Strat Fan, January 1992

Predicting SOM Card Ratings

By Bruce Bundy


Card prognostication is a Pandora's Box to avid Strat play­ers. Newspaper statistics alone will cripple you at draft time. It's time to give our Stratfans the ability to convert published sta­tistics into SOM numbers.

Beware! Such knowledge has been found to lopside and destroy leagues of all tenure. Use with discretion.

Be patient! To bring every-body along, we'll play it one game at a time. First, we will lay a firm foundation in math basics.

Be alert! Harold Richman isn't writing this column. There are hundreds of aspects to deal with in card forecasting. With your help, we can expect a 95 percent accuracy in all formulas presented here. This is a knowl­edge pool. If you've got a good formula or idea, let us know.

A bit of warmth from this journalist: I'm 36 and I've played SOM for 20-plus years. My wife has two children and myself to deal with as I work 100 hours a week, then brave the fires of SOM countless times. I have all SOM football cards from '67 to '85 and my buddy has all the baseball cards.

Forecasting SOM cards accu­rately is an edge, not a guarantee. The game is all in the dice. If they roll your way, you win; if they don't, you lose.

You've been warned: It's time to open Pandora's Box.



There are 216 different chances each at-bat

Each card has six columns of numbers ranging from 2 to 12. Three dice are rolled. One die (the indicator die) blindly chooses one of the six columns. Each column has an equal opportunity to be chosen.

The other two dice are added. There are 36 different ways two six-sided dice lay on a table for a result (1&1, 1&2, l&3, l&4,

l&5, l&6, 2&1, 2&2, 2&3,2&4, 2&5, 2&6, 3&l, 3&2, 3&3, 3&4, 3&5, 3&6, 4&1, 4&2, 4&3, 4&4, 4&5, 4&6, 5&l, 5&2, 5&3, 5&4, 5&5, 5&6, 6&1, 6&2, 6&3, 6&4, 6&5, 6&6). Each one of these rolls is a chance.


Dice Roll      Chances

      2              1 chance

      3              2 chances

      4              3 chances

      5              4 chances

      6              5 chances

      7              6 chances

      8              5 chances

      9              4 chances

      10            3 chances

      11            2 chances

      12            1 chance

There are, for example, six chances for two dice to equal seven (l&6, 2&5, 3&4, 4&3, 5&2, 6&l). The two dice will always equal 36 chances. The indicator die works in conjunc­tion with the two dice to form six columns of 36 chances, or six times 36, which equal 216 chances. Additional procedures, such as 1-20 split card draws are subchances.

In SOM formulas, desired re­sults will be either in chances or subchances. Walks, for example, are chances. They never require an additional roll. Hits require an occasional split-deck pick. Hits are subchances.

Here are Cal Ripken's final statistics for his MVP 1991 sea-son:

AB  H 2B-3B-HR HBP W IW 650 210   46- 5- 34        5      53 15

   K     SB-CS DP     E

  46     6-1        19   11


This is enough information to predict a fairly accurate card. Non-mainstream data such as HBP, IW & GIDP are important, but not essential, to squeak by.

Data, however, is the key. Cards are based on entire league standards. Baseball Weekly is­sues of Oct. 31, Nov.14 and Nov. 21 provide deep information (but no intentional walks). Lefty-

righty information will be re­quired in the same format when forecasting advanced cards.





An SOM batter's walk equals (((Walks minus Intentional Walks) times 216) divided by (At Bats plus (Walks minus Inten­tional Walks))) minus 9.

How it works: This walk formula is more than 20 years old. Walk must be determined before any other batting chance. The importance of intentional walks cannot be underestimated. If data for intentional walks is not available, use the Baseball Weekly to get the top 10 inten­tional walked batters for each division, then subtract 5 percent from the walks for the rest of the major league batten:

Walk= (((W*.95)*216)/ (AB+(W*.95)))-9,

The "-9" at the end of the formula reflects the nine walks that appear on an average pitcher's card. When access of all statistics are available, a more articulate number can be achieved using AL and NL league ABs, Walks and Intentional Walks with this formula:

AL WaIk=(((W-IW*216)/ AB+(W-IW)/2.

For the 1991 season, figure -9.1 AL and -8.7 NL. Other as­pects, such as HBP, do have an effect, but will be analyzed later.

Finally, round the result from the formula to the nearest whole number.  Ripken's result is 2.8302326, 50 his walk is 3. If it were 2.4999999, go with the 2. That's Strat.

This formula has as 95 per-cent accuracy rating, the highest rating this formulator will give. Knowing the league stats are soon, next month will cover subchances hit, double, triple and home run.

Any comments? Write:

Bruce Bundy, 4474 Outlook Dr., Brooklyn, OH 44144.