Rotisserie Baseball with the NCAA Regional Field

USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a look at all the teams that made the field of 64 and rank their stats just like you would in fantasy baseball.

First and foremost this is an experimental and fun piece that was written to try and compare teams from all over the country that play in different leagues. I wrote an article about two years ago using a similar methodology, you can see the results here.

So now that the teams are set let's look at the what statistical measures we are going to use. Traditional fantasy sports uses counting numbers like runs, homeruns and stolen bases as well as percentages like batting average and earned run average but there are weaknesses in those stats. Counting stats (RBI, HR, runs scored) aren't very informative because they're highly context dependent and don't account for how many outs a player is using up. Stats like batting average aren't really useful unless viewed in tandem with OBP, SLG and plate appearances. Now there are many new and wonderful stats that individuals have come up with that measure hitting and pitching in a much more exact manner but unfortunately collegiate stats are very hard to come by. For this exercise we will use the following offensive stats.

RSco% - measures how effective a team is at plating base runners in a formula that I have simplified. Take all of the runners on base that scored and divide that by the total runners on base. While I dislike the use of clutch because it is so difficult to define this comes close to how a team is at being clutch with runners on base. Statistically it looks like (R - HR)/(H + BB + HBP - HR)

OPS - (OBP + SLG) - OBP is how often a player reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch; among traditional offensive statistics, it's the most important. SLG measures a player's power, albeit not perfectly. So while not the greatest statistic it does a good job with limited information and does have a stronger correlation to scoring runs than any other stat alone.

R/G - Runs per Game, given the teams that are included in the elite conferences and their similar level of competition I feel confident that using this stats gives you a good idea of how proficient an offense. This is especially important in the last two years as the new bats have allowed better offense teams to continue to be high run scoring teams. The one flaw with this is that it doesn't take into consider the ballpark that a team plays in.

WHIP - Walks plus hits allowed per inning pitched more directly measures a pitcher's effectiveness against the batters faced.

K/9 - The average of how many batters a pitcher strikes out per 9 innings pitched, which is a perfectly suitable way to evaluate a player's ability to strike batters out. Keeping batters from putting the ball in play is a very effective way to keeping runners from getting on base however this stat doesn't take into account how many walks a pitcher allows.

K:BB - Since K/9 doesn't take into account walks we will use strikeout to walk ratio. The sign of a good pitching staff is their ability to keep the ball from being put into play and keeping runners of base especially via the walk. Another useful stat but like any stat it does have limitations, if a staff has two groundball pitchers that eats up a lot of innings their effectiveness will not be reflected in their strikeout to walk ratio..

Lastly we must assign a score to each team depending on where they rank amongst their competitors. I took the stats as of May 25th, 2014 and ranked them from best to worst in each category and then assigned a ranking. The higher the number the higher they were ranked. Each ranking in each category was then added up giving a team a total rotisserie score, which is how they are shown below and sorted from different aspects. I recognize that there are flaws in this, the difference in a half a strikeout over the course of a game is not that significant but in the scoring system it the different in roughly ten points which can slide you in an out of a quartile.

Entire Field of 64 Teams

2014 Rotisserie Rankings OFFENSE PITCHING
SOS RPI Seed Name TOTAL OFF PITCH Rsco% Rank OPS Rank R/G Rank WHIP Rank K/9 Rank K:BB Rank
87 9 1 LSU 323 172 151 42.6% 62 0.784 55 6.36 55 1.08 60 7.21 38 2.56 53
236 43 3 Bryant 319 184 135 41.7% 60 0.835 62 6.84 62 1.17 51 7.45 44 2.40 40
185 90 4 Ga. Southern 309 178 131 40.9% 58 0.804 60 6.68 60 1.29 23 7.76 53 2.62 55
124 5 1 La.-Lafayette 308 192 116 44.5% 64 0.907 64 7.93 64 1.22 43 7.13 34 2.35 39
129 20 1 Louisville 304 170 134 40.9% 59 0.782 53 6.43 58 1.24 39 8.42 61 2.30 34
210 16 1 Cal Poly 300 144 156 38.3% 39 0.785 56 6.05 49 1.24 41 8.58 63 2.55 52
37 14 1 Ole Miss 287 150 137 38.4% 43 0.787 57 6.08 50 1.21 45 7.17 35 2.73 57
15 4 1 Florida St. 286 163 123 39.6% 51 0.781 51 6.69 61 1.20 46 7.20 36 2.40 41
10 8 1 Vanderbilt 283 115 168 38.8% 46 0.751 38 5.53 31 1.13 54 8.86 64 2.54 50
16 2 1 Indiana 282 169 113 40.8% 57 0.793 58 6.27 54 1.19 47 6.86 29 2.32 37
46 27 2 UNLV 278 143 135 39.3% 49 0.770 50 5.86 44 1.24 40 7.23 39 2.65 56
267 126 4 Kent St. 271 172 99 42.3% 61 0.782 52 6.54 59 1.26 29 7.37 41 2.17 29
27 1 1 Virginia 264 86 178 34.7% 17 0.760 44 5.40 25 1.04 62 8.19 58 2.88 58
42 11 1 TCU 258 72 186 35.1% 20 0.743 30 5.30 22 1.05 61 8.45 62 3.85 63
101 23 2 Oregon 258 107 151 39.1% 48 0.737 26 5.58 33 1.18 50 7.75 52 2.53 49
123 30 3 Liberty 258 107 151 38.0% 38 0.750 35 5.61 34 1.13 55 7.46 45 2.54 51

