Wednesday MLB DFS Picks: Order the Code Red on Santiago and Plug Him In
“Hip hip hooray.”
“Harvey’s better.” *clap, clap, clap, clap, clap*
“Who’s your daddy?” (The chant Yankees fans used against Pedro Martinez after he called the team “his daddy”)
Rooting can be fun and harmless. No one got hurt from any fan drunkenly mumbling or cheering any of the above statements. They’re fun and add to the experience of watching or being at the game. Having a favorite team or player and trying to will them to victory or give them the edge is fun. Rooting for a player you did not use that specific night of DFS is not.
These are human beings. I understand there is a hefty amount of money on the line every given night but rooting for injury is never cool. A few bad apples on Tuesday night Tweeted that they were happy to see Carlos Carrasco leave the game after taking a line drive to the face. That’s just not cool. This is part of the reason some people look down upon DFS and we should not be giving them ammunition. Wishing ill upon another person’s health short of them having committed a heinous crime beforehand is immoral. If you did not use an ace, let’s call him Joe Schmo, on a given night then root against him in a healthy way. If you want him to give up runs and not be effective, then yell at the TV for him to leave a hanging curveball over the heart of the plate. Taking it any further than that makes you a bad person. If you have made this mistake, it’s okay. From this point forward though, let’s work on being better people as a whole community and just keep it light-hearted. Besides, it’s only a little money. This is a fun hobby. Let’s keep it that way.
On that note, here will be players I will not be rooting to fail on Wednesday night because they will be making appearances in my lineups:
Dan Haren, SP, Miami – Maybe, just maybe, 2011 Dan Haren will show his face in this one. Since the 2011 season, Haren has yet to produce an ERA under 4.00 or throw more than 186.0 innings in a single year. According to masseyratings.com, this game looks to be amongst the lowest scoring atmospheres tomorrow (tied with Diamondbacks/Padres for projected lowest over/under). It would make sense that more of the runs would project to come against Eric Stults than Haren considering Stults’ career 4.13 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Stults’ career .338 wOBA allowed to righties has Giancarlo Stanton licking his lips. Despite the fact Atlanta ranks in the top seven in the Majors in batting average, the sample size is limited and this offense really isn’t good. To put the icing on the cake, Atlanta ranked 23rd in baseball according to ESPN park factors last season, meaning it played as a pitcher’s park. Haren is a solid option for those not looking to spend on the high salary pitchers on Wednesday.
Brandon Morrow, SP, San Diego – As mentioned in the Haren blurb, the Diamondbacks/Padres over/under sits at 6.5 which is tied for lowest of the day (lowest of the night slate). Petco Park ranked as a bottom three ballpark last season and bottom two in 2013 so it’s an extreme pitcher’s park. It’s common knowledge that the park is huge and very forgiving to pitchers. Morrow is a fly ball pitcher in a giant ballpark so it may help negate some of his mistakes. Morrow is worse against lefties for his career but only slightly below average (.323 wOBA) and he has plus stuff. The Giants are not a great matchup considering all the lefties but the ballpark and Vegas line should ease concerns. Morrow also looked great in his first start so give him a shot to repeat while safely plugged into your lineups.
Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis – So far this season, Milwaukee ranks 19th in the MLB in batting average. Despite the limited sample size, the team does not have much offense beyond Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. From 2012-2014, Lynn has had some nice success against the Brewers. In 63.0 IP during that span, Lynn sports a 5-2 record with a 2.35 ERA, .233 opposing BA and 70 strikeouts (Ks). Lynn is excellent against opposing righties (.280 wOBA) for his career and most of Milwaukee’s best hitters are right-handed (Gomez, Braun, Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez), which means he presents a tough matchup for them. Lynn will also be aided by a favorable home park. Lynn should be a safe bet, especially in cash games even at a $8,700 price tag on DraftKings (DK).
