Matusz @ Hughes
J. Sanchez @ Porcello
Feliz @ Hutchison
Parker @ Doubront – Doubront has been very impressive
Noesi @ Moore
Jimenez @ Sale – bench but not cut on Ubaldo
Liriano @ J. Williams – same for Liriano
Cahill @ Zimmermann – Nationals can’t score right now
Samardzija @ Arroyo – who knows which Samardzija will show up?
Hamels @ Beachy
Niese @ Happ – Happ’s increased K rate is intriguing
Morton @ Wainwright
Lilly @ Chacin
Marcum @ Volquez – still not trusting Volquez. Maybe I will if he’s dominant again here?
Nolasco @ Cain
Haren @ Gomez
B. Chen @ Marquis – I’m very high on Chen for this matchup.
Smyly @ F. Garcia – Garcia very close to DTM status.
Millwood @ Morrow – K’s have been lacking for Morrow so far but I’m not concerned just yet.
Ross @ W. Chen – Gotta roll with “the other Chen” vs. lackluster lineup. Ross also a decent play here.
Lester @ Peavy
Niemann @ Lewis – Niemann has been solid thus far but this is a dangerous one.
Estrada @ Lohse
Harrell @ Cueto
Wells @ Blanton – After struggling @SF and then @SD, Blanton has lost my trust.
Kennedy @ An. Sanchez
Bedard @ Delgado – Challenging matchup for Bedard but he’s the kind of guy you pitch vs. everyone, that is until he gets injured.
Gee @ Guthrie – This could get ugly for both.
Bass @ Lincecum – Need to keep trotting Lincecum out there. Bass worth a shot in deep leagues.
Strasburg @ Billingsley – I’ll give Billingsley a mulligan for his last outing.
Big Erv @ Lowe – Erv deserves one more chance before I’d think about benching or cutting him.
Scherzer @ Sabathia – Much like Erv, Scherzer very risky, but when he’s on he can dominate any lineup. I’d totally understand if you choose to bench him though.
Vargas @ Alvarez – Outstanding matchup for Alvarez.
Colon @ Hunter
Beckett @ Floyd – Red Sox lineup is hot so I’d lean towards sitting Floyd. Not much upside here.
J. Sanchez @ Blackburn
Price @ Holland
Miley @ Johnson – Miley impressive in first start but I need to see more.
Norris @ Latos – Norris a gamble but he’s still racking up the whiffs.
Garza @ Kendrick
Correia @ T. Hudson – Correia’s hot but he’s due for a blowup soon. Nice way for Hudson to open his 2012.
Greinke @ J. Garcia
J. Santana @ Moyer
Richard @ Bumgarner – Richard almost always a ditch on road but this is an exception.
Gonzalez @ Capuano – Capuano has been excellent at home.
Hammel @ Kuroda – Disaster alert for Hammel.
Hochevar @ Wilk – I’ll play it safe and sit Hochevar for this one.
Darvish @ Drabek – Drabek way too inconsistent to trust vs. upper-echelon offenses.
Milone @ Buchholz – Clay is very close to DTM.
King Felix @ Hellickson
Hendriks @ Wilson
Collmenter @ Buehrle
Samardzija @ Worley – Samardzija turning back into a pumpkin!
McDonald @ Minor – Not a good time to test out McDonald.
Dickey @ Happ – Dickey coming off a much needed bounce back performance.
Harang @ Nicasio – Nicasio a worthy play in deeper mixed leagues.
Wolf @ Wieland – Great matchup for Wolf.
Every Friday going forward, in addition to the analysis on the podcast, we’ll be posting our two-start pitcher notes right here on the blog. So let’s get started. Here are my thoughts on some of the more intriguing lineup decisions that you might face next week. Be sure to watch today’s podcast (coming out later) for Siano’s thoughts.
Mike Minor: vs. PIT, @COL
He’s a fly ball pitcher, which makes the start at Coors scary, but 4 ER over his last three starts spanning 21 1/3 innings, and the Pirates matchup is too good to resist. Pitch.
Randy Wolf: @SD, @SF
His last start was good enough that I’ll take a chance on him here. As far as matchups go, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Ubaldo Jimenez: @CWS, vs TEX
He’ll be pitched in the vast majority of leagues so this is more of a tread lightly warning. Still, I haven’t been impressed at all with Jimenez so far, particularly the mediocre K rate. This has disaster written all over it and I’d seriously consider sitting him if I had a better two-start option or even a lower ranked one-start guy with an exceptionally favorable matchup
Clay Buchholz: vs. OAK, vs. BAL
He’s not officially DTM but I personally don’t feel comfortable starting him under any circumstance right now, even in a two-start week with decent matchups. Ditch!
