Fantasy Baseball Buy, Sell, Hold and Waiver Wire Adds - Hitters and Pitchers (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Buy, Sell, Hold and Waiver Wire Adds - Hitters and Pitchers (1)

The recent remarkable turnaround of the New York Mets is reflected in the activity on the X (Twitter) account of team owner Steve Cohen. He was a lifelong fan before eventually realizing every fantasy baseball player's dream to run a real franchise. Cohen is always on the pulse of the fan base and consistently communicates with the followers.

The Mets’ recent ascension from frustrating also-rans in May to playoff contenders in June has been reflected on his social media posts. On May 24, after the ninth loss in 11 games, Cohen posted “What a stretch, mind-boggling.I know how disheartening this is for our fans. Ty for caring so much.” The Mets went on to lose four of their next five to fall to 22-33, and entering play on June 3, they still sat at 11 games under .500 with 24 wins.

Since then, the Queens crew had won 16 of 21 games to push their record to the .500 mark at 40-40 entering Sunday’s action, and the team sat just outside of the final National League Wild Card spot. On June 28, Cohen posted “There is something special going on at Citi Field. The players have come together and we’re playing for each other.” An extra-innings loss to Houston on Sunday, the second straight defeat on the weekend, has raised concerns about the bullpen, but the recent optimism can be sustained with some dealing before the MLB trade deadline. In this feature, I examine the fantasy baseball outlooks for the Mets’ key players for the rest of the season. Which ones are acquisition targets, and what guys should remain on your fantasy roster?

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Fantasy Baseball Heat Check - New York Mets Report

There is something special happening at Citifield. The players have come together and are playing for each other. The atmosphere is electric. Let’s keep this going !

— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) June 29, 2024

The statistics featured below do not include the game on Sunday, June 30.

Pete Alonso

The Mets’ slugging superstar has a current slash line of .244/.330/.472. The ISO is at .228, well below the career number of .272. His hard-hit % is at 40.3, while his career mark is .43.0. The Statcast numbers don’t point to much of a jump in batting average, slugging percentage, or wOBA, but the home run pace (17 in 80 games) should pick up more.

Alonso has a .341/.451/.610 slash line with 14 RBI over his last 11 games. The price may always be a little steep to pay because of his firmly established power production, but now could be the best time to acquire the 29-year-old, before we witness a very satisfying power surge. He has 17 home runs in 80 games but we know Alonso is surely capable of popping even more over a similar range of games over the next half of the schedule.

Pete Alonso Fantasy Baseball Recommendation: Buy

Francisco Lindor

While Grimace of McDonald's fame gets a lot of credit for the Mets turnaround, no player has better exemplified the changing of the team’s fortunes better than their high-profile shortstop. As noted by Metsmerized Online, Lindor slashed .198/.265/.630 through the first 44 games of the season. In what seemed to be a baffling move from an outsider’s perspective at the time, Carlos Mendoza moved the struggling team cornerstone to the leadoff spot in the lineup.

Over the next 29 games, Lindor hit .300/.368/.508 with five home runs. He is currently at .252/.318/.445 with 13 HRs and 15 stolen bases, the most ever in his career before the All-Star break. He is batting .483 as the first batter of the game, the best such average in Major League Baseball with a minimum of 25 at-bats.

Lindor’s xBA is at .276. Those who patiently rode out the early-season frustration can look forward to production in line with his usual better output for the rest of the season.

Francisco Lindor Fantasy Baseball Recommendation: Hold

Francisco Alvarez

The 22-year-old catcher has rapidly risen in the ranks of fantasy baseball catchers while on his way to a breakthrough season. It is not crazy to suggest that a debate stance could soon be built that Alvarez will be the best catcher in fantasy baseball.

Those who drafted Alvarez had to wait patiently for his impact on their fantasy baseball teams, as he went on the IL with a thumb injury on April 20 and was activated on June 11. Since the return, he has slashed .376/.456/.667 with three home runs and 12 RBI. Alvarez is up to nine HRs on the year with a .301 average, and he has a .446 OBP during a current 14-game hitting streak.

The xBA of .246 and the xSLG of .380 behind the .505 SLG points to a cold spell ahead, but the overall production and potential are simply too valuable at the thinnest position in fantasy baseball, especially in two-catcher leagues. So I issue the same recommendation on the Mets’ second part of the Francisco/Francisco duo.

Francisco Alvarez Fantasy Baseball Recommendation: Hold

Mark Vientos

After being sent down twice to the minors this season, Vientos is here to stay along with Alvarez to well represent the “Baby Mets.” The 2017 MLB second-round pick returned in mid-May and has sewed up the third base job that seemed to be available for the taking. Vientos has far delivered above expectations in real-life and fantasy baseball to this point. I held onto him as a late-round reserve in my NL-only league and now he is entrenched in the lineup.

Most notably, “Swaggy V” has hit 10 homers with 23 RBI and 24 runs scored in 37 games with a slash line of .297/.355/.578. He had six homers and 12 RBI in his first 21 games and Vientos homered three times in three consecutive at-bats on June 23 and 25.

