Welcome back to a new Dixon’s Picks. The last few weeks have been weird on the streaming schedule, as the All-Star Game spread things out to a point where most “weeks” lasted 10 days. So, we obviously had more two start pitchers. But now we’re back to normal, at least closer to it.
We’re a little more than a full week from July 31, which is the most important singular day during the regular season. We’re going to see a lot of players and pitchers moved in the next week, which will change some matchups. Just keep in mind that I am writing based on pitchers on their current teams and matchups. Obviously those can change in the next week. That’s just something to note when making any decisions on who to stream in this week, whether you take my advice or not.
Wei-Yin Chen - Baltimore Orioles
Probable Starts: vs. Tampa Bay Rays, vs. Oakland Athletics
While the Rays and A’s are both good teams, neither is an offensive juggernaut. Yes, they find ways to win games, but that usually comes with good pitching in a low scoring game. So, while Wei-Yin Chen has battled some consistency issues this year, this is a good week to use his services.
Both Tampa and Oakland rank in the bottom half of most major offensive categories. On top of that, both starts are at home. While Camden Yards isn’t normally a pitcher’s park, Chen’s ERA is nearly a solid point better on the road than at home. At the very least, look for Chen to get two strong starts, even if Tampa and Oakland manage to beat him.
Chen is actually not a bad guy to bring in for most of the rest of the year. He has been a solid pitcher this year and while you still probably want to bench him against good offenses, look for his good starts to far outnumber his bad.
Chen’s Projections for the Week
Clayton Richard - San Diego Padres
Probable Starts: at San Francisco Giants, at Miami Marlins
Clayton Richard is a mixed bag in fantasy. On the one hand, he gets the perk of pitching in the National League West, probably the best pitcher’s division in baseball. On the other hand, he plays on the Padres, so his wins aren’t going to be high. Similarly, he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys and allows a lot of hits, but also doesn’t walk many hitters, keeping his ERA and WHIP low.
This week, he gets the benefit of facing two inconsistent offenses that lack any real depth, even if they have some dangerous hitters at the top. Richard also gets the benefit of pitching in two pitcher-friendly parks, so you have to think most numbers will be there, even if he takes a few losses.
Richard’s average outing this year has gone seven innings with three earned. Pitcher’s parks, shaky offenses, and a 1.17 WHIP makes him a good pickup for the week. Given that he’s owned in less than 15 percent of ESPN leagues, I am guessing he’s available.
Richard’s Projections for the Week
Erik Bedard - Pittsburgh Pirates
Probable Starts: vs. Chicago Cubs, at Houston Astros
The numbers aren’t staggering for Erik Bedard, but there are a few things to note this week. One is that Bedard has a better than respectable strikeout per nine inning ratio. The other is that the Cubs and Astros are two of the worst teams in the league, so a pitcher who draws them both in one week has drawn a big straw.
As a general rule, I like to stream guys who don’t walk a lot of hitters, as the WHIP totals stay low. In this case, I’ll make an exception. Look for a lot of strikeouts, few hits, and a nice boon to your team’s win total.
Bedard’s Projections for the Week