Adding Michael Saunders For Fantasy Playoffs

He isn’t the best player and he most certainly does not play in a favorable stadium, but Michael Saunders is worth adding in mixed leagues if you need outfield help. With a wRC+ above 100 and 14 homers and 19 steals, it is rather surprising that Saunders is available in so many leagues. He is owned in just 9% of Yahoo! leagues, so picking him up and dropping a struggling outfielder or another replaceable player should be worth it as the season comes to a close.

Over his past 30 games, Saunders has four homers, four steals, 12 runs and 10 RBI along with a .373 on base percentage. He doesn’t help much with batting average, but his performance looks like Danny Espionsa’s but from an outfielder rather than a middle infielder. That obviously makes a guy like Espinosa more valuable, but if you are continuing to throw Drew Stubbs or another outfielder that can’t find his way on base, looking at Saunders as a replacement for the final weeks of the season is definitely a good idea.

For the future, it is not unreasonable for Saunders to maintain a level of success similar to this. His BABIP is finally at a relatively standard.305 compared to a career mark of.281, so if he is able to avoid the bad luck he has ran into throughout his career prior to this year, a .250/.300/.400 line seems attainable on a regular basis, and while that is far from optimal it is serviceable with the solid power and speed combination. This makes me like Saunders a decent amount in dynasty leagues, especially bigger dynasty leagues.

The only favorable stadium Saunders plays in over the remainder of the year is this weekend in Texas, so if you are going to make the move to acquire him you should likely do so now. All of the remaining teams he plays are either playoff teams or are still contending for a playoff spot, so his competition will not be of the weak September 40-man call up variety, but he is still likely one of the top additions you can make to your roster during the fantasy playoffs.

He has hit a majority of his home runs in bunches, going a decent length without hitting one and then hitting a few within a very short period, as he did a few weeks ago when he hit four homers in four games against the Twins and Indians. He is definitely a risky play, but he seems to have gotten it together this year and couldp provide a solid enoug return to help you advance to the next round of your fantasy playoffs.

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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

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