August 2012

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 22

CORY’S PICKS

Mendoza @ Shields – Mendoza worth a look in deeper/unmixed leagues
Hendriks @ Milone
McAllister @ Iwakuma – Iwakuma 3.19 ERA in 8 starts for Seattle
Laffey @ An. Sanchez – favorable matchup for Anibal to rebound
Weaver @ Buchholz
Hunter @ Holland
Hughes @ Sale – those protecting ratios should bench Hughes, though
Wood @ Gallardo
Turner @ Miley  (Gm 1 of doubleheader)
LeBlanc @ Skaggs  (Gm 2 of doubleheader)
McDonald @ TBD (SD)
Medlen @ Detwiler
Arroyo @ Worley – both are risk/reward
Francis @ Harvey
Norris @ Lohse – bench but don’t cut Norris vs. high-scoring Cards
Cain @ Capuano

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 21

CORY’S PICKS

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

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 18-20

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

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.

                                                                                                                                               SUNDAY

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

                                                                                                                                             MONDAY

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.

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/20

Hey everyone,

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.

-Zach

                                                                                                                                                      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.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 17

ZACH’S PICKS

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

Updated PoD Category Chart (8/15)

Hey everyone,

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:

PROMOTIONS

Harvey PoD to grad

M. Gonzalez indifferent to PoD

DEMOTIONS

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.

-Zach

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 16

CORY’S PICKS

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

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 15

CORY’S PICKS

Scherzer @ De Vries
Hellickson @ King Felix
Cook @ M. Gonzalez – Gonzalez has been surprisingly consistent; I’ll take a shot
Feldman @ F. Garcia – not trusting either in this matchup
Floyd @ Romero – Romero pitching better of late… do you feel lucky?
McCarthy @ W. Smith
R. Hernandez (Fausto) @ Big Erv
Halladay @ Buehrle
Norris @ Germano – can’t trust Bud on the road right now
Rogers @ Pomeranz
Strasburg @ Lincecum
Kershaw @ Wandy – one more try for Wandy at home…
Dickey @ LeakeLeake is a toss-up but seems to have cooled
Volquez @ Maholm
Saunders @ Wainwright

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 14

CORY’S PICKS

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

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 11-13

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

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

                                                                                                                                               SUNDAY

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

                                                                                                                                             MONDAY

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

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