KFFL answers important fantasy baseball questions about each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the Houston Astros?
How will Houston's move to the Junior Circuit affect fantasy play?
Welcome to the AL
In terms of player performance, the only likely change is that AL West teams, and not NL Central teams, get to beat up on the Astros a little more often each year. Houston's new division can now count two hitter-friendly yards, with the addition of Minute Maid Park, among its regular stops; The Ballpark in Arlington is no longer alone in a sea of very pitcher-friendly venues.
Naturally, the balancing of the number of teams in each league alters the player pools of AL- and NL-only leagues in equal and opposite ways. This development creates the chief issue that might be facing roto, head-to-head and any other type of league that operates with a single player universe.
Your league should have begun preparations when the then-pending move was announced prior to last season, but if not, all isn't lost. Commissioners of AL leagues are likely better off not adjusting the size of rosters in this first year - unless their current construction was already a source of imbalance - and assessing after the 2013 season. Overseers of NL setups may consider subtracting a roster spot, likelier a pitcher's, if they choose to modify at all.
Administrators are probably better off improving prospects in the player pool by a miniscule margin rather than stretching the resources further and risking total disparity in what they simply must accept as a transition year.
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About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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