This is definitely the guy that will be the hardest to “Buy Low.” In what is a down year for Bryce Harper , he still has 19 HR, a .257 ISO, and 116 wRC+. It is the batting average that has been frustrating owners, as he is now hitting a career worst .209 through 314 plate appearances. However, there are many positive indicators that his average will bounce back up to normal levels. For one, he is sporting an absurdly low .204 BABIP! Harper has a career .314 BABIP so we should expect to see some positive regression for both his BABIP and batting average. Additionally, his hard hit rate (41.2%) is way up compared to his 34.9% career mark, while his soft hit rate is down ~3%. His .345 wOBA is still great but he is underperforming in that department according to his .398 xwOBA (expected wOBA), a very significant difference of .053. The Nationals lineup is finally at full strength, and represents one of the most dangerous offenses in the MLB. This added protection should give Harper more pitches to hit. He may still hold an extremely high asking price, but if the Harper owner in your league is struggling and needs to move him for a couple pieces to compete for a playoff spot, this is the lowest his value has been.
Steamer ROS:.278/.402/.542, 19 HR, 55 R, 52 RBI, 6 SB
#6 ROS on Razzball Player Rater
Chances are, the owner in your league that drafted Dozier knows the deal. First half Dozier starts out slow with a gross batting average, only to go on a power tear in the 2nd half. But if they don’t know the deal, or are just frustrated with his performance and are willing to part with him, Dozier represents one of the best “Buy Low” candidates. Especially for H2H leagues, the most important games of your season will be coming up and Dozier is known as one of the best 2nd half hitters. He is a career .241 hitter in the first half, compared to his career .259 2nd half average. More specifically, last year he hit .242 in the 1st half with 13 HR, 39 R, and 41 RBI, compared to .304 with 21 HR, 67 R, and 52 RBI in the second half. In 2016, he hit .246 in the 1st half with 14 home runs in 83 games. The second half he blew up, hitting .291 and 28 HR in 72 games. Further indication that a better 2nd half is to come for Dozier is that he currently sports a career worst .240 BABIP, over a 30 point drop from his career .273 mark. His K rate is down 2% (18%) from his last 2 seasons, and there isn’t much in his underlying metrics to suggest he won’t have a typical Brian Dozier 2nd half.
Steamer ROS: .247/.334/457, 16 HR, 53 R, 45 RBI, 7 SB
#47 ROS on Razzball Player Rater
Edwin Encarnacion also seems to heat up as the year goes on, and is one of baseball’s best 2nd half power hitters. He is a career .258 hitter in the first half, compared to a .271 2nd half average. Last year he helped many teams (including mine) win a championship, as he hit .252 with 20 home runs, 59 runs batted in, and 41 runs scored in the second half. He smashed a home run every 3.6 games in the second half, nearly giving your squad 2 home runs a matchup to close the year. Encarnacion is striking out more this year (25.4% compared to 19.9% last year), while walking less (down from 15.5% to 8.7%) and that rightfully concerns owners. His .327 wOBA is heavily underperforming his .376 xwOBA, so it suggests he should see his numbers increase over the 2nd half. Another encouraging metric is that his current .247 BABIP is significantly lower than his .271 career mark. Of course he’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts, but I think Encarnacion is an excellent buy low candidate for the 2nd half. The Indians lineup is one of the most potent in the league, and he should have plenty of opportunities to create runs.
Steamer ROS: .240/.344/.478, 19 HR, 47 R, 53 RBI, 1 SB
#82 ROS on Razzball Player Rater
Rendon is someone I like as a buy low candidate not because of lack of performance, but for the fact that he missed significant time and his yearly statistics aren’t up there with the top dogs. For that reason, you may be able to get Rendon at a discount and reap the benefits of a big 2nd half out of him. As good as he has been in the games he played in, his metrics suggest his numbers could be even better. His .352 wOBA has underperformed his .411 xwOBA by .059, one of the largest differentials in the MLB. He has now recorded multi-hit games in 5 of his last 6, and his slow start to June has been all but forgotten. The Nationals lineup is finally at full strength will the activation of Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton, which gives a huge boost to all Nats hitters. Those two hitters mixed in with Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Rendon, and young phenom Juan Soto make the Nationals one of the deadliest offenses in the league. The added protection gives Rendon’s value a huge boost, which we will see translate over the next few weeks. So go get Rendon while his price is still relatively low.
Steamer ROS: .278/.369/.468, 11 HR, 44 R, 44 RBI, 3 SB
#42 ROS on Razzball Player Rater