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Roto Roundup: John Lackey, Matt Kemp, Danny Santana, and others

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's MLB action, including Matt Kemp, Danny Santana, Oswaldo Arcia, John Lackey and others.

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Harry How

Danny Santana has a big day at the plate

I recall some time ago a reader asking whether he should pick up Twins outfielder Danny Santana instead of a few other more well known hitters, and I advised to pick up one of the more well known hitters. The names of those hitters escape me, but I doubt they have performed better than Santana to this point.

On Sunday, Santana enjoyed his best day as a major leaguer, going 5-6 with a double, triple, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI in the Twins 16-3 win over the White Sox. Santana raised his slash line to .325-.362-.497 with 5 home runs, 32 runs scored, 27 RBI and 8 stolen bases in just under 200 at bats.

It appears the Twins have found their center fielder and lead off hitter for the time being. He is still available in over 40% of leagues right now, so if you need an outfielder due to an injury, grab him.

For more on Santana and the Twins big day, check out Twinkie Town, SB Nation's Twins fan site.

Round'em Up

Santana's teammate Oswaldo Arcia showed off his power yesterday, hitting a 469 foot home run in the Twins bashing of the White Sox. Arcia has been limited to 59 games in the big leagues this season, but has huge power, and is still just 23 years old, so he is a guy you could probably grab late in drafts next year who could provide 25+ home runs if in the big leagues all season. But, he has trouble making contact, as he is striking out in over 30% of his plate appearances this season, far higher than he has in the minors, so there is hope that he corrects that with more experience.

Part of the reason for the Dodgers surge into first place has been the performance of their starting pitchers, namely Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. On the hitting side, outfielder Matt Kemp, the subject of many trade rumors going back to last season, has been on fire of late. Yesterday, he went 2-4 with a home run and a stolen base in the Dodgers loss to the Cubs. Over his last six games, he has hit 5 home runs, 6 runs and 9 RBI, and is now hitting .285-.350-.472 with 13 home runs, 44 runs scored, 49 RBI and 6 stolen bases.

It appears Kemp is finally getting back to being the hitter he was before all of the injuries. Here are his monthly slash lines:

April: .225-.321-.493

May: .266-.293-.362

June: .317-.375-.525

July: .325-.419-.475

He could carry fantasy teams over the last two months if he can continue to hit like this and with power.

Cardinals new starter John Lackey showed why John Mozeliak was willing to give up two established major leaguers for him on Sunday. Lackey limited the Brewers to two runs on 7 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Cardinals 3-2 win. Lackey moved his season record to 12-7 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 120-32 strikeout to walk rate in 144.1 innings this season. He is not the ace he was several years ago, but he is a top 30 starter heading into 2015.

Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was hit in the left hand by an Ernesto Frieri pitch on Friday night, in a pinch hitting role, and will now miss the rest of the season. He ends the season with a .300-.396-.542 slash line with 19 home runs, 75 runs scored, 69 RBI and 9 stolen bases. He will go into the 2015 season as a first round pick and the #2 fantasy first baseman behind Miguel Cabrera, but that could change should his rehab not go well in the offseason. The question for fantasy owners is will we see a drop in his power as a result of this injury?

Have you ever watched Giants outfielder Hunter Pence hit or throw the ball? He throws like someone who doesn't play the game much, and he has a very weird batting stance and swing, but he gets it done at the plate. Yesterday, he went 3-5 with a double, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI in the Giants 9-0 win over the Mets. He raised his slash line to .289-.343-.472 with 15 home runs, 77 runs scored, 49 RBI and 10 stolen bases this season. He is a top 15 outfielder heading into 2015.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez is one of the better starting pitchers in the game, a top 20-25 starter, and he is only the third best starter on his own team. Some may argue Justin Verlander should still be ranked ahead of him, but I am not in that camp. Yesterday, Sanchez thoroughly dominated the Rockies, shutting them out on 2 hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts in the Tigers 4-0 win. Sanchez moved his record to 8-5 with a 3.37 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 99-29 strikeout to walk rate in 120.1 innings this season. Prior to Sunday's start, he had given up 13 runs over his last three starts and 21 runs over his last five starts, so his performance yesterday was a welcome sight to his owners.

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