Fantasy Waiver Wire Pitchers: Dixon’s Picks for Week of 9/15


Ryan Vogelsong is one of three fantasy waiver wire pitchers that projects well this week. Who are the other two?

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The end is near, very near. This is 2014’a penultimate look at the week’s top two-start fantasy waiver wire pitchers. If you’re still streaming at this point, you’re very serious and my hat is off to you and we’re not going to waste much time.

But before we look at the three fantasy waiver wire pitchers for this week, let’s look at my overall numbers after the weeks of Marcus Stroman, Edinson Volquez, and Hector Santiago.

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Now, what about this week’s guys?

  • Jerome Williams, Philadelphia Phillies — Probable Starts: Monday at San Diego Padres, Saturday at Oakland Athletics

Williams is a prime example of a guy that’s pitching well right now that we hope can pitch even better with two good assignments. We’ll get to the assignments in a second but one thing about fantasy waiver wire pitchers is that you generally want to know what they’ve done first. At least, that’s how it should be.

So, how well has Jerome Williams pitched?

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Now, about those assignments. Well, we’ll get more in depth on the A’s a little bit later. Just know that they’re not exactly a frightening offense for fantasy waiver wire pitchers — or any other pitchers — at least not now. Also, Williams had a solid start against the A’s last time he faced them, and that was before the Yoenis Cespedes trade.

The Padres have been the worst offense in the league for pretty much the whole season. This is also a late season game between two non contenders and it would not surprise me if we saw a lot of rookies in this one.

We’ll have to wait for Monday to see the specifics of the lineups, but a good week should be in Williams’ future.

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  • Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants — Probable Starts: Monday at Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday at San Diego Padres

At this point of his career, Ryan Vogelsong is a pretty classic streaming pitcher. He’s not consistent enough to activate when he’s facing a good offense, but there doesn’t seem to be much risk if he’s going against a few bad ones. I feel good about those opponents this week.

We just went over the Padres. As for Arizona, they just played the Giants last week and scored three runs over the three-game series. Now, things do project a little better for the bats this week, as it’s in Arizona, not San Francisco. But even that’s not a stark enough difference to give me great pause.

One of the outings last week was against Vogelsong. He did walk a few too many hitters but when he threw strikes, the Arizona hitters did virtually nothing against him. That, along with a favorable weekend opponent, makes Vogelsong a good play for your streamers looking for fantasy waiver wire pitchers this late in the year.

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  • A.J. Burnett, Philadelphia Phillies — Probable Starts: Tuesday at San Diego Padres, Sunday at Oakland Athletics

Before we get into A.J. Burnett, let’s break the rule we established earlier. Why am I’m picking not one, but two fantasy waiver wire pitchers against the A’s?

It’s well documented at this point that they have struggled in a big way since trading Cespedes. Generally, even when they win games, it’s the pitching that guides them. Last week, I streamed Hector Noesi against the A’s, in the head to head playoffs, no less. I’m not regretting that move today. Actually, it worked out pretty well for me.

In a few conversations that I’ve had with A’s fan friends, including Nash, I gave my theory on why the A’s bats have gone south.

I don’t think the loss of Cespedes is the biggest issue. Losing a guy with that kind of power is a problem, but not as big as some may think.

Most of the A’s hitters were playing above their heads for the first few months of the season. While Billy Beane was going after Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester to equip his team for a seemingly inevitable ALCS against the Tigers (how quickly things change), he failed to solidify his offense when a regression was almost inevitable. It’s amazing, as regression is something the Moneyball community usually accounts for. Until this offense shows me that it can hit, I’m not going to be afraid of them.

As for Burnett, he’s been inconsistent for most of the season, and the last few weeks are no exception. But he has had several outings recently that were not good, but great. That can’t be ignored. Here, you do have two good match-ups this and if nothing else you generally know that Burnett will strike a lot of hitters out.

Burnett can get a little wild and I don’t usually like that when scouting fantasy waiver wire pitchers for streaming. But while I’m not expecting a great WHIP, I do foresee a lot of strikeouts, a solid ERA, and at least one win.

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