Chris Sale Injury Update Creates Serious Uncertainty Around Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Jason Schandl
Chris Sale's elbow injury could downgrade his fantasy baseball outlook for 2020.
Chris Sale's elbow injury could downgrade his fantasy baseball outlook for 2020. / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Last season brought us a down year from Chris Sale. His ERA spiked from 2.11 in 2018 to 4.40 in 2019, his strikeout rate dropped from 38.4 percent to 35.6 percent, and his walk rate climbed from 5.5 percent to 6.1 percent.

There's been hope that he'll bounce back in 2020 though. Last year's strikeout rate was still a nasty number, and his 3.00 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) suggests that he was still pitching at a very high level.

Already dealing with elbow injuries before we even reach Opening Day, however, Sale's fantasy outlook is taking a hit.

According to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) data, Sale has been going on average as the 33rd player (and ninth starting pitcher) off the board in fantasy baseball drafts so far. We haven't been quite as high on him at The Duel, though, as he doesn't crack our top 10 at the position.

It's still too early to panic on this injury. It doesn't look like Sale will be ready for Opening Day, but the upside he offers when he does heal up is going to make him a strong fantasy option yet again.

It's a long season, and missing a few starts at the beginning of the year can be well worth it if that allows you to get Sale at a discounted rate in drafts.

Ultimately, we're still stuck playing the waiting game, however. For now, our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have Sale sitting 46th overall, putting him 11th among starting pitchers.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.