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Fantasy Baseball: Buys and Sells – Sell High on Brett Gardner

Josh Collacchi says now is the time to sell high on Brett Gardner and buy low on Josh Hamilton.

Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Trading season is starting to pick up, as deals are being made left and right in fantasy baseball leagues. Fantasy baseball players who are struggling with injuries are trading their best players for a package. Other savvy players are doing just the opposite and being patient, yet aggressive on those who are “underperforming” so far. The key to trades in fantasy baseball is to get value for the rest of the season, not for the present.

Buying high and selling low are two things you want to avoid, even if you are in dire need. Be sure to check the waiver wire as well.

Each week, XN Sports 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 what players should we trade, or who should we go after?

This week’s edition of Buys and Sells:

Buy Low

Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels

While it is not common to buy players who are currently on the disabled list, Hamilton is an exception. He has already begun his rehab assignment, and could be ready to play by next week. How can we buy low if he has not played? That is just the answer, he has not played. While he was playing, Hamilton was 12-for-27 for a .444 batting average with two home runs and a stolen base. He got off to a terrific start, but is has been a month since he has played, so those who have him on their team may be willing to trade him because he is “injury prone”, even though he had just under 600 at-bats last year. Send a few offers for Hamilton and see if you can get any bites.

Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals

Another injured player worth looking at is Gonzalez, who is not only hurt, but was struggling before being placed on the disabled list. In his last 7.1 innings, Gonzalez allowed 16 hits and five walks, which led to 12 earned runs charged to his name. Could that have been due to his shoulder? Those who have Gonzalez hope so, but chances are that fantasy players who have him will take a look at trading him and his inflated 4.62 ERA. Why should you add him? In his previous four starts before those aforementioned two, Gonzalez had only allowed seven earned runs in 25.1 innings of work, and struck out over a batter an inning.

Sell High

Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jay

So far this season, Buehrle has been lights out. He has a 2.11 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Notice anything there? The WHIP and ERA do not compute. What is meant by that is those with a 2.11 ERA usually have a much lower WHIP than 1.24. Two other pitchers have an ERA of 2.09 and 2.10. Those two pitchers have WHIPs of 0.81 and 1.12, respectively. Now, Buehrle has been able to stay out of trouble despite allowing a lot of base runners, but how long can he sustain that? He has a 80.4 left-on-base percentage this year, which is incredible but unsustainable. In his career, he varies between 70 and 74 percent. That means that he will deviate towards the 70s for the rest of the season, meaning his ERA will unfortunately rise. Someone will see his low ERA and want to pounce, but you will be the one with the last laugh if you can get something good for him.

Brett Gardner, New York Yankees

Gardner has been on fire of late, hitting .365 in his last 52 at-bats and over .300 for the season. He has also stolen 11 bases and scored 27 runs. So why sell him? Gardner will continue to steal bases and score runs, but he will be unable to hit or get on base at the pace that he currently holds. Gardner leads the Major Leagues in BABIP (batting average per balls in play) with a massive .405 line. What does that mean? Over 40 percent of the balls that Gardner puts in play results in a hit, which is an incredible number. Why is it unsustainable? In his career, Gardner’s BABIP has never been over .340 for a full season, and even this season he has a ground ball percentage of 45.9, which indicates that he has a lot of hits on ground balls, which is almost always unsustainable. Eleven of his hits this season have been infield hits, but he only has one hit from a bunt. The numbers are heavily skewed in Gardner’s favor, so do not be surprised if he goes into a “funk” relatively soon. Find an owner who needs an outfielder, and get as much as you can for Gardner.

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