Fantasy Baseball: 3 Latest 'Buy Low' Fantasy Trade Options
With less than two months remaining in the fantasy baseball season, we must resort to crafty measures in order to bolster our clubs.
Every year, underperforming players collect dust on our opponents’ rosters. What are usually unavailable commodities are now ripe for the taking.
Fantasy owners finally succumb to the notion that their star player won’t emerge from his slump or improve a particular nauseating statistic. They reach the point of debilitating cynicism, falling prisoner to fantasy baseball apathy—Juan Uribe, I appreciate the long ball, but you’ll never hit above .193, will you?
Okay, I admit that was bit of an embellishment. Uribe is hitting a respectable .195.
Nonsensical examples aside, certain players simply play better in August and September. It either relates to historical tendencies or a positive upswing happening in the current season.
Other players are just too talented not to pick things up as the season winds down.
One way or another, this is the time to exploit those fantasy opponents who are unaware of the change taking place under their very eyes (or otherwise imminent.)
Now is the time to pounce on those dust-collecting players who actually carry real value and that will help your team down the stretch.
Let’s see if we can’t dig up a tantalizing prospect or two worthy of a trade.
Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta Braves
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Before you freak out, remove your eyes from the bikini-clad babes that are his 12 HR and 57 RBI.
I realize Uggla’s power numbers place him tied for third in HR and in the top five for RBI among second basemen.
However, Uggla is the type of player that owners become apathetic towards and simply forget about because of his high strikeout totals and wretched batting average. This year he’s batting a whopping .218—good for 19th out of all 20 qualifying players at the position.
That statistic is exactly what will entice opposing owners to bite on a trade with your pitching-rich team.
What they may not know is that Uggla currently rocks a .346 batting average in the month of August. They’ll only remember the .160 mark in June and .115 performance in July.
He hit at a .340-clip in August of last year after hitting below the Mendoza line in June, if that serves as any motivation.
So if you’re looking for a little infusion of power into a pitching-dominant lineup, Dan Uggla could be your man.
John Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox
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Here is a man with enough of a backbone to shut out needless outside distractions to right the ship for himself and the Sox.
In fantasy terms, he’ll realize his immense talent in a way that produces a month-long stretch of sub-3.00 ERA.
Or how he performed from August 5th through the first week of September in 2011.
What makes the former 19-game winner available on the cheap is his current seven-start winless streak.
Lester is a type of über-talented player who’s underperforming to such an extent that fantasy owners are willing to cut bait based off pure unabated frustration.
Your fantasy baseball adversaries—such as one in my league—will take a minimal return just to rid the man from their bench.
He’s produced monster Augusts and Septembers before, and can surely do it again—especially for a team that ranks second in the MLB in runs scored.
The leftie has also been bad enough to earn a spot on the chopping block, but good enough to warrant a place on your roster (he pitched well enough to win in two out of his last three starts).
Take a gander at Mr. Lester; odds are he’s pissed off at least one owner in your leagues.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
There’s something counterintuitive going on in Pittsburgh.
Some might even call it magical.
The perennially losing Pirates are 15 games over .500 and tied for first in the wild-card standings—in August.
And Wandy Rodriguez—a good pitcher so accustomed to playing for a bad team—is finally starting for a club with a legitimate shot at the postseason. That’s been a foreign concept to the man since 2005.
Two out of Rodriguez’ three starts with the Pirates have resulted in losses. That could indicate to some fantasy owners that he’s on the beginning of a downswing in his new city, thereby making him expendable.
On the contrary, I’d argue that Rodriguez is trending upward based on his consistent track record.
He’s finished strong with a sub-4.00 ERA during the last two months of the season for the past three years. He’s also a durable innings-eater and a guy that can contribute on the back end of a fantasy rotation.
Now that Rodriguez is in a winning atmosphere in Pittsburgh, I expect his numbers to improve and create more than adequate fantasy value.
The 0-2 record also doesn’t tell the whole story, since two of his three starts were quality.
Careful examination reveals that Rodriguez’s value lies beyond those numbers.
Try to be the one who secures it for the future of your fantasy team.
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