It is almost the All-Star Break, which means a few down days of relaxing, and of not tracking every box score in the universe, mostly because there really are no box scores for the Majors save the Tuesday game until things kick into gear next Friday.
My XFL and Scoresheet League teams are pretty much disasters, as documented in these very virtual pages, but my Strat-O-Matic team is holding strong, while my BARF squad, on the heels of a big Chris Sale for George Springer swap with Justin Mason, needs to get hot.
But, in the two most visible leagues in which I participate--AL Tout Wars and AL LABR--both my squads are in fifth place with points in the 60's, 30 points behind the leader. Yet, this is exactly where I like to be this time of the season.
In Tout, Larry Schechter has a commanding lead with 90.5 points, with Seth Trachtman the closest to first with 81 points and between third and tenth just 10.5 volatile points separate Patrick Davitt (69.5) and Steve Moyer (59) with my squad in the middle at 64.5.
My Tout team does have Kevin Kiermaier on the DL, and the reason I bought the rights to Sonny Gray's and David Price's stats was thinking they would be hot hurlers, and that I could swap a quality starter for a hitter come August. I suspect I could trade one of those two for something, but were their numbers better, the chances the return would be something that would help--some power in this case--would be good.
In LABR, I have 70.5 points, 23.5 behind leader Steve Gardner, and ideally, Brad Boxberger can return and give me 10-15 saves (though I am not optimistic), but there are points to be gained and I do have the offense to catch Steve, just like I have the roster, and the points are available, for me to catch Larry in Tout.
Obviously, things have to go right, but in my experience, the teams that set the pace the first half of the season often hit a lag come the dog days, and one other thing is my teams, no matter how bad, generally have a hot spell. Add in the fact that to a large degree, fantasy sports are not unlike the games they model in that the team that is hot at the right time is often the team that takes home the trophy.
Of course this means a few things:
- Make at least one trade in Tout and try to make one in LABR, where I have an extra outfielder.
- Stay vigilant making FAAB moves and tweaking my roster.
- Exploit the waiver wire interleague moves to the best of my ability to grab as many innings and at-bats as possible.
The reality is though winning will indeed take a confluence of the right things falling into place, by the same token the teams I have had that were winners always were sitting exactly where my present LABR and Tout teams rest.
So, for this break, it will be chill time, the All-Star Game with my friend Rosemary Nemec and her grandson Kenyon, and a clear head to strategize the second half.
That means if you are in a similar position, the season is hardly over, so spend the next week studying the standings, looking for potential point openings, analyzing where trades might be appropriate, and optimistically while pragmatically assessing what you have, where you can be, and what you might need to get there.
Oh yeah, since this is the break, maybe spend some time with the family, too.