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Fantasy 411: 5 talented buy-low candidates

O's Davis, Reds' Suarez, Cardinals' Wacha good be had at value
MLB.com

MLB teams have started to buy low. Just look at the White Sox, who pounced on James Shields and didn't give up a prospect ranked in MLB Pipeline's Top 30. Try to do something similar with your fantasy squad.

Chris Davis, 1B: Davis is on pace for 30 home runs and 90 RBIs. Those are decent totals, but ones that fall short of expectations for MLB's top home-run hitter in 2013 (53) and 2015 (47). Star players in their prime tend to get close to expected numbers by season's end. You can expect Davis to have a torrid stretch. In three of his four seasons with Baltimore, he's had a BABIP of at least .319. This year, it's .283. More unlucky has been his fly ball-to-home run percentage (18.3), the lowest of his career. The dimensions at Camden Yards haven't changed. Davis' fly balls will start going out at their normal rate soon.

MLB teams have started to buy low. Just look at the White Sox, who pounced on James Shields and didn't give up a prospect ranked in MLB Pipeline's Top 30. Try to do something similar with your fantasy squad.

Chris Davis, 1B: Davis is on pace for 30 home runs and 90 RBIs. Those are decent totals, but ones that fall short of expectations for MLB's top home-run hitter in 2013 (53) and 2015 (47). Star players in their prime tend to get close to expected numbers by season's end. You can expect Davis to have a torrid stretch. In three of his four seasons with Baltimore, he's had a BABIP of at least .319. This year, it's .283. More unlucky has been his fly ball-to-home run percentage (18.3), the lowest of his career. The dimensions at Camden Yards haven't changed. Davis' fly balls will start going out at their normal rate soon.

Video: Zinkie on Shields and Johnson fantasy impact

Eugenio Suarez, 3B: At the end of April -- when he had five homers and 14 RBIs -- Suarez could have been considered a "sell high" candidate. After May, he became a buy-low when he hit .173 for the month. He's off to a great start in June (.444, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs), so it would be smart to move quickly to get him. Streaky players can be valuable in fantasy if you get them at the right time. On a team that's likely a few years away from contending, Suarez is a no-questions-asked starter, even when he goes through cold streaks. While his average is only .239, he's demonstrated a nice power-speed combination (13 HRs, 4 SB).

Michael Wacha, SP: Wacha has struggled with only two wins and a 5.16 ERA. But on a deeper look, he's pitched better than those stats suggest. Case in point: His season 3.53 FIP is practically identical to his career FIP (3.49) and ERA (3.52). Pitching stats often come down to one or two key at-bats with runners on base, an area of difficulty for Wacha this season. His 59.6-percent strand rate is almost 15 percentage points lower than in each of the past two seasons. Other indicators that suggest Wacha's stuff is just fine are his solid strikeout and ground-ball rates, both of which are in line with his career numbers. He's due to turn it around.

Rob Refsnyder, INF: It appears the Yankees are finally going to give Refsyder an extended look as a regular Major Leaguer at first base. Mark Teixeira, who has a right knee injury that might require surgery, is hitting .180 during the last year of his contract. His formidable backup from '15, Greg Bird, is out for the year with a torn right labrum. It behooves the Yankees to find out if Refsnyder is a legitimate option. He has always hit in the Minors (career slash line: .290/.378/.430) and has expressed a willingness to play any position if it gives him regular at-bats. In fourth place with a 26-30 record, the Yankees aren't in position to make a trade for a veteran hitter who would take time away from Refsnyder. He should get a consistent look for the rest of the year.

Video: Fred Zinkie clears up the Astros' closer situation

Matt Duffy, 3B: Duffy wasn't a top prospect, but he emerged last season to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year voting (behind Kris Bryant). His sophomore year hasn't been as productive (.235, 2 HRs, 14 RBIs), but there are factors that suggest he's a good buy-low candidate. His BABIP has dropped 78 points despite his line-drive percentage improving from 20.9 to 24.0. That's unlucky. Pitch recognition hasn't been a problem, and his K-rate has dropped significantly as well. As a positive this year, he has become a more multi-faceted fantasy player, with seven steals through the first third of season, on pace to easily eclipse last year's total of 12. Once his BABIP regresses to the mean, his overall numbers will look much better.

Jeff Gold is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.