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20 Things to Watch in Week 15 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

20 Things to Watch in Week 15 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Week 15 of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season.

Congratulations, we made it through the first half of the 2022 MLB season. We will enjoy the All-Star festivities this week before some teams return to action on Thursday. Let’s look at the 20 things to watch for this week as fantasy managers take on Week 15.

1. Week 15 Schedule Highlights

The All-Star Break provides a limited MLB schedule, but there are some noteworthy highlights to be aware of next week. Nineteen teams are playing only three games after the Break. Seven teams are playing four games next week, including the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants, and the Texas Rangers. Three teams will be busier next week, scheduled to play five games, including the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and the Oakland A’s. The Minnesota Twins have the luxury of having a more extended break by being scheduled only to play two games against the Detroit Tigers next week.

2. MLB All-Star Week Schedule

Baseball fans enjoyed the All-Star weekend’s first pitch with the All-Star Futures Game and the Celebrity Softball Game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. We will enjoy the MLB Draft during All-Star week for the second consecutive year. Who do the Baltimore Orioles select as the first overall pick? Do they choose outfielder Druw Jones, son of Andrew Jones, or high school shortstop Jackson Holliday? Or Jacob Berry? Brooks Lee? The most popular event of All-Star week is typically the Home Run Derby, where the sluggers come out to launch home runs at Dodger Stadium. The All-Star Week culminates with the 92nd MLB All-Star Game, where the American League’s best players take on the National League’s greatest players.

3. Home Run Derby

The Home Run Derby is one of baseball’s most celebrated nights.

Here is a quick look at all eight contestants and the first-round matchups for the 2022 Home Run Derby at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium:

No. 1. Kyle Schwarber (1B, OF-PHI) vs. No. 8. Albert Pujols (1B-STL)

No. 4 Juan Soto (OF-WAS) vs. No. 5 Jose Ramirez (3B-CLE)

No.3 Corey Seager (SS-TEX) vs. No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (OF-SEA)

No.2 Pete Alonso (1B-NYM) vs. No. 7 Ronald Acuna Jr. (OF-ATL)

4. 2022 All-Star Game

The 2022 American League and National League All-Stars will face off in the 92nd All-Star classic. Take a look at who will be starting for the AL and NL on Tuesday, July 19.

American League starters:

Alejandro Kirk (C – TOR)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B – TOR)
Andres Gimenez (2B – CLE)
Rafael Devers (3B – BOS)
Tim Anderson (SS – CWS)
Aaron Judge (OF – NYY)
Mike Trout (OF – LAA)
Giancarlo Stanton (OF – NYY)
Shohei Ohtani (DH – LAA)

Legacy selection
DH: Miguel Cabrera (DH – DET)

National League starters

Willson Contreras (C – CHC)
Paul Goldschmidt (1B – STL)
Jeff McNeil (2B – NYM)
Manny Machado (3B – SD)
Trea Turner (SS – LAD)
Ronald Acuna Jr. (OF-ATL)
Joc Pederson (OF – SF)
Mookie Betts (OF – LAD)
Bryce Harper (DH – PHI)*

Legacy selection
Albert Pujols (1B-STL)

5. AL Fantasy Hitter All-Stars

MLB fans are well aware of who will be playing in the All-Star game but let’s look at the players who are the fantasy all-stars for the first half of the 2022 season. We start by looking at the AL hitters All-Stars:

Alejandro Kirk (C-TOR)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B-TOR)

Andres Gimenez (2B-CLE)

Jose Ramirez (3B-CLE)

Aaron Judge (OF-NYY)

Julio Rodriguez (OF-SEA)

Mike Trout (OF-LAA)

Yordan Alvarez (DH – HOU)

6. NL Fantasy Hitter All-Stars

Will Smith (C – LAD)

Paul Goldschmidt (1B-STL)

Tommy Edman (2B – STL)

Manny Machado (3B-SD)

Trea Turner (SS-LAD)

Bryce Harper (OF-PHI)

Ronald Acuna (OF-ATL)

Mookie Betts (OF-LAD)

Kyle Schwarber (DH-PHI)

7. AL Fantasy Pitcher All-Stars

Shane McClanahan (SP – TB)

Justin Verlander (SP – HOU)

Alek Manoah (SP – TOR)

Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY)

Shohei Ohtani (SP-LAA)

Framber Valdez (SP – HOU)

Dylan Cease (SP – CWS)

Martin Perez (SP – TEX)

Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA)

Nestor Cortes Jr. (SP – NYY)

Emmanuel Clase (RP – CLE)

Ryan Pressly (RP – HOU)

Jorge Lopez (RP – BAL)

Clay Holmes (SP – NYY)

Scott Barlow (RP – KC)

8. NL Fantasy Pitcher All-Stars

Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA)

Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL)

Tony Gonsolin (SP – LAD)

Joe Musgrove (SP – SD)

Max Fried (SP-ATL)

Kyle Wright (SP – ATL)

Tyler Anderson (SP – LAD)

Carlos Rodon (SP – SF)

Zack Wheeler (SP – PHI)

Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD)

Josh Hader (RP – MIL)

Taylor Rogers (RP – SD)

Edwin Diaz (RP – NYM)

Kenley Jansen (RP – ATL)

Devin Williams (RP – MIL)

9. Baltimore Orioles end 10-game win streak

The Baltimore Orioles were trending within MLB circles, with their 10-game win streak ending on Saturday with the loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles are one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the 2022 season. They currently sit at 45-45 in contention for one of the AL wild-card spots. This marks the latest point that the Orioles have had a winning record since September 2017. The Orioles rotation led by Tyler Wells and Dean Kremer has produced a 2.33 ERA since June 19. Let’s see if they can keep the momentum going as we head into the second half.

