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Fantasy Baseball: Sell Chris Carter

Chris Carter is the hottest power hitter on the planet, but the time has come to sell high on the Astros slugger before he cools off.

Chris Carter
Chris Carter

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

With just a few weeks left in the fantasy baseball season and the trade deadline in your league likely days away, there is not much time left to add a player via trade, or trade one away for good value. But little time can cause other fantasy baseball managers to panic, and make a deal they may not have made without a time-constraint. Remember to keep your cool, and do not make a trade for the sake of it, but be sure to improve your team.

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:

Sell High

Chris Carter, Houston Astros

Carter has been the hottest power hitter on the entire planet of late. He has seven home runs in his last 53 at-bats, and has six home runs in the last seven days. Carter is fourth in baseball in home runs behind Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Abreu. So why, for the love of baseball, would you want to trade him? The answer is right in front of you. Does Carter have the same value to you as the other three players would? If you answered no, that means you can get good value for him. Everyone in fantasy baseball wants a home run hitter, because that means runs batted in and runs scored. See what you can get for Carter, because chances are you will receive good value in return.

As always, selling high means you believe that specific player will not continue to produce like he has. Is there evidence to support this claim?

Of course, Carter has incredible power and has the ability to hit a home run in every at-bat. The problem is, when he does not hit a home run, his fantasy value is irrelevant. Carter has 85 hits this year, and 28 of them are home runs. That means he only has 57 hits in 337 at-bats if you take away the home runs. If you take away the other home run leaders’ home runs, here is what you get:

Giancarlo Stanton 97 hits in 413 at-bats

Nelson Cruz 86 hits in 414 at-bats

Jose Abreu 93 hits in 382 at-bats

Anthony Rizzo 96 hits in 415 at-bats

You may be thinking, is Carter even worth a comparison to these four? The answer is no, but that is the entire point. Someone will be looking at Carter’s home run totals, and you can plead to the possible trading partner that he is hitting over .300 of late, but chances are Carter will be unable to keep his current pace.

Last year, Carter hit 29 home runs in 506 at-bats, and he was on the exact same pace this year until his recent power surge. In the second half of the season, Carter is hitting .315 with nine home runs and 27 runs batted in, in only 24 games. There is your leverage in a trade. He has been one of the best players in fantasy baseball. But it is unlikely to continue.

Carter’s line drive percentage his lowest of his career at the moment at 19.9 percent. But, his fly ball rate is the highest it’s ever been at 53.5 percent. Pair that with a career home run to fly ball rate of 20.5 percent, and you get a good power hitter. Why won’t that continue?

Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Athletics, Rangers, Angels, Athletics, Mariners, Angels.

The above list is the remaining schedule for the Astros in the fantasy baseball season. What does that mean? Only the Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox are above the league average in home runs allowed this season. Carter and the Astros only have nine games against these three for the rest of the fantasy baseball season. The rest of the games come against some good pitching staffs who do not allow a lot of home runs.

Sell Chris Carter.

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

 

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