We are at a very interesting time in the Fantasy Baseball season. Teams are deciding if they are buyers or sellers and there is less than a week until the August 1 trade deadline. Well, the moves that will be made will not only affect the playoff race in MLB, it will affect Fantasy teams everywhere.
Owners often worry about whether their player will be traded, and if so, how it will affect their value. That is something I will look to address in this article. The players I discuss have all been mentioned as potential trade targets, so I looked at their home/road splits in an attempt to see if a move would benefit them. Of course, there are other factors that come into play, such as the lineup or division the player lands in, and the new ballpark they will call home. But since I do not have a crystal ball, I have to work with what I’ve got.
Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees
The 39-year-old has found the fountain of youth. He is batting .308 with 21 homers and 62 RBIs. That is more home runs than he had all of last season. While Beltran will likely continue to be productive in other ballparks, his power numbers may take a hit. In the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, Beltran has hit 14 homers this season. While his ISO is .296 at home, it’s just .195 on the road. Not only that, but Yankee Stadium has been the second friendliest ball park for homers, behind only Coors Field, according to ESPN’s park factors. However, it is worth noting that Beltran has hit for a higher average on the road (.314) compared to at home (.302). Finally, as previously stated he is 39 years old. There is always the chance that he tires out and struggles down the stretch. Owners are advised to do what the Yankees are likely to do: sell high.
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
Reports indicate that the Mets and Brewers have been in discussion regarding a Lucroy trade. Other teams interested include the Rangers and Indians. None of those teams’ ballparks would be as friendly as Miller Park for the long ball, as it ranks third according to park factors data. However, all three of those ballparks average more runs per game than Miller Park. Lucroy is a professional hitter and the ballpark shouldn’t be a huge factor, but it is worth noting that he is better at home. Currently, he is batting .310 with nine homers, a .258 ISO and a .391 wOBA at home. He is batting .292, with four homers, a .123 ISO and a .330 wOBA away from Miller Park. He will remain a must-start catching option in Fantasy, but his value is likely to take a slight hit if he is traded.
Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres
Cashner has been the subject of a lot of trade rumors. He has been tied to the Blue Jays and even the Red Sox. However, those are both moves that I believe would hurt his Fantasy value. This season, Cashner has pitched to a 3.63 ERA with a 4.41 FIP, while averaging 7.86 K/9 at home. All of his numbers are worse on the road. Away from Petco Park he has a 6.59 ERA, a 5.34 FIP and he averages just 6.91 K/9. Add in the fact that that the AL has the DH. It is easy to believe he would struggle if moved. If owners can package him in a trade, now would be the time to do so.
Jeremy Hellickson, Philadelphia Phillies
Hellickson is in the midst of a revival this season, as he has pitched to a 3.65 ERA, his lowest since 2012. However, he is a veteran on a team out of the race, that has a lot of young arms. That makes him expendable. On the surface it looks like a move would not hurt Hellickson, as he has a 3.66 ERA at home and a comparable 3.64 on the road. However, dig deeper and you will see that a move may not be the best thing for him. His FIP at home is 3.82, compared to 4.61 on the road. He also averages more strikeouts at home, 8.33 K/9 in Citizens Bank Park compared to 6.79 K/9 on the road. Owners should be shipping Hellickson, as not only could a move hurt his value, but the numbers indicate that has not pitched as well his traditional stats may lead you to think.
Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
Teheran sits at 3-8 despite having a 2.71 ERA. Looking at his splits, Teheran has a 2.90 ERA at home with a 3.59 FIP. On the road he has a 2.49 ERA and a 3.94 FIP. However, it is worth noting that in years past he was significantly better at home. Last year he had a 2.89 ERA at Turner Field and a 5.40 ERA on the road. In 2014, he had a 2.11 ERA at home and a 3.48 ERA away. Still, a move would only help as the Braves anemic offense makes it almost impossible for him to pick up wins, which is a big factor in Fantasy value. While I always say wins are impossible to predict, he will have better odds on almost any other team. Now is a good time to try and add Teheran, as a move would increase his value.
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
This is one that Fantasy owners have feared for years. Cargo has been very productive this season, batting .318 with 20 homers, 60 RBIs and 65 runs scored. However, the Coors factor is real. At home, Gonzalez is batting .359 with 15 homers, 45 RBIs and 38 runs. On the road he is hitting just .274 with five homers, 27 runs, and 15 RBIs. The number of at bats is very close, as he has just a handful more on the road. His ISO at home is .337 compared to a .121 on the road. His strikeout rate also jumps from 17.1 percent at home, to 25.6 percent on the road. Yeah, a move would severely hurt his value. Owners should be shopping Cargo now; not just because he may get traded, but also because he’s been an injury risk in the past.
Rich Hill, Oakland A’s
The A’s took a chance on the veteran Hill this season and it has paid off greatly. He has pitched to a 2.25 ERA with a 2.53 FIP while averaging 10.66 K/9. While Hill has been great, he has not been able to make the A’s a playoff contender, which means he is likely to be traded. While this may be hard to believe, a move would benefit Hill. He has pitched to a 3.45 ERA, 3.20 FIP, and a 25 percent strikeout rate at home. On the road, however, he has been otherworldly. Away from Oakland Coliseum he has a 1.41 ERA, 2.06 FIP with a 32 percent strikeout rate. Those are CY Young numbers. Add in the fact that the A’s are in the bottom five in the AL in runs scored, and rank as the worst defensive team in the league. A move would do wonders for Hill. Owners should look to acquire him now.
Melvin Upton, Toronto Blue Jays
Upton is the first player on this list that actually was traded. The move should boost his Fantasy value as he has played better on the road this season. He has batted .262 with 10 homers, a .202 ISO and .325 wOBA. At home, he has hit .248, with six homers, a .161 ISO and .308 wOBA. Not only that, but he will join a high-powered offense that should lead to an increase in his runs and RBIs. The Rogers Centre is also one of the most hitter friendly ballparks in MLB. The only question with Upton will be playing time. However, if he continues to see everyday at bats he becomes an intriguing outfielder in all roto formats.
All stats entering Tuesday, July 26th.
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