K's. The DOM Stat in Fantasy

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DOUGHBOYS
Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

K's. The DOM Stat in Fantasy

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:46 am

I wrote this in my 'Aces' post....

'We are enamored with the Strike Out.
That one component that really makes an 'Ace'.
It is only one category like the other categories, but we give it more meaning.
We love the blowaway effect. It makes us feel cool when watching 'our guy'.
From Shandler to every current podcaster, the K is revered.'

Heavy, very heavy on the line 'That one component that really makes an 'Ace'.
I was chastised for comparing Kyle Hendricks to Greg Maddux amongst a group of NFBC'ers.
Fair.
I realize Hendricks has not had the full body of work that Maddux had during his career.
I really do get that.
But, what Hendricks DOES have is a better career ERA, a better career WHIP, AND a better K rate over his career.
Seriously, he does.
We revered Maddux and rightly so. A great, great pitcher.
And in his day, an Ace. No doubt.
In our time, Hendricks is not an Ace.
Why?
Strike outs.
Maddux did not need strike outs during his era to be considered an Ace.
Hendricks does.

Walter Johnson was the first pitcher that batters feared.
It was said that his fastball was faster than that of an ongoing train.
You know what?
Johnson never fanned nine batters per inning over a season. Never K'd eight per inning.
In fact, Johnson struck out just over five batters per inning during his Hall of Fame career.

Fast forward a few generations to Jim Palmer.
Palmer was an easy Hall of Famer.
An Ace for years.
You know how many players Palmer struck out per inning?
Same as Johnson.
A little over five per nine inning.
Skip ahead and Maddux only struck out a little over six per nine innings.

Strike outs are a blur to us now as they are to hitters.
They've confused what we consider a great pitcher or an Ace.
Get this....
Kenta Maeda strikes out almost twice as many batters per inning (9.9) over his career than both Walter Johnson and Jim Palmer.
Of course we think of Johnson and Palmer as the better pitchers.

What has happened is that this generation of hitters don't care if they strike out.
They are helping this generation of pitchers beef up their K's.
It has skewed historical data when it comes to pitching.
We now play the 'three true outcomes' game of baseball.
36 per cent of the time, a batter will strike out, walk, or hit a home run. Heavy, very heavy on the strike out.
It has made for fantasy faus Aces.
Shandler calls it DOM.
We go heavy, very heavy on the DOM.
Tyler Glasnow is an Ace.
Corbin Burner is an Ace.
What?
They really haven't achieved much...but they're Aces for fantasy purposes.
In fact, every Ace must now be like Maeda and strike out more than nine batters per inning.

Joe Musgrove has had five MLB season. an ERA OF 4.33
Musgrove can strike out batters.
This past year, he struck out 55 batters in less than 40 innings. He moves up in drafts.
Little thought given to that lone Win he had for his crappy team.
Brad Keller thoroughly beat Musgrove in three of four categories. Including five Wins for his crappy team.
Not strike outs.
So in drafts this year...
Musgrove 11th round
Keller.....19th round

Max Scherzer is an Ace and has been for years.
Scherzer is a probable Hall of Famer.
Last year, he started showing signs of age.
His ERA and WHIP numbers among the highest of his career.
BUT...he maintained his strike out rate of over 12 batters struck out per nine innings.
Looks funny typing that, but yes, over the last four years, Scherzer has struck out more than 12 batters per nine innings.
Those are just stupid stats.
And since he still does strike out that many hitters, we forgive Scherzer in our fantasy game.
Despite not being the same in his other three categories, we don't punish him because of his DOM.
Zach Davies beat Max Scherzer in three of four categories.
I don't have to tell you the one that he did not.
We don't care.
Zach Davies is thought of as 'lucky'.
That is the mindset of non-DOM pitchers among us in fantasy.
DOM is where its at. Everybody else like Davies or Hendricks, 'lucky'.

