Everyone always likes to take things out of context. Come on, admit it, you've done it yourself.
Player A goes 6-for-10 and you want to add him to your club even though he hit .218 last year.
Player B throws a shutout and you want to add him at the cost of a guy who has 175 Ks last year.
Britney Spears is a great singer. Well, if the “context” is me and her in a direct competition, than she is a great singer.
(For more on the idea of “context” make sure you give Context Revisited a read).
Today the context that we will use is FOURTEEN DAYS as in the last 14 days of the 2011 season. When we look at that tiny sample size just look at the craziness that we find.
* Ben Zobrist leads all of baseball with 16 runs scored in just 12 games played. He's totally going to score more than 210 runs this season. Freddy Sanchez and Aramis Ramirez haven't scored a single run the past 14 days.
* Mark Ellis and Miguel Tejada haven't knocked in a single run the past two weeks. Lance Berkman has 17 RBI.
* Adam Lind leads baseball with six homers and he's second with 15 RBI. To compare, Adrian Gonzalez has three homers and 12 RBI. Is there a single person out there who would prefer to have Lind over A-Gone on their team? If you raised your hand “yes” on that one then your must be related to Lind.
* Prince Fielder is hitting .149, the same mark as Starlin Castro. Anyone want to take me up on my bet that Matt Joyce (.457) doesn't nearly triple those two in batting average this season?
* Troy Tulowitzki, you remember, the guy everyone was saying would be the most productive fantasy player in the game about three weeks ago after his massive start to the year, has hit .093 the past two weeks. He's also posted an OPS of .426 in that time. Tulo's career SLG is higher than that at .497.
* Colby Lewis has a HR/9 mark of 2.57. Anyone out there think that they Lewis is going to end the year with HR/9 mark more than double double previous his previous level (it was 0.94 last year)?
* Rarely is there ever an absolute in the world, but in this case there certainly is one. Shaun Marcum, Jason Hammel, Jhoulys Chacin and Josh Tomlin have 100 percent left on base percentage marks the past two weeks. Given that no one is perfect, and that the big league average is usually right around 70 percent, you know which way this number is going for all for men – drastically downward.
* The last two weeks five pitchers in baseball have an ERA under 1.00 – Shaun Marcum, Trevor Cahill, Jason Hammel, Vance Worley and Madison Bumgarner. It's possible that at the end of the year that this five-some of arms will have a combined ERA of 4.00.
* I know that Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, but I'm fairly certain he won't be able to maintain his 18.00 K/BB rate from the past two weeks. I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that Daniel Hudson (17.00) and David Price (14.00) won't be able to keep up their paces either. How can I say that? The single season record, for a minimum of 162 innings pitched, is 11.00 by Bret Saberhagen in 1994.
Remember folks – context and sample size are key. If you focus to so closely on what is right in front of you there might be situations that arise in which you actually think that Britney Spears is a great singer. Pay attention to what is going on at all times, but never lose site of the context.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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