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11 Players to Buy Low/Sell High (Fantasy Baseball)

May 9, 2019

Nomar Mazara may be on the verge of a big breakout

The long-term success of your squad can be bolstered by focusing on the endgame and consistently searching for enticing buy and sell opportunities. Being on the lookout for players who are due for either positive or negative regression is paramount, but that can be difficult to stay on top of with so many MLB athletes to examine. What makes it even harder is the sheer wealth of advanced metrics you need to stay abreast of when researching players.

Early-season trades often deliver the best deals because people are less sure of what a player’s value will be for the entire season, so don’t shy away from sending out offers because you only have small sample sizes of data to work with. Now is the time to capitalize, my friends. Fortunately, our featured pundits have done extensive research, scouring through all the data available to help you pull off potentially league-winning moves. They’ve come to mention their top trade candidates, along with several guys you might want to move or acquire in exchange. Two of our experts even have conflicting takes on one player. See who it is and why below.

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Q1. What one player are you trying to buy low and what type of player would you give up to get him?

Nomar Mazara (OF – TEX)
“While he appears to be backpedaling on the surface with a .231/.290/.438 slash line, Mazara could be on the cusp of a breakout. After hitting exactly 20 homers in each of his first three MLB seasons, the 24-year-old’s .207 ISO would represent a career high. He has also hit this season’s longest home run (482 feet) while brandishing the farthest average HR distance (430 feet) of anyone with at least five long balls. Having never batted below .250, Mazara’s depreciated strikeout rate should lead to some average progression, and Statcast gives him a .372 xwOBA (as of Wednesday), which is well above his actual .313 clip. See if his investor is willing to throw in the towel for a steady veteran like Nick Markakis or an early surger such as Brandon Lowe or Max Fried.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Matt Carpenter (1B/2B/3B – STL)
“I’ll take all of the Carpenter shares, please and thank you. Yes, he is batting just .213 with four homers and eight RBIs thus far. However, don’t forget that going into May 9 last year, he was batting .152 with three homers. Carpenter is among the streakiest hitters in baseball and your time to buy him before his stock soars could close any day. I’d be thrilled to move someone like Ketel Marte or Max Fried for him, and I bet either would do the trick.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Jesus Aguilar (1B – MIL)
“I’m sticking with my proclamation that Aguilar is about to get hot. I did a whole podcast episode on this recently, and now that we’re in May, it’s time to double down. The batting average is starting to come around, and history has shown 86% of his home run production comes from May until August, as well as 76% of his RBI totals in the same span. His price has gone up in recent weeks, but not to unfathomable proportions. If you can get away with moving an overachieving arm, or someone like Max Kepler or Mazara, I’d be all in.”
– Andy Singleton (Expand The Boxscore)

Kris Bryant (3B/OF – CHC)
“Bryant is starting to put it all back together. His walk and K-rates are back to ’17 form, and he’s hitting the ball harder than ever in his career (90.2 MPH average exit velocity). Plus, he’s currently on a stretch with hits in nine of last 10 games and five home runs to bolster. Now that his shoulder is healthy, see if you can pry him away with an SP like Aaron Nola, Zack Greinke, or Clayton Kershaw.”
– Todd D Clark (The Fantasy Fix)

Jose Ramirez (2B/3B – CLE)
“The player I’m buying low on is Ramirez. I’m aware of the struggles he had late last season and his current struggles this season, but hear me out. His BABIP is sitting at a terrible .222 and he’s actually hitting the ball harder this season than in previous years. Something has to give and I believe it will be soon. Do I think he gets back to almost a 40/40 pace? No, but if you get 20 HRs and 20 steals the rest of the way, you’ve won this trade, as you likely won’t have to give up premier talent to get him at this point, but still good talent, such as Xander Bogaerts.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Yasiel Puig (OF – CIN)
“I would buy low on Puig. He’s struggling and is undisciplined at the plate. Also, he’s swinging at a lot of pitches out of the zone and the Reds’ offense has been sputtering. The weather will get warm and Puig will heat up. This is the time to get him cheaply since he can supply power and speed. He tends to be streaky and the hot surge is coming. I would deal players like Josh Donaldson, Joc Pederson, or Jon Lester for Puig.”
– Adam Ronis (ScoutFantasySports)

Q2. What one player are you trying to sell high right now and who would you want in return?

