Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 3/23/20

2:01
Ben Clemens: Hey guys, welcome to the chat. It’s a pretty weird time at the moment, to say the least. I just got a notification that the Olympics were canceled while I was writing up this introduction, for example.

2:01
Ben Clemens: I’m going to make myself a coffee really quickly, and then get into the questions.

2:03
Jacob: It’s very important that I have your favorite soup recipe

2:03
Ben Clemens: My favorite soup is probably just a nice hearty chili, with beans (sorry Dan).

2:04
Ben Clemens: But my wife and I have been eating more vegetarian meals recently, and if you’re going to do that, we made a really nice bean soup last week.

2:04
Ben Clemens: Black beans, onions, garlic, cumin, taco seasoning, jalapenos, carrots, and a can of IPA.

2:05
Ben Clemens: Throw all those in a slow cooker and let it go to town. Eat over rice or with chips (depending on how long you cook it, it can reduce somewhat heavily).

2:05
BANGING SCHEME: So what is the absolute shortest possible season that would be worth it? Like 48 games, four three-game series only against in-division opponents?

2:06
Ben Clemens: Interesting. I think I’d prefer a mega-tournament, something like give the two previous league winners a first round bye but then do a round-of-32 style deal, with say best of 9 series in each.

2:06
Ben Clemens: That would mean 45 games maximum, and I don’t exactly know what I’d be getting out of the regular season otherwise.

2:06
Ben Clemens: 45 games for a single team, that is, and that’d be super unlikely.

2:07
Steve Sax Disease: Will Gavin Lux start in Minors?

2:08
Ben Clemens: I mean, no? I suppose the Dodgers could, but I’m not sure what they’d get out of it at this point. It really comes down to how they handle service time rules, but he has 28 days banked already, so avoiding enough time that he gets under the Super-2 deadline seems really dicey. I think they’ll just play it straight, especially given that if we do have a shortened season (all bets are off if we skip the season), you really want all hands on deck.

2:08
John Oleruds Helmet: Oh Mr Ben!! Grace thee with thy wisdom!! Did I get a steal in the 2nd to last round of my AL only draft with Rich Hill?

2:09
Ben Clemens: Yes for sure. I mean, I really like Rich Hill either way, but yeah…. Hill, Verlander, I guess Luis Urias, various Yankees… nagging injury types are all looking better now

2:09
Quarantini, Shaken Not Stirred: Excited for your Twitch-Plays-Pokemon-esque experiment, though I think things would really get spicy with some real-time Anarchy/Democracy game decisions
>manager walks 3 steps toward mound
>manager walks 1 step toward dugout
>manager spins in circles

2:10
Ben Clemens: I truly have no idea how it will turn out.

2:10
Ben Clemens: One thing I’m worried about is that I haven’t played OOTP in a while.

2:10
Ben Clemens: But yeah, Twitch Plays was an inspiration for this.

2:11
Ben Clemens: So far, most of the suggestions have been eminently reasonable. I haven’t given any crazy options, but even then, ‘extremely aggressive’ isn’t winning the how should the team be on the basepaths poll

2:11
Ben Clemens: Which is slightly shocking to me. I voted for that!

2:11
Ben Clemens: But I guess we’re trying to win, not goof around.

2:11
Ben Clemens: And people do love winning.

2:12
Stevil: First, a huge yes to vegetarian/vegan chili. Second, do you think MLB already has a point of no return date in mind, or are they likely still procrastinating?

2:12
eloquentboot: Ben, this whole situation is a real bummer. I feel like if I don’t get to enjoy a nice hot dog with friends and family on 4th of July this year, I’ll be bummed in a way I’ve never been bummed.

2:12
Goats and Soda: If I say baseball starts in fall on 7/4/20, are you taking the over or under on that?

2:12
Ben Clemens: I’ll throw all of these together, as they’re about a similar thing. Yeah, the whole situation is super lame.

2:12
Ben Clemens: It also really sucks how many people aren’t taking it seriously.

2:13
Ben Clemens: Like, I get that there are a lot of people for whom staying home isn’t an option.

