Brandon Lowe paced Tampa Bay's 100th win of the season on Saturday, powering the Rays to a 12-2 rout of the Yankees by going 3-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBIs. Lowe plated the first three runs of the game in the top of the first with his first round-tripper, but he was just getting started. He swatted another three-run jack in the third to break the game open, then tacked on a solo shot in the seventh for good measure. In addition to boosting his average and OPS to .247 and .866, respectively, Lowe's huge performance put him on the brink of 40 homers (39) and 100 RBIs (99) heading into the season's final day. Lowe is ending the season on an absolute tear with 10 extra-base hits over his last five games, including home runs in each of his last three. He'll enter the playoffs as the hottest hitter in baseball, but time will tell if the brief break before the ALDS cools his bat down at all.
George Springer powered the Blue Jays to a 10-1 victory over the Orioles on Saturday by going 4-for-5 with a double, a homer, two runs, and three RBIs. Springer's second four-hit game of the season came at the perfect time for Toronto, who are fighting for their playoff lives. They likely would've already clinched a postseason berth had Springer not missed more than half the season with injuries, but now that he's back he's doing everything he can to will them to the playoffs, going 14-for-30 with six extra-base hits over his last seven games. Saturday's long ball was already Springer's 20th of the season in just 77 games, marking the sixth time in eight years that he's reached the benchmark. The missed time clearly hasn't hampered Springer based on his .877 OPS this year (25 points above his career average), but fantasy gamers need to take his lengthy injury history (only one season with 141+ games) into account when drafting him next year. The 32-year-old isn't getting any younger and has averaged just 109 games per season for his career.
Mike Zunino helped the Rays to a 12-2 victory over the Yankees on Saturday by going 3-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs. Zunino contributed to Tampa Bay's four-run third inning with his 33rd home run of the year. He only has 62 RBIs and 64 runs to show for all that power, however, given his .219 average, 30% on-base rate, 35.3% K rate, and the fact that he's spent much of the year batting in the bottom third of the order. Regardless, his power has been steady all season as he's slugged at least five home runs in every month except July, when he only went yard twice. He's also ending the season on a hot streak with 10 hits in his last 21 at-bats, lifting his average 18 points and guaranteeing that he won't end up below the Mendoza Line after flirting with it for much of the season. His all-or-nothing approach has yielded a three-true-outcome percentage of 53.1%, however, as he has nearly as many homers (33) as walks (34). Regardless of the holes in his game, his elite power at a thin position makes him a must-start in all fantasy formats.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 2-for-5 with a double and a two-run homer against the Orioles on Saturday. Guerrero continued to bolster his MVP credentials with his 47th homer of the year, increasing his RBI total to 109 in the process with his first-inning blast. He also added a double in helping Toronto to a much-needed win over Baltimore in the heat of a playoff race. The long ball was his first since September 17, however, ending a streak of 13 homerless games. It also snapped him out of a terrible 3-for-32 slump over his previous eight games. While the 22-year-old superstar has proven to be rather streaky this season, his overall numbers remain outstanding. In addition to leading MLB with 121 runs and 359 total bases, he's also tops in the AL in OBP (.400) and slugging (.597), making him the best hitter of 2021 in just his third big-league season. Given the similar success of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper at the same age, he should be a force going forward.
Yoan Moncada powered the White Sox to a 5-4 win over the Tigers by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer, two runs, and three RBIs on Saturday. Moncada sparked Chicago to a come-from-behind victory after trailing 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh. His RBI double got the Sox on the board in the bottom of the seventh, then his two-run homer turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. Saturday's display was a rare power outburst from Moncada, who's only slugging .415 this year after slugging just .385 last year. The dinger was only his 14th in 143 games this season, although he has shown more pop to close out the season with 13 extra-base hits over his last 21 games. The hope is that Moncada can carry that shift into the postseason and beyond, as it would help him approach the 25 homers and .548 slugging percentage he posted in 2019. Without the power, he's a middling fantasy option at the hot corner outside of OBP leagues, which is a disappointing outcome for the former top prospect.
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