Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/27

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Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hey everyone,

By now, you all know that Friday is two-start pitcher day here on the blog, but if you’re in a 12-team mixed league, you’ll have a tough time finding an appealing two-start pitcher for next week via the waiver wire, with the possible exception of the guy in the first picture. And even when it comes to two-start pitchers that are already on rosters, there are a bunch of borderline calls. So let’s begin.

PITCH

Jered Weaver  (@OAK, @SF)

Yeah, Weaver hasn’t been all that reliable so far this season, and the days of him serving as a consistent source of strikeouts might be a thing of the past. But I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen from him over his last two starts, the most recent one coming against the same A’s team that he will be facing next week. The Giants offense has struggled in the early going, ranking 13th in the NL in runs scored. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give Weaver a shot.

Homer Bailey  (vs. MIL, @ATL)

After a shaky season debut, Bailey bounced back on Thursday, limiting the Brewers to two runs across 5 2/3 innings. Next week, Bailey again faces the Brewers, a team that ranks in the bottom five of the Majors in both runs scored and batting average. The Braves offense has exceeded expectations, but there’s a limited amount of talent in that lineup, so expect regression. It might take Homer a few more starts to fully shake off the rust, but pitching him next week is still a risk worth taking.

Chase Anderson

Chase Anderson  (vs. COL, @LAD)

Anderson is more of a deep mixed/NL-only league two-start option, as these matchups aren’t ideal, particularly @LAD. That said, he’s allowed three runs or less in each of his first three starts this season to go along with a 16-to-4 K/BB ratio across 18 innings. Also note that in his two starts at Dodger Stadium last season, Anderson registered a 3.27 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. So despite the challenging matchup, at least the splits are on his side!

DITCH

Drew Hutchison  (@BOS, @CLE)

Long term, I’m not overly concerned about the inconsistent Hutchison, and his superb performance on Thursday certainly bodes well going forward. But the @BOS matchup is scary, and it’s ultimately the reason why I’d play it safe and ditch him for next week. In three starts against the Red Sox last season, Hutchison pitched to a 6.28 ERA while allowing 21 hits in just 14 1/3 innings. If he can make it through next week in good shape, I’ll once again consider him to be an automatic pitch.

Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker  (@TEX, @HOU)

Walker finally gave his fantasy owners reason for optimism on Tuesday, holding the Astros to one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out eight. The bad news is that he issued four more free passes, raising his season walk total to ten over his first 12 2/3 innings. Not good. But Walker owners need to be patient. Remember that he’s only 22 years of age, so continued inconsistency should be expected. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, he doesn’t belong on the waiver wire. However, he does belong on your bench for the time being. It’s not like the Rangers and Astros are high-end offenses, but there’s simply too much downside in pitching Walker right now. You’ll get strikeouts, but at what cost?

Jason Hammel  (vs. PIT, vs. MIL)

Hammel hasn’t been terrible this season. But at the same time, he’s been nothing special, posting a respectable 1.27 WHIP and exceptional 16-to-1 K/BB ratio across 17 1/3 innings but allowing 21 hits, including three home runs. Both the Pirates and Brewers have been below average offensively this season, which makes it tempting to pitch Hammel. I’d still lean towards ditching him until we see more consistency. In a deep mixed/NL-only league, he’s not a crazy gamble. In a 12-team mixed, I’ll let someone else take that gamble.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, April 25-27

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/16 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Daniel Norris

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Bauer @ Simon – Tough test for both but both have been lights out.

Arrieta @ DeSclafani

Volquez @ Danks – Volquez is deserving of this start but I’ll never trust him.

Harvey @ Sabathia – Sabathia decent so far but I’m sitting him vs. red-hot Mets.

Feldman @ Graveman – Graveman is a mess right now.

Strasburg @ Koehler – Not trusting Koehler in this matchup.

D. Norris @ TBD (TB) – Sticking with Norris for now.

Masterson @ W. Chen

Miller @ Buchanan

Wainwright @ Peralta – Peralta very erratic thus far and I don’t like this matchup.

Hudson @ J. De La Rosa – Sitting Hudson at Coors.

Burnett @ R. De La Rosa – Burnett a borderline call. His 2.00 ERA somewhat aided by good fortune.

McCarthy @ Kennedy – I’ll go for it with Kennedy in first start back.

Lewis @ Wilson – Wilson bounced back nicely his last time out but he still makes me too nervous.

May @ Paxton – Keep an eye on May in deeper formats. Paxton needs to earn back my trust.

SUNDAY

Carrasco @ Lobstein – Playing it safe with Lobstein, who has allowed too many baserunners to maintain his current 3.27 ERA.

