Fantasy Baseball Buy High/Sell Low: Dansby Swanson, Jose Abreu, Nelson Cruz (2022)
We have made it through another week of the season, so we have another set of players to Buy High or Sell Low based on their weekly performances. Based on their recent performances and a full-season outlook, I will break down some players to buy or sell in the coming weeks. Let’s look at a handful of players that you should buy high or sell low.
Dansby Swanson started the season hitting at the bottom of the Braves’ lineup, and his fantasy value took a hit. However, those who were patient have been reaping the benefits of Swanson moving to the top of the order. This past week, Swanson hit .333 with two home runs and two stolen bases. He walked 14.3% of the time with a .292 ISO and 189 wRC+.
Swanson moved to the two spot in the batting order on May 25, and since then, he has been hitting .361 with four home runs and five stolen bases. He is walking 10.1% of the time and striking out less than 18% of the time, with a .175 ISO and 170 wRC+. Swanson has been a run-scoring machine with 20 runs scored since the 25th and, more impressively, is mashing with a 50% hard-hit rate. Swanson should stick at the top of the order for the rest of the season, especially with Ozzie Albies out for a couple of months. Swanson should be a top-five shortstop for the foreseeable future.
It took Abreu a while to get going this season, but the 35-year-old is mashing like most fantasy players have grown to expect. This past week, Abreu hit .360 with five extra-base hits with two home runs. In addition, he had a .360 ISO and 233 wRC+ while barreling the ball 14.3% of the time with a 52.4% hard-hit rate. Abreu also showcased excellent plate discipline with a 13.8% walk rate and a 13.8% strikeout rate. Over the last month, Abreu has six home runs with a 15.2% walk rate and an impressive 195 wRC+. Abreu is once again a top-end fantasy first baseman.
Contreras has been the most consistent bright spot on the Cubs, which was no different last week. He hit safely in all seven games, suitable for a .379 batting average. In addition, he hit two home runs and stole a base on his way to a 201 wRC+. Contreras has been a beast this year, hitting .283 with 12 home runs and three stolen bases, which is quite impressive considering the lack of protection in the Cubs’ lineup. Contreras should keep mashing this season, and if he gets traded to a contender, he may see his value rise even more.
After a rough start to the season, Pivetta has been giving a great start after an excellent start for the Red Sox. This past week, he made two starts and picked up two wins. He threw 15 innings, allowed two runs, and struck out 13. In addition, Pivetta was fooling hitters, as he allowed a measly 75.6% contact rate with a 10.1% SwStr. Over his last 10 starts, Pivetta has collected seven wins with a 2.07 ERA, 2.73 FIP, and 20% K-BB. Pivetta has been outstanding and should be a must-start fantasy pitcher for weeks.
Manoah put together quite the two-step last week. He fired off six shutout innings in his first start and allowed four runs over 5.1 innings in his second start. He struck out 12 over the two starts and did not allow a home run. The four-run start could be a bit unlucky, as he had a 2.07 FIP over the two starts to go with a 21.7% K-BB and 11.1% SwStr. Nevertheless, Manoah has been a consistent force in the Jays’ rotation and should be in your fantasy lineups for the rest of the season.
I keep hoping that Cruz will turn things around, but I am at the point in the season where I am losing hope, and maybe Father Time has caught up with the big man. This past week, Cruz only collected four hits over the Nats’ eight games with two doubles and only two RBI. Cruz did walk 11.8% of the time, which is nice, but he struck out a crazy 32.4%. Cruz had a bad 35.1% O-swing, an even worse 60.3% contact rate, and a horrible 19.2% SwStr. Cruz only has seven home runs this season and a 101 wRC+, which is not going to cut it for the UTIL-only Cruz.
The Marsh experience needs to come to an end in Anaheim. This past week, he struck out 54.5% of the time with a 34.8% O-swing, 66.7% contact rate, and 17% SwStr. Marsh only collected three hits over seven games, starting in five games. His .048 ISO and three wRC+ are beyond bad right now. Marsh is hitting .246 this season with six home runs and a 33.9% strikeout rate. Let’s give Jo Adell another real shot with the big club.
Turner may be on a similar path as Cruz when age catches up with him. This past week, he only had three hits over the Dodgers’ five games, hitting .167 with a 56 wRC+. He did barrel the ball 7.1% of the time, but a 28.6% hard-hit rate backed up his abysmal .056 ISO. Turner is now hitting .209 on the season with only four home runs and a 78 wRC+. The 37-year-old may finally be hitting the end of the road, which means he should also be hitting the end for your fantasy teams.
There has been a changing of the guard in Philadelphia’s closing situation and this past week was the last straw for Knebel. He made three appearances, allowed five runs while walking five, and only struck out two. Over his last nine appearances, he allowed nine runs over 8.2 innings for a 5.19 ERA and 9.24 xFIP. He only struck out eight while walking 10. Knebel may be hurt, or he may just not be good. Either way, he should be off all fantasy rosters.
There was a point earlier this season that it appeared Kikuchi made a pitch mix change that made him into a good fantasy asset. Well, that time has passed. This past week, Kikuchi made two starts, throwing only four innings in each start, and allowed seven runs with four home runs. He did strike out nine but walked six and had a whopping 10.38 FIP. Kikuchi has thrown only 13.1 innings over his last four starts while allowing 14 runs and seven home runs. It is time to move on from Kikuchi.
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