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20 Things to Watch for in Week 14 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

20 Things to Watch for in Week 14 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Week 14 of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season.

Get ready to finish strong in the first half of the MLB season by looking at the biggest news stories, two-start recommendations, and streaming options for Week 14.

Find out those fantasy nuggets and a whole lot more in the 20 Things to Watch for in Week 14 Fantasy Baseball.

1. Week 14 Schedule Highlights

13 teams will play seven games in Week 14, highlighted by the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Texas Rangers playing all seven games at home this week. There will be 14 teams that will play six games, highlighted by the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Washington Nationals enjoying home cooking all week. The Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels, and the Los Angeles Dodgers will only get on the field for five games in Week 14, with the Angels playing all five at home at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

2. Ohtani continues to amaze

Shohei Ohtani was dominant in his last start, striking out 10 over seven innings, allowing two hits and one unearned run. In addition, he helped his cause, going 1-for-4 with a two-run single in getting the victory over the Miami Marlins. Ohtani continues to be the ultimate cheat code and is putting up impressive numbers on the mound and at the dish. Ohtani is now 8-4 on the season with a 2.44 ERA and 0.99 WHIP to go along with a 12.3 K/9. The right-hander has also improved his control, as evidenced by his career-low 2.2 BB/9 and 2.43 FIP. At the plate, he is slashing .258/.345/.493 along with a .838 OPS. He is among the league leaders in several categories, including home runs (18), RBI (53), and runs (48). His StatCast page looks like a Christmas tree with the amount of red indicating that Ohtani is within the top five % among several batting stats. In Week 14, Ohtani will take the mound against the Houston Astros, which will be an intriguing matchup. He has faced the Astros twice this season during the first week. Ohtani gave up only one earned run and allowed five hits while striking out 21 across 10.2 innings. Baseball fans everywhere should make a point to tune in for this matchup.

3. Liam Hendriks returns

The Chicago White Sox welcomed their closer, Liam Hendriks, off the injured list due to a right forearm strain. Hendriks, who led the AL with 38 saves last season, was tied for the AL lead in saves when he was placed on the IL on June 14. Hendriks converted 16-of-19 save opportunities this season with a 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 12.97 K/9. His return fortifies the White Sox’s bullpen and pushes fill-in closer Kendall Graveman back to the setup role. Graveman has pitched well in the closer role with a 2.34 ERA and five saves. The arrival of Hendriks will help the White Sox attempt to climb the AL Central standings as they continue to chase the Cleveland Guardians and the division-leading Minnesota Twins.

4. Yankees’ closer situation

New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman returned to the mound after being out of action for five-plus weeks due to a left Achilles injury. Chapman walked all three batters he faced and was charged for two earned runs against the Cleveland Guardians. The southpaw flamethrower was struggling before his trip to the injured list, and he looks like no sure thing any longer. His performance confirms that his time may have just run out. Luckily, the Yankees have other relievers who have stepped up this season. Michael King has compiled a strong 5-1 record with a 2.23 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 60 strikeouts across 44.1 innings as a setup man in high-leverage situations. Right-hander Clay Holmes has cemented himself as the team’s closer with a 4-0 record and a ridiculous 0.47 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. Holmes has struck out 39 batters in 38 innings and has produced 16 saves and seven holds this season. Holmes is the closer for the New York Yankees and a dark-horse candidate for the AL Cy Young Award.

5. Mad Max is Back

Mad Max Scherzer is back! His return to the New York Mets was like he never left. Max Scherzer last started on May 18 due to an oblique strain, but he looks as dominant as ever. Scherzer struck out every Cincinnati Reds batter at least once on his way to a season-high 11 strikeouts. He pitched six scoreless innings but was forced to settle for a no-decision with the Mets’ offense unable to solve rookie Reds southpaw Nick Lodolo. The Mets have to be excited about the second half. They remain in first place in the NL East even though their starting rotation has been pieced together with Scherzer and Chris Bassitt out for an extended time. Bassitt should return this weekend, and the Mets are also hoping to get Jacob deGrom back soon as well. DeGrom was dominant in his first rehab start, striking out five of the six batters he faced across 1.2 innings. In his second rehab start, DeGrom went three innings, gave up three hits, and struck out six. The Mets are on pace to win 100 games, and with their rotation taking shape, they look like a great bet to reach that mark.

6. Schwarber HR Party

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber has been on quite a home-run barrage since last month. The lefty slugger smacked 12 home runs in June to go along with his .272/.385/.680 slash and 1.065 OPS across 27 games. Not to be outdone, Schwarber started off July with consecutive two-homer performances against the Washington Nationals. He currently leads the National League in home runs with 27 and is only three behind Aaron Judge to take over the MLB lead. The Phillies are getting precisely what they envisioned when they signed Schwarber this past offseason. It will be exciting to witness what power numbers Schwarber will produce the rest of this summer.

