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20 Things to Watch for in Week 19 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Dennis Sosic | @call_me_sos | Featured Writer
Aug 21, 2022
Giancarlo Stanton

Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Week 19 of the 2022 fantasy baseball season.

With everyone getting ready for their fantasy football drafts, some of us forget that there are still 40+ games left to go in this MLB season.

Here are 20 things to watch for in Week 19 of the fantasy baseball season for those of us still playing for our playoff lives:

1. Week 18 Schedule Highlights

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs continue their historic Route 66 rivalry with a five-game series that includes a doubleheader to open up Week 18 on their way to being the only teams scheduled to play eight games this week. Seven teams play seven games this week, including the Oakland A’s playing all seven games at home. A total of 16 teams play six games in Week 18, highlighted by the Cleveland Guardians and the Seattle Mariners, both enjoying home cooking all week. Five teams only play five games this week, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and the Washington Nationals.

2. Injury Updates

The New York Yankees will be happy to welcome back slugger Giancarlo Stanton to their lineup. Stanton will play rehab games this weekend, anticipating his return sometime next week. Stanton has smacked 24 homers and knocked in 61 runs in 80 games this season. The Yankees could use the lift after losing eight of their last 10 games. The Yankees will also see Luis Severino toss batting practice next week. Severino should be able to return in September. The Houston Astros lost a valuable bat when Aledmys Diaz was placed on the injured list with a groin strain. Diaz can fill in anywhere on the field and was hitting .297/.329/.541 with four home runs and 11 RBI since the All-Star break. Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session Friday and will ramp up activities to see how his lower back pain holds up. His return is not sure at this time.

3. Jacob deGrom takes on the Yankees

The much-anticipated return of New York Mets ace Jacob DeGrom has certainly not disappointed. DeGrom has posted a 2-1 record with a 2.31 ERA, 0.64 FIP, and 0.51 WHIP. He is surrendering an excellent .138/.148/.200 slash line on his way to an insane 45.7% strikeout rate. He has increased his inning production in his four outings and will look to continue that trend this week when DeGrom and the Mets visit Yankee Stadium to take on the New York Yankees.

4. White Sox sign Elvis Andrus

The Chicago White Sox were forced to use a revolving door at shortstop while starter Tim Anderson dealt with many injuries throughout the season. However, his latest injury will keep Anderson out at least another month after having surgery on his left hand. The White Sox were not satisfied with the production of their short-term options and turned to veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, who they signed to a league-minimum contract. Andrus was just released by the Oakland A’s, who felt Andrus was not worth his plate appearance incentive and moved on from the veteran. Andrus is an upgrade defensively and an inexpensive option to solidify their infield defense until Anderson returns. He was hitting .237/.301/.373 with eight homers, 30 RBI, and seven stolen bases this season.

5-8. Who will be the next minor league prospect to be called and to make a fantasy impact?

Triston Casas (1B – BOS)

Casas has been dealing with injuries throughout this season. Otherwise, we would have seen Casas playing games at Fenway Park already, and the Red Sox wouldn’t have traded for Eric Hosmer to play first base. Bobby Dalbec has handled the majority of time at first base, but he has been a disappointment, hitting only .210 on the season. With the Red Sox losing any playoff chances daily, they can afford to see what Triston Casas can do with consistent at-bats at the major league level.

Gunnar Henderson (SS – BAL)

Henderson has been raking across two minor leagues this season. Overall, Henderson slashes .297/.417/.536 with 18 homers, 78 RBI, and 18 stolen bases. He also has a .954 OPS, and his stock continues to rise. The Orioles are battling for a Wild Card spot and have been riding with Jorge Mateo for short, but he is better utilized as the utility player. Henderson could be called up to spark the team in September.

George Valera (OF – CLE)

The Cleveland Guardians are the youngest team in baseball and one of the mild surprises this season. Cleveland sits on top of the A.L. Central and ranks 15th in team offense. They could use a boost to their anemic production from their young outfielder. Valera is one of their top hitting prospects, hitting .260 with 17 homers, 63 RBI, and a .828 OPS. Valera possesses pop in his bat and would be an effective bat to promote to the big leagues as the Guardians try to hold on to their A.L. Central lead.

9-11. Elite Pitching Matchups

Shane Bieber (SP – CLE) vs. Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA)

The surging Cleveland Guardians send out Shane Bieber, who won four consecutive starts and owns an 8-6 record with a 3.25 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, to take on Logan Gilbert and the Seattle Mariners. Gilbert is 10-5 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.24 WHIP for the Mariners, who have won seven out of their last 10 games.

Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL) vs. Tony Gonsolin (SP – LAD)

In a preview of a possible playoff matchup, we will get a great pitcher’s duel with two of the best starters this season. Corbin Burnes is 9-5 with an impressive 2.48 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 187 strikeouts across 148.2 innings. However, not to be undone, Tony Gonsolin is having a Cy Young-type season. Gonsolin is 15-1 with a 2.12 ERA and 0.86 ERA across 22 starts for the MLB-best Los Angeles Dodgers.

Shohei Ohtani (SP – LAA) vs. Alek Manoah (SP – TOR)

The right-handers battle includes Ohtani, a unicorn who has given up two earned runs or less in the last four starts. On the other hand, Manoah has not suffered through a sophomore jinx, producing a 12-6 record and 2.71 ERA while striking out 131 batters across 142.2 innings.

12-14. Two-Start Recommendations

Sonny Gray (SP – MIN)

Sonny Gray has given up three earned runs in his past five starts on his way to delivering three wins. On the season, Gray is 7-3 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.13 WHIP; The veteran right-hander takes on two middling offenses in the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.

Corey Kluber (SP – TB)

The veteran right-hander owns a 7-7 record with a 4.13 ERA and 1.17 WHIP and will take on the Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox in Week 19. Kluber should have an easy go against the Angels, a bottom-five hitting team. Kluber took on the Red Sox in consecutive starts in July, earning wins in each game. He limited the Red Sox to two earned runs and produced 12 strikeouts across 12 innings. Kluber should have a productive Week 19.

Ross Stripling (SP – TOR)

Stripling has toggled between being a starter and coming out of the bullpen all season. Currently, Stripling has been focused on starting ball games. However, fully recovered from a glute injury, he returned to throw 6.1 innings of one-hit ball with seven strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles. Stripling takes on the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels this week as he tries to build upon his 5-3 record with an impressive 2.93 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

15-20. Hot or Not

Hot

Alex Bregman (3B – HOU)

Bregman stayed true to being the 3B7 on the season by hitting .379/.400/1.035 with four homers and 13 RBI. He also had seven doubles among his 11 hits and only struck out twice in 29 at-bats this past week.

Bryan Reynolds (OF – PIT)

Bryan Reynolds is quietly having a good season with 20 homers and 46 RBI. Reynolds was on fire this week, hitting .455/.539/1.046 with four homers and 11 RBI.

Zac Gallen (SP – ARI)

The right-hander posted two dominant starts, going 14.1 innings and earning two victories. Gallen did not give up a run, only six hits, and one walk while striking out 18 batters.

Not

Aaron Ashby (SP – MIL)

The young southpaw allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits, including three home runs across 11 innings.

Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD)

Cody Bellinger didn’t help his team or fantasy managers this week. Bellinger got only one hit in 16 at-bats, although it was a home run, and struck out eight times.

Frankie Montas (SP – NYY)

This week, the trade for left-hander Frankie Montas did not pay off for the Yankees. Montas surrendered eight earned runs on 11 hits across his two starts, both losses.


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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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