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10 Burning Questions: Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Luis Robert (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jul 27, 2022
Shohei Ohtani

One of the biggest storylines of the next week or so will be whether or not the Angels entertain trading Shohei Ohtani.

Each and every week, I’ll address 10 burning questions that I’m looking either for answers to during the week or questions that may help fantasy managers navigate the week-to-week grind of their team.

Let’s get to it.

Where will Juan Soto land?

This is probably the biggest question over the next week. The deadline is almost here, and while we are tracking a ton of potential moves that could take place, none are bigger than Soto.

It sounds like it’s almost a definite at this point, and I would personally narrow it down to five teams.

  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • San Diego Padres
  • Seattle Mariners

If I had to say which team it would be in the end, I’ll go with the Padres, though the MacKenzie Gore injury could derail the deal. The team I’d most like to see him go to — besides the Blue Jays, of course — is the Seattle Mariners.

Which pitcher should I target in dynasty leagues?

If you’re coming to grips with the fact that your team may not make a run this year, I wouldn’t wait any longer to make a move with your dynasty team to start looking toward the future. There are many players you can target, of course, but a few arms I’d be looking at who still have a decent buying window are:

How about a hitter?

If you’re like me, you fade pitchers in dynasty leagues and focus on hitters. It’s the safe approach, of course, but you’ll eventually need some arms to compete.

But I prefer to go after older arms who are undervalued in dynasty and load up on studly hitters.

A few hitters I’d look to target in a similar situation are:

Could Shohei Ohtani get dealt?

I’ve been on this wagon for a few months now, and with the deadline a week away, there seems to be picking up steam to a potential deal with Ohtani involved.

But why, you may ask.

Well, his contract is up at the end of next year, and the Angels will have to decide if they want to commit the money it’ll take to re-sign him when they already have Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon on the books.

They can afford it, of course, but will they?

And, what’s more, will Ohtani want to return to a franchise that consistently underachieves despite having two of the best players to ever play the game on one team?

By trading him now, the Angels can maximize the return from a team so that the team gets him for more than a year of control instead of just a one-year or less-than-one-year rental.

I put the odds at low that Ohtani gets moved. Maybe 10-12% this year? But it’s at the point where it wouldn’t shock me but I would be surprised.

Any closers you expect to get moved?

A Pirates blog wrote a, well, optimistic piece about a potential return they could get from the Yankees for David Bednar. It’s not realistic at all, but the idea of Bednar moving is realistic.

First off, his arm may be shot and he may be damaged goods at this point. Plus, a team like the Pirates, who are two years away from contending, shouldn’t be prioritizing a closer as part of their future plans.

So I expect Bednar to move, and I do expect Jorge Lopez to move, too. With the latter, though, I don’t expect him to get moved to a situation where he will be the closer. A high-leverage reliever? Sure. But not a true closer.

The follow-up question that you should be asking me, reader, is who to grab.

Well, it’s easier in the Baltimore bullpen, as Felix Bautista is all but guaranteed to be the next person up for the ninth inning.

As for Pittsburgh, well, I’d like to see Wil Crowe get a shot, but Chris Stratton seems like the most likely pitcher to get slotted into the ninth inning due to service time.

Is Sydney Sweeney the new Babe Ruth?

Sydney Sweeney was in Boston throwing out the first pitch last Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays. I was in Milwaukee, watching a 13-inning game between the Brewers and Rockies.

We are not the same.

Had I known Sweeney was in Boston, I may have chartered a flight. Just sayin’.

But the Blue Jays scored 28 runs on Friday — 40 in the series — which just left a sour taste in the mouth of Bostonians everywhere.

Now, it seems like the Red Sox will be sellers at the deadline instead of buyers.

We know about the curse of the Bambino.

Is this the curse of Cassie Howard? (Sweeney’s character on Euphoria).

Well, the mood around Fenway was anything but Euphoric since Friday, and when players like J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and maybe even Rafael Devers are dealt away, prompting a rebuild since the Red Sox won’t spend the money they have, we’ll look back at it as the moment the tides changed when Sydney Sweeney threw out the first pitch.

The White Lotus moment, if you will.

Which hitter were you most wrong about?

A lot. That’s what’s fun about this. We like to talk about who we are right about so often, but we never own who we are wrong about.

We should! It’s a fun game, and it also helps us improve.

For me, I was wrong about Jazz Chisholm Jr. more than any other hitter. I felt that he had the highest bust rate given his profile, and while the fear was justified, he put it to bed en route to a true breakout season.

It really sucks that he’s injured, and I’m hoping we see him before the end of the season. The price will probably be so high to draft him next year that I’ll be out, but I’ll wish I had a share or two.

What about a pitcher?

Again, a ton. But the pitcher I whiffed on the most – -get it? — is Carlos Rodon.

It wasn’t because I didn’t like him. I did, and I do. But he was shut down last year with a shoulder injury, and the White Sox didn’t even make him a qualifying offer.

The Giants took a chance on a lot of injury-plagued pitchers this offseason, so it fit the mold of what they were doing. But when I see a shoulder injury for a pitcher who has had a lengthy injury history, I tend to fade them.

Chalk this one up to the process not leading to the results.

Who are Some Players Rostered in 50% of Leagues or Fewer I Should Target?

Here are 10 hitters and pitchers who you should add to your watchlist who are available in 21-50% of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).

Hitters:

Pitchers:

What About 20%?

Like above, here are 10 hitters and pitchers rostered in 20% of Yahoo leagues or fewer who should be on your deep-league radar.

Hitters:

Pitchers:

CTAs


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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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