Apr 2, 2020 - Sports

Fantasy baseball rolls on despite coronavirus-delayed season

Illustration of a baseball player using a digital bat

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Baseball probably isn't coming back any time soon. Fantasy baseball, on the other hand, can still live on. And in that life, interested parties — like myself — have stumbled upon a strategy to adapt to our new reality.

The state of play: Without the pandemic, we'd be exactly one week into the 2020 regular season right now. But with the season delayed, certain players' fantasy values could change drastically.

What they're saying: Jared Diamond and Andrew Beaton explored this idea for the Wall Street Journal:

"Both experts and casual players say this bizarre situation has led them to new strategies that had never previously been considered. Injured players are suddenly a great value. Young pitchers who were going to have their seasons cut short because of team-imposed innings limits are a giant market inefficiency."

My take: I'm in two leagues myself, and though one postponed the draft indefinitely, the other took place as scheduled on March 21. While making my selections, I considered the uncertain, but definitely shortened season.

  • Padres starter Garrett Richards hasn't pitched a full season since 2015 and only returned from Tommy John last September, but when healthy he's shined, so I took a flier on him in the 20th.
  • Orioles slugger Trey Mancini is a top talent, but just two days before our draft he underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor that will keep him out a while. But with plenty of time to recover, a rival manager drafted him pretty close to where he'd been projected to go pre-surgery.

Go deeper: How an inconsistent baseball threatens trust in MLB

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