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20 Things to Watch for in Week 7 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Dennis Sosic | @call_me_sos | Featured Writer
May 22, 2022
Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson is quietly an excellent two-start choice for Week 7.

Welcome fantasy friends and foes to Week 7 of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season.

Unfortunately, we didn’t watch a pitcher’s duel with Max Fried taking on Corbin Burnes. Both pitchers pitched reasonably well, but neither factored in the decision. In his follow-up to his no-hit performance, Detmers came back down to earth by lasting only 3.2 innings and coughing up three runs. Pablo Lopez and Giancarlo Stanton continued their torrid play while Yusei Kikuchi produced in his two-start week for the fantasy managers that streamed the southpaw last week.

Check out what 20 things Fantasy managers need to look for in Week 7.

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1. There will be plenty of busy teams in Week 7.

Fourteen teams are playing seven games, with four teams, including the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, and the Washington Nationals, all enjoying home cooking this week. In contrast, six teams travel all week, including the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Guardians, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fourteen teams are playing six games in Week 7. Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Rays will enjoy home cooking all week.

Only two teams-Chicago White Sox and the Miami Marlins play five games this week. The Chicago White Sox are kind of on the road all week, and they visit Fenway Park for three games against the Boston Red Sox. The last two games of Week 7 see the White Sox play in the Crosstown Classic against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Miami Marlins also play only five games in Week 7.

2-4. Two-Start Sleepers

Tyler Anderson (SP – LAD)

Injuries in their starting rotation have ravaged the Los Angeles Dodgers. Luckily, the Dodgers have a deep pool of starters to pick up the slack, including southpaw Tyler Anderson. The left-hander is 4-0 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while yielding an above-average 30.9 percent hard-hit rate and 21.1 line-drive rate in his seven appearances this season. In Week 7, Anderson will face off the Washington Nationals on Monday, who is hitting only .237 against left-handers. Then, in his second start of Week 7, the lefty will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are hitting a lowly .205 against southpaws. Tyler Anderson is a fantastic streaming option for fantasy managers this week.

Dane Dunning (SP – TEX)

Texas Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning is 1-2 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.21 WHIP across eight starts this season. This week, Dunning has two plus matchups with his first matchup against the Los Angeles Angels. Dunning has already faced off against the Angels twice in the young season, and while he had no-decisions in both games, he pitched reasonably well. He gave up only two earned runs in each outing, totaling 13 strikeouts across 9.2 innings. His second start sees the right-hander take on the worst hitting team in baseball, the Oakland A’s. The A’s are only .206 as a team and have struck out the sixth-most in baseball. Full stream ahead!

Josiah Gray (SP – WAS)

Josiah Gray has been a solid starter for the Nationals this season with a 4-3 record and 4.36 ERA, and a 1.27 WHIP across eight starts. Gray is producing 9.6 strikeouts per nine and has allowed three runs or less in three of his four starts. His Week 7 matchups are a mixed bag, with a date against the Los Angeles Dodgers first, but in his second start, Gray faces off against the Colorado Rockies, who hit only .229 away from the friendly confines of Coors Field.

5-6. Cardinals promote two top prospects

Nolan Gorman (3B, 2B – STL)

Nolan Gorman arrived with a bang with the St. Louis Cardinals. Gorman drilled the fourth pitch as an MLB hitter for a single that was stroked with an impressive 106.8 mph exit velocity. Gorman has gotten increasingly better at every minor league level culminating in smashing Triple-A Memphis pitching to the tune of .308/.367/.677 with an incredible Triple-A high 15 dingers across 34 games. The Cardinals could not resist and promoted Gorman and inserted the top prospect at second base. The promotion also necessitated the move of the struggling Paul DeJong to the minors and Gold Glove second baseman Tommy Edman to shortstop. There is plenty of swing and miss to Gorman’s game, including a 34 percent strikeout rate this season. Admittedly, this causes some hesitation, but his plus power tool should overcome any alarming issues. Gorman will provide a lift to the Cardinals’ offense and is an upgrade for fantasy managers at either of the weak second base and third base positions.

