2011 Pitch or Ditch Debut!

Too soon to trust him?



Verlander @ Sabathia

Weaver @ Hochevar *I have faith in Luke but let me see a start or two. If you disagree since it’s so early that’s fine.

Lowe @ L. Hernandez *Livan probably goes 5-0 then 2-15.

Gallardo @ Volquez * I don’t have an issue starting EV here.

Stauffer @ Carpenter *High on Stauffer but he wasn’t supposed to be the first guy out. Could be a short leash Thursday.

Lincecum @ Kershaw *Second of two elite matchups on Opening Day.


Buehrle @ Carmona *Carmona a sleeper but reward isn’t too high unless he gets some Ks.

Lester @ Wilson *Ok CJ let’s see you do it again.

Pavano @ Romero *I’ll give American Idle a little love here, it may be last time.

Guthrie @ Price *Guthrie can succeed but he may be POD for certain stretches.

Haren @ Francis *The Franchise!!! Pass.

F. Hernandez @ Cahill *Not hard to say pitch vs. M’s woeful lineup.

Myers @ Halladay *Best matchup storyline wise of the young season.

Correia @ Dempster *Correia? Really?

Kennedy @ Jimenez *Kennedy goes Coors and Wrigley first two starts. Hang in there.

Pelfrey @ Johnson *Let’s see what the Big Pelf has.

J. Sanchez @ Billingsley


Jackson @ Carrasco *Love Carrasco but expect pains.

Liriano @ Drabek *Drabek = Carrasco

Santana @ Davies *BIG ERV!!!!!!!!!!

Penny @ Burnett *I’ll be at this game. Wife may be asking to leave after four innings. Like Penny at home for now.

Matusz @ Shields

Lackey @ Lewis *Nice first test for Lackey

Vargas @ Anderson

Maholm @ Zambrano

Hanson @ Lannan

Richard @ Westbrook *I’ll chase a win for fun vs. Padres lineup.

Cain @ Lilly

Wandy @ Lee

Marcum @ Wood *Wood a sleeper proceed with caution.

Niese @ Nolasco *I’m waiting and seeing on Niese.

D. Hudson @ De La Rosa *A Siano special!



Danks @ Masterson *Waiting on Masterson

Scherzer @ Hughes *Not bad.

Blackburn @ Cecil *I’m a Cecil fan.

Tillman @ W. Davis

Buchholz @ Harrison

Kazmir @ Chen *Say What?

Fister @ G. Gonzalez

Wolf @ Arroyo *Could be 3-2 or 9-8.

Dickey @ Vazquez

T. Hudson @ Zimmermann *Would love to pitch but want to see more.

Happ @ Oswalt *Happ should consider the flu here.

Moseley @ J. Garcia *Garcia’s bad spring means nothing and it’s the Padres.

Ohlendorf @ Garza *Garza gives up no homers and we laugh at you all then you remind us it was Pirates.

Saunders @ Chacin *I like the Ks

Zito @ Kuroda *Zito was in a neck brace last night…ditch


-Pitch Stauffer on Thursday, as well as Carrasco, Drabek and Niese on Saturday; let’s see what they have.

-Ditch Richard on Saturday in St. Louis. In general though, I’m a lot more inclined to say “pitch” on more guys this early in the season, because we have all year to make up for any early bad decisions. But for now, let’s run some guys out there and see what they have.


Hey guys, had a question regarding set up/middle relievers. I’m in a 12 team dynasty league where saves are highly coveted. I have Wilson, Franklin, Madson, J. Walden and S. Romo. With Wilson likely heading to the DL, which MR would you go after for early save opps and/or K’s and ratio help? Also, would you grab any of these guys over the likes of Madson, Walden or Romo?
E. Meek, D. Hernandez, G. Balfour, M. Adams or K. Jansen? Thanks.



If you’re looking for immediate help in saves, Romo’s your guy. He’s coming off an outstanding season as a setup man and has shown the ability to dominate opposing hitters. If Wilson does indeed start the season on the DL, go with Romo.


Thanks Zach. Who would be your second choice for save potential this year? thanks.


I’d rather have Meek than Walden. I see Walden as more of a long-term option and Hanrahan has a shaky history when it comes to closing. Meek could very well be saving games by mid-April.


Sorry for the re-post. My first post, did not showed up on the blog. I have not received your comments. Sorry if you reply, but i don’t find it……

I had my 12-team Mixed League this morning (Last Sunday). You will see I didn’t follow “by the book”, all 411 strategy, as much i wanted to. I took Ubaldo in round 4. (One of my 3 keepers). Some special rules in our league got me thinking and i had to change a bit 411 strategy, but only in this round.
Here is my draft, and also see my comments on my first picks.
1.12 Álex Rodríguez (NYY – 3B). I targeted A-Rod or Zimmerman. As neither of my 1st or 2nd round picks can’t be keepers, I decided to take the shot with A-rod as i think he will give me more upside this season.
2.1 Dustin Pedroia (Bos – 2B). I Target Pedroia and got it. I could get 1B, but i think this might be an MVP season for him. This way i got 2 scarcity positions in my first 2 rounds.
3.12 Brian McCann (Atl – C) I wanted here V-mart, but with the 2 best C already gone, and Posey as a Keeper, i took the chance with McCann.
4.1 Ubaldo Jiménez (Col – SP) My first keeper.
5.12 Andrew McCutchen (Pit – OF) My 2nd Keeper. Very cheap.
6.1 Martín Prado (Atl – 2B,3B). Here I was targeting my 1st closer, but none of best 5 closers were available. The next closer was too expensive to get in this round, so I took Prado. Utility player with a lot of potential this season. I was not getting him after this round for sure.
7.12 John Axford (Mil – RP). Best Available Closer. Francisco, Wilson and Papelbon already gone.
8.1 Billy Butler (KC – 1B)
9.12 Ryan Franklin (StL – RP)
10.1 Pablo Sandoval (SF – 1B,3B). Comeback season for Panda
11.12 Huston Street (Col – RP)
12.1 Shaun Marcum (Mil – SP). Last Keeper.
13.12 Stephen Drew (Ari – SS). Very Cheap!!!
14.1 Torii Hunter (LAA – OF)
15.12 Chone Figgins (Sea – 2B)
16.1 Jeremy Hellickson (TB – SP,RP)
17.12 Jorge De La Rosa (Col – SP)
18.1 Javier Vázquez (Fla – SP,RP)
19.12 C.J. Wilson (Tex – SP)
20.1 Johnny Cueto (Cin – SP)
21.12 Russell Martin (NYY – C). Backup Catcher, I did not plan this, but could not resist.
Any suggestions?. A lot of talent available. I’m planning on getting Edwin Encarnacion, when Cueto goes to DL. Also Starssburg is available, do you think is reasonable to put it in my 2nd DL spot, as a keeper for next season? Maybe is too early………
Any comments on my team……?
Thanks a lot!

Forgot to include my pitchers on my team. Should I grab a SP for the P slot? If so, replace Street or Nathan? Anyone else I should replace? Available are: Daniel Hudson, Aroldis Chapman, Chris Sale, Travis Wood, Gavin Floyd, Carl Pavano, Tyler Clippard, Matt Capps.
P – Huston Street
SP – Billingsly
SP- Marcum
SP- Dempster
SP – Volquez
RP- Neftali Feliz
RP – Nathan

Hey Guys,

Another question, on my next draft. It is a 7×7 H2H 12 Team League.
Stats Cat:
Batting: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, SLG
Pitchers: W, SV, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP, QS
Special rules: minimun 30 INN/week and maximun 100 moves per season
I’m specially interested in any special strategy for this type of league that you recommend. I have a few facts that i think i should consider, please give me your opinion and any other that should be listed here:
– Draft 1st SP earlier than a Roto league. No more than 4th round, try to get an ACE SP, specially a inning eater, like Halladay, Lee.
– Get min 7 SPs
– Get balance stat batting players in first rounds, specially on a scarcity pos.
– Try to get 2 top 10 closers, from the 6th round and up.
– Get in late rounds RP to give me HLDs, low WHIP and ERA, K, INNs. Who do you recomend here?. Example: Soriano, Bard, Venters, Clippard, ………..
Thanks a lot for you comments.

Draft #2. How did this one come out? 12 team mixed H2H 6×6 (avg&whip). This was a strange draft, as lot of players went way ahead where I thought they should go…Vlad was taken in 5th round just as a glaring example. SO that in turn forced me to pick a couple of guys out of the range I wanted to…ie Ortiz and Napoli

1. (11) Adrián González (Bos – 1B)
2. (14) Félix Hernández (Sea – SP)
3. (35) Andrew McCutchen (Pit – OF)
4. (38) Brandon Phillips (Cin – 2B)
5. (59) Alexei Ramírez (CWS – SS)
6. (62) David Price (TB – SP)
7. (83) Heath Bell (SD – RP)
8. (86) Mike Stanton (Fla – OF)
9. (107) David Ortiz (Bos – Util)
10. (110) Pablo Sandoval (SF – 1B,3B)
11. (131) Mike Napoli (Tex – C,1B)
12. (134) Jonathan Broxton (LAD – RP)
13. (155) Madison Bumgarner (SF – SP)
14. (158) Rajai Davis (Tor – OF)
15. (179) Craig Kimbrel (Atl – RP)
16. (182) Matt Garza (ChC – SP)
17. (203) Neil Walker (Pit – 2B,3B)
18. (206) Daniel Bard (Bos – RP)
19. (227) Jake Peavy (CWS – SP)
20. (230) Gaby Sánchez (Fla – 1B)
21. (251) Sean Rodriguez (TB – 2B,OF)
22. (254) Coco Crisp (Oak – OF)
23. (275) Jair Jurrjens (Atl – SP)

Thanks a lot! Lets get this party started!

Also what are your thoughts on Saltalamacchia? I think hes going to do well in Red Sox lineup…really who can’t but still have my doubts. Is he worth a roster spot as a backup or is it too early to go get him?

I could easily drop Jurrjens or another bench player..see above)


Would you keep Asdrubal Cabrera or drop him to Steven Drew?
Ive had Drew last 2 years…is this the year he breaks out?


I’d give the slight edge to Drew. He’s a bit more proven and is the far better power hitter.


Hey all,

I just finished my league’s official draft. 10 team mixed league 6×6 categories (R, HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, Net SB) (W, Net SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB) Here are my results and my reasoning behind it. Let me know what you think.

1. (6) Prince Fielder (1B): First pick going right for power, especially in the HR department.

2. (15) Alex Rodriguez (3B): I was a little surprised he didn’t go in the first round, but I’ll take the power.

3. (26) Tim Lincecum (SP): Now that I had power, I wanted to make sure I had a strikeout machine early.

4. (35) Michael Bourn (OF): Some people called me crazy for taking Bourn in the 4th round, but I wanted a guy who would steal more bases than the amount of money Bernie Madoff ran off with.

5. (46) Jay Bruce (OF): A lot of power guys were already gone by this point, but I thought I would get decent production from him.

6. (55) Jayson Werth (OF): Same reasoning as Bruce

7. (66) Chris Carpenter (SP): Pitchers were flying off the shelves by this point, so I capitalized on the solid Carpenter.

8. (75) Jonathan Papelbon (RP): Now closers were selling like hotcakes. I was gonna try for Brian Wilson, but he was taken 3 picks ahead.

9. (86) Mark Reynolds (CI): The commish in my league decided to mix things up and throw in a corner infield position, so I went with the some additional power.

10. (95) Francisco Cordero (RP): By this point, a lot of good closers were gone, including Marmol who was taken RIGHT BEFORE MY PICK!! Grrr!!

11. (106) Elvis Andrus (SS): I noticed that my position players were corner infielders and OFs, so I went with a SS with a good chance of some stolen bases.

