The most obvious bit of advice a Fantasy Baseball analyst can give you right now is, "Sell high on Bryce Elder." It's such an obvious bit of advice at this point that it might not even be particularly useful  – trading is all about perceived value, and if everyone perceives Elders as a sell-high candidate, you aren't going to be able to get much for him.

Is the knee-jerk reaction to writing Elder off fair? Well, pretty much every pitching metric we tend to use to try to predict future performance at least agrees that he's playing over his head:

  • ERA: 1.92
  • xERA: 4.15
  • FIP: 3.42
  • xFIP: 3.65
  • SIERA: 3.86

It shouldn't exactly be a surprise that a pitcher with a sub-2.00 ERA isn't going to keep that up – it's happened just 10 times over the past decade by an ERA title qualifier, and three of those came in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. As a general rule, pitchers with an ERA below 2.00 at any given point are going to perform worse, usually significantly worse, in the future.

But that doesn't necessarily mean you need to abandon ship and get whatever you can for Elder, right? I mean, Martin Perez was in a similar spot to Elder at this point last season, sporting a 1.56 ERA through his first 11 starts, and he still had a 3.61 ERA the rest of the way. That's a perfectly useful Fantasy option, and most of those predictive metrics suggest he could be in that range moving forward. 

Elder, like Perez, is a groundball pitcher (57.5%) with pretty good control (7.2% walk rate) and a below-average strikeout rate (21.1%). That's not a combination that typically creates ace outcomes – especially when you aren't an outlier groundball pitcher like Framber Valdez – but you can be an effective pitcher with that combination. It just typically means your margin for error is somewhat narrow, as Perez's struggles to begin the 2023 season highlight. 

And Elder does have some skills that could make this at least somewhat sustainable. In addition to being a groundball pitcher, he has generated a 51.6% pull rate on his batted balls, the highest mark in the league so far. That's not a great thing when you give up a lot of fly balls, as someone like Andrew Heaney or Freddy Peralta currently are, because the ball doesn't have to travel as far to go out down the line. However, it's not a bad thing for a groundball pitcher – the shift has been limited, but there's still value in the defense behind you being able to predict where the ball might go. 

Elder has three pitchers that generate a healthy number of groundballs, with only his four-seam fastball sporting an average launch angle allowed over 5 degrees. That fastball is a pretty good swing-and-miss pitch for him, and the ability to change eye levels and generate weak pop-ups could help, too.

The problem there is, Elder isn't really generating much weak contact with either of his fastballs. His four-seamer has a .425 expected wOBA allowed, while his sinker has a .390 mark. That mostly hasn't hurt him yet because he's been unnaturally good with runners on base – his OPS allowed with the bases empty is .759, a mark that falls to .478 with runners on base. That helps explain why he's managed to strange 87.4% of opposing baserunners, the second-highest mark of any starter this season.

And that's where it starts to get pretty tough to be optimistic. Sure, Elder could be a useful Fantasy option moving forward, but so much of his success right now is based on sequencing – when he's giving up hits – and that's hard to sustain. He's been pretty good at generating soft contact, but not elite, and that's one of the primary ways you can overcome a lack of strikeouts. 

Elder isn't a bad pitcher, but I think his skill set is probably more like that of a high-3.00s ERA pitcher. There's value in that, but it's pretty limited value. If I had him on any of my teams, I'd be taking this opportunity to try to shop him for one of any number of underperformers with more upside – Yu Darvish, Dylan Cease, or Hunter Greene come immediately to mind as pitchers I'd be happy to flip Elder for.

Maybe he'll continue to confound us. It happens, and there are outliers – guys like Framber Valdez and Kyle Hendricks have been very good pitchers over the past five years without big strikeout numbers, obviously. But, the likeliest outcome is this is the height of Elder's value. Try to take advantage. 

