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5 Key Elements for Winning at The Game

5 Key Elements for Winning at The Game

Just like the real major league baseball season baseball is a marathon. The baseball season spans 6 months of actual play and probably 1 – 2 months of spring training analysis and preparation. Competitive managers are always scouring statistics and looking for trends to take advantage of.

Time and volume are what allow managers to identify the numbers needed to make calculated decisions and the depth of roster makes it less likely that any 1 player will be essential for your season’s success.

However, just like in real play, there are intangibles and factors which end up pushing some teams to the top and sinking others to the bottom. Analyze all you want; sometimes the results just won’t lead to success.

Here are 5 key elements I’ve seen have to happen for a manager to win their baseball league.

A Fairly Healthy Roster

While I indicated one injury may not kill your chances of winning, a series of injuries to players on your roster may. Unfortunately, injuries happen and you just need to hope they don’t happen on your team on a regular interval. Nearly 20% of the top 100 players ranked at the beginning of the year have spent time already on the 15 day DL.

A Fairly Healthy Major League Roster

Not only can injuries on your roster hurt you, but injuries on the team your player is playing on impact production as well. Consider how the Colorado Rockies season has virtually imploded as a result of poor play and injuries to key players on their roster.
Not only does it impact production now, but you need to think about how it affects the July trading deadline and where players may be or what role they may continue to have.

Understanding Strengths & Weaknesses

Good managers take stock of their roster early and pay attention to the areas in need of improvement and categories they have a clear advantage in. This is especially true in head-to-head leagues but also true over the course of the rotisserie league season as well.

Knowing When to Win or Lose Scoring Categories

Around mid-season, you’ll need to make determinations on which categories you have a fighting chance in and which ones you will have to focus less on. The reality is that teams will never win all 10 or 12 categories, but you usually have to be competitive across the board.
There’s a difference between finding players who will help you get 10 RBI or 10 stolen bases needed to overtake a competitor. At some point, managers need to focus on the easiest places to improve and cut their losses in areas where there is too much ground to cover or keep up with.

Measuring the Competition

You must know what scoring areas the competitive teams around you excel at or are weak in. If the next best competitor is crushing HR’s but is weak in saves, consider how they may try to improve that category and do your best to block it. Often times that may mean picking up a free agent with an available roster spot or making trades ahead of them to gain a larger advantage.

Finally, it sometimes just comes down to a bit of luck and good fortune. You would never have predicted Alex Rodriguez would have had the April he had in 2007 or Brandon Webb would have been so dominate through his first 9 starts this year. Guys like Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Nady or Carlos Quentin become the surprise stories that help an already solid team take a huge advantage in a given scoring category.

Fortunately, the season is still early and there are certain to be a good deal of statistical corrections, mishaps, surprises and guys recovering from early season slumps. If you’re already taking stock in this and making the little adjustments so you don’t fall too far in any given category, you’re probably still going to be in the race when the summer starts to really heat up.