RotoWire Roundtable: 60-game Q&A

RotoWire Roundtable: 60-game Q&A

This article is part of our RotoWire Roundtable series.

Our first installment of the RotoWire Roundtable composite rankings for the 60-game season went live Saturday.

The brief Q&A that follows provides a look into the thinking of our four rankers. They will all be elaborating on their responses through articles, podcasts and radio shows in the weeks ahead, and in the meantime questions are more than welcome in the comments section.

Which players did you bump up the most on account of the universal DH?

Todd Zola: Jay Bruce, Sam Hilliard, Austin Riley, Howie Kendrick

Clay Link: I brought Jesse Winker back into my Top 300. A.J. Pollock got a bump. Yoenis Cespedes is the biggest riser for me -- he was not on my 350 but word out of New York is that he will be DHing a lot, and there was at least one glowing report about how he was faring in live BP before camp was suspended.

Erik Halterman: The Cardinals and Mets were the two teams that I saw as having a few too many genuinely interesting players to fit into an eight-man lineup. I moved up a handful of guys on both teams who weren't guaranteed full-time roles.

Jeff Erickson: Sometimes I worked in pairs - because it's not always the player being used as the DH. So, the combination of Tommy Edman and Matt Carpenter got a boost with the Cardinals, similarly Joc Pederson and A.J. Pollock both benefit with the Dodgers (though they still have to account for Chris

Our first installment of the RotoWire Roundtable composite rankings for the 60-game season went live Saturday.

The brief Q&A that follows provides a look into the thinking of our four rankers. They will all be elaborating on their responses through articles, podcasts and radio shows in the weeks ahead, and in the meantime questions are more than welcome in the comments section.

Which players did you bump up the most on account of the universal DH?

Todd Zola: Jay Bruce, Sam Hilliard, Austin Riley, Howie Kendrick

Clay Link: I brought Jesse Winker back into my Top 300. A.J. Pollock got a bump. Yoenis Cespedes is the biggest riser for me -- he was not on my 350 but word out of New York is that he will be DHing a lot, and there was at least one glowing report about how he was faring in live BP before camp was suspended.

Erik Halterman: The Cardinals and Mets were the two teams that I saw as having a few too many genuinely interesting players to fit into an eight-man lineup. I moved up a handful of guys on both teams who weren't guaranteed full-time roles.

Jeff Erickson: Sometimes I worked in pairs - because it's not always the player being used as the DH. So, the combination of Tommy Edman and Matt Carpenter got a boost with the Cardinals, similarly Joc Pederson and A.J. Pollock both benefit with the Dodgers (though they still have to account for Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez), Jesse Winker and Shogo Akiyama for the Reds, and Justin Smoak with Ryan Braun in Milwaukee. 

Are there any general subsets of the player pool that you pushed down on account of the shortened season? If so, why?

Todd Zola: NL Pitchers -- universal DH dampens ratios and whiffs. Platoon players likely to see a little less playing time.

Clay Link: The top few tiers of starting pitching, but more drastically, the closers at large. Volatility is just too great for the requisite draft capital. The closer spot is already the most volatile position in fantasy baseball, and now two or three bad outings could inflate their ratios beyond repair. There simply will not be enough time for everyone to find their level. And while that's true for hitters as well as pitchers, I'm more worried about pitchers generally given the short ramp-up period and the current offensive environment in MLB (ie, Happy Fun Ball).

Erik Halterman: In a short season, players whose primary value comes in stats that are more influenced by luck (like average or ERA as opposed to homers or strikeouts) have a real chance to provide essentially no value, so I moved them down here.

Jeff Erickson: I think like everyone else, NL pitchers have to be pushed down, and I'm a little more wary of prospects on teams not projected to contend. Seeing the Orioles' roster construction on Sunday, for instance, with not listing Ryan Mountcastle on their initial list, has me thinking that they may employ some roster shenanigans in this season.

How (else) does your draft strategy change in a 60-game season?

Todd Zola: Will treat top pitching as always but likely to stay out of the middle tier, looking to churn, churn, churn.

