Know Your Splits: September Surgers

Mike Stobe

Highlighting hitters with a history of hot Septembers that could lead you to victory in the H2H playoffs.

Sorry. Day later than usual. Holiday weekend festivities and whatnot ...

Holy Josh Thole! It's September! Can you believe it? I can't and I just wrote it. Geez! Time sure does fly when you're simultaneously frustrated, elated and obsessed on an almost daily basis about a compilation of baseball players that comprise a fake team no one else in the world (especially your spouse/significant other) cares about but you. That's how the saying goes, right?

Moving on. September is here. Which means H2H playoff time. Which means it's game on. Like Donkey Kong. Or Candy Land. Or (insert game here).

I love the H2H playoffs. Some Fantasy Baseball purists/traditionalists despise them. I've even heard them called a "bastardization of the game." Whoa! Easy, partner. Lay off the Midori Sours for a sec. Look, I just call them fun. I mean, sure it can be frustrating to have the best team the entire season then in Week 1 of the playoffs your stud goes 0/20 and your season goes down the toilet. But, I mean, them's the breaks. After all, fair only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. That's sports. Fantasy or otherwise. And, let's be honest, if Fantasy Baseball were fair, would it be any fun? No. It would be boring.

Commentary aside. One way to avoid a potential playoff collapse is to inject some new blood into your team and to ride the hot hands. That's right. H2H playoffs aren't Sadie Hawkins, fellas. You don't have to dance with who brung ya. If Joe Superstar is ice cold, bench him toot sweet and grab Joe Schmo who is on fire the past week. To quote something I'm about to write, "You don't win trophies for loyalty. You win trophies for winning."

As mentioned above, the most obvious way to do this would be to grab players in the midst of hot streaks. Like say Avisail Garcia. He is hotter than my Grandma's attic right now. Or Will Venable. Also hot. But everyone knows it and maybe they aren't available anymore or maybe both are available but will cease to be hot once you insert them into your lineup at which point they'll be colder than my Grandma's basement. This is a long way of saying my Grandma's home is relatively uncomfortable and hot streaks can be fleeting and unpredictable, unless ...

You know your splits.

There are some hitters that for whatever reason traditionally hit better in September than other months in the year. Maybe it's the influx of young pitching when rosters expand? Maybe they've just seen enough pitches in the season that everything looks like beach balls? Maybe they truly care about your H2H playoff results? <-- Ha. Ha. Ha. No one cares about that, remember? No one but me. Your Fantasy Baseball internet friend. That's why I've come up with a few hitters that are available in most leagues that tend to be hotter than the average Joe Schmo in September:

Rajai Davis, OF - Yahoo! 28%


First off, let me start by saying that it is criminal that Rajai Davis isn't owned in all leagues with daily rosters. Criminal! Why would anyone not want a hitter that can be injected into a lineup only twice a week and produce the same results (or better) than hitters like Brett Gardner, Michael Bourn, etc.? It's a mystery to me. Consider me mystified. Secondly, Davis owns a .300 BA in September compared to a career .269 BA. You can't steal 1st base and in this case, in this month, Davis doesn't have to. But you can bet when he reaches, he's gonna steal 2nd and 3rd. $$$ in the bank. This is a pretty easy one. If you are weak in the SB category, there's no reason not to grab Davis. He should receive a handful of starts vs. RHP and will definitely start every game vs. LHP for the Blue Jays this month.

Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/3B/OF - Yahoo! 35%

Bonifacio was recently traded to the Kansas City Royals. A match made in stolen base heaven. No one runs more than KC in recent seasons and Bonifacio was born to run. Since the acquisition, he has found his way into the Royals lineup darn near every day due to his position flexibility and you'll want to find a way to fit him into yours as he owns a .287 BA in September (.261 career). So far, Bonifacio is perfect in his SB attempts with his new team and has found a home in the 2nd spot in the order, in between Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer. Similar to Davis, if you're feeling the need for speed, Bonifacio is a good get this month.

Erik Aybar, SS - Yahoo! 52%


A horse walks into Aybar and asks him, "Hey, what's your career BA for September?" Aybar replies, ".294 and I've hit .354 or higher in September in both 2011 and 2012." The horse politely thanks Aybar and continues on his way. Drum roll please. Aybar is 2/9 to start the month and already has a triple and home run.

Marco Scutaro, SS/2B/3B - Yahoo! 64%

September is Scutaro's best month in terms of career BA and last season he led all of MLB with a .402 BA in the final month. In 2011, he hit .387 in September. In 2010, he hit .293. In 2009, he hit .875? I don't know. I didn't look back that far. I'm sure it was pretty high though.

Ike Davis, 1B - Yahoo! 30%

Hmm, nevermind. Scratch that. Davis owns a career .290 BA in September which is pretty sweet for a hitter with his power but his oblique is pretty strained which isn't sweet for any hitter, regardless of power. Maybe next year.

David Murphy, OF - Yahoo! 12%

Can you imagine David, Daniel and Donnie Murphy playing on the same team? It would be like, "Whoa! That's a lot of Murphys!" Alright, so it's not that interesting of a scenario. What is interesting, to me at least, is David's .315 BA in September. You can't start him vs. LHP, regardless of the month, but when the Rangers face a RHP, he should be in their lineup and yours in September as he already has a home run in only 3 AB. If someone drop kicked Murphy in your league, add him ASAP.

Lance Berkman, 1B - Yahoo! 25%

Considering he is a career .294 hitter, it's not as if Berkman has a ton of bad months. But, September is one of his best at .298. He's older than dirt, or at least dirt that's 36 years old or younger, but that doesn't mean he won't produce for the Rangers down the stretch as the team just activated him on September 1st. I'd get him active in your lineup if you need some HR or RBI from your 1B, CI or UTL spots and own a replacement when the team faces LHP.

Mark Ellis, 2B - Yahoo! 9%

Ellis is a poor man's Marco Scutaro in that he is only eligible at 2B, but, he is on a very rich team and provides a nice BA boost with a .304 career BA in September. Ellis should be a good source of runs as well considering his lineup, but, don't put him into your lineup while operating heavy machinery as his presence can cause drowsiness. I'm falling asleep just writing about hixuzpgnpn ... z z z z

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