Most homers by a Met in their first 118 career games:

Pete Alonso: 38
Darryl Strawberry: 25
Francisco Alvarez: 24
David Wright: 22
MARK VIENTOS: 20@Metsmerized #Mets

— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) June 29, 2024

The ISO of .281 will surely slip even though Vientos is here to stay with the Mets and in fantasy baseball lineups. His xBA is .269 and there is a .521 xSLG behind the .578 SLG. The 24-year-old will inevitably endure a slump in the coming weeks, but he has certainly arrived as a regular source of quality production.

Buying or selling on Vientos is dependent on your team context. If moving hitting for pitching is essential, then this is the best time to deal him. However, since you likely didn’t spend much Vientos in free agency, you can keep him and continue to enjoy significant statistical returns for a minimal price. Adding Vientos could ultimately prove to be a key move toward contending for a fantasy baseball championship in 2024. If he is somehow still available in your league, the 24-year-old is a prime waiver wire pickup.

Mark Vientos Fantasy Baseball Recommendation: Sell (this a close call, and only if you have enough ample offense remaining to trade him away)

J.D. Martinez

This six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger is still an offensive force as he approaches a 37th birthday. Signed in late March and added to the MLB roster in late April, Martinez started slowly because of no spring training action, but now he is an essential part of a New York lineup that suddenly looks very potent.

He is at .282/.358/.490 with nine HRs and 34 RBI in 51 games, and the xSLG is 71 points higher than the current SLG, so if you added Martinez on waivers earlier this season or held onto him after a draft, more good fantasy times are ahead.

J.D. Martinez Fantasy Baseball Recommendation: Hold

Brandon Nimmo

Nimmo is hitting .239, while his career mark is .267. The OBP remains healthy at .361 and his SLG is .430, 15 points below the career norm. Nimmo is on the way to possibly besting last year’s total of 24 HRs by a small margin, with 12 in 76 games, and he will shatter his previous high mark of 68 RBI from 2023, as the exuberant outfielder already has 47.

His Barrel Rate of 11.8 and Hard Hit Rate of 48.5 are career highs, and the xBA is at .276 while his xSLG is .470. Nimmo doesn’t have an established reputation as a significant fantasy difference-maker. The price to land him still may not require an uncomfortable ask, so explore the possibilities on Nimmo.

Brandon Nimmo Fantasy Baseball Recommendation: Buy

Deeper Waiver Wire Hitters and Closer Situation

Edwin Diaz is eligible to return on July 6. He had allowed one total run in six appearances before being suspended and was starting to regain better form, so take a swing at acquiring him. … Tyrone Taylor has displayed respectable power when needed to play more, and he is a decent NL-only option while Starling Marte is on the IL. … Harrison Bader had a .563 SLG and .849 OPS in June entering play on Saturday, He had 23 RBI in his last 35 games to that point. Bader hits at the bottom of the lineup. However, the center fielder is a good addition for outfield depth and is rostered in only 23% of leagues.

Brett Baty has eight home runs and 21 RBI in 18 games at Triple-A Syracuse this season. While he has not been able to build on his potential yet at the MLB level, the other "Baby Met" could be back soon to possibly try out at second base. Baty should at least be on the radar of NL-only leaguers.

Starting Pitchers and MLB Trade Deadline

Until the Mets started to shake off the doldrums, there was much speculation that they would be sellers at the deadline, and even Alonso could be moved, as he is in a contract year. Now, though, with a playoff berth in sight, New York might both trade and acquire key players very soon and will likely look to strengthen a thinned bullpen. The best area to deal from is the starting rotation, where Kodai Senga should return after the All-Star break, and top prospects Christian Scott and Jose Butto are prime candidates to rejoin the mix. One of them could be back with the team for a start next weekend after Tylor Megill was sent down following Saturday’s game.

In his last 4️⃣ starts, José Butto has done this ⬇️

-Gone at least 5.2 innings each time.
-Allowed 5️⃣ hits or less each time.
-Allowed 2️⃣ earned runs or less each time.
-Posted a total ERA of 2.19.

Feels like it won't be much longer until José gets his shot again with the @Mets.

— Evan Stockton (@evstockton) June 29, 2024

Add Christian Scott, who was listed as a top fantasy baseball prospect stash in our weekly article, and Jose Butto if they are available in your league. Their presence could further make Luis Severino and Jose Quintana expendable. The former had won five of seven decisions with a 3.29 ERA (4.14 xFIP) heading into a start on Sunday and may continue to perform well if traded into another favorable situation. See if you can deal for him if quality starting pitching depth is needed. Quintana has allowed three runs with six-plus strikeouts in his last three starts and should be monitored for a possible waiver addition.

Sean Manaea and possibly David Peterson might be other trade targets for teams looking to acquire starting pitching. Manaea has been inconsistent and you should pick the better spots to use him, and Peterson is a lesser streamer type, although he does occasionally outperform expectations.

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