In this week's buy / sell, we look at some sleeper hitters who can very likely be bought cheaply right now, as well as some overvalued hitters you should consider trading away. But first, there will be a little gloating over last week's buy candidate, who went off in a historic way...
Hopefully You Listened To Me....
Well, Lonnie Chisenhall certainly made a statement on Monday. A five for five night with three HR and nine RBI is about the best game I can remember for a hitter (pretty nice weekly numbers too). For those of you who took my advice last week and picked him up, enjoy a killer start to your fantasy week. I wish I could have picked him up myself, but in a 16-team league, a guy like Lonnie got picked up around May 5th. I bet a few personal bests were broken in the 40-yard dash to a computer after Chisenhall's monster night.
Hitters To Buy In Trades
There is only one direction to go for Carlos Santana, and that is up. His abysmal .187 BABIP is 85 points below his career average and his .169 batting average is 76 points below what you would expect from Santana. The reason both are that low is because he is not making solid contact with the ball, evidenced by a 48.9 GB% compared to his 43.2% career average.
He has shown pristine plate discipline with a .98 BB/K ratio, which will keep him on base even though his .338 OBP is lower than what is expected of him based on his stats from previous seasons. His .148 ISO is down a little bit, but you couldn’t tell from that fact that he has hit seven HR already.
Expect Santana to return to form and put up another 20+ HR 70 RBI season.
Despite Jayson Werth's mediocre stats this season, there are some positive signs that better days are ahead for him. Despite his career average BABIP of .331, the last two seasons he has hit for .356 and .358. It is entirely possible that Werth's .337 BABIP this year will continue to rise and bring his .293 AVG over the .300 mark. It looks even better that he is hitting less ground balls and more fly balls compared to his career averages (36.6% vs. 38.3% and 42.9% vs. 40.6%, respectively).
Most importantly, his HR/FB rate is very low right now even though he's hitting the ball just as far as he did last year. Expect his HR/FB rate to rise, along with his .120 ISO, which should rebound near his career average of .192, Werth will be a top fantasy baseball OF option for the rest of the year. Expect to see Werth's wRC+ rise above his current 122.
Curtis Granderson has seven professional seasons with 136 at-bats or more. Of those seven seasons, Granderson hit under 20 HR in only one of them, and that season he hit 19. According to his declining ISO (currently sitting at .161), it would be close again this year. However, Granderson has eight homeruns already and looks to be well on track to top 20 again.
His plate discipline has improved to a decent .51 BB/K ratio and even with a 39.5% GB%, Granderson’s 107 wRC+ has proven he can still be productive in fantasy baseball.
Hitters To Sell In Trades
Alex Rios currently has a ridiculous .394 BABIP that compliments his .335 batting average. Both are extremely high compared to his career averages of .312 and .281, respectively. Rios has very little plate discipline this year, represented by a .38 career BB/K ratio.
Rios’ HR numbers are way down this year, too. This isn’t visible in his .157 ISO, but glaring in his diminished FB% of 32.0%, down from 34.9% last year. His GB% has also risen to 44.2% from a 42.8% average.
Rios could be facing a slump of Dan Uggla proportions but is as valuable as any fantasy baseball outfielder right now.
Angel Pagan is very similar to Alex Rios. His .354 BABIP and .321 batting average contrast his career averages of .320 and .284, respectively. His GB% is up to 44.8% compared to his 40.0 average and his FB% is down to 28.1% from 38.2%.
Unlike Rios, Pagan has a bigger concern of a declining Spd score. Pagan’s career average Spd score is 7.3 and this year he has a 5.9. That isn’t too surprising for a guy who is turning 33 in 22 days. Despite his 11 SB already on the season, I would be very surprised to see him surpass 25 this year.
Although he has declining speed and is overdue for a slump, Pagan can still help you with runs, runs batted in and batting average. Right now, he can be sold at a premium and should be traded for high value.
Unlike Rios and Pagan, Chase Utley isn’t treading water supported by a decent amount of SB. Very similar to both of them, however, Utley’s .351 BABIP and .314 BA are bloated compared to his career .308 BABIP and .288 BA. In his fifth season removed from the 30-20 season of 2009, Utley is only excelling in R and RBI these days. His batting average isn’t bad, but without any HR or SB, Utley has once again been over drafted (average 108 in ESPN leagues).
Surprisingly, Utley’s BB/K ratio has lowered to below .50. Also, his HR/FB ratio has shrunk to a disappointing 5.6% this year. Don’t expect Utley to put up any outstanding numbers in the R or RBI departments for the diminished Phillies and without any HR or SB to compliment what he is already doing well, Utley will put up disappointing numbers to owners.
If you currently own any of the three guys being sold this week, don’t panic. All three are experienced players that can hold their own. However, all three are looking at some rough roads ahead and if you want to get the jump on your league, you’ll get them at premiums now.
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