This isn't the entire list, only the top quartile teams are shown and you will notice that the top six teams are beneficiaries of relatively soft schedules. No one doubts the talent and ability of a team like LSU but questions arise when a team like Bryant or Cal Poly is at the top of the list when their strength of schedule is not only the worst in the field but in the bottom third of the entire country.

Of the 16 teams, half of them have a strength of schedule worse than 100 and only two have an RPI higher than 43. Only 5 of the teams are from what is considered to be a power conference and if you break them down by seed you have 10 number ones, 2 number twos, 2 number threes and 2 number fours.

A complete list of teams in this field can be found in this Google document.

Sorted by Strength of Schedule

2014 Rotisserie Rankings - SOS 1-50 OFFENSE PITCHING
SOS RPI Seed Name TOTAL OFF PITCH Rsco% Rank OPS Rank R/G Rank WHIP Rank K/9 Rank K:BB Rank
37 14 1 Ole Miss 287 150 137 38.4% 43 0.787 57 6.08 50 1.21 45 7.17 35 2.73 57
15 4 1 Florida St. 286 163 123 39.6% 51 0.781 51 6.69 61 1.20 46 7.20 36 2.40 41
10 8 1 Vanderbilt 283 115 168 38.8% 46 0.751 38 5.53 31 1.13 54 8.86 64 2.54 50
16 2 1 Indiana 282 169 113 40.8% 57 0.793 58 6.27 54 1.19 47 6.86 29 2.32 37
46 27 2 UNLV 278 143 135 39.3% 49 0.770 50 5.86 44 1.24 40 7.23 39 2.65 56
27 1 1 Virginia 264 86 178 34.7% 17 0.760 44 5.40 25 1.04 62 8.19 58 2.88 58
42 11 1 TCU 258 72 186 35.1% 20 0.743 30 5.30 22 1.05 61 8.45 62 3.85 63
4 7 1 Rice 244 102 142 36.8% 31 0.752 39 5.54 32 1.19 48 7.65 48 2.48 46
7 17 3 Texas Tech 239 169 70 40.1% 52 0.807 61 6.40 56 1.30 21 6.63 21 2.16 28
2 19 2 Kentucky 231 189 42 42.7% 63 0.854 63 7.81 63 1.41 7 6.11 15 1.96 20
49 6 1 Oregon St. 223 120 103 36.9% 32 0.758 43 5.87 45 1.08 59 6.25 17 2.14 27
33 25 2 Maryland 217 77 140 35.3% 22 0.743 29 5.40 26 1.25 37 8.39 60 2.43 43
23 15 1 Miami (FL) 214 83 131 38.4% 42 0.715 12 5.50 29 1.27 27 8.19 57 2.51 47
14 10 2 Houston 213 64 149 34.6% 16 0.739 27 5.22 21 1.02 63 6.70 24 3.79 62
20 39 3 Texas A&M 208 86 122 36.3% 28 0.745 31 5.40 27 1.32 18 7.68 50 2.57 54
34 38 2 Arizona St. 198 125 73 37.4% 34 0.763 45 5.91 46 1.39 9 7.40 43 1.99 21
45 26 2 Nebraska 180 137 43 40.5% 53 0.751 37 5.95 47 1.37 15 5.87 13 1.80 15
48 37 3 Sam Houston St. 179 127 52 37.7% 37 0.766 47 5.83 43 1.26 31 5.72 10 1.71 11
8 36 3 Old Dominion 177 99 78 37.6% 35 0.737 24 5.67 40 1.30 20 6.39 20 2.33 38
26 42 2 North Carolina 173 51 122 34.1% 11 0.729 20 5.15 20 1.25 32 8.08 55 2.31 35
25 32 2 Mississippi St. 165 31 134 33.1% 7 0.710 11 4.95 13 1.26 30 8.13 56 2.51 48
29 44 3 UC Irvine 158 12 146 30.9% 1 0.706 9 4.26 2 1.15 52 7.03 33 3.53 61
13 22 2 Alabama 137 60 77 34.4% 14 0.740 28 5.13 18 1.25 34 6.90 30 1.79 13
11 31 3 Georgia Tech 127 59 68 35.2% 21 0.731 21 5.08 17 1.38 12 7.38 42 1.80 14
1 3 1 Florida 121 21 100 33.0% 6 0.702 7 4.67 8 1.25 33 6.72 25 2.42 42
5 29 3 Long Beach St. 118 17 101 34.4% 13 0.670 3 4.25 1 1.14 53 5.73 12 2.32 36
3 12 2 Texas 92 27 65 32.1% 4 0.721 16 4.66 7 1.21 44 5.72 11 1.67 10
1-50 Avg 36.7% 0.750 5.55 1.23 7.14 2.35