2:13
Ben Clemens: I’m not talking about them.

2:13
Ben Clemens: LA and Marin County have had to close down beaches because there have been such big crowds.

2:13
Ben Clemens: Like, c’mon people. I walk our dog through a nearby park, and it’s been as crowded this week as ever.

2:13
Ben Clemens: And not with dog walkers, either – just with people out having picnics or throwing a ball around or whatnot.

2:14
Ben Clemens: In terms of baseball — I think they probably have a no return date in mind, but they won’t tell anyone, and they’ll also be willing to fudge it if it’s a few days or so.

2:14
Ben Clemens: I’d take the ‘after’ on 7/4/20 though.

2:14
Goats and Soda: I chose Grisham and Profar as late round picks over Winker and Margot…..did I get that 100%, 50%, or 0% correct?

2:15
Ben Clemens: Hm. I’ll say 100%. I like Winker, but he’s a better real-life player than fantasy player I think.

2:15
Ben Clemens: Platoon bat, walks a lot, that kind of thing.

2:15
Ben Clemens: And I don’t really know if you’ll get much out of Profar, but would you get much out of Margot either? I guess my point is that Grisham is my favorite of the four by far.

2:16
#1 Flan: Ben–I want to go back and score some games (because, well, no baseball). Can you recommend a good scorecard for MLB games?

2:16
Ben Clemens: Huh, interesting question.

2:16
Ben Clemens: I have some scorecards, but I just bought whatever the best option seemed like on Amazon.

2:16
Ben Clemens: So I’m not really sure that’s helpful.

2:16
Quarantini, Shaken Not Stirred: What sort of coffee set-up do you have at home? Do you need any recommendations for local roasteries to order beans from and support during these hard times?

2:17
Ben Clemens: I’m boring and generic and have a Keurig. My wife got it for me as a birthday present one year, and my coffee game isn’t so fancy that I feel the need to go fancy-schmancy Aeropress or whatever.

2:17
Ben Clemens: That said, we also have a drip pot and grinder, and will buy local roastery beans from time to time.

2:17
Ben Clemens: Supporting local businesses matters more now than it probably ever has.

2:18
Aceman: You down with this trade? Dynasty.   Gave up Muncy,Giles,JA Happ got K Tucker,Solak

2:18
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I’m okay with that. I dunno what you’ll get in Solak but I’m really high on Tucker.

2:19
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure how much of it is how enjoyable it is to see a little skinny dude generate so much power, but I am just a huge fan of everything he’s doing.

2:19
Marshall: What’s the greatest baserunning season of all time (e.g., most baserunning contribution to WAR)?

2:19
Ben Clemens: FanGraphs leaderboards have you covered!

2:19
Ben Clemens: In 1986, Vince Coleman was worth 15.7 runs above average on the bases.

2:19
Ben Clemens: 1986 was a pretty normal season run scoring wise, 9.6 runs to a win.

2:20
Ben Clemens: After that, 1962 Maury Wills, 2012 Mike Trout, 2008 Willy Taveras (!!!), 2003 Carlos Beltran, and 1983 Ricky Henderson are the other people with 14 or more runs above average value.

2:20
P: I just lost my job in baseball and basically have nowhere to turn idk

2:20
Ben Clemens: I’m really sorry to hear that.

2:21
Ben Clemens: This whole shelter in place thing has made me realize that I’m just not in tune enough with how fragile people’s livelihoods and lives are.

2:21
Ben Clemens: Like, you always hear that people are paycheck-to-paycheck, or that if x company was closed for a week its fixed costs would overwhelm it.

2:22
Ben Clemens: But I kind of live in a bubble, and I don’t notice those things most of the time.

2:22
Ben Clemens: I don’ really know what the answer is, here. Help out people who you can help. Make sure your friends are doing okay. Universal Basic Income? Maybe!

2:23
Ben Clemens: But yeah it sucks. I’ve never felt so helpless to stop something. I’ve definitely been as helpless or more helpless about other things! But this one really is right in my face.

2:23
Goats and Soda: Did I get my new fantasy baseball chat name 100% correct?

