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April 27, 2013

Fantasy Forecast: Time is now to attempt to buy low on Strasburg

The season is only a month old, but as I wrote last week people can still panic even with such a small sample size. Last week I encouraged patience in this regard. This week I’m advising to be on the lookout for an owner on the precipice of being ready to sell too soon.

Specifically, I’m suggesting testing the trade waters on Stephen Strasburg.

The Washington Nationals have been struggling of late and Strasburg has not been immune to that. Strasburg is just 1-4 thus far this season and hasn’t been as dominant as some may have expected. Now, he has still pitched very well. But he has also looked human at times and given his reputation and hype it may convince his owners to part was the young phenom at a reasonable price.

Strasburg has struggled most in the first innings of games, posting a 10.80 ERA and giving up a total of eight runs. But those numbers are skewing his overall line, because he has settled down after that to post an ERA of 0.00 in the second through fifth innings. And his stats still are very good overall - walks per nine are down (2.71 to 2.30), homers per nine steady and BABIP down (.311 to .264). His strikeout per nine rate is down, going from 11.13 last year to 8.04. But, Strasburg has made a point of trying to cut down on his strikeouts in order to keep his pitch count low.

The combination of less than dominance, a drop in strike outs and some lingering concern about pitch limits, Strasburg owners might be feeling antsy. And if the Strasburg owner in your league is open to r possibility I would certainly explore that opportunity.

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Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte is a name to watch.

Marte has Pirates fans buzzing, hitting .333 with a homer, 9 RBI, 5 stolen bases and 15 runs scored. Marte has exhibited a decent combination of speed and power in the minors, so it’s not surprising to see him get off to a strong start and watch his ownership rise to 69 percent in Yahoo! leagues.

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