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20 Things To Watch For In Week 2 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Dennis Sosic | @call_me_sos | Featured Writer
Apr 17, 2022
Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw was perfect in his first start of 2022, how will he be able to follow that up in Week 2?

Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Week 2 of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball season.

WOW! What a first week! There is plenty to digest, but we need to get ready for the first full week of the MLB season.

Here are 20 things that Fantasy managers need to look for in Week 2.

CTAs

1. Teams playing six games

We will see 18 teams playing six games this week, with the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners playing all of their games at home.

2. Teams playing seven games

A dozen teams are playing seven games in Week 2. Three teams are getting home cooking all week, including the Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, and the Washington Nationals.

3. Clayton Kershaw’s (SP – LAD) next start

In his first start of the season, Kershaw struck out 13 batters over seven perfect innings and was pulled after 80 pitches against the Minnesota Twins.

There was plenty of discussion about why Kershaw wasn’t left on the mound, but I agree with manager Dave Roberts on this call. It is a long season, and with Kershaw’s injury history, there is no reason to increase risk with the southpaw.

Kershaw and the Dodgers take on the Atlanta Braves in Week 2 action.

4. Cleveland Guardians offense off to a hot start

The Cleveland Guardians’ offense was a question mark coming into the season. However, after the first week of the season, the Guardians led all of baseball with a .308 team batting average. They are the only team hitting above .300 in the young season.

The Guardians also lead all teams with the most hits (70) and RBI (44). The Guardians currently have the top three hitters in average in baseball: Steven Kwan (OF – CLE) (.526), Owen Miller (1B,2B – CLE) (.524), and Jose Ramirez (3B – CLE) (.480).

Cleveland will face tough tests this week when they take on two top 10 pitching staffs in the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.

5. Seiya Suzuki’s (OF – CHC) impressive start

The Chicago Cubs signed the Japanese import to provide an impact bat in the middle of their lineup. Suzuki has lived up to all expectations by slashing .400/.524/1.000 with a 1.524 OPS.

Suzuki has slugged three homers with nine RBI and has earned five walks across his 21 plate appearances. His impressive start is exactly what the Cubs need from Suzuki to be competitive in the NL Central.

6. Alex Cobb (SP – SF) is a priority pickup in a two-start week

Cobb looked sharp in his 2022 debut, earning the win against the San Diego Padres. Cobb went five innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out ten hitters.

On the heels of a 2021 season plagued by injuries, his first start was encouraging. On Monday, Cobb is in line for two starts in Week 2, with the first start against the New York Mets.

7. Steven Kwan, Tylor Megill (SP – NYM), and David Robertson (RP – CHC) were the most added players after Week 1.

Fantasy managers always have FOMO on the next hot fantasy commodity. Sharp fantasy minds project breakout players, but there are always instances in which certain players unexpectedly shine.

There was a mad rush in placing FAAB bids on the Week 1 darlings, including the Cleveland Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan, who is hitting a robust 10-for-19 (.576) with only one strikeout in 19 at-bats. New York Mets starting pitcher Tylor Megill has yet to give up an earned run in his first two starts, pitching 10.1 innings in those victorious outings. Chicago Cubs veteran right-hander David Robertson has emerged as the Cubs closer. Robertson is 2-for-2 in save opportunities and has given up only one hit and zero earned runs across three innings.

The anticipation of viewing their sustainability in Week 2 and beyond is a difference-maker for fantasy managers.

8-11. Injuries

We saw injuries to some key players in fantasy baseball across Week 1. I listed the most significant injuries and the corresponding fantasy implications.

Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS)

The Chicago White Sox took another significant hit to their starting rotation with the news that Lucas Giolito, one of the better starters in the league, was forced to leave the season opener after four innings with abdominal tightness.

Giolito was placed on the Injured List, and the optimistic outlook is that he will miss two starts. However, the Sox were already down veteran starter Lance Lynn (SP – CWS) for at least a month, leaving the White Sox to scramble to step into the rotation.

The White Sox recently signed veteran right-hander Vince Velasquez (SP – CWS), who likely will fill in for Lance Lynn’s turns in the rotation. To fill Giolito’s spot in the rotation, they might have to turn to Reynaldo Lopez (SP,RP – CWS), who owned a 3.43 ERA last season. The White Sox might also give a spot start to the recently recalled right-hander Jimmy Lambert (SP – CWS).

Teoscar Hernandez (OF – TOR)

The Toronto Blue Jays placed outfielder Teoscar Hernandez on the 10-day injured list due to a left oblique strain. The talented outfielder is coming off a 2021 season that saw him hit .296/.346/.524 with 32 home runs and 116 RBI and swiping 12 bases.

Losing Hernandez is a massive blow to the Blue Jays and fantasy manager’s lineups. Plus, oblique strains are tricky injuries, and the extent of the injury could lead to a lengthy absence.

In Hernandez’s absence, the Blue Jays will turn to Raimel Tapia (OF – TOR) and Bradley Zimmer (OF – TOR) to take over in right field. Both players were acquired in offseason trades and are worth monitoring for who steps up and earns the starting nod for a steals source while Hernandez is out.

Danny Jansen (C – TOR)

Danny Jansen started the first three games at catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Jansen was hitting .571 with two dingers before suffering a left oblique strain during his final at-bat during opening weekend. An MRI revealed a severe strain that could result in Jansen missing several weeks.

