Most fantasy baseball teams were drafted three or more months ago, and even the most patient of managers is probably getting tired of some draft-day disappointments who are holding back fantasy rosters as summer begins.
If your team is struggling or you just want to make a bold move, trading for someone's struggling stars can be a way to get an edge if you predict a bounce-back. Give us a player who has failed to live up to preseason expectations and you're looking to trade for now before they turn things around.
AJ Mass: I'll give you two players to consider snatching up for the rest of the season -- one bat and one arm -- should their current fantasy managers be frustrated enough to let them go for a song.
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP of 26.4, 99.2 percent rostered): Currently, he's the No. 37 outfielder in terms of points league production, which is certainly a disappointing placement for an overall third-rounder. While his road stats are pretty much in line with what he did in his rookie campaign, at home he definitely seems to be pressing. In 2017, he hit .268 and slugged .571 in Los Angeles. This year it's a sad .207 and .415. He's batting just .172 since June 9, but looking at all his underlying numbers (BB/K, GB/FB, SwStr%, etc.) there's nothing glaringly different from last season. I still think he'll finish with at least 30 HR.
Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP of 56.3, 86.2 percent rostered): Arizona continues to be very careful with Ray, who went on the disabled list at the end of April with a strained right oblique. Ray threw 66 pitches on Tuesday at Triple-A Reno in his second rehab start and may or may not be back with the D-backs next week. Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) will finally be back on Monday, so with all of the buzz surrounding his return, Ray's recent progress may not be on his fantasy manager's radar. I'd try and get a potential top-20 SP the rest of the way on my roster before it does.
Eric Karabell: Time has run out on being able to secure the likes of hitters Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter, Elvis Andrus and Wil Myers for good value, but by this point of the season I am generally looking for pitching aid. I do not think it is tough to find batsmen, and the Goldschmidt managers were not selling anyway. For injured pitchers, things are always different. The Arizona lefty Ray tops my personal list because he is a major strikeout guy, this was not an arm injury that cost him time and his current numbers do not excite, so prying him away could be easier until he actually pitches. Time is running out. I am not as excited about Yu Darvish, but he is worth something, so check out how eager his manager is to move him. Marcus Stroman returns this weekend, and we know he is better than the numbers from April, and I still believe Johnny Cueto can pitch effectively if and when healthy. In a general sense, I am looking to acquire starting pitching.
Tristan H. Cockcroft: Right now, during a month in which he's batting just .195/.244/.338 and a 30-day span during which he's not even one of the top 250 names on our Player Rater, is the perfect time to trade for Yoan Moncada. A 17th-round pick on average this preseason, I see his value as being at least that good going forward, considering his underlying metrics to date. Chances are, since he's on a non-contender that might trade veteran parts in the coming weeks, his perceived value is that of only a marginal mixed-league option. He's a lot more valuable than that, with a ceiling that would place him easily in the Player Rater's top 100 the rest of the way.
Moncada's 92.3 mph average exit velocity this season is 12th-best among 176 hitters who have put the ball in play at least 150 times, per Statcast, and his 48.4 percent of hard-hit baseballs (95-plus mph) ranks 11th. He's also getting much better lift on the ball, with a ground-ball rate beneath 40 percent and a launch angle in the league's 38th percentile, hinting that a 25-homer final tally is within his grasp.
Criticize Moncada for his high strikeout rate, hurting his batting average, as it's not unfair to do so. It is not, however, a product of shoddy plate discipline, as he's actually one of the choosier hitters out there, and rather just has a lot of holes in his swing. Moncada's 22 percent chase rate (percentage of non-strikes at which he swung) is 34th-best among batting title eligible players, and is actually a near-two-percent improvement upon his 2017 number, showing that he's even growing in that regard.
Kyle Soppe: I want to go out and get Dallas Keuchel if I can. While I do think it will continue to be a season of streaks for Keuchel, his asking price in most leagues is more going to reflect the bad streaks than the good at this moment. As much as we hate them, wins are a category and Keuchel has just four wins in 15 starts (Houston's other four starters have won 55.7 percent of their starts). That number should correct itself as the season progresses. In addition to the wins, the ratios are also likely to improve. The ground-ball specialist has continued to keep the ball on the ground, yet opponents are batting .305 against him with men on base. That number may not regress all the way to the .243 mark from last season, but I doubt it stays where it is. We've seen some flashes of upside (five starts this season without allowing more than one earned run) and I think there is more upside to be had in the future than those with Keuchel rostered have experienced so far.