While the July update might have been a little tough to grasp, the value of our August update should be as simple as playing baseball according to Colin Cowherd. We have incorporated two critical pieces of information that are unique to ‘same day’ projections (and many of you have been clamoring for):

Lineups – Thanks to our friends at LineupLab, we now have a direct feed to daily lineups. We will update the projections a couple times a day until Roto/DFS lineups finalize (usually around 7PM EST). Please note that we cannot commit at this time to real-time updates whenever a lineup posts but we will update multiple times in the afternoon on most days.

It will be clear which lineups have been incorporated into the projections as hitter playing time will move to 100% for starting hitters and benched hitters will no longer appear in Hittertron and DFSBot. In addition, the link in the Lineup (LU) column will be green vs red (in both cases, they will be linked to the team’s lineup page on Baseball Press). And, as some of you have already seen, we now have a text box at the top of our tools pages where I am time-stamping updates and providing relevant notes.

Lineup Lab has added a green check mark for starting lineup hitters in our co-branded DFS lineup optimizers. The green checkmark should synch up closer to real-time lineup posts than on the Hittertron/DFSBot pages. Players not in starting lineups will be removed near in concert with DFSBot (so if DFSBot has incorporated the lineup and a player is not in it, he should disappear shortly from the lineup optimizer).

The lineup data should lead to the following quality improvements:

  • Plate Appearances/At-Bats – While my latest model for projecting PA/AB is doing very well, having the actual batting order removes all of the noise/uncertainty inherent in predicting the decisions of an MLB manager. The PA/AB improvements will disproportionately help the handful of players (roughly 5%) that bounce between leadoff/2nd and bottom of lineup. But with some cellar dweller teams punting the season and the unpredictability that comes with expanded September rosters, the value of this enhancement should only increase as this seasons progresses. My PA/AB model will still be used earlier in the day before lineups have posted and for West Coast games where lineups are not available in time.
  • Runs/RBIs – Actual lineup spot will be incorporated into the Run/RBI weights driven by lineup slot and strength. So a hitter moving from 6th to 4th will see an uptick in RBIs (both from more PAs as well as an increased RBI rate per hit/BB/HBP/out) and vice versa.
  • All Other Hitter Counting Stats – Since all our projections are ‘rate’ stats (e.g., for hits, I’m projecting H/PA and then multiplying by the projected PA), an improvement in Plate Apperances and At Bats leads to across-the-board improvements (a key reason why July simultaneously marked our best PA/AB/Hits/Runs month)
  • Pitching Stats – Opposing lineup strength is a key factor for projecting pitcher performance. Actual lineup data improves the accuracy of those strength factors – especially when a middle-of-the-lineup hitter is benched or on the DL.

Weather – I circled back to this after a failed test in June when I was able to get my hands on past-season stats overlayed with gametime weather. I found the combination of weather + park factors to be an improvement on park factors alone but the overall impact on the projections was milder than I think most daily players would believe them to be. I am not going to divulge exactly what weather inputs and how I am using them but the only weather input that subscribers need to worry about is rain as I do not use threat of rain to hedge projections. I have considered displaying rain probability into the projection tables but I think several sites are doing a better job than I can do for weather. My go-to is DailyBaseballData as it shows hour by hour weather.

Weather factors are incorporated into all of today’s pitcher, hitter, and team (Teamonator) projections. The gametime weather is grabbed early in the morning so I will make a special note going forward if today’s projections do not incorporate weather.

One side effect of these enhancements will be greater shifts in the projected stats of ‘same day’ stats vs the projections from 2-7 days prior. There will also be some shifts (generally minor) between the morning projections (which will incorporate weather) and the afternoon when lineups becomes incorporated.

  1. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    Rudy…you are the RZA to Razzball. Appreciate all that you do!

      • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: guru would’ve been had it been a year ago. maybe tehol now.

  2. Conrad99 says:
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    You should try your challenge with SaberSim.com

    • challengers have to come to me. i’m not going to bully/shame people into it :)

      • Connor says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Why? If the point is to prove your projections are the best, then why not use a site like that and others? If you win, you don’t have to mock them. If you lose, you might get a chance to improve your projections.

