Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 26

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Tom Koehler

ZACH’S PICKS

Bettis @ Tillman – Tillman is 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last four starts.

King Felix @ Liriano – Sticking with Felix. Still wary of Liriano.

Cashner @ Stroman – Stroman coming off dominant outing (8 IP, 1 ER). I’ll take a chance on him here.

Hendricks @ Shields – Playing it safe with Shields in this matchup.

Pelfrey @ S. Wright

Eickhoff @ Koehler – Koehler has registered a 1.64 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in three starts versus the Phillies this season.

Garcia @ Colon – Colon a little risky though.

G. Gonzalez @ Salazar

S. Gray @ Lohse – Gray a borderline call here.

Corbin @ Garza

Harrell @ Big Erv – Great matchup for Erv.

Sabathia @ Fister

Skaggs @ Flynn

Archer @ B. Norris – I’ll continue to pitch Archer and hope for the best.

Reed @ Cain

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/25

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Updated Pitch or Ditch Category Chart (7/22)

Jeremy Hellickson

Hey everyone,

As is the Friday custom, here’s a sampling of my latest two-start pitcher article. For the complete version, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Standard mixed leagues

Jeremy Hellickson (@MIA, @ATL)

After registering a rough 5.40 ERA in June, Hellickson has bounced back nicely this month, pitching to a 2.42 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through four July outings. The Phillies righty could close out the month in strong fashion with a pair of favorable matchups on tap. The Marlins and Braves rank 23rd and 30th, respectively, in the Majors in runs scored this season and in four combined starts against these two clubs, Hellickson boasts a 2.49 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

Deeper mixed leagues

Bartolo Colon (vs. STL, vs. COL)

The normally reliable Colon has struggled in two of his last three starts, but those two outings came against the Cubs and Nationals, teams that rank in the top-10 in the Majors in runs scored. Next week’s matchups are far from favorable, especially the first one, as the Cardinals lead the NL in runs. For this reason, Colon is more of a deep-league option. Still, the Mets righty, with his trademark pinpoint control, is the type of pitcher who can handle any lineup when he’s on his game. Plus, the Rockies, despite ranking 4th in the Majors in runs scored overall, rank only 19th in runs scored on the road.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE 

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Updated PoD Category Chart (7/22)

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Dodgers Brewers Baseball

Zach here,

What better way to celebrate the first full week of the season’s unofficial second half than to post an updated Pitch or Ditch category chart!

PoD Chart 7-22-16

For a number of years now, we have been posting these charts periodically throughout the season, and longtime 411 fan Big Barry deserves a special acknowledgement for suggesting the framework of the idea. For those unfamiliar with the format, in an effort to help you make those all important Pitch or Ditch decisions and determine whether or not a certain player deserves to remain on your roster, we have divided all of the pitchers currently in starting rotations into four groups: Aces, Grads, PoD and Indifferent. Keep in mind that the chart is geared towards standard 12-team mixed leagues. And of course, a pitcher’s designation will likely fluctuate throughout the season (especially between PoD and Grad). With each updated version of the chart, we will list the changes made since the previous version.

Aces – Elite starters with the track record to prove it. These pitchers should be in your active lineups regardless of the matchup.

Grads – Pitchers who aren’t ace material but should not be dropped and should be started in the vast majority of matchups.

PoD – Consider adding these guys off the waiver wire to start in favorable matchups, but feel free to drop them afterwards if you need the roster spot.

Indifferent – These pitchers are too risky to trust in any matchup and should remain on the waiver wire.

Here are the notable changes since the last version:

PROMOTIONS

Salazar grad to ace
Moore PoD to grad
Bauer PoD to grad
Duffy PoD to grad
Shoemaker PoD to grad
Guerra PoD to grad
Leake PoD to grad
Graveman indifferent to PoD

DEMOTIONS

Eovaldi grad to PoD
Smyly grad to PoD
Stroman grad to PoD
Shields grad to PoD
Chen grad to PoD
Nola grad to PoD
Ch. Anderson PoD to indifferent
Locke PoD to indifferent

And as always, your questions and comments are welcome.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, July 23-25

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Tyler Anderson

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Iwakuma @ Dickey – I’ll pass on Iwakuma here.

Nola @ Glasnow – My confidence in Nola is now restored…mostly. Nice matchup for Glasnow if he does indeed make this start.

Samardzija @ Nova – I still have a hard time trusting Nova.

Tomlin @ Gausman – Tough matchup for Tomlin though.

Jackson @ Scherzer

Ray @ Sampson – Ray a viable option in deeper formats.

Lackey @ Davies

Boyd @ Sale

Weaver @ McHugh

Nolasco @ Price

deGrom @ Fernandez

Maeda @ Leake – Leake is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA over his last two starts with a whopping 21 K’s across 13 innings.

Hamels @ Ventura

Wisler @ T. Anderson – Anderson sports a solid 3.43 ERA over his first seven big league starts and the Braves rank last in the Majors in runs scored, batting average and OPS.

Smyly @ Graveman – Graveman remains more of a deep-league option.

SUNDAY

Cueto @ Eovaldi

LeBlanc @ Happ

Godley @ Finnegan – Finnegan too risky for 12-team mixed league purposes.

