Dear Mr. Fantasy: Selling Like Hot Cakes: Fantasy Baseball Players to Sell High

It’s getting to be that time of the season where a “small sample size” turns into a “representative sample size”. With regard to players that are over-performing, it’s time to decide whether or not the big numbers will continue. In baseball, statistics more often than not find a way to regress to the mean. Before the inevitable shift occurs, here are some players you may want to consider ‘selling high’:

As streaky as they come, E5 may have reached his peak in fantasy value. Eligible at both first base and third base, Encarnacion has started the season red-hot. After beginning 2011 with a single home run in the season’s first 2 months, Edwin hit 8 round trippers by the end of April this year. With a rash of injuries to key third basemen, the Blue Jays DH may never bring more in a trade than right now.

Mike Aviles (BOS)
Aviles entered this season looking to be in a fight for playing time, a predicament he has struggled with his entire career. He won the starting shortstop job and has made the most of his opportunity, hitting 5 home runs in only 94 AB. His previous career single-season high was 10 in his rookie campaign of 2008. After showing a great deal of inconsistency in the big leagues, Aviles seems to be playing over his head and may bring more in a trade than what you’ll get the rest of the way.  Multiple position eligibility (2B, 3B, SS) only increases the return you’ll see.

David Freese (STL)
With his postseason heroics of 2011 fresh on everyone’s mind, Freese has impressed again by getting  off to a good start in 2012. Many onlookers will point to the fact that regular playing time is all the Cardinals’ third sacker needed to produce. However, good health is what Freese needs to succeed and he has never been able to stay healthy for long. Cash in before he gets hurt. Let his inevitable injury woes break the heart of another fantasy owner.

Jordan Schafer (HOU)
The Astros’ second baseman reached base safely in every game he played in April. He also has 8 stolen bases and 17 runs scored in the first month of the 2012 season. That is the sort of thing that makes fantasy owners sit up and take notice. If you own him you saw him get ejected from a game recently for throwing his helmet on the field. His antics off the field are cause of even more alarm. Let someone else roll the dice.

Jake Peavy (CWS)
The former Cy Young winner has put up some eye-popping numbers early in 2012. His ERA is below 1.70 and his WHIP is below 0.70. There is no questioning Peavy’s talent. Injuries have not allowed the White Sox hurler to start more than 13 games since 2008. He is a risk to start more than 20 games this season and a good bet to be shelved prior to that benchmark. Now is the time to cash in on his name and early success.

If you are lucky enough to own any of these players, you may wish to take the risk and hold on to them in the hopes they keep up their current pace. Odds are, you will be better served to get out while the “getting” is good.
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