Nick Anderson Injured: What it Means for Rays’ Odds, Plus Fantasy Impact

Nick Anderson Injured: What it Means for Rays’ Odds, Plus Fantasy Impact article feature image
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Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Anderson.

The defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays received some bad news on Thursday with reports that closer Nick Anderson has a partial ligament tear in his throwing elbow. The right-hander will not require surgery, but he is expected to be out until after the All-Star break.

An integral part of the Tampa bullpen since being acquired from the Miami Marlins at the 2019 trade deadline, Anderson was manager Kevin Cash’s most-relied-upon arm during the 2020 postseason. Since joining the Rays, he’s pitched 37 2/3 innings and allowed just six earned runs and five walks while striking out 67 batters.

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Betting Odds Impact: Tampa hasn’t seen a hit to its preseason odds as of yet. Even as important as Anderson is to the Rays’ bullpen, the fact that he’s a reliever makes him unlikely to impact their future odds significantly, if at all. At time of publication, at DraftKings the Rays are +2500 to win the World Series, +850 to repeat as American League pennant winners, and +350 to defend their AL East crown. The latter figure is tied with Toronto and ranks behind the New York Yankees (-200).

Fantasy Impact: Given Tampa’s unconventional bullpen usage, Anderson wasn’t considered an elite option for saves prior to the injury. His absence does surely hurt owners who have already drafted and were counting on Anderson to rack up saves.

What Tampa does at the backend of its bullpen is anyone’s guess, but those looking to replace Anderson should first target Diego Castillo, who introduced himself to the world with a trio of saves during the Rays’ postseason run a year ago. Next in line behind Castillo would likely be Pete Fairbanks.

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