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Week 20 Buy and Sell Hitters for Fantasy Baseball

We're nearing the season's end and it is becoming easier to discern those bound for the playoffs and those destined to rebuild for years to come.

In some leagues, there may be a trade deadline and it may have already passed. Well, that would be too bad. There's plenty of trends begging to be exploited at this point in the season. Many playoff-bound squads are looking for particular position fills, which are perfect sell-high circumstances.

On the other hand, those same owners are looking to rid their lineups of any excess baggage, namely injured stars. Follow this guide to get some sluggers on the sly and bolster your offense for the final push.


Sell High Hitters for Week 20

Chris Davis (1B/3B/OF/DH, BAL)

Crush is back. Davis has been the hottest hitter in the league since the All-Star break, slashing an insane .336/.413/.794 with 15 home runs and 37 RBIs. We haven't seen this type of production from Davis since his 53 HR, MVP-caliber season in 2013. Any playoff-bound fantasy owner would pay a pretty penny to add a power threat like Davis to their roster over the final month of the season. The thing is, there are still plenty of drawbacks to his game. For example, his line before the break was an uninspiring .235/.318/.469 with a whopping 110 strikeouts compared to just 72 hits. Even to this point, Davis leads the league in punch outs with 147, on pace to break 200 on the year. If your leagues keeps track of strikeouts, Davis is a serious red flag. Even if it doesn't, Davis is just as likely to break down at any given moment as he is to continue this surge. If you can deal Davis as a top notch slugger right now, take the chance.

Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/SS, TB)

Since returning from the DL on July 27th, Cabrera has been swinging a red hot bat, sporting a .475/.515/.724 line with 3 HR and 7 RBI. These numbers are pretty impressive, considering Cabrera was all but useless in most fantasy formats before his DL stint. Owners with playoff aspirations will likely be looking to fill holes in their lineup before the final weeks of the season. For many, a common hole is at the shortstop position. Conveniently, Cabrera is also eligible for second base, another shallow position in most lineups. Including his meager first half of the season, Cabrera has driven his season line up to a commendable .265/.314/.414. Not bad for a shortstop. Look to deal this otherwise useless fantasy asset while his value is at a premium.

Kyle Schwarber (C/OF, CHC)

Jonah Keri wrote a great piece on Schwarber  this past week, detailing just how good the rookie catcher is and just how unlikely he is to maintain such prowess. Since his debut in the Majors, Schwarber has been the best offensive catcher in the league, showing off a .313/.400/.580 line and powering the Cubs to a streak of wins. However, there are a lot of signs pointing to Schwarber's imminent decline. Chiefly, his BABIP (batting average on ball in play) is an unseemly .431, indicating an unavoidable regression. Also, the main factor keeping Schwarber's value at a premium is his eligibility as a catcher. Unfortunately, the 235-pound backstop is not necessarily known for his defensive abilities, either behind the plate or anywhere else on the field. With the return of Miguel Montero from the DL, Schwarber has been moved to the outfield and the entire defensive scheme in Chicago has been rearranged to accommodate the move. If the production declines, as it is apt to, and Schwarber loses his catcher eligibility, it's likely that his fantasy value will become middling at best. Worst case scenario, the young slugger loses a spot in the every day lineup by the time the playoffs come around. This is undeniably the best time to deal him, unless of course you need a solid rookie keeper for next year.


Buy Low Hitters for Week 20

George Springer (OF, HOU)

Springer would likely be well on his way to a 30 HR, 30 SB season right now if it weren't for the wrist injury that landed him on the DL back on July 1. Although the young phenom struggled with a .231 batting average, he managed a .336 OBP and .468 slugging percentage, making him one of the driving forces behind the Astros early season success. The nagging injury has kept him out longer than the initial timetable, much to the chagrin of fantasy owners stashing him on the DL slot. This time of year, not many owners have patience for a young, relatively unproven outfielder rotting away on the DL. It should only be another couple of weeks before Springer returns to action. Try to snag him at a discount now and you will have a vital asset come playoff time.

Randal Grichuk (OF, STL)

Grichuk has an air of uncertainty around him, as his trip to the DL with an elbow strain is still fresh and his return is without a timetable. Before the injury, Grichuk was one of the unexpected stars fueling the Cardinals high-flying offense. Swinging a solid .284/.333/.561 line, Grichuk accumulated 15 HR and 44 RBI in just 289 at bats. Due to the mystery surrounding Grichuk's injury, most owners will be hesitant to hold on to the surprising outfielder due to fear that he may not be able to contribute for the rest of this season. However, if he is able to return by mid-September, as is believed right now, he could be a vital contributor for the final weeks of fantasy. If you can get him at a dirt cheap discount from a weary owner, count yourself lucky.

Alex Rodriguez (3B/DH, NYY)

The past two weeks have been rough going for the silver (haired) slugger. His is just 7-for-46 in the past 15 days with a puny .152/.278/.217 line and 14 strikeouts. Perhaps the grueling season is finally catching up to the shockingly productive 40 year-old, who had surpassed expectations for most of the season leading up to this recent slump. Unlike the other guys on this list, A-Rod is not dealing with a known injury at this time. Still, most owners have to be worried about his August production, especially given the abundance of other options at third base, such as David Wright coming off the DL. Despite the obvious signs of late-season decline, Rodriguez seems to have a burning desire to contribute and produce at the plate. If there's anything to be learned from the 2015, it is that A-Rod will never, ever go away. Try to play up the old man storyline to Rodriguez owners and you will probably receive a tasty deal in return.


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