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It is still trading season in fantasy baseball, and there are some good values that could be had, whether it is trading for a player on the upswing, or selling a player who is due for regression. Trading for value is what you want to do, and sometimes any deal is worth it if your team is struggling.
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:
Carlos Santana, Catcher, First Base, Third Base, Cleveland Indians
So far this season, Santana is hitting .211 with 12 home runs and 31 runs batted in. That is your selling point on the deal, convince your league mate that he is hitting .211 on the season and that is your ticket to buying low. Should your trading partner follow the MLB or the Indians closely however, it becomes a sell high for them, so beware.
Obviously, Santana has struggled in the scheme of things this year, but keep in mind that in fantasy baseball it matters what a player does from this point forward, not what he has done in the past. Santana’s BABIP this season is a .235, which ranks as his lowest rate in his professional career, that is indicative of progression, and it has already started with his recent tear.
Santana is red-hot right now. If you can swing a deal for him before his seasonal average raises to a respectable number, you could have a top tier fantasy catcher. In his last 49 at-bats, Santana is hitting .347 with five home runs, 10 runs batted in and eight runs scored. In the last month, he is hitting .348, so it is not a small sample size. This means that Santana is coming out of what seemed to be a season long slump, add him before his value rises any more.
Jake Arrieta, Starting Pitcher, Chicago Cubs
Arrieta has been nothing short of dominant in his last five starts, allowing four earned runs in 31.2 innings of work. His cumulative numbers on the season are among the best in baseball as well with a 2.05 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. So why should he be sold?
Arrieta is pitching like one of the best pitchers in the game, but is he one of the best pitchers in the game? Chances are, he will come back from his top form as he has a career 4.84 earned run average. Now, he has pitched well this season on the surface, but what do the deeper numbers say?
Arrieta’s strikeout percentage is up, his walk percentage is down, and he is inducing an incredible amount of ground balls with a 51 percent ground ball rate. His line drive rate is higher than we would like at a 21.1 however, which is higher than his career average which has yielded his 4.84 career ERA. Arrieta is also getting opposing hitters to pop up at a high rate with a 14.6 infield fly ball percentage. This indicates his stuff has been very good, and it has, but can it last?
Arrieta has allowed 13 earned runs this season in 57 innings of work. Seven of those came against two teams who can really hit the ball in the Giants and White Sox. The other six earned runs came against the Reds, Marlins, Mets, Padres, and Cardinals. All of whom, with the exception of the Marlins, are ranked in the bottom 10 in runs scored this season. Not to discount Arrieta’s performance, but the Cubs’ schedule will get a lot tougher, which could mean serious regression from Arrieta. His next start is against the Red Sox, then after that his next starts include duels with the Nationals, Braves, Rockies, Rays, Brewers, Giants, and Orioles. If you have Arrieta, now is the time to gauge the market for him, because his value cannot get any higher.
Statistics from ESPN.com, MLB.com, and Fangraphs.com
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