Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 21

or Ditch is a strategy for (ideally) daily mixed leagues in which you
pick up
starters on a day-to-day basis based on how well they are pitching and
upcoming matchups, then cut them in favor of new guys the next guy. The
is that the shallower the league, the more quality starting pitching is
available on the free agent wire, so rather than drafting expensive
it’s better to build a strong offense and bullpen and let the free agent
populate your starting staff during the season. As a bonus, a handful of
guys emerge each year as worth keeping all year long, like Jair Jurrjens
year or Cliff Lee in ’08.



Valuable Resources**


Hudson @

Arroyo @ Westbrook – don’t
trust Arroyo much, but a great matchup vs. the depleted Indians

Lilly @

Nolasco @ Buehrle

Hammel @ Bannister – Hammel
was sharp in his last outing and he gets the erratic

Bush @

Zito @

LeBlanc @

like a home game for LeBlanc!

D. Hernandez @
Olsen – Olsen should handle the Orioles

Lackey @

Vazquez @ Takahashi –
let’s see if Vazquez can build on his last outing before we put him back in

Garza @ Myers – Myers has
been very solid this year but he has some brutal matchups coming

Pineiro @

Morrow @ Haren
– Morrow could throw a no-hitter or get knocked out in the 3rd. Do
you feel lucky?

Willis @


***Siano says:

I’d pass on Lilly going into Texas and Lackey going into Philly. I say bench
don’t cut unless it’s a 10 teamer, then you can cut Lilly.

is an interesting ditch. He’s been hot but it seems like a stretch to pitch him


Hi Guys,
Two quick questions. 12-team 5X5 non-keeper. I traded away Bay and Nunez and got back Ichiro. Didn’t mean to but I ended up with 5 closers (Bailey, Lidge, Nunez, Rauch, Feliz) and I am in DESPERATE need of avg. and runs.
Other question: a guy just dropped Austin Jackson. Should I spend a high waiver priority to grab him?
Thanks as always for the terrific advice.

-Ben in Boston

Hey guys. I just traded Roy Oswalt for Carlos Pena in my 12 team 9×9 league w/ 30 man rosters. Extra offensive cats are H, SLG, BB, K and extra pitching cats are IP, L, ER, QS. Was this a good buy low/sell high or did I just trade a solid pitcher for an over-the-hill 1B? I have plenty of pitching (Greinke, Wainwright, Shields, Pettitte, Leblanc, Leake, and Francis) and I’m towards the bottom of the league in power. Do I get your blessing on this trade?



Love the trade for Ichiro…paying for the upgrade from Bay to Ichiro with Nunez, who despite the solid start is far from a sure thing at closer. As for Jackson, if he looks to be the best option available on the wire and you have little use for the guy you’d be dropping, sure why not? Unless you have the #1 (or maybe #2) waiver priority, I wouldn’t be too protective of my waiver priority this early in the season. There’s plenty of time left for you to work your way back towards the front of the line.

Personally, I wouldn’t have made the trade as Oswalt has been tremendous so far and right now looks like the vintage Oswalt while Pena is just lost at the plate. But I don’t necessarily view it as a bad trade based on your needs. All in all though, I think you could’ve addressed your power need by trading a lesser pitcher for a lower ranked (albeit less frustrating) hitter.


Hey guys,
I have a trade question that might have been overlooked first time I posted it…
D. Ortiz & T. Hunter for M. Reynolds & Adam Jones
what do you think?
Thanks as always,

Hey guys,
I have a trade question that might have been overlooked first time I posted it…
D. Ortiz & T. Hunter for M. Reynolds & Adam Jones
what do you think?
Thanks as always,

Is Josh Beckett worth holding on too? There are plenty of good pitchers on the wire in my 10 team league. He really has not contributed at all for my team this year, matter of fact he has cost me several games, I’m ready to let him go.

Trade question trying to help a bad team. I am offered Austin Jackson and Ryan Franklin for Ichiro Suzuki, I do not have any closers, I just dropped Kerry Wood, and have Contreras. It is a 12 team league 5×5 head to head. Batting Cat. are
R, HR, RBI, SB, Avg. and pitching cat. are W, SV, SO, ERA, WHIP.

