Welcome back to Dixon’s Picks, where we take a good look at some players to at least take a look at signing for the upcoming week of action.
As is always the case, an emphasis will be placed on pitching, but I will never completely neglect hitting.
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at some available players that promise to have a big week. I know that you would rather they have a big week for you than for someone else, so make it happen.
Carlos Zambrano – Pitcher, Miami Marlins
Projected Starts: Monday at Houston, Sunday vs. New York Mets
Big Z has been a strong arm this year, throwing a quality start in four of his five starts on the young season. Heck, even the one start that didn’t fall in that category was a six inning, four earned run affair at Cincinnati in his first outing; that is hardly getting shelled.
So, despite not having a win on the season, he enters the week with a 2.53 ERA and a WHIP of 1.19. I will take that any day of the week.
You could say that the first start of the week is something of a gamble. The Astros are hitting pretty well as a team right now, and Minute Maid Park is friendly to the hitter. Personally, I would take the gamble, as Zambrano is throwing well enough to justify it.
Sunday against the Mets is a much better bet. The Mets do get on base at a nice clip, but they have little to no power. As a result, they are one of the league’s worst scoring teams through the first month. Don’t look for that to change when they go on the road to the pitcher friendly Marlins Park.
As of this writing, Carlos Zambrano is available in over 90 percent of ESPN leagues. Going twice in the week in decent to good matchups, he’s worth adding.
Zambrano’s Projections for the week
Erik Bedard – Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates. Ross Detwiler – Pitcher, Washington Nationals
Projected Starts: Wednesday, vs. each other (at Washington)
With respects to Nash, we’re going to call this my own version of coupling. If only one of these players is available to you, then that person will be a solid pickup. But the greatest value will come if both are available. In that case, I suggest that you pick both up.
Each man is only throwing once this week. Obviously, between the two, you’re not going to get anything more than one win. But the Nationals and Pirates are two of the bottom offenses in the league. So, while you’re potentially losing one win when compared to what someone going twice will bring, the rest of the numbers are going to be solid.
This is the kind of game that we can completely expect to be in the 3-2 range. Combined, I am looking at these guys to bring a lot of value.
On the young season, Detwiler has an ERA of 1.59 and a WHIP of 0.99, with 21 strikeouts in 28-and-one-thirds innings. Bedard’s WHIP is a little higher at 1.41, but his ERA is a stellar 2.65 with 37 strikeouts in 34 innings. We’re going to see a well pitched game in Washington on Wednesday. I’ll accept one possible fewer loss to have both pitchers going in a pitcher’s duel.
Bedard & Detwiler’s Combined Projections for the week
Philip Humber – Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
Projected Starts: Monday at Cleveland, Sunday vs. Kansas City
The Chicago pitching rotation is going to be a little off base this week because it starts with a double-header, but they have a Thursday off day, which should normalize the rotation and give Philip Humber is second start of the week over the weekend.
Humber had a start last Thursday against the Indians. While he did struggle, he still struck out six hitters in six innings, while allowing only three runs. That is not a bad thing to have in your back pocket to get the week going. But the start I really like him in this week is over the weekend against the struggling Royals.
Kansas City is just not scoring runs this season, and Humber’s already shown us that he can work well against a slumping offense. No, I am not projecting a perfect game, but I am looking for a solid start.
The start in Cleveland may not be that great, but there’s every reason to believe that Humber will keep the damage down, at least in terms of who crosses the plate against him. Also, Humber has stuck out hitters at better than one per inning this year. At the very least, you know that one category will be filled up quite well.
Humber’s Projections for the week
Chipper Jones – Third Baseman, Atlanta Braves
Monday-Wednesday: at Chicago Cubs. Friday-Sunday: at St. Louis Cardinals
Jones’ Projections for the week
Considering Chipper Jones plays a position that currently has three of its top players on the disabled list, I am guessing a lot of you are looking to fill some gaps right now at the hot corner. Jones is a future Hall of Famer and while his best days are behind him, he’s playing like a Hall of Famer right now.
Jones had three different three-hit games last week and managed a .429 average with seven runs, two homers, and nine RBI. You do need to realize that Chipper will probably have a day off or two, but when he’s in the lineup, the production is there.
The Braves offense is also clicking right now, as they are in the Top 10 in most major categories, first in baseball in runs scored, especially impressive for a National League team.
There will be no shortage of RBI chances for Chipper, and plenty of opportunities to score runs as well.
Jones’ Projections for the week