        • You’re totally right. I am doing spot checks against other sites all the time. I’m just not going to publish those comparisons unless 1) They are a big, well-financed company and 2) They are free OR 3) They sign up for the challenge.

  3. Scott says:
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    Wow. This is amazing work!

  4. Cool Hunk says:
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    Boegarts for Jesse Chavez in a 12 team league.. OBP and QS otherwise standard.

    Is there a clear winner here?

    • Chavez has been horrible of late and the A’s have downgraded. Would rather have Boegarts.

  5. Tom Thumb says:
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    Very cool, Rudy.

    All — looking for trade advice…

    I am out of the running in a keeper OBP league. We keep 5, but they aren’t tied to round value, so it is important to make sure that all of your keepers are top 5 round material.

    I have been offered to send my Abreu and Aroldis for his Giancarlo. Do I make this move?

    • i picked Abreu over Stanton in LABR this year and it’s given me agita ever since. Abreu’s HR run and Stanton’s prolongued absence have lessened the blow. I want Stanton over Abreu going forward – especially as OBP should help reduce Stanton’s AVG concern. Aroldis is great but, if you’re not keeping him, might as well throw him in.

  6. Pat Lord says:
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    created my new account and have not received any emails. How do I get into site?

    • I see you in our database so here are the steps:
      1) Sign up for a free account at Cointent with the same e-mail address you used for your DFS account (note: i see [email protected])
      2) Use that username/password to log in to the Cointent box on one of our tools.

      The cookie usually sticks for a while so it’s not something you’ll need to do every time you want to use the tools.

      Let me know if you have any issues and welcome aboard!
      Rudy

  7. Charles says:
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    Lineups- check
    Weather- check

    What’s next on the bucket list? I remember you mentioning custom dollar projections based on league settings as an upgrade to Hittertron and Streamonator. Did that get bumped for DFS optimization?

    • @Charles: The developer who was set to work on custom $ projections fell off the face of the earth. Hopefully will be something we can resurrect in the off-season.

  8. Pouss-Pouss says:
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    Impressive, impressive work. I admire the work you’ve put into this.

    Now you are a learned man, and I a mere fantasy dabbler, but I have a recommendation veiled as a question:

    Is it possible on your player rater (which is a great tool) to allow for further customization of league settings. You already have great options for customizing rankings (ESPN/Yahoo, league size, some boutique stat categories). Would it be possible to make the rankings even more customizable by allowing the user to select host site, league size, and individual stat categories for hitting and pitching using radio buttons? A site called Ziguana is an example of such a customization interface, but that suffers from truly bizarre projections that always place Chris Parmalee in the top 50 hitters among other oddities. With your projections and even more customization, you and I could take over the world! Bwa ha ha!

    …Thanks.

    • @Pouss-Pouss: I had the requirements built for a customized player rater for pre-season/rest of season/daily stats but my developer flaked (he’s a busy guy). So it’s something we’ll look at in the offseason.

    • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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      @Pouss-Pouss: i tried using that zig thing preseason, and quit it since stuff just like that parm cheese love and other things of that nature.

  9. David says:
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    Please rank these in a keeper league. Obp instead of avg.
    Pederson
    Franco
    Pollack

    • @David: Pollock, Pederson, Franco would be my preference. Pederson has the best upside but I like Pollock’s reliability going forward on OBP/SB.

  10. Chucky says:
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    Permission to dump Maybin for :
    Tori, Eaton, Choo, Byrd or DeShields?

    • @Chucky: Sure. Matters what stats you need. Choo’s power seems to be back but SBs are a thing of the past for him (and AVG is weak). Can see Eaton hitting .290 the rest of the way but who knows with his SB (don’t believe in the recent HRs). i like DeShields for SB/R hitting 1st in that lineup. Byrd/Torii will give you some HRs and probably won’t kill you on AVG.

  11. Hal Incandenza says:
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    Thanks for the continuing work and improvement, Rudy!

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