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Fantasy Baseball: Buys and Sells – Sell Jayson Werth

Josh Collacchi says now is the time to buy low on Brandon McCarthy and sell high on Jayson Werth.

Jayson Werth
Jayson Werth

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the All Star break is over, the next mark on the calendar is the trade deadline. Whether it be MLB’s trade deadline or your fantasy baseball trade deadline, it is getting close. Be sure to keep an eye out for some good values to trade for, or trade away before it gets too late.

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

Brandon McCarthy, Starting Pitcher, New York Yankees

When a player who is “struggling” gets traded, it is often looked upon as a change of scenery. It is, and McCarthy has, and will benefit from playing for the Yankees. But he isn’t getting better because of the change of scenery, he simply has been good, but has received bad results. You may ask: “What does that even mean?”

McCarthy ranks among baseball’s leaders in ground ball percentage, he also ranks among the lowest in fly ball percentage. Why was his ERA so high? Home runs. McCarthy has allowed 18.8 percent of his fly balls to result in home runs.

Why does that indicate that he will be better, especially in a division notorious for small stadiums?

As mentioned, McCarthy’s ground ball rate is among the league’s highest, which attracted the Yankees’ attention to add him to their rotation. In the AL East, there are four other teams, the Red Sox, Orioles, Rays, and Blue Jays. All of these teams have a ground ball percentage of under half, and the Red Sox, Orioles and Blue Jays are in the top 13 as far as hitting a low amount of ground balls. That is where McCarthy comes in. He will look to limit the opponents’ fly balls, and cause the rest of the division to beat the ball into the ground, which is what the Yankees need, and what you need for fantasy purposes. The American League is a tougher league to pitch in, which could cause McCarthy owners to sell, but the progression from McCarthy is starting already with just four earned runs in his last 19.1 innings of work and…you guessed it, a high ground ball percentage.

Sell High

Jayson Werth, Outfield, Washington Nationals

Werth has been on fire lately, hitting six home runs and driving in 19 men in his last 43 at-bats, but keep an eye on what he has done for the entire season to this point. Werth is hitting .278 with 57 runs scored 12 home runs and 54 runs batted in. While that is an impressive line, it is nowhere near the pace he has played at recently. This is the perfect time to sell Werth, as he is on a power binge, and someone in your league will need instant production. Trade Werth and see what kind of package you can get for him. It’s all about the numbers, and Werth has scored the same amount of runs as Denard Span, has the same amount of home runs as Torii Hunter, and the same amount of runs batted in as Marlon Byrd. If you can get a top pitcher, or even a group of players, you can make up the production that Werth brings, especially in the outfield.

In addition, Werth is hitting line drives at the second lowest rate of his career at 17.5 percent, and he has an even split in ground balls and fly balls. Werth’s BABIP is also .321, which is not indicative of how he is hitting the ball. Werth’s isolated power is down despite his recent surge, and he is on pace for a career high in infield hits. It is not a stretch to say that Werth is “luckily” hitting .278, but considering his recent surge, and how few balls he has squared up, Werth could be due for regression in the second half of the season. That is not to say that he does not have value, he does in that lineup, but his current value is worth more now than it will be during the second half. Sell high.

Statistics from ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com, and Fangraphs.com

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