As the 2022 MLB season and subsequent fantasy baseball season get underway, emotions are already riding high. No one cares if the sample size is too small. If their team is off to a hot start and they sit atop their fantasy baseball standings, they are unstoppable and ready to accept the trophy right now. If their players are ice-cold and they’re at the bottom, they’re ready to ignore all their fantasy baseball draft research and start blowing up their roster. The cliche of it being a marathon and not a sprint may sound trite, but, believe me, it is 100-percent true.
Patience is your best friend right now. For the most part, everything that is happening around MLB should have been expected. With an abbreviated spring training, MLB managers are going to baby their starting pitchers. It’s just for a start or two. No reason to worry. They’re also, unless they entered the season with a firmly established closer, going to mix and match with their relievers. To you, it’s about who gets the saves. To them, it’s strictly about wins. Sorry. They really don’t care about your fantasy baseball team. MLB rookies are going to struggle, veteran bats are still working on their timing, pitchers are building up their arm-strength and, for many, the weather is too cold after spending the last month in Arizona and Florida. Panic is your worst enemy right now, so be careful. Don’t jump too soon. We’ve seen some amazingly-crafted fantasy baseball teams get blown up early from fantasy baseball waiver wire moves based in frustration and bad trade decisions. Don’t be that person. You have a long way to go here.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Highlights
Alek Manoah Dominates the New York Yankees in his Blue Jays Debut
Toronto’s newest ace was 100-percent as advertised as he held the Yankees scoreless for six innings, allowing just one hit. Now, he did walk four guys and pitched around those free passes, but overall, fantasy baseball owners have to be excited about his prospects for this season. Command isn’t typically an issue for the youngster who posted just a 3.22 BB/9 over 111.2 innings last season and he is also coming off a very strong spring. Perhaps it was first-start jitters and the fact that he was pitching in Yankee Stadium to start the year that had him trying to nibble the corners a little too much, but when he did pound the strike zone, his stuff looked amazing. Manoah was high on our radar throughout the spring and we had him pretty high up in the 2022 fantasy baseball player rankings. If you have him on your roster, you know. If you don’t, he’s going to be one tough guy to trade for this season. Eventually he’ll have a hiccup and that’s when you strike with your trade offer. Until then, enjoy the impending mastery. It’s a fun watch!
Max Fried Has Next Start Pushed Back as Atlanta Braves Transition to Six-Man Rotation
Much to the chagrin of fantasy owners, Braves manager Brian Snitker has been toying with the idea of a six-man rotation for some time, so don’t think Fried’s poor debut against the Cincinnati Reds was the catalyst. Or Huascar Ynoa getting tagged by the Nationals either. OK, maybe it helped expedite things a little bit, but we had a hunch this was coming soon anyway. Instead of starting Tuesday’s game, Fried will be pushed back to Wednesday and we’ll see either Touki Toussaint or Bryce Elder in his place. But both are simply a placeholder as the usual sixth-man will be Tucker Davidson. He, unfortunately, was needed in relief on Monday, so things are getting moved around. The fantasy takeaway here, is that two-start weeks are going to be very few and far between for your Braves starts now, so plan accordingly.
Nick Martínez Debuts with a Gem Against the San Francisco Giants
A lot of people are already asking about Martinez whose last start in the majors was back in 2017. He was a middle-of-the-road starter who never really put it together in the majors, so he went to go play in Japan like most who don’t make it but don’t want to leave the game. He found success overseas during the last four years and now at 31-years-old, he’s taking another shot. The debut was strong as he limited the Giants to five innocuous hits and struck out six, but we’re going to need to see him throw against before we buy into this sudden transformation. He was never a big strikeout guy before he left and few teams have in-depth scouting on him upon his return. If you have the room on your bench to add him off the fantasy baseball waiver wire, then you can certainly take a shot, but I’m not dropping anyone with upside to grab him. He’ll have his issues like everyone else, once the rest of the league makes their adjustments against him.
