We are exactly one week into the 2022 fantasy baseball season and by now, you should find yourself getting into your daily routine.  Whether it’s right after the day’s MLB games end or first thing the next morning, you should log into Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball or CBS Fantasy Baseball or wherever you house your fantasy baseball leagues and check out the current standings. If it’s a standard roto league, which categories need the most improvement. If it’s head-to-head points, which positions are lagging in production. Make notes. Keep a fantasy baseball diary, if you will. I have found that it works well for me to actually write it down and have the ability to refer back throughout the year. 

Once that’s done, it’s time to keep up on all the latest MLB news, roster changes and, of course, all the latest injuries. I hope reading the Daily Fantasy Baseball Round-Up here on Fantasy Alarm has become a part of your routine as I not only like to try and add insights into the daily current events. Once you’re all caught up, it’s time to look at your fantasy baseball waiver wire and see what’s out there. If you can make daily roster moves and find one necessary, like streaming in a starting pitcher, then go for it. Maybe the free MLB picks and best bets help with some of those decisions. If your waiver wire runs weekly, just make notes so you don’t forget on Sunday. 

However you like to do it, just be sure to stay in your routine. I’m going on vacation next week but will still continue to do this column daily because this is my routine and this is what helps me. Find yours and the season will fly by. Stick with me here and we’ll all be champions by season’s end. 

Now let’s get to the Round Up and get the bad news out of the way first.



MLB Injuries


Blue Jays Outfielder Teoscar Hernández Lands on Injured List with Strained Oblique



The Jays were hoping to avoid an IL stint, but after the MRI on Hernandez’ left side revealed an oblique strain, the team was quick to act. Right now, they’re saying two weeks, but obliques can be tricky so be sure your replacement is someone who is going to see consistent at-bats if you can. Lourdes Gurriel and Bradley Zimmer appear to be the guys who will see the uptick in playing time and I’ll lean towards Gurriel here. Zimmer plays decent defense and has some speed, but the hit tool is lacking. If Gurriel isn’t available, scan the waiver wire’s outfield pool and see. Go category specific as you’re unlikely to find someone of Hernandez’ capability to stuff the full stat sheet.

Side note for those who roster Vladimir Guerrero – you need Gurriel to get hot at the plate. Or Alejandro Kirk. Someone to offer Guerrero some lineup protection. Don’t be surprised to see him pitched around a little now that Hernandez isn’t behind him. I don’t see a huge power drop, but always prepare for the worst.

Jonathan India Leaves Thursday’s Game with Hamstring Injury



Another soft-tissue injury that needs to be closely monitored as the Cincinnati Reds second baseman is going to be a tough one to replace. India beat out an infield single and immediately pulled up at first base. Trainers came out and promptly removed him from the game. Further tests will be run to see if India needs time on the 10-day IL, so stay tuned for more news Friday, but obviously, don’t expect to see him in the lineup. Brandon Drury replaced him in the lineup, but we’re not 100-percent sure how the Reds fill the lineup card out should India miss an extended period of time. Drury could be an option while they could also push Mike Moustakas to second and give Colin Moran some time at third base. Check with the MLB lineups page daily to see how they replace him, but give it a day or two and study the lefty/righty match-ups set by manager Davis Bell.

Detroit Tigers Expected to Sit Javier Báez on Friday



Baez, Ednel when his mom is yelling at him, was a late scratch from Thursday’s lineup after he experienced some discomfort in his right thumb during warm-ups. The team doesn’t believe this to be anything that requires an IL stint, but they will hold him out of the lineup for Friday’s game and have him focus on treatment. Harold Castro is expected to fill in, but he’s really not someone you should rely on if you need an infielder for the day.

San Diego Padres Put Starting Pitcher Blake Snell on 10-Day IL with Groin Issue



Snell is suffering from left adductor tightness, something that pushed him onto the IL last season for a little longer than was expected. He says this issue is much more minor compared to last year’s and claims that he will miss just one start. Obviously, we will see what happens, but in the meantime, top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore will be called up and is expected to start Friday’s game. If he’s available and you can stream starters, it might not be a bad idea to grab him if he’s still available. Gore has plenty of upside and there is also a chance that, if successful, could find a more permanent home in the rotation even when Snell returns. He’s got incredible talent, so even if there are some jitters and he doesn’t dazzle against a tough Atlanta Braves lineup, stick with him. Patience is key here.



Fantasy Baseball Highlights


Be Encouraged by Luis Severino’s Start for the New York Yankees



Yes, Teoscar Hernández was out and maybe Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was bothered by his stitches, but for Luis Severino to come in and shut down this Toronto lineup for five innings was a big deal. Especially after some of the spring issues we witnessed. Maybe he was just shaking off the rust, but to allow just two hits and two walks while striking out six should make you happy if you took that late-round flier on him in your fantasy baseball drafts. If he can post a similar stat line next week against the Detroit Tigers, we’re going to be doing some serious happy-dancing in Fantasyland.

Manny Machado Dominates with Five-Hit, Two-Steal Night



Talk about a game that has fantasy baseball owners drooling. Wow. Machado went 5-for-6 last night against the Braves, hit a two-run home run (his first of the season), stole two bases, scored four times and knocked in a pair of runs. These are the days we dream of, amirite? Machado is now slashing .344/.417/.531 on the season and is just starting to find that power groove, as evidenced by the three doubles over the last six games. He’s also hit safely in six of the eight games this year. A hot streak from Machado is exactly what the Padres need to stay near the top while Fernando Tatis Jr. is out and fantasy owners will certainly benefit as well. 