Hey guys,
I saw that my trade question regarding Ortiz,Hunter, Reynolds & Jones was answered on show (which apparently I asked 3 times before coming home and watching show on DVR..my bad)
I have another one for you…
I’d be giving up Matusz for Colby Rasmus…what do you think?
I’d be using him to bench Adam Jones…worth it?
Other pitchers are J. Lester, M. Latos, Strasburg, PoD spot, Beckett (DL)
I could drop bench player to open other PoD spot…
What do you suggest?

Hey gents —

Long term keeper league (10+ years), auction draft, players have salaries and league has a salary cap. Talented rookies are worth a LOT.

Someone offered me Braun, Peavy and Byrd for Strasburg and Bruce. Braun/Peavy have big salaries. Strasburg and Bruce will put up huge numbers in the years to come for very little $.

This is still a slam dunk trade for me, right?


Hi guys, was wondering what does it take though for a guy to become a ‘PoT graduate’. Take someone like Gio Gonzalez or Scotty Olsen, had them both at times throughout this season but kinda get the feeling now that once I drop them might not get them back anymore due to their rising value.

How do you approach knowing when to cut and when to keep, folliowing a PoT start. And if they are kept then of course PoT becomes harder to do in the future.

Big Barry, East End, England


I’m assuming that all your DL slots are already filled with higher ranked guys than Beckett so if that’s the case I’m fine with you dropping him in a 10 teamer. But first see if you can get at least something back in a trade. Name recognition alone carries some value.

Don’t like it. You’re trading the best player in the deal and getting back a solid though not elite closer and an unproven and slumping Jackson, who’s in the midst of a 7-for-38 cold spell. If you’re open to dealing Ichiro, I’d aim higher. And by the way, why exactly are you looking to help a bad team? This is fantasy baseball…cut throat competition!

Yeah, I’d do that trade. Both Matusz and Rasmus have been up and down, as should be expected of any young player. But Rasmus has shown more positives so far, not to mention that the tie should always go to the hitter. I’m concerned about Adam Jones so adding OF depth seems like a wise move.

Not a no-brainer by any means but you still have to do it. Braun is well worth the high price tag and I’ve been disappointed by Bruce’s lack of progression. Go with the sure thing. Taking this one step further, would there be a way to remove Peavy from the deal entirely in order to give up less? Not a big Peavy fan (especially now that he’s in the AL and away from Petco) and would have a hard time adding him to my roster if he comes with a hefty salary.

Mike and Cory will be addressing your question on today’s show so keep a lookout for the podcast.



This is undoubtedly a total Twitter-noob question, but how do I send messages to any of you since you aren’t my “followers”? Twitter rejects any direct message I try to send to any of your accounts — you know, for those have-to-have-an-answer-right-now questions.

And an actual fantasy baseball question: 12-team mixed 5×5, OPS instead of BA, Hart or McLouth from here on in?

In response to the Braun/Peavy/Byrd for Bruce/Strasburg discussion —

He would take Strasburg for Braun, straight up. Would you still go with the sure thing?

Thanks so much for your great advice.



I’m by no means a Twitter expert but I’m pretty sure that if you type @fantasy411 before your message it would go directly to the fantasy411 page so Siano (or Schwartz (if you use @schwartzstops) could answer/respond to the question/comment. As for your question, I’m dealing with the same situation as I own both Hart and McLouth in one of my leagues. Tough call because I think McLouth has more upside. That said, Nate’s been so inconsistent. I’ll go with Hart. He’s simply producing at a higher level and I’m not yet convinced that McLouth has officially snapped out of his season-long funk.

Yeah, I’d much rather do the 1-for-1. This way, you’d be holding onto Bruce as a lottery ticket while at the same time not taking on the risk of Peavy at an unfavorable salary. Braun is well-worth the high salary. Peavy is not.


