Fantasy Baseball 2013: Week 15's Buy-Low, Sell-High Trade Advice
It's been a great week in baseball, and it's hard to believe we're almost to the All-Star break. With trade deadlines approaching—for both the MLB and many fantasy leagues—it's time to get your team ready for the home stretch.
There's no better way to do that than by making big additions while cutting your slackers. Of course, in any situation you want to maximize your return. Hence, buy low and sell high.
Looking toward Week 15's action, here are some options to consider when looking for bargain trades.
Buy Low: Matt Garza
Fantasy Stats: 3-1, 3.83 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, 3.13 K/BB
Finally healthy, Matt Garza finished off June the right way.
After a tough nine-run start on June 11, the right-hander was solid down the stretch. In his last three starts of the month, he went 2-0, giving up two runs across 22.0 innings pitched.
In that same stretch, Garza struck out 23 batters while walking five.
Garza's peripherals have been fantastic so far in 2013, and he's really returning to form. He's also a potential trade candidate, which could help improve his record if shipped to a winning team.
The 29-year-old's numbers are still so-so after his slow start off the disabled list, making him a bargain for the rest of the year. If your rotation needs help, he's definitely a name to consider.
Sell High: Matt Moore
Fantasy Stats: 11-3, 3.65 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 1.80 K/BB
This one pains me given that Matt Moore is actually on my fantasy team, but given a solid deal, I wouldn't hesitate to move the young ace.
Moore was dominant to start the season, and then he hit some ugly hiccups in June. However, it looks like he's coming out of his dry spell, surrendering just four runs across 19.1 innings over his past three starts.
Even though Moore looks to be back on track, nothing has changed from his struggles. He's still sporting a high WHIP and low K/BB ratio. While he's struck out 24 in those three starts, he's also walked nine.
Moore is a solid pitcher, but his control is far from that of an ace. If you can work out a big deal for the right-hander, I suggest you take it—I know I will if one comes my way.
Buy Low: David Price
Fantasy Stats: 2-4, 4.65 ERA, 1.323 WHIP, 4.21 K/BB
David Price was masterful in his return to the mound after dealing with a tricep injury, pitching 7.0 innings with zero runs, zero walks and 10 strikeouts on just 70 pitches.
While the start did come against the lowly Houston Astros, it's safe to assume the ace is back after a dreadful start to the season.
A trade might have been easier before Price's return to the mound, but after just one start, some cautious owners have to be out there. If you can work a bargain deal for Price, you won't regret it.
Sell High: Eric Hosmer
Fantasy Stats: .276 BA, 40 R, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB
As a disclaimer, let me say I really want to believe in Eric Hosmer, but I need to see more before I trust him in fantasy.
The young slugger is coming off a huge June in which he hit .303 with six home runs and 17 RBI. Not bad.
But that's still just one month, and he still only has seven home runs. Not to mention his ISO and fly-ball rate aren't exactly where they should be for a big-time power hitter.
Until Hosmer can prove he can consistently hit for power, he's far from a sure thing in fantasy. If someone in your league shows interest, don't shy away from making a deal.
Buy Low: Nick Franklin
Fantasy Stats: .299 BA, 13 R, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 5 SB
While many Seattle Mariners prospects have disappointed over the past couple of season, Nick Franklin appears to be the real deal.
The rookie has been solid through 32 games, showing a mature approach at the plate while providing a solid source for power and speed.
Franklin still has a ways to go, but right now he's more than worth a flier. If you need help in your infield, definitely get your hands on Franklin before he really makes a splash.
Sell High: Jose Reyes
Fantasy Stats: .338 BA, 11 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 SB
There are few absolutes in fantasy baseball, but there's one I always try to remember: The next Jose Reyes injury is just around the corner.
Reyes has flown out of the gates after starting 2013 on the DL, with a studly three home runs and five stolen bases in just 17 games played.
First off, don't get too excited about the power. Reyes has never hit more than 20 home runs in a season, and his highest total in the past five years is 11.
As for the speed and average, that's for real. But once again, we have to wonder how healthy the 30-year-old can be for the remainder of the season.
So my advice to you Reyes owners out there: Save yourself the headache and deal the shortstop for something good while he's hot.
Buy Low: Kenley Jansen
Fantasy Stats: 7 SV, 2.41 ERA, 0.951 WHIP, 9.83 K/BB
Despite retaking the closer role for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenley Jansen hasn't received much notice in fantasy. That's probably because—despite his five saves in June—he hasn't had many opportunities to close yet.
But the peripherals speak for themselves, as the 25-year-old continues to put up some monster stats.
And don't forget how good he was last season, posting 25 saves and 99 strikeouts in just 65 appearances.
If you need saves and can get your hands on Jansen, now is the time.
Sell High: Pedro Alvarez
Fantasy Stats: .239 BA, 35 R, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 1 SB
Pedro Alvarez has enjoyed a huge June, hitting an unprecedented .309/.380/.680 with 10 home runs. If you were smart enough to ride out his hot streak, now might be the time to pass him off.
Despite hitting .309 in June, it's doubtful he'll finish the season hitting above .250. He's a career .237 hitter, with walk and strikeout rates of 8.7 percent and 33.4 percent, respectively.
And even though he has 53 RBI, it's doubtful he breaks 100—the Pittsburgh Pirates are just 22nd in OBP this season with a mark of .308.
The third baseman is a big-time slugger, and no matter what, he's going to keep his home run numbers up. But if you can lure an owner into a trade for a more well-rounded player, now's the time to move Alvarez.
Buy Low: Chase Utley
Fantasy Stats: .279 BA, 34 R, 11 HR, 30 RBI, 6 SB
After a hot start, Chase Utley cooled off quite a bit in May, but he's turning things back up just in the nick of time.
Coming off his hottest month of the season—he hit .326/.383/.674 in June—the 34-year-old is still posting solid stats for a second baseman.
The other thing to remember here is that Utley seems to be a prime trade target this July. The rumored front-runner is the Dodgers, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Utley could do a lot of damage slotted into that lineup.
Given his hot month and high value if traded, Utley is a solid buy for any owner in need of middle-infield support.
Sell High: R.A. Dickey
Fantasy Stats: 8-8, 4.59 ERA, 1.288 WHIP, 1.95 K/BB
It's been an up-and-down season for R.A. Dickey, and you might be thinking he's turned a corner with his past two starts. Don't.
In those two starts, the knuckler is a perfect 2-0 with a complete-game shutout in one start and a 7.0-inning, two-earned run performance in the other. Not bad at all.
But, looking at the big picture, Dickey's numbers speak for themselves. He has six starts this season in which he's given up six or more runs, and two of those came in June.
And his strikeout numbers are still too low for him to be as effective as he was in his New York years.
Chances are his past two starts have some owners thinking he's back to ace form. Take advantage of their optimism and jump ship before the next blowup.