Hopefully you were able to pick up Lance Berkman and trade Adrian Gonzalez last week. But even if you stood pat there are still plenty of acquisition targets and trade bait guys out there for you. So, here are five guys to pick up and five guys to move.
Adam LaRoche – In 2008 he had a .764 OPS in the first half of the year and a .975 OPS after the break. In 2007 the numbers were .763 and .854. In his MLB career, LaRoche has a .787 OPS pre-AS break and a .907 OPS after the break. He has had a very solid first half of the season and if he maintains his career averages after the break, LaRoche could challenge for his best season yet, when he batted .285-32-90.
Luke Hochevar – His strikeout rate is poor (3.57) and his BABIP sits at .231 for the season. But Hochevar has hurled a Quality Start in four of his last five outings, pitching into the seventh inning in all four of those games, including one route-going performance. Hochevar has decent control and does not allow many fly balls. And he should improve upon his 60 percent strand rate going forward.
Willie Harris – Since taking over the CF job 10 days ago, Harris has 3 HR and 3 SB to go along with a .308 AVG. Harris has never been a star, but he did hit 13 HR a season ago. If you need a stopgap option in the OF, he is a waiver wire pickup to consider, with the ability to help in multiple categories. Also, he has played 10 games this year at 2B, which may make him eligible there in some formats.
Chad Gaudin – Back as a SP after spending most of last season in relief, Gaudin is piling up the strikeouts and maintaining a serviceable WHIP (1.39) despite a dismal 4.58 BB/9 mark. His FIP is over a full run beneath his ERA while his strand rate has room for improvement from its current 65.2 percent mark. Early in the month, Gaudin was forced into bullpen duty in an 18-inning game. He got rocked in his next start but has followed up with three Quality Starts. In that span, Gaudin has a 28/5 SO/BB ratio in 21 innings.
Garrett Atkins – Through his first 53 games, Atkins had a .189 AVG and was in the discussion for the worst player in fantasy baseball. Since then, he’s hit .519 in his last 10 games, although none of his other fantasy numbers have been noteworthy. But one category production is better than none and Atkins has a .240 BABIP despite a career .314 mark in the category. RoS ZiPS shows him with a .288-12-52-44-1 line the remainder of the season.
Ichiro Suzuki – There may be no more polarizing figure in fantasy baseball than Ichiro. Proponents point to his ultra-high AVG and SB and strong R numbers. So far, the proponents have been right. Ichiro’s .372 AVG has him as the 14th-best fantasy player, according to CBS Sports. He has a .391 BABIP. Ichiro had a .390 mark in 2007 and hit .401 in the category in 2004. Still, his career mark is .358 so some regression should not be a surprise. Also, Ichiro already has as many HR as he hit in the past two seasons and his HR/FB rate is double what it was a season ago.
Derek Lowe – His last three outings have really dragged down his overall numbers. Some may consider Lowe a buy-low option as a solid #2/3 fantasy pitcher simply going through a rough patch. But he is also a 36-year old with declining K/9 and BB/9 numbers. Lowe is getting fewer swings outside the zone and the famed sinkerballer has a career-worst GB%. The numbers could be even worse if Lowe did not have a career-best 4.4 percent HR/FB rate, roughly one-third of his career mark in the category. His velocity is down and Pitch Type Values shows his slider, which was such an effective pitch for Lowe last year, has been a below-average pitch this season.
Mark Reynolds – Fantasy players mostly avoided Reynolds on Draft Day this season, making him a late-round pick or waiver-wire fare. The conventional wisdom was that his power was not worth the low average. Whoops. Reynolds has raised his AVG 29 points, shown even more power than a season ago and added SB to his game. But it is time to sell high. Reynolds is unlikely to maintain his 28-SB or 45-HR pace. He has already surpassed his professional career high in steals and the 28 percent HR/FB rate is 10 points above last year’s mark.
Joel Pineiro – He has gained a lot of publicity lately for being the latest Tony LaRussa/Dave Duncan reclamation project. But Pineiro features a career-low 3.81 K/9 ratio and he is unlikely to maintain a 0.27 HR/9 rate.
Scott Rolen – His .332 AVG has been almost as big of a surprise as Rolen playing in 66 games so far, even with his bad back. He has a 17-game hitting streak with 10 multi-hit games. But he is a one-category performer, with just 5 HR and 29 RBI to go along with his gaudy AVG. And not surprisingly, Rolen has a .360 BABIP, which would be his personal best and is 46 points above his career mark.
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