2:23
John Oleruds Helmet: Mr Ben!! May your wisdom echo throughout the cosmos!! Are you a believer in Dylan Cease??

2:24
Ben Clemens: I’m going to have to say 98% correct, because I like John Olerud’s Helmet more as a name.

2:24
Ben Clemens: As to your question, Mr. Helmet.

2:25
Ben Clemens: I’m not really in on Cease as an ace. I think that he’s probably best used as a starter, he’s just good enough that you don’t want to jam him into relief.

2:25
Ben Clemens: But I want him to have a better third pitch or at least to knock the walk rate down.

2:25
Ben Clemens: I could see him being Carlos Martinez or Kenta Maeda — nice rotation piece who is maybe better in the bullpen come playoffs.

2:26
Stevil: Are you familiar with the game “Torres”? I have it in German, and it’s fun with 4 or 5 people, but it’s hard to cheat.

2:26
Ben Clemens: I am not, but I’m gonna go look it up now.

2:26
Ben Clemens: I’ve actually been playing more group games during shelter in place, which sounds weird.

2:26
Ben Clemens: But we’ve started setting up Zoom calls and Google Hangouts with friends and family.

2:27
Ben Clemens: My family is scattered across the Southeast and my wife’s family is from Wisconsin, so we’d rarely see them otherwise.

2:27
Ben Clemens: But we’ve played a lot of online codenames (horsepaste.com), we played some Just One (all you need is one person with the game and everyone else to have some sheets of paper), and we’re looking at playing Decrypto online as well.

2:28
Ben Clemens: It’s definitely a little weird to sit on your couch while playing a party game with people who are nowhere near you.

2:28
Ben Clemens: And video chat feels way more asynchronous and awkward than real life

2:29
Ben Clemens: But it beats sitting around doing nothing!

2:29
BASEBALL SZN: Is building your fantasy league in OOTP and simulating games day by day to fill the void in your heart (1) a great idea or (2) the best idea?

2:29
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’m super into it. Brad Johnson came up with the idea to simulate an entire actual season, with 30 managers, and that’s really cool.

2:29
Ben Clemens: But that’s hard to do, obviously, and requires a lot of people who are willing to put time into it.

2:29
Ben Clemens: Simulating a fantasy league sounds like way more fun.

2:29
Ben Clemens: And OOTP is awesome overall.

2:30
Ben Clemens: I played a lot in college, and I think the easily gameable stuff (spend on coaches and minor leaguers, that kinda thing) has been ironed out.

2:30
Ben Clemens: But if you’re in the mood for baseball, it scratches that itch.

2:30
Ben Clemens: And for me personally, a lot of the joy in baseball is in stats and box scores anyway.

2:30
Ben Clemens: Which OOTP hits exactly.

2:30
Guest: Party game you can play remotely during quarantine: Quiplash

2:30
Ben Clemens: Wait you can? Guest, tell me more about how.

2:30
Ben Clemens: I love Quiplash

2:31
Ben Clemens: But I’ve only ever played it on Switch at someone’s house.

2:31
Ben Clemens: Or potentially on some other gaming system that I thought was Switch.

2:31
Safety Stegosaurus: Damn Willy Taveras was only replacement level overall that year. That speed was so fun to watch though.

2:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah what a bizarre season he had. It’s a bunch of really good players (fine, Vince Coleman wasn’t really good, but he was a star at the time).

2:31
Ben Clemens: And then Taveras.

2:32
Cube Jockey: If MLB comes back this year, are they willing to keep playing games if one of the players tests positive?  There’s almost 1000 players and coaches in the majors and no way that they can keep every single one from getting infected.  Are they going to have entire teams on the DL while they self-isolate?

2:33
Ben Clemens: It’s gonna be a freaking mess. That’s why I think we should bet on later than July 4th, with some chance of no season.

2:33
Ben Clemens: I truly have no clue how they’d handle it.

2:33
Ben Clemens: You can’t spin the whole season up, have one player test positive, and then spin it back down.

