• As a fantasy baseball manager, I’m always looking to maximize my roster in any way possible. One of the oldest but sometimes misused tactics are buying low on players who are underperforming and selling high on players that are expected to regress in some capacity. This season I have been crushing it! Suggesting buy lows on Justin Verlander and Pete Alonso before his heater, while also recommending sell highs on Mickey Moniak and Nathan Eovaldi. With that, 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:

    Aaron Nola

    Probably one of the most disappointing players drafted this year in fantasy baseball. With such a high ADP, Nola has not produced as most would have hoped. This year he has logged a 9-8 record with a 4.58 ERA in 23 starts. However, this is a good time for fantasy managers to buy on the Phillies pitcher based on his underlying metrics. Nola has a 3.86 xERA and a 5.8 BB% which are both still solid. Pair that with a 25.1 K% which is one of his strong suits, we have a perfect buying opportunity for owners who need to bolster their pitching down the stretch. 

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand

    A player who dominated the AAA level this season, through 67 games this year at that level Encarnacion-Strand batted .331 with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs while posting a .306 ISO. After being promoted to the majors, he has started a bit slow relative to those numbers. Through the first 22 games of his big league career, he is batting .270 with 3 home runs. The power hasn’t translated to counting stats for him just yet but he has shown he is very capable. Acquiring him for a playoff run as a power bat for an exciting Reds squad would be a smart move.

    Nestor Cortes

    Dealing with injuries for most of the season Nestor was struggling when healthy putting up a 4.97 ERA through 12 starts in 2023. I am willing to bet that the 2022 Cy Young candidate will turn in a much better ERA than he sits at the rest of the way. Both his K-Rate and BB-Rate are almost identical to those in 2022 along with his 3.67 xERA suggests he has been a bit unlucky too. The main difference is the 69.1 LOB% this year as opposed to the 82.5 LOB% he posted in 2022. I’m looking for these numbers to even out down the stretch. Look to acquire Nasty Nestor for a playoff push!

    Overvalued Players to Sell:

    Blake Snell

    Hear me out for this one. No argument that Blake Snell has been incredible this season. However, that puts it at a perfect time to sell the Cy Young candidate until his value drops from being at an all-time high. Snell has a 2.61 ERA and a 31.3 strikeout rate in 23 starts this season. The main metrics I’m looking at that point towards some regression are the career-high 13.7 BB% and the 3.61 xFIP. This type of success simply isn’t sustainable when you give that many free passes. The xFIP metric evaluates the pitcher’s outcome independently from its fielders behind them. Both suggest Snell is pitching a bit over his head, so I would look to deal with him before he regresses during your playoff run. 

    Michael Lorenzen

    As I did with Domingo German, the perfect time to sell pitchers is right after a career outing. Lorenzen tossed a no-hitter on Wednesday, striking out 5 batters and walking 4. Lorenzen has been lights out since July, putting up a 1.11 ERA and a 13 K-BB% through 40.1 innings pitched. Another pitcher we are seeing clearly outperforming his metrics. He has a 2.95 FIP through that span along with a 4.48 xFIP. Lorenzen is very fortunate that his counting stats haven’t yet been affected by the way he is truly pitching. I’m looking to dump Lorenzen for whatever I can get. 

    Graham Ashcraft

    Finishing off the sell-high options is Graham Ashcraft. Since his start on June 30th, he has put up a 1.94 ERA. The only issue with this is the dreadful 4.51 xFIP and 10.1 K-BB% through that span suggest those numbers are in no shape holding form down the stretch, especially in a hitters ballpark. Ashcraft’s overall numbers aren’t too great but you could sell off the fact that his recent surface numbers over the boast month or so have been pristine. 

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