T. Wood @ Marquis

G. Gonzalez @ Haren

Buehrle @ Archer – Buehrle worth consideration in deep mixed/AL-only leagues but he’s giving up a lot of hits.

Miley @ B. Norris – I’m expecting better results from Miley going forward but he’s too risky here.

Cahill @ Williams

Vargas @ Noesi

Lynn @ Fiers – Bench but don’t cut the struggling Fiers.

N. Martinez @ Santiago – As Cory likes to say, blue-plate special.

Wojciechowski @ Pomeranz – Not ultra-confident in Pomeranz but I’ll throw him out there.

Gibson @ Iwakuma – Very little upside with Gibson.

B. Anderson @ Morrow

Lincecum @ Matzek – Tiny Tim has been a pleasant surprise this year but no way am I chancing it at Coors.

Liriano @ Hellickson

Niese @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi pitching well enough to deserve a shot here.

MONDAY

Guthrie @ Kluber

Ar. Sanchez @ Kelly – 9-to-12 K/BB ratio for Sanchez so far.

Fister @ Stults

Samardzija @ Jimenez

Karns @ Warren – Warren could become mixed league relevant at some point this season, but not yet.

Nelson @ Cueto – Nelson outstanding his last time out vs. these same Reds.

Gee @ Cosart – Don’t forget about both of these guys though.

Walker @ Gallardo – This game could be 2-1 or 10-9. Pass.

Worley @ Hammel – Not giving up on Hammel but he’s been no better than mediocre.

Price @ Milone

Hamels @ Lackey

Kendrick @ C. Anderson – Impressive results from Anderson so far.

Bumgarner @ Kershaw – As good as it gets.

McHugh @ Shields

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, April 24

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CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/16 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Marcus Stroman

ZACH’S PICKS

deGrom @ Pineda

Porcello @ M. Gonzalez – Both are viable options in deeper leagues but tough matchups, so I’ll play it safe.

Al. Wood @ Harang – Harang has earned it.

Salazar @ Greene – Ditto for Salazar.

Lester @ Leake – Difficult matchup for Leake but he was very impressive last time out.

Zimmermann @ Latos – Not trusting Latos yet.

Dickey @ Smyly – Sitting Smyly for first start back. Scary matchup as well.

Duffy @ Quintana – Duffy worth monitoring but he needs to show us something. Giving Quintana another chance.

C. Martinez @ Garza – Garza 9-to-9 K/BB ratio so far.

Heston @ Butler – Heston has been lights out, but Coors Field? No thanks.

Cole @ Collmenter – For 12-team mixed league purposes, better safe than sorry with Collmenter.

Wandy @ Richards

Keuchel @ Kazmir

Hughes @ King Felix – Hughes a ditch until further notice.

Greinke @ Cashner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CORY’S PICKS

deGrom @ Pineda

Porcello @ M. Gonzalez – Porcello in the midst of a rough stretch of matchups, but don’t forget him

Al. Wood @ Harang

Salazar @ Greene – good test for hot-starting Greene, and walk-prone Salazar

Lester @ Leake

Zimmermann @ Latos

Dickey @ Smyly – tough debut matchup for Smyly, but gotta go for it

Duffy @ Quintana – Duffy has not been sharp and ChiSox righties are tough

C. Martinez @ Garza

Heston @ Butler – not testing Heston in Coors, not yet

Cole @ Collmenter yes on Collmenter at home

Wandy @ Richards

Keuchel @ Kazmir

Hughes @ King Felix

Greinke @ Cashner – stay up late!

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, April 23

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/16 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tyson Ross

CORY’S PICKS

Hendricks @ Locke

Phelps @ McGowan

Tanaka @ An. Sanchez – tough test but Tanaka looked revitalized last time

Teheran @ Colon

Bailey @ Lohse – can’t trust any Brewers right now

Ross @ Lyles – yep, I’ll stick with Ross in Coors

Bolsinger @ Vogelsong

Wacha @ Scherzer

Chavez @ Tropeano – Chavez is borderline but the Angels aren’t hitting much

Tillman @ Hutchison – don’t like the matchup for either based on how they’ve been throwing

Buchholz @ Odorizzi

Ventura @ Sale

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, April 22

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/16 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jeremy Guthrie

CORY’S PICKS

Kluber @ Samardzija

Lackey @ Fister

Cosart @ Hamels

Hammel @ Worley – Pirates are scuffling big-time right now

Jimenez @ Ar. Sanchez

Warren @ Price

Stults @ Gee – hard to trust Gee at this point… too bad for too long

Kelly @ Karns – playing it safe with Karns vs. BoSox bats

Pelfrey @ Guthrie – home start vs. a weak offense, why not?

