All excellent points from another experienced owner in H2H versions of the ottoneu format within the limits of the big box services. I agree with everything except, of course, that balancing the scoring between RP’s isn’t important.
As you point out, it is the very reason why some teams- like yours- choose to roster so many SP’s, and I suggest that the only reason why you’ve been successful at the strategy is probably because, as a veteran of the format, you already knew what to look for from the start. Because of teams (like yours) that are early/better at this very particular strategy, the available depth of SP’s on the market disappears quick, and when other teams try to follow the same strategy they find that they aren’t getting the best ‘bang for their buck’ (in terms of Pts/GS) with those extra GS as they otherwise could get from carrying more bats, and then they get frustrated and blame it on things like the 2 SP limit. That’s not going to change with an actual GS cap; there’s just a natural skew towards SP’s in the market and gameplay, and I don’t agree that this makes for the best format for everyone.
The Bullpen ought to be the hardest part of the roster to manage because RP’s are so volatile, and there ought to be a scoring format for H2H that reflects that; I understand why it would seem counter-intuitive to increase the value of RP’s because of this more random part of the game/season… but (as you acknowledge), that is the state of the MLB game today. And isn’t that what we’re trying to mirror here? I’m a Brewer fan, and I like to draw the comparison to their 2012 season- that year they had a top-of-the-league offense, top-five rotation, but dead-last bullpen and they missed the playoffs. In this format, your bullpen can be crap and you won’t have to pay for it as long as you have a stacked rotation, which only a couple or three teams can really do, and if that’s not true in reality then why should it be here?
Without balancing the scoring, the available player pool will always be out-of-whack. How has the FA market in your league evolved during the season? How do you play your Bullpen? How many other teams tried to follow your lead in over-stocking SP’s without it working as well as with you? Are the other leaders in your league also overstocking in SP’s (e.g, more than 13-ish)? Have you been in an ottoneu-style H2H league in the past that has adjusted for the RP imbalance (and if so, how did it play)? I’m asking this in a vacuum of course, without any economic impacts to your team if such a rule change was made, but if RP scoring was more important, wouldn’t you be forced to spend more of your available resources on your pen… and then not be able to carry so many SP’s, which would work to even-out the SP FA market for everyone and then make it a more challenging format for veteran players like yourself?
You (correctly) point out that you cannot draw comparisons between Total Points and H2H leagues because the play so different. Why, then, shouldn’t the H2H format have its own, separate, balanced scoring format? Playing the natural ‘edges’ in the format, like the one you’ve been able to exploit in your league this year, shouldn’t be the point behind the gameplay.
Also on the Playoff-auction-freeze, I want to again suggest that only the players who are cut after the trading deadline are barred from being re-auctioned; any FA who was available or cut prior to the deadline ought to still be able to be auctioned off by any team. It’s now possible to create a “Restricted Players” list who cannot be auctioned at any time during the season; can’t these post-deadline released players simply be added to such a list automatically after a certain date?