Some perspectives on September

by on August 25, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT


Ah - the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and major league baseball players are returning to their native cities. The close of spring training is a giddy time.

What? It's not April? Well, it may as well be.

From a rotisserie standpoint, September takes all the lumps. And yet, like April, September constitutes one-sixth of the MLB season. And neither the rules, nor the vagaries, have changed since then. Players will get injured. They will enter, and leave, slumps. They will turn in spectacular performances, of all sorts and directions.

The situation isn't quite so cut-and-dried, of course. On MLB clubs out of the running, many veteran players will eat pine for a day or two (or more) a week. In many roto leagues, the trade market has almost dried up, though the dirt is less parched in keeper leagues.

But September stats count as much as April ones. And all players endure ebbs and flows. In September 2000, Todd Helton, who led the majors with a .395 BA, hit .315 for one month ... as did Andy Fox, who hit .238. Sammy Sosa, who led the majors with 45 HR, hit five HR in one month ... as did Adrian Beltre, who had 14 HR. And Luis Castillo, who led the majors with 51 SB, stole 6 bases in one month ... as did James Mouton, who had 13 SB. So surprises lurk.

In general, five dollars in roto value produces one point in the standings. So you may be able to make up an eight-point deficit on your league leader with a $20 jump in full-season value by your team (through increased output and savvy pick-ups) and a $20 fallback in value by the leader's. Most pennant-chasing roto teams are probably approaching $350 in total value, in which case $20 represents a swing of 6 percent. Empires have been won and lost on larger margins.

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Ron Shandler began publishing statistical reports for baseball analysts and fantasy leaguers in 1986. Since then, his enterprise has grown into one of the largest information providers in the industry, producing quality products continuously and over a longer period than any other fantasy baseball company.

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