Matthew Liberatore (SP – STL)

Matt Liberatore posted a 3.83 ERA and 46//12 K/BB ratio across seven starts for Triple-A Memphis. He is widely regarded as the Cardinals’ top pitching prospect. The southpaw will seemingly take over for Jordan Hicks, who is struggling with his move as a starter and is 0-3 in six starts with a 4.98 ERA. Liberatore made his MLB debut Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates and turned in an acceptable performance. He allowed seven hits and four runs while striking out three across 4.2 innings. Liberatore will attempt to build upon that performance in Week 7.

7. The Mets lose another ace

The New York Mets starting rotation took another significant hit with Max Scherzer being diagnosed with an oblique strain and will miss six-to-eight weeks. The Mets are already dealing with Jacob deGrom being out until July and Tylor Megill with a biceps injury. As a result, the Mets could look the trade route with a less than imposing rotation of veteran starters Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and Trevor Williams as they tried to hold on to the top spot in the NL East.

8. The Minnesota Twins lose Chris Paddack for the season

Former top prospect Chis Paddack, acquired from the San Diego Padres in April, will miss the remainder of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery this past week. This is Paddack’s second Tommy John surgery; he had the surgery as a Padres prospect in 2016. In five starts, Paddack went 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA with 20 strikeouts across 22.1 innings this season. This is a concerning development for Paddack, who was shut down last September with a slight ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow. Bailey Ober will return from a groin injury and step into Paddack’s spot in the rotation. We may have seen the last of Chris Paddack.

9. Justin Verlander returns to the elite SP

Justin Verlander is ridiculous. Verlander missed almost two full seasons with an elbow injury, yet he is performing as a legit Cy Young candidate this season. The veteran right-hander is MLB-leading 6-1 with an exceptional 1.22 ERA and 0.72 WHIP across eight starts. He owns a 49/9 K/BB ratio, and he is yielding an impressive.161 batting average is among the league’s best with a .198 wOBA. Verlander takes the mound against the Seattle Mariners next week, and I will be ready to see his dominance continue.

10. Should fantasy managers trust Alexis Diaz?

Alexis Diaz, the brother of New York Mets closer to Edwin Diaz, earned a spot on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster by displaying a live arm out of the pen in Spring Training. With the injuries and ineffectiveness of the Reds bullpen, Diaz has received the opportunities in high-leverage situations by Reds manager David Bell and has rewarded the team with a 1.02 ERA with 21 strikeouts across 17.2 innings and earned a save in his first big league opportunity. Diaz ranks among the league’s best with a .178 xBA and 27.5 hard-hit percentage. Diaz is the best option to close out games for the Reds, and he is at worst a short-term closing option for fantasy managers as we head into Week 7.

11-16. Hot or Not

Hot

Kole Calhoun (OF – TEX)

It seems that we are witnesses to improbable hot streaks by Kole Calhoun every season. The left-handed-hitting outfielder did it again last week by slashing .375/.464/1.083. Calhoun clobbered five home runs and knocked in nine runs in seven games. Calhoun will be a hot commodity on the waiver wire this week but don’t be surprised that he is not on many drop lists in the coming weeks.

Trevor Story (2B, SS – BOS)

Trevor Story got off to a slow start with his new team but produced video game numbers this past week. In his last seven days, Story produced a .320/.452/.960 slash with a 1.412 OPS. He scored ten runs on his way to smacking five home runs with 12 RBI and even swiped four bases this past week. Frustrating fantasy managers who were concerned that the move out of Coors Field would be a fantasy detriment can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Nick Pivetta (SP – BOS)

Boston Red Starter Nick Pivetta got off to a shaky start to the 2022 season but was lights out in his two starts this past week. Pivetta went a total of 16 innings, including a complete-game masterpiece against the Houston Astros. He gave up two earned runs on five hits while striking out 12 and gave up only two walks in those two starts. Those fantasy managers who stuck with Pivetta were handsomely rewarded, but he will consistently produce this type of elite production. In Week 7, Pivetta will try to build upon his momentum when he takes on the Chicago White Sox.

