by Eddie Mayrose

It’s one of baseball’s unusual feats.  Not so much achievement as oddity, hitting for the cycle is about as rare as a no-hitter.  Four hits in a game doesn’t happen very often; even to the game’s best hitters.  To not only bang out four knocks but a single, double, triple and homer in the same game is the baseball equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.  We’ve all heard players during post-game interviews talking about how they were looking to drive a pitch out of the park in a given situation.  But, have you ever heard one say that he went up to the plate looking for a triple to complete a cycle?  Of course not.  It either happens or it doesn’t.  However, even with this example, many Fantasy Baseball owners in Roto formats turn a blind eye to the improbabilities; instead running up transaction bills while fruitlessly chasing their own version of the cycle.

For the most part, established MLB players will achieve totals within expected parameters.  However, the stats will more often be the end result of a season filled with hot streaks and slumps rather than one, long, consistent performance.  Imagine that you were one of the geniuses that inserted Pirates’ closer Joel Hanrahan into his lineup after the Pirates’ closer had 4 saves in the season’s first week.  You knew that Hanrahan, a talented pitcher with a great K ratio, wouldn’t get save opportunities with the struggling Bucs as would John Axford in Milwaukee.  But you’d seen Axford get cuffed around in his season debut and decided to make the switch and hit for the Cycle.  A week later, however, Hanrahan was still stuck on 4 while you’d missed 3 saves from Axford.

We’re not suggesting that every season will be the same for each player.  Try telling that to the guys that had Jose Bautista in 2010.  What we are saying, though, is that two weeks is not a big enough sample.  So, if you’ve got Ian Kinsler and his .184 BA in your lineup and the hot-hitting Alberto Callaspo sitting on your bench, leave them both right there. The surest way to get Kinsler out of his slump is to sit him down.  Apply the same logic to guys like Kevin Youkilis and Victor Martinez. Let the rest of your league pinball their way through the transaction wire.  Your patience will absolutely pay dividends.


Buy Low

Josh Beckett has always been a Fantasy stud when healthy.  His K ratio says he feels great,  as he’s been the lone bright spot for the Sawx so far.  Lance Berkman had a terrible season in 2010; dealing with injury and then a trade to the AL.  He’s back in the NL and in the middle of a solid Cardinals lineup.  He’s even available in many mixed leagues.

Sell High

Jays’ SS Yunel Escobar seems to be flourishing now that he’s out of Bobby Cox’s doghouse in Atlanta.  Look past his .375 BA and remember the mental lapses and lack of effort that got him shipped to Toronto in the first place.  It’s always great to see young players like David Freese emerge.  However, even though the Cardinals’ 3B  is hitting .372. he’s a singles hitter playing a power position, something that just won’t work for your team.

Grab Bag

OF Alex Gordon is finally giving the Royals a glimpse of the talent they’ve expected for three years.  While it is early, we think Gordon will benefit from the protection provided by Billy Butler, Kansas City’s best hitter.  If the power stroke comes around, Gordon’s a steal. Even though the Mets’ bullpen has been a disaster, one shining light has been Pedro Beato, a Rule 5 pickup from Baltimore.  He’s thrown 9 scoreless innings over 5 appearances and is emerging as a candidate to replace Frankie Rodriguez when the Mets begin their fire sale.

Drop Zone

Staying with the Mets’, SP Mike Pelfrey has no place on a Fantasy Baseball roster.  Not even in NL only formats.  Pull the plug, at least temporarily, on Twins’ RP Joe Nathan.  He’s struggled through the first two weeks after returning from Tommy John surgery. Get a better feel for his health and command before you put him in your lineup.


Eddie Mayrose can be heard every Sunday at 3 p.m. on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Channel 211 and can be seen, with Tom DeAngelo, on their weekly sports talk show, “Down In Front,” available in Brooklyn and Manhattan to Fios customers. Check local listings.






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