Dixon’s Picks: Fantasy Waiver Wire Pitchers for Week of June 2


Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

After a small hiatus, I’m happy to return with Dixon’s Picks. It’s hard to believe we’re already in June; this season is absolutely flying by.

Before we look at this week’s two-start fantasy waiver wire pitchers, let’s look at what my season-long numbers look like.

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A few fantastic starts by guys like Dallas Keuchel and Josh Beckett have definitely helped make those stats look nice but on balance, I feel I’ve done pretty well so far. It gets a little tougher as the year gets deeper, as some of the under-the-radar hot starters, like the aforementioned Keuchel, are no longer fantasy waiver wire pitchers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some guys that are.

  • Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins — Probable Starts: Monday vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday at Chicago Cubs

No doubt, Henderson Alvarez has had a hit-or-miss factor to him this year, and I don’t like that he left his last start with an injury, even if it did appear to be minor. Still, here’s why I like him this week.

  1. The Rays are average (at best) in nearly every major offensive category. When a team in the American League ranks that low and they’re playing in a National League park, they become an even better match-up.
  2. The Cubs are a little better than in recent years, but still boast one of the worst offenses in the league.
  3. Alvarez issues just over two walks per nine innings, which is nice from all pitchers, but especially ones you’re streaming.

The drawback about those kinds of pitchers is that they strike many guys out. Also, when they’re allowing contact, they are vulnerable to base hits. Fortunately, the lack of walks will keep the WHIP down. As long as the ball is kept in the park, things will be okay for Alvarez this week.

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  • David Phelps, New York Yankees — Probable Starts: Monday vs. Seattle Mariners, Saturday at Kansas City Royals

I know what you’re thinking. This guy has a 3.38 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP. A few hits here or there could blow your pitching staff right off. You just have to ask yourself one question. “Do I feel lucky?” Well do ya, Punk?

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. My dad Dirty Harry impersonation aside, David Phelps has definitely enjoyed some luck this year, but has tossed two quality starts in each of his last two outings. Better yet, he’s averaged one strikeout an inning in those two starts, so he’s trending upwards.

He’s especially trending upwards with the two opponents, who don’t exactly strike fear in my heart at this point. The Mariners rank near the bottom in most categories, while the Royals are a team in turmoil, especially with the bats.

He’s probably the riskiest of the three plays this week (as the projections will back up), but a lot sways in Phelps’ favor.

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  • Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs — Probable Starts: Tuesday vs. New York Mets, Sunday vs. Miami Marlins

His WHIP has been a little high this year, but Jake Arrieta has consistently done two things that fantasy owners should appreciate.

  1. Kept runners from scoring, as the 3.20 ERA will attest to.
  2. Made bats miss, as the 9.24 K/9 will attest to.

The opponents are fine this week. The Mets are a bottom-tier offense and while the Marlins rank pretty well, it’s a manageable offense for pitchers, as long as they don’t give Giancarlo Stanton the chance to inflict too much damage. Arrieta’s hard sinker will help with that, though Giancarlo can hit anything.

The big advantage for weekly play guys is that the riskier play is the second start. By Sunday, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where you stand and whether it makes sense to rill with Arrieta, should you sign him. Right now, I say he’s worth the pickup.

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