Same goes for Closers.
Does anybody care that Alex Colome has more Saves than Edwin Diaz this year?
And last year?
Or that Colome has beaten Diaz in three of four categories during that time?
No.
We consider Colome 'lucky' We consider Diaz DOM.
So Diaz still gets taken ahead in every current draft.
Strike outs are in our heads. They rule our thinking.
Strike outs rule us more than any other category. More than any offensive category too.
We will select a stolen base guy like Trea Turner in the first round and give up 20 homers to a bopper in the same round.
We can't do the same in giving up strike outs in the pitching category.
The feeling is that if drafting Trea Turner, we can 'make up' homers later.
Funny thing is, we can with strike outs too.
Last year, Corbin Burnes, Zac Gallen, Dylan Bundy, Maeda and others could be found lower in drafts.
The difference being that they are not as distinct and harder to find than homer-types like Joey Gallo or Kyle Schwarber after drafting Turner.
We're lazy that way.

Back in the day, we scoffed at 'throwers'.
Throwers were fellas who threw hard and didn't really have a pitching sense. But, they piled up strike outs.
We preferred 'pitchers'. Those who knew the technique of getting batters out.
That has come full circle.
The strike out is king.
The art of simply getting a batter out without a strike out is now, lucky.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

DOUGHBOYS
Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Re: K's. The DOM Stat in Fantasy

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:29 pm

At no time ever in the NFBC have drafters been seduced by one category as we are now.
When the NFBC started in 2004, offense was the thing. A pitcher being drafted in the first round was rare. The thinking was that there were 14 offensive players. Some of those players could fill all five categories.
No pitcher could fill all five categories. Hence, offense was deemed more important.
The most important category then, was the home run.
A home run, one hit, could effect four categories.
Anyway, that was the thinking then.

AJ Pollock hit 16 home runs last year.
So did Kole Calhoun.
So did Adam Duvall.
We put those accomplishments in the 'rat's ass' category.
They ranked seventh in all of baseball with those homers.
We don't care.
The way baseball is now. ANYBODY could finish seventh in hitting home runs.
We don't have Pollock, Calhoun, or Duvall in the first 10 rounds of this years ADP.
Heck, we don't see them till Pollock shows up in the 15th round.
The home run is passe.

We've come full circle.
Pitching is pushed. It's pushed hard.
A four category pitcher like deGrom, Cole, or Bieber could be selected over a five category player like Betts or Story.
During this metamorphosis, many theories have been produced.
A team needs an Ace.
A team needs two Aces.
A team needs the reliable Closer.
A team needs two reliable Closers.
And several more.
Also during this metamorphosis, sabermetricians and analytical baseball experts have expounded on what Ron Shandler called 'DOM' many years ago.
We love dominance in our pitchers.
Anything else but dominance by a pitcher is treated as at least partial luck by us fantasy folk.
Hence, the Strike Out has overtaken the home run as THE stat in our hobby.

By ADP, EVERY pitcher who finished in the top 10 in Strike Outs were selected in the first five rounds of this years drafts.
By ADP, EVERY pitcher who finished in the top 15 in Strike Outs were selected in the first five rounds of this years drafts.
According to ourselves (and we are brilliant, right?), no Strike Out pitcher shall be left behind.
And according to ourselves, there are no 'lucky' Strike Out pitchers as we may perceive Pollock, Calhoun, or Duvall.
It isn't till we see Kevin Gausman as the 18th placer in Strike Outs that we see a pitcher of his ilk outside of the first five rounds.
And even Gausman, a Starter who has screwed infinite drafters in the past, is being selected in the first 10 rounds.

You know when a guy is at a girl's beck and call... how he is called 'Whipped' by his friends?
That is us. We are 'whipped' by the Strike Out'.
For my purposes, I wish it were WHIP cuz it would be cooler to say we were whipped by WHIP, but se la vie.
In our minds, there is no luck in a strike out.
No luck in dominance.
All skill.
It shows in our drafting.
We are whipped.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

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