- Checking in on the fantasy baseball trade market.
SI.com’s fantasy baseball Trade Winds will help you decide the direction in which you should be going with your fantasy team. Each week, we’ll look at the trade market, giving you buys, sells and holds across the fantasy baseball landscape.
Rich Hill, SP, Dodgers
Once again, the Dodgers are in the discussion for best team in the majors. Their starting pitching staff has much to do with that, and Hill has done his fair share of that work. The 39-year-old has owns a 2.40 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 28% strikeout rate against a 6.5% walk rate through 45 innings. He’s yet to allow more than three runs in an appearance this season and has pitched fewer than six frames just once over his past five starts. Add to the mix an offense scoring 5.25 runs per game, good for sixth in the majors, and you get plenty of win upside. Hill is a strong buy, and his injury history could make him a bit more affordable than his numbers suggest.
Nick Pivetta, SP, Phillies
Last week, SI’s Michael Beller urged fantasy owners to grab Pivetta off the waiver wire. You likely can’t do that anymore considering the righty went out that very night and tossed a complete game, allowing one run on six hits while striking out six. You can, still, trade for him, and Beller’s recommendation to buy remains the company line. At his best, Pivetta is a strikeout machine, and he’s shown that off since being recalled from the minors. Over his past three starts, he has 21 strikeouts against two walks across 20 innings. One of those starts came against the mighty Dodgers’ offense, during which Pivetta twirled six shutout innings with nine strikeouts. He has righted the ship and his stuff is something to take seriously.
Brian Dozier, 2B, Nationals
Brian Dozier did not get off to a great start this season, but has undergone a rather dramatic turnaround in recent weeks. Since May 18, he’s slashing .288/.342/.606 with five homers, six doubles and 15 RBI in 73 plate appearances. Before the hot stretch, he was hitting .203/.308/.333. He goes into play Tuesday slashing .230/.319/.422. Considering the depth of the second base pool, a hitter swinging as hot a bat as Dozier is right now is worth a look.
Noah Syndergaard, SP, Mets
Statistically, Syndergaard isn’t pitching at a level far off from his 2018 form. His strikeout rate (24%), walk rate (6%), WHIP (1.20) are nearly identical to what they were last season. The results, however, have been starkly different, thanks largely to a spike in homers. Syndergaard is surrendering 1.01 homers per nine innings—double what he did last year—and an 11.6% HR/FB ratio. That has led to a 4.45 ERA, which would be the worst makr of his career for a full season. The name brand and strikeout upside may help you get Syndergaard’s full draft-day value on the trade market.
Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics
Olson returned from a broken hamate bone five weeks ago, but it appears the injury is still affecting him. He does have nine homers in 138 plate appearances, but his strikeout rate is up to 28.3% and his batting average and OBP sit at .225 and .326, respectively. This month, he’s slashing .212/.316/.485, a slight downturn from what he did in May. First base is a surprisingly shallow position this season, so Olson should still be attractive if made available in a trade.
Max Kepler, OF, Twins
The Twins lead-off hitter has made a star turn this year, hitting .264/.341/.536 with 15 homers and 40 RBI in 252 plate appearances. Since May 24, he has slashed .277/.352/.702, making himself into a steady, powerful fixture at the top of MLB’s highest-scoring offense. Through that 13-game span, he’s hit five homers and driven in 15 runs, further cementing the fact that he’s not merely a sell-high player. What we’ve seen from him is for real.
Jake Odorizzi, SP, Twins
Like his teammate Kepler, Odorizzi isn’t someone to sell high. He has a 1.92 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 78 strikeouts against 22 walks in 70 1/3 innings this season. His 28.6% strikeout rate ranks 17th in the majors puts him on pace for a career high. He also hasn’t lost a decision since April 10, and while that’s partially a function of Minnesota’s offense, it illustrates how well he has pitched all season.
Tommy La Stella, 2B/3B, Angels
Tommy La Stella had 10 career home runs through 947 plate appearances entering 2019. He’s smacked 15 homers through 241 trips to the plate this season. La Stella is in the midst of a career-year with the Angels, slashing .307/.363/.537 to go with the 15 homers. While you can certainly listen to offers for him, this doesn’t appear to be a fluke at this point.