There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to our daily projection methodology since my last update in May. The impact has been very positive – e.g., June represented our most accurate month ever for projecting DFS hitter points.

If you haven’t signed up already, I implurge (implore + urge) you to sign up for a month of DFSBot as for $9.99, you will get our DFS projections for DraftKings (and three others providers), the Streamonator + HitterTron for dominating Roto AND free access to our partner LineupLab’s MLB lineup optimizer leveraging our projections.

Here is a summary of the recent projections methodology improvements:

  • Hitter Plate Appearances – Plate Appearances impact every hitting counting stat so it is a critical projection to get right. I have made several enhancements in May/June culminating in the latest/greatest methodology that released today. The improvements have worked to date (the correlation for PA vs actual has increased every month this year) but I think this latest version – which incorporates recent lineups, platoon patterns, opposing pitcher, and opposing bullpen – is the best yet.
  • Hitter Slugging/Total Bases – I overhauled the underlying projections to estimate singles, doubles, and triples (instead of just hits, HRs, and SLG). This should lead to an improved projection as it: 1) Allows use of 1B/2B/3B park adjustment factors vs a blended ‘Hit’ park factor. The impact of park factors are smaller for singles than extra-base hits so using a blended ‘Hit’ factor leads to some inaccuracy for hitters more prone to singles or XBHs than average and 2) Creates a slightly better adjustment vs pitcher as certain pitchers are more prone to certain types of hits (e.g., ground ball pitcher gives up more singles, less XBHs).
  • Hitter Runs / RBIs – I made an enhancement in late May that seems to have worked (best monthly Run and RBI results going back to May 2014) but I took it up another level by leveraging recent lineup data and the 1B/2B/3B/HR events to create projected Runs/RBIs per batting event (which includes BB, HBP, and ‘Outs’ as well) based on projected lineup spots (e.g., a player like Billy Hamilton would receive a blend of leadoff and 9th place run/rbi factors). If July isn’t our best month ever for R/RBI projections, I will be disappointed.
  • Pitcher Stats – I have made improvements across the board including Innings Pitched estimates and opponent Hit and BB/HBP factors. I am optimistic these improvement will lead to some tangible accuracy gains.

There were three areas that I researched/tested and chose not to incorporate. I could just as easily add them and make our projections sound more awesome but, as you all know, I prefer to call it as a I see it (i’m looking at you hitter streakiness):

  • Pitcher Wins/Losses – Earlier this year, we started projecting bullpen performance which enabled Team ERAs (subscribers can see them in Teamonator) and projected winning percentages per team (using Bill James’ Pythagorean Run Formula). I tested this data as a supplement and a replacement to our current Win/Loss projection formula for Starting Pitchers – surprisingly, it did not provide a lift.
  • Weather – Thanks to LineupLab, I now have access to daily weather data. While Park Factors account for regional advantages (e.g., Texas heat, Colorado altitude), it would seem like certain gameday weather conditions would be more conducive to hitting than not. After analyzing a month’s worth of data, I think that a weather-based adjustment could eventually lead to slightly better projections. But it is a tricky one that will require a season-long analysis vs a single month (not surprising given the weather differences per month). I will be reviewing in the off-season.
  • Home Plate Umpire – I stumbled upon some data on the interweb showing some significant differences in K’s, BB’s, and even runs based on home plate umpire. I tested these home plate umpire factors against our starting pitcher K/BB projections across a number of weeks of June results to see if home plate umpire could help explain some of the differences. The results were very underwhelming – the home plate umpire factors added nothing. I may revisit in the offseason but I have little faith that this is a meaningful variable.
  1. Q says:
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    Great work as always. Will the 1b/2b/3b be visible to HT subscribers? As of today, only hits are listed, as they have been.

    Thanks Rudy!

    • @Q: I am considering it. The biggest issue is there’s no free space on Hittertron. I’d have to remove three columns and I think the columns in there are more important than breaking them out.

    • @Q: fyi i just added them to the hitter player pages where I had a little more room to play with. rounded to one decimal point, they look a lot more static then they really are…

      • Q says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:
        Awesome. Really helps in my points league and the info on the player pages is just as good. Agree that for most players, what you have on page is better. Thanks again!!

  2. Charles says:
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    Amazing thought-provoking work as usual, Rudy. Regarding the lineup position feeding plate appearances, a key model input, is there a way to connect the model to starting lineups each day? My biggest time sink using this tool is going back and forth between the optimal lineup and the optimal lineup with players who are starting and in typical lineup spots.