Cueto @ Nelson

Shields @ Kendrick

Gallardo @ Bradley

Gray @ Weaver – Weaver was better last time out but the A’s are too scary for now

R. Hernandez @ Happ

Kershaw @ Bumgarner – stay up late for this one!

***ZACH SAYS “In deeper leagues, I’d consider Cosart versus a sub-par Phillies lineup. He pitched well in his season debut before getting roughed up by the Mets his last time out, but the Mets have roughed up a number of pitchers so far this season.”

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, April 21

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/16 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Taijuan Walker

CORY’S PICKS

Lynn @ G. Gonzalez
Haren
@ J. Williams – pickin’ on the Phillies
T. Wood @ Liriano
B. Norris @ Buehrle
Eovaldi @ Lobstein
Cahill @ Niese – pickin’ on the Braves
Miley @ Archer
Carrasco @ Noesi – Noesi just keeping the seat warm for Rodon
Milone @ Vargas – both of these guys worth deeeep consideration
Marquis @ Fiers
Morrow @ Matzek – impressive start for Morrow but I’m not trusting him in Coors, not yet
Martinez @ C. Anderson
Pomeranz @ Santiago – solid risk/reward profile for this matchup
McHugh @ Walker – if Walker can’t handle the Astros right now, he belongs in Triple-A
B. Anderson @ Lincecum

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/20

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/9 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

And finally, Cory’s article on the evolution of fantasy baseball

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hey everyone,

Here’s the second installment of my two-start pitcher notes. Going forward, I’ll be aiming for three pitches and three ditches every week, and remember that I’m focusing on the borderline calls, not the obvious ones.

PITCH

Jonathon Niese  (vs. ATL, @NYY)

Despite the 1.59 ERA, Niese hasn’t been great over his first two starts, as he’s allowed 16 hits across 11 1/3 innings while recording only six strikeouts. But he’s still a solid back end of the rotation type fantasy SP who will give you a quality start more times than not. The vs. ATL matchup is an especially appealing one. Why? Niese is coming off a season in which he posted a 2.74 ERA and 1.18 at home and a 2.61 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in three starts against the Braves, and that was a far superior Atlanta lineup than the one they’re trotting out this season. And Niese pitched fairly well against them last week. As for the @NYY matchup, it might seem a bit scary but the Yankees simply aren’t hitting on a consistent basis. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give Niese a shot.

Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson  (@SF, @SD)

When healthy, Anderson belongs on the vast majority of fantasy rosters. The problem is that Anderson hasn’t been healthy all that much over the past several seasons. Well, he’s healthy right now, boasting a 3.27 ERA and 1.18 WHIP throughy his first two starts of the 2015 campaign. Road matchups against the Giants and Padres aren’t as golden as they used to be, as the two lineups are much improved. But both AT&T Park and Petco Park remain pitcher-friendly venues. I don’t see a whole lot of risk in starting Anderson next week.

Hector Santiago  (vs. OAK, vs. TEX)

Santiago makes for an intriguing option in deep mixed/AL-only formats. I’ve always been a fan of this guy thanks to his consistently high strikeout rates (8.3 career K/9) and the fact that fantasy owners are still underrating him, probably because he has yet to make more than 24 starts in a season. But he’s still just 27 years of age, and if he can finally stick in the rotation for an entire season, he should continue to carry mixed league value. The key will be limiting the free passes, and he’s done a nice job of that so far this season (three walks in 12 1/3 innings). Even in a 12-team mixed, I’d be open to pitching Santiago next week, despite the so-so matchups. There’s a decent chance that he’s on your waiver wire.

DITCH

Wei-Yin Chen  (@BOS, vs. BOS)

I actually like Chen. He’s been a popular two-start pitcher/pitch or ditch pick of mine for quite some time now. But next week is certainly not the time to start him. In 11 career starts against the Red Sox, Chen sports a mediocre 4.24 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. In seven career starts at Fenway Park, he’s registered a 4.99 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. All it will take is one poor outing for his two-start week to be ruined, and really, what are the chances that he posts back-to-back quality starts against this team? By the way, the Red Sox are currently tied for 2nd in the Majors in runs scored.

Nathan Eovaldi

Nathan Eovaldi  (@DET, vs. NYM)

The hope was that the Yankees coaching staff could help the hard-throwing Eovaldi become a more reliable pitcher. So far, not so good. It’s great to be able to consistently reach 95-plus on the radar gun, but if there isn’t an effective secondary pitch besides the heater, the overall consistency will be lacking, and that pretty much sums up Eovaldi’s career up to this point. The 4.35 ERA isn’t awful, but 16 hits allowed through his first 10 1/3 innings simply doesn’t cut it. The Tigers lineup is always dangerous and the Mets offense, while far from elite, is no longer a pushover. In mixed leagues, you’re better off staying away from Eovaldi for the time being.

