With the All-Star break in the rearview mirror, here are some tips for a successful second half, no matter where you currently sit in the standings.
First place: Don’t let up.
No matter how large your lead may be, there’s plenty of season left. Resist the urge the rest on your laurels. After all, you likely worked hard to get to the top. Maintain the good habits you’ve developed, and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks when appropriate. If you play in a head-to-head league, be sure to monitor things like innings caps for pitchers and late-season prospect promotions that could make a big difference come playoff time. In rotisserie formats, keep a close eye on your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses as well as their transactions.
Contenders: Every little bit helps.
You’re in solid shape, but you’ll need to limit mistakes going forward if you’re going to grab the gold. The best way to do that is to outwork your opponents. Check the overall standings every day, especially in rotisserie leagues. It’s not just about where your team stands; you can often scratch out a few crucial points in the standings by making mutually beneficial deals that help another team at the expense of a rival ahead of you. Dealing from a weakness to improve or fortify a strength is counterintuitive, but sometimes the situation calls for it.
Bubble teams: Make a splash.
Perched precariously on the edge of contention, your season hangs in the balance. Sure, you could stand pat. Maybe that injured star will come back strong and propel you to victory. Perhaps that first-half breakout will persist until October. But you could just as easily end up continuing to tread water while your rivals make moves and leave you in the dust. It might be better to change things up. Gamble on big names who struggled in the first half. Be more willing to cut bait on underachievers in favor of the flavor of the week. If need be, punt a category. You need numbers, and quickly; it doesn’t have to be pretty. Tools like RotoBaller’s waiver wire pickups list can be a huge help in identifying players on a hot streak.
Cellar-dwellers: Play out the string.
So, your team crashed and burned. It’s nice outside, you’ve got that trip coming up, football season’s just around the corner…yeah, we’ve heard it all before. Nobody likes a quitter. Even if your championship hopes have flatlined, you still have an impact on the race. Even doormats can win a matchup in head-to-head leagues, or swing a category in rotisserie and points formats. Nobody’s asking you to spend hours scouring the waiver wire or trade market every morning. Just do your rivals the courtesy of setting your lineups and trying to be competitive. You never know – a few breaks here and there, and you could be right back in the thick of things. After all, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articlesare your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.