Often times when we talk trades in Fantasy sports, we use the rudimentary finance concepts known as buy-low and sell-high. If you can pull trades like this off in your league, all the power to you. The reality is that many Fantasy managers are savvy and realize exactly what you're trying to do when you offer Akil Baddoo for Charlie Blackmon.
But what about buy-highs? The concept here is that you're actually trying to buy ascending players, not trying to acquire a player when they're at their peak. We have many names below, but let's use Jazz Chisholm as an example. Obviously he's off to an awesome start but say you think he's only going to get better as the season goes along, then now is actually the time to target him. Another example using the same player: let's say somebody in your league just doesn't think Chisholm's early-season breakout is legitimate. They might view Chisholm as a fringe starting middle infielder. If you think Chisholm has top-12 upside at the second base position then there's value to be had there.
It's all about perception. But instead of making this an article about Fantasy psychology, I'll let you read more about the players to target!
OMGG players from Wednesday
My pick: Twins SP Kenta Maeda and A's SP Frankie Montas
The Twins and A's combined for 31 hits and 25 runs Wednesday; no, it wasn't a doubleheader, but it was a 10-inning game. Still -- we're talking about 31 hits and 25 runs in one game! Twins SP Kenta Maeda and A's SP Frankie Montas were the starters who took the brunt of it. They combined to allow 17 hits and 13 earned runs in seven combined innings. Let's unpack each starter's outing a bit more.
Maeda has gone more than 4 1/3 innings in just one of his four starts this season. However, some of the underlying numbers suggest things are not as bad as they seem. The velocity and swinging-strike rates look fine. Entering this start, his xFIP was 3.65 and his xERA was 3.59. But there is one thing to be seriously concerned about: The biggest thing I see is that he's just allowing a ton of hard contact -- he allowed eight more hard-hit balls on Wednesday.
Chris still considers Maeda a nice buy-low candidate in trades right now and hasn't moved him much down his rankings.
It has been a very inconsistent season so far for Montas. He's had two great starts and two terrible starts to date. The good news is that he's allowed just two walks over his last three starts. He's also actually getting more swinging strikes this year than he did in 2019. The bad news is that he's no longer generating nearly enough ground balls.
Chris Towers' pick: Nationals SP Max Scherzer
Scherzer went six shutout innings and struck out nine batters on Wednesday. He allowed just one hard hit ball in the entire 109-pitch outing, adding 16 swinging strikes. He has allowed four home runs on the season and all of them came in the first two innings of his first start. His velocity is a little lower, but it's still plenty good -- and he's still getting a lot of swinging strikes. Most importantly, he's just simply not walking any batters.
More news and notes
- Padres SP Dinelson Lamet made his long-awaited 2021 debut after his dominant 2020 but he then exited his debut Wednesday with forearm tightness. Sound the alarms now as this could be a long absence for Lamet. The next question we have to ask ourselves is when will we see top Padres SP prospect MacKenzie Gore? Gore is still only 48% rostered and could make for a really nice bench stash right now. Chris is not as sold as I am that we'll see Gore sooner rather than later.
- Orioles OF Anthony Santander was placed on the 10-day IL with a sprained left ankle. He's expected to miss 2-4 weeks.
- Phillies 2B Jean Segura was placed on the IL due to a right quad strain
- Marlins C Jorge Alfaro was placed on the IL due to a left hamstring strain
- Braves OF Ronald Acuna could return for the Braves Friday dealing with a mild abdominal strain.
- Angels 3B Anthony Rendon is apparently very close to returning for the Angels. Send trade offers while you still can!
- Nationals manager Dave Martinez said that SP Stephen Strasburg felt OK after he threw on flat ground from 75 feet.
- General manager Kim Ng said that Marlins SP Sixto Sanchez, dealing with a shoulder injury, is "still a ways out" from returning to game action
- SP Domingo German will return to the Yankees and start Thursday against Cleveland. German is 59% rostered.
- The Astros will recall SP Cristian Javier from their alternate site to start Thursday against the Angels.
- Braves SP Drew Smyly will return from the IL this Saturday against the D-Backs. He was diagnosed with forearm inflammation last week.
