Increasing the number of SP slots in OPL

Hi Niv,

I echo all the great things that have been said about OPL.

One suggestion for 2022 would be to increase the number of SP slots from 2. My co-owner and I ran into a scenario where, going into the year, we rostered ~7 IRL aces. Even over the course of the full half, they never quite unbunched (we still had as many as 4 going on the same calendar day heading into the break) and I’m confident it made the difference between making and missing the round of 32.

The 2 slot rule seems to mirror capless H2H formats. It is my understanding, in normal play, this rule prevents a large volume of low-quality SP adds prior to the matchup. With the long-term scoring periods, I don’t think this concern really applies in OPL because you will be effectively stuck with the low-quality pitchers for the entire duration of the period. In effect, the 2 slots work against a higher-than-average number of high-quality pitchers. This type of roster construction seems to be a legitimate competitive advantage. In other words, I don’t see any theoretical reason to advantage teams built around hitting over teams built around pitching.

Thank you for your consideration and keep up the great work!

Which team was yours?

Guessing it was this team, where I count 171.7 points missed to the bench in the 3rd round from SP. That is a lot of points! More than most teams I would imagine.

This team finished 46th, 272.214 behind 32nd place.

I see you lost something like 100(!) points from German Marquez in round 1, which woulda been 6 points by round 3. I didn’t bother going through the rest of rounds 1 and 2 but at very best I think it would have been close for you, and you could have made a number of trades or other transactions to adjust.

OPL is meant to encourage these kinds of trade-offs, and I think the 2SP slots are working quite well.

Update was in a rush, bad at math

1 Like

wRC Digs the Long Ball (46th)

I’m counting DeGrom, Scherzer, Bauer (though I now can’t remember if he actually started opening day), Darvish, Grienke, Marquez, and Gausman as the 7 IRL aces.

Yeah that’s a legit sick staff

I definitely agree on the adjustment point: we were too passive headed into Round 3 and came up short as a result, extra slots or none.

But regardless of individual outcomes, I am having trouble identifying the exact trade-off that this is supposed to encourage. I’m viewing the bias away from pitching not as a trade-off between home league/OPL or win-now/win-later and more but rather a step away from replicating a Premier league-like format, rewarding the best teams, and towards the arbitrariness of lesser, non-Ottoneu fantasy products.

In other words, I’m wondering what trade-offs are encouraged by 2 slots that are not encouraged by 3. My thinking is that it is possible to make a case that 3 is a more natural number of slots anyway:

30 MLB teams / 12 Ottoneu Teams = 2 or 3 Aces per team

If the goal is to reward the better teams, shouldn’t the 6 teams with the 3 aces be advantaged relative to the 6 teams with 2?

Well I kind of rushed my reply, so let me be a little be more clear:

‘bunching’ starters is basically luck. We’ve talked about it a lot in the #opl Slack channel, and in theory 50% of starters should start unbunching within 2 weeks. Some happen sooner, some happen later. Some teams are particularly unlucky.

So we’re not really talking about “having 7 aces” - we are talking about having precisely those 7 pitchers in the 2021 season with the exact schedule, rainouts, doubleheaders, etc that 2021 provided. A lot of luck is involved here. Who is to say swapping German Marquez out for Scherzer or Kershaw or Bieber (all aces!) would have resulted in the same amount of bunching? Presumably Kershaw and Bauer rarely pitched on the same day, for example.

Adding a 3rd SP slot would tip the balance of scoring entirely towards pitchers and demand carrying tons of pitchers to be successful in the playoffs. 2 SP, a theoretical cap of 28 starts in 14 days (typical playoff round) is already kind of high for a fantasy team, but 42 would be entirely too many.

So the trade-off choices you had in my mind was:

  1. Trade one of these SP for literally any other equivalent SP that was on a slightly different schedule
  2. Trade one of these SP for hitting help
  3. Trade one of these SP for worse pitchers that pitch way off schedule
  4. Or you could hope that they’d get unbunched (again, basically luck!) and ride it out

All of these have pros and cons and that’s without even getting into which pitcher you would choose to move. You chose 4, it didn’t really work out, but you weren’t going to get there if it had worked out - you needed more hitting, I guess?

All this is to say that I don’t think the 2 SP slot limit is a problem at all, it certainly didn’t cost your team a trip to the playoffs, and you could have chosen to make a move of one of those 7 SP once you determined the bunching was not going to end (which I’m not sure I ever would have determined that if I were in your position).

Cool! I’m glad this was discussed in detail on Slack. I personally found this reply to be persuasive (and knowing it was that particular combination of pitchers soothes my fantasy ego a bit). Thanks for the detailed response!


Feel like how sick that staff is should really soothe your ego more than anything…