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Buy or Sell - Undervalued and Overvalued Players for Week 19


The deals are finally done, or at least most of the ones that matter. You've probably read our MLB Trade Deadline breakdown by now, but it's time to get deeper by looking at some of the names that weren't making headline news over the past week.

Scouting players who may be undervalued and re-assessing players who may be overvalued is a weekly exercise that you should constantly pursue as a dedicated fantasy baseball manager. Fortunately, I have you covered. Here are a few players who are good buy or sell candidates based on their current performance compared to ownership levels. This could mean scooping them off waivers if possible or actively seeking a trade to acquire or discard certain players in order to maximize value.

I will never advocate that you buy or sell a player if I wouldn't follow the same advice myself. Now, time to assess some fantasy values.

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Undervalued Players - Week 19

Jake Bauers (1B/OF, TB) 26% owned

When the Rays first called up Bauers on June 6, he figured to be an option in deep dynasty leagues, but not much more. Both Bauers and the Rays have exceeded expectations since then. He's become the regular first baseman and holds down the #3 spot in the order at the tender age of 22. In redraft leagues, he may provide just enough pop to become a corner infield or fourth outfield option. Bauers has nine HR in his first 50 MLB games, but he's kept his swinging strike rate under 10% and is walking 13% of the time. It will take a bigger sample size to understand whether his extreme pull rate can keep compensating for his low fly ball rate, but he is striking the ball hard (45% Hard%) and doesn't seem intimidated by big league pitching. Buy into Bauers, since he will score more runs than you might expect and even chip in the occasional steal to go with his legit power stroke.

Johan Camargo (2B/3B/SS, ATL) 21% owned

When the Braves opted not to add a third baseman like Mike Moustakas at the deadline, the big winner was Camargo. He should continue to see regular playing time at the hot corner, yet holds eligibility in the middle infield too. Camargo has been on fire since the All-Star break, driving in at least one run in seven of the last 10 games. He's shown great plate discipline with a 0.56 BB/K and he's posting a stronger than expected .195 ISO. Although he bats in the sixth or seventh spot most nights, he's part of a lineup that should provide plenty of RBI opportunities. Versatility plus strong team context equal consistent MI value in 12+ team leagues.

Zack Wheeler (SP, NYM) 40% owned

He wasn't dealt away from the Mets, which would have helped him in the wins department, but Wheeler is still dealing on the mound. He tossed six scoreless innings against the wannabe-contending Pirates the other night and has won his last three decisions after going two and a half months without a victory. Best of all, he lasted six, seven and seven and two-thirds innings in those three starts. He'll throw the occasional disastrous start, but overall Wheeler appears to be returning to the form he showed in 2014. His walk rate is even lower, down where it should be at 8.3%, and he's allowing a career-low 26.9% Hard%. You can't necessarily count on the wins to continue and there aren't high strikeout numbers in his near future, but Wheeler can be a valuable end-of-rotation piece down the stretch if he keeps his ratios low.

 

Overvalued Players - Week 19

Joey Votto (1B, CIN) 99% owned

Votto is known for putting together strong finishes to the season, but it appears he might make an exception. His .270 average since the break won't draw any red flags, but his counting stats should. It's been nearly a month since Votto homered and he has just five R+RBI in the last 12 games. His supporting cast, aside from Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett, is rife with unproven players and he hasn't been happy with the team situation all season long. There may not be a light at the end of the tunnel for Votto or his owners this season, so it may be best to fetch a starting pitcher who can make a bigger difference in the standings instead of a former MVP who is still struggling to recapture last year's form.

Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN) 51% owned

You've probably seen plenty of advice telling you to add Sano if he's available. Don't bother. First of all, why would this version be any different simply because he was banished to the minors for a month? Not much has changed, as he's struck out seven times in his last 16 at-bats since being recalled. He has yet to homer either and has been stuck at seven since the end of May. Sano is unplayable against lefties (.135 AVG) and now finds himself on a depleted team that dealt most of its valuable pieces at the trade deadline. The best-case scenario is that you gain a small boost in homers, but at the expense of sinking your average. If you already have him on your bench, offer him to a league mate looking for a power bat down the stretch and go with another young slugger like Matt Chapman or Maikel Franco instead.

Nathan Eovaldi (SP, BOS) 66% owned

A feel-good story in this year's trade deadline is Eovaldi's return from Tommy John surgery to show that he still can be a flamethrower on the mound. The Red Sox were impressed enough to swing a deal to add him to their rotation. The move from Tampa to Boston naturally gives him more intrigue, but is it better for his fantasy value? He moves from a spacious home dome that was 26th in Park Factor for runs and 27th in home runs to Fenway Park, which is fourth in runs and 16th in home runs for Park Factor. Eovaldi's fastball velocity of 97.2 MPH is close to his previous best in New York and he is known to touch 100 on the radar gun occasionally, but don't be fooled into thinking he's a high-strikeout pitcher. He's currently averaging 8.16 K/9, which is the highest of his career. His recent propensity to give up the long ball could come back to bite him in his new digs. Eovaldi can certainly be a strong rotation piece when he's on his game, but there is always the potential for a disastrous start against the bats of the AL East teams and we can't pretend he isn't a major risk for re-injury. His value on the trade market in fantasy could be higher than his true value. Stick with somebody more stable if you want to be a contender.

 

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