Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Tout Wars mixed replacing BA with OBP

by Todd Zola, on February 13, 2013 @ 11:37:48 PDT


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New York Yankees OF Curtis Granderson
Another OBP boost

Yes, I already acknowledged that the OBP numbers can be extracted from the base data. I am talking about a second set of dollar projections, positional rankings, etc based on OBP that casual players would not have to do any extra work to sit down on draft day and use.

In terms of obvious, if Perry's view of the space is accurate, we may be out of touch with what the average fantasy player understands and what he doesn't. No OBP vs. BA discussion may be too elementary.

Ryan Carey

I think the change to OBP is entirely defensible for the reasons already stated and possibly overdue. We now have an entire generation of fantasy players that have been reared on advanced statistics, so I think the move to OBP makes perfect sense as a first step in acknowledging this reality. While Perry may be perfectly correct in stating that most fantasy players may not understand the advantages of OBP, I think most of those who currently follow Tout Wars do. So, perhaps that's another argument to be made in favor of the change as it is something to talk about and promote the leagues. I think introducing it in Mixed makes sense, since as Don suggested traditionalists, who are more likely to stick with BA, will also be the most likely to continue playing AL and NL only leagues. They rely on the valuations, so it seems prudent to phase this in next year, so the content providers can prepare accordingly and do some of the things Brian suggests with dollar values, etc. 


Many good thoughts in this conversation. I agree totally with Todd that our job as writers is to explain how the games work and how to play them apart from finding a single value for each player. Every league I play in and know of has different rules from every other, which means at the very least subtle differences in pricing and sometimes significant ones. So while much of the interest in showcase leagues is in the prices of players in the auction or draft, the value to the audience is more relative than specific. 

Adopting OBP as a category upends that some, but that's okay. It's a much better way to play, and that's a good reason for people to change their rules.

And a good reason for Tout to change its rules.


Only if the TOUT participants AND directors are going to start Now and continue to get into print and on the airwaves What the change is, and Why the change is being made, and How it will affect TOUT's Mixed League, AND could impact the leagues of their audience(s).

Rob Leibowitz, AL Tout Wars participant

The switch to OBP is a long time coming. Starting in mixed is a good idea. As a 15-team auction league, it's a bit of an irregular format regardless. So why not take it up a notch and use a stat that has a lot more meaning behind it.

I can understand the hesitation with the switch in general. Tout Wars is walking a fine line of being relevant so fantasy players actually bother to pay attention to our auctions and to being a leader in fantasy baseball game play.

It strikes me the way to generate the switch, on a mass scale, to OBP, is from a behavioral change standpoint. Most of the Touts have their hands in some form of game service, stat service, or writing etc. where we can get up on a podium and push it not only in what we write, but push it in the product too. 


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About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

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