Fantasy Implications Of Late Start

It is looking like the Major League Baseball season for 2020 won’t start until June, and that is looking overly optimistic at this point. The shortened season will have a lot of implications on the regular game but will make you want to take a longer look at your fantasy team.

If you haven’t drafted already, it will be easier to adjust on the fly. If your drafting has already occurred, we will look at some trades and free agent pick-ups that might make sense.

With the season looking to be no longer than 100 games, every game is just a little more important. This means more workload for the top bullpen guys and probably fewer rest days for regular position players.

Doubleheaders will most likely have to be played in some capacity, and this opens up chances for back-up catchers and setup guys who will get save opportunities a little more often.

Late Drafts

If you haven’t already drafted, hopefully, your league waits until they have a start date to set a date and time. Players like Michael Kopech of the Chicago White Sox have a lot more value than they did in a draft in early March.

He would have been on an innings limit and not been starting in the majors until early June. With everything anticipated to start late, there should be no such limitations. The young starting pitcher should help you get strikeouts and be a decent wins guy with the improved South Siders.

Alex Verdugo would have been in a log jam in the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield. Verdugo was sent to the Boston Red Sox as part of the deal for Mookie Betts. While not a top 30 outfielder, he does have more late-round potential with the additional playing time in Boston.

Waiver Pick-ups

Back-up catchers will be getting more looks on Sundays if there are doubleheaders. Victor Caratini, Jason Castro (may win starting job), and Austin Barnes may be worth a pick-up in deep leagues as they can hit when their number is called.

Catchers won’t start both games of a doubleheader, so these guys will see action on doubleheader days.

Relief pitching is always a hard choice once the for sure closers are gone. With fewer off days, relievers that are usually the eighth inning guy will be called on for more save opportunities.

Ryan Pressly of Houston should get a lot of looks and is a decent choice anyways due to his outstanding WHIP and strikeout numbers. Will Smith isn’t listed as the Giants closer, Mike Melancon is, but may very well end up being the guy after a few weeks anyway.

Melancon’s stuff just isn’t as good as it once was, and Smith was outstanding last year.

Seth Lugo, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and Dellin Betances are all interesting choices as well. All pitch in New York and aren’t listed as closers but could get plenty of opportunities themselves.

The big problem here is two of those guys are going to end up third on the depth chart, really limiting their opportunities. Keep an eye on injuries as the season gets ready to kick back up as guys will be accelerating their timelines to try and get themselves ready to go.

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