Next we will take a look at the top performers who have faced some of the toughest competition in the country. Of the 27 teams, 16 are from a power conference and all of the teams have an RPI of 44 or better. Broken down by seed you have 10 number ones, 10 number twos, 7 number threes and zero number fours.

A complete list of teams sorted by strength of schedule can be found in this Google document.

Sorted by RPI

2014 Rotisserie Rankings - RPI 1-25 OFFENSE PITCHING
SOS RPI Seed Name TOTAL OFF PITCH Rsco% Rank OPS Rank R/G Rank WHIP Rank K/9 Rank K:BB Rank
87 9 1 LSU 323 172 151 42.6% 62 0.784 55 6.36 55 1.08 60 7.21 38 2.56 53
124 5 1 La.-Lafayette 308 192 116 44.5% 64 0.907 64 7.93 64 1.22 43 7.13 34 2.35 39
129 20 1 Louisville 304 170 134 40.9% 59 0.782 53 6.43 58 1.24 39 8.42 61 2.30 34
210 16 1 Cal Poly 300 144 156 38.3% 39 0.785 56 6.05 49 1.24 41 8.58 63 2.55 52
37 14 1 Ole Miss 287 150 137 38.4% 43 0.787 57 6.08 50 1.21 45 7.17 35 2.73 57
15 4 1 Florida St. 286 163 123 39.6% 51 0.781 51 6.69 61 1.20 46 7.20 36 2.40 41
10 8 1 Vanderbilt 283 115 168 38.8% 46 0.751 38 5.53 31 1.13 54 8.86 64 2.54 50
16 2 1 Indiana 282 169 113 40.8% 57 0.793 58 6.27 54 1.19 47 6.86 29 2.32 37
27 1 1 Virginia 264 86 178 34.7% 17 0.760 44 5.40 25 1.04 62 8.19 58 2.88 58
42 11 1 TCU 258 72 186 35.1% 20 0.743 30 5.30 22 1.05 61 8.45 62 3.85 63
101 23 2 Oregon 258 107 151 39.1% 48 0.737 26 5.58 33 1.18 50 7.75 52 2.53 49
4 7 1 Rice 244 102 142 36.8% 31 0.752 39 5.54 32 1.19 48 7.65 48 2.48 46
7 17 3 Texas Tech 239 169 70 40.1% 52 0.807 61 6.40 56 1.30 21 6.63 21 2.16 28
59 13 1 South Carolina 237 72 165 36.1% 26 0.735 22 5.38 24 1.12 56 7.67 49 3.00 60
2 19 2 Kentucky 231 189 42 42.7% 63 0.854 63 7.81 63 1.41 7 6.11 15 1.96 20
49 6 1 Oregon St. 223 120 103 36.9% 32 0.758 43 5.87 45 1.08 59 6.25 17 2.14 27
33 25 2 Maryland 217 77 140 35.3% 22 0.743 29 5.40 26 1.25 37 8.39 60 2.43 43
23 15 1 Miami (FL) 214 83 131 38.4% 42 0.715 12 5.50 29 1.27 27 8.19 57 2.51 47
14 10 2 Houston 213 64 149 34.6% 16 0.739 27 5.22 21 1.02 63 6.70 24 3.79 62
165 18 1 Oklahoma St. 197 126 71 35.8% 24 0.784 54 6.05 48 1.34 16 7.21 37 1.95 18
160 24 2 Washington 174 113 61 38.6% 44 0.749 34 5.62 35 1.25 35 5.71 9 1.92 17
13 22 2 Alabama 137 60 77 34.4% 14 0.740 28 5.13 18 1.25 34 6.90 30 1.79 13
1 3 1 Florida 121 21 100 33.0% 6 0.702 7 4.67 8 1.25 33 6.72 25 2.42 42
3 12 2 Texas 92 27 65 32.1% 4 0.721 16 4.66 7 1.21 44 5.72 11 1.67 10
95 21 2 Indiana St. 83 43 40 34.0% 10 0.716 14 5.14 19 1.28 26 5.67 7 1.58 7
1-25 Avg 37.8% 0.766 5.84 1.20 7.27 2.37

