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Pickup of the Day

PUD 4/18: Michael Saunders

by Drew Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.


Kevin Pillar opened the 2016 season as the Blue Jays' primary leadoff man, but he entered Sunday's game in Boston with a weak .188/.235/.271 batting line and so manager John Gibbons decided to finally dump the rangy 27-year-old to the eighth spot in the lineup. That is where Pillar hit Sunday, and it's where he will hit in Monday morning's Patriots' Day game at Fenway Park. Moving into that vacant leadoff role will be Michael Saunders, who's slashing .270/.325/.459 with a homer, three walks, and five runs scored in 40 plate appearances this year. Saunders has always been a productive player when healthy, but he went undrafted in most standard fantasy leagues this spring. The dynamic 29-year-old should be owned in all relevant formats for however long he's setting the tone for the Blue Jays' high-powered offensive attack.

Drew Silva

Drew Silva is a longtime baseball writer and editor for Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter.