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1968 Detroit Tigers & 1968 St.Louis Cardinals APBA Auction

For those of you who lament the current usage of starting pitchers (or should I say lack of usage) – this auction is for you. I obviously love analytics and interpreting numbers or else I would not be involved in these auction projects, but the reality is that strict adherence to what the numbers say should only be applied in a simulation environment, in real life baseball, the numbers should GUIDE decisions, not MAKE decisions. It’s easy to forget that you’re dealing with human beings who happen to be athletes, if on a given day a pitcher is performing at the apex of his abilities, and is passing the “eye” test for dominance, then you leave him in the game – analytics be damned!

All those who cringed when Blake Snell was taken out of game six of the 2020 World Series after only 73 pitches will enjoy this auction simulation.

As you know, 1968 has been called “the year of the pitcher”, and with good reason, the combined ERA that year was 2.98, 13th lowest in MLB history, the WHIP was 1.19, 5th lowest in history, and all the seasons lower in ERA & WHIP were all from the pre 1920 dead ball era, the combined OPS ranked 111th out of 119 MLB seasons, so as you can see scoring runs was a rare event indeed!

In preparing for this auction it was evident that a few extra dollars would have to be allocated to the hitters, but how much more? that’s always the mystery to be solved in these auctions.

Although additional attention to hitters was necessary, I have to admit I had visions of having both Bob Gibson & Denny McLain on my team – can you imagine that lethal duo on the same squad with those 1968 stats? Alas, my opponent was to sharp to let that happen, I was able to snag Gibson as my opening salvo, but a few rounds later when I tried to acquire McLain, my opponent would not allow it, the price got up to $35, and although I thought of going higher, I opted to save the money for my hitters instead.

My disciple in avoiding McLain was rewarded when I was able to acquire Willie Horton, Bill Freehan, Dick McAuliffe, Jim Northrup & Al Kaline. I was probably happiest with the Freehan purchase since I had him valued a few dollars higher than the $18 I paid for him.

My opponent kept pace with the shrewd acquisitions of Lou Brock, Curt Flood & Norm Cash, I really wanted Cash, but Orlando Cepeda was nominated before Cash and I chose to lock in some profit at $14, anticipating that Cash would be sold for a higher price. Lou Brock was another player I targeted, but when the bidding got to $26 I backed off, also confident that since I owned Freehan, I could stifle Brock’s running game.

The auction is essentially a chess match, you’re always projecting your future moves, your opponent’s future moves and the projected selling prices of the players, to compound the challenge, all these elements are reconfigured after every purchase.

On the pitching side, I was able to complement Gibson with Ray Wahburn & Eal Wilson and also picked up Don McMahon to be my closer. Oh and by the way – what a hitter Earl Wilson turned out to be, he hit 11 home runs in only 104 ABs!!

My rival GM also did a nice job of complementing his ace by picking up Nelson Briles, Steve Carlton & Mickey Lolich, but fell short on rounding out the back end of his pitching staff, also falling a bit short on the total amount of innings purchased.

One of the challenges of a two team auction is motoring the number of pitchers (innings) you have purchased compared to the players left and the number of dollars still at your disposal.

In this auction my opponent fell about 100 innings short which caused his pitchers to perform in a fatigued state towards the latter end of the season, that, and a slight hitting advantage by my team proved to be the difference between the two squads.

MVP – In a year where hitters were definitely at a disadvantage, Willie Horton was clearly the best batsman. Horton led the league in Home Runs, RBIs, Runs, and most importantly in OPS. Bill Freehan was a close second, but the trophy goes to Willie!

CY YOUNG – Who else could it be? I was tempted to also given Bob Gibson the MVP award, but I would like to keep the MVP award just for hitters. Gibson closely mirrored his historic actual season with his simulation results. Bob delivered 303 magical innings, 26 victories and a microscopic 1.04 ERA, almost identical to his historical 1.12 ERA. Oh, and did I mention 10 shutouts!

1968St.Louis Tigers104580.6458-2346-35
1968Detroit Cardinals581040.364635-4623-58
Final Standings
HORTON, W.St.Louis Tigers0.266519871382113787670
FREEHAN, B.St.Louis Tigers0.241532761282412974900
CEPEDA, O.St.Louis Tigers0.207598631241502061397
NORTHRUP, J.St.Louis Tigers0.199572591142261884580
WERT, D.St.Louis Tigers0.17851233911011754260
SHANNON, M.Detroit Cardinals0.231592541372621568433
CASH, N.Detroit Cardinals0.272427421162201358431
WILSON, E.St.Louis Tigers0.231104132400112330
STANLEY, M.Detroit Cardinals0.200589541181261151390
FLOOD, C.Detroit Cardinals0.25762661161132842393
SCHOFIELD, D.St.Louis Tigers0.297148194492617110
MARIS, R.St.Louis Tigers0.2152792660130624120
McCARVER, T.Detroit Cardinals0.23945236108122627230
McAULIFFE, D.St.Louis Tigers0.17059458101153631822
BROWN, G.St.Louis Tigers0.265102152732511140
BROCK, L.Detroit Cardinals0.2366527315436105413847
MATCHICK, T.St.Louis Tigers0.175331175883424130
JAVIER, J.Detroit Cardinals0.19753932106191337225
TRACEWSKI, D.St.Louis Tigers0.10913717151028174
KALINE, A.St.Louis Tigers0.23235844831102194210
HAGUE, J.St.Louis Tigers0.1742334001210
PRICE, J.St.Louis Tigers0.22653612301620
DAVIS, R.St.Louis Tigers0.322591819521760
MATHEWS, E.St.Louis Tigers0.1176057001660
OYLER, R.Detroit Cardinals0.15279312401790
TOLAN, B.Detroit Cardinals0.17924013437011157
GRANGER, W.St.Louis Tigers1.000101000000
LASHER, F.St.Louis Tigers0.000100000000
WARDEN, J.St.Louis Tigers0.000100000000
HOERNER, J.Detroit Cardinals0.000200000000
PATTERSON, D.St.Louis Tigers0.000200000000
McMAHON, D.St.Louis Tigers0.000200000000
MIKKELSEN, P.St.Louis Tigers0.000300000000
WYATT, J.Detroit Cardinals0.000400000100
CAIN, L.St.Louis Tigers0.167611000000
SIMMONS, T.Detroit Cardinals0.000500000010
NELSON, M.St.Louis Tigers0.125821000010
WILLIS, R.Detroit Cardinals0.0911111000100
JASTER, L.St.Louis Tigers0.1051902000210
COMER, W.Detroit Cardinals0.1004044000100
DOBSON, P.St.Louis Tigers0.1543936000020
SPARMA, J.Detroit Cardinals0.0644703000200
HILLER, J.St.Louis Tigers0.0205111000000
CARLTON, S.Detroit Cardinals0.0677525010400
LOLICH, M.Detroit Cardinals0.1077548200240
WASHBURN, R.St.Louis Tigers0.0957427020290
BRILES, N.Detroit Cardinals0.12580110400730
GAGLIANO, P.Detroit Cardinals0.176102918310660
GIBSON, B.St.Louis Tigers0.0979349200180
McLAIN, D.Detroit Cardinals0.156122319020700
EDWARDS, J.Detroit Cardinals0.190163113161011171
MAXVILL, D.Detroit Cardinals0.195488349565024410
Total 0.20810691100922263345623095184390
Hitters sorted by Home Runs
HORTON, W.St.Louis Tigers0.2660.3510.5240.8750.260.8591.76.1593
SCHOFIELD, D.St.Louis Tigers0.2970.3440.5070.8510.210.81266.6160
BROWN, G.St.Louis Tigers0.2650.3530.4800.8340.220.8418.56.7116
FREEHAN, B.St.Louis Tigers0.2410.3740.4530.8270.210.8798.16.2663
WILSON, E.St.Louis Tigers0.2310.2570.5480.8050.320.7514.54.5114
CASH, N.Detroit Cardinals0.2720.3350.4150.7500.140.6960.25474
SHANNON, M.Detroit Cardinals0.2310.2810.3580.6390.130.5660.43.5643
NORTHRUP, J.St.Louis Tigers0.1990.2760.3530.6290.150.5654.83646
FLOOD, C.Detroit Cardinals0.2570.3010.3230.6240.070.5263.53.6673
BROCK, L.Detroit Cardinals0.2360.2760.3450.6210.110.5961.83.1696
KALINE, A.St.Louis Tigers0.2320.3180.2790.5970.050.5433.93.2404
CEPEDA, O.St.Louis Tigers0.2070.2630.3330.5960.130.5150.92.8649
PRICE, J.St.Louis Tigers0.2260.2550.3400.5940.110.494.73.155