H2H Points league Trade Values

RankPlayerEligibleValueChange From Last Week
1Ronald AcunaDH-OF48
2Aaron JudgeDH-OF46
3Fernando TatisOF-SS46
4Jose Ramirez3B-DH46
5Juan SotoOF45
6Yordan AlvarezDH-OF45
7Julio RodriguezOF43
8Mookie Betts2B-OF-SS41
9Shohei OhtaniDH-SP39
10Kyle TuckerOF38
11Bo BichetteSS37
12Freddie Freeman1B37
13Mike TroutOF36
14Pete Alonso1B-DH36
15Rafael Devers3B36-1
16Trea TurnerSS36
17Vladimir Guerrero1B-DH36-3
18Bryce HarperDH36
19Gerrit ColeSP34
20Paul Goldschmidt1B-DH33
21Austin Riley3B33
22Shane McClanahanSP33
23Spencer StriderRP-SP32
24Corbin BurnesSP32
25Max ScherzerSP31
26Matt Olson1B29
27Marcus Semien2B28
28Bobby Witt3B-DH-SS28
29Aaron NolaSP28
30Randy ArozarenaDH-OF28
31Zack WheelerSP28
32Nolan Arenado3B-DH28
33Justin VerlanderSP28
34Sandy AlcantaraSP28-4
35Kevin GausmanSP28
36Emmanuel ClaseRP25
37Kyle SchwarberDH-OF25
38Framber ValdezSP25
39Luis RobertOF25
40Luis CastilloSP24
41Wander FrancoSS24
42Jacob deGromSP24
43Francisco LindorSS24
44Ozzie Albies2B23
45Jose Altuve2B23
46Josh HaderRP23
47Zac GallenSP23
48Bryan ReynoldsOF23
49J.T. RealmutoC21
50Will SmithC-DH21
51Corbin CarrollOF216
52Adolis GarciaDH-OF20
53Shane BieberSP20
54Corey SeagerSS20
55George SpringerDH-OF20
56Julio UriasSP19
57Devin WilliamsRP19
58Joe MusgroveSP18
59Michael HarrisOF18
60Xander BogaertsSS18
61Dylan CeaseSP18
62Alex Bregman3B17
63Cristian JavierSP17
64Jordan RomanoRP16
65Felix BautistaRP16
66Brandon WoodruffSP15
67Salvador PerezC-DH15
68Vinnie Pasquantino1B-DH15
69Christian Walker1B15
70Max Muncy2B-3B-DH15-5
71Willy AdamesSS15
72Dansby SwansonSS15
73Cedric MullinsOF15-13
74Byron BuxtonDH-OF15
75Clayton KershawSP15
76Starling MarteOF15
77Teoscar HernandezDH-OF15
78Manny Machado3B15
79Pablo LopezSP15
80Ryan HelsleyRP15
81Yu DarvishSP15-6
82Nate Lowe1B15
83Logan WebbSP15
84Mitch KellerSP152
85Tim AndersonSS15
86Ryan PresslyRP15
87Adley RutschmanC-DH15
88Joe RyanSP15
89Sean MurphyC-DH15
90Camilo DovalRP15
91Christian YelichDH-OF15
92Kris BryantDH-OF15
93Tommy Edman2B-OF-SS15
94Matt Chapman3B15
95Anthony Rizzo1B15
96Yandy Diaz1B-3B15
97Kenley JansenRP151
98George KirbySP151
99Rowdy Tellez1B14
100Logan GilbertSP14
101Steven KwanOF14
102David BednarRP14
103Nico Hoerner2B-SS14
104Eloy JimenezDH-OF141
105Jazz Chisholm2B-OF141
106Hunter BrownRP-SP134
