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Fantasy Baseball: The Saunders & Saunders Show

It was all Saunders last night in Seattle as Joe Saunders twirled a complete game with Michael Saunders providing the offensive punch in his first game back from the DL.

We’ll start on the pitching side of things with veteran Joe Saunders dominating the Orioles’ lineup to earn his second victory on the year. He allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Saunders’ ERA for the year still sits a 5.25 and though he is owned in just 2% of standard leagues, he’s not exactly a guy you will be rushing out to pick up. On the year, the veteran lefty has just 14 punch-outs agains 13 walks in 36.0 innings pitched. Saunders has registered an ERA under 4.00 just twice in his nine-year major league career, so beyond the occasional spot start in Seattle against a weak opponent, this guy belongs on waivers.

Michael Saunders on the other hand, makes a strong case for consideration on you roster. In his first game back from the DL, Saunders showed that his oblique injury was no longer an issue, popping a home run on the second pitch ohe saw. He wrapped up the game 1-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI. Last season, Saunders fell just shy of the elusive 20/20 club, knocking 19 home runs to fo along with 21 steals. His average remians a bit of a concern as Saunders doesn’t exactly have the greatest eye at the plate, but the juice is more than enough to put this guy in your lineup day in and day out.

Perhaps due largely to the DL stint, Saunders ownership percentages are criminally low and he remains available in about 85% of standard Yahoo leagues as of this writing. In our recent redraft re-rankings of the Top-300 fantasy players, Saunders checked in as the 172nd player on our board and the No. 50 overall outfielder, certainly a guy who should be owned in more leagues than he is available in. If you are looking for some help in your outfield, give Michael Saunders a look.

Around the League

  • Uh oh, just as Miami Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton was beginning to round into form (3 HR over the weekend), he gets bitten by the injury imp. Stanton pulled a hammy while trying to leg out an infield single and the Marlins wasted no time sending him to the DL. Unfortunately, injuries are becoming a common theme for the 23-year-old slugger and we can only hope that he heals quickly. In the meantime, powerful prospect Marcel Ozuna will get a taste of the big leagues.
  • Another young stud in the NL East gave owners a scare on Monday as Stephen Strasburg reported forearm tightness after the game. Strasburg indicated that he would be good to go for his next start, but the team may have other plans with their prized arm.
  • Pablo Sandoval may also be in need of some time off after re-aggravating an elbow injury that cost him some time in the spring. If you are in need of a replacement, Rockies’ rookie Nolan Arenado, who went 3-for-4 with a home run on Monday night, remains available in over 60% of standard leagues and can provide some solid numbers for you.
  • In some positive injury news, Hanley Ramirez was a surprise activation prior to Monday’s game. He did not start, but struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. The scuffling Dodgers and fantasy owners alike will be happy to have the five-tool stud back in their lineups.
  • Yankees starter Andy Pettitte was blasted by his former team as the Astros gave Lucas Harrel nine runs of support. Carlos Corporan led the way with four hits, four RBI and two runs scored. Pettitte is a spot starter in mixed leagues, though this certainly had the look of a favorable spot heading into the game.
  • Prince Fielder mashed his sixth homer of the season, a three run shot during the Tigers 4-3 win over the Twins. Fielder is batting a sizzling .367 in the early going, with 25 RBI to show for it over his first 24 games.
  • Max Scherzer wasn’t spectacular  but he was quality, allowing three earned runs on six hits in 7.1 innings pitched. He also piled up 10 strikeouts on the night to give him 46 Ks over just 31.1 innings pitched. Scherzer’s ERA sits at a mediocre 4.02 on the year, but the strikeouts make this guy more than worth the price of admission.
  • Kevin Gregg notched yet another save for the Cubbies, protecting a two-out lead with a perfect ninth. Kyuji Fujikawa is making progress in rehab, but remains a few weeks away and Gregg is looking like the go to man in the short term.
  • Mets starter Matt Harvey showed that he was indeed human. He lasted just 5.1 innings during Monday’s extra innings loss to the Marlins. Harvey allowed just one run and struck out seven against two walks while allowing seven hits.
  • Giants’ ace Matt Cain was bombed once again, allowing three more home runs and bumping his total to an alarming nine home runs allowed in just six starts (34.2 IP). He was uncharacteristically wild Monday, walking four in six innings, but all his other numbers look just as they did last season. It is indeed time to worry about your ace, but we’re still not selling him at a steep discout after one bad month.
  • Brewers shortstop Jean Segura went 3-for-5 with a hoe run (his second on the year) a run scored and two RBI. With each passing day, Segura’s performance looks more real and he’s creeping his way towards the top-10 amongst shortstops.
  • Giants’ first baseman Brandon Belt is rounding into form. Belt went 2-for-4 with a home run and 3 RBI on Monday and is batting a sizzling .379 over his last ten games. He’s just 32% owned and deserves a look in all leagues.
  • Ian Kennedy put forth another uninspiring performance, allowing four earned runs over 7.0 innings pitched with just two strikeouts and three walks. He’s got a 4.78 ERA on the year and is making his elite performance from 2011 look more an more like an outlier with each passing start.

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