Fantasy Baseball Buy High/Sell Low: Mookie Betts, Pete Alonso, Trent Grisham (2022)
We have made it through another week of the season, and that means we have another set of players to buy high or sell low based on their recent performances and a full-season outlook.
It is still challenging to get a great feel on a player as many underlying metrics have not had enough time to develop fully, but we are getting closer as we have played a little over a month of baseball. With all of that said, let’s look at a handful of players that you should buy high or sell low.
After a slow start to the season that left some concerned that Mookie Betts may be injured, he has bounced back and left all doubters behind. Betts hit safely in six of seven games this past week with four doubles and three home runs. He racked up 11 runs scored to go with a 15.7% walk rate and a monster 251 wRC+. In addition, Betts barreled the ball 9.5% of the time with a 52.4% hard-hit rate.
This past week has just been more of the same of late for Betts, who is now hitting .273 on the season with 10 home runs and three stolen bases. He is looking like an elite fantasy asset and should score well over 100 runs this season to go with his power, speed, and average batting support. Buy now while you can.
What a week for Tim Anderson, who hit safely in five of six games with multiple hits in all five games. He hit .462 with a 10% walk rate and an even more impressive 6.7% strikeout rate. Anderson only had one home run, so the power was not off the charts, but he did steal two bases to go with a 236 wRC+. Anderson is now hitting .359 this season with five home runs and seven stolen bases. A 20/20 season could be in the cards for Anderson to go with an excellent batting average and counting stats. He was a favorite of mine on draft day, and so far, so good.
As I am writing this, Pete Alonso just hit his 11th home run of the season. He is in the midst of a monster year, aided by a strong last week. He had four multiple-hit games with two home runs, and the Polar Bear even stole a base. More impressively, Alonso only struck out 12.5% of the time. He is hitting .287 with 11 home runs, 25 runs, and 40 RBI. Alonso may finish the season as the top fantasy first baseman, surpassing everyone’s favorite, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
I will be 100% honest, the preseason shoulder injury for Zack Wheeler concerned me heading into the season. Well, Wheeler has put those concerns to rest. He fired seven shutout innings this past week with no walks and nine strikeouts. His fastball velocity was back up to 96 mph, and he racked up a near 20% SwStr.
This now gives Wheeler three of his last four starts, where he has thrown at least six innings, allowing zero runs, and striking out seven. He again looks like the elite arm that finished 2021 and is worth a trade if you can acquire him.
MacKenzie Gore was off to a great start this season, but the return of Mike Clevinger and Blake Snell sent him back to the bullpen. He pitched three shutout innings in relief this past Tuesday and then re-entered the rotation on Sunday when Clevinger returned to the IL. Gore answered the call throwing six innings, allowing one run, and striking out six. He has now allowed three earned runs or less in every appearance this season to go with a 2.06 ERA, 2.33 FIP, and 19.3% K-BB. Gore is a must-have while he is in the rotation, and he should have plenty of chances with the injury history in the Padres’ rotation.
I keep saying to sell or even drop Trent Grisham, and here we are again. Grisham hit .111 over five games this past week with one run scored and two RBIs. Grisham struck out 25% of the time with an 81.8% contact rate and -3 wRC+.
Grisham was bad last week and has been bad most of the season. He is now hitting .146 with one home run and zero stolen bases. Grisham is striking out 27% of the time and has dropped to the bottom of the Padres’ batting order. He has next to no fantasy value at this time.
I was all in on Robbie Grossman heading into the season. I loved his later-round value with some power and speed upside. So far, not so good for Grossman. He is hitting .203 with zero home runs and has only two stolen bases. Grossman is striking out nearly 30% of the time with a 75.8% contact rate and 9.4% SwStr. This past week he collected three hits for a .167 batting average but did steal one of his two bases on the season. Grossman is still hitting atop the Tigers’ lineup, which keeps things interesting, but his production thus far leaves some serious concern.
I was pretty surprised by the Adam Duvall love in draft season, and thus far, I feel pretty good with that concern. On the season, Duvall is hitting .199 with only two home runs, a .092 ISO, and a 31.4% strikeout rate. This past week, Duvall hit .182 with one RBI, a .045 ISO, 29.2% strikeout rate, and 39 wRC+. Duvall is reverting to his pre-2021 form, which means it is time to move on from the Braves slugger.
There was a lot of hype on Kyle Bradish when the Orioles called him up, but it has been messy outside of a great start or two. This past week he made two starts and pitched 9.2 innings with nine earned runs, three home runs, five walks, and 11 strikeouts. Bradish is getting the K’s regular, but he is also getting hit hard and allowing his fair share of longballs. He has now allowed at least one home run in each start to go with an 11% barrel rate and a 5.01 FIP. Bradish is better used as a streamer in the right matchups instead of an every-week starter.
I have been anti-Zach Plesac for some time, which has not changed this year. Sure he only allowed two runs over six innings in his start last week, but he also only struck out three. He faced the Reds, who are strikeout machines. Strikeouts have always been a problem for Plesac, as he has 23 strikeouts over 38.2 innings this season to go with a 6.6% K-BB. You combine the poor K-BB with a 1.40 HR/9, 5.01 FIP, 10.6% barrel rate, and 44.6% hard-hit rate, and you have a massive recipe for disaster surrounding Plesac.
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Brian Entrekin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Brian, check out his Twitter @bdentrek.