2:33
Guest: Re Quiplash: Everyone uses their laptop to be on Zoom/Google Hangout/etc and their phone to play the game.  1 person puts the game on their TV via XBOX or Chromecast or the like, and then joins the Zoom/Hangout from a second laptop whose camera they direct at the TV so everyone can see it.  We did it Friday night and it was great.

2:34
Ben Clemens: Ooh got it.

2:34
Ben Clemens: If I remember right, there’s some code you type into your phone?

2:35
Ben Clemens: In any case I’m going to add that to our rotating list.

2:35
Quarantini, Shaken Not Stirred: You’re somewhat of a Cardinals fan when you have to pick laundry, right? Are you originally from StL?

2:35
Ben Clemens: Yeah – I’d say past somewhat, honestly. Grew up a diehard fan.

2:35
Ben Clemens: My dad is from St. Louis, my uncle still lives there, and I grew up in East Tennessee.

2:35
Ben Clemens: So it was Braves territory, theoretically, and the Blue Jays Double-A team was about 30 minutes away.

2:36
Ben Clemens: But eh, my dad’s a big baseball fan, and Tennessee is Cardinals territory even.

2:36
Ben Clemens: Not East TN, but still

2:36
Ben Clemens: I am not quite the fan I was, say, five years ago, but I can tell you the whole Cards depth charts and prospects of note and everything with way more depth than I can for any other team.

2:36
Ben Clemens: And I still feel great when they win.

2:37
Chris: Why’d the Mariners cut Sam tui? He said it wasn’t his choice on Twitter. Why not just IL him. Weird timing and a weird move

2:38
Ben Clemens: I truly don’t get it. I also think he’s pretty good?

2:38
Ben Clemens: Like, maybe not, but also maybe.

2:38
Ben Clemens: Why not find out? And why do it now?

2:39
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Scorebooks: I asked Jay that a while ago. Eephus is what the cool kids use and what I went with, but the Bob Carpenter book is worth a look.

2:39
Ben Clemens: Nice! Thanks for an answer. I might do some fancy scorecard work of historical games I’ve enjoyed if I’m really short on ideas.

2:39
Safety Stegosaurus: Is OOTP the one that Carson played? Is this the same league? with Sawchik?

2:40
Ben Clemens: I think that was Diamond Mind? It wasn’t this, in any case. That league sounded really intense, and OOTP is generally more of a play by yourself thing.

2:40
Ben Clemens: I did love those Carson/Travis FG Audios, though.

2:40
Ben Clemens: I wonder if Travis will write about his team in our baseball hiatus.

2:40
Ben Clemens: That’d be fun.

2:40
Quarantini, Shaken Not Stirred: Happy National Puppy Day, Ben! https://www.instagram.com/p/B-FbV6VAAKh/?igshid=r8rbcemk8c8p

2:41
Ben Clemens: I meant to say this on an earlier comment of yours.

2:41
Ben Clemens: But I made a quarantine margarita that I thought was pretty decent over the weekend. 2 parts tequila, 3 parts lime seltzer water, a splash of lime juice, and enough simple syrup (made with cane sugar) that you get a little color.

2:41
Ben Clemens: Highly recommend it.

2:41
Quarantini, Shaken Not Stirred: I’ve heard Cardinals territory is spread out so much because of wide-spread radio availability. I don’t know if it was always 1120 AM back in the day, but the radio broadcast spanned many, many states

2:42
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’ve heard this as well. I will say that we got KMOX in Oak Ridge, and it’s probably 7 or 8 hours from STL, but I think being the westernmost and southernmost team for quite a while helped at least as much as the broadcast range.

2:42
PurpleMagic: Better career: Lux or Hiura? Better 2020( or 2021 at this point)

2:43
Ben Clemens: I like Lux more, but I don’t have super high confidence in that.

2:44
Ben Clemens: I’m kinda skeptical of Hiura’s extreme power numbers, but he has room to be worse and still be a very valuable player.

2:45
Ben Clemens: I think Lux will hit for enough average to make his power play up more than Hiura’s, basically.

2:45
Guest: All the Jackbox games are amazing anyway, but even more so during a quarantine, and I have been playing the crap out of them with friends over the last few days. We’ve been using Discord but any screen sharing software would work!