Taylor Rogers Entrenches Himself as the San Diego Padres Closer
If there was any question as to who would handle the ninth inning for the Padres after their trade with the Minnesota Twins, we have our answer, loud and clear. Rogers needed just 12 pitches to dispatch of the San Francsico Giants on Monday night, earning his third save of the season already. Robert Suarez and Pierce Johnson will hang out in set-up roles as Rogers has solidified himself as manager Bob Melvin’s guy. Over his three appearances, Rogers has allowed just one hit with zero walks and three strikeouts. Melvin is an experienced enough manager to know what he has here, so if he does rest Rogers one night, don’t be freaked out by it. He’s going to be locked in unless there is some real catastrophic mishap.
Michael Lorenzen Shines in his Los Angeles Angels Debut
Here’s a name that seems to be buzzing as people start tagging players as potential fantasy baseball waiver wire adds. Lorenzen allowed just two hits and one run with seven strikeouts over six innings of work against the Miami Marlins and while that was an impressive debut, let’s not forget that Lorenzen is no youngster and there’s a reason he’s been trapped in middle relief throughout his career. Now in his eighth season as a major-leaguer, Lorenzen’s strikeout rate routinely fluctuates, his overall command is average, as evidence by a career 3.70 BB/9 and he’s never been able to sustain success for any real length of time. People are going bonkers because, in addition to his seven punch-outs, he induced nine ground ball outs as well. Listen, if his stuff ever played this well, we’d be in on him, but for now, chalk it up to a good start against a mediocre team in the month of April. A lot more needs to happen before I even think about adding him. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about the Angels six-man rotation. That’s going to affect a guy who is used to pitching multiple times in a week.
Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell Power Up for the Los Angeles Angels
Don’t get your heart all aflutter just yet, but it was great to see both Marsha and Adell get the proverbial monkey off their backs with home runs against the Marlins. Our own Colby Conway has had some very nice things to say about Marsh throughout the spring (He gushed over him during this fantasy baseball best ball livestream) and Jim Bowden backed him up when talking fantasy baseball sleepers on day. We also had some high hopes for Adell as a post-hype sleeper, but got nervous when he opened the season with seven strikeouts over his first nine at-bats. We’re not going to freak out, but this is obviously a positive sign for both. We’ll see how the playing time adjusts once Mike Trout gets back into the lineup, but if both can work themselves into full-time spots, this Angels offense could really kick into another gear.
New York Mets Send Taijuan Walker for MRI After Early Exit Monday Night
After holding the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless for two innings, Walker felt some soreness in his shoulder that had the Mets erring on the side of caution and yanked him immediately. Manager Buck Showalter downplayed the injury and labeled it as a shoulder irritation, but given the team’s history with injured pitchers, the MRI seems necessary here. When we hear results, we will report them immediately, but let’s at least take some solace that it wasn’t his surgically-repaired right knee again. No, a shoulder issue isn’t better, but if it’s just soreness from the start of the season, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Glass is half full, right?
Mike Trout Scratched Monday Due to Stomach Ailment but Might Return Tuesday
Everyone was on pins and needles Monday afternoon when it was announced that Trout was scratched from the lineup, but that he wasn’t going on the injured list. That sent fantasy owners into a panic because we didn’t know what it was and even just the mention of the 10-day IL was nerve-wracking. According to manager Joe Maddon and GM Perry Minasian (I had Jim Bowden text Minasian while we were on the air yesterday) said it was nothing more than a stomach virus. A relief, indeed, if that’s really all it is. Early reports today say that Trout may be able to return to the lineup Tuesday, but stay tuned for the announcement on our MLB Lineups page and see if he’s there. Have a fallback option ready, though.
