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Buy/Sell, Week 5: Buy Low On Samardzija

We’re five weeks into the season, and it’s the perfect time to start working some trades. Every year there are big name guys that have dud seasons and hot starters that fizzle out. It’s crucial to sell these guys early. The big name guys can still be sold at a premium because of the pedigree, but a lot of owners can be tricked into thinking the hot starters are for real.

Fantasy Baseball, more than any other fantasy sport, is all about the long haul. It’s key to identify players that will add value to your team for as long as possible. There is a tendency among the fantasy community to hop on the trendy guys, but as with the allegorical hare and tortoise, slow and steady often wins the race. In weekly head-to-head leagues, a streaky player can lose you a week just as easy as they can win you one, and in rotisserie, patience is the name of the game.

Here are some guys I would try and get my hands on, and guys I would be offering up.

Buy

Chase Headley, 3B, SD

Headley came into the season with a lot of hype after his breakout 95/31/115 season. This is a guy that a lot of people are doubting, especially after a hand injury stalled his season. Since returning from the DL, he’s been swinging a hot bat, recording a slash line of .280/.373/.540. He’s already racked up 7 H and 8 BB against 15 K in 50 AB. So far he is looking like the same guy from last year. Chase is currently hitting for a ridiculous .260 ISO, after setting a career high last year of .212. He already has 3 HR in 12 games, and it looks like he could be on track for another 30 HR season. With power so hard to come by this year, that’s production you need to be buying.

Jeff Samardzija, SP, CHC

Samardzija has had a rough start to the season, record-wise, that is — he’s currently 1-4 with a 3.35 ERA. His control has just not been there and he is leading the majors in wild pitches (6) and is averaging 3.35 BB/9 — he has also walked seven batters in his last 11 IP. He has however, struck out 47 in 37.2 IP, and has 8 Ks in two consecutive starts. His xFIP is predicting some positive regression at 2.83 versus his ERA of 3.35. All you have to do is watch this guy once to know that he has filthy stuff. With the elite strikeout numbers, this is a guy I would be targeting. After five somewhat erratic outings, there’s a good chance the owner in your league is open to dealing him.

Sell

Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B/3B/OF, STL

Early in the season, Carpenter has well exceeded expectations. He’s currently hitting everything in sight, slashing .283/.349/.475, but is it sustainable? His career ISO is a paltry .171, a number that he is slightly outperforming at .192. His 9.4 HR/FB is below the league average, so he’s definitely not going to help you out in the homerun category any time soon, and even the extra base hits should be few and far between. For the type of hitter he is, a .349 BABIP is also likely to regress — he’s not known for his overwhelming speed and, surprise, he has no stolen bases this year. Just for reference, Headley swiped 17 bags last year. In the Cardinals lineup, he is in a good position to rack up runs and RBI, but if the average regresses, so will the counting stats. He’s someone who you could get very good value for before it’s too late.

Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, SEA

Iwakuma has turned a lot of heads in the opening weeks of the season as he’s currently leading the world in WHIP (0.69), and is 7th overall in ERA (1.67). There is no doubt that is elite production, but the other shoe is bound to drop sometime. His xFIP is 3.06 and his BABIP is .178 — both are foretelling some considerable regression. I’m not saying that he isn’t going to be valuable for the whole year, but this might be your only opportunity to package him in a deal to get top-20 or even top-10 SP value for him. It’s worth a shot.

Do you agree with  my thoughts? Disagree? Lonely and want to talk? Leave your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on twitter @tony_barone

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Updated: May 2, 2013 — 4:05 pm
  • Tyson Depinet

    I kind of wanted to take an opportunity to get some advice and suggestions on my roster from an expert. I am currently sitting atop the league standings, but need to clear some roster space for players on our DL. The problem is, I cant seem to stomach just flat dropping anyone on my roster. So we have been attempting to swing a trade that will clear up some space, but have failed to find a suitable trade partner willing to deal. I will give you my roster in hopes of you giving some advice or possible guys that you feel we should target that would help our team and clear up some space for our DL guys. Just a heads up, we took the approach to punt Saves and load up on SPs.

    Roster:

    1B: Encarnacion

    2B: Zobrist

    3B: Longoria

    SS:Tulowitzki

    OF: Braun, Austin Jackson, Carl Crawford, Michael Morse

    Utility/Bench: Freddy Freeman, Brett Lawrie, Jed Lowrie, Ike Davis

    Pitching: Bumgarner, Lester, CJ Wilson, Harvey, Iwakuma, Cobb, Maholm, Estrada and Shelby Miller

    DL: Cueto, Hanley Ramirez, Corey Hart

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Tyson Depinet

      Sorry forgot Salvador Perez as our catcher and also Jose Altuve for Utility/Bench!

      • Frank the Tank

        How many people are in this league? 6? Are you playing with your sisters friends?

        • Tyson D

          Well Frank the Tank, its actually a 10 team league. I’m going to take your comment as a compliment to how well we did drafting. It seems to me that alot of teams in the league are overreacting early on and dropping players with enough upside to warrant rostering and we’re trying to capitalize. The only players on our team that we did not draft are Iwakuma, Maholm, Jed Lowrie, Lawrie and Ike Davis. Last couple rounds we were contemplating between Shelby Miller and Iwakuma, we took Miller and then added Iwakuma after his 2nd start and dropped Jarrod Parker. We then dropped Matt Carpenter and added Lawrie, tough decision, but wanted to take the chance on Lawries upside. Lowrie and Maholm were added immediately after draft when we moved Han Ram and Hart to the DL spots. We claimed Ike when he was dropped and Cueto got injured. That’s basically the background.

    • http://twitter.com/tony_barone Anthony G. Barone

      First off, I like this team a lot. I would drop Ike Davis when Corey Hart comes off the DL without hesitation. And I’d wait to activate Hanley off the DL until he showed me something. Just leave him there even once he comes off. The only player I would be putting right back in the lineup would be Cueto. You’re pitching is definitely stacked though. This is a two-for-one scenario so that you can free up a spot. Crawford is injury prone and nicked up at the moment. I’d try to package him with either CJ Wilson, Iwakuma, or Estrada and and see if you can upgrade at OF. Jacoby Ellsbury is doing great so far, and he seems to be flying under the radar a bit. Other options might be Alex Gordon, or Allen Craig.

      • Jacob Gehman

        Hanley has gone 5/9 with a home run since coming off the DL. That sounds like enough of a something to me.

        • http://twitter.com/tony_barone Anthony Barone

          That’s a good point. I’d have no problem dropping Lowrie in this situation to activate Hanley. Lowrie has had his share of injury problems too.

      • Tyson D

        I appreciate the quick and in depth response Anthony! We will attempt to swing a trade for the Outfielders you have listed to upgrade our offense. Hopefully that will turn out better than our previous attempts to trade for an Ace pitcher. Hanley is off to a strong start his first 2 games and our initial thought was exactly what you recommended, but hard to stick with that for now. Also hard to drop Lowrie, especially since he’s getting closer to having 2B eligibility and will increase his value even more. We were really trying to use him as a trade piece to get some return in his value rather than just dumping him. But its not looking like that will be the case

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