May 2012

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 1


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.”

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 31


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.”

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 30


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


Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 29


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.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, May 26-28



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).

Two-Start Pitchers – Week of 5/28

Hey guys,

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.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 25


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.”


Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 24


Verlander @ Masterson
De Vries @ Humber – favorable matchup for Humber
Haren @ Vargas – hang with ’em
Delgado @ Baileyhigh risk/high reward on both
Stults @ Hefner
Vogelsong @ An. Sanchez
Blanton @ Westbrook

Updated PoD Category Chart (5/22)

Hey everyone,

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.

Pitch or Ditch Category Chart 5-22

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!


Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 23


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.”