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11 Players to Buy Low & Sell High (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

May 10, 2022


 
A month’s worth of data, while still a fairly small sample size, is usually something fantasy GMs are able to slightly confide in when deciphering how well players can perform throughout the rest of the year. One trend that’s jumped off the page in 2022 is how poorly hitters across the league have fared this season. The deadened balls appear to have taken their toll on hitters at large. However, this presents an opportunity. As long as you can differentiate those who have been unlucky from those whose games have genuinely regressed, then you can capitalize on some stellar buy-low opportunities. With offense down across the board, this inflates the value of the hot starters even more, meaning that you can trade away those players at a premium.

Every week our featured analysts come and suggest their favorite buy-low or sell-high trade candidates. Read on to see who they suggest you target or send away.

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

Starling Marte (OF – NYM) 
“Starling Marte. After joining the Mets on a 4-year, $78 million contract this offseason, Marte is off to a bit of a sluggish start in 2022. The 33-year-old outfielder is hitting just .265 after Sunday’s games with an uninspiring .709 OPS. Marte hit .310 in 2021, .281 in 2020, and .295 in 2019, suggesting that some significant batting average correction is upcoming. Marte has also been caught stealing as many times as he has been successful on the basepaths (four each) after leading the majors in steals a season ago. As long as Marte hits well enough to stay atop the Mets lineup, the counting stats should be plentiful in a much-improved offense as evidenced by his 16 runs and 20 RBI despite the slow start. I’d trade away Cedric Mullins, Giancarlo Stanton, or JD Martinez to acquire Marte – or even try to sell high on players such as Randal Grichuk, Seiya Suzuki, or Myles Straw. Honorable mention to Bo Bichette, who I would also try very hard to buy low after a rough start. ”
Lucas Spence (Pitcher List)

Tyler O’Neill (OF – STL) 
“St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill had a lot of hype entering 2022 fantasy baseball drafts after smashing 34 home runs and stealing 15 bases over 138 games in 2021. He’s off to an ice-cold start to the year, slashing .206/.277/.330 with two home runs, 19 RBI, and three stolen bases across 26 games. A repeat of last year is unlikely, but the buy-low window opportunity is there for the Cardinals slugger. The 26-year-old’s 12.9 barrell % is in the 84th percentile, while his sprint speed is in the 98th percentile. O’Neill has elite power and speed and should finish as a top-25 outfielder at the season’s end. Fantasy managers should look to deal with any hitter outside the top-40 in the latest FantasyPros expert consensus rankings, especially those off to a fast start, such as Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward and New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo. ”
Brad Camara (RotoBaller)

Bo Bichette (DH/SS – TOR) 
“Bo Bichette. Bichette still isn’t going to be cheap, but he may be the one top-10 hitter you have a realistic shot of prying away from someone in your league. Bichette’s .238 batting average is an eyesore, but his expected average is .292, according to Statcast. His average exit velocity and hard hit rate are both currently the highest of his young career, and while he is swinging and missing a little too much, that should correct itself soon enough. If I could acquire a proven five-category stud like Bichette for a fast starter like Jazz Chisholm, Nolan Arenado, or Pete Alonso, I’d be happy to do so.”
Andrew Seifter (FantasyPros)

Zac Gallen (SP – ARI) 
“Zac Gallen, SP Arizona Diamondbacks. Gallen showed flashes in 2020 and 2021 that a 200-strikeout season with Top 10 caliber ratios was coming, but the innings pitched never developed due to injury. His 2022 ADP (#147) was low because the buzz of a breakout fizzled and it’s the D-Backs. Now’s the time to pounce. He’s just short of a strikeout per inning, the ratios are filthy, his last three outings have all been quality starts – two of them W’s – and in points leagues, he has been the fourth-best pitcher in all of fantasy over the last 14 days. The key to buying low is targeting a player nobody currently considers untouchable before buzz blows up reality and they become so expensive they are unacquirable. Go get Gallen. Nobody will fret about trading him, and he has a shot to be a must-start SP with top 20 credentials for the remainder of 2022. He’s going to be more critical to playoff contenders and more productive in August and September than Alek Manoah or Clayton Kershaw, and he’ll be better from today until October than Joe Musgrove or Max Fried. Freddy Peralta and Dylan Cease are also buy lows, though Cease will be a pricey purchase that’s worth it. He’s currently an ace at SP2 prices.”
Chris Mitchell (FantasyData)

