SI.com’s fantasy baseball Trade Winds will help you decide the direction in which you should be going with your fantasy team. Each week, we’ll look at the trade market, giving you buys, sells and holds across the fantasy baseball landscape.
Lance Lynn, SP, Rangers
The Rangers are in the playoff hunt, and Lance Lynn is a major reason why. The 32-year-old righthander is 12-4 with a 3.69 ERA and has the best WAR in the American League, regardless of which version you prefer (4.6 bWAR, 4.4 fWAR). Lynn has not only rebounded after last year’s woes, but he looks much better than he did during his best days in St. Louis. His walk rate is down to 5.5%—it had never been lower than 8% in his career—and his 26.4% strikeout rate is the best it’s been since 2011, his rookie year.
Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees
OK, so I vastly underestimated Brett Gardner when I said a few weeks back that fantasy owners should sell him. Let this be my mulligan. With Giancarlo Stanton back on the injured list, Gardner is once again a regular in the Yankees’ juggernaut of a lineup, and he’s more than taken advantage of the playing time. The longest-tenured Yankee has been on an absolute tear over his past 30 games, hitting .309/.396/.598 with seven home runs, 20 RBI and 21 runs. He’s providing some speed, too, swiping eight bags in 10 tries on the year.
Moncada has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball over his last 30 games, with a .357/.416/.625 slash line, seven homers, 17 RBI and 17 runs. His 93.3 mph average exit velocity ranks in the top 2% in the majors this season, per Statcast. His strikeout rate is still high (27.2%), but it is a significant improvement over his dreadful 33.4% mark from last season, suggesting he’s a more polished hitter.
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Braves
Donaldson may not be the marquee third baseman that he used to be, but he should be a no-brainer trade target for fantasy owners right now. The Bringer of Rain has found his power stroke in Atlanta, blasting 14 home runs since June 1, tied with fellow third baseman Manny Machado for the most among NL players in that span. He bats cleanup in the Braves’ loaded lineup, which gives him ample opportunities to drive in runs.
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Brewers
How long should you hold out on someone with a track record during a down year? It depends on the player. But for a guy like Cain who isn’t going to go on a massive power surge, now seems like a good time to jump ship. He’s slashing .250/.311/.353 on the season, and he’s been even worse over his last 30 games (.238/.311/.295).
Kyle Schwarber, OF, Cubs
Schwarber continues to be one of the more difficult hitters in baseball to figure out. He has never fulfilled the promise he showed when he bashed 16 homers in 273 plate appearances as a rookie. In 2019, however, Schwarber is beginning to look more like that slugger we expected. He now has 20 homers after crushing one on Monday game, putting him 10 shy of his career high from two years ago. Plus, some of his Statcast metrics suggest he’s been the victim of some bad luck. His .260 expected average is much more respectable than his actual .232 mark, and he ranks in the top 2% of MLB with a 52.3% hard hit rate.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals
Remember that thing about track record? Yeah, well Goldschmidt’s track record is as good as anybody’s since he broke into the league in 2011. His first half in St. Louis was a major disappointment, but someone as talented as Goldy deserves some benefit of the doubt. Sure, it’s a small sample size, but over his last seven games, Goldschmidt is slashing .292/.393/.708 with three homers, nine RBI and eight runs. He’s looked much more balanced at the dish lately and he’s using the whole field again. Maybe a few-months adjustment period was all he needed.
Ray has struggled a bit lately, going 3-3 with a 4.14 ERA over his last seven starts, and his 11.9% walk rate this season remains his biggest issue. But there’s still a lot to like about Ray, mainly his gaudy 30.8% strikeout rate, which ranks second behind Max Scherzer in the NL. Plus, Ray could be traded before the end of the month. Joining a contender could boost his win total down the stretch.