Welcome back to Dixon’s Picks and welcome to May! Although, if you were in some parts of this country last week, you might be going out looking for Christmas trees. Here in California, it’s definitely May and baseball season is in full swing now. Actually, I’ll be heading out to my first baseball game of the season this week.
But enough about me and enough about the weather. Let’s good at some good pitching matchups for you fantasy baseball players out there looking for a bit of a short-term jolt.
Shall we? Good. Let’s do it.
- Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres – Probable Starts: Monday vs. Miami Marlins, Sunday at Tampa Bay Rays
- The matchup with the Cubs was a good one.
- He’s going twice this week in favorable matchups.
Now, the Cubs may be a good matchup, but they roughed Cashner up pretty good. Still, I’m looking beyond that.
The bottom line is that the Marlins are a terrible lineup, and they won’t even have Giancarlo Stanton for a while. The Rays are starting to heat up a little bit, but they’re still statistically a middle-of-the-road offense in most categories.
If you like to stream and play the waiver wire with pitchers, you’re just not going to find a more favorable situation than this one. Well, maybe if you subbed the Astros for the Rays, but that’s just too ideal.
I’m looking for a strong week from a pitcher that I still have moderately high hopes for. Everyone has a rough outing now and then, and Cashner’s still finding himself as a starter. Granted, you probably won’t get more than six innings unless he’s really economical with pitches, but the innings you get should be quality.
Cashner’s Projections for the Week
- Nick Tepesch, Texas Rangers – Probable Starts: Monday at Chicago Cubs, Sunday at Houston Astros
Yes, Wrigley Field and Minute Maid Park are both hitter-friendly. But the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs are two pitcher-friendly lineups. The Cubs have some dangerous hitters, but are one of the worst offenses in the league in nearly every category. The Astros have been better than expected with the bats this year, but that’s not saying much. They’re still mediocre, at best, in just about every category.
What makes Nick Tepesch such a good stream option (beyond the matchups and his availability) is that he doesn’t walk hitters. Even in the minors, he found the strike zone. When you do that and make hitters get hits to get on base, the numbers start to work in your favor as a pitcher. Remember, even good hitters get out seven out of ten times, when they don’t walk.
Granted, he doesn’t strike many out, either. But the Astros have a way of making opposing pitchers look like Nolan Ryan. They strike out nearly 10 times per game, which is awful for anyone, but especially an American League team. Even a bad DH should make contact with the ball more often than not.
Tepesch enters the week with a solid 3.54/1.18 ERA/WHIP. There have been a few rough patches, but those game against much better offenses than either of these two, and he’s had some good outings against much better offenses, as well.
With rookies, I tend to be careful, but that’s in a long term sense. A control pitcher in a week like this one should be just fine for your team. Throw in the fact that the Rangers are much better than either team, meaning two wins are quite possible, and this is a good addition.
Tepesch’s Projections for the Week
- Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles – Probable Starts: Tuesday vs. Kansas City Royals, Sunday at Minnesota Twins
In many ways, Wei-Yin Chen reminds me a lot of his team, the Baltimore Orioles. At the beginning of the year, there was plenty of doubt as to whether this team could be contenders again. On the same note, there were questions about whether or not Chen could produce the way he did last year, when he won 12 games with a decent 4.02 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Not spectacular, but not bad, either.
So far, both Chen and the Orioles have been just fine. Chen has thrown had four quality starts in his six outings, and only one of them was what you’d call bad. Granted, that was his last outing, but he was solid all year to that point, and solid against some good offenses. The Royals get on base well, but they don’t score runs, while the Twins are average to just flat out bad across the board.
Chen is a little different from Tepesch in that he allows some free passes, but does a good job of getting the rest of the hitters out. As a result, they finished April with eerily similar WHIP’s (1.18 for Tepesch, 1.19 for Chen).
Like Tepesch, he’s been solid this year and looking at two favorable matchups. The track record is good enough to give him a chance for a week like this one.
Chen’s Projections for the Week