Last week I filled in for Nash on his ‘Ask Nash‘ column and hopefully I didn’t butcher it too bad. This week I’m filling in for Dixon on his Dixon’s Picks column so let’s hope the butchering is, once again, at a minimum. Although any butchering has to be less than the Butchers of the MLB, or whatever folks are calling baseball trainers nowadays. I feel like this season’s collection of pitching injuries has had more players under the knife than a Sweeny Todd show. Am I right?
But I think I can find 3 quality pitchers who are injury free and flying under the radar of more than 50% of owners. Both Dixon and I like to build a pitching staff on the cheap and are accomplished streamers. Yet, we’ve never talked methodology, so I not sure what his eye looks for as he makes his picks. Whatever it is, Dixon is darned successful at it.
I can tell you that my method is suspect. Basically, I look at a few identifiers – strength of schedule, matchups, recent performance, and underlying metrics – then go with my gut and hope I spit out a unicorn. Although going with my gut is probably not the most reassuring method, I can say that this season I’ve built a pitching staff with an ERA below 3 and a WHIP of 1.08, largely by streaming pitchers. That’s the equivalent of spitting out a unicorn, a bag of Dum Dum suckers, and a handful of magic beans, so I’m confident we’ll do pretty well this week. I’ll try not to let you down, at least.
Matt Harvey - New York Mets
Probable Starts: vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Only one start for Matt Harvey this week, but I’m including him because I feel like he’s worth more than a catch and release. I’ve written about Harvey before. I suggested taking a look at his first couple of starts to see if he’s ready and we have.
Harvey has given us no less than 43 K’s in 36 IP since he’s been called up. That is worthy of an add if you need pitching help.
Harvey’s Projections for the Week
Brett Anderson - Oakland Athletics
Probable Starts: vs. Cleveland Indians, vs. Boston Red Sox
Here’s another pitcher that is worth more than a catch and release, so hook him quickly because his ownership numbers will rise quickly. When healthy Brett Anderson is one of the top 20 pitchers in the game, but he lost a season due to Tommy John surgery. Again, those butchers! Honestly, I think all you need to be a trainer in the MLB is to have a taxidermy license.
In case you’ve forgotten about Anderson I’ll give you a two sentence scouting report. Anderson is a 6’4′ lefty with a monster sinker that generates a ton of ground balls. He’s also lost about 30 pounds so he looks less like Bartolo Colon, which is nice.