Dixon’s Picks: Fantasy Waiver Wire Pitchers for Week of May 19

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another week in the can gives us another week to look ahead at some fantasy waiver wire pitchers.

I’m actually out of town for the week, so no Dixon’s Picks again until June 1. I also won’t be able to show the running total, but I will remind you where I stood entering last week, when my picks were Tom Koehler, Mike Leake, and Bronson Arroyo.

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I’ll do all the math when I get back home. Until then, let’s look at this week’s picks.


  • Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals — Probable Starts: Monday at Chicago White Sox, Sunday at Los Angeles Angels

I normally wouldn’t include someone facing both Jose Abreu and Mike Trout in a two-start week, but Jason Vargas is the perfect kind of pitcher to stream when he’s going well. Right now, he’s going well.

Vargas enters Monday’s start with a 3.00 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and a BB/9 of 1.65. He won’t get you many strikeouts, but the lack of walks will go a long way in keeping the runners off base. Really, it comes down to keeping the ball in the park, which both Kauffman and Angel Stadium should help him do.

There’s always a risk with Vargas, or any guys who pitch to contact. But streaming is all about taking risks and who’s chances to succeed are high. When a pitcher like Vargas is going well and going in two different pitcher’s parks, the chances for quality starts are not bad.

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  • Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros — Probable Starts: Monday at Los Angeles Angels, Saturday at Seattle Mariners

Usually the Astros are a team it’s good to stream against, but Dallas Keuchel is breaking the trends a little bit. I hope Trout and the Angels know that I’m not picking on them. They just happen to be facing two fantasy waiver wire pitchers that are throwing well this year.

Keuchel enters the week with a 3.06 ERA and 1.11 WHIP but unlike Vargas, he’s a little more likely to bump your strikeout totals up, as he sports a K/9 just below 8. He’s a little more susceptible to walking hitters, but few pitchers are better than Vargas in that regard, and Keuchel’s BB/9 of 1.87 is just fine.

It also helps that Keuchel has gone twice against the Mariners this year and handled himself reasonably well both times.

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Not Cy Young Award winning or anything, but not bad. The second start of the week is in Seattle, where the better of his two games was. The first one was in Anaheim, which we already went over as a strong pitcher’s yard. I’d say the kid’s worth a risk and if he has a few more good outings, he may be worth a risk as more than a streaming candidate.

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  • Josh Beckett, Los Angeles Dodgers — Probable Starts: Tuesday at New York Mets, Sunday at Philadelphia Phillies

Just to be clear, I list these in chronological order based on the first scheduled start of the week. Believe it or not, Josh Beckett is the best play this week.

Beckett enters the week with a 2.38 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts in 41.2 innings.

Yes, those numbers are correct. No, you are not having a flashback to 2007, at least not that I’m aware of. Beckett, who’s healthy really for the first time since getting traded to the Dodgers in 2012, is just throwing the ball extremely well right now.

This week, he gets two lineups that both rank at or near the bottom of the league in basically every offensive category. Whether it’s sustainable or not remains to be seen, but Beckett’s definitely a guy who’s negative past is hindering his ownership rate. In fantasy, none of that matters.

He’s pitching great now and has two favorable matchups. Us streamers can’t ask for a lot more than that.

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