When is enough, enough? What am I talking about? Whether you hit 350 home runs and finish 100 ahead of the second place club in your league, or hit 251 just one ahead of that team in second, you still pick up the same point total in the standings. The “point” should be obvious. Winning categories is the goal in fantasy baseball, but you don’t get extra credit for demolishing the competition (though you might get one of those little smiley face stamps if you leaguemates are nice). Let’s work with a few practical examples.
There are roughly six months in a major league season. Here is how our hypothetical league might play out.
The team in first place has 100 saves, while the second place club has 90. Using my Polish notation calculator (and yes, it is real and I didn’t make it up), I figured out that there are 10 saves between the two clubs. Does that mean that the #1 team could dump one of their top closers and still finish in first in saves?
A top flight save guy, let’s go with Mariano Rivera, has averaged about 40 saves the past seven years. The major league season is six months long, so given 40 saves a year that is an average of 6.67 saves per month. With roughly three months left, an “average” performance from Rivera the rest of the way would result in about 20 saves. So, Team 1 could trade Rivera to Team 2, and everything else being equal (the other relievers on each team continuing at their current paces) Team 1 would still finish in first place in saves. Make sense?
A few other points based on milestones.
* A 30-HR hitter socks about five homers per month, a 40-HR hitter about seven a month and a 50-HR hitter blasts roughly eight per month.
* A 15 game winner accrues less than three victories a month. What that means is that over the past 30 days a crap ass pitcher like Tommy Hunter who has four victories, is operating at a better pace than a 15-game winner. A 20 game winner, by the way, averages about 3.33 wins per month, again less than Hunter the past 30 days.
* Much like saves, steals are easier to evaluate than things like home runs and RBI since steals aren’t dependent on teammates and are often concentrated in a small group of players. Let’s say the #1 team has 150 steals, the #2 team 135. Given that the season is roughly half over, we could say that Team #1 has should accrue roughly 300 thefts on the year. If we take that total and divide by six, we get a total of about 50 steals a month. Given that fact, how comfortable would you feel about a 15 steal lead with three months left?
All of this means you should think clearly and logically when it comes to making mid season deals. Maybe dealing that 40 homer hitter for some speed help isn’t a bad thing after all since your 40 HR guy only hits about seven bombs a month anyway. Do the math – it might help to clarify what your stance should be on deals.
By Ray Flowers