2013 Fantasy Baseball, Week 4: AL-Only Buy Or Sell
We are nearing the time of the fantasy baseball season where you can sell on player who has had a hot start for maximum value, and still purchase struggling stars for a reasonable price. With that idea, here are several hitters you should be trying to ship out or import.
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners: Kyle Seager is in the middle of a 14-game hitting streak and is really one of the only Mariners contributing on a nightly basis. As of today, his line stands at .306/.379/.529. Seager was a preseason favorite of mine, and as a result, I’m getting to benefit from his current hitting streak. While some doubt the validity of his ability to hit for average, as Jack Moore pointed out on Fangraphs, Seager is changing his appraoch at the plate. Last year, he only walked on 7.1% of his plate appearances. So far in 2013, he has raised that 10.5% and decreased his K% an entire point. He is only swinging at 24% of pitches outside of the strike zone and has improved his zone contact rate to 93%. Seager is simply buckling down at the plate, seeing the ball well and approaching hitting the correct way. Verdict: BUY
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles: Currently sitting at 3rd on ESPN’s Player Rater, Davis has had a phenomenal season thus far. His 8 homeruns and 24 RBI’s have propelled many teams to first place. That being said, I don’t expect this go on much longer. He still has the same habits and plate discipline that you would expect from a career .263. In this new world of pitching-dominant baseball, .263 isn’t terrible but that is 100 points lower than what Davis is hitting now. His Z-Swing% is literally identical to his number last year and his his first pitch strike % is 10 points below a well-defined career average. Nothing in his peripheral numbers suggest that he has truly turned a corner, which would suggest that you could best allow Davis to help your team by trading him and adding excess value. Verdict: SELL
Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics: Lowrie is a much less open and shut case than Davis and Seager because the perception of his value will fluctuate wildly, depending on whose opinion you seek. My fantasy style has always been to gamble on high upside, making selections that can reward handsomely or fail dramatically. Lowrie is a switch hitter, with a .400 SLG against righties and .489 for lefties in his career. He has two full seasons with HR/FB ratios over 11%. All of that said, Lowrie has never played more than 97 games in a season in his entire career. If you want to sell him, now is the absolutely perfect time to do so. His .365/.443/.576 is far above what he is capable of over a full season and you can most likely convert him into something of real substance. If you want to gamble on 140 games from him, you could possibly benefit. Verdict: You Decide