Pettitte @ Romero
Moore @ Sale – Passing on Moore here. He’s really struggled of late.
Verlander @ Walters
Vargas @ Straily – Vargas’ home/road splits are drastic, but he’s had success against the A’s this year (2.36 ERA in five starts).
Big Erv @ Holland – Can’t pitch Erv @TEX, despite second half turnaround.
Doubront @ S. Johnson – Too late in the year to take chances on guys like Johnson.
Odorizzi @ Gomez
Leake @ McPherson – Nice matchup for Leake, who loves pitching on the road.
Keuchel @ Estrada – Giving Estrada a mulligan coming off disastrous outing @WAS.
Young @ Minor
Halladay @ Nolasco – Pitch Nolasco only if you’re chasing wins/strikeouts.
Zimmermann @ Lohse
Germano @ Cahill
Bumgarner @ Stults – Stults keeps getting it done.
Chatwood @ Blanton – Blanton pitching well lately and Rockies can’t hit on the road.
Hochevar @ McAllister
Hughes @ Alvarez – Hughes a little risky though.
Stewart @ Saunders – Saundo gave up 11 hits last time out. I’m ditching.
Price @ Liriano – Liriano too blowup-prone.
An. Sanchez @ Hendriks
Greinke @ Darvish
E. Ramirez @ Milone – Favorable matchup for Ramirez and Milone + Home = Pitch.
Hamels @ Eovaldi
Mejia @ Medlen
Cueto @ Wandy
Lyles @ Fiers – Fiers – Fiers mediocre lately but he’s still racking up plenty of K’s and he gets a favorable matchup here. This is a category-based decision.
Detwiler @ Lynn – Detwiler a toss-up but I’m hesitant to pitch him.
TBD (SF) @ Volquez – I still like Volquez at home.
De La Rosa @ Beckett – Great matchup for Beckett.
Rusin @ Collmenter
Santiago @ Kluber
Buchholz @ Sabathia – Playing it safe with Clay.
Vasquez @ Laffey
W. Chen @ Cobb – Chen has pitched well vs. TB this year. Cobb a quality option when he’s at home.
Porcello @ B. Chen
Perez @ Parker – Parker solid @TEX, so why expect anything different now that he’s at home?
Wilson @ King Felix
Kendrick @ Lannan – Kendrick was awful vs. Nats and now gets them again. No thanks.
Maholm @ Locke
Familia @ LeBlanc
Harrell @ Berken
Richard @ Marcum – Marcum seems to be back on track.
Arroyo @ J. Garcia – This could be 2-1 or 10-9. I’m a bit more confident in Garcia.
Pomeranz @ Miley – A home start vs. the Rockies should cure whatever is ailing Miley.
Cain @ Harang – Harang a borderline call.
With just one week to go in the 2012 season, here’s one final updated version of our Pitch or Ditch category chart to keep you plenty busy during those cold winter months as you prepare for your 2013 drafts!
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 we’re basing this on a standard 12-team mixed league.
And here are the changes we’ve made since the last version:
Big Erv PoD to grad
Minor PoD to grad
Detwiler PoD to grad
W. Smith indifferent to PoD
Mendoza indifferent to PoD
Alvarez indifferent to PoD
Cloyd indifferent to PoD
Kluber indifferent to PoD
Hanson grad to PoD
Capuano grad to PoD
Feldman PoD to indifferent
Hefner PoD to indifferent
And as always, feel free to post your comments.
Cook @ Tillman – Tillman has a 3.08 ERA this season!
Smith @ Huff
Kuroda @ Jenkins
Weaver @ Dempster
Smyly @ Diamond – I’d rather have Scherzer
Hellickson @ Floyd
Beavan @ Griffin
Bailey @ Burnett
Lee @ Buehrle
Niese @ Hudson
E. Gonzalez @ Gallardo
Jackson @ Wainwright
Wood @ Kennedy – Wood worth the K upside if you can risk the ratios
Vogelsong @ Werner – start either or both only if chasing wins
Francis @ Kershaw
Mendoza @ Fister
Blackley @ Harrison
Iwakuma @ Haren – Iwakuma continues to get the job done.
Nova @ Morrow – Nova’s back in my doghouse! I don’t trust Morrow here either.
Shields @ Peavy
Peralta @ Latos – Too dangerous of a matchup for Peralta.
Correia @ Dickey – Correia not a bad gamble in deeper leagues though.
Volstad @ Chacin
Corbin @ Zito
G. Gonzalez @ Cloyd
Turner @ Hanson – Hanson very disappointing this year but this is a good matchup for him.
Capuano @ C. Kelly – Kelly strictly an NL-only option.
Mendoza @ Fister – Fister on a serious roll right now
Blackley @ Harrison
Iwakuma @ Haren – tough matchup for Iwakuma but his performance deserves it
Nova @ Morrow – good matchup for erratic Nova; tough matchup for high-upside Morrow
Shields @ Peavy
Peralta @ Latos – Peralta too risky after meltdown last start
Correia @ Dickey
Volstad @ Chacin
Corbin @ Zito – Zito a good risk if chasing wins
G. Gonzalez @ Cloyd – some upside with Cloyd but too risky for me
Turner @ Hanson
Capuano @ C. Kelly – flip a coin on Capuano
Sabathia @ Deduno
Guthrie @ Porcello – who knew a pitcher could turn it around after going to KC?
