Baseball, due to its incredibly long complement of games, offers probably the most reliable baseline of statistics of any sport, let along much of anything else worth measuring statistically.
And while, for example, Halladay did get clobbered over his first 3 1/3 innings, allowing nine base runners and five runs, he did strike out nine. Meaning only one hitter who made an out did not whiff prior to the Doc getting the hook.
Similarly, though Sabathia looked to be having major trouble with his velocity and stuff during his first start of the year, on Sunday he put it together in quieting the Tigers down as the Bombers beat Justin Verlander.
In fact, if you look at Sabathia's career, you can note the big lefty was 3-0 with a 4.58 ERA last April. He was 3-1, 3.12 for April 2010 but then 1-2, 5.15 over May, and finally, 1-2, 4.73 in the first month of 2009.
Meaning the early months have traditionally been up-and-down for Sabathia as often as not.
The reality is, a week into the season, you picked the players you picked because you had reason to believe they would deliver over the course of 162 games, not six starts -- or in the case of pitchers, maybe two.
So, while it is tough to swallow the lumpy stats a terrible start hands us, over the course of the first month or so that is indeed the best course.
Mind you, if you have enough bench strength to rest a Halladay or Tillman, replacing them with a seemingly more reliable arm while you wait for them to get it together, that is acceptable, but even then be wary.
Streaming pitchers is a delicate path, and often you can wind up flip-flopping hurlers much more to the overall detriment of your team and numbers than to their advantage.
However, the real advice is to take a deep breath and remember there are still 156 games to go.
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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
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