Major League Baseball will return in July for a regular 60-game season, and that means ESPN Fantasy Baseball will be back, too!
In light of the changes to the MLB format for this season due to the coronavirus public health crisis, there are also changes to the ESPN Fantasy Baseball game, optimized to accommodate the shortened season.
Below is a summary of what the changes mean to you and your league.
What will the Fantasy Baseball schedule be like?
In head-to-head leagues, the schedule will consist of nine to 10 head to head periods, depending on the details of the final MLB schedule. The first seven or eight match periods will be regular season matchups followed by two playoff rounds. Four teams will make the playoffs in each league, although League Managers will have the ability to override this schedule setting in private League Managers leagues.
What if my league already has custom scheduling and match configurations?
All head to head leagues, regardless of whether they are recruited or not, will have the same setup schedules applied. If your League Manager league wants to customize your schedule settings, your League Manager can do so on the Fantasy Baseball website.
Some customizations for head-to-head leagues this season could be having no playoffs and crowning a single champion based on the results of 10 match periods, or having nine regular-season matchups followed by a single championship round.
When will the season start?
The start of the Fantasy Baseball season will coincide with the start of the MLB season, probably starting on July 24.
What other game options are available?
If playing in a head-to-head league is less appetizing this year, you can choose to play in one of our season-wide game formats: Rotisserie or Season Points. In both styles of play, there are no match periods, and your team’s cumulative results for the entire season are counted in a single league-wide league table.
Will there be changes to the predetermined highs and lows to account for the shorter season?
Yes. In all season leagues with “game started” highs, they will be reduced proportionally to account for the length of the season. As a result, the default maximum of games started for launchers will go from 200 to 74 games.
In all-season leagues with minimal innings pitched, they will also drop proportionally, from 1,000 to 370.
These maximums and minimums can be adjusted by League Managers in private League Managers’ leagues.
How will positional eligibility affect the shorter season?
If a player plays five games in 2020 in a position where he is not yet eligible, he will gain eligibility in that position. If you play 10 games in that position, you will maintain eligibility in that position in 2021
Does ESPN explain the higher probability that players will end up on the Injured List due to COVID-19?
Yes. For the 2020 Fantasy Baseball season, we increased the default number of IL slots in leagues from one to three. In League Manager leagues, the League Manager can adjust that number to be higher or lower.
Will the business term change?
Yes. The trade deadline will be proportionally delayed in the season. The new default trade deadline will be Friday, September 11 at noon ET.
This deadline can be adjusted by League Managers in private League Managers’ leagues.
When will these changes appear in my league?
Once the MLB schedule is released, we will make the necessary updates soon after.
For additional questions, visit support.espn.com.