    • @Charles: It’s something I’ve talked w/ partners about. It’s definitely possible but then requires constant re-running of the results each time a lineup is posted (or at least several times more than now). I think we’ll get there by early next year.

  3. J-FOH says:
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    I have an off the subject question for you that I know Grey will come in and comment on. He is fairly confident he has won the perts league and is convinced you and I will be fighting for second place. Is this his usual act?

    • @J-FOH: No – grey is usually like me and is afraid to jinx anything by touting a team’s strong performance. But we’re pretty cocky in RCL – given we have finished 1-2 last two years (and I was 2nd the year before that).

      • J-FOH

        J-FOH says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: so maybe I’m the one bringing this side out of him. I get the cockiness, most these guys don’t know how to play the RCL. I do agree with Grey that it will be him, you, Sky and I at the top in the end. To be a jack ass for a moment, Unlike other writers here, I have read all you RCL strategy posts…twice. Oh and if grey invites big magoo next year he’ll be a fifth that knows what he is doing.

        • I was telling grey today that it has been more of a challenge for me this year as a bunch of my strategies (which, to be fair, others did before me) are being used by several others in the league. Oh the days where I could stream coors hitters

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            I feel like I’m being subtweeted in a thread with this statement. I don’t know if that’s possible and yet, here I am.

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Sky: I totally get that

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: Its gonna be a ride….that’s for sure. I think this style of play (RCL) is a gateway drug to DFS

            • it’s a gateway drug for everyone except Grey

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You’re twisting my words, I said the final standings would be me, Rudy, Sky and then you

      • J-FOH

        J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: today wasnt the first time of your mention. You have been saying all week, or at least since Nolan went on his run, that I would be battling Rudy. Which considering how you dump on my skills, or lack there of, is insulting to Rudy.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You forget the first word of Razzball is razz

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: okay, hide behind your website title…okay not really, I just wanted to make Rudy aware of your swagger of late in the hope he knows some ancient college secret to knock you off you game. I might of schooled you on the pool table but you havent even seen my dirty game yet.

  4. Joe Shmoe says:
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    Hi Mr. Gamble,
    Thank you so much for making baseball a science rather than a misguided gut check. I went on to SON today and found the names/dates and values of all the pitchers out of whack. Is this a temporary issue or is there a new system that I am not able to identify with? I can find what I am looking for, but it was much easier yesterday. Thank you again for all that you are doing.

    Peace

    • @Joe Shmoe: You’re welcome! And fixed the ordering issue – thx for heads up!

    • Bull in a Chinese Restaurant says:
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      @Joe Shmoe: the dumb is still triumphing in many spots, see that b.s. over in LAA town. or lloyd christmas.

      • Bull in a Chinese Restaurant says:
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        @Bull in a Chinese Restaurant: or STL’s now head of scouting (wasn’t at time of hack, but clearly was moving up in org) being in on a hack that clearly was gonna be noticed.

  5. The Great Knoche says:
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    More great stuff Rudy. Thanks.

    You Providing information no-one else around the web can come up with, and Grey with his arrival each day eagerly anticipated by all those who wait for his guidance. Razzball is the best site around.

    You really are the Cliff Claven to Grey’s Norm Peterson.

    • What are three compliments that have never been in my kitchen?

  6. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
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    Just so happens I’ve killed it on the DFS front all June, my best month this year…coincidence? I think not. You’re the man Rudy, thanks for all your great work!

    • Nice – thanks! You should tweet that sentiment :)

  7. fastfrog says:
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    What should I do with Hellickson? He’s had some really good outings lately, but next faces the Rangers away. Sit, drop or roll the dice? I agree with the Stream-o-Nator on this one. I’m leaning towards benching his ass.

    • Bull in a Chinese Restaurant says:
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      @fastfrog: sucks, as his only bad start was the one i streamed, but other good ones lately.

  8. Colonel Angus says:
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    What happened in the past few days that turned Graveman from a great start this weekend to a disaster start according to SON?

    • I updated the methodology yesterday but the impacts I observed in testing were mild.

      He is going up against F-Her. If he wasn’t previously, that would definitely impact his win %.

      I don’t have a copy of his previous projection but all his previous projections are on his player page and he has zero positive $ projections – even home against COL! (https://razzball.com/player/15514/Kendall+Graveman/) Are you sure it was ranked a good start?

      • Colonel Angus says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Just about positive. Oh well, I’ll drop him then.

        • sorry about that one. gravelman’s inability to K batters makes him unreliable (at best) in shallow leagues. 1 K in 7 IP is not going to lead to many 0 ER outings…

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