Domingo German (SP/RP – NYY)
“As much as I like German, now is the time to test the trade market. His .204 BABIP is the fourth-lowest among all qualified starters, and he could struggle to maintain his improved 8.0% walk rate with a middling 58.9% first-pitch strike rate. His 3.94 xFIP actually mirrors last year’s outcome, which was paired with a 5.57 ERA instead of his current 2.35 ERA. The baseball gods have repaid him for last season’s misfortune, but the 26-year-old — who has never pitched more than 123.1 innings in a professional season — will likely give some of the gains back while dealing with workload management. Don’t give him up for anything, but those with pitching depth may be able to flip German for a slow-starting slugger such as Daniel Murphy, Yasiel Puig, Matt Carpenter, or one of his returning Yankees teammates (Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks).”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Tim Anderson (SS – CWS)
“I’m selling high on Anderson. He has talent, but his aggressive approach at the plate (he only sports a 3.7% walk rate) is going to catch up with him this season. This will cause his inflated batting average to dip, along with his strikeout rate returning to normal (now sitting at 19%, but is 25% for his career). If we’re talking BABIP with J-Ram, then Anderson’s .375, screams regression (I know, buzzword, sorry). I wouldn’t just give up on him though like he is going to be worthless. Even with poor plate discipline, he still hit 20 HRs and stole 26 bags last year. Make sure you get a player who is performing at a position of need for you, such as Marcel Ozuna (if you need an OF) or a player of his caliber.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Michael Brantley (OF/DH – HOU)
“Brantley has been exceptional to open the season for Houston. His .340 BA with nine homers and 27 RBIs has fantasy owners thinking of his 2014 run at the AL MVP with Cleveland. While he is likely to come back down to earth a little, we’ve seen Brantley produce at a high level every time he has been healthy, so why trade him? I’m unwilling to gamble on his health, as he has missed an average of 67 games per year since that 2014 campaign. Chances are, you can move him for Aaron Nola or J.T. Realmuto and I’d do either in a heartbeat before an IL stint ruins Brantley’s value.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Yoan Moncada (2B – CWS)
“Moncada has been more aggressive early at the plate in ’19. He started off hot, but is now cooling off. His walk rate is down to 7.3% and his current K-rate at 25.2% (his career K-rate is 32.4%). Batting average has been sinking steadily for the last 10 games as it gets closer to his .242 career mark. Dish him now for the steady Daniel Murphy or get an SP like Zack WheelerCharlie Morton, or Matt Boyd.”
– Todd D Clark (The Fantasy Fix)

Jon Lester (SP – CHC)
“Time to sell on Lester. While it’s possible he could finish the season with an ERA in the mid-threes, there’s some concern after he struggled down the stretch last season. He has been helped by a 90.3 percent strand rate and having allowed only three home runs, but he is allowing a lot of hard contact compared to recent seasons. He’s not getting a lot of swings and misses. and as it heats up, it’s going to get worse for Lester. I would look to get a player like Rougned Odor, Justin Turner, Matt Boyd, or Hyun-Jin Ryu.”
– Adam Ronis (ScoutFantasySports)

Kris Bryant (3B/OF – CHC)
“I know this will probably sound crazy, and it pains me to say it because I am a big fan of his (how can you not be)…but, Bryant. He fits the mold of EVERYTHING I look for: positional flexibility, track record, age-27 season, etc. However, I think the shoulder is a long term hindrance, and while he’s hot right now, it presents an opportunity to reclaim his elite value and trade for a player of equal production, minus the power-sapping shoulder concerns. Even if I have to add to it, if I can get a Nolan ArenadoAlex Bregman, or a Mookie Betts-type back, I’d be happy.”
– Andy Singleton (Expand The Boxscore)

Thank you to the experts for naming their trade candidates. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for all the latest discussions this season.

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