Pavano @ Lowe – the regression zombie is starting to chomp on Lowe’s ERA
Sabathia @ Crosby
Buchholz @ Alvarez – encouraging last start from Clay, let’s see another one
W. Chen @ Price
Colon @ Paulino – Big Bart is fading
King Felix @ Peavy
Lewis @ Williams – the Rangers schooled Williams in Arlington but he’s much tougher at home
Minor @ Strasburg – last chance for Minor?
Buehrle @ Kendrick
Wainwright @ J. Santana
Leake @ Happ – deep/unmixed gamblers might consider either or both
Correia @ Wolf
Capuano @ Outman – yep, even in Coors
Miley @ Richard – Richard is pretty much a must-start at Petco (2.67 ERA in 35 career starts)
Maholm @ Bumgarner
***ZACH SAYS “Wolf is worth a shot in deeper mixed or NL-only leagues as he’s facing a woeful Pirates’ lineup. Agree on rest.”
Scherzer @ Beckett – I think Scherzer is locked in. I’m rolling with him.
Norris @ Guthrie
Greinke @ Billingsley
***MIKE SAYS “I said ditch Scherzer on the show because I had to pick someone but I’m trotting him out there myself. If there was a time to ditch Max this would be it but Cory has just as fair a point.”
***ZACH SAYS “Agree on Scherzer. It’s risky, as he’s been known to blow up at times, but his 24-to-1 K/BB ratio over his last two starts is very encouraging.”
B. Chen @ Gomez – kick the tires on Jeanmar in deep/unmixed leagues, though
Quintana @ Cobb
Ross @ Liriano – watching closely on Liriano…
Hammel @ Morrow
Smyly @ Lester – Smyly may be coming back down to earth…
Beavan @ Holland
Nova @ Big Erv
Bass @ Dempster
Cueto @ Burnett – throw out the 12-run debacle (go with me on this) and AJ has been A-OK
Lee @ Gee
Lohse @ T. Hudson – Braves struggling without Chipper & McCann
Wang @ Johnson
Harrell @ Friedrich
Gallardo @ Kershaw
Kennedy @ Lincecum – still have to trust Tim IMO
Smith @ Masterson
Arrieta @ Romero
Humber @ Shields
Verlander @ Bard – Bard’s been too erratic to trust vs. strong offense.
Vargas @ Feldman
Parker @ De Vries – Parker very impressive last time out and now gets a favorable matchup.
Pettitte @ Haren
Stults @ Samardzija
Bailey @ Morton – Homer 7-for-9 in quality starts this year.
Blanton @ Hefner
Westbrook @ Delgado – Westbrook starting to turn back into a pumpkin.
Jackson @ An. Sanchez
Fiers @ Lilly
Saunders @ Vogelsong – Saundo’s been struggling lately but still a decent gamble here for owners in deeper leagues.
Scherzer @ Pavano – Even though it was vs. PIT, Scherzer’s last start very encouraging.
Alvarez @ Lewis – Alvarez usually a solid option but he’s scuffling of late and this is a brutal matchup.
Paulino @ W. Chen – Classic blue-plate special.
Sabathia @ Colon – Even though he’s at home and the Yankee lineup is struggling, Bartolo’s been too inconsistent lately to trust.
Lowe @ Peavy – Lowe’s gone at least six innings while allowing no more than 2 ER in six straight starts.
Williams @ King Felix
Price @ Beckett
Richard @ J. Santana – I know he’s on the road, but coming off stellar outing @STL I’ll give Richard a shot here.
Strasburg @ Minor – Minor cannot be trusted right now, regardless of the opponent.
Bumgarner @ Buehrle
Maholm @ Correia
Guthrie @ Leake – Leake is looking better and Rockies can’t hit on the road.
Kendrick @ J. Garcia
Norris @ Billingsley – Billingsley’s in my doghouse until further notice.
Greinke @ Miley
Hochevar @ Hunter
Hellickson @ Buchholz – Clay cannot be trusted.
Jimenez @ Floyd – Not giving up on Floyd yet. Ubaldo’s high risk, medium reward.
Porcello @ Walters
Drabek @ Darvish
Kuroda @ Milone – If you can’t trust Kuroda here, why exactly do you still own him?
Wilson @ Noesi
Moyer @ Latos – Latos enjoying the month of May (2-0, 2.35 ERA)
Volquez @ Dickey
Cain @ Nolasco
Garza @ Bedard
Halladay @ Wainwright
Happ @ Capuano – Capuano’s a grad.
Wolf @ D. Hudson – I’m fine with using Hudson in his first start back.
Gonzalez @ Beachy
Fister @ Doubront – Doubront’s a little risky but I’ll chance it.
Godfrey @ Diamond – Nice matchup for Diamond.
Sale @ Moore – Stay the course with Moore.
Adcock @ Tomlin – Tomlin’s worth monitoring going forward though.
Matusz @ Hutchison
Millwood @ Harrison – Harrison 3 ER or less in three of his last four starts, and it’s the Mariners we’re talking about!
Hughes @ Weaver – Hughes got beat up by the Halos earlier this year. I just don’t see the upside here.
Hamels @ Niese
Lynn @ Hanson
Zimmermann @ Zambrano – Expect Big Z to bounce back from season-worst outing.
Arroyo @ McDonald – I have faith in Bronson in this favorable matchup.
Suppan @ Wood
Wandy @ Nicasio (Gm 1 of doubleheader) – Nicasio’s been too hit or miss this year.
