Fantasy Fox: Four sell-high pitchers to trade away soon
MAY 14, 2014 4:45p ET
As we draw closer to the Memorial Day holiday -- the first time MLB fans should start taking the divisional standings seriously -- here are four sell-high starting pitchers to trade away in the coming weeks:
At first blush, it sounds ludricrous to entertain the notion of trading Cueto (3-2, 1.43 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 68/16 K-BB) just a few weeks into the season, especially since he has notched a sub-3.00 ERA in four consecutive years (2011-14).
But then again, Cueto is pitching at a world-class level for ERA, WHIP and strikeouts, putting his trade value at an all-time high. This kind of April-May glory could yield two dynamic players and one diamond-in-the-rough, in return.
For example, the Reds righty already has three outings of double-digit strikeouts. As a comparison, Cueto tallied only three double-digit strikeout games from 2008-13 -- combined.
Obviously, Cueto's amazing start could lead to a start in the All-Star Game and eventual consideration for National League Cy Young honors -- especially with injuries to Clayton Kershaw (minor) and Jose Fernandez (major).
But then again, it also makes sense to sell extremely high on a veteran asset who's logged 200 innings only once in his MLB career.
Nate Eovaldi, Miami Marlins
I'm a big fan of Eovladi (2-1, 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP), who has a sub-3.00 ERA and 48 strikeouts and possesses the down-the-road ceiling for 16 wins and 200 strikeouts.
That aside, with the season-ending loss of Jose Fernandez (elbow tear), the burden of responsibility now falls onto the 24-year-old righty to carry Miami's rotation over the next four months.
Given the Marlins' erratic hitting lineup -- after Giancarlo Stanton (11 HR, 42 RBI, 27 runs, four steals, .312 batting, .995 OPS), Christian Yelich (four homers, 12 RBI, 27 runs, .341 on-base percentage) and Casey McGehee -- that's a tall task for Eovaldi to handle.
Can he do it and will he do it are, frankly, two separate queries: From my perspective, it's better to err on the side of caution ... and trade Eovaldi on a high note -- knowing the proverbial breakout season probably kicks in next year.
Zimmermann, who's on pace for another 160-strikeout campaign, has had a sublime track record of fantasy success in recent years, including last season's 19 wins.
There are, however, some present-day concerns to share:
Opposing hitters have a robust .297 batting average against Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59 ERA, 1.38 WHIP), and the Marlins and Diamondbacks have already touched the Nats righty for five runs apiece.
Buehrle (1.25 WHIP, 31/17 K-BB rate) currently leads the majors in victories (seven) and ranks among the top-five for starters' ERA (2.04).
But let's inject some fantasy reality into the situation:
Buehrle has fanned only 20 hitters in his last seven outings; and from April 19 to May 16, he incurred more or equal walks to strikeouts three times.
For good measure, the Blue Jays are currently scoring 6.1 runs per game in Buehrle starts ... a figure that'll likely come down in the coming weeks.
For more rants, rankings and revelations, check out the Fantasy Fox link at FOXSportsSouth.com, or hit me up on Twitter at @FOX_JayClemons.