MLB Postpones Season: Fantasy Baseball Adjustments To Make

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Mike Clevinger #52 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Mike Clevinger #52 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Don’t Sweat The Injuries

First off, every injury prognosis now gets thrown out the window. No magic wand has been waved healing Justin Verlander and Aaron Judge. But, barring setbacks, they will now be missing less baseball than they were projected to do so at the start of the week. That’s a gamechanger.

Now if the reason you dropped some of these players to begin with was less because of this injury than that they were injured again, maybe you’re not adjusting too much. For example, Giancarlo Stanton gets a bump for me, but still is going to be outside my Top 60. Verlander, on the other hand, might go right back to where I had him before the injury.

Mike Clevinger looks like the name most in need of revisiting, as he could potentially miss zero time now. He’s a Top 10 starting pitcher again, and certainly can’t be counted on as that fourth to fifth round steal he was being ranked at.

One caveat, and this was alluded to earlier. Throwing off the ramping up of spring training like this will likely result in some new injuries. It’s also perfectly fair to wonder how rehabbing efforts might be thrown off by this delay.

Ultimately though, it seems safe to say that every injured player needs to be bumped back up to some degree.

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Promote Those Prospects

Second change to make? Push aside those Chris Paddack fears when it comes to those young pitching prospects.

It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that the length of the season is going to be different in 2020 now. If the delay exceeds two weeks, I’d call it a certainty.

Which means no innings limits! Were you pushing a young pitcher down in the ranks because they weren’t going to get to 180IP or pile up the strikeouts?

At this point, I’m not even counting on Gerrit Cole to hit 180 IP.

So if you have a good feeling about a young, unproven arm, move him up a couple of rounds with confidence.

Trust Past Performance

Lastly, fantasy baseball drafters need to prepare for an absence of new information.

Obviously, spring training stats will be nonexistent for the next two weeks at a minimum. That takes care of getting a read on who might have changed up their swing or pitching mechanics. No more looking at lineups and seeing who has moved up or down the batting order.

The other noted absence will be injury reports. Expect wide variance in how rehabilitation updates are reported during the delay, if indeed they are reported at all.

All of this adding up to fantasy baseball players needing to prepare to make decisions based on less recent information than they’d otherwise feel comfortable with.

Sure, setting too much store in spring stats is a no-no anyway. But it’s not like we’re talking NFL preseason games either. There are trends to track in spring training, and perhaps more than any other sport, that ramping up really does matter. Baseball players are well-oiled machines on the field. Slight changes significantly impact performance.

In light of this, the smartest approach here might be to slightly overvalue veteran producers. Veterans who fantasy players can count on still finding ways to workout, stay sharp and in shape. Of not being thrown off too much by changes in routine. Consistency often wins leagues, and I know I’ll be drafting a few more proven track records over potential risks as a result.

Well, that’s it fantasy baseball fans! Best of luck in your drafts.

Next. Fantasy sleepers per position. dark

And stay safe.