The fantasy baseball playoffs are already here. For those that are lucky enough to be in the playoffs this year, there is still work to be done before taking home the trophy. To help you win it all this year, here are my top 10 things to remember before the start of the fantasy baseball playoffs.
10. Always Start Your Aces
Guys like Gio Gonzalez, Hiroki Kuroda, Cole Hamels and Matt Harvey may not be heading into the playoffs pitching their best baseball, but they are your aces for a reason. Always make sure to start your big names pitchers down the stretch.
9. Don’t Forget About Free Agency
Most leagues freeze free agency once the fantasy playoffs start. However, for the lucky few that can still pick up free agents, don’t forget to take a look once in a while. Injuries still happen in the playoffs and it never hurts to have extra depth.
8. Look At The Numbers
Make sure to constantly study the box scores, because baseball is all about streaks. Sometimes a player goes on a 20-40 streak and sometimes he goes 0-20. Over the last couple weeks of the season it will be extremely important to know which guys are hot and which are guys are struggling to make contact.
7. Houston-Miami Express
The Houston Astros and Miami Marlins are two of the worst teams in all of baseball. They are consistently being shutout and the teams struggle to score runs against even the worst of pitchers. If you have any hurlers going against either of these college-level teams, I would highly suggest starting them in the playoffs.
6. Watch Out For Innings Limits
More and more teams are adapting a conservative approach with their aces. This unfortunately means that some big name starters could be shutdown for good in the middle of the fantasy playoffs this season. Be careful if you own Matt Harvey, Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez, or Jarred Cosart. These young stars are the future of their organizations, so fantasy owners should be prepared to have their seasons end a little prematurely.
5. Start Your Big Sticks
In the fantasy playoffs a couple big home runs can end up being the difference between making it to the next round or ignoring baseball for the rest of the season. It is important to start as many home run hitters as possible, because the more at-bats they get, the more likely they are to hit a ball into the bleachers.
4. Start As Many Two-Start Pitchers As Possible
Now is the time to start as many two-start pitchers as possible. The playoffs are finally here and you will need as many innings as you can rack up. The best way to get more innings out of your fantasy rotation is to utilize the guys pitching twice per week.
3. Start OF Giancarlo Stanton
Anyone that has seen Stanton hit the ball this month knows the outfielder is dialed in. The ball is coming off his bat at well over 100 MPH and he is recording some of the loudest doubles in baseball. It is only a matter of time until he officially wakes up, so you better keep the Miami Monster in your lineup.
2. Do A True Lineup Assessment
Go through your entire lineup and see where your holes are. Try to put together the best possible lineup each week, but don’t overthink it either. If you have a team of power hitters, start all your sluggers. If you have a team of speedsters, keep all your base stealers in the lineup. Above everything else, don’t change what got you here.
1. There Is Always Next Year
It may seem a little cliché, but the saying still holds true today. The bottom line is that only one person is going to win a championship in your league this season. Hopefully it is you. However, just in case it isn’t and you get robbed, don’t forget there is always next season.