Romero @ Scherzer
Big Erv @ Cook
Hochevar @ Price
Tillman @ Feldman
Nova @ Liriano – too hard to predict what either will do
De Vries @ Straily
R. Hernandez @ King Felix
Maholm @ Strasburg
Bailey @ Lee – Bailey is better on the road, but seems to have cooled in general of late
Chacin @ Young
Rusin @ Estrada – hang with ‘em on Estrada thanks to favorable home matchup
Harrell @ Wainwright – Harrell has earned it, no?
Nolasco @ Cahill
Burnett @ Marquis
Lincecum @ Blanton – anyone’s guess on Lincecum
Lester @ Phelps – Lester too risky.
Oswalt @ Villanueva – Oswalt filling in for Dempster.
S. Johnson @ Porcello
Peavy @ B. Chen
Cobb @ Wilson
Kluber @ Colon – Bartolo’s been great at home and his post-All-Star break ERA is 2.93.
Diamond @ Vargas
Samardzija @ Cueto (Gm 1 of doubleheader) – Samardzija’s on a roll and he dominated the Reds in his only other start at Great American Ballpark this year.
Bedard @ Lynn – Bedard way too erratic to trust vs. top offense in NL.
Corbin @ Lyles
Niese @ Jackson
Harang @ Sheets – Braves’ lineup is solid, so I’d be hesitant to pitch Harang.
Hamels @ Fiers – Fiers got roughed up at Coors but I’ll give him another chance.
Raley @ TBD (CIN) (Gm 2 of doubleheader)
Eovaldi @ Chatwood
Zito @ Stults – I like the matchup for both.
Beckett @ Kuroda – Beckett is an automatic ditch until further notice.
W. Chen @ Fister – Is Chen up for the challenge? I think so.
Harrison@ Alvarez – Blue Jays are all of a sudden not a very scary offense.
Quintana @ Guthrie – Quintana’s last two starts have been very good.
Moore @ Greinke
Masterson @ Parker – Masterson’s been an enigma but you’ve got to like this matchup.
Deduno @ Beavan – Deduno has four quality starts in his last five outings and the Mariners can’t hit at Safeco. In deeper leagues, Beavan is worth a shot at home.
Volstad @ Latos
Billingsley @ Minor – Billingsley always a roll of the dice but he’s coming off a gem.
Hefner @ G. Gonzalez
Kennedy @ Galarraga
Kendrick @ Wolf
Karstens @ J. Garcia – Passing on Garcia in his first start back. Let him shake off the rust.
J. Johnson @ Pomeranz
Vogelsong @ Richard
F. Garcia @ Floyd – This could be a slugfest.
Smith @ Hellickson
M. Gonzalez @ Feldman – We like Gonzalez, but not this much.
Duensing @ McCarthy
Jimenez @ Millwood – You know you’re DTM when you’re getting ditched @SEA.
Hudson @ Zimmermann
Leake @ Halladay – Leake not a bad play in deeper leagues but he’s let me down a number of times this year.
White @ Dickey
Germano @ Rogers
Buehrle @ Saunders – Saundo put up a CG SHO vs. the Marlins back in April. He’s a sneaky pickup in deeper leagues.
Bumgarner @ Kershaw
Correia @ Volquez – I’m way too frustrated with Edinson to recommend him, even in a seemingly favorable matchup.
It’s Friday, so I’m sure you know what that means! Yup, it’s time for my weekly two-start pitcher notes. I’ve chosen ten guys this time and, unfortunately the majority of them are ditches. There are just not a whole lot of appealing options. Hopefully, we’ll have better luck next week.
Derek Holland (vs. BAL, vs. MIN)
These aren’t terrible matchups and Holland pitched well against the Tigers back on August 11th. But he was mediocre vs. the Yankees on Thursday and let’s face it, this guy can blow up at any moment. Also, his home ERA of 5.60 is way higher than his road mark of 4.06. The strikeouts are nice but the rest of the numbers could be very ugly. This is a gamble not worth taking. Ditch.
Homer Bailey (@PHI, vs. STL)
Bailey’s been a start on the road but bench at home pitcher pretty much all season, but after getting roughed up at Wrigley and then at home against the Mets on Thursday, he’s now a bench until further notice. The @PHI matchup is a slightly appealing one but no way do I trust him at home vs. the highest scoring team in the NL. This is a case where one decent start could be outweighed by one disaster outing, and my confidence in Homer is very low right now. Ditch.
