September 2011

Thanks from the Fantasy 411 + Important Blog Links

Hey guys,

On behalf of the 411, I just wanted to thank all of you for your participation on the blog and on the show throughout the season. The viewer question segments continue to be my favorite part of the shows, and there were plenty of great questions to choose from each and every day.  As for the blog Q&A, I only hope that we contributed in some way towards your fantasy success.

Below are links to our special end of season blog posts. Included are our preliminary 2012 position-by-position rankings along with our All-Surprise, All-Disappointment, All-Fantasy, All-Rookie and All-Injury teams of 2011. You’ll also see our most recent Pitch or Ditch category chart and, last but not least, the complete Pitch or Ditch Stats spreadsheet. Over the course of the season, I kept a record of the show picks (two pitches and two ditches per show) made by each of our analysts and entered in the results. Who was the most successful Pitch or Ditch player between Mike, Cory, Nando and Joe? Did anyone’s ditches perform better than their pitches? Well, you’ll just have to see for yourselves.

Yesterday’s podcast was our final one until November, but in the meantime feel free to continue asking your questions here and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

And finally, congratulations to our 2011 listener league winners:

411 League: Michael Sharzer

Ron Cey League: Jean Carlo

Paul C. Smith League: Jeanne from Hollywood

Marzano League: Mike Donovan

Thanks again, and enjoy the postseason!




Top 10 First Basemen and Third Basemen for 2012

Top 10 Second Basemen and Shortstops for 2012

2012 Catcher and Outfielder Rankings

2012 Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher Rankings

2011 All-Surprise Team

2011 All-Disappointment Team

2011 All-Rookie and All-Injury Teams

2011 All-Fantasy Team and Report Cards

Fantasy 411 Pitch or Ditch Category Chart (Final Update)



The Final Pitch or Ditch for 2011! (9/28)


Morrow @ Humber – Humber has been terrible down the stretch

Lester @ Simon

McAllister @ Porcello

Betances @ Price – Johnny Wholestaff for the Yankees?

Harrison @ Richards

Chen @ Pavano – you read that right, kids

Gonzalez @ Vasquez

Volquez @ Batista – friendly reminder: Volquez is awful

Pomeranz @ Surkamp

Strasburg @ Volstad

Blanton @ T. Hudson

Carpenter @ Myers – Myers is white-hot in September

Locke @ Greinke – he will only pitch an inning or two, according to reports

Dempster @ LeBlanc

Lilly @ Saunders – if your season depends on a W, gamble on Saunders

                                                                                                                                                ***ZACH SAYS “Even @ SF I’d be a little scared to pitch Pomeranz coming off awful outing @ HOU. Pitch only if you have a safe ERA/WHIP cushion. Agree on rest.”

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, September 27


Bedard @ Britton – Bedard no longer trusted to be healthy OR effective

Gomez @ Scherzer – Scherzer demoted to PoD status… DITCH

Colon @ Hellickson

O’Sullivan @ Swarzak

Alvarez @ Buehrle – Alvarez very impressive so far in debut

Lewis @ Big Erv

Cahill @ Beavan – Beavan solid at home

Arroyo @ Capuano – Cappy worth a gamble if your season depends on wins and K’s

Oswalt @ Lowe

Lannan @ Vazquez

Westbrook @ Sosa – great matchup for Westbrook

Ohlendorf @ Wolf

Kuroda @ Parker

Garza @ Bass

White @ Bumgarner

                                                                                                                                                ***ZACH SAYS “I’d take a chance on Cahill @SEA, but only if ypu’re chasing wins. Agree on rest.”

2011 All-Fantasy Team + Report Cards

Hey everyone,

Today was our final 411 show of the 2011 regular season, and simply put, it’s a must-watch. Not only did we announce our All-Fantasy team, but we graded Mike and Cory on their preseason overrated and underrated picks. And the results were very mixed.

Anyway, here are the grades. Scroll further down to see the All-Fantasy team roster.


2011 report cards


                                                                                                                                                           2011 ALL-FANTASY TEAM

C – Victor Martinez

1B – Adrian Gonzalez

2B – Dustin Pedroia

3B – Jose Bautista

SS – Troy Tulowitzki

OF – Matt Kemp (fantasy player of the year)

OF – Ryan Braun

OF – Jacoby Ellsbury

OF – Curtis Granderson

SP – Justin Verlander

SP – Clayton Kershaw

CL – Craig Kimbrel

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, September 24-26



Diamond @ Huff  (Gm 1)

Liriano @ Talbot  (Gm 2) – Liriano was awful in August and has yet to make a start in September…ditch!

Wakefield @ Burnett – This has slugfest written all over it.

King Felix @ Ogando – Ogando pitching well of late, but more importantly it’s the Mariners.

Guthrie @ Verlander

Teaford @ Danks – Danks a somewhat risky start but he’s been solid at home.

Romero @ Niemann

Moscoso @ Williams – Check out Moscoso’s home/road splits and you’ll see why I’m ditching.

Beachy @ Wang

Lopez @ Lohse – Not a Lohse fan, but aside from K’s he’s been great this year.

Kendrick @ Gee – Kendrick since All-Star break: 4-2  2.42 ERA  1.08 WHIP

TBD (CIN) @ Lincoln

Hammel @ Happ

Sanabia @ Greinke

Surkamp @ Kennedy

Billingsley @ Harang – As much as I’m fed up with Billingsley’s inconsistency, this matchup is too good to pass up.


VandenHurk @ Penny

Lackey @ Nova – Nova’s earned it. Lackey is DTM.