Matz @ Urena

Kluber @ Worley

Milone @ Porcello

Velasquez @ Taillon – I’ll take a chance on Taillon.

Friedrich @ TBD (WAS)

Lester @ Guerra – Challenging matchup for Guerra but he’s more than earned it.

An. Sanchez @ Quintana

Lincecum @ Fiers

Griffin @ Volquez

Snell @ Hahn – Snell a strong play here.

Jenkins @ Chatwood – Despite favorable matchup, Chatwood has been too inconsistent lately.

Kazmir @ Lyons

MONDAY

J. De La Rosa @ Gallardo

Rea @ Ar. Sanchez

Verlander @ Pomeranz

Hellickson @ Cosart – Hellickson is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts vs. Marlins this season.

C. Martinez @ Syndergaard

Shipley @ Ch. Anderson

Mengden @ M. Perez

Arrieta @ M. Gonzalez

Pineda @ Keuchel

Santiago @ Kennedy

DeSclafani @ Peavy

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 22

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Adam Conley

ZACH’S PICKS

Bauer @ Bundy

Eflin @ Cole – Eflin a decent option in deeper formats though.

Perdomo @ Roark

Bumgarner @ Tanaka

Paxton @ Estrada – Playing it safe with Paxton here.

Bradley @ Straily – Bradley worth a shot versus sub-par Reds offense. Three straight quality starts for Straily but I don’t like this matchup.

Gibson @ E. Rodriguez

Verrett @ Conley – Conley sports a 2.12 ERA and 0.94 WHIP through three July starts and the Mets rank 28th in the Majors in runs scored this season.

Hammel @ Nelson – Tough matchup for Nelson but he’s pitched well against the Cubs this year (0.71 ERA in two starts).

Fulmer @ Turner

Shoemaker @ McCullers – McCullers a little risky but the strikeouts are too enticing to pass up.

McCarthy @ Wacha

Darvish @ Duffy

Teheran @ J. Gray – Favorable matchup for Gray.

Odorizzi @ Manaea – Ditto for Odorizzi.

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 21

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Matt Moore

ZACH’S PICKS

Urias @ Strasburg – Urias too risky in this matchup.

Tillman @ Sabathia

Koehler @ Eickhoff

Garza @ Liriano – Liriano has pitched better of late but I still don’t trust him.

Duffey @ S. Wright

Cashner @ Wainwright – Cashner more of a deep-league option for this one.

Pelfrey @ Shields – I’d rather not chance it with Shields in not so favorable matchup.

Foltynewicz @ Bettis

Moore @ S. Gray – Moore has registered a 2.00 ERA over his last four starts and the A’s rank in the bottom third of the AL in both runs scored and OPS.

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Waiver Wire Wisdom (7/20)

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The latest waiver wire pickups article by Fred Zinkie:

Could your fantasy team use more power? What about saves? Steals? Runs, RBIs or wins?

Regardless of your holes, the fantasy waiver wire has a plug or long-term fix to pick up today. Check the following 10 men — all sitting in waivers in many leagues, and all ready to help you win.

