The playoff push is upon us people. Whether you’ve already locked up a #1 seed or you’re scrambling to do just well enough to squeek into the playoffs, the one thing that can (almost) always help put you over the edge is a good trade.
In the past I gave you all a beginner’s guide to trading your way to a fantasy baseball championship. There you can get a feel for what you should and shouldn’t be looking for while attempting to make a trade.
This article is meant to help target a few ideal, under the radar guys that can make an impact come playoff time.
Although the king’s crown may have lost a bit of its luster, Hernandez is an ideal buy low candidate with an above average ceiling. Missing time due to injury may actually be a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners. At 31 he’s already amassed 2466 innings, making him an “old” 31. At least, that’s what you’re hoping your potential trade partner thinks. His peripherals don’t look so hot (4.44 ERA, 5.10 FIP, 1.46 WHIP) but there is still fantasy value to be had. His 7.66 k/9 and 2.2 bb/9 combined with Seattle’s impressive offensive ability should lead to a fair share of strikeouts and wins. He won’t light the world on fire, but players like Hernandez are essential for deep playoff runs.
Now, I don’t really want to go as far as to say that Upton is underrated…but doesn’t he seem a bit underrated?
He’s one of the streakiest hitters in baseball, making people a bit gun shy, but this season he is putting up sneaky good numbers. His 26.7% K rate hinders his points league value just a little bit, but the combo of power and speed bodes well in category and Roto leagues. He’s already amassed 21 doubles, 15 HR, 54 RBI, scored 51 runs and stolen 6 bases. Last season only 5 players scored 100 runs and had 100 RBI. Upton is on pace to do that while hitting 30 dingers. His batting average won’t be impressing anyone any time soon, but it’s fun to think about how sweet it would be to have all of that cheap power in your lineup come playoff time.
The Cubs and White Sox actually made a trade?! No way, Jose! (Unnecessary baseball pun: ✔)
Initially this spot was going to go to Carlos Martinez, but after the trade Quintana seems to have a bit higher of an upside.
In all seriousness, Quintana is finally free. After being as dominant as one can possibly be on a below-average baseball team, Quintana finally gets to show what he can do on a team with a real offense. Although ex-running mate Chris Sale’s dominant numbers in Boston may not be the greatest comparison, one thing it has shown is the switch to a team with a winning culture is sometimes all it takes. A 4-8 record with a 4.49 ERA seems pretty underwhelming on paper, but his 109 Ks in 104 innings is quite impressive. Especially if you take into account that he’s a quality start machine:
He’s looked much more in control over his last 7 games as well: 40 IP / 12 ER / 45 K / 2-1 record.
Sometimes it’s not about the big names on your team, it’s about the rest of the guys you fill out your roster with. Everyone has superstars, not everyone has excellent role players. Now go forth, make trades and become the champions that I know you can be.