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

Jul 30, 2021

Not only is Friday the MLB trade deadline, but the fantasy trade deadline is only a couple weeks away in most leagues. If you are striving to make a playoff push or you want to cement your place at the top of the standings, now is the time to stick your neck out and do whatever it takes to bring home that title!

However, you must be responsible and not wreck your squad in the process. You have to understand whose value is trending up or down by taking into account each player’s underlying metrics. Recognizing that is the only way you can buy and sell responsibly. Fortunately, our featured pundits are here to assist you with that by sharing which guys they’re targeting or sending away as we enter the stretch run of the fantasy season.

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

Andrew Vaughn (1B/OF – CWS) 
“This isn’t exactly buying low because he’s been on a hot streak lately, but savvy fantasy managers might be able to acquire Vaughn on the cheap given his pedestrian season-long numbers. His .260 average and .768 OPS certainly aren’t special, but a closer look under the hood reveals a rookie hitter who has been improving as the summer moves along. Through June 15, Vaughn posted a 27.1% strikeout rate with a .161 ISO. Since then, however, he has a 17.1 K% and a .231 ISO. Striking out less while hitting for more power is certainly a good trend, so perhaps Vaughn will finish his rookie campaign with stats more in line with what our preseason expectations were. Now is the time to trade rookie pitchers who could be shut down at some point, such as Shane McClanahan or Logan Gilbert.”
– Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

D.J. LeMahieu (1B/2B/3B – NYY) 
“Chances are the person rostering LeMahieu is pretty frustrated right now. He’s batting just .264 and is on pace for 11 home runs, 77 runs, 63 RBIs, and seven steals. That’s about the bottom 5% in the range of outcomes for the veteran who had emerged into a reliable four-category contributor with the Yankees. But his underlying Statcast data, though down from his previous years, shows he’s been unlucky, with expected batting average, slugging percentage, and wOBA all outperforming his actual numbers. More importantly, the addition of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo should help strengthen the New York lineup and add to LeMahieu’s counting stats. This is not an ‘acquire at all costs’ player, but I’d try to sell other second-base eligible players like Tommy Edman or Brandon Lowe.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Ozzie Albies (2B – ATL) 
“Albies has had a rough patch coming out of the break, slashing just .259/.298/.463 with a .761 OPS. Some may fear the downturn is a byproduct of Ronald Acuna‘s absence in the lineup, but it’s more likely just a slump. The negative perception of the Braves may make Albies cheaper than normal and a combination of Jonathan India and a small bench piece could get a deal done.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

David Dahl (OF/DH – TEX) 
“Dahl is likely sitting on your local waiver wire and has been nothing short of a bench player at best this season. However, with the trade of Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees, Dahl should see the opportunity for everyday playing time. He has been sitting on the bench against lefties, but all it takes is one big hit against a lefty and that will change. The Rangers need Dahl to be productive if they want to win any games to close out the season.”
– Muntradamus (Beast Dome)

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

Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL) 
“Peralta’s outing against the Pirates on Thursday offers the perfect chance to sell high. He threw six excellent innings, allowing no runs and striking out five. But he threw 68 pitches just one week after throwing 51 pitches in his prior outing. That’s because Peralta threw 29.1 innings last year and 96.2 innings the year before, and is already at 108 innings this year. His underlying metrics and Statcast data are fantastic, but with the Brewers moving closer toward locking up the NL Central and with their stated goal of limiting their starters’ innings, the volume simply won’t be there for Peralta. Swap him for a pitcher who, in a vacuum, might be worth less absent inning concerns, like Robbie Ray or Hyun-Jin Ryu.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Carlos Rodon (SP – CWS) 
“Sticking with the White Sox, now might be the time to rid ourselves of Rodon shares. Of course, the optimal opportunity for this would’ve been two starts ago — he has been limited to four innings in each of his past two outings. We’ve had workload concerns all year long, but the breakout southpaw kept dealing over the summer and it’s always tough to trade away good pitching. Still, Rodon logged just 7 2/3 innings in 2020 to go along with 34 2/3 innings in 2019. He’s already over 100 here in 2021, so try shopping him for the best bat you can get. Yordan Alvarez and Pete Alonso come to mind.”
– Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Kike Hernandez (2B/SS/OF – BOS) 
“Hernandez has been on a tear the last two weeks at the top of the Red Sox order, slashing .283/.359/.652 with a 1.011 OPS. Although his multi-eligibility is valuable, he’s not that great of an offensive asset. His RBI potential is limited at the top of the order and he doesn’t offer SB potential. His hot streak, coupled with leading off for a great lineup and position flexibility makes him a perfect sell-high candidate. Perhaps you can send him in a package for Gleyber Torres, who’s starting to find himself, but still has terrible season-long stats.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Taijuan Walker (SP – NYM) 
“What a storybook season it has been for the pitcher who has found himself injured year after year and is now pitching lights out. We all know the potential is there, but now is the time to sell him as the wheels are starting to fall off with three not-so-great starts in a row. Upgrade to a bigger-name starter for the stretch run who has actually made it this far before in a season. Jose Berrios is the first hurler that enters my mind, but you may have to give up a little more to get him.”
– Muntradamus (Beast Dome)

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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