We have reached the second half of May, and the Yahoo Trade Market is buzzing with deals. I want to start off this week by letting you in on a little secret about your fantasy baseball leaguemates – most of them aren’t paying any attention to your team. You might be flying high because: Jean Segura: and: Paul Goldschmidt: are on a roll, but the other managers in your league may not be aware of their recent success. On the flip side, managers are very aware of players on their own teams that are playing especially well or poorly. For this reason, you can often get a great discount on players who have been disappointing their managers in recent weeks.
Today’s article is full of players who have been ice cold in May but are too talented to stay that way for much longer.
Players to Acquire:
JT Realmuto (C, Philadelphia Phillies)
Hitting .237 with two homers, Realmuto has been underwhelming for those who invested an early draft pick in hopes of getting difference-making production at the catcher position. He has saved some value by swiping three bases, but all three of those thefts came in April. Having produced a meager .558 OPS this month, Realmuto has opened the perfect window for a buy-low offer before he returns to being an impact player. To help managers complete this transaction, my goal would be to offer a lesser catcher who thus far has similar production and a second player who is not essential to my roster. Tyler Stephenson: managers submit an offer ASAP.
Wander Franco (SS, Tampa Bay Rays)
Franco is a premier fantasy talent who hasn’t played at his peak level of late. The 21-year-old has yet to produce a homer or steal in May. He has hit .193 since April 23 and has one RBI since May 7. Most Franco managers will stay the course, but a few of them may decide that the youngster is in the midst of the dreaded sophomore slump.
Marcus Semien (2B / SS, Texas Rangers)
I rarely include players in this space who I do not really believe in, but I need to make an exception with Semien. The middle infielder has struggled mightily this year, and a massive turnaround is not immediately in sight. That being said, Semien’s Yahoo Trade Market page shows that he has recently been dealt for extremely low returns, such as: Noah Syndergaard: or: Jose Urquidy:. At that price, I’ll stash Semien on my bench and take my chances on a modest summer bounceback.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (OF, Toronto Blue Jays)
The Blue Jays have struggled offensively this month (.613 OPS) with Gurriel being a big part of the problem (.369 OPS). But the club has faced many difficult pitching staffs in May, having played a game against Houston, five contests vs. the Yankees and a three-game series in Tampa. This is a great time to buy low on Toronto hitters, as the club will get back on track while facing several mediocre staffs in the coming weeks.
Marcell Ozuna (OF, Atlanta Braves)
A buy-low rationale for Ozuna is obvious – you can opine that the slugger is not the same player after missing most of the 2021 season due to a suspension. But the 31-year-old owns a .260 xBA and a .346 xwOBA that far surpass his .211 average and .280 wOBA. Players at Ozuna’s level are usually the perfect buy-low targets, as they are good enough to make a difference when playing well but are not so good that they are a foundational piece on their current squads.
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Ryan Pressly (RP, Houston Astros)
We are in the second half of May, and Pressly has just four saves and three strikeouts. The meager production is hardly what managers were expecting from someone who was selected among the top-5 closers in many drafts. I believe that this is the perfect time to acquire Pressly for a reasonable return, as his season thus far has included an unlucky mix of an injury and a lack of save chances from a successful Astros squad. He could still meet lofty expectations this summer.
Nathan Eovaldi (SP, Boston Red Sox)
Tuesday, Eovaldi tied the MLB record by allowing five homers in one inning. The right-hander remains a good pitcher, and there is now a great opportunity to pick him up at a discount from managers who are furious over the impact he had on their season-long ratios. I recommend sending an Eovaldi offer as soon as possible.
Logan Gilbert (SP, Seattle Mariners)
Sitting with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP, Gilbert will not come cheap. But that’s just fine, as the right-hander should be one of the most effective starters in baseball during the coming months. A buy-low offer for Gilbert starts with pointing out his recent control woes (15 walks in his past six starts), which some of his managers are likely already aware of. The high walk rates are unusual for a pitcher who has shown tremendous control skills throughout his career, and I expect him to reverse this trend very soon.