Ricky Romero (@DET, @BAL)
Ricky seemed to have figured things out before putting up a stinker in his latest outing. The bottom line is that pitching Romero right now is playing with fire. Not to mention that these aren’t exactly easy matchups. In mixed leagues, he’s an automatic ditch until he can show more consistency.
Edinson Volquez (vs. PIT, @ARI)
I’ve been very loyal to Edinson all season, continually recommending him for his home starts. My patience has run out. I don’t care that the Pirates are a sub-par offense. I don’t care that Volquez will be facing them at Petco. He got blasted in his latest home start vs. the Mets and is just not worth the headache. Oh yeah, then there’s the @ARI matchup, which has all the makings of a disaster. In two career starts at Chase Field, Volquez sports a 5.91 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. Ditch.
Gavin Floyd (vs. NYY, vs. SEA)
Five of Floyd’s last six outings have been quality starts but there’s nothing about Floyd’s mediocre season that has me excited. We all know how risky it is to start any pitcher against the Yankees and although the Mariners’ offense is poor overall, Seattle ranks 2nd in the AL (even ahead of the Yankees) in runs scored on the road. Floyd is strictly an AL-only play.
Ervin Santana (@BOS, @DET)
It was nice to see Erv pitch well against the Indians on Wednesday night as he’s been a total bust this year. But with two tough road matchups on tap, now is not the time to test out if he’s turned the corner. Santana’s pitched a lot better at home (4.76 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) than on the road (6.47 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) and the last time he notched consecutive quality starts was way back in June. Ditch.
Joe Saunders (vs. MIA, vs. SD)
I know I’ve been overly negative so far, so let’s cheer up a little! Yeah, Saundo is boring and offers limited upside. The home stats (4.72 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) say to ditch, but Saunders has tossed a combined 16 scoreless innings vs. the Marlins and Padres this season and both of these clubs haven’t been lighting it up offensively of late. Saunders deserves consideration in deeper mixed formats and especially in NL-only leagues.
Mike Leake (@PHI, vs. STL)
Perhaps no pitcher has frustrated me this year more than Leake. Whenever I pick him up for a spot-start, he gets hammered. Then, right after I drop him, he pitches a gem. Like his teammate Homer Bailey, Leake has thrived on the road while struggling at home, his complete game effort vs. the Mets on Wednesday notwithstanding. And, like Bailey, I’m ditching. The vs. STL matchup is as bad as it gets, and while the Phillies’ lineup is far from intimidating, Citizens Bank Park is always a tough place to pitch. In 15-team mixed or NL-only leagues, I’d probably give Leake a shot. But in standard 12-team mixed leagues, I’ll take the conservative route and pass.
Lucas Harrell (@STL, @NYM)
Harrell’s dominant performance vs. the Cubs this week marked the seventh straight start in which he’s allowed two earned runs or less. He’s also racked up a hefty dose of strikeouts during this span, whiffing 38 in 43 2/3 innings. The way he’s pitching right now, I’m cautiously optimistic about the @STL start and very optimistic about the @NYM start. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’ll roll the dice and say pitch.
Scott Feldman (vs. BAL, vs. MIN)
To me, Feldman is similar to Leake in that he’s a solid option in deeper mixed leagues but might not be worth the risk in a 12-team mixed. It all comes down to where you stand in the ratio categories and whether or not you can truly benefit from chasing wins. The good news is that Feldman has been exceptional at home this season (3.23 ERA, 1.25 WHIP), so next week is an ideal time to take a chance on him…if you’re feeling lucky.
Hunter @ Verlander
Morales @ Hughes – Hughes has been awful over his last couple of starts. Playing it safe.
Darvish @ Happ – Wouldn’t blame you for ditching Darvish here, but the K’s are nice!
Sale @ Mendoza
McAllister @ Milone – Looks like McAllister is back on track. Milone’s an automatic pitch at home.
Shields @ Weaver
Blackburn @ Iwakuma
J. Santana @ Detwiler – Taking a wait and see approach with Johan.
Wood @ Arroyo – Bronson cannot be trusted at home.
Capuano @ Hanson – Hanson far from a no-brainer though in first start back.
Miley @ Keuchel
Worley @ Gallardo
McDonald @ Westbrook – McDonald needs to be avoided right now. Will take a shot on Westbrook.
LeBlanc @ Francis
Cain @ Ohlendorf
Time for yet another update to our Pitch or Ditch category chart!
