A number of you loyal Fish Stripers have been playing the daily games we have available here on the blog. The one that is brand new is SB Nation's Pick 6, and a number of you have a taken a liking to the game (and we will have an update on that as well). But the gold standard of daily games we have here at Fish Stripes is very clearly Ichthyomancy, the game of divination by the entrails of fish!
Now, we're getting about nine to twelve Ichthyomancy picks a day, and I would really like to bring that up, so hopefully if we highlight some of the interesting happenings in this month of Ichthyomancy, some of the newer readers may catch some interest. Now, if you are a new reader, you should check out just how Ichthyomancy is played. However, the game is pretty simple, and it boils down to making three simple selections every day on the game thread before the game begins.
Let us take a look at our game leaders thus far.Top Ten Leaderboard
As you can see, SuperRadz currently has a decent lead over Jeremy Hulme, previously known as marlinfan315. Jigokusabre is at 31 points and barely ahead a group of other players led by last year's champion, dgriot. Past the group of 20-pointers, we have a number of players in the teens, with whambam at the helm of that group.
Last time, I introduced a breakdown of how each player has gotten his or her points on Ichthyomancy. Starting from around May 8, I began tracking the breakdowns to see if anyone was using a particular category for their edge. Let's take a look at the leaders in each respective category.
Both dgriot and oladipo_for_mayor have covered a lot of ground this month by taking on attendance; their current jostling for fourth place in the standings has clearly been bolstered by their strong attendance mark. Only one other player has more than four attendance points because these guys have been consistently nailing attendance. Remember, attendance is worth two points, but only one person every night can get it, and it can be a random affair. Can a player win Ichthy on the back of attendance?
These are points for Hero of the Game, awarded to players who select the player with the best Win Probability Added. These are worth one point, and any number of players can get them. I sort of intended this to be even alongside Attendance points, and it has been a bit short of attendance in this month, so I am a bit disappointed in that regard. However, no changes are going to be made to points awarded for this category, though I may consider for future months (maybe at the tail end of the season) in which two players will be eligible for HotG points. We'll wait and see on that.
This is classically the bread and butter of Ichthyomancy, and it certainly looks like it has been the bread and butter of the clubhouse leader SuperRadz thus far this season. He has been very consistent with his Above and Beyond picks, including nailing a couple of three-pointers for a series of pitching guesses. AAB picks are what separate you from the crowd, so taking them seriously and making calculated guesses are the ways to go for consistently getting points.
Having said that, I will likely be cinching down a little on AAB points, particularly one-pointers. Guesses that are 50/50 in chances, things like "Marlins hits plus walks greater than other team's hits plus walks" will have to be cut down. You may have to add another component to the stat to gain some interest or add by how much a certain set of Marlins stats will beat out the other team's stats to get one or two points. Obviously, these are all subjective decisions on my part, and they are subject to my whim, which makes the game a little more difficult to judge. Trust me, you do not want to be on this side trying to find the 0/1-point and 1/2-point line.
How Can I Get More Points?
Now, it may seem that our leader has a decent and insurmountable lead, but never is something insurmountable. There will be plenty of opportunities for players to get in on the action and boost their points a little further. For one, Double Ichthy Points days will continue, and they are always of interest. Remember, on Double Ichthy Points games, you can get double the usual points for each correct pick, but each non-attendance incorrect pick costs one point, so you need to be extra careful with your selections. These games should come up more often during the next month.
Also, special events in the future will provide chances for more points. For example, the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game will both be high-earners for Ichthyomancy players, with large point totals possibly available for picks in those games. Also, I am considering tracking second-half performance separately for another prize in order to allow new players a fresh chance at the game.
All of these things and more are coming for Ichthyomancy, so here's to another fun month of Marlins baseball and divination!