Buy & Sell 9/14 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop

Ben Pernick recommends the hottest and coldest hitters to add and drop.

Welcome back to Buy & Sell, where this week’s theme is, “Like April, but now overreacting is more acceptable!”  There’s three weeks left. I’ve seen guys like Eovaldi and Ryu dropped in my AL-only home league, and I know that’s pitchers and I write about hitters, but let’s just say I understood.

If it’s a redraft, this is one of those times you just want to chase someone with a pulse, which is a hard adjustment to make. But best of luck, and on to the list!





Tommy Pham (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks)

Through good times and bad, I never left my Phamily. Well at least in the second half. Pham has hit a blazing .387 with 3 homers and 2 stolen bases in the past week, which would be more impressive if it weren’t the majority of his production for the month.

Nevertheless, it’s a good reminder that when he’s on, he’s a five-category fantasy stud, and Statcast believes he’s deserved far better surface stats all along, with a .294 xBA and a .498 xSLG. If you forgot that, you should add him now in all formats while you still can.

Seiya Suzuki (OF, Chicago Cubs)

He must be the Mooney Suzuki because his bat has come alive and amplified. Yeah, I don’t expect anyone to get that reference, but I recently got nostalgic for Burnout 3. Suzuki has surged to the tune of .389 with 4 dingers and 1 nabbed bag with 14 RBI in 54 AB the past two weeks, showing he’s hitting the ball with authority and on a great supporting cast.

One peek through Statcast rolling windows reveals this isn’t a fluke at all, as he’s improved expected outcomes with a fantastic .417 xwOBA over the past 100 PA and a white-hot .443 over the past 50 PA.

The only category he can’t be counted on is stolen bases since he’s somehow managed 6 SB despite 7 CS, which is a truly lousy 46% success rate. Still, add Suzuki in all leagues where that’s not a dealbreaker (and it shouldn’t be), since Suzuki is as neat as Sukuzi car brand logo, which was clearly inspired by the S thing we all drew in middle school.



Willie Adames (SS, Milwaukee Brewers)

South Pacific taught me that ain’t nothing like Adames, nothing in the world. Though I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. He’s been puzzling and rather brutal for most of the year, hitting just .214 despite his solid 24 homers, and has teased several times, but he’s shown enough that I’m ready to buy back in after hitting .348 with 2 HR and 11 RBI this week.

Yes, it’s a bit illogical, but I’m still a sucker for double-digit RBIs in a week like I am for the big bucket of popcorn I know I don’t need at the movies.

Of course, while the RBI total is nice it’s rather random, but still reflects that he’s in the heart of the Brewers’ offense. Not only that, he’s improved his expected outcomes in the past 100 PA, with a .388 xwOBA over his past 100 PA and a stellar .414 mark over his past 50 PA.

If his previous struggles kept him on the wire, it’s time to free Willie, and he’ll put the orca in four-category-contributor.

Jordan Walker (3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals)

Walker has started to skid the past week, but I think this walker will be moving smoothly once you put some tennis balls under the legs.

Of course, he’s anything but old, as he just became old enough to legally drink on Memorial Day this year, and so it’s quite impressive that he’s hit as well as he has lately, with a .381 mark and 4 dingers and 10 RBI over the past 2 weeks (even though he’s hit just .174 with 0 dingers this week).

The advantage for Walker now is primarily situational, as the Cardinals are far enough out of the playing picture that the Redbirds have finally let him play regularly. It’s clearly helping, as his .385 xwOBA over the past 50 PA suggests he’s seeing the ball well, so run, don’t walk, to pick up Jordan in 12-team formats.



Logan O’Hoppe (C, Los Angeles Angels)

I think we barley expected O’Hoppe to come back to the lineup when the out-of-contention team needed him yeast. But that’s the situation that’s been brewing. O’Hoppe has managed to fully grab the reins of the catcher position, and although it’s been lackluster despite a two-homer game, I think he’s one of the better September pickups.

Thanks to an improved strikeout rate, he’s improved his expected outcomes, with a .353 xwOBA over his past 50 PA, and the fact that he often hits in the top half of the lineup means he’ll rack up more volume than most other waiver wire catchers. He’s a must-add in all 15-team formats, but also a viable stream in 12-team AVG teams if you’re in need.

Aaron Hicks (OF, Baltimore Orioles)

I can’t believe that after being as washed up as he could possibly seem, he’s now defying all our Hickspectations. The 33-year-old is hitting an unreal .588 this week with a homer and 8 RBI in 17 AB, with an impressive 2/2 BB/K over that span.

Granted, Statcast doesn’t seem to think it’s too noteworthy as they still give him a meager .293 xwOBA over his past 50 PA, but I do think in September it’s okay to be a bit stupid and just realize that he’s hot now, there’s 3 weeks left, and in a red-hot lineup, and let that be cause enough to roll the dice on him.

I’m certainly adding in 15-team OBP formats though I think he’s proven himself a viable streamer in AVG formats too.


Deep Leagues

Matthew Batten (2B, San Diego Padres)

I guess if you’re still in a fierce battle for the championship it’s time to Batten down the hatches. He’s a bit of a poor man’s Ernie Clement in that, although he’s hit a fairly cromulent 2 homers with a .261 AVG and 1 SB in 79 PA, the 28-year-old seems pretty weak from a quality of contact perspective, with a puny 2% barrel% and 27% HardHit%.

