Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, April 14-16 + Two-Start Pitchers



Wilson @ Hughes – Hughes a bit risky but good enough in his first start to earn the nod here.

Darvish @ Blackburn – Now that the butterflies are gone, expect a better performance from Yu.

Hellickson @ Buchholz

Hammel @ Alvarez – Alvarez an intriguing sleeper this year.

Wilk @ Floyd – Not trusting Floyd for this one.

Gomez @ J. Sanchez – Sanchez a worthy gamble in deeper formats.

Milone @ Noesi – Noesi could emerge as a mixed league POD guy but not yet.

Volstad @ Lynn

Bailey @ Jackson – Willing to give Homer another chance.

Niese @ Worley – Phils offense having trouble scoring runs this year.

Norris @ Zambrano – Could be 9-8 or 3-2. I’ll bet on the latter.

Marcum @ Minor – Minor not in my doghouse yet.

Collmenter @ Chacin – Disaster alert for both.

Morton @ Zito

Wieland @ Lilly


Matusz @ Drabek – No way on Matusz and not trusting Drabek yet.

Moore @ Doubront – Doubront worth monitoring though.

Porcello @ Sale – I’ll roll the dice on Sale despite the tough matchup.

Jimenez @ Mendoza

Feliz @ Hendriks – Hendriks an appealing option going forward but this isn’t the start to experiment with him.

Godfrey @ Beavan – POD heaven!

Williams @ Nova

Happ @ An. Sanchez

Narveson @ Beachy

Leake @ Detwiler – Detwiler someone worth consideration in easier matchups.

Pelfrey @ Hamels

Maholm @ Westbrook

Cahill @ Pomeranz – I’m scared of Cahill at Coors. Will take a wait and see approach on Pomeranz.

Correia @ Vogelsong – I’ll give both a try in favorable matchups.

Volquez @ Kershaw – Pitch on Volquez but don’t get mad at me if he blows up!


Shields @ Bard

Pavano @ F. Garcia

Arrieta @ Humber – Will give both a try.

Verlander @ Duffy – I like Duffy but not here.

McCarthy @ Weaver

Weiland @ Strasburg

Gee @ Hanson – Need to see more from Gee.

Luebke @ Guthrie – Home run-prone Guthrie should be an automatic ditch at Coors.

Bedard @ Saunders – Saundo a decent choice in deeper leagues but too risky at home.

Halladay @ Lincecum

                                                                                                                                                    CORY’S PICKS


Wilson @ Hughes – Not giving up on Hughes, but a tough matchup and he has struggled at home at times

Darvish @ Blackburn

Hellickson @ Buchholz

Hammel @ Alvarez – That was Hammel’s career game, not expecting a repeat

Wilk @ Floyd

Gomez @ J. Sanchez

Milone @ Noesi – and why not, given the matchups?

Volstad @ Lynn – Volstad worth a gamble in deeper leagues; I’ll Pitch him in easier matchups too

Bailey @ Jackson –Bailey bounced back well after a rough start last time out

Niese @ Worley

Norris @ Zambrano

Marcum @ Minor

Collmenter @ Chacin – Wait and see on Chacin

Morton @ Zito – I’m sure he’ll throw another shutout😉

Wieland @ Lilly


Matusz @ Drabek – Wait and see on both

Moore @ Doubront

Porcello @ Sale – The White Sox look bad bad bad

Jimenez @ Mendoza – Ubaldo bumped to Sunday, but start him either way

Feliz @ Hendriks – keep an eye on Hendriks

Godfrey @ Beavan – I like him at home, a la Clayton Richard

Williams @ Nova – not trusting either yet in tougher matchups

Happ @ An. Sanchez

Narveson @ Beachy

Leake @ Detwiler – let’s see Detwiler do it again

Pelfrey @ Hamels

Maholm @ Westbrook

Cahill @ Pomeranz – not in Coors, thanks

Correia @ Vogelsong

Volquez @ Kershaw – I. Don’t. Trust. Volquez. Period.


Shields @ Bard

Pavano @ F. Garcia

Arrieta @ Humber

Verlander @ Duffy

McCarthy @ Weaver

Weiland @ Strasburg

Gee @ Hanson

Luebke @ Guthrie

Bedard @ Saunders

Halladay @ Lincecum – not panicking about Lincecum

                                                                                                                                       TWO-START PITCHER THOUGHTS FROM CORY

Arrieta at CWS/at LAA – the Angels are a tough matchup but the White Sox are not, so I’d gamble on him this early in the season, especially after an impressive first outing

Bard vs TB/vs NYY – I’d sit him out. He fanned 6 in 5.0 IP in his first start, but these are two patient offenses and will be difficult matchups for a pitcher who’s not yet used to being a starter

Bedard at ARI/vs STL – I trust him against pretty much any opponent, even tough ones like this, but don’t expect many wins due to the Pirates’ anemic offense

Delgado vs NYM/at ARI – He’ll need to mix in his offspeed stuff more against a powerful lineup like Arizona’s, but on pure stuff he’s worth using

Garcia vs MIN/at BOS – Risk him against the Red Sox to get the easy matchup with the Twins? Little upside unless you like chasing wins

Humber vs BAL/at SEA – The O’s are a mediocre offense and the Mariners are simply not good… great start in weekly leagues

Niemann at TOR/vs MIN – Like Garcia, is the matchup against the Twins worth risking him against the Jays? He’s got upside, so I’d take a shot


Question, 2 start D. Smyly (@ KC & TEX) or 1 start options in Floyd (BAL); or Chacin (@MIL); Feliz (@DET).


