Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different. This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues. Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys. “Hello? No, B-U-Y-S. Thanks, you too!” That was GLAAD calling me about potential insensitivity. I have not triggered anyone in almost three days, unless you count that fisherman I saw with a pipe that I called “Hipster Popeye.” As I mentioned in my top 100 for the 2nd half of 2017 fantasy baseball, my biggest Buy of the 2nd half is Manny Machado. He’s about to come on in the 2nd half like he’s Mickey Maris in 1927 with Barry Bonds’s personal trainer. For the 2nd half, I gave Machado the projections of 48/18/49/.288/3. This year he’s been gun shy. He’s swung at 4% less pitches inside the strike zone. Either guessing wrong, or just being flat out beat by fastballs. Ground balls have gone through the roof (especially if ants are reading) and fly balls have fallen, and I don’t mean a defective zipper. Bad swings, and weak contact? I’m gonna call them flailing balls, lightly chuckle to myself and sip my Tom Collins. That’s all bad news, said Mr. Exposition. The good news is, it’s a small sample size — that’s what she said snidely! — and it’s been mostly propped by a terrifically terrible — terribically? — May. His May was so bad it will hold down his season-long stats. In May, he had a 6% line drive rate and a 51% ground ball rate. El oh what? Was he a 78-year-old Jeter for a month? By the way, 78-year-old Jeter is dating your 23-year-old niece, and you’re proud of her. You absolutely should buy Machado, and on the pronto. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Albert Pujols – So far, Albert’s been putting the PU in Pujols, and doing a number two all over your fantasy team. You know when else he did that? The 1st half of last year, while exploding for a huge 2nd half. In eighty less at-bats in the 2nd half last year, he hit more homers (16 to 15), and was third in the majors with 59 RBIs, while hitting .293. Maybe Prince Albert (don’t Google this nickname, and whatever you do don’t look at the Wikipedia page for Prince Albert piercing; please, God, don’t do it. You’re doing it, aren’t you?) is finished being productive, but you thought he was done last year at this time too, and he wasn’t.
Hanley Ramirez – 2nd blurb, same as the 1st. Hanley had 22 HRs and 63 RBIs, which led the majors, in the 2nd half last year. If you’re like, “Yeah, but Hanley’s so done now!” You drafted him this year because you thought his 2nd half last year was real. Now, it’s not real? Like Kendrick Lamar would tell you, it’s real, it’s real, it’s really really real.
Matt Kemp – The outfield version of Pujols and Hanley.
Billy Hamilton – More on Hamilton below. I promise.
Rougned Odor – In 271 2nd half at-bats last year, Odor had 17 HRs, 7 SBs and a .266 average. Sure, his beard looks like it should be on a homeless 50-year-old, but he’s 23 years old. You’re telling me he’s got nothing left in the tank. Tell me that. Please, tell it to me. No, don’t tell it to me. I ain’t hearing it. Like John Cena waving in front of his eyes that he can’t see you, I’m waving in front of my ears, I can’t hear you.
Jonathan Villar – This is strictly a Rest of the Season Player Rater buy. The ROS PR is produced by using Steamer’s projections, which are routinely considered the best in the business, so it likely knows more than us, but I honestly don’t trust Villar for a bounce back. So it’s your call: human with a glorious mustache or a machine?
Jose Peraza – So, what you’re saying it’s all about the SAGNOF? Well, it is for Hamilton and Peraza. 1st half of the season for Peraza was a write-off as Eric Sogard would say, but Peraza could have a 2nd half as valuable as, say, Bogaerts. Guys that can give 15+ steals in a month are valuable, or can be if you need that sort of thing.
Adrian Beltre – See what I said for Pujols, Kemp and Hanley + Texas in the summer with the ball flying out = Randy Newman singing, “Don’t want no short people…” Hmm, math’s off there. Was supposed to equal, “I love some old people.”
Yoan Moncada – Prospector Ralph just ranked Moncada number one on his top 100 prospects for 2017 fantasy baseball list-a-ma-whosie and Moncada has a chance to be the biggest call-up left this year for redrafts and I would grab him in every league and this is the world’s longest sentence, congratulate me.
Arodys Vizcaino – There’s rumors that Johnson might be traded, so Vizcaino is likely the handcuff. Jose Ramirez could also sneak into the closer role, so it’s far from a clear picture and likely shouldn’t be posted on Instagram.
