MLB Injury Report 2022 | How Injuries Affect Baseball Futures Bets

Baseball has reached the quarter pole of the season and divisional races are heating up! Injuries continue to derail individual players’ seasons along with the postseason hopes of expected contenders. Several injuries aren’t as bad as initially feared while others linger into season-long affairs.

Having a licensed physical therapist interpret the MLB injury reports provides you with information you won’t find anywhere else. It also helps you make clear-cut decisions on futures and prop bets and take advantage of injury mismatches before the odds change.

Below are the top MLB injuries to consider when placing your best MLB bet picks.

All MLB betting odds are current as of Thursday, May 19, at 8 a.m. ET from BetMGM Sportsbook.

MLB Injuries & Betting Tips

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Right Hip: SI Joint Inflammation

Kershaw landed on the 15-day IL due to right sacroiliac joint inflammation last Friday after experiencing back stiffness on the flight home from Pittsburgh on May 11.

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The sacroiliac joint is comprised of the sacrum of the spine and ilium of the hip, creating a relatively immobile joint. During pitching, the lower back rotates and bends towards home plate, placing immense stress and torque through the lumbar and pelvic areas to deliver high-velocity pitches.

Kershaw is dealing with right SI pain specifically as the right leg has to step down due to the height of the mound. He finishes on the plant leg on his follow-through, placing consistent stress through the right hip.

Example of SI Joint Inflammation (location in red). (Image: Esports Healthcare)

The former NL MVP did have an epidural to reduce the inflammation on May 12 and has begun playing catch on level ground. This most recent injury isn’t likely to linger with rest and rehab, but he does have a notable history of lower back injuries. The Dodgers will be cautious in his recovery as a result, but it’s expected that he will return without limitations after May 28.

While the Dodgers may lose ground in the NL West in the interim, they are still built for long-term success as championships are won in October. This makes my MLB bet of the day 1 unit on the Dodgers to win the World Series (+450) at BetMGM.

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Bryce Harper, RF/DH, Philadelphia Phillies

Right Elbow: Partially Torn UCL

Harper continues to deal with his partially torn UCL that he originally injured back on April 11 while completing a throw to home plate from the outfield. He has not played in the field since April 16 and has spent the bulk of his time as a designated hitter since the injury.

On May 15, the reigning NL MVP received a platelet-rich plasma injection to assist the ligament in fully healing. He has been instructed to not throw for the next six weeks, which means he’ll continue to DH as the injury does not seem to be affecting his swing based on his .994 OPS.

Example of a partially torn UCL within the elbow. (Image: Cleveland Clinic)

The Phillies do not suffer offensively from this injury but will feel the effects defensively as they hover around the .500 mark in the NL East. The hope is that the Phillies can stay in the playoff hunt until Harper can return to the outfield to assist defensively, but that’s far from a guarantee.

It’s unlikely that Harper will require surgery this season, but his inability to play the field will hurt his chances to repeat as NL MVP this season.

Accordingly, I’m staying away from Harper as a pick for the award, which has never gone to a full-time DH before. The smart money makes my betting pick 1 unit on San Diego Padres 3B Manny Machado to win NL MVP (+350) at BetMGM.

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Manny Machado: To Win 2022 NL MVP

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James McCann, C, New York Mets

Left Wrist: Hamate Fracture

McCann is set to miss the next six weeks due to a left hamate fracture in his wrist that required surgery to address the complaint. It’s unclear when he suffered the fracture, noting soreness in the area last week before undergoing an X-ray, but it likely occurred from a direct blow to the wrist.

The hamate bone is one of eight carpal bones in the wrist, found on the ulnar side of the hand. The hook of the hamate is important as it protects the deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve in the hand, which is responsible for many muscle actions in the hand.

Anatomy of the hamate bone. (Image:

Considering that the left hand is his glove hand, McCann will need the full timeframe to regain his grip strength for batting and catching 100 mph pitches every day. Once he returns, there isn’t any concern for re-injury.

New York may fall back to earth in the NL East without McCann behind the plate and several other injuries, but I still like their postseason odds. This makes my betting pick 1 unit on the Mets to win the NL East (-200) at BetMGM.

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More Notable MLB Injuries

  • New York Mets SP Max Scherzer removed himself from the game on May 18 with left side discomfort, although he doesn’t believe it’s a serious strain. Meanwhile, Mets SP Jacob DeGrom continues to show progress in his right scapular stress reaction following a positive MRI report, indicating he can continue to ramp up his throwing program to eventually return around midseason.
  • Colorado Rockies 3B Kris Bryant is set to begin his rehab assignment in Triple-A with the Albuquerque Isotopes after missing the last three weeks with lower back stiffness. Rockies SP Antonio Senzatela suffered a similar injury on May 16, landing on the 15-day IL with a lower back strain.
  • Kansas City Royals C Salvador Perez is expected to miss the next two weeks due to a left thumb sprain. The Royals are already down a catcher as Cam Gallagher is dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring strain suffered earlier this month.
  • Miami Marlins SP Jesus Luzardo was placed on the 15-day IL retroactive to May 12 with a left forearm strain.
  • Houston Astros SP Jake Odorizzi avoided major injury after stepping awkwardly on his left leg while pitching against the Boston Red Sox on Monday. He is reported to have damaged some tendons and ligaments but avoided an Achilles tear.
  • Minnesota Twins SP Chris Paddack underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, ending his 2022 season and potentially putting his 2023 in doubt as well.
  • Detroit Tigers SP Michael Pineda suffered a fractured right middle finger as the result of a comebacker over the weekend against the Orioles, but will not require surgery.

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