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Fantasy Baseball Trade Targets - Buy/Sell For Week 25

Making the right trades can be crucial to championship success in fantasy baseball, almost as much as the draft, if not more. While most trades can have a significant impact on your fantasy team, it’s the deals where you acquire undervalued players and then see their production improve that can really tip the scales in your favor where the standings are concerned.

The same can certainly be said about trading away players at the right time when they have the most fantasy trade value. Those deals could happen in the second week of April or the last week of August, but they’re impactful all the same.

Here are some undervalued candidates to pursue in trades and some overvalued ones who you should consider dealing for if they presently occupy a spot on your roster.

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Undervalued Players To Trade For

Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds

On the surface, Hunter Greene’s numbers aren’t terribly exciting from a fantasy standpoint. Yes, he’s punching out 11.73 batters per nine innings, but he’s also sporting a 4.66 ERA and a 4.52 FIP in 119.2 innings this season. Elsewhere, opposing batters are making loud contact off him when they aren’t striking out.

To be more specific, Greene has allowed a 9.4%-barrel rate and a .400 xwOBAcon this year. He’s also won just four of his 23 starts this year, though more of that likely has to do with the Reds than the former first-round pick. Overall, there are some unideal numbers.

The 23-year-old rookie is seemingly putting it all together when it matters down the stretch – at least for fantasy purposes. Greene has allowed just two runs in 17 innings since his return from the injured list and has struck out 29 of the 69 batters he’s faced over that span. That’s good for a minuscule 1.06 ERA and a 1.88 FIP.

Look further back on the calendar and you’ll find that the right-hander has allowed just nine runs in his last seven starts, spanning 40.1 innings. Opponents have still made hard contact during that span, with a 46.0% hard-hit rate, but Greene has given up just five barrels during those seven starts, good for a 5.7% barrel rate.

For reference, he gave up three barrels alone in his first Major League start and 11 total in his first four outings with the Reds.

Drey Jameson, Arizona Diamondbacks

Jameson has made just three starts in the Majors this season, but he’s excelled in each. Facing entirely National League West opposition, Jameson has won two of his three outings while logging a 0.98 ERA and a 2.95 FIP in 18.1 innings of work.

Against the Padres in his first Major League start, Jameson allowed just two hits and a walk in seven shutout innings while striking out five batters. The 25-year-old finished with eight swinging strikes and a solid 30% CSW rate.

He followed that up with a six-inning outing against the Dodgers. In the said outing, the former first-round pick struck out seven in six innings while scattering seven hits, two earned runs, a home run, and a walk. In that game, in particular, Jameson registered 14 swinging strikes, 10 of which came via his slider.

The slider missing bats has been a common theme so far for the Diamondbacks starter. It’s been a real out pitch so far with a 52.8% whiff rate through three outings.

There’s one more start left on the schedule for Jameson, who will take on the San Francisco Giants in the Bay Area on October 1. The same Giants team that has scored the seventh-fewest runs in the league in the second half. The same Giants team that has managed the eighth-fewest runs scored against right-handed pitchers this year and the same Giants team that Jameson held to five hits and three walks in 5.1 shutout innings in his last start.

 

Overvalued Players To Trade Away

Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres

Cronenworth does plenty that makes an impact in terms of fantasy baseball. He’s versatile, with eligibility at shortstop, second base, and first base in Yahoo leagues. He’s also getting regular plate appearances in a strong Padres lineup that also features the likes of Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury.

Elsewhere, Cronenworth has been productive in potential RBI situations this year, with 66 runs batted in and a .287 average in 162 plate appearances with runners in scoring position this year. Entering play on Wednesday, only 12 batters had more RBI with runners in scoring position this season.

Overall, the infielder is batting .238 this season, with a career-best 10.4% walk rate, a .333 on-base percentage, 16 home runs, 83 RBI, and three stolen bases in 657 plate appearances for the Padres. The RBI opportunities are certainly a product of the lineup in San Diego, and while Cronenworth’s .274 BABIP is a tad unlucky, it’s hard to miss his quality of contact numbers.

After logging xwOBA numbers of .393 and .342 respectively in his first two seasons, the 28-year-old’s xwOBA has dropped to .306 this season. His xwOBAcon has also dipped below .360 for the first time – it’s .320 this year to be specific.

Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers

Taylor, like Cronenworth, can help fantasy managers at a number of positions. In Yahoo leagues, he’s eligible at second base, third base, shortstop, and in the outfield.

Like Cronenworth, he’s also part of a strong lineup in Los Angeles, one that’s headlined by the likes of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith. He hasn’t quite been as productive with runners in scoring position as his counterpart in San Diego, hitting .173 with 29 RBI in 119 plate appearances this season.

And while Taylor does have additional positional eligibility and hits in a stronger lineup – the Dodgers entered Wednesday as the only team in the league with more than 800 runs scored – he’s also the owner of some unideal expected numbers. Thanks in part to the highest strikeout rate of his career at 35.7%, the longtime Dodger is batting .218 this season with a .313 on-base percentage, 10 home runs, and 10 stolen bases in 446 plate appearances.

He’s also sporting a .191 xBA, a .335 xSLG, a rather low .297 wOBA and an even lower .275 xwOBA. Taylor’s barrel rate is north of 10% for the second time in two years at 10.2%, but the strikeouts and fewer batted balls may have a bit to do with that.

When the veteran is making contact, it just hasn’t been ideal. His xwOBAcon is on track to finish below .400 for just the second time since the 2017 season.

That he continues to draw walks at a healthy rate has increased his fantasy value in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring helps, and so too do the stolen bases. But it hasn’t been a banner season for a player who has produced at a decidedly above-average rate in both real-life and fantasy terms in each of the last five seasons.

Patrick Wisdom, Chicago Cubs

Speaking of strikeouts, Patrick Wisdom is punching out 33.6% of the time this season. As of Wednesday, that ranked in the second percentile league-wide. It’s actually an improvement for Wisdom over his 40.8% strikeout rate from last season, but it’s still decidedly high. The slugger, unlike the likes of Cronenworth and Taylor, has crushed the baseball on a regular basis for the Cubs this year.

His hard-hit rate (46.4%), barrel rate (14.7%), and max exit velocity (112.6 MPH) all rank in the 83rd percentile or better. It’s just that the strikeouts are going to continue to be there. Those strikeouts have certainly impacted the 31-year-old’s expected numbers. Wisdom is sporting just a .191 xwOBA to go along with a .301 xwOBA.

Those same strikeouts aren’t quite as much of an issue in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring, as Wisdom has a healthy 10.2% walk rate, but they do pose a problem where his overall fantasy production is concerned in terms of fewer batted ball events.

Take the infielder’s September performances as of the beginning of play on Wednesday. He logged 38 plate appearances and hit three home runs, good for an excellent .257 ISO. However, he had just one other hit that wasn’t a home run and struck out 13 times.

He’s certainly able to help your fantasy team with his ability to collect home runs, but the strikeouts are going to lead to low batting averages and a slightly lower ceiling in terms of RBI potential. Unless your fantasy team is constructed with multiple players who log high batting averages, Wisdom might not be the best fit.



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