2:46
Ben Clemens: Jackbox is super fun, agreed.

2:46
Ben Clemens: I’m going to see if people in our next hangout/board game night have it, but if not I’ll probably download it so we can play it.

2:47
dez88GOAT: over under on games played this season?

2:47
Ben Clemens: Ugh

2:47
Ben Clemens: Not to your question, to be clear.

2:47
Ben Clemens: To the situation.

2:48
Ben Clemens: Uh, I think it should be around 81.

2:48
Ben Clemens: Because there’s no point in setting it at 40 or whatever

2:48
Ben Clemens: They wouldn’t play a 40-game season, I don’t think.

2:48
Ben Clemens: But I don’t think 81 is the median — I think the median might actually be zero?

2:48
Ben Clemens: So you’d need some odds.

2:49
Derek: It sucks that the Olympics are postponed, but I can’t help but smile at the fact that the spokesman guy’s name is literally Dick Pound. Because I’m a child, apparently.

2:50
Ben Clemens: That, and then uh

2:50
Ben Clemens: Have you seen the cover of his book?

2:50
Ben Clemens: Like buddy

2:50
Ben Clemens: You’re doing yourself no favors.

2:50
Stevil: Should teams with budget restraints be more inclined/desperate to move salary given the situation (eg: Colorado with Desmond or Davis) and should teams with more flexibility be willing to eat salary *if* a desperate team were willing to attach prospects to move a bad contract? These are the kind of questions you can expect when bored fans are drinking on an empty stomach.

2:51
Ben Clemens: Eh. Baseball teams aren’t really small businesses, and I’m skeptical that their fixed costs are so high that they’re in significant danger of failing if they don’t cut costs.

2:51
Ben Clemens: I’m also not sure how salary will even work this year?

2:52
Ben Clemens: I think that changing our valuation of money dramatically during this uncertain time might make sense for a tiny business (my local bakery) or for individuals, but I don’t think it’s optimal for teams.

2:53
Quarantini, Shaken Not Stirred: https://secure.act-sf.org/gloria-tonistone-streaming/1375 consider checking this out and local SF theater. I’ll be tuning in :).

2:53
Ben Clemens: This is pretty cool. I hadn’t heard about this, but I’m in desperate need of some culture.

2:53
Ben Clemens: Board games at home can only carry you so far.

2:53
Ben Clemens: And it’s a pretty neat way to support a local business as well if you’re in SF.

2:54
Ben Clemens: I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Toni Stone.

2:54
Ben Clemens: But a baseball-themed play that you can watch at home that supports good causes?

2:54
Ben Clemens: What’s not to love?

2:54
Ben Clemens: Also you can pay whatever price you can afford, which is appreciated in these tough times.

2:55
TheDude: Who is the AL MVP in 2025? Wander Franco, Jarred Kelenic, Joey Gallo, Gleyber Torres, Joe Adell, Luis Robert?

2:55
Ben Clemens: Uh, gimme Trout?

2:55
Ben Clemens: Like, Franco is awesome and all.

2:56
Ben Clemens: But Mike Trout is great!

2:56
Ben Clemens: And he’ll be 33/34 that year, not truly past his peak

2:56
Ben Clemens: I don’t know if you guys have seen the MLB the Vault game

2:57
2:57
Ben Clemens: But it’s pretty fun

2:57
Ben Clemens: I might write an article about it at some point, just because look, being a baseball writer with no baseball is not exactly easy.

2:58
Ben Clemens: But I took Trout for a lot more things than I probably should have, because he could lap the field by so much in the first half of the decade that the second half doesn’t matter.

3:00
Nick: If you placed bets on teams’ preseason over/under win totals, are those bets just totally off now?  Or are the “unders” looking really good?

3:00
Ben Clemens: Hm, I think it depends on where you placed them?

3:01
Ben Clemens: I will tell you that I had a terrible gambling bad beat when I bet on the 2016 Cubs over

3:01
Ben Clemens: Had a ‘All 162 games must be played for action’ rider on the ticket.

