We have made it through another week of the season and into August, meaning we have two months of baseball to go. Therefore, we have another set of players to buy high or sell low based on their recent performances and a full-season outlook.
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.
Jonathan India’s return from the IL continues to heat up as he looks more and more like the ROY version of India. This past week, he was hitting well, with hits in six of seven games for a .429 batting average. India had six extra-base hits, including two home runs. He walked nearly 10% of the time while striking out 16.7%. India’s 1.270 OPS and 245 wRC+ play great out of the leadoff spot in “Great American Small Park,” which should continue for the season’s final two months. India appears healthy and ready to roll to some fantasy championships.
Starling Marte has been battling injuries all season and returned last week, looking healthy and raking. He played in three games and had multiple hits in all three. Marte collected four extra-base hits, including two home runs to go with five RBI. He did strike out a horrible 44% of the time, but the 20% barrel rate and 80% hard-hit rate are a great sign of being healthy at the plate. The Mets are looking to make a postseason push, and Marte can help them and your fantasy team down the stretch.
After a stagnant start to his big league debut, Adley Rutschman has become quite comfortable at the plate. This past week he hit .263 with five RBI, but more importantly, he only struck out 12% of the time with a 16% walk rate. Since July 6, Rutschman has been hitting .344 with two home runs and 15 runs scored. He has a solid 17.9% walk rate, .230 ISO, 1.048 OPS and 197 wRC+.
In addition, Rutschman only struck out 16.7% of the time with a 10.2% barrel rate and 55.1% hard-hit rate. Rutschman is getting very comfortable at the plate and could be in store for a very nice final two months of the season.
Nick Lodolo made two starts last week – both at “Great American Small Park” – and was dominant. He threw six innings in both starts, allowing one earned run while striking out 16. Lodolo had an impressive 25.5% K-BB with an excellent 15.5% SwStr. Lodolo now has a 21.3% K-BB over his eight starts with a 3.25 SIERA. Lodolo looks like a future ace and should produce some great strikeout numbers for the rest of the season, as long as he is allowed to pitch before a potential inning limit sets in.
Reid Detmers has been a different pitcher since his return from the minors and this past week was no exception. He made one start (dang 6-man rotation) and threw seven innings while allowing one earned run and striking out 12 versus the Rangers. Since returning to the Angels on July 8, he has made four starts, throwing 24 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out 31. His 24.2% K-BB and 13.1% SwStr are lovely, and assuming he pitches the rest of the season with the improved slider, he should continue to add excellent fantasy value.
Detmers is quite a positive for the Angels, but there are also a lot of negatives when it comes to their offense. I wrote about Jared Walsh in this week’s “Risers and Fallers” column, so now it is time for Taylor Ward. After a red hot start where he took the fantasy world by storm, he has slowed down big time. This past week he only collected two hits for a .091 batting average. He did walk 11% of the time, scored three runs and stole a base, but he also struck out 22% with a 29 wRC+. Ward only hit .190 in July with two home runs and seven RBI while striking out nearly 29% of the time. He still barreled the ball 10.5% of the time, but his overall production has taken a significant hit. I would sell now if someone in your league is still interested in Ward.
Bobby Dalbec appears to be the player we thought he was, making him very hard to roster. He does supply some power, hitting two home runs last week. But he also hurts your batting average, .167 last week, while also striking out a lot, 30.8% last week. Dalbec barreled the ball 29.4% of the time with a 52.9% hard-hit rate, but his .609 OPS and 57 wRC+ are not going to cut it in the long term. Dalbec only has 10 home runs to go with 29 RBI and 31 runs scored this season, and playing time may be harder to find with the addition of Eric Hosmer. Move on now.
Tommy Pham was recently traded to the Red Sox, so maybe a new home will help him perform better. But, for now, I am not very optimistic. Last week he hit .259 with one extra-base hit and a .037 ISO. He struck out 34.5% of the time with a 38.5% O-swing and 14.6% SwStr. Pham only hits .238 on the season with 11 home runs and a 25.8% strikeout rate. If you can move Pham now, I definitely would.
Sean Manaea’s season has been a roller coaster ride and this past week was no exception. He made two starts, only going 3.1 innings in one start and six innings in another. He allowed 11 runs, six earned and 11 strikeouts. He allowed two home runs in each start while allowing a 16.7% barrel rate and 50% hard-hit rate. Manaea now has a pedestrian 14.9% K-BB on the season and 1.47 HR/9. He is too volatile to roster every week, and better left for someone else’s team.
I have been waiting for Lance Lynn to get on track since returning from the IL, but it appears that may never happen. This past week he made one start, throwing 5.2 innings and allowing five runs. He did strike out eight, which was nice, but a 25% barrel rate and 50% hard-hit rate is less than ideal. Lynn has made nine starts since returning from the IL and allowed nearly 2 HR/9 with a 4.67 FIP and 3.65 xFIP. The strikeouts are there for Lynn, but the overall production is not, and that makes him very tough to start weekly.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.
Brian Entrekin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Brian, check out his Twitter @bdentrek.