Should you sell Johnny Cueto and Tim Hudson?


Over the next week, we will be going over the buy low and sell high options for each position.  We will follow the positions the way that the powers that be in baseball decided, meaning pitchers are number 1.

As with each baseball season, there are plenty of players that are well over or well under their career averages.  Finding the players that will either shed their horrid slumps, or cool off after hot starts can be the difference between winning and losing your league.

How does one go about finding the overachievers and underachievers?  Season numbers vs. careeer numbers are a good place to start.  But everyone has to have a breakout season sometime.  What if a players is in the midst of one of those?  Sometimes you just have to go with your gut…….and hope you are reading the right column!

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) on the mound against the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buy low options:

David Price, Rays: Over the last two years, Price has been nearly unhittable in July, August, and September.  Last year, his ERA on June 1st was 5.08.  This years numbers aren’t quite as bad, but they aren’t as good as we have come to expect from Price either (4-5, 4.03 ERA).  Is another dominant second half on the horizon?  I think there is a pretty good chance on it.  Find the impatient Price owner in your league and see if you can land a bargain.

Gio Gonzalez, Nationals: One area where fantasy is far different from real life?  You can trade injured players in fantasy.  Gio will likely be out another couple of weeks, and his numbers are quite awful (3-4, 4.62 ERA), so why is he here?  Well, if you take away the last two starts before he went on the DL, he was 3-2 with a 3.10 ERA.  I’m guessing that his last two awful starts had a lot to do with his shoulder.  He looked a bit rusty in his first rehab start of his career, but the Nationals will not bring him back until they are sure that he can help them.  I am guessing that he will be just fine from here on out.  Find someone who is looking to clear a DL slot and see if you can get Gio on the cheap.

Cole Hamels, Phillies: Hamels does not have a great record at 2-3, and he had a rough first three starts of the season after starting on the DL.  He gave up 13 runs in those starts.  Since then, he has given up just 10 earned runs in 49.1 innings, lowering his ERA from 7.07 to 3.49.  Judging by his career stats, there is a good chance he will stay at or below that for the rest of the season.  The window might be closed to buy low on Hamels, but it might be worth a shot.  His ugly starts gained much more notoriety than his dominance since has.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson (17) reacts after having the bases loaded during the third inning. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sell high options:

Tim Hudson, Giants: Now, this is not a knock on Hudson at all.  It’s just that he cannot possibly be as dominant as he has been thus far.  The 38-year-old is 6-2 with a stellar 1.97 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.  Huddy has given up only 18 earned runs all season.  His careeer ERA of 3.40 is very good.  I am guessing that is where his season number will end up is within a quarter-run of that mark.  That means that his ERA from here on out will be around 4.  Not bad, but not that of a staff ace either, which is where his value puts him right now.  His value will never be higher.

Anibal Sanchez, Tigers: Sanchez is in the midst of the most dominant stretch of his career.  His has given up three hits or less in his three starts.  That is dominant by every definition of the word.  His ERA now sits at 2.15 and his WHIP is a microscopic 0.89.  Again, this is an unsustainable pace.  His average draft position this year was 67.  His numbers right now are that of a first rounder.  See if you can parlay him into one as well.  There is nowhere to go but down.

Johnny Cueto, Reds: The 28-year-old Cueto has been nothing short of briliant, posting a 1.97 ERA and a video-game like 0.79 WHIP.  He has pitched two shutouts already!  A closer look at the numbers reveal that a correction is already in progress.  Cueto has given up for our more runs only twice this year, but they have both occurred in his last four starts.  Expect him to end up near his career numbers of a 3.39 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.  Great numbers to be sure, but that also means that his numbers from here on out will be a WHIP around 1.4 and an ERA near 4.  He should net you a lot in a trade right now.  In redraft leagues, shop him around.

Come back tomorrow for option 1-b, the closers!