Luke Hochevar: @DET, vs. NYY
A really tough call but with these matchups I’ll say ditch in mixed leagues as long as you have a capable alternative option.
Jason Hammel: @NYY, @BOS
I don’t care how well he’s pitching. This is the week when his stats will see a major correction, and the Red Sox lineup is hot.
Juan Nicasio: vs. LAD, vs. ATL
Not in love with the matchups but in a deeper mixed league he’s been good enough to trust in a two-start week.
James McDonald: @ATL, vs. CIN
A little risky as these are not great matchups, but he’s coming off a gem and has yet to be really roughed up. A decent play in deep mixed leagues. A must-start in NL-only.
Jerome Williams: vs. MIN, vs. TOR
Not sold on him yet but the Twins’ offense ranks near the bottom in the AL in runs and the Jays haven’t hit too well on the road. I’ll be conservative and ditch but he’s not a bad gamble if you’re looking for a sleeper two-starter.
Weaver @ Masterson *Masterson risky because he has been terrible last two starts but if you are still carrying him home cooking may be all he needs.
Verlander @ Nova *Nova is a grad until further notice.
McCarthy @ Arrieta *Neither guy an awful play here if you are looking to POD.
Beavan @ Romero *Beavan has nothing to be a ditch here but with the low Ks and a correction due I’m not feeling it in Canada.
Shields @ Harrison *Harrison looks legit
Bard @ Danks *I have a bad feeling about this which means a 1-0 classic.
TBD (KC) @ Pavano *Pavano rolling as are the Royals.
Maholm @ Halladay
Saunders @ Zambrano *Ride Big Z until he does something dumb. Saundo on a roll too.
Wandy @ Leake *Wandy rolling, Leake not so much.
Burnett @ Hanson *TEAM AJ
Estrada @ Westbrook *Westbrook not a pumpkin yet but I’m sure it happens soon.
Schwinden @ Pomeranz
Detwiler @ Kershaw *Detwiler has a 15/4 K/BB
Luebke @ Hacker
Sale @ Parker
Hochevar @ Jimenez
King Felix @ Wilk
Drabek @ Hammel – gamble on Drabek, cash in the profits on Hammel
Wilson @ Hellickson
Hughes @ Feldman – Hughes is benched for now
Buchholz @ Hendriks – Buchholz has been terrible
Nicasio @ McDonald (Gm 1)
Chacin @ Morton (Gm 2) – Nicasio and Chacin have both been erratic but the Pirates can’t score
Happ @ Marcum
Lynn @ Volstad – keep an eye on Volstad though
Hamels @ Cahill
Zimmermann @ Wieland
Buehrle @ Dickey – Buehrle seems to be enjoying the NL
Zito @ Arroyo – ah, no
Beachy @ Lilly – Lilly an ordinary pitcher and Braves are #1 in NL in runs
***ZACH SAYS “Agreed. Drabek very risky though and I wouldn’t have a problem benching him. But he did handle the O’s quite well a couple starts ago.”
Now that we’re a few weeks into the season, time for an update to our Pitch or Ditch category chart!
First, a reminder as to how it works:
We’ve divided all of the current starting rotation pitchers in the Majors into five groups: Aces, Grads (pitchers who you should be starting regardless of the matchup), Pitch or Ditch (guys who you should be picking up to start in favorable matchups but do not deserve a regular roster spot), DTMs (guys who we are fed up with and would not start under any circumstances for the time being) and Indifferents (guys who we don’t feel any ill-will towards but who just aren’t that good). Keep in mind that these classifications are very much subject to change throughout the season based on performance. We’ll be updating the chart every other Monday.
Here are the notable changes we’ve made since the last version:
Nova PoD to grad
Duffy indifferent to PoD
B. Chen indifferent to PoD
W. Chen indifferent to PoD
Doubront indifferent to PoD
Williams indifferent to PoD
Morton indifferent to PoD
Lynn indifferent to PoD
Gee indifferent to PoD
Saunders indifferent to PoD
Arroyo DTM to PoD
Pelfrey DTM to PoD
Liriano PoD to DTM
Collmenter PoD to DTM
Hunter PoD to indifferent
F. Garcia PoD to indifferent
Jurrjens grad to PoD
Questions? Comments? Let’s hear it!
