I don’t know about you, but it feels like this year is flying by. The trade deadline has come and gone and the Dog Days of August are upon us. But a new week signals a new Dixon’s Picks, let’s get to it. If you feel like gambling on a few pitchers this week sitting on your waiver wire, give these guys a pretty good look.
Scott Diamond - Minnesota Twins
Probable Starts: at Cleveland Indians, vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Scott Diamond will be starting the week against a team he twirled a complete game, three-hit shutout against a few weeks ago, the Cleveland Indians. Over the weekend, he’ll be going against the Rays, who rank in the bottom-third in many offensive categories. Diamond has thrown quality starts in 11 of 16 starts, which is not bad for an American League pitcher.
The one concern here is that he left his last start after getting hit with a ball, but there’s no sign that he’ll miss any action, as he’s still listed as the Twins’ probable starter.
In reality, Diamond has to be on the rise as a stream candidate. Any time a guy can have more hits allowed than innings pitched but still have a WHIP of 1.17, he’s doing something right. What this means is that Diamond isn’t hurting himself with walks, so the hits he allows aren’t hurting his ERA.
Going against two offenses that are middle of the road at best, look for Diamond’s low walk totals to serve him well. Against teams with more vaunted hitters, I would be nervous about his hit totals and lack of strikeouts, but not against these two teams.
Diamond’s Projections for the Week
Chris Tillman - Baltimore Orioles
Probable Starts: vs. Seattle Mariners, vs. Kansas City Royals
It can’t be said enough that when you stream, the opponents are just as important as the pitcher. In the case of Chris Tillman, he gets to face the Mariners, who rank near the bottom of every major offensive category. Over the weekend, he’ll take on the Royals, who rank fifth in the league in batting average, but only 21st in runs scored.
Tillman is similar, albeit with a small sample size. His WHIP of 1.31 isn’t exactly anything to write home about, but a 2.70 ERA is very clean, especially since he hasn’t thrown many innings, meaning it doesn’t take much to inflate.
On July 4, Tillman had a brilliant performance against the Mariners, and has been generally solid in his other outings this year. Heck, he even managed a win against the Yankees, even if his line wasn’t spectacular.
As for the limited sample size, look at it this way. One way of seeing things is that you can’t tell a lot based on a few starts. On the other hand, we’re reaching the time of year where arms begin to tire, and that’s not going to be as big of an issue with Tillman. Weigh your options, of course, but I like this play.
Tillman’s Projections for the Week
Bronson Arroyo - Cincinnati Reds
Probable Starts: at Milwaukee Brewers, at Chicago Cubs
I’ve already said that I like guys who throw the ball over the plate, and Bronson Arroyo fits that bill. He’s another pitcher who’s allowed more hits than innings pitched, but sports a very respectable WHIP of 1.24. The ERA of 3.87 could be a little better, but that’s made up for with the matchups this week.
The Cubs are 30th in runs scored. There are 30 teams in the league. Really, not much more needs to be said about the weekend’s matchup. The Brewers are a little more daunting, but not much, especially when they’re facing guys who don’t walk people. On top of that, you have to consider that by percentage, the Reds enter the week as baseball’s best team, while the Brewers and Cubs are seventh and third worst, respectively. So, even if they find a way to do some damage against Arroyo, there’s a good chance that he’ll hang up a few wins.
But I Like Arroyo’s chances to get guys out and bring a good line. Seven of his last ten outings have been quality starts, and I don’t see these offenses doing serious damage to that run.
Arroyo’s Projections for the Week
Another few names I would look at here are Jake Westbrook and Jarrod Parker. They both have matchups that can be seen as a little tougher and have had some spotty production. Ironically, Parker has done well against good teams but struggled a little more vs. the bad ones. Still, I wouldn’t call either of the two bad plays this week.