Sometime late this week, most major league teams will play their 81st game, marking the halfway point of the season in terms of games played, and for most regulars, half of their at-bats.
So how do you use that to set your game plan for your fantasy baseball team(s)?
Well, answering a question like that really needs to be stratified to how deep the league is. It is a much different answer in an AL-only or NL-only league where the free agent options are nowhere near as plush as in a 10 or even 12-team mixed league.
That said, the first thing you should be doing is some categorical analysis. Where are you in each category and are you falling further behind another point each week or are you gaining ground? Making trades or even free agent pickups without a firm handle on where you need to improve is flawed and likely won’t help you.
By the same token, there may be (sadly I know) a category where you really have little hope of gaining points. In that case, if you have a good performer in that category, maybe he is the player who will bring you help in other categories.
I will explore options in the coming weeks for trades in AL-only and NL-only leagues that are very deep as well as 12-team mixed leagues that are fairly shallow and 15-team mixed leagues that are in between.
For starters, take a quick numbers read on your teams. That is easier this week than any other because you can just multiply the stats of players who were on opening day rosters by two for their contributions in the counting (non-ratio) categories.
For players who were called up after the beginning of the season, try and break down their home runs, for instance, based either on at-bats or just weeks and then do the math to see what they would have done in full-time duty. Given we have the games to add this week, the range of at-bats for starting players will run from 280 to 330.
Players you have added via free agency may have an accelerated rate of contribution to your team’s hitting stats, so you would want to factor that in.
You also want to look at the rates of other teams in your league in those categories. Pay particular attention, especially in AL or NL keeper leagues, to teams that have already made a “rebuilding” trade which affects not only their projection for the second half but also the team they traded with.
Next week, I will start on a series identifying particular trade tactics as well as free agent options broken down by league format and size. If you have a question about your team in that regards you can either post your information in the Platinum Subscribers Forum or the Team Management Forum or you can send me a PM. Make sure to give a very detailed list of your roster and the category standings from your league, either from this week or next week’s standings.