In head-to-head leagues, standings only tell part of the story. It’s got to be pretty rare in a H2H league to see win-loss records fall exactly in line with points scored, and that is definitely true in Dy-Nasty Fantasy Baseball this year.
Here’s a slightly more advanced look at our standings with 11 weeks worth of action in the books (click to enlarge):
A few things to note: these standings are sorted first by win-loss record, then by total points scored. The top six teams make our postseason with the two best teams getting a bye to the semi-finals. The standings you see are more or less exactly what you’d get viewing them through Fantrax: win-loss, points scored and points against, and a breakdown of hitting points and pitching points. Added to that normal stuff, however, are pretty colors and a few unique columns: Diff, PtsWeek, PtsVS6thPTS, and PtsVS6thWL.
So what are those?
Diff is, simply, a take on run differential. This is a team’s total points scored minus a team’s points scored against. It isn’t as effective as run differential because a real life MLB team can influence their opponent’s offensive output with pitching and defense. In H2H fantasy, you’re helpless against what your opponent does.
PtsWeek is pretty obvious. It’s the total points scored divided by 11 weeks. With our scoring, we’ve always considered right around 500 points to be a team’s weekly target. If you add every team’s points up though and divide by 176 (16 teams * 11 weeks), you get a grand average of 485.85 points/week. That probably doesn’t mean a ton. Some teams have better hitters on their bench than other teams are starting, etc. But that the total falls less than 15 points away from 500 likely suggests that, yes, the 500/week target is still a pretty solid number to aim for.
PtsVS6thPTS and PtsVS6thWL are kind of interesting (or at least I thought so) indicators of both luck and the distance some teams must travel to contend for the postseason. These numbers take the sixth place team’s points and win-loss record and subtract each team’s point totals from that. So for example, You Down With OBP? has scored 695.533 points less than the sixth-highest scoring team, and has scored 261.7 points less than the sixth place team based on wins and losses (with total points as the tiebreaker).
Immediate observations: the Tender Bitches and Fighting Banana Slugs have been very, very unfortunate. The former especially. If the objective is to finish in the top-6 and occupy a playoff spot, Tender Bitches are already sixth in points and have outscored the sixth place team based on record, Unicorns and Glitter, by 433.833 points, or 39.44 points/week. That’s a fairly significant gap. The Fighting Banana Slugs are fifth in scoring and have outscored Unicorns and Glitter by 472.864, which illuminates how unlucky they’ve been.
The two-time defending champion Clown Question Bros. have been arguably the luckiest team of all so far. They have had the fifth fewest points against scored on them, the ninth-fewest total points scored, and are 626.3 points behind the sixth-best team in points. My own team, the Capital City Impalers, has been pretty lucky, but in a different way: I’ve scored the seventh-most points, had the fifth-most points scored on me, and have somehow ended up 7-4. Lucky scheduling may be the only thing keeping myself and the Tender Bitches from swapping places.
The thing that jumps out most to me though is what this says for the bottom four teams in the standings. Each of these teams — Gardner Variety, E-Ville Kodiaks, Rocky Mtn Oysters, and Sexual Harassment Pandas — are more than 1,100 points behind the team that is sixth in points. To put that another way: the Clown Question Bros. are super lucky to be sitting in the sixth spot and are at minimum 481.767 points better in PtsVS6thPTS than each of these teams. The bottom four squads, you could contend, are 500 points or so away from just being in the ballpark where lucking into a playoff spot is a possibility.
The top six teams by standings alone are averaging 544.3 points per week, while the top six by points scored are averaging 551.57 points per week. So each of those bottom four teams — averaging 426.367, 424.3, 406.648, and 361.955 respectively — are well over 100 points a week off the pace of the top-6 performers. That’s not likely “one player away” territory. That’s not likely the result of an injury or two either, particularly since most of the top teams have dealt with them as well (just go look at Unicorns and Glitter‘s disabled list). To close a gap of 100+ points a week, you need a whole bunch of things to go correctly and probably several to go poorly for those teams at the top.
With nine weeks left in the regular season, I’d say only the bottom five teams — lumping the Pottstown Ironmen in there with the lower quarter of the league — have the worst odds of making the postseason, if they’re just just plain “out of it.” Mathmetically, there’s still hope. But these numbers paint a dire picture. The 4-7 Tender Bitches are very much alive in spite of their frustrating record. The 5-6 Fighting Banana Slugs still have arguably the league’s strongest roster on paper and good enough performance to back up ample hope. And even the Quad City DJs have life at 5-6, though their PtsVS6thPTS and PtsVS6thWL numbers shade that life considerably. The Quad City DJs do have three games left against teams from that bottom four, so there’s a shot.