Pro Football Doc is the FanDuel Official Injury Expert - Check out his home at Sports Injury Central (SIC) where his team analyzes all of the injury news from the MLB, NBA, NFL and more to assist you with your betting and fantasy sports plays.
Before spring training games got underway, news of Fernando Tatis Jr.'s fractured wrist sent ripples through the MLB season.
His absence obviously affects the Padres season and playoff hopes, but will also have lasting effects on dynasty fantasy baseball leagues, redraft leagues, the MVP race and various betting angles.
The 23-year-old’s left shoulder injury last season and left wrist fracture this offseason may start earning him the label of “injury prone” in some circles, but let’s pump the brakes on that for now.
His recent wrist surgery will likely keep him out until at least late May. Unfortunately, the shoulder will still be a concern as well because Tatis opted to not have offseason surgery on it.
The ProBaseballDocs project that Tatis is in danger of missing an additional two weeks of games if the shoulder injury pops up again. Without surgery to repair the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, the risk of recurrence can only be mildly reduced by rehab and strengthening.
Tatis missed 30 games last season during three trips to the IL for the shoulder. He still hit .282 with 42 home runs in 130 games.
When healthy, he has played at an MVP-caliber level. If drafting a dynasty team, getting Tatis at an average draft position of 49, according to FantasyPros, would be an absolute steal. He may not produce this season, but if he gets shoulder surgery next offseason he will be unstoppable in 2023.
In redraft leagues, Tatis is currently going around 52.6, according to FantasyPros. That’s not terrible value, but his shoulder injury and murky return timeline are big red flags. Most teams would be better off choosing Francisco Lindor or Nolan Arenado with that pick.
Betting (All Odds From FanDuel Sportsbook)
Win Total: 88.5
The Padres, as any team would be, are ill-prepared for the loss of a franchise cornerstone for potentially 3-4 months of the season. Ha-Seong Kim, the 26-year-old former KBO star, will likely man shortstop for the Padres until Tatis returns. Jake Cronenworth, a 28-year-old All-Star selection last season, could also be in the mix for starts at shortstop. However, Cronenworth will likely serve as the everyday second baseman over Jurickson Profar. Either way, there’s no replicating Tatis’ bat in the middle of the lineup and the Padres win total will likely suffer. San Diego finished with 79 wins last season and hasn’t won at least 89 games since 2010.
NL MVP Odds: +3000
The ProBaseballDocs project Tatis may be out up to four-to-six months, rather than the team’s estimate of three months. That’s because the scaphoid bone in his wrist is known for a slower healing process. Although Tatis is known as a fast healer, he’s still likely to miss at least 60 games. That effectively knocks him out of the MVP conversation barring a miraculous season. Brewers slugger Christian Yelich is also available at +3000 and would be a much safer bet from a medical standpoint. In part 1 of this series, we detailed why Yelich could be primed for a bounce-back year. Even Manny Machado at +3500 is a better option than Tatis for NL MVP.
NL Division winner: Padres +350
The last time the Padres won the NL West, Bruce Bochy was the team’s manager and Adrian Gonzalez hit the most home runs on the team. At -220, the Dodgers are the clear NL West favorite this season. They lost the division by one game to the Giants last season, but have since added Freddie Freeman and re-signed Clayton Kershaw. The Giants, meanwhile, are struggling with injuries and have lost quite a bit of starting pitching. Still, at +550 the Giants likely represent a more enticing bet than a Padres team without its star shortstop for at least two months.