McCARVER, T.Detroit Cardinals0.2390.2750.3140.5890.080.4738.22.9476
MARIS, R.St.Louis Tigers0.2150.2500.3260.5760.110.4621.92.5306
STANLEY, M.Detroit Cardinals0.2000.2520.2970.5490.10.4545.32.5648
WERT, D.St.Louis Tigers0.1780.2190.3010.5200.120.4333.72.1549
HAGUE, J.St.Louis Tigers0.1740.2080.3040.5130.130.421.52.124
McAULIFFE, D.St.Louis Tigers0.1700.2710.2360.5070.070.45412.2680
EDWARDS, J.Detroit Cardinals0.1900.2650.2390.5040.050.4311.52.3181
MAXVILL, D.Detroit Cardinals0.1950.2570.2270.4840.030.3829.72535
JAVIER, J.Detroit Cardinals0.1970.2260.2520.4780.060.3730.61.8575
OYLER, R.Detroit Cardinals0.1520.2360.2410.4760.090.393.91.490
MATCHICK, T.St.Louis Tigers0.1750.2230.2540.4760.080.3819.51.9355
GAGLIANO, P.Detroit Cardinals0.1760.2220.2250.4480.050.355.51.8109
TOLAN, B.Detroit Cardinals0.1790.1950.2210.4160.040.3210.11.3246
TRACEWSKI, D.St.Louis Tigers0.1090.2080.1610.3680.050.345.11.1154
MATHEWS, E.St.Louis Tigers0.1170.1970.1670.3640.
DOBSON, P.St.Louis Tigers0.1540.1950.1540.34900.241.51.144
NELSON, M.St.Louis Tigers0.1250.2220.1250.34700.290.41.210
McLAIN, D.Detroit Cardinals0.1560.1540.1890.3430.
WASHBURN, R.St.Louis Tigers0.0950.1930.1490.3410.
CAIN, L.St.Louis Tigers0.1670.1670.1670.33300.20.20.96
BRILES, N.Detroit Cardinals0.1250.1550.1750.3300.
GIBSON, B.St.Louis Tigers0.0970.1840.1180.3030.
LOLICH, M.Detroit Cardinals0.1070.1520.1330.2850.
JASTER, L.St.Louis Tigers0.1050.1500.1050.25500.170.30.421
COMER, W.Detroit Cardinals0.1000.1000.1000.20000.110.20.241
WILLIS, R.Detroit Cardinals0.0910.0910.0910.18200.10.10.211
SIMMONS, T.Detroit Cardinals0.0000.1670.0000.16700.200.26
CARLTON, S.Detroit Cardinals0.0670.0670.0930.1600.
SPARMA, J.Detroit Cardinals0.0640.0630.0640.12600.070.1048
HILLER, J.St.Louis Tigers0.0200.0200.0200.03900.020055
WYATT, J.Detroit Cardinals0.0000.0000.0000.00000005
McMAHON, D.St.Louis Tigers0.0000.0000.0000.00000003
MIKKELSEN, P.St.Louis Tigers0.0000.0000.0000.00000003
HOERNER, J.Detroit Cardinals0.0000.0000.0000.00000002
PATTERSON, D.St.Louis Tigers0.0000.0000.0000.00000002
LASHER, F.St.Louis Tigers0.0000.0000.0000.00000001
WARDEN, J.St.Louis Tigers0.0000.0000.0000.00000001
Total 0.2080.2690.3140.5830.110.59192.811781
Hittes sorted by OPS
GRANGER, W.St.Louis Tigers4280.783200034.219019
GIBSON, B.St.Louis Tigers26411.04373521103031634223
McLAIN, D.Detroit Cardinals191731.45574418937915722317
McMAHON, D.St.Louis Tigers85361.606900078.234352
HOERNER, J.Detroit Cardinals25131.914600056.222544
WILSON, E.St.Louis Tigers221002.2134345424818214164
PATTERSON, D.St.Louis Tigers5322.215700073.155342
BRILES, N.Detroit Cardinals141902.3451338427718329152
LASHER, F.St.Louis Tigers0002.362800026.219015
WASHBURN, R.St.Louis Tigers121102.38343462253.21861194
HILLER, J.St.Louis Tigers9702.44212133147.2125784
CAIN, L.St.Louis Tigers4002.90170003126013
CARLTON, S.Detroit Cardinals92103.69483160236.119824180
DOBSON, P.St.Louis Tigers9703.772621001361431287
MIKKELSEN, P.St.Louis Tigers1003.801700021.126115
LOLICH, M.Detroit Cardinals81813.9947313124620639220
JASTER, L.St.Louis Tigers3504.701212106786530
NELSON, M.St.Louis Tigers1414.75175003656225
SPARMA, J.Detroit Cardinals31505.34332120148.11622784
WILLIS, R.Detroit Cardinals1335.373521063.2881043
WARDEN, J.St.Louis Tigers0005.402600021.229120
WYATT, J.Detroit Cardinals2647.203700050611147
Total 162162722.777813247433293522262301970
Pitchers sorted by ERA