Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Week 16 of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season.
After an exciting All-Star Break, welcome to the first week of MLB action. Then, it is time to get back to work and prepare your fantasy team for the second half of the season and your playoff berth.
Here are 20 Things to Watch for in Week 16 as we turn third base and head home for this season.
1. Week 16 Schedule Highlights
Whether combining the short week last week or playing them separately into two weeks, fantasy managers need to be aware of schedule oddities. Four teams are playing only five games this week: Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, and St. Louis Cardinals. The Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and the Toronto Blue Jays enjoy home cooking all week. Please monitor which St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers players are COVID-19 vaccinated because MLB Players without COVID-19 Vaccines can not play in Toronto.
2. Where is Juan Soto going?
Soto is an all-world talent who refused to sign the Nationals’ contract offer, and he is likely to be moved at the Trade Deadline. The teams are lining up to obtain Soto, including New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and the San Diego Padres. The haul to acquire Soto will be gigantic, as well as his new contract. Stay tuned.
3. NOT All that Jazz
Jazz Chisholm led the team with 14 homers and 45 RBI before he sustained a back injury in late June. He was selected to the All-Star team, but his injury kept him watching from the bench. The latest update revealed that Chisholm has a stress reaction to his lower back which will keep him out to at least late August. The Marlins transferred INF Jazz Chisholm to the 60-day injured list, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he is done for the season.
4. Yankees lose integral bullpen piece
The New York Yankees lost reliever Michael King after confirming his fractured right elbow. King was placed on the 60-day injured list, and the team expects King to be out for the season. King was relied heavily upon by the Yankees as a set-up reliever and was 6-3 with a 2.29 ERA. He has struck out 66 batters across 51 innings this season. Look for the Yankees to make an urgent bullpen trade before the Trade Deadline with bullpen issues, including Ardolis Chapman’s ineffectiveness.
5. The Elite Braves
The Atlanta Braves are one of the elite teams in baseball and will rival the Los Angeles Dodgers to represent the NL in the World Series. The Braves had a 14-game winning streak in June and ended the first half with a 56-38 record. Since June, the Braves are 35-11 and top ten in hitting and pitching for the season. Surprisingly, the Braves are not leading the NL East, with the New York Mets looking to continue their first-half success into the second half with the impending return of Jacob deGrom on the horizon.
6. The Red Sox implosion
The Boston Red Sox are imploding and losing ground in the AL East. Every team sometimes struggles and loses consecutive games but how they lose is very concerning. Their 28-5 loss to the Blue Jays was a disgrace to watch and an MLB version of the Bad News Bears. Combine that horrific loss with the beatings the Yankees handed them before the All-Star Break by a 27-3 deficit. The Red Sox put together the worst three-game run differential in MLB since 1900. The minus-54 run differential is the worst by any team in any five-game span since at least 1901. Hard to imagine the Red Sox rebounding enough to make any playoff run, so instead of being buyers during the Trade Deadline, this sinking ship will look to start selling players.
7. When will we see Fernando Tatis?
Tatis, who led the National League with 42 home runs and was third with 25 stolen bases in 2021, is working back from his March wrist surgery.
The 23-year-old had another scan of his injured wrist earlier this week, but the team hasn’t indicated what Tatis will do next in rehab. Tatis has taken ground balls and dry swings, but he’s hoping to start ramping up baseball activities soon. So fantasy managers might be lucky if Tatis makes his season debut this month.
That said, swinging a bat is a significant milestone in the rehab process. Now he can begin getting his timing down at the plate and building strength in the wrist. Tatis had surgery on the wrist in March, and it’s not uncommon for wrist injuries to sap power, even after the player is cleared medically.
