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Fantasy baseball sleepers: Alek Manoah, Carlos Rodon among starting pitchers to target

We go over some of the top sleepers to consider in your fantasy baseball draft for the 2022 MLB season.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) delivers a pitch against Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Rogers Centre. Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets head into the 2022 season with a stacked rotation as they picked up Max Scherzer in free agency. Robbie Ray signed a new deal with the Seattle Mariners as he comes off his 2021 AL Cy Young campaign. Those are the big names in the pitching market, but there are some depth pieces that are going to pay big dividends as late-round draft picks for your fantasy baseball lineup.

Most leagues have it set up with general P positions, but there are some leagues that break it down between starters and relievers. For this article, we are going with the general P lineup spot and the assumption that a standard league would have nine P spots in a typical lineup meaning that you should roster between four and six starters depending on your strategy.

The MLB Lockout has come and gone and now we can get back to looking forward to Opening Day. With the 2022 season getting started on April 7th, now is a great time to start mock drafting and looking into your fantasy baseball leagues.

Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays

Manoah isn’t going to be in the front-end of the Blue Jays rotation, but he is going to have value. The Blue Jays lineup is going to be able to score runs at will so their starting pitchers don’t even have to pitch that well to get the win or be a valuable fantasy asset. Over 20 starts in 2021 Manoah had a 3.22 ERA with nine wins and 127 strikeouts.

Carlos Rodon, San Francisco Giants

Rodon struggles with injuries, but if he can stay healthy, the Giants should have him toward the top of their rotation. Rodon threw one of 13 no-hitters on April 14 against Cleveland in 2021. He averaged 17.8 fantasy points per start last season, which was the third-most among starting pitchers that started at least 20 games. With the improved Giants lineup, Rodon should see better run support in San Francisco, which hopefully takes some pressure off of him with a new team.

Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays

The biggest problem facing McClanahan’s fantasy value is that the Rays kept him on quite a short leash limiting his innings as the 2021 season began to wind down. Hopefully, a new season means that McClanahan will be able to pitch without restraint. McClanahan started 25 games in 2021 and had a 3.43 ERA with 10 wins and 141 strikeouts. He is a solid pitching prospect that usually has high strikeout numbers with low walk totals.

Others to consider: Chris Bassitt, New York Mets; Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves; Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees; Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs