The Z Files: The Schedule's Effect on Player Expectations

The Z Files: The Schedule's Effect on Player Expectations

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

After holding the fantasy baseball populace hostage for almost a week, MLB finally released the official schedule, to a resounding, "Huh?". In retrospect, it makes sense to have an unbalanced home/away split within the 10 games facing a divisional opponent. Otherwise, extended five game series would have been necessary or each team would play four series. The current setup entails three series, hence less traveling. Still, it's odd to play seven home and three away tilts (or vice versa) against a division foe.

As expected, each team will play their natural interleague rival three times, leaving 14 cross league encounters against four teams. The resulting four-game series are split home and road, increasing travel but minimizing further imbalance.

In a 162-game season, less emphasis is placed on adjusting player expectations due to the schedule. The interleague aspect may tilt it one way of the other, but the bulk of player performance going into projections is derived from action facing the same teams, the same number of times each season. Sure, adjustments could be necessary when a player changes uniforms, but that's on an individual basis.

This season is a different story. With play contained within each geographical region, scheduling differences can affect teams and players. Today, I'm going to break down the park effects and quality of opposition influences.

Something to keep in mind is while adjustments are applied systematically, round-off could mask the extent by which the numbers change. For example, 12.4 projected homers is presented as 12 while

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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