It’s been a little while since I’ve jumped into the Fantasy Baseball Round-Up, but with today being Riley Greene Fantasy Baseball Day, I thought I would make a quick appearance. The MLB top prospects train comes running through the station again, and if you remember what we discussed back in March, you would understand why we are so excited to run to the MLB Lineups page and find that Detroit Tigers lineup. Greene was very much on my radar back in spring training and I truly believe that had he not suffered from a fractured foot and landed on the MLB injured list, the Tigers may have gotten off to a much different start in the 2022 MLB season.

Now, keep in mind, the rest of the MLB top prospects to appear this season have had their struggles. Greene’s teammate and partner in crime for the spring, Spencer Torkelson, struggled out of the gate. So did Bobby Witt Jr. Even pitchers like Hunter Greene and George Kirby needed to work out a few kinks before fantasy baseball players could fully trust them. So don’t go into some crazy panic should Greene not tear the cover off the ball immediately. Ideally, we’d like to see him absolutely destroy the Texas Rangers pitching today, but give him a little time to get his feet wet and we should start seeing results.

Now let’s check out some of the other recent MLB highlights and news.



Fantasy Baseball News


Milwaukee Brewers Closer Josh Hader Out Until Monday



Thankfully, there’s no injury here – just paternity leave. The Brewers are giving their ninth-inning fireman a few extra days to be at home with his wife and child, so don’t expect to see him on the mound until Monday when the Brew Crew hosts the St. Louis Cardinals. Devin Williams will continue to handle the save opportunities this weekend. If you caught any of the Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursday, you would have heard one hell of a debate between me and Jim Bowden regarding the drafting of closers. Jim kept cherry-picking injured top closers like Liam Hendriks and Aroldis Chapman to speak out against it, but Hader’s 19 saves in 20 chances? He didn’t go near it. Listen, it’s not a move I like to do in drafts either, but Hader’s performance over the years is certainly proof that it’s a very viable strategy. A third-round pick is a big investment, but it is certainly not a waster when you have a talent like the Brewers have here.

Do the San Diego Padres Keep Starting MacKenzie Gore?



For the time being, the answer is yes, but after allowing eight runs over four innings to the Rockies, I’m not so sure. Yes, fine, it was in Colorado, but Gore has now given up 14 earned runs over his last two starts (6.1 innings). The Padres still have him scheduled to face the Phillies for his next start, but don’t be surprised to see a quick hook and potential demotion to the bullpen for the 23-year-old southpaw. The Phillies have been hitting left-handed pitching pretty well all season an they’ve been on a ridiculous tear since firing Joe Girardi. If you’ve been streaming Gore, I would probably keep him on the bench for this next outing.



MLB Injuries


Los Angeles Dodgers Expect Mookie Betts to Miss the Weekend



You can at least breathe a sigh of relief as x-rays came back negative and Betts’ rib contusion is legitimately nothing more than that. Tests showed no fractures and no structural damage, so while the outfield collision looked bad and caused them to scratch their superstar from Friday’s lineup, we do not expect an extended absence. Bullet dodged.

Seattle Mariners Almost Lose Veteran Justin Upton



I was just as surprised as anyone when the Mariners called up the 34-year-old outfielder, but seeing him get plunked in the head by Michael Lorenzen on Friday was not the debut anyone was hoping for. He’s gone through all the concussion protocol testing and is apparently doing just fine. Manager Scott Servais said that he even believes Upton could serve as the Mariners designated hitter on Saturday, so keep an eye on the MLB lineups page just to make sure. I’m not in on Upton for fantasy baseball purposes, even in a streaming sense, but for those in super-deep or AL-only leagues, you can certainly keep an eye on him and see how many at-bats he actually gets.

Is Stephen Strasburg’s MLB Career Over?



You never like to see a player go down like this, but that’s what happens when the injury bug routinely takes a big bite out of you. Strasburg was placed on the IL on Tuesday with a stress reaction in his ribs, but many are pointing to a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome. There is no timetable for his recovery right now as the Nationals are going to take things very slowly, but this does not look good. I don’t want to throw the “I told you so” in there, but for those who routinely insist on stashing injured players, believing they are going to be at some future advantage, Strasburg was hardly the candidate you should have been looking at and now he could be done for his entire career. 

