Playing with the Numbers: Grading Starts

Updated: April 11, 2007, 10:43 AM ET
By David Srinivasan | Special to ESPN.com
I have a love/hate relationship will Bill James. The Godfather of My Roto Soul, Bill has spent decades analyzing the game. But more important, he is smarter, and far more innovative than just about anyone around (hence his current gig with Boston). We were going to a Cards game a few years back, and I mentioned to Bill that it's always been a goal of mine to improve upon his "Brock6" career-projection system. He said something akin to, "Me too. And when you get a bit further along, I'd love to discuss it with you." That's Bill, generous and kind. I mean, who am I to tell the man who pretty much invented modern baseball analysis that I'm trying to build on his work?! That's why I "hate" him, because for someone who doesn't have an M.S. in math (such as myself), it is quite hard handle the work he does. It's also hard to match his creativity when it comes to finding new approaches to life's little (and big) roto problems.

One of my favorite creations of the Great Mr. James is the game score. It's a nice way of grading out how a starting pitcher did in a particular appearance, and what's cool is you can find game scores in every pitcher's game log at ESPN.com. The definition?

Before a pitch is thrown, you start with 50 points. Add a point for each out recorded (3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the fourth (giving credit for stamina). Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 2 points for each run allowed. Subtract 2 additional points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk allowed.


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