Fantasy baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Unlike other fantasy sports, the season is long and drags as the weeks roll on. However, because it is such a grind, fantasy managers can lose focus on what is important and what is not, which allows astute fantasy managers to take advantage.
When we are super early into the season, we see hot and cold streaks as more important than they are. The numbers we use to gauge players aren’t a large enough sample to be meaningful yet. A three or four-game hot streak wouldn’t even be noticeable in the middle of the season, but since we have so little to work off of right now, it gets overblown. If someone in your league is ready to overreact, then take advantage of their impatience.
Here are some players that I would try and buy low and sell high on at this point in the season.
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Fantasy Baseball Trade Advice
Here are players to buy and sell this week in fantasy baseball.
Players to Buy Low
Wilson Contreras has struggled this season, hitting just .215/.301/.365 with six home runs. It has been a weird season for him, with the Cardinals not letting him catch for a brief period and then walking those statements back. However, his struggles at the plate are mostly bad luck. He has a .255 xBA, and he has a better exit velocity and barrel percentage than he did last season. You are even getting some nice speed thrown in this season which is great from a catcher. I think he is going to be turning it on pretty quickly.
Josh Naylor has been hitting .254/.311/.441 with eight home runs and four stolen bases, which isn’t awful. However, I think there are reasons to believe that he will be taking it up a notch soon. His barrel percentage is over 10%, and he has the best hard-hit percentage of his career. His xBA is .297, and he is making elite zone contact for a first baseman. Buy now before it is too late.
After a fast start to the season, Pablo Lopez has struggled over his last eight starts, throwing 45.1 innings with a 6.15 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. However, he has been unlucky on balls in play and his strand rate, plus he has a 3.79 SIERA. He is limiting hard contact, and while home runs have been an issue, it has really been two games versus two tough offenses in the Dodgers and Blue Jays. Lopez has almost always been good in his career when healthy, and he is healthy now. I am buying.
Logan Gilbert has not really been bad on the surface, throwing 64 innings with a 4.08 ERA and a .98 WHIP. The reason to “buy low” is more about how high I think he can go. He has a 28.7% strikeout rate right now, and all of his ERA indicators show his true skill level to be closer to 3.00 rather than 4.00. His new splitter has been fantastic, and I think this is the beginning of a true breakout to being an elite pitcher.
Players to Sell High
Nick Castellanos has been pretty good this season, hitting .316/.360/.498 with seven home runs and three stolen bases for the Phillies. While I don’t think he will completely fall off, his xBA is .271, and his xSLG is .448. His zone contact is also the worst of his career. If you can capitalize on the name value and get a nice deal for him, I would.
Tony Gonsolin has been great since returning from the IL, throwing 35.2 innings with a 1.77 ERA and a .90 WHIP. However, he has been getting very lucky. His xERA is 4.84, and his xFIP is even worse. He is surviving off of a .155 BABIP, and that could double, considering he is allowing way too much contact. The strikeouts have evaporated, as well. I am selling as fast as I can.
Louie Varland has been great since debuting for the Twins this season, allowing a 3.51 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 41 innings. However, I am worried about the home runs he is giving up. He has already allowed nine home runs. While he doesn’t walk batters, there is only so long you can allow that kind of home run rate and survive. I think the surface numbers and hype around him are enough to pawn him off on someone else before it goes south.