Hector Santiago, SP, Los Angeles Angels – It’s funny because I actually do not believe in Hector Santiago‘s talent whatsoever so this is difficult for me to write. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact of just how left-handed the whole Texas offense truly is. With the injury to Ryan Rua, Carlos Peguero seems destined to play every day in a lineup that already includes Leonys Martin, Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder, Rougned Odor and Mitch Moreland. For his career, Santiago allows a .225 opposing BA to lefties and a .289 wOBA. Either Anthony Bass or Anthony Ranaudo will draw the start for Texas which should leave the Angels as pretty decent favorites. Ballpark aside, there’s plenty of reason to like Santiago tomorrow if you want to save some salary to load up on stud hitters.
Wilson Ramos, C, Washington – Wade Miley pitched well his last time out: 5.1 IP, six baserunners and two ER. Not surprisingly as a lefty, Miley is tougher on lefties for his career and allows a slightly below average .326 wOBA to righties. Ramos has been hitting sixth in the lineup, which isn’t quite ideal but isn’t horrible either, especially for a catcher. The short fence in left field at Fenway Park helps increase his upside as he doesn’t have to fully get ahold of one to hit it out. With Jayson Werth just returning from injury, I’m not ready to invest in him just yet so Ramos is my Washington righty of choice. He’s a career .311 hitter versus LHP so he has a high probability of success Wednesday afternoon in Boston.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs – Jason Marquis is flat-out terrible against left-handed batters and it’s gotten worse as he has gotten older. Considering the fact that his wOBA verus lefties is .351 and that number is actually slowly increasing shows just how forgiving Marquis truly is. Rizzo is one of the most powerful lefties in the game and possesses 40 HR upside. Wrigley is one of the smaller parks in baseball aside from directly down the lines. Each foul pole is about 353 feet away but the gaps and center field do not take mammoth blasts to hit the ball out. The line has not been set yet on this game because the wind is always a big factor in Wrigley. If the wind ends up blowing out, Rizzo will be an absolute no-brainer and probably the play of the day. It would be surprising to see him not end up with an extra base hit if the wind is blowing out.
Todd Frazier, 1B/3B, Cincinnati – Similarly to Rizzo, this will somewhat depend on the wind. However, it’s hard to overlook just how incredible this matchup is for Frazier. Travis Wood was absolutely awful against righties last season: he allowed 16 HR, .293 BA and .371 wOBA. In 305 career IP at Wrigley Field, Wood has allowed 37 HR with a 4.07 ERA. Frazier certainly has the power to hit it out, proven by his career .214 ISO (isolated power) versus lefties. He and teammates Devin Mesoraco and Marlon Byrd are all viable plays in a game that could end up a slugfest if the conditions allow.
Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas – As one of the few righties on the team, he’s one of the few Rangers with a favorable matchup. As mentioned above, the team is insanely left-handed, which will benefit the starter Santiago. Still, Santiago is not a particularly skilled Major League pitcher and is susceptible to right-handed hitters. Andrus (likely) hitting sixth may help his cause. If he has the same two lefties hitting behind him tonight (Peguero, Martin) then the team will likely want to manufacture a run when he gets on base. Obviously this increases the chances of him running if/when he ends up on base. This increases his upside and makes him an intriguing tournament option.
Trevor Bauer is wild and the White Sox have an interesting mix of patient/impatient hitters. Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche make the most sense due to their excellent eye at the plate.
Francisco Liriano is very tough on lefties but the Tigers could be a horrible matchup for him. Cabrera, V.Martinez, J. Martinez, Kinsler, R. Davis, Iglesias, Castellanos. Bad matchup. Can go win hunting against Alfredo Simon
Volquez/Gibson – Volquez is wild so I really like Joe Mauer. He doesn’t really have the power upside but his ability to get on base assures he should get on at least once. To me, he’s a safe cash option.
Pomeranz/McHugh – A’s are going to be favored and it will be a battle of two tough pitchers. Use the Astros righties if anything but really this matchup could mean a lot of Ks for Pomeranz.