As expected the top 25 RPI teams made the tournament and they are ranked here, again the top teams are the ones that play a softer schedule. That doesn't mean they can't do some damage and make a run in the postseason like we have seen from a Stony Brook or a Kent State but I would bet on the teams from power conferences that play good teams on a more consistent basis. Eighteen teams are from the ACC, SEC, Big12 or Pac 12 and if broken down by seed you have all 16 number ones, 8 number twos, 1 number three and zero number fours.

A complete list of teams sorted by RPI can be found in this Google document.

Sorted by Seed

2014 Rotisserie Rankings - 4 Seed OFFENSE PITCHING
SOS RPI Seed Name TOTAL OFF PITCH Rsco% Rank OPS Rank R/G Rank WHIP Rank K/9 Rank K:BB Rank
185 90 4 Ga. Southern 309 178 131 40.9% 58 0.804 60 6.68 60 1.29 23 7.76 53 2.62 55
267 126 4 Kent St. 271 172 99 42.3% 61 0.782 52 6.54 59 1.26 29 7.37 41 2.17 29
180 53 4 Col. of Charleston 208 44 164 34.4% 12 0.723 18 5.00 14 1.12 58 7.65 47 2.94 59
136 73 4 Southeastern La. 203 104 99 36.8% 30 0.748 33 5.75 41 1.27 28 6.76 26 2.45 45
297 271 4 Jackson St. 185 149 36 40.6% 54 0.755 42 6.26 53 1.48 5 6.64 22 1.62 9
97 91 4 Jacksonville St. 174 146 28 37.6% 36 0.795 59 6.15 51 1.50 4 6.27 18 1.55 6
290 250 4 North Dakota St. 157 110 47 40.8% 56 0.719 15 5.65 39 1.54 3 7.01 32 1.73 12
222 67 4 Campbell 146 81 65 38.6% 45 0.705 8 5.41 28 1.40 8 6.91 31 2.14 26
258 140 4 Sacramento St. 129 82 47 36.2% 27 0.748 32 5.36 23 1.25 36 5.27 3 1.60 8
217 122 4 George Mason 121 36 85 33.0% 5 0.723 19 4.91 12 1.28 25 6.23 16 2.44 44
135 97 4 Xavier 119 102 17 35.3% 23 0.753 41 5.64 38 1.37 14 5.16 1 1.33 2
187 110 4 Bucknell 102 33 69 36.7% 29 0.661 1 4.32 3 1.25 38 5.59 6 2.10 25
264 153 4 Binghamton 74 58 16 34.9% 19 0.735 23 5.08 16 1.41 6 5.57 5 1.47 5
161 208 4 Bethune-Cookman 72 15 57 33.2% 9 0.666 2 4.39 4 1.29 22 6.31 19 1.84 16
295 196 4 Siena 36 26 10 34.5% 15 0.679 5 4.61 6 1.63 2 5.51 4 1.41 4
269 270 4 Youngstown St. 25 21 4 33.1% 8 0.678 4 4.67 9 1.83 1 5.20 2 1.07 1
4 Seed Avg. 36.9% 0.732 5.29 1.38 6.36 1.84

The three previous breakdowns haven't feature many four seeds so lets take a look at who has had a great season and can pose the biggest threat to a host school. Florida State and Florida could be tested in their first game as Georgia Southern and College of Charleston have faced a stronger competition than most of the four seeds.

A complete list of teams sorted by their seed can be found in this Google document.

Take away what you will with the above exercise, it will be interesting to see which teams advance throughout the postseason.  We will track them and do the same experiment at each stage of the playoffs. Tomorrow we will look at and compare each team in all 16 regionals. Would love to hear your thoughts or comments or alternate ways of sorting the teams.

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