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8 Players to Buy Low & Sell High (Fantasy Baseball)

May 14, 2021

We’re at the point now where we can begin to expect players’ hot and cold starts to more or less represent the value they may offer throughout the season, especially if the underlying data suggests that more than good or bad luck is present. If the metrics point to plenty of luck (or a lack thereof), then chances are good that whatever start they’re having is primed for a reversal at some point. Understanding this is how one can determine whether a buy-low target is a good acquisition or if a sell-high candidate’s value is peaking. This is just one of many factors our featured experts will consider with their selections below.

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Q1. What one player are you trying to buy low and why? Also, who are you willing to give up for him?

Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF – NYM) 
“McNeil has struggled out of the gate and the public’s perception of him has soured. However, I love that he is still walking more than he strikes out, and his .229 BABIP is likely to regress to the mean. He’s already had the highest max exit velocity of his career, is barreling the ball more than ever, and is hitting leadoff with Brandon Nimmo on the shelf. He’s not the top-100 player that some thought (myself included) since he will hit lower in the order when Nimmo does return, but I’m still expecting 20 homers with a .300+ batting average when all is said and done. At this point, you may be able to trade away Adam Frazier for him, or a starter in the top 60-75 range.”
– Carmen Maiorano (FantasyPros)

Cavan Biggio (2B/3B/OF – TOR) 
“I was sort of the last holdout for Biggio during draft season and I’m still willing to buy low despite his dreadful start. Regardless of his expected stats, he had put up 24 home runs, 20 steals, 107 runs, and 76 RBIs in 159 games over his two MLB seasons. I don’t buy that he’s suddenly a guy who is going to have a 2.9% barrel rate and attempt two steals over six weeks as he has so far. Plus, his 108 MPH max exit velocity suggests more power is on the way. Biggio should be basically free in trades at this point, but I’d be happy to trade someone like Cedric Mullins or a pitcher like Aaron Civale.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Hunter Dozier (1B/3B/OF – KC) 
“Dozier is one player I’m trying to buy low on. Before the season, I noted him as one of my AL bold predictions to hit 25-30 home runs with 15+ steals. Yes, Dozier’s .145 batting average looks awful, but that also comes with a .157 BABIP compared to his career .303 BABIP. He’s still hitting the ball hard with a 13.3% barrel rate and 46.7% hard-hit rate, both of which rank as career bests. Dozier’s value is probably the lowest in a while, so I’d trade away someone performing well like Chris Bassitt or even his teammate Andrew Benintendi.”
– Corbin Young (FantasyData)

Patrick Corbin (SP – WSH) 
“Corbin did not start off the season on the right foot, but recently he’s turned things around. In May, he has thrown 20 innings with 15 Ks, four BBs, and a 2.70 ERA. His overall ERA sits at 6.19 thanks to that dreadful April. That makes him a perfect get on the down-low. Logan Gilbert has upside, but will be limited. I’d flip him for Corbin right now in redraft leagues.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Q2. What one player are you trying to sell high right now and why? Also, who would you try to get in return?

Carlos Rodon (SP – CWS) 
“No fantasy manager thinks that Rodon is going to finish the season with a 0.58 ERA or 0.68 WHIP, but you can still sell high on him. Even with natural regression, his 2.30 xERA and 1.84 FIP show that he’s been one of the best pitchers in the league thus far, so it’s fair to think he’ll continue to be an impact fantasy option. But Rodon has thrown more than 139.1 innings just once in his career, and he’s thrown 42.1 innings combined over the last two seasons. Even if he can avoid the injury bug that has plagued him throughout his career — and he’s already been pushed back this week with hamstring tightness — it’s hard to see him going much past 130 innings this season. I’d look to swap him for an underperforming pitcher like Zack Greinke or Blake Snell.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Alex Reyes (SP – STL) 
“One quick note on players to sell high — the emphasis is on ‘high’ — do not just sell to sell. I noted this pitcher before, but sell high on Reyes while you can. He is perfect with 10 saves in 10 opportunities. In 20 innings, Reyes has a 0.45 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, a 32.1% strikeout rate, and a 20.2% walk rate. The walk rate plus the injuries provide reasons for concern. With saves as such a scarce commodity, see what Reyes could net you in the trade market. On the FantasyPros Player Rater, he ranks as the 19th-best pitcher. Trade Reyes away for any underperforming pitcher or hitter, even if you need to package Reyes in a deal.”
– Corbin Young (FantasyData)

Justin Turner (3B/DH – LAD) 
“Turner has been perpetually undervalued on draft day, and he has returned great value so far this season, slashing .307/.404/.535 in 35 games. In my opinion, his value will never be higher, and he hasn’t played in more than 135 games in a season since 2017 (and he only played in 42 in a shortened 2020 campaign). The odds are that he will get injured at some point. Even if he doesn’t, there isn’t anything that stands out to suggest a power surge at age 36. The most realistic return is Cavan Biggio, but I would also check in on the fantasy managers in your league that roster Manny Machado, Yoan Moncada, and Alec Bohm.”
– Carmen Maiorano (FantasyPros)

Adolis Garcia (OF – TEX) 
“Garcia’s power is real, but so is his high strikeout rate. Garcia was a K machine in the minor leagues, and so far he’s been productive at the big league level. This is the time to move him in a package for a better player before the league catches up to his deficiencies. Either that, or you could maybe target a returning player from the IL, like Framber Valdez or Ke’Bryan Hayes.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their trade candidates. Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice all season and check out our Leading Off Podcast every single day for quick-hitting takeaways and advice.

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