107Daulton VarshoC-OF13
108Freddy PeraltaSP13
109Chris SaleSP13
110Jeremy PenaSS131
111Gleyber Torres2B-DH131
112Hunter RenfroeOF12
113Anthony SantanderDH-OF121
114Seiya SuzukiOF121
115Luis SeverinoSP111
116Jonathan India2B-DH111
117Nathan EovaldiSP10
118Charlie MortonSP10
119Nestor CortesSP10-2
120Brandon Lowe2B101
121Ian HappOF101
122Tyler GlasnowSP9
123Alejandro KirkC-DH9
124Lance LynnSP9
125Gunnar Henderson3B-SS9
126C.J. Cron1B-DH9
127Willson ContrerasC-DH9
128Carlos CorreaSS9-5
129Andres Gimenez2B91
130Brandon NimmoOF91
131Raisel IglesiasRP8
132Jose Abreu1B-DH8
133Nick CastellanosDH-OF8
134Paul SewaldRP8
135Ketel Marte2B-DH8
136Jarred KelenicOF8
137Sonny GraySP8
138Josh Bell1B-DH81
139Hunter GreeneSP8-3
140Jesus LuzardoSP7
141Carlos RodonSP7
142Blake SnellSP71
143Bryce MillerSP71
144Alek ManoahSP6
145Chris BassittSP6
146MJ MelendezC-DH-OF6
147Ryan Mountcastle1B-DH6
148Giancarlo StantonDH-OF61
149J.D. MartinezDH61
150Alexis DiazRP5
151Anthony VolpeSS5
152Josh Jung3B52
153Nolan Gorman2B-3B-DH52
154Tyler Stephenson1B-C-DH5
155James OutmanOF5
156Ty France1B5
157William ContrerasC-DH5
158Miguel Vargas1B-2B51
159Jose BerriosSP51
160Lucas GiolitoSP4
161Jordan MontgomerySP4
162Tony GonsolinSP4
163Alex VerdugoOF4
164Mitch HanigerOF4
165Thairo Estrada2B-SS4
166Javier BaezSS4
167Jhoan DuranRP4
168Masataka YoshidaDH-OF4
169Alec Bohm1B-3B4
170Eugenio Suarez3B41
171Jorge Polanco2B41
172Max FriedSP3
173Luis Arraez1B-2B-DH3
174Jeff McNeil2B-OF3
175Andrew ChafinRP3
176Anthony Rendon3B3
177Andrew Vaughn1B-DH-OF3
178Ryan McMahon2B-3B3
179Clay HolmesRP3
180Triston McKenzieSP3
181Jorge SolerDH-OF3
182Cody BellingerOF3
183Jake Cronenworth1B-2B3
184Ezequiel TovarSS3
185Reid DetmersSP3
186Amed RosarioSS3-1
187Ke'Bryan Hayes3B3
188Alex CobbSP3
189Andrew HeaneySP3
190Josh Naylor1B-DH3
191Merrill KellySP3
192Joey Gallo1B-OF3
193David RobertsonRP31
194Lars NootbaarOF31
195Riley GreeneOF2
196Peter FairbanksRP2
197Lourdes GurrielDH-OF2
198Jon GraySP2
199Bryson Stott2B-SS2
200Taylor WardOF2-4
201Eury PerezSP2
202Spencer Steer1B-3B21
203Nick LodoloSP2
204A.J. PukRP2
205Francisco AlvarezC21
206Jose SiriOF22
207Elly De La CruzSS22
208Jack FlahertySP2
209Michael KopechSP2
210Bryce ElderSP22
211Marcus StromanSP2
212Joc PedersonDH-OF2
213Charlie BlackmonDH-OF21
214LaMonte Wade1B-OF21

