Calling on an Angel

Hector Santiago’s matchup has enough upside to warrant rostering him to fit some expensive bats. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.


Evan Longoria, Rays, $8,100 – Unsurprisingly, the lefty-smashing Rays have enjoyed substantial career success against opposing probable Wei-Yen Chen. As a team, their active career hitters have slashed .281/.333/.508 against him in 199 total ABs, and Evan Longoria has certainly contributed. In 31 career ABs, Longoria has produced nine hits including three doubles and one HR for a .290/.395/.484 slash line. I always tout Logan Forsythe and his .406 wOBA against LHP, but Longoria is right there at .403. Typically, Forsythe is the much better value, but his price has risen to $8,000, so I’ll lean to Longoria and his .352 AVG against LHP this season. That’s ridiculous consistency for the mid-tier price tag.

Derek Dietrich, Marlins, $6,600 – Ah, Mike Foltynewicz, we meet again. He continues to be one of my favorite pitchers to target hitters against as a whole, but more specifically LHHs. His updated slash line allowed to lefties sits at .328/.368/.582, which makes this an elite matchup for a cheaply-priced Derek Dietrich. He leads the Marlins in wOBA (.391) against RHP by a large margin, even over Giancarlo Stanton’s numbers while healthy (.375). Combine his .272 ISO, .373 OBP and .551 SLG and you have the best infield value of the day and a toss-up for best overall value of the day, with a certain Yankees outfielder to come.

Bonus: Nick Hundley, Rockies, – Robbie Ray (or Roberto Raymond as I like to refer to him) has had a rough go of it in the month of August. In five starts (24.1 IP), Ray has gone 0-5 with a 7.03 ERA. The month has raised his season ERA from 2.70 to 3.86 and his WHIP now sits at 1.32. A trip to Coors Field will not be the ideal place to end the extended streak. The Rockies leaders in wOBA are D.J. LeMahieu and Nick Hundley so they are worthy of consideration.


David Peralta, Diamondbacks, $9,800 – Speaking of pitchers not looking forward to pitching in Coors, Chad Bettis’ home ERA is nearly a run higher than on the road (5.18 versus 4.30). He has allowed a .280 AVG overall to opposing hitters in Coors, compared to .237 on the road. On the other hand, David Peralta has made a name for himself this season by raking against RHP. Only Paul Goldschmidt’s .409 wOBA against the handedness ranks higher on the team, and Peralta’s .229 actually edges out Goldy. Heading into Coors Field with a .306/.366/.535 slash line against righties (and squaring off against a “struggling” one, to put it politely), the ballpark should only help enhance his skills. Both he and Ender Inciarte are as close to must-plays as they come on Monday evening.

Chris Young, Yankees, $6,000 – Dietrich personifies a skilled player for a bargain price in his matchup, but Chris Young could be skilled-er (I know that’s not a word) and comes at an even cheaper price. Dietrich’s wOBA against RHP is near-.400, while Chris Young’s against LHP sits at a cool .425. In other words, he possesses elite skills against the handedness while being priced like a scrub. It really does not get much better in terms of bang for your buck, so I would be hard-pressed not to roster him (despite the fact I like Eduardo Rodriguez’s skill set). Fenway Park will help Young’s cause even further, so he should be a staple in literally all lineups.


Chris Archer, Rays, $24,400 – One of baseball’s most dominant pitchers draws a matchup against baseball’s top wOBA team against RHP… now this is baseball. A battle of the titans is never easy to predict, as either side could easily prevail. However, I will say the Orioles’ weaknesses both play well to Archer’s strengths: K rate and BB rate. The Orioles strike out at 21.80 percent against RHP and only BB 6.80 percent of the time. Tampa Bay opened as -121 favorites on the road, and I think the offense should back him up with some runs. Archer has struck out 19 batters in his three starts against Baltimore this season (17.2 IP), but sits with a record of 0-2 with a 4.08 ERA. He’s a prime tournament candidate because of the K upside, but as his results this season indicate, it’s a risky proposition.

Dallas Keuchel, Astros, $24,100 – Save $300 and roster Dallas Keuchel instead of Archer in cash if deciding between the two. Minute Maid Park is one of baseball’s most favorable hitters’ parks, yet Keuchel has made it look easy in the friendly confines (1.35 home ERA)… but how? As usual, he continues to force hitters to pound the ball into the ground at an AL-leading rate. Therefore, the fact that the Mariners rank as an unfavorable matchup doesn’t faze me. They rank in the top 10 of ISO, but it won’t matter if they can’t lift the ball in the air. Unfortunately for the Mariners, they strike out at the eighth-highest rate, and Keuchel will take advantage of that aspect. Despite the matchup, he’s a high-floor, high-ceiling option who is worth the price, especially in cash.

John Lackey, Cardinals, $19,900 – Always ranking among the tops in fastball percentage thrown, John Lackey will face a team with only one real threat against the pitch, according to FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights: Bryce Harper. In one prior start against the Nationals this season, Lackey was lit up for five ER over 5.2 IP, but they were a different team in April. Currently they rank as a below-average team in wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP, hard-hit percentage and line-drive percentage, while striking out at the fifth-highest percentage. Busch Stadium brings out the best in Lackey, as he owns a 1.91 season ERA and 8-3 record at home. As long as he can keep Bryce Harper in check, I think he should turn in a much better start than his last one against Washington. He’s a cash option, as he’s scored 20-plus fantasy points in two of his last three outings, and should at least come close yet again.

Hector Santiago, Angels, $15,600 – Need a cheap pitching option? Well, look no further than the Angels’ lefty amidst a breakout season. After producing a 3.75 ERA and 1.36 WHIP last season, he’s down to a 3.13 ERA and 1.20 WHIP this season. He is relying almost solely on the fly ball to retire opposing hitters. This works in big Angels Stadium and should work in the Oakland Coliseum as well. The Athletics’ .123 ISO ranks 25th in baseball against LHP and their wOBA ranks in the bottom 10. That bodes well for Santiago, who will once again aim to force weak popups out of the hitters he faces. Against this team in this ballpark, I would be shocked if he isn’t successful. I am not opposed to pairing him and Keuchel in cash games to gain some Coors exposure.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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