Tim Anderson Should Return to the Chicago White Sox on Monday



After going 1-for-4 with an RBI during Friday’s Triple-A rehab games, Anderson is now expected to return to the majors as early as Monday. Be sure to get your fantasy baseball roster adjustments in. The shortstop is now batting .333 over four games during his rehab and the White Sox are going to get him back on the South Side as quickly as they can. They’ve missed his presence in the lineup, not to mention the .356 average with five homers and eight steals. Two more days in the minors to ensure the groin is full healed will do the trick. Happy Monday!



MLB Top Prospects


Are Esteury Ruiz and Oneil Cruz the Next to Arrive


It’s amazing to see how many mainstream people are prospect hunting these days. Our own Matt Selz does an outstanding job unearthing the gems in his Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report, but very time he gives you a name, you all ask for more. With the news of Riley Greene’s promotion, everyone now wants to know when Cruz and Ruiz will make their appearances, as if the current youth movement never happened. Well, I hate to disappoint you all, but both Cruz and Ruiz are still going to be a little while. Let’s start with Ruiz who was literally just promoted to Triple-A. I understand the Padres outfield is a mess, but this kid needs some time and seasoning, even though, he’s already slashing .450/.560/.800 with four home runs through his first 10 games at the new level. The coaches want to see how he handles the adjustments pitchers are going to make before they just throw him into the big-league fire. He’s also not on the 40-man roster, something people don’t often consider. The Padres would have to demote someone off the 40-man and, in many cases could lose the player to waivers, depending on contracts and team options. So while keeping him on your radar is great. We’re going to need to see a little more before he gets the call. As for Cruz, we all know the Pirates are never in any sort of a rush to bring up their prospects. The gigantic 23-year old is still learning to play the outfield and is batting just .232 over the first 53 games this season. He’s cut the strikeout rate to under 23-percent which is a big positive, but the Pirates feel like he needs a little more seasoning. Again, for them, it’s all about money and service time and while MLB has tried to incentivize teams to bring up their kids, the Pirates do not believe his current level will have him in the top voting for NL Rookie of the Year which means no extra draft picks. We can remain hopeful but it looks like MLB needs to incentivize the Pirates just a little bit more. 



Saturday MLB Best Bets for Today

I’ve been throwing these into the Fantasy Alarm MLB Discord since I handed off the Round-Up to the rest of the team, but since I’m here right now, why not? I had a real nice week, hitting a beautiful four-team parlay (not something I recommend doing on the regular, but every so often, it’s fine) and went 10-3 heading into last night’s action. Unfortunately, yesterday did not go as planned as two powerhouse offenses – Braves and Dodgers – decided to take the night off. Still, we are in fantastic shape for the weekend, so let’s check out for today.

  • Yesterday’s Best Bets: 1-2
  • MLB Season Best Bets: 71-47-1


While a Yankees/Blue Jays series in Toronto has all the earmarks of being an explosive game, seeing Alek Manoah and Jameson Taillon on the mound for a daytime game gives me pause when looking at the offense. Instead, how about the fact that Manoah has allowed just one run over 12 innings against the Bronx Bombers while Taillon has seen the Jays three times this season already and has a 2.76 ERA with 14 strikeouts over 16.1 against them? The Jays bullpen has been a little shaky lately but the Yanks pen has been rock-solid over the past week. I’ll look to the game total here.

Pick: Yankees/Blue Jays Total Runs UNDER 8.5 (-120 on Caesars Sportsbook)



While the offenses for Arizona and Minnesota have not been at their best in recent games, this match-up of Dylan Bundy and Luke Weaver could be the cure for both teams. Weaver, who owns a career 4.64 ERA and has been a punching bag for a few seasons now isn’t even stretched out properly. He’s thrown four big league innings this season and has a 4.91 ERA. Meanwhile, Bundy has allowed 13 earned runs over his last 12.1 innings (three starts) and continues to struggle to keep his ERA under 6.00 for the year. 

Pick: Diamondbacks/Twins Total Runs OVER 9 (-120 on BetMGM)



The Phillies are 14-2 since firing Joe Girardi, they just swept yesterday’s double-header and have scored 23 runs against the Nationals during this series. Their offense has been cruising and Washington is throwing Josiah Gray and his 4.33 ERA. Single-team run totals has been my undoing the last two days with the Dodgers and the Braves, but it’s just too difficult to pass up here, I think. How do you not lock in a team’s run total after they’ve averaged 6.4 runs per game over their last 16?

Pick: Philadelphia Phillies OVER 4.5 runs (-135 on BetMGM)



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