Posted: Friday May 18, 2012 3:34PM ; Updated: Friday May 18, 2012 3:34PM
Eric Mack
Eric Mack>INSIDE FANTASY BASEBALL

Time is now to sell high on hot starts by Beachy, Lynn and more

Story Highlights

Adjustments by hitters likely to see Brandon Beach have struggles in second half

Lance Lynn's unexpected run of success make hims a perfect player to sell high

With Yankees' likely success, Rafael Soriano may be a Top-5 option at closer

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Brandon Beachy has given up only eight runs in 54 innings this season, a rate that is likely to rose as the season continues.
Brandon Beachy has given up only eight runs in 54 innings this season, a rate that is likely to rose as the season continues.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Sometimes the unknown can be a pitcher's best friend. After all, the craft is about deception. It is hard to fool someone multiple times.

How else can you explain Christian Friedrich's 17 strikeouts to two walks in 13 innings (1.39 ERA)? Friedrich didn't have two starts back-to-back in the minor leagues. Now, he is a star in the majors.

Yes, he is a top prospect just making his way, but big-league hitters are going to catch up to him.

Ask Michael Pineda. OK, bad example because he got hurt, but the story is the same. Young pitchers start fast and tail off.

It tends to be tough to trade pitching in fantasy. It comes a little easier when the pitcher looks like a world-beater. Last week in the Friday pitching report, we outlined some guys to buy low on. Save for John Danks' awful start Monday -- still buy low -- it worked out so well, we are giving you some sell high guys to trade to make deals with.

1. Brandon Beachy, Braves

We might as well start at the top. Coming off his complete-game shutout of the Marlins, Beachy sits No. 1 in fantasy in standard scoring leagues. At 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 0.889 WHIP, he looks like he is headed for a breakthrough second season.

Sell, sell, sell. Beachy has gotten by on smoke and mirrors. Adjustments are going to be made and his numbers are going to suffer. Plus, when he gets past 150 innings, his arm is surely going to balk at him.

The best time to sell him is while he is hot right now. He won't finish among the top 30 starters, much less anywhere near the top 5.

2. Lance Lynn, Cardinals

See a pattern here? Yet another young arm. Lynn won six consecutive starts before taking his first loss last time out. At 6-1 with a 1.81 ERA, he looks like the NL Rookie of the Year to date. Sell, sell, sell.

Lynn is a player who went from 14 percent ownership on CBSSports.com in Week 1 to 95 percent now. You are playing with the house's money. Turn this chip in for a veteran now.

3. Tommy Milone, Athletics

Milone already has five victories. It puts him on pace for 20 as a rookie. Well, the bet here is he takes two losses in his two-start Week 8, against the Angels and Yankees.

You'll probably find more people buying than selling on Milone right now, since he looks like a capable mixed-league fantasy arm. Don't be a buyer. Milone will be mixed-league waiver fodder in a month.

4. Christian Friedrich, Rockies

He looks like a sure-thing now, doesn't he? Well, he really isn't a sell yet. Wait for him to pitch well against the Mariners on Saturday. That is a favorable matchup.

Then see what you can get for him. It is a dirty trick flipping waiver-wire pickups after three starts, but this is a cutthroat fantasy world.

5. Drew Smyly, Tigers

He has yet to lose a game and is up to 78 percent ownership with a 2.31 ERA and 1.103 WHIP. The odds are he has some value to squeeze out of him before the wheels fall off.

All of this may sound like we hate young pitching. Actually, not at all. It has its place for a little while, then you throw it away and start over.

When you start over, pick up Trevor Bauer. He just moved up to Triple A and is one young arm we wouldn't dare suggest selling right now.

As closer world turns

• We just might have found a future for White Sox flamethrower Addison Reed. After allowing six earned runs three walks and two hits in one-third of an inning May 13, the White Sox went right back to him the next night for a save. With Chris Sale currently healthy enough to start, Reed has a huge opportunity to take off for fantasy owners.

• So much for David Robertson (oblique). Rafael Soriano is now the exclusive closer for the Yankees and has the potential to become a Top-5 option in fantasy. If you took the flier on Soriano -- or merely grabbed him because you missed out on Robertson -- congrats.

• The Marlins have already gone back to Heath Bell as their closer. Steve Cishek is merely a fallback option. Edward Mujica is third in line.

Javy Guerra is pitching well again, but Kenley Jansen has been very good of late and might not give the closer's job back again this season, or for years. Guerra is no longer worth owning in fantasy, unless you're desperate for a flier in deep NL-only formats.

• With Jose Valverde dealing with a bad back, the Tigers will turn to Joaquin Benoit as their closer. Phil Coke could be used if the situation calls for a lefty in the ninth, though. Octavio Dotel is currently the third option to the No. 1 guy Valverde.

Dale Thayer has locked down four consecutive saves. Andrew Cashner and Luke Gregerson are not worth owning in leagues that don't use true middle men.

Casey Janssen has saved three games in a row. Francisco Cordero, despite three scoreless outings in a row, is not worth owning in any leagues right now.

Aroldis Chapman blew a save as a setup man, but he still has a 0.00 ERA. Sean Marshall isn't doing anything wrong, but Chapman is still the better pitcher working as a setup man. Talent finds a way, making Chapman a sleeper flier still.

• The Mets are still looking for a closer of the future and it might be Bobby Parnell. Manager Terry Collins just isn't ready to go to him yet. "With what Bobby went through last fall, I'm gonna try to avoid that and let him build up to that closer role," Collins said. "He's got closer stuff. I don't want the failure side -- he's already had it once. He had some tough times last summer."

Two-starters to use

1. Hiroki Kuroda (50 percent active), Yankees -- Throw out a pair of starts and Kuroda hasn't been too bad. He also faces the Royals and A's next week.

2. Bud Norris (46 percent active), Astros -- He has posted four consecutive quality starts and won his past three with 17 strikeouts in his past 13 innings.

3. Ubaldo Jimenez, (40 percent active), Indians -- Throw out that start on May 11 and Jimenez has been serviceable. The time to buy is now.

4. Clay Buchholz (26 percent active), Red Sox -- After a disastrous start to the season, Buchholz has shown improvement in his past two. The time is now to jump on board.

5. Jerome Williams (18 percent active), Angels -- At 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA, he is an underrated addition to mixed-league rosters. The A's and M's are favorable matchups, too.

Two-starters to avoid

1. Ricky Nolasco (41), Marlins -- He is coming off back-to-back stinkers and just isn't trustworthy right now.

2. Mike Minor (18), Braves -- He has been shelled in his past four starts. You shouldn't buy now, even if you like him going forward. Make him pitch effectively before you consider using him in your active lineup.

4. Tommy Milone (18), A's -- He has shown some progress but drawing the overdue Angels and the Yankees can make him a two-start loser.

4. Kyle Drabek (17), Blue Jays -- He is coming off a good start, but it seems every time we try to trust him in a two-start week, he lets us down. The Rays and Rangers on the road should be tough for him.

5. Patrick Corbin (4), Diamondbacks -- The rookie has shown some flashes and seems to have a decent start followed by a bad one. He is due for a good one, but that means you'll get a bad one, too. Watch him for progress, but not while he is in your lineup.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. If you miss his Monday baseball trends, Wednesday prospect report or Friday pitching review, you can also find him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

 
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