Say Hello to On Base Percentage, Part 2.

While we’re putting the final touches on the 2014 Tout Wars league rosters, we wanted to make one significant announcement regarding the league rules. This year all four Tout Wars leagues will use On Base Percentage (instead of Batting Average) in their 5×5 scoring.

Last year’s experiment with OBP in the Tout Wars Mixed Draft and Tout Wars Mixed Auction leagues was a success. The patients survived, for one, and more importantly the owners in those two leagues adjusted without any obvious difficulty.

Expansion into the only leagues involves one further bit of business. The change means that Tout Wars will no longer be quite as good a draft price guideline as it was for leagues that use batting average. It was this issue that caused us to wait a year, and it was this issue that was forefront in our discussions this year about making the change. An online poll we ran in December, however, helped guide us to a decision.

Half the respondents who hadn’t played OBP thought we should make the change. And the vast majority of those who have played with OBP thought we should make the change.

We know the transition will be uncomfortable for some, but we feel strongly that having bases on balls count for hitters (as they count against pitchers in WHIP) is a very positive step in the evolution of fantasy baseball. We hope that our making the change now will make it easier for leagues that want to modernize their categories to make the jump sooner rather than later.

Tout poohbahs Ron, Lawr, Jeff and Peter all play in the XFL, a mixed keeper league that adopted OBP in 2003. We all feel that the tires have been kicked, any wrinkles have been pressed, and OBP is the stronger way to play.  And just as we did when we adopted 5×5 rather than the still (back then) prevalent 4×4, we hope you’ll come along if it makes sense for your league. As support service providers we’ll be including OBP in our materials this year, and we think you’ll start to see 5×5 (OBP) pricing become more common immediately and going forward.

Have a happy new year, and please welcome OBP!

Tout Wars

4 thoughts on “Say Hello to On Base Percentage, Part 2.”

  1. Thanks for your opinion.

    Just to be clear, the change wasn’t made to make fantasy baseball more real or realistic. We know that that game is about isolating aspects of the game that matter in baseball (power, speed, strikes, saves) and giving value to them. The ability of hitters to take walks was described by Bill James 40 years ago as the most undervalued skill in the game.

    I think it’s a little embarrassing that we didn’t make this move much earlier. Walks are a big part of an offense’s arsenal and our ignoring of them in fantasy has been a substantial hole.

    You’re totally entitled to play by the old rules, and our change won’t affect you one bit, but we think that fantasy leagues today should replace batting average with on base percentage. It’s a better way to play. And we’re confident that history will prove to be on our side.

    At the same time, we’ll miss you. We love the old ways, too.

  2. Fuck this. If you want to argue obp is more important than average of course it is. Rbis are overrated in real life too, and what good are stolen bases without considering caught stealings?

    That’s why fantasy baseball isn’t real baseball. The game we play has rules, and when you change them to “make it more realistic” you alienate the people that have played it for decades.

    I hate this rule change. I guarantee that the people that were in favor of the change would have continued to pay attention anyway without it. And I guarantee that there are many like me that no longer give a shit about Tout.

    A sad day. Goodbye.

  3. Ugh! Pretty much no reason to follow this league any more!

    Who voted in this poll to change to OBP.

    Like the previous poster said this makes TOUT totally worthless to 5×5 players and I will lobby hard for LABR to never change.


  4. Horrible news. This pretty much makes the Tout Wars auctions a worthless event for us traditional 5×5 players. This makes LABR the best showcase in fantasy sports and unfortunately tout is an afterthought.

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