A Pitching Dilemna

Who would you rather have for the rest of the year: Jon Lester or Jeremy Guthrie?  I’m in a deep league (large rosters and 7 bench spots), so when I pick up pitchers I have to look at it a little more long-term. Pitch or ditch isn’t as effective if Brian Bannister is your main option.  I have Lester and Guthrie is on waivers right now…if I drop Lester he’ll almost certainly be picked up since it is a league with lots of Red Sox fans.

Thanks a lot, love the show.

Jay in NYC

Jay,

If I had to make this decision today, I’d lean towards Guthrie for a few reasons.  First, Guthrie has seen regular starts in the Baltimore rotation since the beginning of May while Lester’s been sidelined for an extended period of time.  Who knows how long it will take for Lester to get back into a comfortable rhythm on the mound once he returns?  Meanwhile, Guthrie has found quite a rhythm, posting quality starts in each of his last seven outings.  His 42 strikeouts compared to a mere 11 walks over 66 2/3 innings is another bright sign, showing that Guthrie does have the ability to get out of jams with the strikeout, while at the same time limiting baserunners by not issuing many free passes.  Lester’s half season last year was far from impressive, as 91 hits in  81 1/3 innings is simply too many.  Jon will undoubtedly improve as he gains more big league experience, and he would be my pick if this were a keeper league.  But from now until the end of the season, I’ll take my chances with the guy who’s already performing at a high level.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

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