The Z Files: Prepping For the Stretch Run
The Z Files: Prepping For the Stretch Run

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Chance favors the prepared mind, right? It's not enough to simply plan. It's imperative to base decisions on logical expectations. That's what today's column is all about. There won't be as many words as usual, more a series of tables reminding us what has happened in the past, so we can best gauge the future.

We're about a week away from the three-quarter pole, meaning the season can't be split evenly into quarters, so I'm taking a little liberty with the first set of data. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, as you'll soon see. The idea is to look at player performance in 40-game chunks, approximately one-fourth of the season. We'll study the first two quarters, then count backwards from Tuesday, August 7 until we get an average of 40 games played per team. There's a week overlap, but again, no big whoop.

The key when looking at the data is to ignore the names and focus on the numbers. In fact, the names could be left off, but then you'd be distracted trying to remember who each was. Yes, you would have. Though, it is fun to look back at the season and see who did what, just do it after digesting the numbers and understanding the implication they have on your team's category math.

What follows is the Top 30 from the standard batting categories in 5x5 play. To qualify for the batting average rankings, a hitter needed 100 plate appearances in that quarter.

March 28 – May 14

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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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