This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
With April behind us, we now have enough data to compare league-wide stats from this season with the first months of previous years. Here are a few numbers to note:
How much should we adjust our fantasy strategy to account for the changing league? In most cases, not by much. Most changes are small and affect all players similarly. If league strikeouts go up, for example, that means the amount of strikeouts you'll need to win the category will go up, but it also means that nearly every available pitcher should have a slightly higher strikeout rate. If league runs go up, you'll need higher totals to win runs and RBI, but all hitters should see a slight boost to both numbers.
Steals would seem to be a different story, as there's reason to believe that a drop in steals doesn't affect all players equally. Stealing bases is an intentional decision, and much of the drop in steals in recent seasons seems to be coming from players who aren't speed demons not even bothering to steal a handful of bases per season. The top thieves are still running, as the 10th-place finisher in the category