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2013 Fantasy Baseball April Buy-Low and Sell-High Candidates
The 2013 baseball season is underway. Position players have about 30 to 40 at bats and most starting pitchers have made two to three starts. This means its a good time to review the fantasy baseball landscape for possible trades. Owners can get desperate and panic if their star gets off to a slow start and you can often use this desperation to trade for these sleeping giants at bargain prices. It's also time to unload players that have started the season hot and are performing way over their normal pace. This article looks at several fantasy baseball buy-low and sell-high trade candidates in the National League. The goal is to trade someone in the sell-high catergory for a buy-low player. Dexter Fowler for Jason Heyward is a good example of using a hot player to trade up for someone that will be better over the long haul. Another would be Matt Carpenter for Neil Walker. Good luck with you fantasy baseball team!
Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado Rockies
Dexter is slugging a robust .694 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI through nine games. However, I'm always concerned about Fowler's durability. He can be a great player when he is healthy, as demonstrated by his play so far in 2013, but he tends to get banged up a lot and will be out of the lineup when you need him most. Just ask the fantasy owners that had him last season when he missed most of September with a lingering wrist injury. Dump him now before he pulls a hamstring and get as much as you can for him. I predict he will finish the season batting .285 with 10 home runs, 10 triples, 84 runs, 48 RBI, and 12 steals. Not bad, but not MVP-caliber either.
Barry Zito, SP, San Francisco Giants
I like Zito because of the way he has redefined his game and made himself successful again as a junk ball pitcher, but I can't see the 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP performance level lasting all season. I have him estimated going 10-12 in 168 innings, with 117 strike outs, 15 quality starts, and a 1.39 WHIP. So, in other words, get rid of him now while you can.
Buck and the Preacher
John Buck, C, New York Mets
The 32 year old career .237 hitting Buck is having an out-of-body experience start to the season with a .375, 5 home run, 15 RBI line through 9 games. The highest he has batted in a season is .281 and even that was an aberration because his next best year was only .247. I'm happy for the veteran, but you know as soon has his bat turns cold in May that the clamoring for Travis d'Arnaud will begin. Get rid of Buck now.
Paul Maholm, SP, Atlanta Braves
Maholm is a solid starter and he's finally with a good team that will give him solid run support, but he's still the same guy with a career 1.39 WHIP and 4.22 ERA. He's 2-0 to start the season. If you need pitching, you should probably keep him. but if your offense is weak start shopping him around.
Matt Carpenter, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
Matt was a sleeper candidate for me this season, but his hot start has landed him on the sell-high list. He's batting a crisp .400 with 5 doubles, 1 home run, and 6 RBI through 35 at bats. I have him projected to finish the year at .283 with 8 home runs and 62 RBI so he is way ahead of that pace now, plus the Cardinals always seem to do whacky things with their rosters and players during the season. I could see Carpenter riding the bench for much of July and August. Stuff like that always seems to happen with that team.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins
0 home runs and 0 RBI through 9 games. That's not a typo. You know the pressure has to be building with head to head format owners. How much longer can they take it, especially if the loses start to pile up? Use this to your advantage and try to get Stanton before he gets hot. Remember he started slow last year and had 0 home runs and only 5 RBI through the first 19 games and still ended up with 37 bombs. If he stays healthy 40 home runs is a lock.
Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Another stud outfielder that is scuffling to begin the season batting only .167 with 0 home runs and 2 RBI through 8 games. The Bison will turn it on, it's only a matter of time. Be sure to play up the hamstring and shoulder injuries from 2012 when you make your trade offer.
Cain is Able
Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants
Cain had a historically bad outing his last start against St. Louis, but they have been pummeling everyone lately. He gave up 9 runs and 7 hits through 3 2/3 innings with only 2 strike outs. It's early and Cain is as rock solid as they come so pick him up with confidence. Just be sure to bring up all the miles on his arm when you start negotiating your trade for him.
Neil Walker, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Bucs are off to a slow start and Walker is one of the main reasons behind it. He is searching for his swing and is hitting only .103 with 0 home runs, 2 RBI, and 0 steals through the first 9 games. He has shown himself to be a slow starter in the past. In 2012 he had 0 home runs and only 6 RBI though the first 25 games before finishing the year on a tear with 14 home runs and 63 RBI through the next 104 games. With the second base position being so thin it would be smart move to pick him up while he's down.
Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
After nine games Votto is batting a respectable .290 with a .500 OBP, but the power is nowhere to be found. He has one double, one triple (tied for the league lead!), and 0 home runs. Is this power outage a residual effect of his knee problem of last year? That is the question on everyone's mind. So, it is a bit of a risk to go after Votto, but there are many positives: he plays in a bandbox and bats third in a thunderous lineup. I say go for him, that he will still crank out 25-30 home runs once he gets going and the average will be over .300. When you offer your trade be sure to focus on the knee.
Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
Heyward has not contributed much to the Braves' early season success. He had one good game but otherwise has had a dismal start batting a microscopic .071 with only 2 RBI after nine games. Word is he is working on how he holds the bat in his hand, that it has been a little off to start the season, but Jason is a hard-worker and will put in the time and effort to get back on track. The Braves' lineup is also power packed so try to get Heyward before he gets hot as he should end up having a banner season.
Adam LaRoche, 1B, Washington Nationals
LaRoche is on this list every year since he is a notorious slow starter. He has a long, loopy swing, with a giant hitch that seemingly takes the first few months of each season to get synchronized and calibrated. 2013 is no different, although he did have an odd April 2-home run, 3 RBI game against the White Sox this year, which kind of blew his cover a bit. Still, he's only batting .142 with 2 homers and 3 RBI through the first eight games so he isn't raking yet. He's embedded in a stacked lineup so there will be plenty of RBI chances all season long so go out and get him if you can.