The Z Files: Common Post-Break Mistakes
The Z Files: Common Post-Break Mistakes

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

As the All-Star break looms, it's time to assess our clubs for the stretch run. Keep in mind that not only is the break a week later than usual this season, games started earlier than normal. In fact, barring postponements, by the time Sunday rolls around, the Astros and Padres will have played 99 games. The average entering the break is usually around 90. This season it's 96.

It doesn't seem like much, but this is one fewer week than we're used to coming out of the break. As such, it's even more important not to make a few common errors when evaluating pathways to take home the championship. What follows are four mistakes often encountered while managing the rest of the season.

Ignoring ratios

This has been a bit of a crusade for me as I still see and hear the theory espoused that too many at-bats or innings have built up to gain significant points in categories like batting average (or on-base percentage), ERA and WHIP. It's simply not true. In fact, if you play in a league tracking category movement in the standings, you'll see right up to the last day, more points are gained or lost in ratios than counting categories.

The reason for this is two-fold. First, unlike the counting stats, you can gain ground in ratios by having your competitors drop below you. Often, you gain pitching points without having any hurlers active that day. Second, the ratio categories are more bunched than their

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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