Fantasy Baseball managers are always looking for that competitive edge that will allow them to dominate their competition. Unfortunately, steroids won’t work for us. Imagine if they did, though… How far would you go to win? Chances are there is someone in your league literally willing to sacrifice a testicle for a title. Even if they did, their dynasty could only last two years. Any more than that, and there would have to be collusion of a type that we get queasy just thinking about.
No, what you want is a steroid for the brain, and that steroid is Advanced Metrics. Developing new means of evaluating and projecting player performance has become a cottage industry, and your friends on the Nate Is The Weasel Investigative Team (NITWIT) did not want to be left out of the cottage. [Note: That saying isn’t referring to the cheese, is it? We hope not. Not really fans. Frankly, we don’t see what the big deal is about either of them.] So, to stake out our own corner (or pile) of cottage, we went Next Level and conducted almost five minutes of research to discover which metrics were bogus (all of theirs), which were legit (all of ours), and which we could charge you cash money for (ours again). If you can find a comparable Advanced Metrics Primer anywhere else, please let us know, as we smell a lawsuit pending.
|WAR (Wins Above Replacement)||WAR is really the only fair way to express a person’s true worth in a single number. Before long, credit agencies will be calculating these for everyone, so you’d better hit the batting cages now before your family finds out they’re better off with someone off the street.|
|FIP (Fielding-Independent Pitching)||If a guy has a FIP of 3.46, is that good or bad? The answer is: it depends. So this is useless.|
|xFIP||Are home runs within a pitcher’s control? The answer is: no one knows. So this is also useless.|
|FIP-FIP||Why not multiply FIP and xFIP together?|
|zFIP||This divides FIP-FIP by 1.|
|FIF (Fielding-Independent Fielding)||Postulates player rank if defense were devalued as much in real life as in fantasy life. Measured in Cal Ripken, Jr.’s tears.|
|ISO (Isolated Power)||A scout approaches an MLB hitter in a parking lot and insults his mother. Later, an ER tech counts the scout’s broken bones, and that number becomes the player’s Isolated Power. This is the unglamorous side of scouting you won’t see in “Moneyball”.|
|MISO||If beatdown is delivered using karate.|
|HR/CC||Calculates total bases gained per syringe.|
|MPH-to-mg Ratio||Fastball velocity measured in milligrams of … um … painkiller. Yeah, that’s it, painkiller.|
|UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating)||Defensive metric which sounds like something awesome, but turns out to be one of the most boring things you can imagine. Player gets one point deducted every time he says “my bad”.|
|BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play)||If a batter has a BABIP of .315, is that good or bad? The answer is: you must first compare it to his career BABIP. Then, once you’ve adjusted for park factors and line drive rate, you can wave goodbye to any semblance of a life.|
|BABOOP (Batting Average on Balls out of Play)||This metric considers only strikeouts and home runs. As of July 1, Mark Reynolds owns a career BABOOP of 1,000,006.|