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Fantasy Baseball Buy High/Sell Low: Brandon Woodruff, Austin Riley, Rhys Hoskins (2022)

by Brian Entrekin | @bdentrek | Featured Writer
Jul 6, 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. Some are just hot streaks, and some are worth buying into, so we are here to help make the right decisions for your fantasy teams. With that said, let’s look at a handful of players that you should buy high or sell low.

Buy High

Amed Rosario (SS – CLE)
Rosario is putting together quite a season; this week was a great example. He hit safely in six of eight games for a .414 batting average. In addition, Rosario hit a home run and stole a base while scoring five runs. Rosario was even caught stealing twice, so the silver lining there is he is allowed to run wild.

Rosario is now hitting .282 with three home runs and nine stolen bases. The three home runs have come since June 15 while also hitting .329. Rosario has a .921 OPS and 163 wRC+ since the 15th and has also shown solid plate discipline skills. Overall, Rosario is having a solid season, but the production over the last few weeks brings a lot of optimism for the rest of the fantasy season.

Austin Riley (3B – ATL)
Riley continues to mash week in and week out, with last week no exception. Riley hit safely in five of six games, with multiple hits in his previous four games. Riley hit two home runs with a 1.326 OPS and 259 wRC+. He only barreled the ball 5.3% of the time, which is a bit surprising, but he did have an insane 73.7% hard-hit rate.

Many were wondering if Riley could continue hitting for average this season, and so far, so good, with a .263 batting average. In addition, Riley has 20 home runs with a .855 OPS and 133 wRC+. There appears to be no hiccup from last season’s major success, and he is proving he was worth the high draft pick at third base.

Rhys Hoskins (1B – PHI)
Hoskins has been on quite a tear over the last month or so, and this past week, he went off. Hoskins hit safely in all six games with six extra-base hits, four of which were home runs. Hoskins continued to showcase his outstanding OBP skills by striking out 12% of the time and walking 20%. His 35.3% barrel rate and 52.9% hard-hit rate were elite. Hoskins is now hitting .257 with 17 home runs and a 134 wRC+, reassuring many that he was a great draft day value.

Brandon Woodruff (SP – MIL)
Welcome back, Woodruff!!!! After a stint on the IL and a couple of excellent rehab starts, Woodruff returned for a two-start week and dominated. He picked up two wins while throwing 11 innings, allowing one run and striking out 18. Woodruff did not walk a batter to go with an insane 45% strikeout rate. Additionally, he only allowed an 18% hard-hit rate with a 33.3% O-swing, 58.3% contact rate, and 20.6% SwStr. If Woodruff can continue dealing (he obviously can’t be this elite the whole time), then he will once again finish as one of the top fantasy starting pitchers out there.

Robbie Ray (SP – SEA)
After a rough start to the season for Ray, he has found his groove over the last four to six weeks. This past week, he dealt over his two starts. Ray threw a combined 13.2 innings while allowing one run and striking out 20. Over his last five starts, he has thrown at least six innings while allowing three runs and struck out 40 over 33.2 innings. Ray looks locked and loaded yet again and is back to a Cy Young-type pitcher.

Sell Low

Nelson Cruz (UTIL – WAS)
Cruz has been lost this season, and this past week was no exception. He collected three hits with a .317 OPS and -8 wRC+. He had a horrible 36.2% O-swing and an 80% contact rate. Cruz is only hitting .241 on the season with eight home runs and a 94 wRC+. Cruz was scratched on Tuesday, so the injury bug may be rearing its ugly head. I have been dropping Cruz wherever I can, and if you can trade him, I would immediately.

Yoan Moncada (3B – CWS)
Even after returning from the IL, Moncada continued to struggle. He collected hits in three games last week for a .200 batting average. He did not walk once and struck out 34.6% of the time, with a .040 ISO and 34 wRC+. Moncada even showcased poor base running skills as he was a part of Sunday’s triple play. He is now hitting .183 on the season with three home runs and appears to be quite the bust yet again.

Josh Donaldson (3B – NYY)
Donaldson did collect hits in five of six games last week but only hit .227 with a .670 OPS and 88 wRC+. He only drove in three runs while not hitting a home run. In an offense that is loaded like the Yankees, you would expect a lot more in the counting stats department. He is now hitting .226 on the season with six home runs and a 26% strikeout rate. Donaldson is hitting a measly .224 over the last month with one home run and a 79 wRC+. As much as I was all in on Donaldson before the season, I am all out now.

Tarik Skubal (SP – DET)
Skubal started the season in a big way, and many thought he finally arrived as a fantasy must-start. Well, that has come to a quick halt as of late, and this past week’s two-start week was no exception. He only threw 4.2 innings in both starts, allowing eight runs while walking seven and striking out six. He had a -2.4 K-BB to go with a measly 9.1% SwStr.

Skubal has now lost five straight starts. He has allowed 23 runs over the five starts (23 innings) while striking out 20 and walking 14. Skubal is not going deep into games and is walking far too many to be serviceable. As a result, he is droppable in 12-team formats and even a tough start in 15-team leagues. If you can find someone who still believes in his skills, make the trade now.

Craig Kimbrel (RP – LAD)
It has been a rough season for Kimbrel, and his last outing was no exception, with a blown save where he allowed three runs in 0.3 IP. He has 14 saves on the season, which is nice, but he also has a 4.78 ERA. Some peripheral stats look nice, like a 2.65 SIERA and 24.2% K-BB, but Kimbrel is not right. He may even be hurt as he is having an MRI this week. There are rumblings that Kimbrel may start getting some saves given to other arms for his health, and that means he will be in a bit of a committee and not a good fantasy closer like he once was.

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