8 Players to Buy Low & Sell High (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Trevor Story has been a prime example of why buying low can drastically improve your team. Fantasy managers who struck a deal for him after an April in which he produced no homers, one stolen base, seven runs, five RBI and five walks with a .299 SLG and a .596 OPS in 74 PAs benefitted immensely. The shortstop has nine homers, 32 RBIs, 19 runs, five steals, 15 walks, and a .546 SLG and .874 OPS in 116 PAs in May.

Most fantasy managers wouldn’t give up on Story after one bad month, but a small minority of less patient or less experienced fake baseball GMs likely caved. That’s why it often pays to kick the tires on underperforming players. The worst that can happen is your league-mate declines the offer. Prime April sell-high candidates, like Connor Joe (who in May has hit no homers with a .323 SLG and .669 OPS), could have been used to sweeten the pot for a potential Trevor Story deal.

Even though we’re on the cusp of June, the season is only about 1/3 done and sample sizes are still relatively small. The key to winning the trade market in fantasy baseball early on is to stay patient with the high-pedigree underperformers and to be skeptical of the low-pedigree overachievers. Our featured pundits are here to give you their suggestions on who they’re either targeting or shopping.

Q1. Which one MLB player are you trying to buy low and why? Also, who are you willing to give up for him?

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B/DH – TOR)
“Vladimir Guerrero Jr. If you’re looking to buy low, you might as well come loaded for bear — and you better believe there are some impatient owners cursing Vlad’s slow start. But it’s not like he’s been Matt Olson / Marcus Semien levels of bad, as his mundane numbers of him still have him as a top-65 hitter, and you wo n’t have to squint very hard to see how his fantasy value of him jumps right back up. The big drag of his .256 AVG from him has a .299 xBA behind it, along with a .264 BABIP that is about 40 points below the career .305 BABIP he had entering the season. Plus, Vlad is hitting the ball just as hard as he always has. The average EV of his top 5% batted balls is in the 99th percentile, while his Air% EV and Air% (100+ mph) are both again in the top-5%. When trying to buy a superstar low, I prefer a 2-for-1 that tempts my partner with multiple fixes, offering a playable replacement (Jose Abreu, Rhys Hoskins, etc.) with a top starter who likely has ERA regression coming (Julio Urias, Sandy Alcantara, etc.). ”
Nicklaus Gauth (roto baller)

Alex Cobb (SP–SF)
“I had Alex Cobb as a target during draft season, and his numbers are screaming buy low right now. Through eight starts (37 2/3 innings), he sports an ugly 5.73 ERA. But his FIP de él (2.63), xFIP (2.35), SIERA (2.61), and xERA (2.04) all point to better days ahead, and his .402 BABIP indicates he has been having some bad luck. He’s also striking out batters at an 11.23 K/9 rate, and his Statcast page is covered in dark red. Health will always be a question with Cobb, but he’s an excellent buy-low option right now. ”
Mike Maher (Fantasy Pros)

Ronald Acuna Jr. (DH/OF – ATL)
“His power numbers will heat up, just like the Atlanta weather in June and through the rest of the season. He only has 2 home runs and 9 RBI to date. The stolen bases are there with 9 already since his return from him. I’m not willing to give up a first-round draft pick player for him, but I would be willing to part with a sell-high candidate or a player that I drafted in rounds 2-6 at the beginning of the season. Another player to target is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. His .256 batting average will climb to .280-.300 by the end of this season.”
Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire)

Teoscar Hernandez (DH/OF – TOR)
“Teoscar Hernandez is hitting .170 so far in 2022 after an incredible 32 HR 116 RBI campaign last season. On top of his struggles at the plate, he was dealing with a minor hip issue, so frustration for those that have rostered him this year is at a fever pitch. All indicators are that the hip issue is minor, and he had a pinch hit walk and a single in Sunday’s game. Hernandez is a very strong offensive player in a great lineup. Buy low right now. I bet you could get Hernandez for Joc Pederson or Jorge Soler and a throw-in right now, so test the waters.”
Joe Pisapia (Fantasy Pros)

Check out our trade values ​​for all players in our weekly Fantasy Baseball Trade Value Chart >>

Q2. What one MLB player are you trying to sell high right now and why? Also, who would you try to get in return?

Manny Machado (3B–SD)
“Machado has been a top-five hitter but the biggest chunk of his overall fantasy value comes from a .353 AVG that comes with a .398 BABIP (career .300 BABIP) and .302 xBA that are both screaming regression. And while everyone is dealing with the same dead balls, Machado has posted significantly worse rates in key power metrics — his 6.4% Brl% (38th percentile) is a career low and is down from 13.3% (90th) in 2021, while his Air % EV is also down 2.7 mph, dropping from the 87th to the 49th percentile. Given his production and name value, there are a host of players you could ask for in a swap, but when selling stars high, I prefer a 2-for-1 hole-fixer, trading for a technical positional downgrade (Nolan Arenado, Austin Riley, Wander Franco, etc.) but stapling them to a needed upgrade at a position your partner is flush at, or a starting pitcher from the Chris Bassitt/Logan Webb levels.”
Nicklaus Gauth (roto baller)

Martin Perez (SP/RP – TEX)
“Martin Perez is pitching out of his mind right now. Through nine starts (56 1/3 innings), he has an absurd 1.60 ERA. He also hasn’t allowed a single home run over that span. Here’s the thing: none of that is sustainable. Perez has a 4.56 ERA over the course of his career and has typically allowed more than a home run per nine innings pitched. Last year, that number was at 1.50 HR/9. I’m taking whatever I can get for him but would aim for someone like Ryan Mountcastle and settle for someone like Jesse Winker. ”
Mike Maher (Fantasy Pros)

Julio Urias (SP–LAD)
“Julio Urias may have a sterling 2.49 ERA, but his XFIP is 4.36, and his K/9 sits at just 6.51. He just faced the Nats last week and the Pirates today, so this may be a great time to sell him high off some W’s. Considering he pitchers for a high-profile team, it’s very possible you can get a decent return for him. His velocity from him, although up recently, is not where it’s been in the past. If I could get Cristian Javier or Aaron Ashby for him, I’d take that deal in a second.”
Joe Pisapia (Fantasy Pros)

Taylor Ward (OF–LAA)
“Here is a player whot mainly went undrafted in redraft leagues in 2022. He had an ADP of 318. He’s now 28 years old and many are calling this his breakout season. I’m not buying it with this small sample size of 117 at bats. I don’t see him keeping his batting average anywhere near .359 going forward. Sell ​​high and combo this player and another for my buy-low candidates of Ronald Acuna Jr. or Vladimir Guerrero Jr.”
Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire)

Thank you to the experts for naming their trade candidates. Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice all season and check out our Leading Off Podcast every single day for quick-hitting takeaways and advice.


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