I’ve been blogging a little bit about MLBPool2 the last couple of weeks and now the last three months of work is complete.
I already touched on two of the biggest differences between NFLPool and MLBPool2 (the time service using Pendulum and using MySQL / MariaDB instead of SQLite).
The biggest difference between NFLPool and MLBPool2 though is players have the ability to change their picks. At the All-Star Break, MLBPool2 players can change up to 14 of their 37 picks, but those changes are only worth half points.
I deployed MLBPool2 on Monday. I had a flurry of activity over the weekend to fix a scoring bug. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get MLBPool2 to match the 2017 results that were done by hand. I learned that I don’t have the patience to hand enter the picks for 16 players and then all of their All-Star Break changes. I did it three times and every time I would catch a mistake that I made.
A few years ago I started to look into how I could build apps to manage MLBPool and NFLPool. The key would be how to integrate all of the team and player statistics and where to get that data. I was floored when I saw the pricing of how much companies charge to provide those stats – it was hundreds to thousands of dollars per month to get access to baseball or football stats.
When I wrote yesterday introducing MLBPool2, I buried the lede. One of the biggest changes between NFLPool and MLBPool2 is the fact I’m now using MariaDB and MySQL as the backend instead of SQLite, which NFLPool uses. (I did look at PostgreSQL since so many Python developers seem to prefer it, but I’ve never been able to get a PostgreSQL server up and running on Linux or Mac. My sysadmin skills are nonexistent.
After learning Python and creating NFLPool , it was time for another project. This time it was building the site for MLBPool2, which inspired NFLPool. MLBPool was the brain child of former commissioner Jason Theros who created the league and rules. Sadly, MLBPool came to an end after the 2011 season. The original site was written in ASP and none of the code was available and for the last few years after my friend resurrected the league he did almost everything by hand.
The NFLPool 2017 season wrapped up a month ago. The application performed admirably. Every week I logged in, downloaded the weekly statistics from MySportsFeeds , and the scoring calculations updated and posted on the standings page. I emailed the players every other week with the update and link to the standings (and the reminder that the team standings points would not be final until the end of the season due to MySportsFeeds shows division standings doesn’t account for the correct tiebreakers).
NFLPool has been up for six weeks and everything is working great. I’ve been updating the standings every Tuesday without any issues. I’ve taken the last month to catch my breath after my massive coding spree to get it launched and I’ve been thinking about what’s next. I have a few options:
Add some tests (all Python projects should have tests written, right?) Adding documentation in reStructured Text to NFLPool Re-visit some of the Python trainings now that I have a basic grasp of Python and learn some more “advanced” concepts (generators, list comprehensions, etc.
I’m now four weeks into NFLPool being live. The week leading up to and after the launch of NFLPool for NFL week 1 was kind of a blur. I wish I had taken better notes or wrote down everything that happened, but now being a month into it, here are some random thoughts.
Submitting Picks Somewhere in my code, I screwed up the function to disallow making picks. The code should have refused to let a user make picks after 7pm CST on the Thursday kickoff of the first game, about twenty minutes before the game starts.
I mentioned in my last post (and a couple others) how invaluable my wife has been in my journey to learn Python. That was turned up to 11 last week and I (we) started working on the scoring calculations.
I started to write the scoring calculations exactly as you would expect a newbie coder to – step by step. With the changes to the data model Kelly recommended, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how we’ve abstracted the pick information.
NFLPool has been live for almost two weeks – and hasn’t crashed (yet!) After the rush to get the site up and allow a user to make their picks before I left on vacation, there is one more large chunk of work to get to 1.0 release: calculate the score for all players every week of the NFL season.
I spent all of last week in the middle of Minnesota at a friend’s cabin.