3:01
Ben Clemens: And they weirdly played only 161 that year

3:01
Ben Clemens: Because they won by so much and couldn’t schedule a makeup game.

3:01
Ben Clemens: Oof.

3:02
Ben Clemens: My guess would be that everything is off.

3:02
Ben Clemens: But it will depend heavily on your local regulations and rules.

3:02
Scott: If MLB does not have a 2020 season, are the Reds the biggest loser amongst the 30 teams?  Akiyama, Moustakas, Miley, and Castellanos are all at or past their primes, and the contracts given to those four don’t look nearly as good if the Reds don’t get productive 2020 seasons from them.

3:02
Ben Clemens: Hm.

3:02
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so?

3:02
Ben Clemens: Let’s take a look at average ages by team.

3:03
Derek: I would imagine all bets are off at any reputable sportsbook…

3:03
Ben Clemens: Haha yes that’s what I was dancing around. I dunno who everyone gambles with.

3:04
Ben Clemens: But if you’ve placed it with a real company, the odds are like 100% that it’ll be off.

3:04
Ben Clemens: Alright annoyingly the easiest one for me to find right now is 2019.

3:04
Ben Clemens: But that would have the Nats, A’s, Astros, Cubs, Graves, and Yankees as the oldest teams

3:05
Ben Clemens: Obviously everyone trying to win this year is hurt more by not having a season.

3:05
Ben Clemens: Braves*

3:05
Ben Clemens: But all of those teams are contenders.

3:05
Ben Clemens: The Reds are surely up there, but you know, make the whole league a year older and lots of teams get worse.

3:05
Nolan: Are the Braves really SO old you called them the “Graves”?

3:05
Ben Clemens: More fraught than usual at the moment!

3:06
Ben Clemens: But honestly, I’m surprised to see the Braves there? I think of them as a young team

3:06
Ben Clemens: Maybe I’ll weight age by playing time for an article.

3:06
Ben Clemens: While we’re on the topic of article ideas

3:06
Ben Clemens: I have a question for you, chat.

3:07
Ben Clemens: What weird nonsense should I do with our Brewers OOTP team?

3:07
Ben Clemens: I don’t think the team is set up well for an opener necessarily.

3:07
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Are Oaxaca switches still legal in OOTP?

3:08
Ben Clemens: Posting this largely because I like Oaxaca over Waxahachie as a term.

3:08
Ben Clemens: But uh, I actually have no clue given the 3 batter minimum change.

3:08
Ben Clemens: I’m going to look into weird in-game stuff, but my sense is that I’m going to have limited in-game control (it would be really tedious for both managers to have that)

3:08
Derek: I wish you could deploy “The Strategy” as discussed on Effectively Wild, but unfortunately I don’t think that’s possible to set up in OOTP simulation

3:09
Ben Clemens: Yeah I actually poked around to see if I could set that up. It seems that you cannot 🙁

3:09
Ben Clemens: You could do it if you were simming out each game pitch by pitch

3:09
Ben Clemens: But, given the way they simulate it I’m not sure you’d get the edge you want?

3:10
Ben Clemens: Trying to pick up an effect that’s really hard to measure will probably not be measured in this simulation

3:11
Ben Clemens: A moment, please, for me to eat some lunch.

3:15
John: three teams that benefit from half year off:   Nationals, astros, Yankees

3:16
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I think the Yankees are best set up for it.

3:17
Ben Clemens: Or rather, would benefit most.

3:18
Ben Clemens: Nats and Astros, yeah probably as well.

3:18
Ben Clemens: But also every longshot would benefit

3:18
Ben Clemens: Because they’d be more likely to spike the playoffs

3:20
Guest: posted this in the comments of your article, but I think we should try out *never* bunting!

3:21
Ben Clemens: Interesting. I need to look at the math of pitchers bunting, I’d guess given how badly they hit these days it makes sense

3:21
Ben Clemens: But sure we can try it!

3:21
Derek: Assuming there is baseball played this year (please please please please please…), is there anything in particular you want to see MLB experiment with (schedule/format-wise or anything else)? This year is also going to stand out as an extremely weird outlier no matter what, so it seems like a great opportunity to try some things out and maybe strike gold with some wacky idea that actually works!

