Each and every week during the fantasy baseball season, we’ll be doing a stock report, looking at the players who are improving their value on a week-to-week basis.
If there are players you want me to dive into, feel free to tag me on Twitter @MichaelWaterloo.
Now, without any further ado, let’s get to it.
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I was hesitant to be in on Donovan at the beginning of the season. There wasn’t really a tool that stood out to me, but he’s been super valuable for fantasy managers with his eligibility all over the field. Though he’s been dealing with an injury that is keeping him as the team’s DH, we could see his value spike after the trade deadline if, in fact, the Cardinals are sellers as we expect them to be. Regardless of the position that he takes over, I’m buying a big second half from Donovan for fantasy managers.
Over the last 30 days, no player who has more than 60 plate appearances has a worse wRC+ than Varsho. His is 15. As a reminder, 100 is considered average. It’s time to eat crow. I was all-in on Varsho this season, given that he had catcher eligibility and would be playing the outfield regularly for the Blue Jays. But he’s been brutal. Varsho has a 35.1K% during that stretch, and he’s slashing .183/.205/.225 with a laughable 1.4BB%.
I put the call out to Twitter for this piece, and I got Benson as an answer for someone that a reader is looking to acquire. He dropped him early in the year, and I get it. But if only we had a time machine to undo that drop. Benson hit .050 in March/April, but he’s hit above .302 in every month that has followed. He rarely plays against lefties, but that’s OK. He does his damage (seven homers, .313 average) against righties, and he’s been one of the bigger reasons for the Reds’ success.
It’s easy to look at the last month of Buxton’s play and see just how poor he’s been. But we can look at the bigger picture with him and see just how poorly he’s played all season long. He has the highest strikeout rate of his career at 31.7 percent, and while the power has been there, he’s slashing just .195/.284/.418 in 334 plate appearances. That is behind only Kyle Schwarber for the worst batting average in baseball, and his strikeout rate is even worse than his. Even his quality of contact has dipped, as his HardHit% is down to 44.2 percent, which is the lowest mark since 2019, when he played in just 87 games.
This is all speculation here, but the Rays have been linked to Lynn as the trade deadline approaches. We know what the Rays are able to do for pitchers – look at Zach Eflin this season – and I have blind faith that the Rays will be able to maximize Lynn’s ability should he land there. We’ve had solid stretches from Lynn this season, but it’s been more of a rollercoaster than we’ve been used to for him over the last few years. I’m looking to get him now before he officially gets moved and hope that the Rays can work their magic yet again.
I tried to warn everyone that the version that we saw of Elder earlier this season wasn’t actually who he really is. Over the last 30 days, Elder’s strikeout rate has dipped to 9.6 percent, which is better than only Zack Greinke during that time. What’s more, batters are hitting .286 against him, and his FIP is 6.20. Elder doesn’t have the kind of stuff that you need a pitcher to have to be a good fantasy option. When you top out at 90 without precision control, you’re waiting for a blowup to happen. Get out now.