Shohei Ohtani Struggles on the Mound Thursday



Well, at least it wasn’t a Yu Darvish-like performance, but Ohtani didn’t do any fantasy owners favors by coughing up six runs over just 3.2 innings. Jonah Heim, the Rangers catcher, did the most damage, hitting a grand slam in the second inning and then an RBI-single in the fourth which ultimately chased Ohtani from the game. You can be encouraged by the uptick in velocity we saw – like an extra 2 mph on his fastball – but it looks like he’s still working out the kinks from an abbreviated spring training. He’s got the Astros at Minute Maid Park his next time out, so maybe just leave him as a hitter until he settles in on the mound better.

Adalberto Mondesi Adds Two More Stolen Bases on Thursday



For those in head-to-head points leagues, Mondesi, Raul to his buddies at the bar, and his .217 OBP aren’t doing you any favors. Even if steals are two points each, he’s not stuffing the stat sheet in other categories and helping, so be careful with him. Understand your scoring format. Now if you’re in a 5x5 roto league with stolen bases as a category, it’s a different story. Mondesi’s two steals give him three on the year, but, more importantly, three in his last three games. If he remains healthy, he’s going to compete for the stolen base lead with Myles Straw and should be a huge asset for fantasy. There’s an obvious risk, but in a time where steals remain at a premium, having Mondesi is a major boost in the category.



MLB Rookies


C.J. Abrams Hits First Career Home Run



After opening the season with a brutal 1-for-14 mark, the San Diego Padres top rookie infielder Abrams, Paul to his grandma, finally broke out with his first career home run. And he did it in impressive fashion as it not only came off veteran Charlie Morton, but it was an opposite-field shot he absolutely muscled into the left field seats. His stat line right now is obviously weak, but there’s plenty to love about his upside. He should be owned in all formats at this time, especially because, if he builds off this momentum, he stands a fantastic shot of sticking with the club even when Tatis returns. He can be an exciting prospect to watch, so don’t be sleeping on him.



Fantasy Baseball Closers


Aroldis Chapman Walks His Way to an Early Exit



Don’t be one of those fantasy baseball players who sees Michael King notch a save for the Yankees and immediately look to dump Chapman, Albertin during attendance at school. No, yesterday’s outing was no good as he couldn’t find the strike zone and walked all three batters he faced. King had to come in and bail him out, but this isn’t something that will even remotely affect the bullpen pecking order in the Bronx. Chapman had an off night. That’s it. So just breathe deeply and relax.

One Step Closer to Joe Barlow Closing in Texas?



We all expected Barlow to close for the Texas Rangers this season, but manager Chris Woodward threw the fantasy community a curveball when he said he wasn’t ready to just put Barlow into that role. Apparently easing him into that spot was his plan? Not sure why, but whatever as we are one step closer to Barlow landing the saves with news that Matt Bush is expected to serve as an opener for Friday’s game. That will leave Barlow and Greg Holland at the back end for now and considering Holland’s ineffectiveness during two of his three appearances this year, we just have to hang on a little while longer before Barlow is handed the reins to the ninth inning once again. This is why we tell you not to be hasty with your drops. It’s just a matter of time and we’re only one week into the season.



Friday’s Free MLB Best Bets

Another solid day for my free MLB picks as we saw Sandy Alcantara hold the Philadelphia Phillies lineup in check while the Miami Marlins bats eventually worked over Kyle Gibson for the win. We also hit the over on the total runs for the Padres/Braves game so please remind me to send Manny Machado a gift basket or something. It could have been a perfect day, but Ohtani disastrous outing crushed that dream. At least we knew right away and we didn’t have it drag out. Still another day in the black is the perfect way to start your 2022 MLB betting portfolio.

Yesterday’s Best Bets: 2-1

MLB Season Best Bets: 9-3

Let’s take a look at what bests I like for Friday, April 15.



We’re going to head out to Seattle where lefty Marco Gonzales takes the hill against the Astros for the first time this season. Gonzales routinely pitches to a lot of contact and while the Astros haven’t been lighting it up on the scoreboard lately, they’ve found ways to win games, they’re drawing walks and don’t strike out much, especially versus southpaws. Right-handed bats like Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman hit Gonzales well, as do lefties Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker. I don’t love Jake Odorizzi on the mound, but he should do enough to not let the Mariners get the better of him.

Pick: Houston Astros Money Line (-120 on DK Sportsbook and BetMGM)



The Detroit Tigers have had some schedule to open the season, facing both the White Sox and the Red Sox, so a 2-4 record in those games is understandable. They started up with a win against the Royals yesterday and now have Tarik Skubal on the bump against a team that is sitting on a .254 wOBA against lefties already. Brad Keller had a solid first outing for Kansas City but if the Tigers can chase him early and eat into that bullpen and its 6.67 ERA, they should get us the W here. I’ll happily take the plus-odds.

Pick: Detroit Tigers Money Line (+105 on DK Sportsbook and BetMGM)



I love this match-up between Carlos Rodón of the San Francisco Giants against Zach Plesac of the Cleveland Guardians today. I think both starting pitchers can be solid in this match-up, though how the Giants bats do against Plesac is my biggest question. He looked good in his first outing against the Royals and doesn’t exactly face a lineup all that treacherous. We’re going to lean towards the pitching, at least to start things off. I won’t look to the full game, but I think we can sneak away with a win on the score for the first five innings.

Pick: Giants/Guardians First Five Innings Run Total Under 4 (-105 on DK Sportsbook)



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