Clay Link: Instead of getting some streaming SPs for my bench in the endgame, I'd rather get some Drew Pomeranz/Daniel Hudson/Corey Knebel types. Highly-skilled relievers and/or possible closers. I'll bide time until I know some of those back-end starters can go five innings.

Erik Halterman: So many strange things are going to happen this season due to the pandemic and the short schedule, so no player should be considered anywhere close to "safe." Might as well double down on the guys for whom you were already willing to put up with plenty of risk.

Jeff Erickson: I'm going to make sure I get a rock solid closer, for sure, and maybe draft three closers in the NFBC Main Event, thinking that it'll be much harder to FAAB a closer with enough time for him to make an impact.

Which player that was injured in the preseason do you feel most confident about returning to full strength?

Todd Zola:  Mike Clevinger.

Clay Link: Eugenio Suarez. Geno is perhaps the most underrated player in baseball and he did not appear in danger of missing too much time anyway before spring training was suspended. There was a market dip when he was injured and it's still below where it should be on Suarez.

Erik Halterman: I'm treating Justin Verlander and Mike Clevinger as healthy, which adds two more pitchers to the top two rounds.

Jeff Erickson: Willie Calhoun, Eugenio Suarez and Yordan Alvarez.

Does the geographical scheduling for interdivisional play affect things for you at all?

Todd Zola: Yes, but until we know the schedule, the actual effect, at least on paper, is still unclear.

Clay Link: It will, but until I know more about the scheduling, I cannot say for sure how much or how little this new 40-20 divisional/interdivisional split will matter. For now, I'm discounting Rockies slightly as the AL West is largely pitcher friendly.

Erik Halterman: The most relevant factor might be that you play two-thirds of your schedule against your own division. Hard not to love the Indians, Twins and White Sox with a third of each of their schedules coming against the Tigers and Royals.

Jeff Erickson: Absolutely - I'm very bullish on Twins hitters in particular, but teams in the Central divisions in particular. If you get 10 games apiece against the Royals and Tigers, that's one third of your schedule. Moreover, with the universal DH, Nelson Cruz doesn't even have to sit on the road against NL teams. Franmil Reyes also gets a nice bump. I'm also fading the weaker teams in the Eastern divisions - Orioles, Marlins and probably the Blue Jays too.

Are there any players you crossed off your list?

Todd Zola: No, but monitoring Carlos Carrasco to see if he is cautious after recovering from cancer (compromised immunity).

Clay Link: I considered crossing Carlos Carrasco off, but after further consideration, I decided to keep him, but in a slot where I know full well I won't get him. If Carrasco were my family member, I probably wouldn't want him to play.

Erik Halterman: Nobody but the injured players (Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Archer) and the suspended players (Domingo German, Michael Pineda) so far.

Jeff Erickson: Besides Mallex Smith? Actually, I probably won't cross him off either, but chances are I'm so low on him that I won't get him. Like Todd and Clay, I'll be super cautious before taking Carlos Carrasco. I was already lower on Blake Snell than the pack - his potential paternity leave seals that I won't be getting him anywhere near his retail price.

Look for another installment of the RotoWire Roundtable rankings in roughly two weeks.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jeff Erickson
Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).
Erik Halterman
Erik Halterman is the Features Editor for RotoWire. He also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Baseball on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.
Clay Link
Clay Link is the MLB Editor at RotoWire. Clay won the overall championship in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational and finished top 10 in the NFBC Online Championship in 2018. He can be heard on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, MLB Network Radio and twice a week on the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast during baseball season.
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
Boston Red Sox Odds To Make The Playoffs In 2023
Boston Red Sox Odds To Make The Playoffs In 2023
Fantasy Impact of 2023 Rules Changes
Fantasy Impact of 2023 Rules Changes
Rookie Pitcher Tiers 1.0
Rookie Pitcher Tiers 1.0
Todd's Takes: Putting a Bow on the Moves
Todd's Takes: Putting a Bow on the Moves