PoD Chart 8-17 ***UPDATED 8/17
First, 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 should not be dropped and can be started almost all the time), 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 depending on performance. We’ll be updating the chart every other week. Also, we are basing this on a standard 12-team mixed league.
This chart looks a lot like the last version from August 1st. The most notable changes are the demotions of the former grad trio of Beckett, Dempster and McDonald. Beckett’s been flirting with a demotion for awhile now but his last two outings (10 1/3 IP, 14 ER) was the icing on the cake. Two of Dempster’s three starts since moving to the Rangers have been disastrous, and it’s pretty clear that he can no longer be trusted on a consistent basis. McDonald’s awful second half (8.71 ERA) has placed him in jeopardy of losing his rotation spot to Kevin Correia.
Here’s the complete list of changes:
Harvey PoD to grad
M. Gonzalez indifferent to PoD
Beckett grad to PoD
Dempster grad to PoD
McDonald grad to PoD
Laffey PoD to indifferent
Pomeranz PoD to indifferent
And as always, your comments are more than welcome.
Holland @ Nova – tough matchup to trust either
Buchholz @ Tillman
Liriano @ Laffey – flip the coin and go for the favorable matchup
Straily @ Hochevar
Price @ Haren – Haren’s not an automatic, though
Blanton @ Burnett
Harvey @ Bailey – tough matchup for Harvey; Homer’s home/away splits say ditch
Marquis @ Medlen
Lee @ Estrada
Cahill @ Lohse
Nolasco @ White
Beckett @ W. Chen – I do trust Chen and do not trust Beckett
Harrison @ Kuroda – results say pitch both, but hope for the best
Quintana @ Alvarez
Fister @ Duensing
Parker @ Guthrie – good matchup to hang with ‘em on Parker
Jimenez @ Greinke
Moore @ Millwood
Billingsley @ Correia – who knows which Billingsley will show up…
Young @ Latos
Kendrick @ Johnson
Richard @ Hudson – Richard doing much better on the road of late
Harrell @ Volstad
Kennedy @ Kelly
Wolf @ Chatwood
Zimmermann @ Bumgarner
Nova @ Laffey – Nova has allowed 16 ER over his last two starts (10 1/3 IP)
Morales @ McAllister – McAllister coming off poor outing but I’m still a believer
Mendoza @ Tillman – Good matchup for Tillman
Milone @ Liriano – Milone is almost always an automatic ditch on the road
Price @ Blackburn
Verlander @ Holland – Holland not doing a good job regaining my trust
Iwakuma @ Haren
Arroyo @ Wood – I’m regretting recommending Arroyo for the two-start week
Pomeranz @ Cain
Estrada @ Keuchel
Marquis @ Burnett
Westbrook @ Lee
Medlen @ J. Santana
Blanton @ Nolasco – Nolasco still DTM
Jackson @ Miley
Lester @ Kluber – Not a bad time to roll the dice on Lester
Hughes @ Happ – Expect a bounce back performance from Hughes vs. decimated TOR lineup
B. Chen @ Hunter
Parker @ Sale – Parker hanging onto grad status
Shields @ Diamond – Diamond is hot
Porcello @ Darvish – Darvish fading but still a grad
Vargas @ Weaver – Vargas working on eight straight quality starts
Capuano @ LeBlanc
Lynn@ Worley – Worley too inconsistent to trust right now
Stults @ Bedard – Bedard has been dominant at home this year
Gallardo @ Lyles
Cueto @ Raley
White @ Zito – Rockies are a good team to pick on when they’re on the road
Detwiler @ Corbin – Tough matchup for Detwiler but he’s gone at least seven innings while allowing no more than two runs in four of his last five starts
Sheets @ Niese
Dempster @ Sabathia – Not trusting Dempster at all for this start
Peavy @ Villanueva – Villanueva’s a decent choice in deeper formats, especially if you need K’s
An. Sanchez @ Deduno – Anibal has been mediocre since joining Tigers but this is a favorable matchup
Masterson @ Wilson – Not a good time to gamble on Masterson
Cobb @ Beavan – Cobb has been very effective of late and this is a tasty matchup
Harang @ Karstens – Harang an OK choice here, especially if you’re chasing wins and strikeouts
Ohlendorf @ Minor – One more strong outing by Minor and I’ll start using him again
Hamels @ Eovaldi
Galarraga @ Samardzija
Fiers @ Francis – Challenging matchup for Fiers but he’s been lights out lately
G. Gonzalez @ Vogelsong