Managing a fantasy baseball team is all about informed decisions. Sure, the occasional gut call can be fun to make, but it’s best to rely on data in order to increase one’s chances of making the proper move.
There’s a bevy of stats out there, but most of what you’ll find is more descriptive than predictive. We’re adept at explaining why something happened, but forecasting what will happen is still a work in progress.
With about one month left in the fantasy baseball season, every move is magnified since there is less margin for error. The problem is, some of the season-long information that we’ve been relying upon to help make decisions up until now is no longer reflecting the true picture of things. With so many MLB rosters having been altered at the trade deadline (not to mention the promotion of several top prospects), stats that painted a reliable picture of things through the end of August may no longer represent reality.
What follows is a review of some of the common matchup information fantasy managers use to evaluate their rosters, be it for pickups or player activation. The focus will be on scenarios that have changed the most since the trading deadline. The cause of the change won’t always be roster-related as a one-month sample is naturally going to be influenced by variance. Sometimes, the quality of opposition over that span affects things such as the percentage of people that effectively use online betting platforms to bet on fantasy football. This is where speculation, and maybe a gut call is required.
Using the New York Yankees as an example, injuries have been a factor but, excluding Aaron Judge, their offense has been in a rut. The numbers say it’s safe to stream pitchers against them. Does your gut agree, or is it concerned that the Yankees might “snap out of it” at any moment?