As a result, Statcast really isn’t a fan, as evidenced by his .204 xBA and laughable .265 xSLG. Still, he has good wheels with 82nd percentile sprint speed and puts himself in good situations to use his speed with lots of contact and walks, with a 15% K% and 12% BB%.

But the most important thing is that he’s playing, and can be a useful stopgap for your team while he racks up PT with Cronenworth out of commission. Just don’t expect him to win you a Batten title.

Pablo Reyes (2B/3B/SS, Boston Red Sox)

The playing time situation is far from ideal, but if you’re reeling from injuries, maybe it’s time to go to the Pab. The journeyman cooled off prior to his injury a tad, but he’s been a batting average asset and an overall useful player.

He’s hitting .299 with 2 homers and 6 stolen bases in 159 AB, and unlike many similar short bursts of production from similar players over the year that flamed out fast (looking at you, Zack McKinstry), I think Reyes remains intriguing.

For one, he’s earned most of his current production, with a .284 xBA and .435 xSLG, but I also think he’s displayed the skills to keep the good times rolling, with an excellent 18% Chase% and 15% whiff helping him to a 11% strikeout rate.

Granted, he’s had a great contact rate in other years and still had weak production, but if I didn’t know that and looked at his contact and hard hit stats from previous years, I’d say it’s a hitter with at least some potential, and this year he’s simply optimizing and bringing it all together, perhaps due to increased pitch selectivity.

His playing time still isn’t super secure, but good enough he’s worth rolling within AL-only formats and a desperation AVG/OBP and SB category streamer in 15-team leagues.





Elly De La Cruz (SS, Cincinnati Reds)

I’ll admit, I never thought I’d tell you to selly De La Cruz. But while his potential is clearly immense, I mean fantasy uberstar, this has now been a loooong stretch of weak production outside of stolen bases, with few signs of turning it around, and we’re running out of time.

You might just say, “Well, I’ll just throw him on my bench”, which is what I’ve done in the shallow leagues in which I’ve rostered him, but the reality is that there is an opportunity cost to that bench spot, and you could lose matchups for not having that spot for a player you can actually use right now for something other than SB.

It’s tough, I know. I mean, while the 11 HR and 27 SB are incredible, you need to realize that his xwOBA over his past 100 PA is just .254, and it’s not a good sign when that’s not even good for a batting average.

If you need SBs badly, you can take the pain, and I’m assuming it’s too late for you to trade him, but if you can add a guy like Adames or Tommy Pham in his stead, I’d cut in 10-team AVG and OBP formats. but I think you can sink your season hoping the Titanic will suddenly change course and start floating again, spitting the iceberg out from whence it came.



Adam Duvall (OF, Boston Red Sox)

The bigger strikeout profile they come, the harder they ‘vall. Especially with his lack of plate discipline, he’s simply a player you have to ride when he’s hot and then when it ends you need to drop him like he’s cold.

The weird thing is that over his last 50 PA he actually improved with an acceptable .316 OBP, so it’s possible we’re all just overreacting to a particularly unlucky stretch at a time when everyone is getting antsy and impulsive, but then again, he’s hitting freakin’ .097 with no homers over the past two weeks. If you’re rostering that in 12-team formats (especially OBP), you really must not give Adam.



Alex Kiriloff (OF/1B, Minnesota Twins)

I’ll admit this one is more of a “feel” thing, but I just don’t expect him to meaningfully contribute in the final weeks. Maybe my gut is telling me this because historically he has struggled after returning from injuries during the season, and his .299 xwOBA over his past 50 PA isn’t exactly helping.

Right now he’s essentially on the strong side of a platoon, but I’d rather roll with any other Twins outfielder and take chances on someone who at least offers some speed with the profile.

Jordan Lawlar (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks)

Well, the D-backs got a lot of heat for not calling him up sooner, and maybe they were right. The gentle way to say what his performance has been thus far is to say he’s doing everything really really badly. His hardest hit ball was just 86 mph, essentially Tony Kempville, he hit everything into the ground, and his contact% of 62% makes Joey Gallo blush.

No wonder his xBA is .070, but don’t worry, his xSLG is better. It’s … .077. Technically accurate! He still is likely a great keeper, but in a 15-team redraft league, cut post-haste and gamble on a prospect with at least a sliver of 2023 hope. Don’t follow the long harm of the Lawlar.


Deep Leagues

Zach McKinstry (2B/3B/OF, Detroit Tigers)

He keeps playing, but it’s getting harder and harder to figure out why. His xwOBA over his last 50 PA is an impossibly low .239, and it’s been under .300 for a while now. Why the Tigers didn’t see what they had in Colt Keith? Or, like, any other utility types from the minors? Experts will tell you playing time is king, but lots of bad playing time that hurts you is McKin. Like my terrible puns, just… just make it stop.

Ben Pernick

I've been writing for Pitcher List since the beginning, and have been a fantasy baseball addict now for 20 years. I grew up as a Red Sox fan in New York, but now I declare allegiance only to my fantasy teams.

One response to “Buy & Sell 9/14 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop”

  1. MediumChungus says:

    Who is that in the picture? cause it aint EDLC, the only Reds player mentioned in the article.

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