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10 Players to Buy Low and Sell High (Fantasy Baseball)

Jul 16, 2021

The All-Star break has come and gone. Hopefully, you used that time to evaluate your squad’s strengths and weaknesses while determining which either undervalued players can either flourish in the season’s second half or what overvalued athletes will flounder to the finish line. If you need help identifying your top trade candidates with the fantasy baseball trade deadline looming, then you’re in luck! Our featured analysts are back to share their thoughts on who they’re looking to buy and sell right now.

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Q1. What one player are you trying to buy low and why?

George Springer (OF – TOR) 
“Springer’s spring training and first half were completely derailed by injuries, which led to awful performance (.196 AVG, .726 OPS) after suffering an oblique injury before the season began followed by a quad injury shortly after he returned to the lineup. He’s had virtually no chance to get into a rhythm after signing with Toronto as a high-priced free agent this winter. Nonetheless, Springer has a proven pedigree and track record of success while hitting in the heart of a fearsome Toronto lineup (and favorable home ballpark) surrounded by MVP contender and All-Star Game MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez, Cavan Biggio, and Randall Grichuk. As long as he’s healthy and starts to hit after getting some needed rest during the break, the counting stats will be there in bunches for the 31-year-old. Springer hit 14 HRs in just 51 games in 2020 after scoring 96 runs to go along with 39 HRs and 96 RBIs in just 122 games in 2019. I’d give up Christian Yelich, Anthony Rendon, Starling Marte, Anthony Rizzo, D.J. LeMahieu, Trent Grisham, Rhys Hoskins, or Alex Verdugo for Springer.”
– Lucas Spence (Pitcher List)

Kenta Maeda (SP – MIN) 
“There’s still a buy-low window for Maeda and I’m trying to acquire him where I can. Since returning from the IL, Maeda has pitched to a 3.60 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP, and a 30.2% strikeout rate. But that doesn’t even tell the entire story because he allowed seven runs over 4.2 innings in one of those starts, and if you take that away, then his ERA drops to just 1.34 and his WHIP to 0.95. There’s every reason to discount his lone rough start since returning, given that rain delays pushed him to an uncomfortable eight days’ rest and he had a rain delay within that start. The competition hasn’t been tough, but given that Maeda admitted he had essentially pitched through injury all year, and he’s been excellent since returning from the IL, he’s worth buying low on. I’d try to sell high on a Sean Manaea, Kyle Gibson, or Alex Wood for him.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Cody Bellinger (1B/OF – LAD) 
“It’s time to buy up every single Bellinger share before he detonates. It wasn’t long ago the 26-year-old hit 47 home runs and 115 RBIs while swiping 15 bases on his way to his first MVP season. Bellinger has had a bad beat season dealing with multiple injuries, including a 46-game absence due to a fractured left fibula along with a stint on the 10-day IL stint with a hamstring issue. Both these injuries have caused him to miss almost two-thirds of the season, giving him no time to get in a groove. The former Rookie of the Year and MVP is still hitting cleanup for one of the most potent lineups in baseball and can easily catch fire at any moment, which gives him league-winning upside. If you can cash in on a player performing over his head like Adolis Garcia or Trey Mancini and a mid-level pitcher like Robbie Ray or Sean Manaea, pull the trigger.”
– Jacob W. Dunne (New Life Fantasy)

Kyle Tucker (OF/DH – HOU) 
“This isn’t exactly a ‘buy low,’ but there are some very exciting reasons to think Tucker could go on a tear in the second half. His Baseball Savant page is blood red and his .404 xwOBA is much higher than his .351 actual wOBA. Additionally, his .314 xBA is higher than his .271 BA, while his .580 xSLG is much higher than his .503 SLG. It’s important to note that these underlying stats aren’t meant to be predictive. They’re designed to reflect what should’ve happened … and what should’ve happened is undeniable. Tucker hit the cover off the ball in the first half and it’s well within his range of outcomes that he finishes as a top-24 fantasy player. I’d trade four-category performers such as Nolan Arenado and Jesse Winker for him.”
– Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Michael Conforto (OF – NYM) 
“I would be looking to acquire Conforto. His playing time is not in question, he’s had a miserable, injury-marred 2021 and he has a looming contract to play for over the last few months of the season. Conforto’s career .255/.357/.471 slash is far better than his current .202/.345/.301 mark on the season. At his best, he is statistically George Springer-lite. Buy.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Q2. What one player are you trying to sell high right now and why?