Rotisserie/Categories leagues Trade Values 

RankPlayerEligibleValueChange From Last Week
1Ronald AcunaDH-OF44
2Aaron JudgeDH-OF43
3Fernando TatisOF-SS43
4Jose Ramirez3B-DH43
5Shohei OhtaniDH-SP43
6Bo BichetteSS39
7Julio RodriguezOF38
8Yordan AlvarezDH-OF38
9Juan SotoOF35
10Mookie Betts2B-OF-SS35
11Kyle TuckerOF34
12Rafael Devers3B34
13Freddie Freeman1B31
14Mike TroutOF31
15Pete Alonso1B-DH312
16Trea TurnerSS29
17Vladimir Guerrero1B-DH29-6
18Bryce HarperDH29
19Paul Goldschmidt1B-DH27
20Gerrit ColeSP27
21Spencer StriderRP-SP27
22Austin Riley3B27
23Bobby Witt3B-DH-SS27
24Marcus Semien2B27
25Justin VerlanderSP25
26Matt Olson1B25
27Randy ArozarenaDH-OF24
28Shane McClanahanSP24
29Corbin BurnesSP24
30Max ScherzerSP24
31Kevin GausmanSP24
32Zack WheelerSP23
33Aaron NolaSP22
34Nolan Arenado3B-DH21
35Emmanuel ClaseRP21
36Sandy AlcantaraSP21-2
37Framber ValdezSP21
38Luis RobertOF20
39Zac GallenSP20
40Josh HaderRP20
41Luis CastilloSP20
42Bryan ReynoldsOF18
43Kyle SchwarberDH-OF18
44Wander FrancoSS18
45Jacob deGromSP17
46Ozzie Albies2B17
47Jose Altuve2B17
48Adolis GarciaDH-OF16
49Francisco LindorSS16
50Will SmithC-DH16
51Corey SeagerSS15
52Joe MusgroveSP15
53Devin WilliamsRP15
54Jordan RomanoRP15
55J.T. RealmutoC15
56Corbin CarrollOF15
57Felix BautistaRP15
58Xander BogaertsSS15
59George SpringerDH-OF15
60Julio UriasSP15
61Michael HarrisOF15
62Cristian JavierSP15
63Willy AdamesSS15
64Shane BieberSP15
65Salvador PerezC-DH15
66Nate Lowe1B15
67Christian Walker1B15
68Brandon WoodruffSP15
69Alex Bregman3B15
70Starling MarteOF15
71Manny Machado3B15
72Ryan HelsleyRP15
73Vinnie Pasquantino1B-DH15
74Byron BuxtonDH-OF15
75Cedric MullinsOF15-5
76Dylan CeaseSP15
77Clayton KershawSP15
78Pablo LopezSP15
79Max Muncy2B-3B-DH15
80Tim AndersonSS15
81Dansby SwansonSS15
82Logan WebbSP151
83Yu DarvishSP14-3
84Joe RyanSP14
85Mitch KellerSP142
86Camilo DovalRP14
87Gleyber Torres2B-DH14
88Ryan PresslyRP14
89Seiya SuzukiOF14
90Christian YelichDH-OF14
91Rowdy Tellez1B14
92Eloy JimenezDH-OF141
93Kris BryantDH-OF14
94Teoscar HernandezDH-OF14
95Tommy Edman2B-OF-SS14
96Nico Hoerner2B-SS14
97Sean MurphyC-DH14
98Logan GilbertSP14
99Kenley JansenRP14
100Adley RutschmanC-DH14
101David BednarRP14
102Yandy Diaz1B-3B14
103Matt Chapman3B141
104George KirbySP13
105Andres Gimenez2B13
106Jazz Chisholm2B-OF13
107Daulton VarshoC-OF13
108Jeremy PenaSS131
109Anthony Rizzo1B12
110Anthony SantanderDH-OF12
111Jonathan India2B-DH12
112Freddy PeraltaSP12
113Chris SaleSP121
114C.J. Cron1B-DH11
115Nestor CortesSP11-3
116Nathan EovaldiSP11
117Ian HappOF11
118Tyler GlasnowSP11
119Hunter RenfroeOF11
120Raisel IglesiasRP11
121Steven KwanOF11
122Nick CastellanosDH-OF10
123Alexis DiazRP101
124Brandon NimmoOF9
125Brandon Lowe2B9
126Paul SewaldRP9
127Ryan Mountcastle1B-DH91
128Ty France1B8
129Gunnar Henderson3B-SS8
130Hunter BrownRP-SP81
131Luis SeverinoSP8
132James OutmanOF8
