Welcome back to Dixon’s picks. I’d like to thank Clave for covering for me last week. He did a good job, almost too good of a job. Matt Harvey, Brett Anderson, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Adam Ottavino combined for five wins, 31 strikeouts, a 1.41 ERA, 0.95 WHIP in 38.1 innings. That’s some clean production. As a matter of fact, neither Anderson or Harvey meet the availability requirements anymore. So, nice work, Clave.
Before I get to my picks for this week, I’d like to remind everyone that it’s now September. With the deeper benches that come with the September 1 callups, remember that pitchers will be on a shorter leash. Despite that, if you’ve been relying on the waiver wire all year, you really can’t abandon it now. So, let’s look at some of the better bets this week.
Ross Detwiler - Washington Nationals
Probable Starts: vs. Chicago Cubs, vs. Miami Marlins
If you rely on nothing else, you can at least look at this fact. The Nationals are one of the best teams in baseball, while the Cubs and Marlins will be booking tee times in October. So, Ross Detwiler will at least have a good chance to hang up a few wins, which is important.
Looking at the offenses the Nationals will be facing in Detwiler’s starts, you shouldn’t expect many runs to score. The Marlins and Cubs are 28th and 29th in the league in runs scored. In the case of the Cubs, avoid a big swing from Alfonso Soriano and you’re fine In the case of the Marlins, the same logic applies to Giancarlo Stanton.
Nationals Park has some live parts, but Detwiler knows them and is a good enough pitcher to stay away, which explains a solid 3.22 ERA on the season. Again, scowering the waiver wire at this time of the year is all about minimizing your risk, and Detwiler will do just that for you this week.
Detwiler’s Projections for the Week
Jeff Locke - Pittsburgh Pirates
Probable Starts: vs. Houston Astros, vs. Chicago Cubs
Again, this is all about minimizing risk at this time of the year. If the Cubs’ current winning percentage holds, they’ll lose right around 100 games this year. If the Astros’ current percentage holds, they’ll lose about 112. Nothing is guaranteed in this great sport, but these will be the first two starts in the young career of Jeff Locke, and the chances aren’t bad that he’ll hang up a few wins.
In the minor leagues, Locke struck out batters at a rate of just under a hitter an inning, which isn’t bad for a starter. While his sample size as a major league reliever is admittedly small, the numbers are good, allowing only one hit in over four innings to the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
Those teams have their issues, but they are much better than the Astros or Cubs. The Giants just went 5-1 last week against those two teams, and those was in Houston and in Chicago. Locke will be in Pittsburgh both times. This is a good risk to take.
Locke’s Projections for the Week
Andrew Werner – San Diego Padres
Probable Starts: at Los Angeles Dodgers, vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
While I know that both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have good hitters, they’re just not showing it right now. Take a look at the scores of the games from their four game series in Los Angeles over the weekend:
|Game 1||2-0 Diamondbacks|
|Game 2||4-3 Diamondbacks (11 innings)|
|Game 3||2-1 Dodgers|
|Game 4||5-4 Dodgers|
Neither of these teams are scoring the runs needed to avoid in fantasy ball. Andrew Werner will also get them in pitcher’s parks (Dodger Stadium, Petco Park). He’s also been solid in two starts this year, allowing two runs in six innings each time. Putting a rookie in against two veteran offenses seems risky, but I am looking for at least two quality starts this week from Werner.
Werner’s Projections for the Week