Barry Zito hasn't had an ERA below 4.00 since 2006.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Playing "fantasy owner" for your team can be a lot like being a financial manager for your 401k plan - you have to know when your investment is at peak value. When it reaches that point, the correct move, as the axiom says, is to "sell high."
In fantasy sports, that means trading your player to an unsuspecting owner who is "blinded" by their fast start. Here are eight guys who have reached the zenith of their fantasy value in the first two weeks of the season:
1) Livan Hernandez, SP, Washington - If you by some miracle drafted and started Hernandez in his first two outings, you have gotten an amazing 16 innings without an earned run being scored and a 2-0 record. However, this is the same Hernandez who went 9-12 last year with a not-so-exciting ERA of 5.44 and a WHIP of 1.56. Sell! Sell! Sell!
2) Derek Lowe, SP, Atlanta - Lowe has a very impressive looking record of 3-0 until you actually take a closer look at the numbers. His ERA is a not-so- impressive 4.67 and his WHIP is 1.62 because of 12 walks in 17.1 innings. If you can get a decent return for him, trade him now.
3) Alex Gonzalez, SS, Toronto - Gonzalez has hit four homers this season in 14 games, half of what he totaled in 112 games last season. It's a temporary power surge, so if you can trade him, now would be an excellent time to maximize your return.
4) Ivan Rodriguez, C, Washington - If this was 2004 and "Pudge" was still in the midst of his great string of years with the bat, I'd say "hold on to him and enjoy the ride." Unfortunately, it's 2010 and Rodriguez hasn't been that player for about five seasons. This won't last - sell, sell, sell.
5) Barry Zito, SP, San Francisco - Zito is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.86 and a WHIP of 0.88 through his first three starts. Just keep in mind that he hasn't had an ERA below 4.00 since 2006 and the last time his WHIP was below 1.20 was 2003. If there is one bright note that might cause you to hesitate in trading Zito, it's that he's walked just five in 19.1 innings, well below his normal pace.
6) Scott Podsednik, OF, Kansas City - He's got an OPS of 1.006 and a batting average of .457 with seven stolen bases. While the SB total isn't out of line, "Pods" has hit .261-or-lower in three of the last four seasons and his best OPS in that span was .765 last year with the White Sox.
7) Vladimir Guerrero, DH, Texas - Despite a batting average of .348, Guerrero has an OPS of just .815. He just isn't hitting for power anymore. His at-bats- to-HR ratio has gone from 20.03 in 2008 to 25.53 last year to 46.00 so far this season. His name is still worth something on the trade market, but not if you wait until July.
8) Placido Polanco, 2B, Philadelphia - He's a good hitter who has gotten off to a great start - batting .396 with 14 runs, a pair of homers and 12 RBI in the first 12 games. It won't last. He's got a career OPS of .764 and that's where he will end up. Don't be blinded by the current .988 OPS and believe it can continue for 162 games. If you sell today, he could net you a very good player from someone who doesn't know his career averages.