I won’t waste too much time before getting to some good picks this week. But I do have a slight personal plea for the readers, especially those of you familiar with the Philadelphia area.
This week, I’ll be headed out to the East Coast and am pretty sure that I’ll be visiting Philly for the first time. If all goes to plan, I’ll be going to a Phillies game on Saturday evening, but I will be spending most of that day in the city. If any of you have an cool sites, restaurants, etc., both sports related or otherwise, hit me up on Twitter at @mdixon1985.
Enough about me. Let’s look at some pitchers for this week.
UPDATE: Dan Straily was sent down to the minors for the activation of Brett Anderson. Obviously, he doesn’t do a lot of good for anyone this week. The Oakland pitchers listed below are all still good additions, as they are not facing potent offensive teams until next weekend, when the Red Sox come to town. As for Straily, I would consider keeping him around. He will surely be called up in September and has been a strong pitcher in the minors and majors this year.
Joe Saunders - Arizona Diamondbacks
Probable Starts: vs. Miami Marlins, vs. San Diego Padres
Even if Chase Field is a live yard, you’re not going to get a much more cushy week than starts against the Marlins and Padres, which is the week that Joe Saunders has drawn. Let me put it this way, if you look at runs scored as the barometer (which is of course a big one), the Padres are the more potent offense. Any time the Pads are more potent than the other opponent, you’re looking at a good bet.
Saunders is just a gritty pitcher and a quality start machine. While a 1.31 WHIP will show that he does allow a lot of runners, not many of them score, which is obviously vastly important. Against these two offenses, a pitcher like Saunders who doesn’t allow many across the plate is not a bad one to go with.
If nothing else, you can expect some wins. The Diamondbacks are in urgency mode, but still well in the heat of the National League West race. The Marlins and Padres on the other hand, aren’t going anywhere.
So, in recap, Saunders is on the better team and going against two of the weaker offenses in the league. As we know, streaming is a gamble but when looking for a candidate, you can’t really ask for a heck of a lot more than that.
Saunders’ Projections for the Week
Mark Rogers - Milwaukee Brewers
Probable Starts: vs. Chicago Cubs, vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
You can look at a near 5.00 ERA and be scared away, but I look at Mark Rogers a little differently. For one, he’s only had four starts, so it doesn’t take a lot to skew the numbers in a pretty bad direction. After only four starts, a 4.94 ERA isn’t terrible.
While it’s not terrible, I will concede that it’s not great, but I’m looking at a few other things.
- A respectable 1.23 WHIP.
- 24 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.
- Five runs allowed against the Cardinals, one of the league’s best offenses. Five runs allowed in Coors Field, a place where pitching is just a little rough, especially in the summer. His situations this week will be far more ideal, even if he does have to face a very dangerous Andrew McCutchen.
- On that note, the Pirates are the 21st best scoring offense in the league, while the Cubs are the worst.
- As is the case with all of these guys, I just like Dan Straily as a pitcher. Throw in the fact that he’s pitching in a strong pitcher’s park (Oakland) this week for a team playing with a lot of confidence against a mid-range offense, and it’s hard to not like what he can do.
- Because of some of the oddest scheduling I have ever seen, the A’s are off on Sunday, something I’m not sure I have ever seen before. Sunday would have been in the rotation. So, you’ll only get one start from him this week. But you can turn that into a two-start week next week. Now, the second of those starts will be against the ever entertaining but still dangerous Red Sox, but the first will be against a sputtering Indians’ team. But, that’s next week and you can make that decision then. Back to Straily…