3:23
Ben Clemens: I’d like to see a tournament. I’d like to see experimenting with doubleheaders, and potentially with playing at empty stadiums in spring training sites.

3:23
Brian: Any guess on how MLB will address service time?  Coming from an owner who gambled on Nate Pearson and Spencer Howard making an impact this year to start the season…

3:25
Ben Clemens: And I believe Craig is writing about it as well.

3:26
Marshall: When baseball eventually starts up again, will people still hate the Astros? Or, has that sentiment passed due to the world being turned upside down?

3:27
Ben Clemens: I think people still will. Maybe less, because everyone will be so happy baseball is back, but they’re still kinda villainous

3:28
Darragh: With your tournament idea, if a team is eliminated in the first round, is their season done? After all this waiting, that team gets only 5ish games? Or am I misunderstanding?

3:28
Ben Clemens: Could play consolation brackets as well.

3:28
Ben Clemens: But yeah I dunno, needs more planning and design

3:28
Ben Clemens: I think that could be okay though?

3:28
Ben Clemens: Maybe have a consolation tournament for the first pick in the draft

3:28
Sam: Hey Ben who do you like more, Mitch Keller or Julio Urias?

3:29
Ben Clemens: I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for people I’ve listened to.

3:29
Ben Clemens: But gimme Keller

3:29
Ben Clemens: I thought that his interview with Ben Lindbergh was awesome:

3:30
Ben Clemens: Particularly a big fan of him learning what FIP was on Google after seeing it on the Giants’ scoreboard.

3:30
Ben Clemens: Like, what a killer anecdote.

3:30
Darragh: Personally, rather than a tournament, I would prefer a Premier League-style thing. Just play as many games as you can and the team with the best record is the champion. Or maybe just a World Series between the two best. That way, each team gets as much baseball as possible.

3:31
Ben Clemens: I’d be fine with this too. What I really don’t want is the standard playoff structure after a comically short season.

3:31
Ben Clemens: I think that would feel a little too like regular for something that is cleraly not regular.

3:31
Guest: can you piggyback starters in OOTP? Would help resolve some of the pitching decision. Like pairing Peralta with an offspeed guy!

3:32
Ben Clemens: Hm. You might be able to make it work by getting a little funky; put a super low pitch count limit on the starter, and keep the piggyback player low on the depth chart on non-piggyback days before making him the number one reliever that day.

3:33
Ben Clemens: Peralta plus Lauer sounds fun.

3:33
Safety Stegosaurus: What’s your grade on the Rams new logo?

3:35
Ben Clemens: Like

3:35
Ben Clemens: Zero?

3:35
Ben Clemens: It’s so bad

3:35
Derek: I *think* you can monkey with the opener/follower settings to get the Peralta-Lauer combo to work?

3:35
Ben Clemens: Oh that could work too. Yeah I think it’s doable. It wouldn’t exactly be piggybacking but it could work. New option for next time!

3:35
Guest: Given that the OOTP league is a fangraphs league, I think most of the strategies will end up being fairly similar, so there’s some benefit into zigging where others zag. If we have a by-the-numbers unorthodox strategy we should REALLY lean into it and go all in on it.

3:36
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I agree with this. One thing that’s really nice about this league is that Brad asked everyone to manage as if they were that team in real life.

3:36
Ben Clemens: So Adley Rutschman isn’t getting traded.

3:36
Ben Clemens: But the NL Central is just gonna be a slugfest.

3:36
Ben Clemens: Everyone’s going to run right up to payroll red lines, try to game whatever they can, etc.

3:37
Ben Clemens: Alright friends, thank you for chatting with me today. I’m gonna call it here, and we can take this up next week. I certainly don’t have anywhere else to be.

3:37
Ben Clemens: Thanks again for hanging out today.

We hoped you liked reading Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 3/23/20 by Ben Clemens!

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Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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David
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David

Ben–i don’t understand how to use the fan graphs projections. I want to get a consensus and balance value of pitchers and hitters available. This seems impossible using ZIPS or Steamer. Help.