August 19, 2022
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When deciding which baseball games to bet on each day, it can be challenging to navigate the myriad matchups and find the ones that will give you the best return on your investment. With many teams involved in many matchups daily, it’s easy to miss out on some stellar opportunities to make money. But by checking out these MLB pitching matchups in 2022, you’ll know exactly where the best options are and how to capitalize on them.

The Crop

The 2022 MLB pitching crop is looking very strong. Aces like Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, and Max Scherzer will lead the charge for their respective teams, while young up-and-comers like Luis Castillo and Lucas Giolito will be looking to make a name for them. With so many great options on the mound, it can be tough to know who to watch out for.  

Starters to Target

Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Max Scherzer will continue to be fantasy aces in 2022. However, some up-and-coming pitchers could give them a run for their money. Shane Bieber, Jack Flaherty, and Luis Castillo are all young pitchers with ace potential. In addition, Eduardo Rodriguez and Marcus Stroman will be returning from injury and could be sneaky good values. And we can’t forget about Clayton Kershaw! His age has caused him to lose some velocity, but he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Starters to Avoid

As we approach the 2022 season, there are a few starters that fantasy baseball owners should avoid. Gerrit Cole is one of them. The Yankees’ ace had a down year in 2021, posting a 4.26 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He’s also set to enter his age-33 season, so it’s fair to wonder if he’s lost a step. Another starter to avoid is Chris Sale of the Red Sox. Sale missed all of 2021 with an elbow injury and will be 33 years old when he takes the mound in 2022. Given his age and injury history, it’s best to stay away from him in fantasy drafts.

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Bullpen Arms to Target

  1. Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees: One of the best pitchers in baseball, Cole is a strikeout machine who can also induce weak contact. He should be a top target in all formats.
  2. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets: Another ace who posts elite numbers across the board, deGrom is especially valuable in points leagues.
  3. Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians: The reigning AL Cy Young winner, Bieber is a workhorse who racks up strikeouts and wins. He’s a must-start in all formats.
  4. Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres: Darvish had a breakout season in 2020, posting career-best numbers across the board. He’s a top-tier option in all formats.

Relievers to Avoid

In baseball, a relief pitcher is someone who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed. They typically work in the late innings of close games, when their team is either ahead or behind by a few runs. While there are some outstanding relief pitchers in Major League Baseball, there are also some that you should try to avoid when setting your lineup. Here are a few of the worst offenders Craig Kimbrel (BOS), Ken Giles (TOR), and Blake Parker (LAA). Finding an alternative closer with a more favourable matchup might be best.