7-9. Full Stream Ahead

Triston McKenzie (SP – CLE) vs. Detroit Tigers

The Guardians right-hander is coming off two excellent consecutive starts. McKenzie has pitched 13 scoreless innings while giving up four hits on his way to two victories. In Week 14, McKenzie will take the mound against the Detroit Tigers, who are only hitting .218 against right-handers this season, the second-lowest mark in the league.

Jake Odorizzi (SP – HOU) vs. Oakland A’s

This is a hunch play against the worst hitting team in baseball. Odorizzi got rocked by the Kansas City Royals in his first start since May. However, let’s assume he was shaking the rust off, and the veteran right-hander finds success against the A’s.

Mitch White (SP – LAD) vs. St. Louis Cardinals

White is the ideal streaming option. He has a great team behind him and is a solid pitcher who has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any of his 12 starts this season. As a result, White is worth a speculative start in Week 14.

10-12. Two-Start Recommendations

Merrill Kelly (SP – ARI)

The Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander will face off against two bottom-half offenses in the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres this week. Kelly is coming off two consecutive solid outings, including one against the Giants, where he went 6.1 innings, surrendering two earned runs on two hits while striking out six in a no-decision game this past week.

Miles Mikolas (SP – STL)

His 5-7 record is not intriguing, but Miles Mikolas giving up three earned runs or less in six consecutive starts should make fantasy managers interested. His underlying numbers (19.67 K%) don’t wow you, but his 2.72 ERA and 0.99 WHIP should provide promise that Mikolas will succeed in his two starts this week against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.

Spencer Strider (SP – ATL)

Strider has been dazzling in his last three starts, giving up a total of only one earned run across 18 innings. Additionally, he has struck out 30 batters while walking only three. His matchups this week are not ideal as he takes the mound against the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. However, notwithstanding the matchups, it is hard to ignore the success lately for Strider.

13. Chris Sale set to return

The Boston Red Sox are currently in possession of one of the three AL Wild Card slots, even though their starting rotation has been decimated with injuries. The Red Sox have three starters on the injured list: Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Whitlock, and Rich Hill. As a result, the Red Sox have turned to promote Chris Sale to make his season debut this week against the Tampa Bay Rays. Sale pitched across three minor league levels while working back from a stress fracture in his right ribcage. In his four appearances, Sale pitched to a 2.38 ERA and 1.50 WHIP along with striking out batters at an alarming 15.1 K/9. The 33-year-old southpaw is projected for two starts next week, but both are tough matchups with the Rays on Tuesday and his second start against the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, Sale will have zero time to shake off the rust, so temper your expectations. However, Sale is a prominent fantasy-relevant pitcher heading into the second half of the season.

14. Nolan Jones arrives!

The Cleveland Guardians have lost seven of their last 10 games and were looking for a spark and found it in Nolan Jones. Jones was hitting .311/.517/.500 at Triple-A and was promoted to fill in in right field for Oscar Gonzalez, who has an injury. Jones blasted his first big-league home run into the fountains at Kauffman Stadium against the Kansas City Royals, traveling 457 feet. Maybe Jones can provide an offensive boost for the Guardians, who were hitting .243 as a team. Look for Jones to see plenty of at-bats in the Guardians’ lineup after the All-Star break.

15-20. Hot or Not

Hot

Michael Harris II (OF – ATL)

Michael Harris has emerged as a catalyst for the Atlanta Braves, including his performance this past week. Harris filled up the stat sheet with a .280/.333/.680 slash along with a 1.013 OPS. He smacked three homers, drove in seven runs, and scored seven while chipping in two stolen bases.

Spencer Strider (SP – ATL)

Another Atlanta Brave had an excellent week in starting pitcher Spencer Strider. The young right-hander only gave up one earned run across 12 innings. Strider struck out 23 batters and only gave up two hits in his two quality starts.

Zack Wheeler (SP – PHI)

Zack Wheeler did his best to keep the Phillies in wild-card contention with two quality-start wins. Wheeler gave up zero earned runs while striking out 10 batters across 12 innings.

Not

Xander Bogaerts (SS – BOS)

Bogaerts only had one hit in 20 at-bats, although a home run led the shortstop to slash .050/.231/.200.

Byron Buxton (OF – MIN)

Buxton has played through injuries all season and has been inconsistent. We saw the downside of Buxton with only one hit in 22 at-bats, although that one hit was a home run. His seven strikeouts also contributed to a dismal .046/.125/.182 slash.

Chad Kuhl (SP – COL)

After pitching a masterpiece against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kuhl was probably picked up in many leagues. But, unfortunately, he killed most of your weekly matchups this week with a two-start dud. He went only 1o innings in his two starts because he gave up 13 hits and nine earned runs, including three home runs.


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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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