• The fun phase of the fantasy baseball season is upon us, as the second half has now kicked off and we enter the final two months of the campaign. We’re about to hit the trade deadline, and there is a ton of talent on the market. Juan Soto has a decent chance of being traded, and there are also some big arms on the market such as Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas, and Tyler Mahle.

    If any or all of these guys get moved, there will definitely be large implications in the fantasy world which always makes things interesting. It’s also time to think about making some moves in your leagues. Focus will be drifting as struggling teams pay less attention and people start to get ready for football season.

    Today will be a Buy Low/Sell High piece where I’ll be looking at four players to think about either adding or subtracting before we enter the stretch run of the season.

    Sell High

    Leody Taveras

    Taveras has been on an incredible run, but it’s clearly unsustainable and the time to sell is now. He’s 31/95 this season (.326) to go along with three home runs, five steals, and 34 R+RBI. The only part that is relatively sustainable is the steals, as he was usually about a 20 SB guy in the minors.

    However, his batting average is due for some significant regression. He has a ridiculous .418 BABIP that wont last much longer, as he was a .261 hitter across 606 minor league games.

    THE BAT X has him projected for 5 HR, 8 SB, and a .232 batting average the rest of the way, which isn’t terrible but certainly a sharp decline from what we’ve seen so far. He’s been close to a Top 10 player over the past month and to the right buyer, he should be able to net someone in the Top 150 ish range.

    Jose Urquidy

    Urquidy is in the midst of a really good stretch. Over his last six outings (39.1 IP) he has a 2.30 ERA while earning four wins. There have been a couple of starts against Oakland in there but also one each against the Yankees and Mets. He does deserve some credit for that, but he’s been pretty lucky this year and I’m concerned about what we’ll see going forward.

    His advanced metrics are pretty rough. If you take a look at his statcast page, you’ll see that he is in the 25th percentile or worse in a lot of important areas. 18th in HardHit%, 16th in Barrel%, 22nd in Whiff%, and 16th in Avg Exit Velocity. In short, he gives up a lot of hard contact and he doesn’t get that many Ks. He’s given up 17 HR, which is tied for the fourth worst mark in the bigs, and he strikes out only 18.2% of batters.

    When you look at these stats, and also his 4.50 xFIP, and I’d be selling wherever you can.

    Buy Low

    Marcell Ozuna

    He does have 18 home runs, but it’s been a disappointing year at the dish for Ozuna. His low batting average and on base percentage (.222 and .278, respectively) have led to fewer run and RBI opportunities and he is ranked outside the Top 200 players in fantasy thus far. Despite this, I do believe that is capable of being a Top 100 guy the rest of the way.

    He’s 80th percentile or better in some key areas, including Barrel% (90th), HardHit% (84th), xwOBA (85th) and xSLG (93rd). He also has the 9th worst BABIP among qualified hitters at .237 and he’s a career .309 guy in that department. He’s a lot closer to a .270 hitter than a .220 hitter, and he should start to have more luck there.

    It also doesn’t hurt that he’s in one of the elite lineups in baseball. I mean, they have Michael Harris II batting 9th, which should be a strong indication of the level of talent around him. I would be trying to buy wherever you can right now. The cost will likely be pretty minimal and Ozuna is due for a much better second act this year.

    Tarik Skubal

    Skubal had a better showing the other night (albeit against Oakland) but it’s been a hard six weeks for fantasy managers. There is a still a lot to like about what he has done this year. Some people have given up and we’ve seen his roster percentage fall from the low 90s into the mid 70s in a lot of formats, so for starters lets make sure he isn’t just sitting on the waiver wire in your league.

    There is no denying that he went through a terrible stretch, which started on June 12th against the Blue Jays and hopefully ended the other night at the Coliseum. He allowed a whopping 29 earned runs over a 35 inning stretch which equaled a miserable 7.46 ERA. Hard to look at, but even the games best pitchers go through slumps, and based on some of his advanced stats it’s hard to worry about the 25 year old south paw

    He has the 13th best xFIP in baseball at 3.22, a better mark than Joe Musgrove and Sandy Alcantara. He also has the 3rd lowest LOB% at 66.1% and he’s allowed the 9th highest BABIP at .310 while also maintaining a stellar 19.3 K-BB%

    Skubal is a really strong buy right now who should still be pretty inexpensive given his recent struggles.

    Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out my Twitter to make sure you never miss any of my content including my podcast, Fantasy MLB Today, which runs Monday through Friday!

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