Final Month No Time To Back Off
by Eddie Mayrose
Your Roto-style league’s trading deadline has long since passed, your Fantasy Football season beckons and it seems like there’s no way to make a move in the standings with just four weeks left in the baseball season. Don’t look now, but you’ve just handed the league title away.
While it’s true that the task of climbing to the top of the heap in September is difficult, it’s far from impossible. If you’re within striking distance, a quick analysis of the statistical categories should point you in the right direction,
First, throw out any of the “average” categories- BA, OBP, WHIP and ERA. It’s too late in the season for one player to impact what an entire team has done to this point. However, in the “accumulated” categories such as HR, R, RBI, W, S, etc…, players currently on the waiver wire might just give you the bump you need.
For example, in the 40-Kane Fantasy League, there is currently a dogfight at the top; where just 1.5 points separate the top three teams. Each of the three are tightly bunched in Runs scored, where a daily, three point swing is possible. Any of the three contenders has an opportunity to distance himself by picking up a free agent with a hot bat.
If you’re in a Head to Head league, this advice still applies. As you start your playoffs, you’re chances can be significantly enhanced by a hitter or pitcher who can sustain a hot streak for a week, Finally, remember to disregard a player’s poor performance to this point. All you need to worry about is their production over the last month.
Forget, for a second, that you’ve spent most of the summer cursing Alex Rios for the pathetic production that cost you a ninth round pick. Rios has suddenly found his stroke, with five multi-hit games over his last eleven. He’s still suffering from a power outage, but could help you if he can score and steal bases.
Mariners’ phenom, Dustin Ackley, has had an up and down rookie season, but is currently on an eight game hitting streak. Could be that Ackley has gotten his second wind in what is certainly a no-pressure situation in Seattle.
Rockies’ OF Dexter Fowler may finally be realizing some of the potential that made him one of Colorado’s top prospects. He’s been very consistent since returning from a minor league stint and has absolutely been raking over the past week.
With Cincinnati out of the race, it’s time the Reds got a look at catching prospect Devin Mesoraco. The rookie turned in a wonderful 2011, going .289-15-71 in AAA. The aging Ramon Hernandez is likely not part of the club’s 2012 plans so, Mesoraco should get the lion’s share of the AB the rest of the way.
Not that many are paying attention to the Cubs, but those that are have taken notice of the fact that SP Randy Wells is currently one of the hottest pitchers in the game. He’s 5-0 over his last seven starts and has averaged almost 7 IP over the same stretch. His K/BB ratio says that he’s found a formula that should carry him through a strong final month.