Not

Joey Gallo (OF – NYY)

Every fantasy manager realizes plenty of swing and miss to Joey Gallo’s game. However, they also realize there is tons of power with Gallo. Unfortunately, when Gallo is not hitting, he is an eyesore in your fantasy lineups. Gallo has been very cold the past week, getting only one hit in his last 18 at-bats, even though it was a homer. He struck out in half of his at-bats with nine strikeouts. Sometimes fantasy managers have to eat these dismal performances and enjoy the hot streak soon, but this is brutal.

Carlos Santana (1B – KC)

Carlos Santana has been a brutal disappointment so far this season. This past week was no different, where Santana produced only two hits in 23 at-bats on his way to a .087/.222/.261 slash with one homer. His steep decline began a few seasons ago in Cleveland, and Santana is no longer a fantasy asset.

Nathan Eovaldi (SP – BOS)

Boston Red Sox veteran starter Nathan Eovaldi got destroyed by the Houston Astros last week. Eovaldi served up an MLB record-tying five home runs in one inning to allow six earned runs in just 1.2 innings. He will try to recover from that debacle when he faces off against the Baltimore Orioles next weekend.

17. Catcher on the Rise

MJ Melendez is the No. 2 prospect in the Royals organization and was called up with a need for a backup catcher opened up with Salvador Perez hitting the injured list and backup Cam Gallagher. Melendez struggled at Triple-A Omaha, hitting just .167 with a pair of home runs in 21 games. However, Melendez dominated minor league pitching to lead all of Minor League Baseball in home runs with 41. He slashed .288/.386/.625 with a 1.011 OPS, with more than half of his 129 hits (66) going for extra bases. Melendez will take over most of the catching duties and has produced a .286/.348/.500 slash with two homers and four RBI while delivering an incredible 60.0 percent hard-hit rate and 94.7 exit velocity across 14 games. At worst, Melendez will provide rest for Perez when he returns and fill in as a designated hitter. Currently, let’s enjoy Melendez in his first big-league action.

18. Be a Hader

Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader has cemented himself as the top closer in baseball with his dominating start to the 2022 season. Hader is 14-of-14 in save opportunities in 13.1 scoreless innings! The southpaw reliever is yielding a fantastic .047/.146/.070 slash line with a .090 BABIP. Hader also produces a 31.8 percent hard-hit rate and ZERO percent line-drive rate while inducing a career-high 50.0 percent ground-ball rate. Hader is only allowed two hits on the season and has produced a 1.07 FIP while producing his “worst” strikeout rate of 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings since his rookie season. The dominant lefty needs 14 more saves to become the Brewers’ all-time leader in saves, overtaking Dan Plesac with 133. Hader will look to add to that total in Week 7 when the Brewers take on the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals.

19. Tarik Skubal (SP – DET)

On Friday night, the Detroit Tigers southpaw continues his breakout season with five scoreless innings against the Cleveland Guardians. His outing was cut short due to being hit on his leg with a line drive, and the preliminary diagnosis is that it is just a left shin contusion. Skubal is 2-0 with an 0.00 and 0.83 WHIP with a 21/5 K/BB ratio across his 18 scoreless innings in his last three starts. Overall, he is 3-2 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while producing a 50/8 K/BB ratio and 1.97 FIP. One of the main components of his turnaround is that he has kept the ball in the yard. He has only coughed up two home runs across 44.2 innings this season. In contrast, Skubal gave up a whopping 35 dingers last season. Skubal will look to continue his scoreless streak in Week 7 with a tough matchup against the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins.

20. Adley Rutschman begins his big-league career

The Adley Rutschman era has commenced in Baltimore with the call-up of the top prospect in baseball. Rutschman would have made the opening day roster if it was not for a right tricep strain suffered in spring training. The Orioles have eased in their switch-hitting catcher, and he has shined across three minor league levels during his return. He is hitting .309/.427/.515 and .942 OPS along with three homers and nine RBI across 19 games. Rutschman, who was selected as the first overall pick of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Orioles, is the core of the team’s rebuilding efforts and will hope to provide an offensive spark to a bottom ten Orioles offense. The 24-year-old possesses a plus hit tool and has mixed in starts at first base and DH last season in the minors and will look to continue that trend to keep his bat in the Orioles’ everyday lineup. Now the question is: When are the Orioles promoting Grayson Rodriguez?

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Dennis Sosic is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dennis, check out his archive and follow him@CALL_ME_SOS.

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