Jack Flaherty – This is more of an NL-Only pickup. Playoffs are not in the Cards’, and they’re going to start unloading starters, or just braking hard on Wacha. Luke Weaver could see starts — I kinda want to call him, Juke Weaver. All Weaver SPs need to start with a J. — but this other callup might be even better, and that’s not empty Flaherty. On our Pitcher Prospect-o-Nator, which projects all rookie pitchers (we have one for hitters too), Flaherty is hella high. By the by, Rudy was busy fixing our menus at the top of the page during the break. If you see anything that isn’t kosher, challah in the comments.
Jeff Samardzija – “Hello, I’m trying to ruin my fantasy team and was wondering about a pitcher that can really tank my shizz. Can you offer suggestions?” I have just the guy for you! So, this is kinda embarrassing, but I’m sharing with you because you don’t laugh at me to my face; you have the decency to turn your head. I was going to put Samardzija in my top 100 for the 2nd half. Of course, that’s embarrassing because he has like a 7+ ERA (4.58). Okay, but his peripherals are beautiful, if you like those sorta things — 9.7 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 3.09 xFIP. He could easily be a top 10 SP for the 2nd half of the year for a fraction of the cost to acquire him. Shoot, to acquire might just be a formal consent letter specifying you will hold this flaming bag of poop.
Jose Quintana – I’ll give it to the Royals. At least after they won the World Series they didn’t make insane trades to try to repeat. Then again, maybe they had no one to trade. These are specifics that aren’t important for fantasy, so move along. *wipes brow, leans arm on broom handle, shakes head at kids playing in exploding fire hydrant* Why am I suddenly in Do The Right Thing? So, Quintana was traded for legit everyone in the Cubs’ farm system. The Cubs forfeited their last Triple-A game because they didn’t have enough guys to play. I’m sure Prospector Ralph will go over a boy named Eloy Jimenez and everyone else traded. For our porpoises — hey, dolphins! — Quintana is the most important piece. He’s been head-scratchingly different this year — 9.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 4.13 xFIP. All numbers that don’t jive with previous seasons. He had been more of a 7.8 K/9, 2 BB/9, 3.30 xFIP guy previously. His velocity is down, which has caused him to throw the junk more often. Cubs’ pitchers had the best ERA last year. Yet, in July, they were the 24th best. Wrigley heats up and it becomes unforgiving. I imagine the common perception is Quintana gets better on the Cubs, and he could, but I’d bet on less value from him, in what has already been a weak season. Anyway, here’s what else– Wait, we’re in the middle of a post already.
Billy Hamilton – Okay, Imma let you finish, but you have Billy H.A.M.-a-steal as a Buy and Sell. Good joke, Grey, but I’m not laughing very much. Yeah, I know I put Hamilton as both a Buy and a Sell. I did that to show that a lot of trades are needs-based at this point. Do you needs yourself some steals? Then buy him! Do you not needs no steals or grammar books? Then sell him! If I could gain three or more points in steals without losing points in power, I’d make some pretty ridiculous trades to acquire Hamilton.
Corey Seager – Why do I hate Corey Seager so much? I don’t. Okay, I do, but it’s not necessarily him. Okay, it is him. But hear me out. It’s more because of how much he clouds your better judgment. You see Seager on the cover of ESPN’s Magazine, and you’re like, “If I, or anyone, were to still buy magazines, I would buy that magazine because I like Corey Seager.” He’s handsome, young, young and handsome, ugh, I like him too! But I don’t. A player that needs to hit a .360 BABIP to hit .300 with a 22+% strikeout percentage while not chipping much of any speed is not a great fantasy player unless he’s hitting 35 homers. Seager doesn’t have that kind of power. I wouldn’t sell him for a head-kerchief recently used by Axl Rose, but I would explore options.
Alex Wood – Forget everything you’ve learned about Alex Wood from April of this year to today. I.e., everything you think you’ve found out about Wood over the last three months. Now what do you know about Wood from previous seasons? He’s a 9+ K/9 guy with a 2.50 BB/9 and flirts with a low-3 ERA while getting injured. Things have gotten so bad with his health, he was relegated to the bullpen last year. Okay, now slowly fold in what you’ve learned this year. He’s a near-11 K/9, 1.67 ERA guy that is staying healthy. Does that jive in your head? Are you thinking to yourself right now, “Yup, Wood’s an easy Cy Young guy?” Or are you thinking, “Hmm, like Altuve trying to get down cereal, he might be a little above his head right now.” I’m not saying trade Wood for a pair of Disco Stu’s platform shoes with a dead goldfish, but I would explore options.