Joey Gallo (OF – TEX) 
“If you can capitalize off of Gallo’s torrid hot stretch in June and July, I would attempt to strike while the iron is hot and find a way to upgrade your roster elsewhere. In 32 games since the beginning of June, Gallo slugged 15 homers while hitting .280 to go along with a sensational 1.199 OPS. However, in 52 games prior to that, Gallo hit just .216 with nine HRs and a .765 OPS to begin the year after coming off a disastrous 2020 season (.181 AVG, .679 OPS). He is also being floated around in trade talks, so there is some unpredictability in regards to where he might finish the season and how that dramatic change might impact his performance. Gallo certainly possesses the power to make this suggestion look foolish, as he seems well on his way to yet another 40-HR season, so by no means would I recommend giving him away. However, his streaky history and trade potential would have me scanning the market for a sell-high opportunity while the price is high. I’d suggest targeting players such as Cedric Mullins, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant (also a trade candidate), Pete Alonso, Max Muncy, Kyle Tucker, or certainly Yordan Alvarez if you can find any takers in a swap for Gallo.”
– Lucas Spence (Pitcher List)

Adolis Garcia (OF – TEX) 
“Garcia has come out of nowhere to post 22 home runs and 62 RBIs with eight stolen bases in the first half of the season, earning his first-ever All-Star Game selection. The 28-year-old’s overall numbers are impressive, but if you take a closer look, he’s riding the coattails of an otherworldly month of May where he hit 11 home runs and 27 RBIs with a .312 batting average in 28 games. If you take away his production from May, Garcia owns just a .251 batting average while hitting 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 52 games. Over the last two weeks, the rookie from Cuba has been well outside the top 300, so it may be time to cash in while his overall numbers still look good. If you can move Garcia along with a mid-level pitcher like Charlie Morton, Wade Miley, or Sandy Alcantara for Cody Bellinger, take the deal and run.”
– Jacob W. Dunne (New Life Fantasy)

Freddy Peralta (OF – ARI) 
“I’d sell high on Peralta, but emphasize the word ‘high.’ He has been amazing this season with a 2.39 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 35.1% strikeout percentage. It’s all been backed up entirely by his underlying metrics and comes from him taking down his fastball usage (which is still an elite pitch) and throwing his slider more (.124 BAA, .211 wOBA against). But the problem is that Peralta threw 29.1 innings last year, and 96.2 innings the year before. The Brewers were outspoken about limiting their pitchers’ innings this year and Peralta is already at 98 on the year. Limitations often get thrown out the window in a pennant race, but I’d expect a phantom IL stint or two or at least some effort to rein in Peralta, and so I’d try to trade him for another top-tier starter like Walker Buehler, Kevin Gausman, or Zack Wheeler, or an elite bat like Bo Bichette or Rafael Devers.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Christian Yelich (OF – MIL) 
“Since returning from the IL on May 18, Yelich is batting .216/.386/.366 with five homers and four steals. That adds up to a 111 wRC+ (above league average), but the former MVP hasn’t been a difference-making fantasy player thus far. His batted-ball numbers are at an all-time low for the Statcast era, and the strikeout rate is above 27% for the second straight season. Add in my personal concerns about his back and I’d be looking to trade him for players who were drafted later than him but are actually producing. Examples are Tesocar Hernandez, Austin Meadows, and Brandon Crawford.”
– Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Brandon Crawford (SS – SF) 
“Crawford is slugging 150 points higher than his career average and his OPS is 200 points higher than his career mark. He and the Giants have been a great story this season, but most fairy tales end with the wolf eating the boy. This unexpected surge as a 34-year-old player is suspect. I’d cash in now and be happy that he gave me such a great draft ROI over the first few months.”
– 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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