With commissioner Rob Manfred set to impose a 60-game schedule, it looks like baseball will be back for 2020, but it'll take on a different form than it ever has before. You see, 60 games is only about two months of action — a little more than one-third of the typical full-length season — and that will actually change how the game is played. And certain players will be impacted more than others.

Normally, these "winners and losers" columns are framed for the superlative, as in biggest winners and losers, but that's not what I'm doing here. Instead, I've opted for the most representative winners and losers. They demonstrate what kind of player will benefit or suffer from this delayed, bite-sized season.

For each example, I've listed several others who are "in the same boat," so really, it's a lot more than just five winners and losers. You're welcome.


The most obvious beneficiaries are the ones who simply had time to get healthy after looking like they'd miss a significant portion of the season. Among them, the biggest riser is Rich Hill, who went from being a complete afterthought when he was projected to miss half the season to one of the most sought-after sleepers now that he's expected to be full-go. A 3.30 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 10.7 K/9 over the past three seasons has a little something to do with it. 

Others in the same boat: Justin Verlander, Mike Clevinger, James Paxton, Shohei Ohtani, Willie Calhoun

With rosters expanded, service-time considerations simplified and the schedule shrunk, prospects who were on the verge of making the club are now almost assured a spot. That's especially true for Nate Pearson, who was making major-league hitters look silly in Spring Training 1.0 with his 80-grade fastball and wipeout slider. The Blue Jays figured to take it easy with him after he threw just 101 2/3 innings last year, but now that he has no shot of matching even that modest total, the fifth starter spot should be his.

Others in the same boat: Dylan Carlson, MacKenzie Gore, Nick Madrigal, Spencer Howard, Ryan Mountcastle

This one goes out to all the pitchers who would have faced obvious workload restrictions over a full-length season but are now on equal footing since no one will have a chance to accumulate a worrisome number of innings. A pitcher like Jesus Luzardo, who has a bright future but limited experience and some recent health problems, still figures to have a quicker hook than a more established pitcher, but if he's able to make the same number of starts, his ratios should set him apart.
Others in the same boat: Tyler Glasnow, Zac Gallen, Julio Urias, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, Shohei Ohtani, Nate Pearson

The DH is coming to the NL for at least this season as an additional health measure for pitchers, which means certain NL hitters with questionable playing time outlooks are suddenly destined for full-time roles. Wil Myers is among the more interesting of them both because of his low average draft position (285th overall, according to FantasyPros) and his ability to impact the home run and stolen base categories, which he has continued to do even as a part-timer the past two years (18 homers and 16 steals in 490 plate appearances last year).
Others in the same boat: J.D. Davis, Austin Riley, Garrett Hampson, Aristides Aquino, A.J. Pollock, Dominic Smith, Dylan Carlson

To limit travel, teams will play most of their games in their own division, which is particularly good news for teams in the AL Central, the only division with two clubs (the Royals and Tigers) in the early stages of a rebuild. Twins pitchers figure to see some of the biggest benefit, given that they're backed by the division's best lineup and bullpen. Kenta Maeda was already expected to make a splash after delivering outstanding ratios while being underutilized with the Dodgers the past few years.
Others in the same boat: Jake Odorizzi, Mike Minor, Jose Urquidy, Franmil Reyes


Miguel Andujar, a good player with the misfortune of playing for a team with even better players, looked like he'd have a chance to contribute without interference at the start of the year, what with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both nursing injuries. But now they're presumably healthy, and the Yankees have to be more particular than ever about who they give playing time, given how few games there are. Andujar has some shortcomings, the most obvious of them being defense.
Others in the same boat: Alex Wood, Nick Solak, Mike Tauchman 

Will Smith is the most talented pitcher in the Braves bullpen and the one many expect to inherit the closer role once the incumbent Mark Melancon falters. But the shorter the season, the less time Melancon has to falter — and the earlier he'll need to falter for Smith to have time to make a reasonable contribution.
Others in the same boat: Scott Oberg, Hunter Harvey

But wait, didn't I mention for Miguel Andujar just a minute ago that Aaron Judge is presumably healthy now? Yeah, presumably, but his injury — a stress fracture in his rib that dates back to last fall — is the kind he could re-aggravate when he begins baseball activities, like swinging a bat. Things could unravel for him pretty quickly, and there wouldn't be as much time to recover if they did. Surgery remains a possibility.
Others in the same boat: Blake Snell, Yordan Alvarez

Pitchers who derive their value mainly through accumulation won't be able to distance themselves in that way over a partial season. They may still pitch deeper into games more regularly, but their ratios appear more suspect when they don't have an obvious workload advantage over more dominant types like Tyler Glasnow and Jesus Luzardo. Zack Wheeler, being a high-priced pitcher with a middling ERA and WHIP, is a fitting representative here.
Others in the same boat: Trevor Bauer, Jose Berrios, Madison Bumgarner, Eduardo Rodriguez

While a shorter season opens the door for prospects already on the verge of breaking through, the ones with something more to prove in the minors, like Jo Adell, won't have a chance to prove it with minor-league play off the table for 2020. And even if there turns out to be some way Adell can demonstrate his progress on the taxi squad, earning a promotion, there likely wouldn't be time to establish himself as a Fantasy asset.
Others in the same boat: Alec Bohm, Wander Franco, Jarred Kelenic, Casey Mize, Joey Bart