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.