Patton $ Online

A description of what the software offers:

The blue button takes you straight to the buyer’s page.

The Evaluator gives you all the facts you need to study the previous season. You get the stats, including games played at position, of everyone who played in the majors last year. You see what the stats were worth in 4x4 and 5x5. You can enter the draft rosters and see the profit or loss for each player. You can rank teams according to what their draft rosters were worth. The team with the most value had the best draft; it’s that simple.

The Projector contains Peter Kreutzer's projections for 2015, my assessments of what the projections are worth in 4x4 and 5x5 leagues, and three different sets of bids: PK5 (Peter's for standard AL and NL 5x5 leagues), MF5 (Mike Fenger's for 5x5 leagues), and AP4 (mine for 4x4 leagues). The bids often differ significantly from the $ values of Peter's projections, because (A) opinions differ and (B) the bids are bets, not predictions.

Projections are predictions, and if you predict a very different season than the one Peter envisions, you can easily alter the predicted stats by changing the $ values, as well as by changing the AB and IP and pro-rating, and you can of course change the stats individually, tweaking home runs or saves or anything else in each player's data box up or down. You do this in the Working File; you can default back to the data in the Original File with a keystroke. As with the Evaluator, the denominators in the pricing formula itself can be tinkered with — useful for various strategies, such as punting speed — while the default denominators can always be restored.

The most important bid column is the one that's left blank. This is where you enter your own bids. The quickest way to do this is to copy PK5, MF5 or AP4 over into this column (with a keystroke), enter your league's freezes in the same column (overwriting the bids), and check the total at the bottom to see how much money you have left to play with (how much below your league’s budget the bids and freezes add up to). Case by case, you add to the bids of available players until all the money is accounted for.

Your bids are now inflation adjusted.

Hundreds of players have R bids (R1 to R5) or no bids at all. Many are fringe players trying to catch on with a major league team this spring; many more are serious prospects.

The rosters of each major league team can be organized by a sort function to show the expected batting orders and pitching rotations, the expected bench players, the important players at all levels of the minors, players who will open the season on the DL, players who will be in camp as NRIs... Rosters are revised with each update as we get closer to Opening Day.

Other cool things:

The Quick Memo field allows you to write short notes about players. The Memo field allows you to write much longer notes. You'll find that useful information (such as “injured, due back in July”) has already been entered for many players in the Memo field. Every now and then, thinking the AP4 bid doesn't quite get the point across, I can't resist entering "AP sleeper." There’s also “PK sleeper.” We have sleeper wars.

Sometimes you'll see a note from me to Peter, such as, "Are you sure you don't want to project this guy?" Mistakes like this occur as we send files back and forth to each other; shop talk that sometimes is illuminating. More often isn’t.

People who have used the software for a long time write their own notes in Memo and Quick Memo. The goal is to have lists — completely customized lists, completely up to date lists — to take to the auction.

Or to use in mixed league drafts. Sort players in both leagues by Patton $, or by PK5 or MF5 or AP4, or by your own bids, and you’ve got lists that make drafting as simple as crossing off names.

As simple as the software is, some people like it even simpler. They just want lists that they can print. For these people, each time we update The Projector, we post the latest projections and bids as Excel and text files that can be downloaded separately.

The software runs beautifully on a PC. I’m told it runs beautifully on a Mac using Fusion or Parallels or Windows in Boot Camp. It does not work with WINE, unfortunately. But this is where Peter takes over. Peter has written a help page for how to install the software and how to handle the update files.

All of this for a mere $36. If you play in an auction league, and play for real money, it’s an investment that pays. Here's the blue button that makes that part easy.