Welcome back to a new Dixon’s Picks. I’ll come right out and tell you that this is a rough streaming week. For one, it’s August, which is always hitter-friendly. Two, there just don’t seem to be that many available pitchers with two good matchups this week. While I will give you some names below, I would like to at least make you consider a few different strategies, at least if you’re in a head-to-head matchup against a team with good pitching.
- Hope that a reliever gives you a shutout inning, putting your WHIP and ERA at 0.00. After that, punt the counted categories and bench all of your pitchers for the rest of the week. This may not seem like a great strategy, but it guarantees you two wins. That may seem like a dumb idea, but if you have an iffy rotation that relies on good streaming week to week and are facing a good team, this is the kind of week where you would be in serious danger of getting swept in pitching.
- If your early pitchers do poorly or if there are too many pitching categories to punt all but two, take the exact opposite approach. Stream as much as you possibly can, essentially guaranteeing yourself the counted categories. There’s almost no way you win ERA and WHIP this way but again, it makes sense in certain situations in a week like this.
Jarrod Parker – Oakland Athletics
Probable Starts: at Kansas City Royals, vs. Cleveland Indians
While Jarrod Parker has been brought back to earth a little bit since the All-Star Break, the fact of the matter is that he’s still doing a pretty good job at keeping runners from crossing the plate, which is extremely important in situations like this one. When facing two teams that rank in the bottom half of the majors in runs scored, it’s a decent bet that both games will be relatively low scoring, even if more runners reach base than you would normally want.
You know that Parker has talent. This is the guy who allowed one earned over eight innings against the Yankees, had one earned in an outing that went into the seventh vs. the Red Sox, and pitched seven shutout innings in Colorado this year.
To combat the fatigue common with young pitchers this time of the year, the A’s moved his start back from Sunday to Tuesday, with an off day on Monday. There is no telling how much an extra two days of rest will do for a talented pitcher, especially when facing teams that don’t score runs at a high rate. Of course you need to decide for yourself whether he’s worth the risk or not, but I would advise those looking for a jolt in the rotation to make this move.
Parker’s Projections for the Week
Blake Beavan – Seattle Mariners
Probable Starts: vs. Tampa Bay Rays, vs. Minnesota Twins
Yes, Blake Beavan is something of a gamble here, as his stats do anything but jump off of the page at you. But before being too dismissive of his numbers, I’d like for you to take a look at what he’s done in his last four outings.
Now, consider that he’s going twice this week at the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, and the fact that the better of the two teams he’s facing ranks in the bottom 10 in the majors in most major offensive categories. It’s also worth noting that in the aforementioned stretch of four games, Beavan had a game against Tampa where he went eight innings, allowed one earned run, four hits, and picked up the win.
There’s no doubt that Beavan’s lack of experience and sparking numbers makes him a bit of a gamble. But ask yourself this. If you were guaranteed to have a pitcher stay at numbers like the ones above for even a half season, wouldn’t you want him? I sure would. Because of that, I’m willing to give him a two-start look this week.
Beavan’s Projections for the Week
Jose Quintana – Chicago White Sox
Probable Starts: at Tortonto Blue Jays, at Kansas City Royals
Unlike the aforementioned two pitchers, Jose Quintana does have numbers that jump off of the page at you. His inning total is still a little low, but we’re not at a point where he’s just had a few good outings to bolster the numbers. No, in over 90 innings pitched, Quintana has a 2.78 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Not bad for a guy available in more than 80 percent of ESPN leagues.
The Blue Jays aren’t exactly an opponent to take lightly, but Quintana has done well against potent offensive teams like the Red Sox and Rangers this year. The Royals will get some hits on Quintana, but they don’t score runs. Quintana allows plenty of hits, but generally keeps the run totals down. In the end, it’s hard to not focus on the strong numbers.
A low ERA and a low WHIP is really all that you can ask for from a starter. Even with Paul Konerko out, the White Sox are certainly capable of scoring some runs, which is obviously needed to pick up some wins.
Quintana’s Projections for the Week