12. (115) Brian Roberts (2B): I blinked and noticed a lot of good 2Bs gone because I was focusing on power and speed (which 2Bs aren’t really known for), so I picked him up.

13. (126) Ted Lilly (SP): Great K/BB ratio.

14. (135) Torii Hunter (OF): I was looking to get a fourth starting OF with decent enough production. I got Hunter. Meh.

15. (146) James Shields (P): When I did a mock draft and drafted him, I got praise from you guys for drafting him, so I went with him again.

16. (155) Rajai Davis (Util): Last minute decision to add a little more speed to my roster.

17. (166) Jorge De La Rosa (P): This was another guy you all praised so much, so I knew to keep my eye on him.

18. (175) Hiroki Kuroda (P): Nothing really particular motivating this one. His numbers are decent enough.

19. (186) Adam Wainwright (P): I’ll admit. I wasn’t using my head on this one. I knew he hit the DL, but I didn’t know he would be out for the whole season. We have 2 DL slots in this league, so I was willing to carry Wainwright for his huge upside when he came back. However, that wont be happening, so I’ll end up dropping him for probably Sean Rodriguez as a backup 2B, CI, and OF.

20. (195) Edwin Encarnacion (BN): Rumor has it that this guy will be the next Bautista in terms of a surprising performance. Even before the draft started, the guys in my league were talking about him positively. I was a little surprised that for all the talk, he went so late, but I’ll take it.

21. (206) C.J. Wilson (BN): I picked up Wilson so that I would have at least 1 backup starting pitcher with Wainwright being a bust.

22. (215) Miguel Montero (C): Catchers were not a high priority. They all went very late, so I wasn’t too worried about catchers. In fact, there are plenty of good unclaimed catchers including Kurt Suzuki, Chris Iannetta, John Jaso, and others.

23. (226) Nate McLouth (BN): Seemed like a good backup OF to have since he will probably do fairly well.

24. (235) Gaby Sanchez (BN): Good backup 1B for a final pick.


Also, which 4 out of 5 starters should I start for the first two weeks? Lilly, De La Rosa, Kuroda, CJ Wilson, Shields.



Do you ever consider benching bats because of the opposing pitcher? Opening day of course has top tier pitching going with the lincecums, sabathias and verlanders not to mention weaver. I am asking because I have such players like gordon who i asked you about earlier. I want to run him out there against weaver of course but im just curious if you ever consider sitting hitters like the whole pitch or ditch idea with pitchers.


That question was from me sorry forgot to put my name on it.



I wouldn’t be too concerned with that in the early going (let your guys get some ABs in), but benching borderline starter hitters vs. an ace-level pitcher (particularly lefty vs. lefty etc.) might be something worth considering at some point. I don’t do it often though.


Hello Zach,
In one of my last posts, you said Sean Rodriguez will give the most upside, but for now you prefer D Murphy. Are either of this players going to be on the starting roster on opening day?


S-Rod is slated to start on Opening Day. Murphy will likely come off the bench. I’ll amend my answer and say S-Rod for now but it won’t be long before Murphy is outproducing him. I still think he’ll finish the season with the higher amount of ABs.


THanks a lot Zach!!!
What about my other 2 posts?


Try to condense those other questions. There’s a limit to how many “rate my team” questions I can answer:-) They tend to be too long and are generally not helpful to other readers.


Hey 411,

The time is almost here!!

5×5 roto keeper (with obp instead of BA) and we just had our draft. We have 3 OF and 2 util. spots

My roster is Montero, Votto, Pedroia, Wright, Rollins, J Upton, Ethier, T Hunter, Rasmus, Ad. Jones, J Pierre

and my pitchers are Haren, Gallardo, Billingsley, Lilly, Scherzer, Myers, Matusz, Lackey, Bedard,

Already I’ve been offered this trade: I would give up Ethier, Pedroia, Billingsley and I wouild receive Longoria, Weeks, Au. Jackson and Jh. Chacin.

I don’t lilke making trades this early but whenever you get a chance at a top player you have to consider even if it may hurt your depth. What should I do?