J. Sanchez @ Lowe
Vargas @ Scherzer
Alvarez @ Hunter
Big Erv @ Price
Kuroda @ Darvish – not giving up on Kuroda but play it safe here
Beckett @ Blackburn
Floyd @ Milone
Nicasio @ McDonald – great matchup for Nicasio
Johnson @ J. Santana
Cain @ Latos – this is where Latos starts to turn it around
Wainwright @ Samardzija – not sweating Waino yet; Shark back to PoD after blowup vs. Marlins
Norris @ Wolf
Worley @ Collmenter – Worley is legit
Gonzalez @ Richard – yep, start Richard at home
Minor @ Harang – Harang is a toss-up but I don’t trust him yet
***MIKE SAYS “Full disclosure I’d trot out Kuroda, but if you think that is crazy I don’t have a strong argument to tell you you’re wrong. Agree on rest.”
Feliz @ Verlander
Humber @ Beavan – Beavan very impressive so far.
F. Garcia @ Doubront – Slugfest alert!
Pavano @ Shields – I’ll trust Pavano here.
Hutchison @ Mendoza
Arrieta @ Weaver – Let’s find out if Arrieta’s for real.
Gomez @ McCarthy – Great opportunity for McCarthy to get back on track.
Leake @ Maholm
An. Sanchez @ Strasburg
Vogelsong @ Pelfrey – Pelfrey too erratic to trust in just about any matchup.
Kershaw @ Weiland
Westbrook @ Correia – Not a terrible matchup for Correia vs. Berkman-less lineup but too risky.
Pomeranz @ Narveson – Pomeranz worth monitoring going forward though.
Hanson @ Saunders – Can Saundo handle a non-awful lineup? Stay tuned.
Halladay @ Luebke
Lewis @ Smyly
Liriano @ Niemann – Liriano’s DTM until further notice.
Romero @ Duffy – Duffy’s not a must-start here but I think he’s earned it.
W. Chen @ Haren – Chen intriguing but I’m not sold on him yet outside of very favorable matchups.
Masterson @ Ross – Ross a sneaky start in deeper leagues.
Danks @ Millwood – Inconsistent Danks should thrive in this one.
Sabathia @ Bard – Disaster alert for Bard, especially if he continues to walk the ballpark.
Lincecum @ Gee – Gee very much on the fantasy map again.
Johnson @ Gonzalez
Lohse @ Bedard – One of these days Bedard will get a win…ridiculous!
Billingsley @ Wandy
Guthrie @ Gallardo
Cueto @ Dempster – Dempster’s been lights out through three starts.
Blanton @ Bass – Blanton disappointing in last start. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t pitch well here.
Delgado @ Kennedy – Not a good time to take a chance on Delgado.
Kuroda @ Holland – Playing it safe and sitting Kuroda…starting to get very concerned.
Lester @ Marquis – Expect Lester to rebound from disaster outing.
Morrow @ B. Chen – I’ve got no issue with pitching Chen in favorable matchups but this isn’t one of them.
Peavy @ Colon – Seems like Peavy has finally figured out the AL.
Moyer @ Lincoln – Moyer a great story but not PoD material for the time being.
Bumgarner @ Santana
J. Garcia @ Garza
Harrell @ Greinke – Need to see more from Harrell before recommending him.
Lee @ D. Hudson
Jurrjens @ Capuano – Jurrjens cannot be trusted. Capuano is due for a blowup sometime in the near future.
Nova @ Buchholz – not trusting either in this matchup
Harrison @ Porcello – see above…try another day
Hendriks @ Moore
Drabek @ Hochevar – one’s off to a strong start, the other is not
Matusz @ Williams – play it safe on both
Jimenez @ Godfrey
Sale @ Noesi
Bailey @ Volstad – not giving up on Homer, but play safe for now
Zambrano @ Detwiler
Lynn @ Morton
Zito @ Niese
Lilly @ Happ
Chacin @ Marcum
Beachy @ Cahill
Hamels @ Volquez – have I mentioned I don’t trust Volquez anywhere against anyone?
Nova @ Buchholz – Not overly optimistic about Nova here though. You’re basically chasing a win. Buchholz has been brutal so far. Ditch.
Harrison @ Porcello – Good test for Harrison.
Hendriks @ Moore – Hendriks worth monitoring though.
Drabek @ Hochevar – I’m close to trusting Drabek but not yet.
Matusz @ Williams
Jimenez @ Godfrey – I’ll roll the dice on Godfrey at home
Sale @ Noesi
Bailey @ Volstad – Good opportunity for Homer to right the ship.
Zambrano @ Detwiler – High risk, medium reward on both.
Lynn @ Morton – Lynn has earned it.
Zito @ Niese – Not a Zito believer. Period.
Lilly @ Happ
Chacin @ Marcum – Chacin can’t be trusted right now.
Beachy @ Cahill
Hamels @ Volquez – Even at home, Volquez too disaster-prone to start.