May 17, 2023, 1:55 am
Fantasy Baseball is a beautiful thing. We aren’t even halfway through the season yet, and some people have solidified their opinions on certain players. I keep saying the same thing, people: It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Don’t let a quarter of a player’s season determine an entire season’s value. I’m going to get into 3 guys that you should target as buy-low candidates and 3 guys you should look to trade based on their inflated value. A few names I might’ve mentioned on my Twitter (@Andrew_FBB) so you can check them out over there as well!
Undervalued Players to Buy
Teoscar Hernandez OF
Hernandez has stumbled out of the gate so far this season. He is batting .242 with eight home runs, 22 RBIs, and two stolen bases. He has played a bit better this past week, so you need to buy now while his value is still low. For the past two or three seasons, it has sort of been Teoscar’s M.O. to start the season a step slow and once the weather starts to warm up a bit he finds his way. Last year through the first two months he batted .185, and in 2021 in the first month, he batted .235 before he went ballistic in May with six home runs and a .343 batting average. Along with identifying a pattern with Hernandez’s play, he has actually been hitting the ball fairly well, sitting in the 79th percentile in HardHit% and the 86th percentile in Barrel%. The counting stats are going to catch up as he gets more settled into the season, so buy now before he goes on his yearly tear!
Want to get access to the rest of Andrew’s Feature? You’ll need to have a FANTASYPASS membership. Click here to learn more and sign up!
Premium Access Required
Nestor Cortes Jr. SP
In one of my previous articles, I highlighted Cortes as a buy-low candidate. He hasn’t quite turned the corner yet as I’d hoped, but I want to double down here and trust last year’s Cy Young candidate. Nasty Nestor has compiled a 3-2 record with a 5.53 ERA and a 43:13 K/BB in eight starts. Really just not a great season for him in the ERA column. With that being said, Cortes still only allows a .229 xBA and has an xERA of 3.92 which is the 26th biggest ERA/xERA positive disparity in all of baseball (Min. 50 BIP). He is struggling to limit loud contact but is not pitching nearly as badly as his surface numbers might suggest, making him an easy buy-low option this week.
Kyle Tucker OF
I just want to preface this by saying Kyle Tucker isn’t having a bad season by any means! He is slashing .264 with six home runs, 27 RBIs, and six stolen bases. I am putting him as a buy-low because of his relative value. Owners invested a good amount of draft capital into Tucker and they may be a little underwhelmed with what they have gotten so far considering that investment. Tucker has a .298 xBA and is walking at a career-high rate (12.3%). With Jose Altuve set to return in the coming weeks, I would expect his stats to benefit even more. Tucker will get 20 HR/20 SB with his eyes closed this year and now is the perfect time to cash in the chips for the All-Star outfielder.
Overvalued Players to Sell High
Eduardo Rodriguez SP
I am doubling down again here. Eduardo Rodriguez has been fantastic this year and is a Cy Young candidate with a 1.57 ERA and a 47:10 K/BB through eight games started. The main gripes I have with E-Rod are the inability to miss bats and the track record. Rodriguez is in the 32nd percentile when it comes to whiff percentage which leaves a much smaller margin for error in his outings. His track record further proves that this is his biggest flaw along with his pitch mix/usage being almost identical to 2022. With all of this being said, he obviously can’t pitch better than he has this year, and with a 2.60 xERA, this is the time to get the best trade value for E-Rod.
James Outman OF
The Rookie of the Year candidate has far outperformed the expectations upon him this year. He is batting .257 with eight homers, 23 RBI, and four stolen bases. He started off hot and I was pleading with owners to sell at the highest point. As I expected, he has cooled off a bit this month batting .200 with just one home run. This will most likely be the closing portion of his trade window and your last chance to get real value for him. The reason I say this is because he is striking out at a dreadful 33.3% clip. As the season goes on and pitchers begin to figure out your weaknesses, they tend to get exposed a bit more. This is a prime example. This month alone, Outman is striking out at a 40% rate. These issues don’t seem to be going away so I would expect some more regression in the average category. Sell before the window closes!
Patrick Sandoval SP
Patrick Sandoval was a sleeper to most owners over the past two years, and compared to his ADP he has generally paid dividends. In 2023 so far he has pitched well with a 3.22 ERA through eight games. When taking a closer look into his underlying numbers, there’s a serious call for regression on his current stat line. He is only striking out 16% of batters which is in the bottom 15% out of all pitchers along with a .262 xBA allowed which is in the 32nd percentile. Pair those with a 4.41 xERA which is over a full run disparity compared to his true ERA, it is definitely cause for panic. The stats will even out as the season goes on, sell Sandoval while you can!