8. Will the Mets finally see DeGrom in New York?
Jacob deGrom is scheduled to make his final rehab start this Wednesday afternoon in a home game for Triple-A Syracuse. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will pitch on six days’ rest after throwing 60 pitches in a simulated game last week. He was initially scheduled to pitch earlier, but soreness in his shoulder caused alarms to go off, but the concerns were eased after he threw a bullpen session on Sunday. DeGrom has looked dominant in his three minor league starts, with 15 strikeouts in 8.2 innings. However, the biggest test for the veteran right-hander would be crossing the fifth-inning mark. Mets manager Buck Showalter said DeGrom must pitch past the fifth inning before taking the mound for the New York Mets. Tune in to the FantasyPros News Desk for the latest updates.
9. Adam Duvall to undergo left wrist surgery
Adam Duvall began this season as the Atlanta Braves starting centerfielder. However, a wrist injury requiring surgery will end his 2022 season. Still, his inconsistent production provided the avenue for the breakout of Michael Harris II to take over in patrolling center field for the Braves. Duvall moved around the outfield and recently began to see Duvall platooning with the recent return outfielder Eddie Rosario. The righty slugger had a role in the daily lineup as a power source, finishing with a .213/.276/.401 slash line with 12 home runs. Duvall can be dropped in all formats, and hopefully, the consistent playing time will be a boom for Eddie Rosario, who has struggled since his return from vision issues. The Braves could also turn to a platoon with Rosario, Marcell Ozuna, or Orlando Arcia. If all else fails this week, the Braves will look to add a new outfielder at the Trade Deadline.
10. MLB Trade Deadline
The MLB Trade Deadline arrives on August 2nd this season, and fantasy managers should expect plenty of action as teams attempt to stay on pace for playoff positioning. Of course, the most obvious and best player expected to move is the Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto. However, there are plenty of other notable names that could swing the playoff races this season:
11. Second-Half Predictions
A quick look at the MLB standings at the All-Star Break revealed that more than half of MLB teams are still mathematically in the playoff race. The 2022 season is the league’s first with a 12-team postseason format. The Trade Deadline could have a dramatic effect on the races, but ultimately, it seems that we have two teams on a collision course to meet in the October Classic. The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers are destined to face each other for the 12th time in the World Series.
12-14. Elite Pitching Matchups
Scherzer returned from injury and produced two double-digit strikeout performances in his four starts. He looks healthy and is still one of the best starters in the league. On the other hand, Sandy Alcantara is having a Cy Young-type season with a 9-4 record and a league-best 1.81 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. I can’t wait to grab an adult beverage and watch the two best starters in baseball.
Rodon is pitching well this season, awarding the Giants with their free-agent signing. The southpaw is 8-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Rodon will take on Merrill Kelly, who faced off the Giants in consecutive starts earlier this month. Kelly gave up two earned runs in each of those starts, earning a win in his latest start. Kelly has given up two earned runs or less in his last four starts.
Urquidy beat the Mariners last Friday when he went six innings and gave up one run on four hits while striking out three. That win raised his record to 9-4 with a 3.93 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Gilbert took the loss in his last start against the Houston Astros. Gilbert went six innings and surrendered two runs on five runs while striking out eight.
15-20 Hot or Not
Judge continues his MVP season with a 9-for-17 return from the All-Star Break. Four of his seven hits were home runs, and he knocked in 13 runs across four games.
Morel enjoyed a fantastic weekend at the plate facing off against the Philadelphia Phillies. Morel went 7-for-12 with four runs scored and three RBI and chipped in a stolen base as the Cubs swept the Phillies this past weekend.
Bumgarner went eight innings against the Washington Nationals and got the win in a stellar performance. The veteran southpaw gave up two runs on four hits while striking out nine to give him three victories out of his last four starts.
Josh Bell (1B/OF-WAS)
The subject of trade rumors as we head to the Trade Deadline, Josh Bell didn’t make his stock rise with a 1-for-10 weekend.
Schwarber didn’t fare well in his return to the Phillies after the break, collecting only one hit in 11 at-bats. However, that one hit was a solo shot.
The veteran right-hander had a rough start against the Cincinnati Reds this past weekend. Wainwright surrendered seven earned runs across 5.1 innings to take the loss.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.