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Top 5 trade targets for fantasy owners

Hamels, Betts, Reyes, Brantley and Cole could provide boost to any team
MLB.com @FredZinkieMLB

The clock is ticking as the first pitch of Week 6 is approaching fast. Smart owners should send out offers today for the five players listed below, and then watch their teams soar up the standings.

Cole Hamels, starter: Significantly, Hamels has recorded his highest career ERA for any month in April, and then the ratio comes down in nearly a uniform pattern across the subsequent five months. The left-hander is off to a solid start, but owners may be able to use his high WHIP (1.27) and low win total (two) to pick him up at a discount. Baseball's most popular trade target could be a top-10 starter by the summer if he is hitting his stride while pitching for a contender.

The clock is ticking as the first pitch of Week 6 is approaching fast. Smart owners should send out offers today for the five players listed below, and then watch their teams soar up the standings.

Cole Hamels, starter: Significantly, Hamels has recorded his highest career ERA for any month in April, and then the ratio comes down in nearly a uniform pattern across the subsequent five months. The left-hander is off to a solid start, but owners may be able to use his high WHIP (1.27) and low win total (two) to pick him up at a discount. Baseball's most popular trade target could be a top-10 starter by the summer if he is hitting his stride while pitching for a contender.

Mookie Betts, outfielder: Betts has been a valuable mixed-league hitter despite producing a .242 batting average that is largely the product of a .245 BABIP. The 22-year-old has the necessary combination of plate skills and speed to carry a BABIP that is nearly 100 points higher than his current mark, and when his BABIP rises he will be an elite fantasy outfielder. Betts will have a month at some point this season during which he hits .350 with four homers, five steals and 20 runs scored, and you want him to be on your roster when that happens.

Jose Reyes, shortstop: The 31-year-old's fantasy value could be at an all-time low right now due to the combination of an unproductive start to the season and an April rib injury. But this could be a good time for wise owners to buy low on the usually productive shortstop. When healthy, Reyes is a terrific source of batting average, runs and steals from his customary perch atop one of the most potent lineups in baseball.

Michael Brantley, outfielder: Making a smart trade does not necessarily mean buying low. Despite being at the outset of a fine follow-up to his 2014 breakout season, the 27-year-old is not yet regarded as a first-round talent by many fantasy owners. Brantley should sustain a high batting average due to his penchant for ripping line drives and striking out infrequently, and he will likely settle near the 20-mark in homers and steals. Owners of stars such as Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton or Adam Jones would be wise to trade them away for a package including Brantley.

Gerrit Cole, starter: Like Brantley, Cole should be able to sustain his hot start. The right-hander is emerging as a fantasy ace, with the desired combination of a high strikeout rate and low ratios. And none of his secondary statistics indicate that Cole's early-season success is the product of good fortune. Owners who need a top-tier hurler should avoid high-priced targets such as David Price and Max Scherzer, and seek to acquire Cole at a lower cost.

All statistics are accurate through the completion of Saturday's games.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.

Mookie Betts, Michael Brantley, Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels, Jose Reyes