Friday, June 1, 2012


You may remember these from last year...the "epicyclical" method that accumulates "MVP points" based on a running two-month snapshot of batting statistics. (Remember, we're presuming here that hitters are the most likely MVP winners, which means that pitchers aren't considered part of the furniture...after all, they have their own award.)

We've expanded things a bit: we now dole out points in six categories: OPS, OBP, SLG, homers, RBI, runs scored, and--just because we dare to be retro--BA. (That's "batting average"--you might remember it.)

This year we're going to calculate the Ptolemaic points on a daily basis, which means that the point totals will grow very large over the course of the season. We tend to think that this will a) make the method more responsive to the perturbations of the data and b) please the heck out of the long-departed Ptolemy, who preferred the most convoluted method for describing celestial motion that he could possibly think up.

So that you can follow along at home (or even on the road, for that matter), here are the point totals awarded for each two-month snapshot:

OPS: 1.100+ (4 pts); 1.000-1.099 (3 pts); .950-.999 (2 pts); .900-.949 (1 pt)
OBP: .500+ (4 pts); .450-.499 (3 pts); .400-.449 (2 pts); .380-.399 (1 pt)
SLG: .700+ (3 pts); .600-.699 (2 pts); .550-.599 (1 pt)
HR: Top 5 (2 pts); Second 5 (1 pt)
RBI: Top 10 (2 pts); Second 10 (1 pt)
R: Top 5 (2 pts); Next 10 (1 pt)
BA: .400+ (3 pts); .350-.399 (2 pts); .320-.349 (1 pt)

When we add it all up for the 2012 season (through games of May 31), we wind up with the standings as shown (NL standings at the top right in light orange; AL standings at right in light yellow).

We'll post the updated list for each league in separate posts on a weekly basis. They'll most likely be truncated to the top fifteen in each league; once a month we'll present the full lists (as is the case here).

How will Matt Kemp's injury affect his point totals? We have a 125 plate appearance minimum for what will be a daily two-month snapshot...when Kemp (or anyone else) falls below that playing time threshold, they'll fall off the list, meaning that they'll lose points, which will cause them to drop back in the Ptolemaic standings. That's what we expect will happen to Matt in the next week or so, which will take into account his continuing missed playing time.

As we say whenever we can...stay tuned.