Mark Reynolds is On Fire

Somehow, despite having the top OPS over the past calendar month, Mark Reynolds is still owned in just 51% of Yahoo! Leagues. Now, in most very competitive leagues, Reynolds is off the waiver wire and impossible to acquire, but there are still shallow leagues or slightly less competitive leagues where he is available. 49% of Yahoo! Leagues have not simply been given up on with a month left in the year.

With that said, Reynolds’ most recent tear makes him not only a must own, but a must start for the foreseeable future. While hot streaks are not necessarily something to bank on, adjustments at the plate certainly do happen and it seems as though Reynolds has made them late in the season. This is a guy that has hit 30 home runs in each of the past three seasons and should have another 5-6 home runs left in him, maybe even more if he gets hot.

After hitting seven home runs in seven days and 13 over his past 30, putting Reynolds in your lineup may be more than just a wise decision, it may be a season defining move. For the time being, its even conceivable to start Reynolds over the likes of David Wright or Pablo Sandoval, who have netted a 73 and 63 wRC+ over the past 30 days, with Wright having just one home run and Sandoval coming in with 0. It is difficult to bench these two for a player that has Reynolds’s season line, but at the end of the year the difficult decisions need to be made and riding Reynolds out until a few straight 0’fers is a fantasy decision that makes a lot of sense at this time. Decisions like that become even more difficult in weekly leagues, but he is still a must start for this upcoming week and is absolutely a must add in all formats.

Looking ahead at his schedule, he plays two series in difficult ballparks in Oakland and Seattle, but each series left until the final season of the year are in favorable home run hitting ballparks. Add in the fact that he faces the poor pitching staffs of the Blue Jays and Red Sox for a combined 10 games, and you get a player that can have some big games down the tail end of the season. Benching a stud for a one tool player like Reynolds isn’t easy, but in the right circumstances and the right league, it’s an option that absolutely needs considering.

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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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In 9 games (30 AB) against the Red Sox this year, Reynolds has hit .443/.550/1.067 (avg/obp/slg) with 5 HR and 14 RBI. 9 of his 13 hits have gone for extra bases, and his K:BB is 8:7.

Sample size? Sure, but with his current hot streak, you can’t NOT start him against the Red Sox.