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Strat-O-Matic Baseball Breakdown


Danchat

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For those who may be new to this game, I’ll give a detailed breakdown.

So when a pitcher faces a batter, three dice are rolled. The white die determines which card will be used; 1 to 3 summons the hitter card, and 4 to 6 summons the pitcher card. The two red dice will determine the outcome of the play. In a standard game, one would switch out the hitter cards for each batter and the pitcher cards during any pitching change. However, for my setup, I will be using the Master Hitting and Master Pitching cards. This prevents the need for a card for each player, which is also great because I’m cheap and hate spending money to buy more stuff!

Here’s part of my custom-made hitting card:

3f6C6po.jpg

 

But how random and how varied can each player be if they’re all using the same card? The answer to that would be in the player’s skill level. At the current moment, here are the skills that are recorded:

Hitting 1 to 8 (higher number being the better value)

Power 1 to 8

Speed E to AA

Fielding 1 to 5

Drawing walks 1 to 5

Strikeout tendency 1 to 5

 

And for the pitchers:

Preventing hits 1 to 8

Preventing HRs 1 to 5

Allowing walks 1 to 5

Getting strikeouts 1 to 5

Here is an example; the current Twins squad:

uNsZbLF.jpg

gthel8L.jpg

 

This roster was created with stats from Baseball-Reference with specific cutoffs for each rank for each skill. Now here is a picture of some of the cuttoffs:

oFgr6NT.jpg

 

It can take a little while to come up with the teams since I have to research every single player, but this process helps me becoming more informed about other teams’ players

If you’re unfamiliar with Strat-O-Matic baseball, there are also a few supplemental charts. There’s the X-Chart, which either sees a groundball or flyball get hit at a certain position that will be difficult to play. Great defenders will almost always make the play, but the poorer the fielder, the higher chance of an error or a hit (lack of range, I guess). Here’s a screenshot of the X-Chart:

t4roLow.jpg

 

And there’s also the Strategy Chart. This determines how groundballs and flyouts will be fielded, and allows for managers to try bunting, hit-and-run, bringing the infield in, and more. Since I’m playing alone (is that weird to you guys?), I get to decide what strategy for each team might be the best. This also applies to pitching changes and offensive substitutions. Here’s part of the chart:

Mq0GoJD.jpg

 

With all this put together, let’s test a plate appearance and see how things work:

XvuZLID.jpg

 

In this scenario, Jorge Polanco faces Ryan Yarbrough. He rolls a 4-5, which goes to the pitching card, with the number 5. With this roll, the batter will groundout (though all runners on base will advance); however, if the pitcher is a #4 or 5 in strikeouts, the batter will strike out. Also, if the pitcher is a #1 or #2 hitting-wise, the batter will hit a single. Since Ryan Yarbrough is a #3 strikeout-wise and #5 hitting-wise, Polanco grounds out.

 

I hope you understand how the Strat-O-System works a little better now, and I’ll be bringing you another game this weekend. Post any questions or suggestions you may have!

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I never played Strat-O but there was a game with round cards and spinners that I somehow got my hands on. Can’t think of the name and don’t see any pictures of it. Then, my dad told me to go outside, and I drew a box on the side of the garage and pretended to be a Minnesota Twin pitching against Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and the rest of the Brew Crew. But then I went back indoors eventually. :)

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In the 1980's, a group of us formed a lunch time strato league at work. I even made a cardboard Fenway Park to throw the dice in (forgive the dangling participle). Great way to waste company time and resources.

I gotta wonder how many people my age have even played Strat-O-Matic Baseball (I'm in my 20s). From what I can tell its popularity was back in the 80s, maybe even before then?

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If anyone is still listening.....

 

I had purchased the SOM Hall of Fame board game when I visited Cooperstown in 2015 with my daughter.  I made up a few teams and played a few basic games, but then put it away. 

 

Since my Sunday afternoons this spring are not spent drinking beer in the back yard while cooking something on the grill listening to Cory and Danny (or toddling down to Target Field to drink beer and eat a hot dog while watching Our Favorite Team in person), I went ahead and purchased the SOM 2019 card set.  I have been having a lot of fun playing....all by myself.

 

Please understand, I am not a baseball geek, just a fan.  The lineups I have put together for a few games have been, well, interesting. To someone who knows the game better than me there is probably another word for what I've constructed - laughable. 

 

Anyway. I'm looking for someone or some people to play the SOM board game virtually or socially distanced. (I have the digital version of SOM. Don't really care for it.) What I am really looking for is someone who knows the game well who would play and, rather than make it a big competition, make it a session about strategy. I want to understand the game, meaning baseball, more deeply.  

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If anyone is still listening.....

 

I had purchased the SOM Hall of Fame board game when I visited Cooperstown in 2015 with my daughter.  I made up a few teams and played a few basic games, but then put it away. 

 

Since my Sunday afternoons this spring are not spent drinking beer in the back yard while cooking something on the grill listening to Cory and Danny (or toddling down to Target Field to drink beer and eat a hot dog while watching Our Favorite Team in person), I went ahead and purchased the SOM 2019 card set.  I have been having a lot of fun playing....all by myself.

 

Please understand, I am not a baseball geek, just a fan.  The lineups I have put together for a few games have been, well, interesting. To someone who knows the game better than me there is probably another word for what I've constructed - laughable. 