133Christopher Morel2B-DH-OF8
134Carlos CorreaSS8-5
135Alex VerdugoOF8
136Masataka YoshidaDH-OF8
137Sonny GraySP8
138Ketel Marte2B-DH81
139Giancarlo StantonDH-OF7
140Jarred KelenicOF7
141Hunter GreeneSP7-2
142Jose Abreu1B-DH7
143Jesus LuzardoSP7
144Alek ManoahSP7
145Anthony VolpeSS7
146Thairo Estrada2B-SS7-3
147Javier BaezSS7-3
148Carlos RodonSP7
149Bryce MillerSP7
150Nolan Gorman2B-3B-DH71
151Josh Jung3B73
152Blake SnellSP7
153Willson ContrerasC-DH7
154J.D. MartinezDH7
155David RobertsonRP7
156Josh Bell1B-DH7
157Jose AlvaradoRP7
158Lourdes GurrielDH-OF7
159Esteury RuizOF7
160Jorge SolerDH-OF7
161MJ MelendezC-DH-OF7
162Chris BassittSP7
163Jhoan DuranRP7
164Ryan McMahon2B-3B7
165Joey Gallo1B-OF7
166Charlie MortonSP7
167Tyler Stephenson1B-C-DH7
168Alec Bohm1B-3B71
169Lance LynnSP6-1
170Jose BerriosSP6
171Jorge Polanco2B6
172Luis Arraez1B-2B-DH6
173Miguel Vargas1B-2B6
174Lucas GiolitoSP6
175Jeff McNeil2B-OF6
176Andrew ChafinRP6
177Jordan MontgomerySP6
178Cody BellingerOF6
179Mitch HanigerOF6
180Ke'Bryan Hayes3B6
181Carlos EstevezRP6
182William ContrerasC-DH6
183Alejandro KirkC-DH6
184Alex CobbSP6
185A.J. PukRP6
186Max FriedSP6
187Triston McKenzieSP6
188Justin Turner1B-3B-DH6
189Amed RosarioSS6-1
190Josh Naylor1B-DH6
191Eugenio Suarez3B6
192Anthony Rendon3B6
193Riley GreeneOF6
194Lars NootbaarOF6
195Tony GonsolinSP63
196Andrew Vaughn1B-DH-OF61
197Clay HolmesRP5
198Jake Cronenworth1B-2B5
199Andrew HeaneySP5
200Scott BarlowRP5
201Jarren DuranOF5-1
202Reid DetmersSP5
203Francisco AlvarezC52
204Charlie BlackmonDH-OF5
205Taylor WardOF5
206Ezequiel TovarSS5
207Brusdar GraterolRP5
208Michael ConfortoOF51
209Joc PedersonDH-OF4
210Spencer Steer1B-3B41
211Eduardo RodriguezSP4-2
212Alex LangeRP4
213Merrill KellySP4
214Jorge MateoSS4
215Marcus StromanSP4
216Evan PhillipsRP4
217Bryce ElderSP44
218Will SmithRP4
219Peter FairbanksRP4
220Ramon LaureanoOF4
221Eury PerezSP4
222Zach EflinSP4
223Taj BradleySP4
224Kyle FinneganRP4
225Austin HaysOF4
226Jose SiriOF43
227Bryan De La CruzOF44
228Liam HendriksRP4
229Andres MunozRP4
230Jon GraySP41
231Jake FraleyDH-OF3
232Cal RaleighC-DH3
233Louie VarlandSP3
234A.J. MinterRP3
235Bailey OberSP3
236Michael KopechSP3
237Whit Merrifield2B-OF3
238Bobby MillerSP3
239Edward CabreraSP31
240Logan Taylor AllenSP31
241Jason AdamRP3
242Randal GrichukOF3
243Travis d'ArnaudC-DH3
244Jonah HeimC3
245Nick LodoloSP3
246Joey Meneses1B-DH-OF3
247Tyler O'NeillOF3
248Tanner BibeeSP3
249Harrison BaderOF3-3
250Keibert RuizC3
251Patrick SandovalSP3
252Miles MikolasSP3
253Bryan AbreuRP31
254Elly De La CruzSS22
255Yoan Moncada3B2
256Matt Mervis1B2
257Wil Myers1B-OF2
258Triston Casas1B2
259Danny JansenC-DH2
260Craig KimbrelRP2
261Jack FlahertySP2
262Brent RookerDH-OF2
263Jose UrquidySP2
264Graham AshcraftSP2
265DJ LeMahieu1B-2B-3B2
266Aroldis ChapmanRP2
267Adam OttavinoRP2
268Jorge LopezRP2
269Giovanny GallegosRP2
270Bryson Stott2B-SS21