Today on Inside Fantasy Sports, we take a look at fantasy baseball and where the hobby stands with the season indefinitely delayed. In mid-March, when the sports world came to a stop, most fantasy baseball players were either getting ready for their drafts or already had them.
Well now, about two months later, many of them that have already drafted think they should be given the option to re-draft their teams since things have changed. Earlier this week, there were rumors of a planned division realignment. If these plans go through, that would change the way many fantasy baseball enthusiasts would have drafted their teams. For example, the proposed MLB West division would include: Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Angels. Each team would only play each other within the division.
A trained fantasy baseball mind would look at this division and immediately point out ballpark factors, such as 6 of these 10 teams play in pitcher-friendly ballparks. This would cause the hitters on the Rockies to play in unfavorable fantasy situations and drive their value down.
Another change would be the designated hitter rule. Since there is no American or National League in this plan, the whole league would have to take on the DH rule. When it comes to young pitchers, many organizations like to set an innings limit. In a shortened season, those limits would go away and those players would be more valuable to fantasy baseball owners.
I have not played in a fantasy baseball league in years, so I reached out to some high-stakes players. Most of them were in agreement that there should not be a re-draft of high-stakes teams. Still, they also said the pandemic and uncertainty is causing them to play in fewer leagues and not take on a heavy financial risk. When it comes to regular home leagues, most commissioners are using a democratic approach and allowing league managers to vote on whether or not to draft again before the start of the season. In the end, fantasy sports are about strategizing your way to victory. A repurposed new format could help savvy owners do just that.