MLB’s Postponed Season Hasn’t Killed Fantasy Baseball

The delay of the season has given savvy fantasy players a new way to outsmart their competition

Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers is a top fantasy pick. (Dylan Buell/Getty)
Getty Images

Slated to begin last week on March 26, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day has been postponed indefinitely and no one really knows when, or even if, it will be back on the calendar. But, despite that uncertainty, fantasy baseball players are still drafting teams and building their rosters in the hope that MLB will have a season in 2020.

In an interesting twist, the delay to the season has made some players more valuable and made some more expendable, according to The Wall Street Journal

For example, injured players who were expected to miss the start of the season are suddenly a great value as they will likely be healthy by the time baseball gets rolling again. By the same token, the backup players who were slated to start on Opening Day in their places are now fringe fantasy options at best.

Typically fringe fantasy options, young pitchers who were going to have their seasons cut short because of team-imposed innings limits are now looking much more appealing as they may be able to make it through all of an abbreviated 2020 campaign.

A unique situation is the status of two-way star Shohei Ohtani. Limited to serving as the designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels in 2019 after undergoing elbow surgery, Ohtani was not expected to return to the mound until midway through 2020. Now, that could mean Ohtani will be able to toe the rubber at the start of the season.

“Running a fantasy sports team isn’t all that different than running a real-life sports team,” according to the Journal. “The best managers thrive by identifying value. They understand the markets of their respective leagues better than anyone else. And any shift in that market can create new inefficiencies for the savviest general managers to exploit. The postponed start to the season happens to be just that.”

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