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Week 23 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Stock Market: Playoff Sell-Off

Cardinals 1B Matt Adams
Cardinals 1B Matt Adams

Sep 4, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams hits a solo home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Logan Ondrusek in the 16th inning at Great American Ball Park. St. Louis won 5-4. David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Preparing for the fantasy baseball playoffs isn’t just about what players you add, it’s about who you subtract. Let’s take a look at some quality buys for the final month of the season but also some top players that you won’t be able to rely on in the most important weeks of the season.

Buy:

Matt Adams: Solid Buy. Allen Craig is hurt and Adams has stepped in to replace him – hitting two home runs on Wednesday. He looks to be the starting first baseman as long as Craig is out and with a 4.8 HR% and 5.6 AB/RBI, Adams can put up elite power numbers in the final month.

Sonny Gray. Solid Buy. After struggling against the Orioles in his last start, Gray bounced back strong with 6.2 scoreless innings, giving up just five hits, one walk, and striking out seven. He has now struck out at least seven in three of his last four starts and has 37 strikeouts over 35 innings to go with his similarly impressive 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.

Michael Wacha. Solid Buy. Wacha looked strong in his return to the Bigs, pitching six scoreless innings and giving up just three hits and two walks while striking out three. Wacha now owns a 3.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP on the season and is must-own for the fantasy playoff season.

Tony Cingrani. Strong Buy. Cingrani is expected to rejoin the Reds rotation this week and is a must-own after putting up a 2.76 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 112 K over 97.2 IP. Incredibly, he’s available in half of Yahoo leagues so go get him.

Avisail Garcia. Solid Buy. Garcia continues to roll since coming to the White Sox, putting up a .344 BA, two homers, seven extra-base hits, 13 RBI, 13 R and two steals over 93 at-bats. Rather than slow down, he’s batting .400 with two homers and eight RBI in his last nine games.

Yusmeiro Petit: Short-Term Buy. Petit has been stellar since returning to the Giants and while I worry about how long this will last, his strikeouts make him a good value buy. He hasn’t given up more than two runs in any of his three games this season and has struck out 23 over 17.1 IP.

Billy Hamilton: Single-Category Buy. Hamilton has yet to get a plate appearance but has two steals and two runs scored. Yes, he’ll be used primarily as a pinch runner but few pinch runners are almost automatic steals. This kid stole 155 bases in the minors last season and 75 this year. If you need steals help, don’t think twice.

Christian Yelich. Solid Buy. Yelich has been on fire of late, batting .438 with two homers, five runs batted in, five runs scored, two doubles, and three steals in his last eight games. He’s a streaky player but he’s worth owning when he’s this hot.

Sell:

Jose Bautista: Bautista will be shut down for the rest of the season with a bone bruise in his femur. A tough loss after the powerful outfielder blasted 28 HR and drove in 73.

Domonic Brown: Brown is out indefinitely with tendinitis in his Achilles’. He intends to play through the pain and may return in as little as a week but he’ll see severely limited playing time and won’t be as effective if he does return. Another tough loss as Browns had 27 home runs through the first five months of the season.

Dan Haren: After a nice two-month run that made many think he wasn’t the worst pitcher in the league after all, Haren has fallen back on old habits. In his last two starts, Haren has surrendered 11 runs, 17 hits, and two homers to the paltry Royals and Mets lineups. His ceiling is high but his basement is bottomless.

Khris Davis: We knew Davis’ amazing run would end some time and the powerful outfielder has settled down with a .162 BA and four RBI in his last 10 games. He could still be productive in September but there’s too many question marks.

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