I’d do it. You’re getting the best player in the deal and not losing a ton with the switch from Pedroia to Weeks at 2B. You’ve got a ton of rotation depth so I wouldn’t be too concerned about losing Billingsley.


Guys can we have some predictions on the 2 big 411 boys, EE and Drew Stubbs for this year. I’m high on them too and targeted and got both of them on some of my teams, but I see less so encoraging projections on other sites.
One site shows a regression in Stubbs’ numbers in all cats barring swipes, which does seem very strange, and Edwin is down for good but not great numbers. Any bold predictions would be great Cory/Zack, and would make us feel better about having targeted these guys!
Big Barry, East End , England

Big Barry,

E5: .260 AVG 25 HR 80 RBI

Stubbs: .265 AVG 23 HR 33 SB 95 R


Thanks. Only 25 bombs for EE though? Was thinking more like 30 based on last years numbers.
Stubbsy’s look good but I think there is potential for a more roundtrippers, and maybe a few more steals if he does up his AV.

Mike I used your strategy in the draft going with 6 bats & 2 closers b4 I drafted 1 SP. I didn’t get 1 so called ace or even a decent #2. With that said should I look to trade a bat for a #1 or #2 starter, or just play pitch and ditch all year without a top of the rotation guy?

I’m starting the second round of my NL ONLY draft. I have the third pick and wanted to rank these potentially available players based on who you would pick?
– Utley
– Reyes
– Brandon Phillips
– Ethier
– Weeks
– Gallardo
– Pence
– Hammels

Can you order these in terms on who you would pick?
I already kept 1B Prince, 2B Uggla, C Posey, OF Bruce SP Lincecum



Reyes, Phillips, Pence, Ethier, Hamels, Gallardo, Weeks, Utley.


Ok PoD for Friday…can you rank the Kennedy @ COL, Pavano @ TOR, Guthrie @ TB, or Beuhrle @ CLE?



I’ll go Pavano, Buehrle, Guthrie, Kennedy. A flyballer like Kennedy in Coors is a scary thought.


What is your advice on trading for a #1 or #2 starter if you failed to land one in the draft. How much would you give up for him?, and would you trade a bat for a SP in general?


The reality is that you don’t really need an “elite” starter in order to win a fantasy title. In general, pitchers tend to be inconsistent from year to year (look at Zack Greinke last season) while top-tier hitters rarely disappoint. This is why we always advocate drafting hitters early and using the latter rounds and even the waiver wire to address pitching. Although I’m not totally opposed to making a hitter for pitcher trade, I’ll always give the edge to the hitter.


Just got offered trade…get Mike Stanton give Beltran.
My OF is currently Holiday, C. Young, N Cruz, Victorino, Hart, Bourn, & Beltran.
We have LF,CF, RF, & 2 Utility. I have quite a bit of power: Votto, Cano, Mcgehee, McCann…but not a lot of speed: victorino, A Cabrera (I know it’s a stretch), CY, & Bourn.
Beltran could have a comeback year but Stanton could have a breakout year. Which do you think is more likely? Should I just wait & try to trade him for speed?
Other option is Pierre for Beltran..but I feel like Pierre is only a speed guy and Bektran could give me so much more if he’s healthy.
That’s what I’m thinking what about the fantasy 411 gurus?


Definitely make that trade! Stanton’s simply the more valuable player…younger and, unlike Beltran, not a huge injury risk. Considering his knee woes, I don’t expect many SBs from Beltran anyway. I’ll take the upside of Stanton over the aging and banged up Beltran.


Hello gentlemen,

I’m wondering if it’s in plans or if possible to come up with a ranking system for PoD pitchers…instead of listing them by matchup cud possibly set them up in rankings for that day. So which PoD you would rather have down to the ones that DTM?
I know that I would find it beneficial and wouldn’t have to ask daily to have certain pitchers ranked on a specific day.

Just an idea and question…I appreciate everything you guys do on here as well as the show! it’s been very helpful

Thanks again,

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