By Eric Pehowic
The Daily Item
— Now that that the fantasy baseball season has started, there are live stats to swoon over.
But don't get too hyped about Brandon Belt's two home runs. Yes, the San Francisco Giants' first baseman is on pace for 162 home runs. So is Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
But we all know they won't meet those expectations. It is impossible.
Many fantasy owners don't realize they should take a similar tact when considering early-season play. Trust your research and draft day decisions, for at least a month or two.
Baseball is the epitome of that old marathon cliche. Players will soar and slump over the course of a long season.
The best way to navigate the waters is to be happy when you have a player who soars in the first half -- if Belt's sitting on 20 homers at the all-star break, there's a good bet he won't match it in the second half -- and start contemplating how to trade up for a slumping star.
Three-year averages are some of the best indicators of future preformance in baseball because players tend to approach the same stat totals year-after-year barring injury, age or excessive team upheaval.
Unless the poor play is caused by the factors mentioned above, slumping stars are primed for absurd, game-changing second halfs.