Brandon Woodruff (SP – MIL) | Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL) 
“Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta have ERAs over 5.00 still, but both have K/9 rates over 11 and xFIP’s in the low 3.00 range. Both still have top-shelf velocity and will continue to have very favorable matchups against the Reds, Pirates and Cubs over the remainder of the season. If I wanted to get sell high on Carlos Rodon, one of these Brewers starters would be the beginning of that deal. ”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Check out our trade values for all players in our weekly Fantasy Baseball Trade Value Chart >>

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

Manny Machado (3B – SD) 
“Manny Machado, 3B, San Diego Padres. There’s no good reason to trade Manny Machado except one; his current value. He’s batting .385, he’s got seven home runs and, more shocking to me than the BA, six stolen bases. He’s the early-season MVP and at third base, which, outside of catcher (which should be eliminated as a position in fantasy), might be the thinnest and worst position in fantasy baseball. Machado’s batted over .300 or stolen double-digit bases only twice in a 10-year career. He’s on pace for a career year and an MVP. Target Dylan Cease and Alec Bregman along with Willy Adames or Josh Bell in some sort of 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 type trade structure. Sell before his pace returns to the mean. If you’re struggling early or if you just want to overload an already good roster by selling high, demand a king’s ransom and watch as you get it. 3B is thin to outright heinous. Sell the best of the bunch for a mint. That’s what Sell High is all about. Other sell highs, Alek Manoah, who is using up his bullets early in 2022 only to fade in July, and Mike Trout, who it appears can still hit really well but is done stealing bases for fantasy managers.”
Chris Mitchell (FantasyData)

Taylor Ward (OF – LAA) 
“Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward is off to a blazing start in 2022, slashing .364/.490/.675 with six home runs, 15 RBI, 20 runs, and a stolen base over 22 games. He’s the team’s everyday right fielder after they optioned top prospect Jo Adell to the minors. His statcast numbers jump off the page, evidenced by his 10.2% barrel rate while his sprint speed is in the 89th percentile. The 28-year-old is dealing with a hamstring issue, but the injury is considered minor. Ward will produce in batting average, homers, and rack up 8-10 stolen bases in 2022. He could easily finish as a top-100 hitter this season. While I believe Ward’s breakout is real, if fantasy managers are willing to give up a proven star or a top-50 player within FantasyPros expert consensus rankings to acquire him, I would move on from Ward while his trade value is at an all-time high. ”
Brad Camara (RotoBaller)

Tony Gonsolin (SP – LAD) 
“Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers is 2-0 with a sterling 1.64 ERA. The trouble is, his xFIP is 4.06 and his K/9 is a pedestrian 7.3. Gonsolin is due for regression, and although he pitches for a team slated for lots of wins, those can be arbitrary. His peripherals are underwhelming, and I would rather flip him for an Eduardo Rodriguez, who has a better K/9 rate over his career. ”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Tommy Edman (2B/OF – STL) 
“Tommy Edman. The versatile 27-year-old has gotten off to a torrid start this season and reclaimed the leadoff spot in the Cardinals lineup this season after hitting there for the majority of the 2021 season. What concerns me is that Edman has perennially posted below-average advanced hitting metrics, and his team was so underwhelmed by his own performance in 2021 that they had him hitting ninth for the first couple of weeks this season. If his own team has seen enough to think that he shouldn’t be hitting at the top of their lineup, then who am I to argue against them, ya know? Edman has a prime lineup position hitting in front of Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, and Nolan Arenado, so there is certainly fantasy value to be had here. So I would not suggest giving him away. But this is a player that was dropped in my home league after the first week of the season. If you can fetch a premium price for him (ex: Tim Anderson, Jose Altuve, Teoscar Hernandez, Corey Seager) after his recent performance, I would make a deal like that. Other sell-high candidates: Jazz Chisholm, Jr. and Anthony Rizzo. ”
Lucas Spence (Pitcher List)

Nolan Arenado (3B – STL) 
“Nolan Arenado. Arenado is a really good baseball player who is off to a scorching start, but if you can get the same price for him that you could have four years ago, it’s time to cash out. By moving from Colorado to St. Louis, he literally went from the best home ballpark for hitters to the worst. He’s 31 years old, isn’t likely to maintain a .300 average, and doesn’t steal any bases. The solid numbers he put up last season are a reasonable expectation for him going forward, but right now his numbers look like peak-Coors Arenado. I’d gladly swap him for someone like Bo Bichette, Kyle Tucker, Luis Robert, or Rafael Devers.”
Andrew Seifter (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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