 

Anyway. I'm looking for someone or some people to play the SOM board game virtually or socially distanced. (I have the digital version of SOM. Don't really care for it.) What I am really looking for is someone who knows the game well who would play and, rather than make it a big competition, make it a session about strategy. I want to understand the game, meaning baseball, more deeply.  

How would that work? I don't have the digital version, and I only use my own homemade solutions, so I'm unsure if I would be able to help you there.

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I gotta wonder how many people my age have even played Strat-O-Matic Baseball (I'm in my 20s). From what I can tell its popularity was back in the 80s, maybe even before then?

I was huge Strat-o-Matic fan when I was younger and I ran across this article. I'm really interested in your "Master" hitter & pitcher cards. Is there anyway you could share the cards? Or share with me how you made them?

 

I read through your example. I was wondering how you would handle the same role if the pitcher met both your criteria? For example he's a 4 in Ks AND a 1 in the hitting department would the batter, Polanco, strikeout or get a single?

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On 3/21/2021 at 11:05 PM, mydogsparty said:

I was huge Strat-o-Matic fan when I was younger and I ran across this article. I'm really interested in your "Master" hitter & pitcher cards. Is there anyway you could share the cards? Or share with me how you made them?

It looks like I missed your post, sorry about that.

 

On 10/2/2021 at 8:39 AM, MGMitch said:

Wow, interesting concept, creating a master card with ranges. Exactly what I was looking for. Any chance that you could share your files? And the screenshots of the ratings?

Michael Mitchell.

I'll attach a couple spreadsheets for you guys when I get some time, I've been busy but I will get back to this.

 

On 3/21/2021 at 11:05 PM, mydogsparty said:

I read through your example. I was wondering how you would handle the same role if the pitcher met both your criteria? For example he's a 4 in Ks AND a 1 in the hitting department would the batter, Polanco, strikeout or get a single?

The strikeout has precedence there.

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Alright, so here's a spreadsheet with the data. The hitting and pitching cards are on the first page and should be pretty straightforward, and if there are multiple criteria for a roll, you go top to bottom. The second tab has the Stats to Ranking method, so I recommend visiting Baseball Reference and Fangraphs to determine the stats for the players.

On 3/21/2021 at 11:05 PM, mydogsparty said:

Or share with me how you made them?

Basically, the dice rolls will allow a .300 hitter to hit that when the Batting Card is rolled, a HR heavy hitter will hit more, and they'll take walks and strike out at a general rate to what they did in reality. The master card is very limited and you'll find results are far more accurate and realistic using the actual cards, but I think this is an effective quick-and-dirty method for simming pick-up games like I do. Some of the data is old and a bit questionable (the K rating tops out at 9.6, which has been blown by, you can tell I set this up back in 2015-16).

Strat-O-Matic Baseball Hitting and Pitching Card.xlsx

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On 10/5/2021 at 12:08 AM, Danchat said:

It looks like I missed your post, sorry about that.

 

I'll attach a couple spreadsheets for you guys when I get some time, I've been busy but I will get back to this.

 

The strikeout has precedence there.

is that because the result is on the pitcher's card instead of the hitter's, therefore the outcome will always favor the pitcher when there's a conflict on his card that could go either way? (IE: if you have a power hitter at the plate who also strikes out a lot and the Col roll is a 2 and the result has either a strikeout or a HR, the HR applies because it's on the batter's card?)

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On 8/5/2022 at 12:36 AM, mydogsparty said:

is that because the result is on the pitcher's card instead of the hitter's, therefore the outcome will always favor the pitcher when there's a conflict on his card that could go either way? (IE: if you have a power hitter at the plate who also strikes out a lot and the Col roll is a 2 and the result has either a strikeout or a HR, the HR applies because it's on the batter's card?)

Usually the strikeout takes precedence over the hit/HR since the idea is that if the hitter is able to make contact, then the hit could vary, but if the hitter doesn't make contact then it's a strikeout. There aren't any HR/K options on the hitting card, but the pitching card has some examples where the K comes first before anything else.

14 hours ago, Reptevia said:

We played the 1969 cards until they were dust. We played the front of cards. Way easier if you buy the cards. 

Well, nowadays if you want to buy a new season of cards it's $50 plus shipping, and if you want the latest/current season you will have to wait months until they're ready to be purchased. Yes, the original cards are absolutely superior to my machinations... but for my younger self, this was the best way to do it.

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5 hours ago, Danchat said:

For anyone who is interested, here is the spreadsheet with the Hitting and Pitching Master Cards, along with how to convert player stats to Strat-O-Matic ratings.

Strat-O-Matic Baseball Hitting and Pitching Card.xlsx 19.75 kB · 2 downloads

What does the asterisk, arrow and tilde mean on the pitcher's card? I must be missing something. I see the little key on the right of the card (asterisk = HR, arrow = K, tilde = walk) but for example column 5 number 3 results in BB or ~K. Why put the tilde if you're going to put the K anyway. I'm guessing there's a reason.

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There is a key in the spreadsheet that reads:

* = HR

→ = K

~ = BB

That refers to the hitter/pitcher's rating check when it comes to HRs, Ks, and BBs. I didn't include this one, though:

** = If there are runners on base, they advance 2 bases instead of 1.

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