P.S. really appreciate the 2 start forecaster! helps a lot!


I think I’d go Feliz. Smyly’s TEX matchup is too scary and despite the fact that he’s facing the Tigers, Feliz was impressive enough his first time out to earn this start.


Zach, are these trades a good idea?
First- I trade Gordon for Elvis Andrus and Edwin Encarnacion
Second-I trade Jose Bautista for Halladay and david Murphy

First – Yes, particularly if you need speed.
Second – No. An elite hitter always carries more value than an elite pitcher, and Murphy doesn’t make up for that gap.


By Gordon, I meant Dee Gordon. Does that change things a lot?

Nah, it doesn’t change my answer. You’re losing a little speed by going from Gordon to Andrus but you are gaining some experience plus E5.


With Berkman’s health in question and Belt seeming benched. Which of these 1st basemen is a nice short term answer?
Ike Davis, Adam Du…..nn (god that takes a lot out of you when considering fantasy options), Yonder Alonso, Justin Smoak, or James Loney


I’d go with Ike. He’s already an attractive option but still has plenty of room to grow. Who knows, Dunn might land up being the most valuable player of that group, but I’d rather not ride that roller-coaster!


1. My infield is weak; 1B Hosmer, 2B Walker, SS Aybar, and 3B Reynolds. Is trading closers from Hanrahan, Putz, Balfour, and Jansen (package deal) to improve infield and picking up better non-closer relievers such as G Holland, D Robertson, Venters, and Clippard a good idea? Good closers seems to give same stats as good relievers + saves. Sacrificing saves a good idea to improve infield?

2. Should we be worried about Tim? He has never tanked this bad in a season before.


1. Really depends on your roster structure but generally speaking I like to have at least two closers. I’m not a believer in tanking a category by having one or zero closers on my team at any given time. If I had three closers though, I’d definitely be open to trading one of them to improve my offense. There’s always a decent chance that you can find an adequate No. 3 closer on the waiver wire during the season. Just avoid a situation where you’re desperately searching for a No. 2.

2. Not concerned about Lincecum yet. He’s had 3-4 start stretches like this in the past but this is more noticeable just because they are his first starts of the year.


Hey Big Z got a strategy question regarding picking up hitters on off days. My leagues a 10 team roto keeper (OBP instead of AVG) with 6 man benches, I currently have a couple of hitters on my bench but its mainly pitchers with all the closer flux. Do you have a rule as when picking up hitters on mon/thurs to get extra counting stats, but to make sure you don’t hurt your AVG (or in my case OBP) too much? Would you do it in my kinda league? I did it last year you see but think it kinda hurt my OBP as I ended up nearish the bottom in that cat.


I’m generally not a big fan of the Mon/Thurs strategy for hitters since it has the potential of backfiring, but in a 10-team league I’d be a lot more open to it considering the quality of waiver wire bats.


How do you feel about Joe Blanton @SF and @SD? Gravy, right?


I feel very good about it! I wouldn’t start him in a 10-team mixed league but would strongly consider it in a 12-teamer. In an NL-only, I feel that he’s a must-start. Hey, I picked him up for this week in my NL-only!


I cannot seem to get pitching figured out in fantasy leagues. it is my Achilles heel and lost me a championship last year. I tend to go with a mix of about 5 starters and 7 closers. This year so far I’ve had horrid luck with injuries and guys getting

My current pitchers are:

C. Lewis (replacing Carpenter)

C. Perez
Broxton (replacing Soria)
Casilla (possibly replacing the newly departed Wilson)
Santiago (replacing the dropped Bucholz)
Marshall (dropped the whiffing Espinosa)
Rodney (dropped an innefective Yonder Alonso for him)

My questions are –

Is hoarding closers hurting my stats?

These potentially attractive pitchers – Scherzer, Peavy, Clippard, Robertson, Santos (just dropped by a player but will likely get snapped up), and Bard are all on the Wire. Are any of them more viable options than my current pitchers?

Should I just free up a roster spot for a POD guy and manipulate matchups? If so who do I drop (which of my pitchers are the 3 most droppable)?


I’m always an advocate of acquiring as many closers as possible but seven is over the top! I can see how this is hurting you in the counting stats, severely limiting your strikeout and win potential. There’s really no reason to have 3-4 more closers than everyone else as it doesn’t matter if you finish first in saves by 30 or by 3. I’d pick up Scherzer immediately and would lean towards dropping Broxton. I just don’t trust him and wouldn’t be surprised if Holland finishes the season with more saves.


Forgot to mention that Mike Adams is also available.

