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Fantasy Baseball Buy / Sell: Hitters To Target In Week 18

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Adrian Beltre") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Like last week, now is make it or break it time in fantasy baseball. Making drastic and questionable changes to your team is now necessary if you are far behind in the standings. Trading your big name for two or three solid contributors can make a huge impact. Also, continuing to hold on to your favorite player who hasn’t contributed much the past month or two, needs to end. Don’t feel guilty dropping high draft picks that are virtually untradeable but are not producing. Let someone else deal with them.


Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Buy

Mike Moustakas – 3B, Royals

Mike Moustakas Kansas City Royals MLB News.pgAfter a horrid first half of the season, Mike Moustakas is beginning to show signs of life. In the last 30 days, Moustakas has hit for a .235 BABIP and .243 AVG. During that span, he has lowered his GB% to 19.6%, greatly contrasting with his season mark of 35.4%, and he has added five home runs. For the past 30 days, Mike’s wRC+ has jumped to 121, meaning that he is actually creating 21% more runs than the average hitter on a per at-bat basis.

It isn’t surprising that Mike is heating up. His career BABIP is .259, much higher than the .187 ha has managed so far this season, and his paltry .193 AVG is much lower than his career .236 AVG. His hot streak should continue for most (if not all) of the remaining season.


Jimmy Rollins – SS, Phillies

Jimmy Rollins has had an interesting month of July. For starters, he has only hit for a .208 AVG and a similarly low .176 BABIP. On the other hand, he has hit 6 HR and 16 RBI with 5 SB and 18 R. If Rollins’s July is any indicator for the August he’ll have, things look hopeful.

Rollins’s .253 BABIP should rise closer to his .285 career average, which should help bring the average up closer to his career .267 mark. Keep Rollins in mind if you are weak at the SS position, or have an injury-prone Colorado Rockie on your squad.


Seth Smith – OF, Padres

With a wRC+ of 158, Seth Smith should be owned in more than 23.1% of ESPN leagues. Smith isn’t an everyday player, but if you have a spot available on your bench and can make daily lineup changes, Smith can benefit your lineup when he hits against right-handed pitching.

Smith is enjoying a career-high AVG of .296, which comes as no surprise since he is showing the best plate discipline of his career, a 0.79 BB/K ratio. Smith is also benefiting from an increase in power this year. His .213 ISO and 14.3 HR/FB ratio are much higher than his career marks of .194 and 11.8.


Yan Gomes – C, Indians

Get on the Yan Gomes train while it’s rolling. In the past two weeks, Gomes has hit a managed a .415 AVG. His wRC+ during that span is a staggering 216. His GB/FB ratio has decreased to 0.73 compared to his season’s 0.97. That is reflected by a much improved .268 ISO.

Some decline is natural in the next week or two, but if he continues to hit half of what he’s hit these past two weeks, he’ll be a solid producer from the backstop position.


Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Sell

Adrian Beltre – 3B, Rangers

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Adrian Beltre") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsAdrian Beltre is a name that will still go far in the trade circles. The unfortunate truth with Beltre is that he has only hit 15 HR on the season. His .321 AVG is nice to look at, but his career AVG is only .284. This would explain why his BABIP is at a career-high .337 and not closer to it’s career level of .298.

Beltre has hit for a higher GB/FB ratio 14% higher than his career average (1.19 to 1.04 respectively). That’s not as worrisome as his four-year increase in O-Contact%, which is the percentage of times the batter makes contact when swinging at a ball outside of the strike zone. His 80.1% O-Contact % this year is much higher than his career 66.4% average and helps explain why he isn’t making as much of an impact in the power statistics as past years.


Ryan Howard – 1B, Phillies

Time to sell Ryan Howard, if you can. If not, dropping him would be a natural consideration. Howard has been awful the past 30 days, highlighted by a wRC+ of only 56. Worse news is that the Phillies have been actively seeking to trade Howard. However, with $25 million due him each year for the next two years and a $10 million buyout, that doesn’t seem a likely option. It is more likely that the Phils will either bench Howard, or follow the path of Dan Uggla and flat-out release him.