Welcome to the inaugural edition of our new weekly strategy column, Chance Favors the Prepared Mind. Every week in this space, an element of fantasy baseball game theory will be discussed. For years, we have been on the cutting edge of strategy theory and are thrilled to be offering this content free for the first time.
A couple of days ago, I was exchanging e-mails with my friend, injury expert Rick Wilton. We were discussing some possible contributions to the upcoming spring First Pitch Forum Series sponsored by our colleagues at Baseball HQ. The last note from Rick was:
You are telling me that 70% of the players will see their numbers decline in 2011. Factor that in with the fact that one-in-three players lands on the DL every season and how the heck are we supposed to compete!
Yup Rick, that is exactly what I am telling you and I will drop another name and quote NFBC stalwart and my partner in a private league, Rick Thomas, who likes to say, "It's amazing. The more I study, the luckier I get!" And trust me; RT is one of the “luckiest” players I have ever met.
I have my own little saying when it comes to this sort of thing. If you have frequented the forums here at Mastersball (and if you have not, what are you waiting for), you have no doubt seen my signature: I would rather be wrong for the right reasons than right for the wrong reasons. If you make your decisions for the right reasons, at the end of the day, you wil be right more than wrong and that is really all we can seek to accompish. And that, my friends will be the driving force behind this weekly column; helping to determine the right reasons.
What exactly does that mean? This little example is a microcosm of my philosophy and will be the message I try to convey. I have a pair of dice and ask you to predict the result of the roll. What is your reply? Hopefully, you say seven. Even though there is only a one in six chance of being correct, seven is correct because its probability is superior to all the other combinations. If you guessed seven and the roll came up snake eyes, you were wrong for the right reason. And if you guessed six and the roll came up double threes, you were right, but sorry, it was for the wrong reason.
Guessing anything other than seven is nothing more than a gut call. But let’s be honest, we all make gut calls in this hobby of ours. We are human beings, trying to judge how other human beings are going to perform. It would be naïve to suggest no decisions come from the gut. I will admit, I too make gut calls. But only as a last resort and only after extensive analysis of the numbers leaves me no choice. Each and every Tuesday, I am going to invite you into my mind and attempt to explain my thought processes when it comes to making decisions.
So please check back next week and we will embark on our first journey inside my mind. But bring a snack, it is going to be a rough ride.