Would you go with Drabek @ KC over Nicasio home to COL this week? Is there a more appropriate spot for me to post this Q?

Nicasio home to SD.


Nicasio. I’m not sold on Drabek yet and the KC lineup is definitely superior to the SD lineup.


hey well would you advise benching Lincecum for his start vs Philly? I have 7 starters now…Gallardo, Worley, Morrow, Moore, E Santana and J Santana and Voglesong…when BJ and Cain come off the DL which of them would you drop?


Too early to worry about Lincecum. He’s still a must-start until further notice. Of that group of pitchers, Vogelsong is the one to drop.


actually have 8 starters as Lincecum is one also….picked up Voglesong sunday as I needed Ks but he pitched better than most of the guys on my team


I wouldn’t feel comfortable dropping any of those other pitchers. Instead, try and make a trade to free up a roster spot while at the same time getting an upgrade at another position.


Best option out of these guys; Vernon Wells, Jordan Schafer, Brian Bogusevic, Nolan Reimold or Luke Scott?


I like Scott for cheap power. I own him in a few leagues and feel that he’s very underrated, especially since he will receive close to everyday at-bats as he’s a lefty.


Sorry to hit you guys with two questions, but something esle came up. Vogelsong just came off the DL (some than I expected) and his replacment, Trevor Cahill, has been doing great. So, which of these pitchers should I drop?
Mike Leake
Mike Minor
Ryan Vogelsong
Trevor Cahill
Tommy Hanson



I prefer Vogelsong over Leake, who looked rather shaky yesterday and doesn’t really offer that much in terms of strikeouts. Leake would be the guy I’d drop.


Who do you like better as a back up 1B? Adam LaRoche or Gaby Sanchez? Right now I have Pujols, Berkman in the CI spot and Sanchez on the bench. I like LaRoche’s recent performance, and I think Sanchez can be too inconsistent, but is LaRoche’s good fortune the real deal?



LaRoche is incredibly streaky and he’s actually known to be a better second half performer, so his early success is encouraging. He’s still an injury risk but I also think that he has a higher ceiling in terms of power. I’d gamble on LaRoche.


Hey Fellas,
I’m doing the NFBC Online Championship this year so it’s a 12-Team league, but it’s still deep. Waivers went through tonight and I noticed several players had been dropped. I’m curious as to your thoughts on who I should put bids in on.

Trevor Bauer
Lorenzo Cain
Gordon Beckham
Ervin Santana (BIG ERV)
Addison Reed
Jonny Venters



BIG ERV and Cain would be the two guys I’d most seriously consider, but depending on the rest of your roster I also like the idea of picking up Venters as a speculative add and hope Kimbrel gets hurt! Bauer is a good guy to stash if you have the roster space but it’s still a little too early to rush to the wire to grab him.

I don’t like Beckham at all and with the success of Santiago, Reed isn’t really that attractive right now.


E5 baby! This could be the long awaited breakout!


Cory is certainly pumped up, believe me!


Any thoughts that Mike Trout will get called up soon? I just lost Ellsbury to the DL and don’t really see an exciting replacement available. Unless you consider Jordan Schaefer exciting?


I think Trout is definitely worth a pickup. Yeah, the Angels’ OF situation is crowded, but at some point they’re going to have to call him up if he continues tearing it up in the minors, like he’s doing right now. I’d be shocked if he isn’t up by June 1, and there’s a good chance he arrives even sooner.


Hey Zach,

In a vanilla league I have Ike Davis at 1B and Moustakas at 3B. I’m thinking to trade for Youk to play 1st or 3rd, and play who’s hot at the other position. I’m thinking to sell high on Ortiz to buy low on Youk, thoughts?


A fair trade but I don’t even think I’d make it at this point. Youkilis has really struggled and remains a serious injury risk while you pretty much know what you’re going to get from Ortiz by year’s end. Plus, Moustakas is putting up decent numbers, so it’s not like you’re totally desperate at 3B.


Hi Big Z thanks for the response earlier, sounds like mon/thurs hitters might be an idea for my pretty shallow league. What would you say is a league average OBP, about .340? Thinking I might try and only pick up players with above-average OBP’s (like Helton) to reduce the risk of killing my team OBP.

Also kinda struggling to find a player to cut if I did this. Would you drop a bench bat in tat-man (R Roberts), a starter in Peavy, or semi-closer in Lidge to stream hitters on off days?


I’d lean towards dropping the SP to do that. Roberts still carries considerable value thanks to his multi-positional eligibility and power/speed contributions while I think Lidge is a better bet than Rodriguez to receive most of the Nats’ save chances.

And .340 average OBP does sound about right.


I’ve got Tulowitzki on my team and an owner who really wants him. He’s offering Kemp, but I’m also asking for Castro (as I don’t have another shortstop on my team) and offering another player. He wants McCutchen. I’m not keen on that so I’m considering countering with Matt Holliday. What do you think of Kemp/Castro for Tulo/Holliday or Tulo/McCutchen? Thanks


I’m fine with you making the Tulo/Holliday for Kemp/Castro deal. I’d rather you not trade McCutchen though.


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