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

May 17, 2022

 

What makes fantasy sports so much fun? All pseudo GMs have their own specific answer to this question, but odds are high that most responses would deal with the fact that the landscape is always changing, especially during the season. There’s always new data to explore and new opinions to be formed. Plus, the collective fantasy community is wrong on so much. If the consensus opinion on every player was always right, then there would be no reason to trade, steals and busts would no longer exist, and the first managers to pick in their drafts would have the best teams and dominate the league.

With spring training rankings and projections totally upended after just a few weeks of in-season action, it’s up to each fake baseball manager to adjust based on the new data and make the best moves for their roster’s future. Our featured analysts of some suggestions on what those moves could be, so read on to see who they’re looking to trade for or away.

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

Seiya Suzuki (OF – CHC) 
“It seems crazy to think that you can already buy low on Seiya Suzuki after his hot start to the season, but here we are. Suzuki has been ice cold at the plate for a few weeks now and is batting just .211 with no home runs, one run scored, and two RBI in May. But most of his underlying numbers are solid, and his batted ball data is excellent. I’m chalking this up to the league adjusting to Suzuki and the growing pains of learning a new league. I expect Suzuki to adapt soon, and I’m willing to do a 1-for-1 swap of a sell-high player like Andrew Benintendi or Paul Blackburn. ”
Mike Maher (FantasyPros)

Whit Merrifield (2B/OF – KC) 
“He’s had some bad luck as his BABIP is only .193, but he’s not striking out much and is still hitting the ball hard. His xBA is .266, and his HardHit % and Barrel% are up over last year. When he’s on base, he’s still running and is 5-for-5 in SB attempts. He already appears to be pulling out of it, so you may need to move fast to get him at a value. I’d gladly exchange him for someone like Brandon Marsh or Kolten Wong, who have outplayed Merrifield this season.”
Scott Youngson (Pitcher List)

Austin Riley (1B/3B – ATL) 
“Austin Riley is hitting .184 over the last two weeks with a .571 OPS. This may be your window to buy him. Regardless of the bad BA this season, Riley has still hit seven HRs and we’ve seen him run hot and cold in the past. I would start a package with, say, Josh Bell (who’s had a nice start to his season) and go from there.”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Gleyber Torres (2B/SS – NY) 
“Gleyber Torres is still battling for regular playing time in a crowded Yankees lineup, but he has also been the victim of some batted ball misfortune. Torres ranks above average in “expected statistics” such as xBA and xwOBA, but the actual “on the surface” numbers are a far cry from where he should be. His arrow is pointing up, and his string of big hits for New York is likely going to lead to an increased role. He shouldn’t be too expensive to acquire, where a low-end starting pitcher is probably more than enough to get a deal done.”
Mario Mergola (Sporfolio)

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?

Paul Blackburn (SP – OAK) 
“Paul Blackburn has been one of the best pitchers in baseball through the first month and a half of the season. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence, but it’s true. I recently did a deep dive on expected numbers for pitchers, and Blackburn was right there in the top 10 with all of the top names. But even though his numbers seem to be more earned than luck, there are plenty of red flags. His 4% HR/FB rate isn’t sustainable even with a GB% above 50%, there is limited strikeout upside, and he’s on a bad team. He’s going to turn back into a pumpkin at some point, and I’m trading him for the aforementioned Suzuki, Juan Yepez, Hunter Renfroe or Julio Rodriguez. ”
Mike Maher (FantasyPros)

Michael Kopech (SP – CWS) 
“Michael Kopech. He’s got a great future, but he’s already thrown 35 innings this season after throwing 69 last year. How much will the ChiSox stretch him? I think he goes back in the bullpen soon — probably once Lance Lynn returns. Also, he’s due for a bit of regression to his ERA. A 1.86 BABIP and no HRs allowed are not sustainable. I wouldn’t let him go too cheap but would take someone like Trevor Rogers for him as he’s likely to give me similar production with a lot more innings.”
Scott Youngson (Pitcher List)

Taylor Ward (OF – LAA) 
“28-tear old late bloomers always make me skeptical, and Taylor Ward is one of them. He’s been an enormous beneficiary of the Angels lineup protection (Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani) and there’s no way he can keep up a .385 BA/1.247 OPS pace. He’s given you a fantastic start to the season, but regression is inevitable and his value is at it’s zenith. I’d swap him straight up for his teammate Jared Walsh or buy low on Randy Arozarena.”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL) 
“Corbin Burnes – Simply put, it’s asking a lot for a Cy Young winner to immediately deliver another outstanding campaign the following season. While Corbin Burnes’ numbers indicate he might be an exception to the rule, we can also see the underlying metrics that signal a potential regression looming. Burnes has an elite ERA and WHIP right now, but his hard-hit percentage and exit velocity are both well above last year’s rate and his career averages. If he fails to miss bats on a regular basis, he will quickly return to the mean. The time to move Burnes would be now, as he can fetch almost any player in return — the demand for a high-end starting pitcher is always high.”
Mario Mergola (Sporfolio)


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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