Auction Bot: ClCubs2016

A dive into the first suspected bot since the Auction Tracker launched! Posted: Apr 24 '21

What makes them suspicious?

A bit of background

I created the Companion Auction Tracker in December of 2020 after seeing Sea_Sluggers bot-ing away with their 50k bids. I wanted to gather data on their bidding patterns. Coincidentally, right after I launched the tracker (and before I published it in January), that team disappeared. I haven't missed an auction since I began tracking and I haven't logged that team once.

But, a friend tipped me off to this thread about a potential new auction bot. So I decided to look into them. Here's what I found.

Tl;dr: who can say for sure, but it seems pretty bot-y to me!

The data on ClCubs2016

I started tracking auctions in early December 2020. Since then, "ClCubs2016" (or "CICubs2016", the font is impossible to read sometimes...) has won an auction 14 times. The bids appear in clumps, usually a few days apart, with an average of ~20 days between clumps. The distance between clumps has been getting longer, but they've also been winning three auctions instead of two. Interestingly, they've never won the last auction of the day (6pm Eastern).

All cards won have been SPs, with base OVRs ranging from 72.4 to 73.8. Recognizable names as well: Wheeler, Lester, Ryu, Stras, etc. The winning bids range from 24,400 to 35,000 stars. They've won with exactly 30k stars five times, including four of their five most recent wins. The average winning bid for SPs with base OVRs in this range is between 15k and 20k, so they're bidding up to 2x as much as the average for these cards.

I looked at their team after the two most recent wins. The squad was exactly the same both times:

  • 73.2 OVR Cubs deck
  • All hitters were Normal Basic cards except for a Silver Basic Rizzo (the 24-hour Diamond)
  • Their rotation and half of their bullpen are Golds (i.e. none of their auction wins)
  • None of the golds appear to have leveled-up skills
    • This indicates they don't play with this squad
  • The team set-up didn't change over a course of hours
    • This indicates it's not likely this is a tank-squad that they put in just some of the time


So to sum up: The bids are highly regular on pretty-good cards, paying way too much for them, and not using them in their lineup. Can't say for certain, but it seems like a bot to me.

Prediction: based on their previous pattern, I'd expect to see this team win a bid on a starting pitcher sometime in the next ~48 hours, or in about 3 weeks.

Of course, if this is a bot account and the owner is looking to stay under the radar, there's a chance this post causes them to change their strategy or never bid again with that account. Given how predictable the previous 14 wins have been, I'd see that as a personal win.

If you, dear reader, are the owner of this team, I'd love to better understand your bidding strategy!

Cards they've won so far

These tables will be updated continuously as more auction results are logged.