- Cubs SP Adbert Alzolay is scheduled to start Saturday against the Brewers.
- Astros SP Lance McCullers is scheduled to start Sunday against the Angels. He was scratched from his start earlier this week with an illness.
- Braves SP Max Fried is still day-to-day with his hamstring injury.
- INF/OF Scott Kingery was recalled by the Phillies. He's 5% rostered and a name you can look at in deeper category leagues.
- 3B Renato Nunez was designated for assignment by the Tigers.
- Yankees 3B Gio Urshela left Wednesday's game due to lower back tightness.
- Angels OF Justin Upton left with cramps.
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The thinking on this is that if managers in your league are not buying into how good these players have been, and you can buy them while they are ascending and not yet at the highest level they can get to, then that's a buy-high you want to get! We'll take a look at some potential buy-high players here.
Marlins SP Trevor Rogers
Rogers delivered another seven shutout innings vs. BAL on Wednesday with just four hits and one walk to go along with eight Ks and 17 whiffs on 82 pitches. He entered this start fifth in baseball with an 18.5% SwStr rate. He is an elite strikeout pitcher for Fantasy and he's not allowing much contact either. Rogers has allowed just 12 hits over 22 IP with 31 strikeouts to go along with it.
However, before we crown him an easy "buy-high" candidate, let me caution you on a tale of another Marlins southpaw. Back in 2019, Caleb Smith's first nine starts looked like this: 2.38 ERA, 3.17 xFIP, 12 K/9, 16.6% SwStr.
Both Chris and I have the same concern with Rogers -- he is going to be on an innings limit. Even tonight, he wasn't pushed despite getting through seven innings easily. Rogers hasn't thrown more than 95 pitches in a start yet and has 82 pitches or less in three of his four starts. Chris actually sees some sell-high potential here with Rogers if someone is looking at him as a potential SP2 or SP3 the rest of the way.
Blue Jays 1B Vlad Guerrero Jr.
Vlad is now the first-ranked 1B in both points and Roto leagues. He had another strong night on Wednesday going 2 for 3 with a run, an RBI and two walks. Vlad is now batting .383 on the young season. Chris moved him all the way up to his third-ranked 1B. Guerrero's doing everything we wanted him to from elite quality of contact numbers to the launch angle rising to 12 degrees on average -- more than enough given his plate discipline and how hard he hits the ball. If Vlad was breaking out into the superstar he's been billed to be, this is what it would look like. That makes Vlad our first buy-high!
Brewers SP Corbin Burnes
Burnes is the SP1 in points and Roto so far this season. He's up to 40 strikeouts right now with zero walks. He is on the verge of potentially breaking that record, but this also makes him an interesting sell-high candidate -- especially given his potential innings limit. Chris is looking to move Burnes for a hitter in leagues where he has pitching depth. One trade idea he floated was to deal Burnes for Trevor Story. It's a hard bet for him to keep his control this elite, but his stuff looks overpowering at the moment. Relying on the cutter as his primary pitch has made him near-impossible to hit.
Cubs SS Javier Baez
I was a year too early on Baez and I'm sick about it! Despite the fact that he's batting just .206 heading into Wednesday, Baez is the SS4 in Roto and SS13 in H2H points leagues. On Wednesday, he went 1 for 4 with a grand slam and three runs scored. Baez is now up to five home runs with 16 RBI and five steals this season. He's done all this despite striking out 31 times and walking just once in 68 plate appearances. It's a contract year for Baez as well.
Chris thinks the strikeout rate will regress and he'll raise his batting average in doing so. This makes him an intriguing buy-high candidate right now in Roto leagues.
To stream or not to stream
We asked Chris to name his top-three streamers. They are highlighted in bold below (but keep in mind he really doesn't feel good about Keller!).
- Yankees SP Domingo German at CLE
- Pirates SP Mitch Keller at DET
- Tigers SP Jose Urena vs. PIT
- Red Sox SP Nick Pivetta vs. SEA
- Angels SP Alex Cobb at HOU
- Giants SP Aaron Sanchez vs. MIA
To stream or not to stream (for Friday)
We also wanted to get a day ahead for those of you who can only add SPs for the next day in your daily lineup leagues.