Alejandro Kirk (C – TOR) will shift to taking over behind the plate as the everyday catcher after playing DH on the opening weekend. The guaranteed at-bats for Kirk should raise his roster percentage over the current 40 percent mark.

Blake Snell (SP – SD)

Blake Snell was scratched from Sunday’s start after experiencing tightness in his abductor and was not comfortable while playing catch. As a result, Snell was placed on the Injured List, and he will miss at least ten days. Top Prospect MacKenzie Gore (SP – SD) will take his spot in the rotation and started on Friday night.

Gore made his MLB debut on Friday night against the Atlanta Braves resulted in a no-decision. The southpaw gave up three hits and two earned runs while striking out three across 5.1 innings in an encouraging outing.

12-15. Encore! Encore!

Some pitchers produced a special outing that renewed faith or confidence for a post-hype pitcher. But can those pitchers continue their rise to fantasy relevance?

Jesus Luzardo (SP – MIA)

Everyone was projecting for the southpaw to shine. In his first start of the season, Jesus Luzardo looked like the ace. Luzardo allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out a career-high 12 over five innings against the Los Angeles Angels.

Luzardo is coming off an impressive Spring Training where we saw upticks in his fastball and refinement of his pitches. On Tuesday, the southpaw will look to build upon his impressive first start when he takes on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Tylor Megill (SP – NYM)

Megill is one of the biggest surprises of the 2022 season. On Opening Day, Megill dominated the Washington Nationals across five scoreless innings. He recorded six strikeouts, including hitting 99 mph on the radar. The right-hander followed that impressive outing in his season debut with another gem. Then, he posted another scoreless outing, going five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. He struck out five batters, zero walks, and allowed just three hits.

Megill takes the mound on Monday against the San Francisco Giants. The right-hander was the most added pitcher after Week 1. Hopefully, you outbid everyone in your league for his breakout.

Taylor Rogers (RP – SD)

Taylor Rogers was traded to the San Diego Padres from the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day, and the Padres have to feel pleased in securing the 31-year-old left-hander.

Rogers is 3-for-3 in save opportunities on the young season. He has pitched three scoreless innings and has allowed only one hit while striking out three hitters.

The Padres should provide Rogers with plenty of save opportunities, and Rogers will continue as one of the game’s best closers for the rest of the season.

Kyle Wright (SP – ATL)

Kyle Wright won the final rotation in the Braves rotation by pitching seven scoreless innings in spring training. In his first start this season, Wright produced an excellent outing. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out six across six shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds. The right-hander was a popular waiver add and awarded those fantasy managers with another productive outing.

Wright strikes out nine in his second start while giving up two runs across five innings against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. Wright will look to build upon his two impressive starts next week and continue to reward those fantasy managers.

16-18. Sneaky two-start pitchers

Matt Brash (SP – SEA)

Matt Brash is one of the top prospects in the Mariners organization and was trending in fantasy circles after a dominant spring training. He posted an outstanding 0.96 ERA with a 12/2 K/BB ratio across 9.1 innings, which was enough to win Brash the fifth starter job coming into the 2022 season.

Brash allowed two runs on four hits in his MLB debut and struck out six across 5.1 innings against the Chicago White Sox. However, he exhibited enough potential to be a good bet to be a solid starter in the big leagues.

Brash will face a tough test with the Houston Astros in his first start of the week. After that, he will be on the road against the Kansas City Royals in his second start. As a result, I am hesitant to place Brash in my starting lineup this week, but I will monitor his fantasy production in his two starts for possible future fantasy impact.

Josiah Gray (SP – WAS)

Josiah Gray was a hyped-up prospect in the Dodgers organization, and a trade to the Nationals offered him the opportunity to get consistent starts in the big leagues. But, like most young pitchers, Gray deals with inconsistency issues.

Gray struggled in his 2022 debut by allowing four runs on eight hits across four innings against the New York Mets. However, he performed better in his second start, giving up only one hit while striking out five in five scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves.

This week, Gray has the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants on tap. His upside and potential are there. Fantasy managers will hope to see him blossom next week.

Jordan Hicks (SP – STL)

Fantasy managers haven’t seen Jordan Hicks in almost two years, but the Cardinals named him their fifth starter for the 2022 season. Hicks looked practically unhittable at times during spring training while working on a lethal sinker.

Hicks picked up his first win since May 2019 when he came on in relief last week. He averaged 97.6 mph on his fastball while striking out two batters across two innings.

Hicks will make his first MLB start against the Miami Marlins for one of his two starts next week. In his second start of the week, the right-hander is projected to take on the Cincinnati Reds. He might be just the “opener,” but it will be exciting to see what Hicks will do with his starting assignments.

19. C.J. Abrams (SS – SD) makes his first OF start

Abrams made his first career start in right field on Friday, hoping that it will get the 21-year-old prospect going. Abrams is slashing only .105/.190/.263 but did hit his first career home run on Thursday. In addition, Abrams did work in the outfield in spring training in preparation for his eventual placement.

The Padres want Abrams in their daily lineup, so they are mixing it up and will give Abrams time to make an impact on the Padres offense.

20. Byron Buxton (CF – MIN) – NOT AGAIN!

On Friday, Byron Buxton left the game with an apparent right knee injury while sliding into second base. After the game, he went for an MRI exam, and there were no updates on his status.

This past weekend, the talented outfielder created a buzz by hitting three moon-shot homers, although he is hitting only .217 on the young season.

The Twins and fantasy managers are crossing their fingers.

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