Cleat Geeks

Fantasy Baseball “Buys and Sells” Ahead of the All-Star Break

By this time in the season, you know the outlook of your fantasy team. If you drafted Bryce Harper or Clayton Kershaw with your first-round pick, you are probably disappointed. If you invested in the Braves players (I’m talking to you Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis) your team is probably in contention.

This is the time of the year where you need to plant your flag. If you are in first-place, you are probably keeping your team as is. If you are like many teams, however, you need to make season-defining decisions that could make or break your season.

I am going to discuss a few guys you should either trade for or pick up off the waiver-wire to bolster your roster. With that said, let’s get to it.

Ketel Marte (38.4% owned in ESPN Leagues)

Marte has been heating up in the month of June. In 20 games, Marte is hitting .324/.373/.706 with five home runs (6 on the season) and 18 RBIs. He is under-owned, especially in point leagues, and if he is on the waiver wire you should pick him up. Marte is a player that is eligible for second base and shortstop and is slowly becoming an everyday player for the Diamondbacks.

Marte is only 24 years old and you should see a slump at some point during the season. Knowing that I still believe he can be a depth player who can be utilized in plus matchups for the rest of the season.

Ender Inciarte (90% owned in ESPN Leagues)

Inciarte has been a bit disappointing this season. His .252 average and .309 OBP are career lows for him. That is one of the reasons I am buying. You can convince his owner that he is having a bad season and possibly grab him for cheaper than what he is worth. He is playing on one of the most surprising yet dynamic offenses in the MLB. He will certainly figure it out either before or after the All-Star break. He is certainly a buy-low candidate, who should certainly have a better half if the Braves continue the success they have endured.

Jorge Polanco (.9% owned in ESPN Leagues)

Polanco is criminally under-owned right now. Polanco got hit with an 80-game suspension for PEDs before the season started. Prior to the suspension, Polanco was projected to be the everyday starting shortstop for the Twins. Instead, he waits until July 2nd, where he will have to see where he lands on the roster. Their current starter, Ehire Adrianza has been egregious the past 7 days, slashing a measly .167/.200/.208. Eduardo Escobar has spent some time at shortstop, but the Twins prefer to keep him at third base. This leaves a clear path for Polanco to seize that starting role, given that he spent last season there. Look to pick up Polanco before he comes back to the Majors, where his ownership will have a serious uptick.

Eloy Jimenez (7.1% owned in ESPN Leagues)

The time for a new age for the White Sox is slowly approaching. Jiminez will be a big part of that. Certainly, Jimenez should be a stash in deeper leagues, as he is still a rookie. I believe Jiminez will and should get called up before or directly after the All-Star break. Jimenez has been called up to Triple-A Charlotte, certainly for the White Sox to see if he can hit the much improved breaking balls at the Triple-A level.

While in Charlotte, Jimenez has hit 4-for-13 with three walks and a home run. Jimenez has been viewed by scouts as having one of the best swings they have ever seen and should make be an immediate impact for the White Sox. We have seen guys like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Ronald Acuna make an impact for their teams and Jimenez should be no different.

Dallas Keuchel (95.1% owned in ESPN Leagues)

I am not going to lie to you and say Keuchel has looked good this season. In fact, he has been unstartable for his past couple of starts. His ERA on the season is 3.90 with a WHIP of 1.31. before his last two starts, Keuchel has given up 16 earned runs in 16 innings. Those numbers are not helping anybody, especially the Astros.

However, I think Keuchel is due for a bounce back. In his past two starts, he has given up 0 runs. I think his current owner (heck, I am one of them) is frustrated with figuring out when to start Keuchel and when to sit him. This could open the door for a potential buy-low situation.

Now that Verlander is there, people tend to forget that Keuchel was the ace in Houston before he arrived. Keuchel is going to figure it out, and sending a trade now before he wins another game gives you the best chance of landing the former star.

 

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