Wade Miley  (@TB, @BAL)

Miley’s AL experience now includes one decent start and one disaster outing. The bottom line is that he’s extremely difficult to trust for mixed league purposes unless the matchups are especially favorable. Next week’s pair of matchups don’t exactly fit under that category, particularly @BAL. I’ll be ditching Miley in all mixed leagues.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, April 18-20

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/9 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

And finally, Cory’s article on the evolution of fantasy baseball

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chris Hesto

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Harang @ Zimmermann – Harang an acceptable option in deeper leagues but I’ll play it safe in this matchup.

Al. Wood @ Dickey – Dickey off to a strong start.

Sale @ An. Sanchez

Salazar @ Hughes – Appealing matchup for Salazar in his first start of the season.

Bailey @ C. Martinez – Bailey could graduate to automatic start status soon but let me see one solid performance first.

Ross @ Hendricks – Hendricks worth monitoring but first start was ugly, despite it being at Coors.

Tillman @ Buchholz – Staying away from Clay.

Lohse @ Worley – Ditch Lohse until further notice.

Hahn @ Ventura

Wilson @ Keuchel

Latos @ deGrom – Impossible to trust Latos right now.

Tanaka @ Odorizzi

R. De La Rosa @ Heston – Heston very impressive so far.

Lewis @ King Felix

Lyles @ Greinke – Lyles deserves consideration in deep mixed/NL-only leagues but I’m not too thrilled about this matchup.

SUNDAY

S. Miller @ D. Norris

Quintana @ Greene – Greene a prime sell-high candidate though.

Koehler @ Harvey – Koehler pitching well and boasts strong career numbers vs. Mets.

Pineda @ Andriese

W. Chen @ Porcello – I like Chen but this is not the place to use him.

Buchanan @ Strasburg

Garza @ Cole – The results just haven’t been there for Garza thus far.

Kazmir @ Duffy – Haven’t given up on Duffy but very difficult to trust him right now.

House @ May

Richards @ Feldman – I’ll chance it with Richards if he does in fact make this start.

Cashner @ Lester – I still think Cashner is overrated though.

Hellickson @ Hudson

Detwiler @ Paxton

Butler @ McCarthy – Butler has emerged onto the PoD radar but this is not a very good matchup.

Leake @ Wainwright – Leake disappointing so far, but I’ll give him another chance.

MONDAY

W. Chen @ Masterson

Sabathia @ Simon – The numbers say to pitch Simon, but he scares me.

Arrieta @ Burnett – 15-to-3 K/BB ratio for Burnett.

DeSclafani @ Peralta – How can you not pitch DeSclafani?

Bauer @ Danks

Gibson @ Volquez – I’ll never fully trust Volquez.

Despaigne @ J. De La Rosa – Keep an eye on Despaigne but too risky to pitch him at Coors.

Graveman @ Shoemaker – Graveman bounced back somewhat in his last start but I’m still wary of him.

Wojciechowski @ Iwakuma

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, April 17

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/9 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

And finally, Cory’s article on the evolution of fantasy baseball

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MLB: Los Angeles Angels-Workout

CORY’S PICKS

Samardzija @ Price
Shields
@ Hammel
O’Sullivan @ Scherzer – mismatch of the day, so the Phillies will probably win 12-3
Nelson @ Locke – Nelson’s new spike curveball is a difference-maker
Teheran @ Hutchison
Jimenez @ Kelly – O’s could be much tougher for Kelly than the tired Yankees were…
Phelps @ Colon – Phelps is worth watching though…
Warren @ Karns – both of these guys could end up being sneaky good values this year
Gray @ Guthrie
Kluber @ Pelfrey
Weaver @ R. Hernandez – need to see something positive from Weaver
Cueto @ Wacha
Gallardo @ Happ
Kendrick @ Kershaw
Collmenter @ Peavy – don’t like Collmenter on the road nearly as much as at home

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, April 16

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (Thursday, 4/9 is most recent)

Check out Cory’s Tout Wars recap and Zach’s Tout Wars recap

Plus, our overrated and underrated teams for 2015

And finally, Cory’s article on the evolution of fantasy baseball

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox

CORY’S PICKS

Vargas @ Milone – like Milone at home, especially after his impressive debut
Fiers @ Lackey
Hamels
@ Fister
Archer
@ Ar. Sanchez – I think Sanchez is a better fit in the ‘pen
Cosart @ Gee – both worth watching, but not starting, at least not now
Bradley @ Bumgarner

***ZACH SAYS “Vargas was solid in his season debut against a formidable Angels lineup. I’d consider pitching him in a favorable matchup at Target Field. Agree on rest.”

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