OpinionJune 29, 2008


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Cleat Marks #9

By Madison Jones

It’s been awhile since the last installment of this series, but with us reaching the middle of the season, I just had to get this one out there. At this point, most teams have played 80-82 games. That makes it really easy for fantasy players to determine who to move and who to keep. No, I don’t mean dumping guys who traditionally start off a season hot and then tire down the stretch in order to grab guys who traditionally start slow and catch fire the second half. Although that is something everyone should pay attention to.

What I mean is simply looking at a player’s stats and determining if they have already put up their best half or not. All you’ve got to do is take the stat in question, and then double it. Then ask yourself if that stat is reasonable for said player to do. If yes or if the number is less than what you think he will finish the year with, then keep him or trade for him. If the number is higher or unrealistic, then now is the time to trade him away or avoid him. Let’s take a look at an example of what I mean.

Francisco Rodriguez currently has 31 saves in the 81 games the Angels have played. That means he’s on pace for 62 saves this year, which would break Bobby Thigpen’s single season saves record of 57. Could K-Rod break the record? Absolutely, but I’d bank on him not making it that far. So by that logic, you’ve already banked his best half and now is the time to trade him away. He’s been so good and his numbers are amazing, so you should have no trouble at all getting solid return for him. Not to mention you’ve already banked those 31 saves and should have some wiggle room in the saves department because of that.

On the other side of the coin, take a look at Miguel Cabrera. As of this writing, he’s hitting just .279 with 11 home runs and 47 runs driven in. Granted, he moved over to the American League this year and is getting used to the pitching, but that’s a pace for just 22 home runs and 94 runs driven in. If you take the worst he’s done in those three categories during a full season in his career, you get a line of: .294-26-112. Again, that’s looking at his worst finish in each stat, meaning he could easily do better. He’s not on pace for those numbers, so odds are that his second half will be much more valuable than his first half. Now is the time to acquire him. You might even be able to get him cheap.

So take a look at your rosters and see exactly where you think your players stand. As the rule always is, sell high and buy low. There’s really never an easier time to determine who’s who on your roster than right now with half the season in the books. Good luck to everyone, and may your second halves be filled with excitement!

 
Madison Jones is always lurking in the shadows of the Cafe. When he does venture into the forums, you can find him posting as Madison.
 
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