Welcome, one and all to another edition of Dixon’s Picks. This is something of a weird week for two reasons.
One, every team plays every day this week. Of course, this excludes rainouts that may happen, but we have a full slate of games. So, pitchers going on Monday and Tuesday are good streaming plays, especially in counted categories. Barring injuries and again, rainouts, those pitchers will each be going twice this week.
Number two, this weekend will give us the first weekend of Interleague Play. Get used to it, as starting next year, the Astros will be an American League team, each league will have 15 teams, and Interleague Play will be going all year. I will refrain from jamming my traditionalist point of view down everyone’s throat right now, but instead give some advice on how to stream Interleague Play. For that matter, you can take this as some advice on how to draft next year.
The only people that really matter to me are the designated hitters playing in National League parks, like David Ortiz. When the Red Sox are playing in the National League, it’s not a good time to have him. Even if they bite the bullet and play him at first base, it stands to reason that Boston will pull him for defense in the late innings, costing Papi an at-bat or two. So, if you have a guy like that on your team, look for a replacement in weeks where they are playing in NL parks.
As for pitchers, I know of some people who pretty much don’t ever roster American Leaguers. In this case, you have to look for National Leaguers in AL parks. I don’t buy that idea. While it is tougher to face an American League lineup, it’s also easier to go deep in a game, as managers don’t have to worry about the pinch hitter.
When streaming pitchers in Interleague Play, use the same strategies as normal. If the pitchers are going against a bad offense, give them a green light. If they are going against the Yankees or Red Sox, don’t trick yourself into thinking streaming is a good idea if that team is in a National League park.
So, now that we’ve gotten off of that sidebar, let’s take a look at some good guys to stream this week.
Ryan Vogelsong – Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
Projected Starts: Monday vs. Colorado, Saturday vs. Oakland
AT&T Park is a stadium that’s almost always a good luck for streaming. So, having someone going twice there in a week is a good thing.
It’s not exactly news that the Rockies are not the same offensive team away from Coors Field. They never play particularly well in San Francisco, so the first start is a fine one to go on.
As for the A’s, they haven’t won in San Francisco since 2008. Ironically, the Giants haven’t won in Oakland since 2009, but we’ll get into that next month.
Regardless of who wins or where the game is, these teams tend to play close, low scoring games when they collide. Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part, those came in years when the teams had much more offensive talent. With Yoenis Cespedes and Pablo Sandoval out, these games aren’t going to feature a lot of runs.
I like Ryan Vogelsong to get two wins this week. But he’s a good play because even if he gets zero, the other numbers will be there.
Vogelsong’s Projections for the week
Jeanmar Gomez – Pitcher, Cleveland Indians
Projected Starts: Monday at Minnesota, Saturday vs. Miami
Part of streaming is that you have to be willing to gamble on occasion. Sure, there are bigger names likely available to you, but Jeanmar Gomez has been a solid arm thus far this season. The problem with pitchers and their numbers is that this early in the season, it doesn’t take much to inflate things.
Entering the week, Gomez has a 4.66 ERA. But, if he allowed four earned runs instead of eight in his last start against a powerful White Sox lineup, his ERA would be sub-3.50. Take that for whatever it’s worth.
Against the Twins and Marlins, I like his chances at a few quality starts. Even better is that the less risky start is the first one. If you’re in a head to head league or get some good starts in roto, you might be in a position where you can afford to bench Gomez in Saturday’s start against the Marlins.
All in all, I like this play – and Gomez is available in over 99 percent of ESPN leagues.
Gomez’s Projections for the week
Raul Ibanez – Left Fielder/Designated Hitter, New York Yankees
Monday-Tuesday: at Baltimore. Wednesday-Thursday: at Toronto. Friday-Sunday: vs. Cincinnati.
We’ve all established why streaming hitters is a shaky idea, especially as it relates to batting average. Take my last week’s pick, Chipper Jones. Last week, he hit a paltry .238. Bad pick, right? Well, if he got one more hit, he would have been at .285. So, it doesn’t take much to pick up the slack. Still, some people stream hitters, especially with injuries. So, let’s take a look at Ibanez.
The American League East is a good division to hit in. So, when a hot hitter is going against AL East pitching in four of seven games, and in an AL East stadium all week, things are looking good. Ibanez is making the most out of his playing time, as he hit over .350 last week with four homers.
In all, this is a good play. Raul Ibanez is a type to worry about losing at bats in Interleague Play, but it’s all AL parks this week. The average is of course a gamble, but a hot hitter in the Yankees lineup batting in hitter’s parks is going to produce some power numbers.
Ibanez’s Projections for the week