10. Toronto’s decision to fire manager Charlie Montoyo

The Toronto Blue Jays relieved Charlie Montoyo of his duties as manager and promoted bench coach John Schneider to interim manager for the remainder of the 2022 season.

This was curious timing, with the Blue Jays sitting at 46-42 this season. However, a brutal stretch of games with the Blue Jays finishing 3-9 July, including 1-6 against the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners, proved too much for Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins.

The Blue Jays could not live up to the preseason hype, and we’re not playing to their potential. Charlie Montoyo was made the scapegoat with a struggling bullpen and back end of their starting rotation.

Montoyo is the third manager fired this 2022 MLB season after Joe Girardi in Philadelphia and Joe Maddon in Los Angeles.

11. The workhorse in Miami

Sandy Alcantara is a throwback starting pitcher who is a workhorse ace for the Miami Marlins. Alcantara is 9-3 with a 1.73 ERA and .090 WHIP across his MLB-leading 19 starts. He leads the majors with a 5.4 WAR and 138 innings pitched by resounding margins. He dominates batters with a five-pitch arsenal that produces a career-high 56.2 ground ball percentage. In addition, the right-hander is surrendering only an elite .190/.248/.282 slash line and .530 OPS. Alcantara is the favorite to start the All-Star Game for the National League and a front-runner for the NL Cy Young award. Alcantara is currently the SP6, and his fantasy value continues to rise.

12. The Yankees lose SP

The New York Yankees have escaped any major injury news as they dominate MLB with a 62-28 record. Unfortunately, they were forced to place starter Luis Severino on the injured list with a mild lat strain after surrendering three consecutive home runs and leaving the game in his last start against the Cincinnati Reds. Severino is expected to miss a couple of starts coming out of the All-Star Break. The right-hander was 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA in his 16 starts this season. The Yankees are expected to promote right-hander Domingo German coming out of the All-Star Break. German has been rehabbing in the minors successfully with a 1-0 record and 0.44 ERA and .049 WHIP across five starts. German is a capable backend starter who will be a hot waiver wire add this week.

13. Rays suffer a devastating loss

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks after successful surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist. The 21-year-old shortstop has already missed a chunk of time this season due to a quadriceps strain that sidelined him for the majority of June. Franco slashed .260/.308/.396 with a 104 wRC+, five homers, five steals, and 23 RBI. This is a massive blow to the Rays’ offense which ranks in the bottom 10 in many offensive categories. The injuries continue to mount in Tampa Bay, and their ability to stay in AL playoff contention continues to dwindle.

14. Max Meyer makes his MLB debut

The Miami Marlins promoted right-hander Max Meyer, their No.3 overall pick from the 2020 MLB Draft. Meyer is an elite prospect who was sidelined for a month this season and then dealt with in return. Meyer posted a 1.96 ERA, .374 OPS allowed, and 21 strikeouts across 18.1 innings. The 23-year-old produced a 2.77 ERA in 35 minor league starts with 199 strikeouts across 172 innings. Meyer made his MLB debut Saturday night against the Philadelphia Phillies. He showed plenty of promise but did have some bumps over 5.1 innings. Meyer allowed five earned runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts on 79 pitches, 53 of which were strikes. Part of the promise with Meyer is his prospect pedigree but includes the bright future in the Marlins’ starting rotation. Sandy Alcantara will be an ace of a rotation consisting of Meyer, Pablo Lopez, Sixto Sanchez, and the sensational 20-year-old Eury Perez. We will see Meyer continue his MLB career after the All-Star Break and for many years.

15-20. Hot or Not

Hot

Corey Seager (SS-TEX)

Seager exploded to the tune of hitting .360/.455/1.000 with five homers, nine RBI, and scored seven runs. Additionally, Seager walked (six) more than he struck out (3) across 25 at-bats.

Bobby Witt Jr. (3B, SS – KC)

Witt has come as advertised by continuing his impressive rookie season. Witt slashed .406/.424/.563 with one homer, four RBI, and swiped four bases across 32 at-bats.

Clayton Kershaw (SP-LAD)

Kershaw was absolutely dominant in his last two starts. The Dodgers southpaw went 15.2 total innings in his two wins, striking out 16 while surrendering only earned run. Kershaw continues his brilliant season with a 6-2 record and 2.40 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.

Not

Paul Goldschmidt (1B-STL)

Goldschmidt has been one of the best hitters up to this point, but last week he slumped horribly. The Cardinals first baseman only managed three hits in 23 at-bats (.130 avg) with two runs and two RBI in a woeful week.

Kyle Schwarber (1B/OF-PHI)

Schwarber really hit a cold streak this week, hitting .083/.120/.208 with only two hits across 24 at-bats, although one of those hits was a home run. The lefty slugger struck out 11 times in those 24 at-bats.

Trevor Story (2B, SS – BOS)

Story has been filling the stat sheet for fantasy manager this season. Well, except this week when Story hit .154/.154/.231 with three runs scored and three RBI.

CTAs


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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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