Fantasy Baseball: Buys and Sells – Buy Low on Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With just three days left in May, fantasy baseball players are starting to lose hope in some players, while loving others too much. That is where trading comes in, as the savvy fantasy baseball general managers will be sure to pounce on any opportunity to catch their league mates sleeping.

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

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Verlander has been struggling mightily of late, giving up 16 runs and 28 hits in his last 17.1 innings pitched. In these last three starts, the former Cy Young award winner has also walked nine batters and has only stuck out seven. What is wrong with the Tigers ace? Truly, the base runners that were able to get on base were also able to score, leading to the inflated ERA in the last few starts. Verlander’s ability to strand runners in his first eight starts was very good, but in the last three he has had LOB% (left on base percentage) of 52.6, 64.3, and a porous 39.7. Verlander has not given up many line drives, and his BABIP is a normal .321, but he just has to pitch better with runners on base. Usually that means a tweak in mechanics, which we have seen him do before, so be sure to add him while is value is as low as it is now. All it takes is one good start before Verlander’s value is back to being an ace.

Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds

So far this season, Bruce has been woeful at the plate. He is hitting just .197 with three home runs and has driven in just 14 base runners, while stealing five bases. Since returning from injury, he is just 2-for-20 with a run scored. So why should you trade for him? Bruce’s value will never be lower, and some who have him will be frustrated and try to unload him on the cheap. He is a much better player than his numbers indicate so far, and he has a low BABIP of .269 which indicates that he has hit some balls hard that have resulted in outs. If you can get him cheap, try to see if you can add Bruce to your outfield. Last season, Bruce hit 30 home runs and drove in 109 base runners, so he has the ability to help your fantasy team for the rest of the season.

Sell High

Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers

“Khrush Davis,” as some Brewer fans have dubbed the outfielder, has been on a tear of late. In his last 49 at-bats, Davis has 16 hits and has hit five home runs while driving in 11 and scoring 10 more. Davis has been on fire, especially in big situations. So why sell him? Despite his recent tear, he is still hitting just .251 on the season. At the current point in time, Davis’ value will never be higher, so if you can get someone to trade something big for him, consider doing the deal. Davis’ splits are even as far as hitting the ball on the ground and in the air, as he sits at both 50 fly balls and ground balls. But, his wOBA (weighted on-base percentage) is at the lowest in his professional career. Davis is not getting on base as much as one would want, so if he does not supply the power that he has shown of late, he is not worth much in fantasy baseball.

Josh Beckett, Los Angeles

Beckett is coming off a no-hitter, and has an ERA of 2.43 and an incredible WHIP of 1.02. His value is at its peak right now, and he could see a dip in production soon. Why? He threw a career-high 128 pitches in his last start and some of his successful starts have yielded misleading numbers. His BABIP is an outlandish .211 at the moment, which can indicate some very lucky outs. But, his line drive percentage is very good as well, at a low 16.4. That line drive percentage is the lowest Beckett has had since 2007, and at 34 years old, a career year is unlikely. If someone is offering a lot for him, or you can get more than what you expected, be sure to deal him.

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