Lyles @ White (Gm 2 of doubleheader)
Cahill @ Zito – No upside in pitching Zito.
Marcum @ Harang – Harang has been stellar at home (3.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP).
To prep you for next week, here are my thoughts on nine projected two-start pitchers. Be sure to catch today’s podcast to hear Cory’s picks.
Matt Harrison (vs. SEA, @LAA)
A couple of appealing matchups here, especially the Mariners one. Coming off a strong outing at Seattle (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 K, W) and keep in mind that his 4.72 ERA is somewhat inflated by two disaster starts. I’m throwing him out there.
Jon Niese (vs. PHI, vs. STL)
A no-brainer in my mind but I’m including him on this list because Siano still views him as Pitch or Ditch material (I strongly disagree!) and the Cardinals matchup is a challenging one. That said, Niese has been stellar at home (3.79 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 18 K’s in 19 IP) and the Phillies’ offense is erratic. Pitch.
Felix Doubront (vs. DET, @TOR)
This decision could turn out to be a disaster but I’m cautiously optimistic about Doubront next week, despite the tough matchups. 3 ER or less in seven of his nine starts this year and he did pretty well @TOR back in April (5 IP, 2 ER, 6 K). Not to mention his 53 K’s in 50 IP. Pitch.
Phil Hughes (@LAA, @DET)
He’s been pitching a lot better of late but still makes me very nervous. Got rocked by the Angels earlier this year and the Tigers’ lineup can explode at any moment. He’s also served up 11 homers through nine starts. If you pitch him, you’re basically chasing wins and strikeouts. No thanks.
Bronson Arroyo (@PIT, @HOU)
This guy always burns me but he’s very quietly posted a 3.22 ERA and 1.26 WHIP this year. I’ll take my chances on him vs. a mediocre Astros’ lineup and an awful Pirates’ offense which ranks last in the NL in both runs scored and AVG.
Scott Diamond (vs. OAK, @CLE)
Very impressive so far. 3 ER or less in all four of his starts, including two 7 IP, 0 ER performances. You have to think that hitters will make adjustments to him and he will then need to make the necessary adjustments, but let’s ride him while he’s hot. A’s rank last in AL in runs scored and AVG and Indians are just a mid-tier offense. Diamond’s a worthy gamble.
Daniel Bard (vs. DET, @TOR)
Too inconsistent to trust. Has yet to post back to back quality starts and is walking too many batters (29 BB in 48 IP). With these matchups in mind, next week is a terrible time to pitch Bard.
Barry Zito (vs. ARI, vs. CHC)
After solid start to the season, he’s beginning to flame out. 8.64 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over last two starts. Even though he will be at home for both games, I just don’t see the upside. Ditch.
Aaron Harang (vs. MIL, @COL)
Harangatang is having a decent but not great year. Really struggled last time out @ARI. The @COL matchup is very scary (5 2/3 IP, 5 ER in start at Coors earlier this season) and the home start against the Brewers doesn’t make up for it. Ditch in mixed leagues.
B. Chen @ Hammel
Cobb @ Lester
Morrow @ Holland – I’d start Morrow anywhere vs. anyone right now
Gomez @ Danks
Smyly @ Swarzak – Smyly coming back to earth, but good matchup
Nova @ Ross – good matchup for Nova to get back on track
Big Erv @ Beavan
Dempster @ Burnett
Friedrich @ Cueto
Bass @ Gee – blue plate special!
Lincecum @ Johnson – both rounding into form
Detwiler @ T. Hudson – Detwiler has earned it
Lee @ Lohse – Lohse has earned it
Gallardo @ Kennedy
Harrell @ Kershaw
***MIKE SAYS “I’m back on Team AJ. It’s a disease. 3 QS in a row. Cubs 14th in scoring in THE NL!!!!! I’m off Freidrich for now so definitely agree with that. I benched him in NL-only.”
A lot can change in two weeks. Here’s the second and final May version of our Pitch or Ditch category chart. More demotions than promotions this time around.
Once again, a reminder as to how the chart 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.
And here are the changes we’ve made since the last version:
Cueto grad to ace
Bumgarner grad to ace
McDonald PoD to grad
Capuano PoD to grad
Estrada indifferent to PoD
Hutchison indifferent to PoD
Ross indifferent to PoD
White indifferent to PoD
Lincecum ace to grad
Wainwright ace to grad
Kennedy ace to grad
Moore grad to PoD
Masterson grad to PoD
Smyly grad to PoD
Cahill grad to PoD
Kuroda grad to PoD
Billingsley grad to PoD
Nova grad to PoD
Parker grad to PoD
Buchholz PoD to DTM
Let us know what you think!
Bard @ Arrieta – both are very risky
Romero @ Shields
Weaver @ Parker – Parker struggling but upside is still there
Feldman @ Millwood – Feldman takes Feliz’s spot
Fister @ McAllister – McAllister has been solid so far
Mendoza @ Pettitte
Diamond @ Sale
Niese @ Morton – Morton has been excellent at home
Zito @ Estrada – Estrada’s K’s vs. Giants popgun offense? Yes please!
Jackson @ Hamels
Hanson @ Arroyo
White @ Zambrano
Samardzija @ Wandy
Suppan @ Lynn
Lilly @ Saunders
***MIKE SAYS “Agree. Diamond a blue plate special but no need to rush out and grab him if you are settled in at SP.”