Yasmani Grandal

Yasmani Grandal, catcher: Highlighted by a 5-for-5, three-homer, six-RBI effort on July 8, Grandal has ripped eight round-trippers across 62 at-bats since June 21. Given the recent power binge, the 27-year-old is now tied for third in homers and sixth in RBIs among players at his premium position. Mixed-league owners who are in need of power numbers should be willing to live with Grandal’s .208 batting average in order to gain his counting stats.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Ryon Healy, third baseman: Impressed by Healy’s .326/.382/.558 slash line in the Minors this season, A’s management decided to push Danny Valencia to a reserve role in order to give the prospect an extended look in the big leagues. Even though the 24-year-old does not possess a speed component in his game, his ability to hit for a high average and mix in the occasional round-tripper could make him a useful corner infielder for the remainder of the season.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Yulieski Gurriel, third baseman: After signing the 32-year-old to a five-year, $47.5 million contract, Astros management is likely willing to add him to their postseason push as soon as he becomes familiar with the organization. Fantasy owners need only to see Gurriel’s video-game-like .500/.589/.874 slash line in the Cuban National Series in 2015 to realize that he is a better stash option than any of the touted youngsters in the Minor Leagues.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius, shortstop: Although he is not regarded as one of the top batters at his premium position, Gregorius has hit .360 with seven homers and 20 RBIs across 111 at-bats since June 14. The hot stretch is surprising when considering that the shortstop had not previously hit over .265 or ripped more than nine round-trippers in a single season, but the left-handed-hitter has the benefit of a home park that is especially power-inducing for southpaw sluggers.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Randal Grichuk, outfielder: Grichuk was a popular ’16 draft-day asset after hitting .276 with 17 homers across 323 at-bats last season. A slow start to the current campaign caused the 24-year-old to take a brief demotion to Triple-A, but since returning to the Cards on July 5, he has hit .342 with four homers across 38 at-bats. Even though Grichuk’s substantial strikeout rate makes him unlikely to be a batting-average asset, he could rip enough round-trippers to help shallow-league owners in the second half.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Michael Conforto, outfielder: Like Grichuk, Conforto is back in the big leagues after a strong debut season, sophomore struggles and a brief demotion to the Minors. With 19 homers across 394 career at-bats, the outfielder has the necessary power to help mixed-league owners when he is also hitting for average. Even though an elevated strikeout rate contributed to Conforto’s first-half struggle to collect base knocks, he has also been hampered by a .264 BABIP.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola, starter: Following an ace-like start to the season (2.65 ERA, 0.99 WHIP across 12 starts), Nola regressed badly and produced a 13.50 ERA and a 2.56 WHIP across his final five starts prior to the All-Star break. After the Phillies wisely gave the talented 23-year-old an extended break from July 3-18, he responded by tossing six shutout frames against the Marlins in his initial second-half start. Smart owners will scan their waiver wire to find out if an impatient competitor dropped Nola during his month-long downturn.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Matt Shoemaker, starter: Across 11 starts since May 21, Shoemaker has posted a 2.36 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and an eye-popping 88-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Having faced the Red Sox, Orioles (twice), Tigers, Indians and Astros (twice) during his hot stretch, the right-hander’s success cannot be attributed to a favorable schedule. With the potential to be a mixed-league ace during the second half, Shoemaker should be a lineup fixture in all formats.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Mike Leake, starter: After a bumpy five-start stretch to open his career with the Cardinals, Leake has posted a 3.16 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP across his past 13 outings. The steady right-hander has even added a strikeout component to his game by compiling 21 whiffs across his past two starts. Backed by a contending Cardinals squad with a strong lineup, pitcher-friendly home park and strong defensive catcher in Yadier Molina, Leake should post low ratios and a high win total in the second half.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Ryan Dull, reliever: In addition to the possibility that he may be traded this month, closer Ryan Madson (five blown saves, 3.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) may not have a firm grip on the ninth-inning gig in Oakland. If Madson is pitching for a different club or working lower-leverage innings by August 1, Dull (2.05 ERA, 0.74 WHIP) is a strong candidate to anchor the A’s bullpen. Wise owners will add Dull now, rather than eventually participating in a race to the waiver wire or FAAB bidding war for his services.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 20

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Doug Fister

ZACH’S PICKS

Harrell @ DeSclafani – DeSclafani has established himself as a must-start.

Big Erv @ Verlander – Erv a true toss-up, though I’d lean towards passing in a 12-team mixed league.

Carrasco @ Kennedy

Colon @ Hendricks – Tough matchup for Colon though. If you’d rather play it safe, that’s fine too.

Archer @ J. De La Rosa – Archer has given up way too many homers this year to be a recommended start at Coors.

Fister @ Mengden – Fister has pitched to a 1.31 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in three starts versus A’s this season.

M. Gonzalez @ King Felix – Maybe he will be a bit rusty, but I have confidence in Felix.

Stroman @ Corbin – Dangerous matchup for both.

Gallardo @ Pineda

B. Norris @ G. Gonzalez

Chen @ Hellickson – Favorable enough matchup for Hellickson.

Ch. Anderson @ Locke

Cain @ Pomeranz

Rea @ C. Martinez (Gm 1)

Clemens @ Garcia (Gm 2) – Garcia has been inconsistent lately but I do like the matchup.

M. Perez @ Santiago – Santiago has been on quite a roll of late but this matchup scares me (7.07 ERA in three starts versus Rangers this year).

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 19

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Jameson Taillon

ZACH’S PICKS

Worley @ Eovaldi

Kazmir @ Lopez – The risk outweighs the reward for Kazmir here. Closely monitor Lopez.

Urena @ Velasquez

Guerra @ Taillon – Taillon a little risky coming off the DL but I’ll go for it. Brewers rank in the bottom third of the NL in both runs scored and OPS.

Syndergaard @ Arrieta

Jenkins @ Reed

Milone @ An. Sanchez

Peavy @ Porcello

Salazar @ Flynn

Rea @ C. Martinez (PPD)

Snell @ Chatwood – Playing it safe with Snell at Coors. Chatwood worth consideration in deeper formats.

Ar. Sanchez @ Godley

Keuchel @ Overton – Five straight quality starts for Keuchel and the A’s rank last in the AL in OPS.

Lohse @ Lincecum – This one could get ugly.

Quintana @ Miley

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Pitch or Ditch for Monday, July 18

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Orioles Jays Baseball

ZACH’S PICKS

Gausman @ Nova – Gausman has pitched to a 0.64 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in two starts vs. Yankees this season.

Fernandez @ Nola – Taking a wait and see approach with Nola. I haven’t given up on him though.

Matz @ Lester

Wisler @ Finnegan – Finnegan worth considering in deeper formats thanks to favorable matchup.

Nolasco @ Boyd

Kluber @ Volquez

Friedrich @ Leake – Leake deserves the nod.

Smyly @ T. Anderson – Keep an eye on Anderson.

Fiers @ Graveman – Decent matchup for Fiers, but I still wouldn’t trust him in standard-sized mixed leagues.

Griffin @ Tropeano – Tropeano too risky here.

Sale @ LeBlanc

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