Corey Knebel Unavailable Due to Flu-Like Symptoms
My original thought was that manager Joe Girardi simply wanted the lefty to close things out on Monday night which is why Brad Hand got the save, but we are now learning that Knebel was battling the flu. We’re going to see plenty of this with the weather change for these players, so don’t go getting your panties in a twist if your guy sits for a day or two. Yes, we’re going to be dealing with a lot of micro-management for some teams and that can be frustrating, but before you get worked up, investigate the reason your guy didn’t play. It could be as simple as this.
David Fletcher Leaves Angels Game with Left Hip Tightness
We don’t have much news on this this morning, but keep an eye on Fletcher’s status this week. He had dealt with this same issue just prior to Opening Day, so perhaps he just needs a little more rest than what he got before. Expect him to be out of the lineup Tuesday and consider him day-to-day until we get more word.
Jesús Sánchez Clubs Two Homers for Miami Marlins
We loved seeing the Marlins give Sanchez the full-time job in center field when they sent Bryan De La Cruz down to the minors and after a 0-for-4 on Opening Day, the rookie has gone 5-for-12 with the two home runs and three RBI. He showed tremendous power potential during his ascension through the minors and then smacked 14 home runs over just 251 plate appearances last year. Perhaps that extra seasoning has helped because this is exactly the type of start we were hoping to see. Keep your eyes on him in the shallower formats as he might be someone you need to add in a standard 5x5 roto league.
Are the Oakland Athletics Trading Starting Pitcher Frankie Montas?
We would assume so, based on the fact that Oakland has basically traded away every major-leaguer with value over the past couple of months. Matt Olson is with the Braves, Matt Chapman is in Toronto, Sean Manaea pitches for San Diego and poor Frankie Montas stands alone wondering where the heck everyone else is. Teams are looking for starters and everyone knows Billy Beane is ready to deal. But he’s going to deal on his terms and that means his asking price is going to be high. The latest rumor had Oakland asking the White Sox for 1B/OF Andrew Vaughn. Understandable given the talent level of Chicago’s second-year man and how he played his way into the starting right field job last year. Not that they won’t eventually make the move given the current injuries to Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito, but for now, Chicago GM Rick Hahn is holding his ground. Expect Oakland’s asking price to remain high and expect a lot of teams to initially say no. But as the season progresses, you’ll see some start to wear down and we expect a savvy Beane to get exactly what he is looking for in a deal.
Tuesday’s MLB Best Bets
Again, for more free MLB betting picks, you can visit Pickswise.com. Having done the MLB best bets and prop bets for Wager Alarm last year, many were asking where they could find mine this year, so here you are. We got off on the right foot yesterday as we went 3-0 thanks to the Detroit Tigers and the pitching mastery of Alek Manoah, so let’s keep that momentum rolling.
MLB Season Best Bets: 3-0
Here’s what I like for Tuesday, April 12:
The St. Louis Cardinals were rained out for their finale against Pittsburgh so they’ve been relaxing at home now waiting for their interleague rivals to show up for a three-game set. Their righty-heavy lineup has already had nice success against southpaws already and will likely jump all over Royals starter Daniel Lynch early. On top of that, the Royals bullpen has already been worked hard and they got beat up bad by the Guardians. I’m not exactly sure how Dakota Hudson fares in this one, but I do know I’m betting on the Cardinals bats.
Pick: Cardinals Run Line -1.5 (+115 on DK Sportsbook)
Pick: Cardinals Run Total Over 4.5 (-125 on BetMGM)
The Diamondbacks were forced to scratch Zac Gallen from Tuesday’s start, so they are moving Madison Bumgarner up a day to face the Houston Astros. This is actually the normal rest for the veteran lefty, so don’t think I’m jumping on this just for that. I’m jumping on this as I have no faith in the Arizona hitters right now and love Luis García in this match-up. The juice is a little high, but here in the early part of the season, we’re just looking to build up our bankroll for bigger bets down the road.
Pick: Houston Astros Money Line (-150 on BetMGM)
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- 2022 Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid
- 2022 MLB DFS Playbooks
- Fantasy Alarm Discord