Hendriks @ Carmona – Carmona’s been awful this month (7.66 ERA  1.95 WHIP  .343 BAA

Cecil @ Davis – Both are too unpredictable to trust.

Mendoza @ Floyd – Floyd hasn’t recorded a QS in almost a month.

Furbush @ Holland

Harden @ Pineiro – Harden has offered us little reason for optimism lately.

Halladay @ Pelfrey

Minor @ Detwiler – Minor has struggled on the road. Detwiler 3 ER or less in seven of his last eight starts.

Wood @ McDonald

Chacin @ Harrell – Chacin simply not worth the headache despite appealing matchup.

Nolasco @ Narveson – Scary matchup for Nolasco.

Wells @ Jackson

Kershaw @ Luebke

Lincecum @ Collmenter


Bedard @ Hunter – Bedard can’t be trusted right now.

Jimenez @ Scherzer – Wouldn’t blame you for benching Scherzer though.

Hughes @ Shields

McGowan @ Buehrle – Three of Buehrle’s last four starts have been disaster outings…ditch.

Paulino @ Slowey

Wilson @ Haren

McCarthy @ Vargas – Both are solid plays.

Bailey @ Schwinden – Great spot to pitch Homer.

Lee @ Delgado

Milone @ An. Sanchez

J. Garcia @ Wandy

Karstens @ Marcum

Eveland @ D. Hudson

Coleman @ Latos

Millwood @ Vogelsong – For a few weeks, Millwood was looking like a decent PoD option…not anymore!

Updated PoD Category Chart (9/22)

Hey everyone,

It’s been awhile since we’ve updated our Pitch or Ditch category chart, so here’s one final update for the season. This can be used as both a guide for the final week and a way to value all the pitchers heading into the offseason and eventually into 2012.

PoD chart 9-22

And, for the last time, a reminder as to how the chart works:

In an effort to help you make those all important Pitch or Ditch decisions, the 411 tribunal of Mike, Cory and I have divided all the starting pitchers in the Majors into five groups: Aces, Pitch or Ditch Graduates, Pitch or Ditch guys, DTMs and Indifferents. DTM (dead to me) refers to pitchers who we are totally fed up with and will not start under any circumstance right now while Indifferents should also be benched in all matchups…but we don’t hate them!

As always, all comments are welcome.


Fantasy 411 All-Rookie and All-Injury Teams for 2011


Hey everyone,

Today was the penultimate 411 show of the regular season, and what better way to mark the occasion than to pick our All-Rookie and All-Injury teams!

Get ready for a grand finale tomorrow as we unveil our All-Fantasy team and grade Mike and Cory on their preseason overrated and underrated picks.

And don’t fret…you’ll still find Pitch or Ditch on the blog through next Wednesday.

Congrats to those of you who are on the verge of winning a title. Now go ahead and finish the job!



C – J.P. Arencibia

1B – Eric Hosmer

2B – Danny Espinosa

3B – Brett Lawrie

SS – Dee Gordon

OF – Desmond Jennings

OF – Mark Trumbo (qualifies here in 10-game leagues!)

OF – Ben Revere

SP – Jeremy Hellickson

SP – Brandon Beachy

CL – Craig Kimbrel



C – Buster Posey

1B – Justin Morneau

2B – Brian Roberts

3B – Alex Rodriguez

SS – Hanley Ramirez

OF – Shin-Soo Choo

OF – Grady Sizemore

OF – Jose Tabata

SP – Josh Johnson

SP – Clay Buchholz

CL – Brad Lidge


Pitch or Ditch for Friday, September 23


Simon @ Porcello

Lester @ F. Garcia

Pavano @ Masterson

Morrow @ Price – who knows what you’ll get from Morrow?

Vasquez @ Harrison

Chen @ Stewart

Gonzalez @ Weaver

T. Hudson @ Strasburg – start Stras every time against everyone, pitch counts be damned!

Volquez @ Locke

Hamels @ Dickey

Pomeranz @ Myers – Pomeranz held his own in Coors and gets the Astros now… sweet!

Volstad @ Gallardo – 5 straight QS by Volstad

Dempster @ Carpenter

Surkamp @ Collmenter – Collmenter has regressed somewhat but it’s a good matchup

Lilly @ LeBlanc


Fantasy 411 All-Disappointment Team for 2011

Hey everyone,

Here’s our All-Disappointment Team roster which was discussed in detail on today’s show, so be sure to check out the podcast. The scary thing is that someone could have easily drafted this team, and this cannot be said in most years. Hanley (Rd 1), Crawford (Rd 2), Werth (Rd 3-4), Dunn (Rd 3-4), Ubaldo (Rd 5). In fact, I drafted Hanley, Dunn and Kelly Johnson in one of my leagues, a 13-teamer, and somehow I’m on my way to a 6th place finish! I guess miracles do happen.



C – Geovany Soto
1B – Adam Dunn
2B – Kelly Johnson
3B – Pedro Alvarez
SS – Hanley Ramirez
OF – Carl Crawford
OF – Alex Rios
OF – Jayson Werth
SP – Ubaldo Jimenez
SP – Francisco Liriano
CL – Matt Thornton

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, September 22


Beavan @ Swarzak – almost like a home game for Big BB!
Lewis @ Cahill – Lewis owns the A’s
Britton @ Turner
Humber @ Gomez – Humber now due for some POSITIVE regression!
Niemann @ Colon – Niemann has handled the Yanks in his career
Big Erv @ Alvarez – very impressed with Alvarez so far
Capuano @ Westbrook – could be 3-2 or 10-9
Peacock @ Oswalt
White @ Sosa
Bumgarner @ Kuroda