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Week 2 Fantasy Baseball Buys and Sells

Josh Collacchi

In addition to writing here at XNSports, my fantasy content can be seen at Pro Football Focus Fantasy, eDraft, and Project Roto. Member of the FSWA and the FWAA and can be reached on Twitter @JoshCollacchi
Homer Bailey
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy baseball is already in full-swing just a week into the season. But for teams who have had injury issues, it feels like the season is doomed from the start. Do not panic.

Remember there is still over 150 games left, and over six months of baseball to be played. Buying high and selling low is something you want to avoid, even if you are in dire need. Be sure to check the waiver wire as well.

Each week, XNSports will have a Buys and Sells column, describing a few players to go after, or to get rid of. We all know to buy low and sell high, but are there players that are worth buying high or selling low? Each week we’ll get into that, and explain why to buy or sell.

This week’s edition of Buys and Sells:

Buy High

Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies

Buying high is the complete opposite of what anyone wants to do in any market, as we all know. But in fantasy baseball there are a few players that still might be worth buying high and the Phillies’ second baseman is one of them. So far this season, Utley is batting .458 with two home runs and six runs batted in, so trading for him now is considering “buying high”. But, if you could trade one of your mid-level pitchers to a team who has lost Matt Moore or Clayton Kershaw to injury, they may pounce on the opportunity. Utley has been among the top fantasy second baseman for years, and is not showing any signs of slowing down. Would you add a middle infielder who will hit .280 with 18 home runs and 80 runs batted in for a mid-level pitcher? Of course, now it does not sound like buying high anymore, does it?

Buy Low

Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds

Every single year in fantasy baseball there is a pitcher that struggles in April, but still ends up at the top of the list at the end of the year. If you are smart enough to trade for these guys in April, it pays dividends in September. This year’s candidate is Homer Bailey. So far this season, Bailey has a massive ERA of 7.71 which will turn some quick-to-judge fantasy owners off. But remember that Bailey is still one of the better pitchers in the National League. Just last season, Bailey won 11 games with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP while striking out 199 batters in over 200 innings. Be sure to ask your league mate who owns him if he wants to trade Bailey, because a lot of owners want instant gratification. Those owners will be the same guys who trade Clayton Kershaw because he is hurt, and you’ll see them washing their car in September during the fantasy playoffs. Offer some low-level deals for Homer Bailey and see if anyone bites. The worst that can happen is they give you a glare from across the office.

Sell High

Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

Giants fans will not be happy to hear this, but Belt’s value may never be higher. Last season, Belt hit .289 with 17 home runs and 67 runs batted in. So far this season Belt is tearing the cover off the ball, hitting .325 with five home runs. Belt has been traded straight up for Michael Wacha, who can offer a top 25 starting pitcher to your staff, but Belt is not a top 25 hitter. In addition, Belt has hit eight home runs in April in his career, the most of any single month. If you can land a top starting pitcher for him, be sure to do it. Belt could still hit 20-25 home runs, but in the Giants lineup he may not have many opportunities to drive in runs. Remember that first base is deep when you are receiving or offering trade requests.

Sell Low

Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals

Selling low is the complete opposite of what we want to do in any market, especially fantasy baseball. But, there are some players that just look like they will not be able to turn it around. Not just because of a slow start this season, but a period of regression over the last few seasons and the lack of production in terms of fantasy value.

Unfortunately, this seems like the case for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. His potential has always been there, and he was expected to do big things right away for the Royals but he has not lived up to the hype. In 1400 career at-bats, Moustakas is hitting .240 and his career OPS is a poor .671. So far this season, Moustakas has one hit in 26 at-bats. It may be time to trade him for whatever you can get, and if not, consider cutting him for someone more deserving of a starting spot on your fantasy team on the waiver wire. Hopefully you did not spend a high draft pick for the former second overall pick, but it seems his days as a fantasy contributor are numbered.

Stay tuned for XNSports’ fantasy baseball coverage and next week’s edition of Buys and Sells.