Good Day Gents, been offered Brian McCann, Austin Jackson and Jose Lopez for Ben Zobrist, Torii Hunter, and Starlin Castro. I’m not sure what to think of it. My first instinct was to decline. Both Zobrist and Lopez have gotten off to pretty poor starts but Zobrist has been turning it on a bit lately and his start isn’t as bad as Lopez. I’ve got no problem dealing Castro, I have Jimmy Rollins and Mike Aviles as a backup. The wild cards are McCann and Jackson. I have been using Carlos Ruiz as my C (working great so far, the league counts OPS) and McCann looks lost up there right now but obviously he’s capable of being an elite C option. I really like what I’ve seen from Jackson. I know he Ks a lot but he seems to hit line drives at an absurd rate, which says to me, when he makes contact he hits it hard. However he’s got no power to speak of and I already have Brett Gardner, providing me average runs and steals from the OF. What do you think of the move. It should be noted it is a keeper league, but only 5 keepers, and my other OF are Josh Hamilton, Jason Bay, the aforementioned Gardner, and Sizemore on DL Thanks, as always for your imput, you guys are the best.

11-team vanilla mixed scratch. My SP are AJ, Garza, Cain, Sheets, Lilly, Big Erv, and eventually Zambrano. Sheets, Lilly, and Z have been either non-factors or brutal thus far (Erv too a little bit), but I’m sure better days are ahead. On the wire are Kennedy, Cueto, Anibal, Gio, and Bucholz. Does it make sense to switch anybody out? I’m lagging badly in W, K, and WHIP, mid-pack otherwise. No-one in my league likes to trade for SP, but I’m sure anybody I drop will get picked up.

Guys got a question. In a 12 team mixed , hitting categories are , hits , runs , hr , sb , avg , rbi . My team , Mcann , Adrian Gonzalez Utley , Aviles, Callaspo / Aramis Ramirez. My OF , Jose Guillen, Andruw Jones, Rasmus , Cruz and Austin Jackson. We play 3 OF positions and a utility spot. I got offered Cantu and Heyward for Gonzalez…pull the trigger?


I’d do it. McCann’s still the best player in the deal, despite his early-season struggles, and the only one of that group who I can realistically see as a top 5 round (keeper worthy) guy heading into next season. You’re downgrading at OF and 2B but really not by that much. I’m not a big Zobrist fan anyway. I view last season as being more of an anomaly than a sign of things to come.

I’d dump Sheets and Z and pick up Buchholz and Kennedy. Also keep an eye on Cueto. Might consider dropping Erv for him at some point but not just yet.

Yeah, I like that trade. Adrian (yesterday’s outburst notwithstanding) has been a little disappointing this year and with the Padres very much in contention don’t be surprised if he sticks in San Diego for the remainder of the season which would continue to put a drain on his overall numbers. Heyward’s a stud in the making and Cantu’s a very solid yet underappreciated CI.


Hi guys, love the show and watch it each day. Just pulled the trigger on a trade, and I was wondering if it was a good move by me. I traded Brian Roberts, Roy Oswalt, and Wade Davis for Robinson Cano and Javier Vazquez. It’s a 10×12 (H,R,RBI,HR,SB,K for hitting and IP,W,SV,H,K,ERA for pitching) head-to-head league. We have 5 pickups each week, and I generally use them on PoD guys if I need some extra pitching. I figured Oswalt and Davis would both regress a little bit (I’m more concerned about Davis in the ALEast) and Vazquez will build some momentum through interleague to gain confidence and pitch well the rest of the way. With Roberts somewhat questionable, I figured I’d go for more HR/RBI from Cano, considering those are my most fought over categories, with SB being slightly in my favor.

Anyway, I’d love to know what you guys think. Thanks, and keep up the good work!


Yes, I’ll endorse that trade. You’re giving up plenty here as Oswalt looks like he’s reverted back to ace status while Davis has been very solid thus far. But you’re also getting the best player in the deal in Cano. When healthy, Roberts is comparable in value to Cano but Brian’s health status is still very much up in the air so you’d be relieving yourself of a huge headache in that respect. Then there’s the Vazquez factor. While I doubt he’ll ever return to his ’09 form, the time is now to buy low. It’s unlikely that he’ll finish the season with better overall numbers than Oswalt but there’s still a chance he at least matches Davis’ production. That alone makes this trade worthwhile for you.


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