Villanueva @ M. Gonzalez –Carlos got ripped last time and has a tough matchup here
Cobb @ Lester – Cobb is a home/away play
Parker @ M. Perez
Masterson @ Santiago – remember when Santiago was the White Sox closer? Haha
King Felix @ Wilson – CJ has a 5.79 ERA since All-Star
Harang @ Richard – Harang a K’s-based chase only
Lannan @ Kendrick
Johnson @ Maholm – Maholm worth the risk if your ratios are safe… or punted
Marcum @ Arroyo – too risky to start either
Locke @ Hefner
Carpenter @ Norris – great return for Carp; Norris is worth the risk at home
Berken @ Pomeranz
Miley @ Cain
Kluber @ Liriano – enough upside and weak opponent…
B. Chen @ An. Sanchez – ditto
Laffey @ Saunders – Saundo is risky but throwing well of late
Price @ Buchholz
Milone @ Darvish – can’t trust Milone in Texas
Hughes @ Vasquez
Ramirez @ Greinke – Ramirez on a nice run for the M’s
Lannan @ Hamels
Eovaldi @ Medlen
Fiers @ Cueto – fear Fiers: fading fast
Wandy @ McHugh
J. Garcia @ Harrell – can’t trust Jaime on road, only trust Harrell at home
Rusin @ De La Rosa
Beckett @ Volquez
Skaggs @ Lincecum
As promised on today’s podcast, which should be available by late-afternoon ET, here’s the visual version of Mike and Cory’s end of season grades. For those of you were new to the show this year, as part of our end of season recap shows, we grade Mike and Cory’s preseason overrated/underrated teams. And you probably know what we gave Cory for his E40 (formerly known as E5) pick!
Here’s the full spreadsheet, and, as always, feel free to comment on any of these grades.
Just a note that Thursday will be our last podcast until after the World Series, as we’ll unveil our All-Injury, All-Rookie and All-Fantasy teams.
Blackley @ Nova – I like what I saw from Nova his last time out.
Tillman @ Cook – Tillman has been impressive but I’m not in love with this matchup.
Diamond @ Fister
Jimenez @ Smith
Morrow @ Moore – Moore scuffling of late but this is a very favorable matchup.
Quintana @ Haren – Quintana hasn’t posted back-to-back quality starts in over a month.
Harrison @ Beavan
Wainwright @ Wood
Peralta @ G. Gonzalez – Peralta not a bad gamble but this matchup scares me.
Buehrle @ Young – Young worth a look in deeper leagues though.
Fife @ Latos
Minor @ Halladay – Minor has a 2.28 ERA since the All-Star break.
Correia @ Keuchel – Correia an intriguing option in deeper leagues but the wheels could fall off at any moment.
Corbin @ Francis – Corbin on a decent run but in mixed leagues I’m not about to take the risk in Coors.
Werner @ Bumgarner
Griffin @ Kuroda – After getting rocked by the Tigers, Griffin cannot be trusted at Yankee Stadium.
Walters @ Scherzer
TBD (BAL) @ Doubront
Jenkins @ Cobb– Cobb’s 3.44 home ERA suggests that he probably deserves a chance vs. depleted Blue Jays’ lineup.
Huff @ Ordorizzi
Floyd @ Weaver – Floyd coming off his best outing in a long time but the Angels’ lineup is formidable.
Dempster @ Vargas – Vargas has dominated at home all year but he’s been inconsistent lately and these are the Rangers we’re talking about!
Nolasco @ Dickey – Seems like a great matchup for Nolasco but the Mets have had his number over the years. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’d avoid the roller-coaster ride.
Gallardo @ Wang
Hudson @ Lee
Burnett @ Lyles
Lohse @ Germano
Kennedy @ Chacin – Chacin showed progress in his latest start but I still need to see more from him.
Stults @ Lincecum – Stults hasn’t faded one bit.
Harang @ Bailey – I don’t like the matchup for Harang. Homer’s on a roll in September (2-0, 1.55 ERA).
Pettitte @ Hendriks
Romero @ W. Chen (Gm 1 of DH) – Chen: 3 ER or less in four of his last five starts.
Alvarez @ Saunders (Gm 2 of DH) – Saundo last four starts: 2.10 ERA, 1.01 WHIP.
Hochevar @ Verlander
Straily @ Holland – Straily coming off ugly outing vs. O’s.
McAllister @ Sale
Estrada @ Zimmermann – Estrada’s on fire.
McPherson @ Mejia
Lynn @ Harrell – Harrell’s been pretty good lately but I’ll take the conservative route this late in the season.
Cahill @ Chatwood – Cahill sports a 2.79 ERA in September and has pitched pretty well at Coors Field this season (1-0, 3.65 ERA in two starts).
Time for the final installment of my two-start pitcher notes! A fairly even mix of Pitches and Ditches this time around. As always, feel free to ask follow-up questions on pitchers who aren’t listed here, but I’ve included all of the guys who I consider to be borderline calls.
Derek Holland (vs. OAK, vs. LAA)
Holland’s 5.12 ERA at home is the only reason why you’d even think about sitting him next week. But don’t let this scare you. He’s notched a quality start in six straight outings while striking out 38 over 42 innings. The A’s lineup is sub-par and while Holland got roughed up by the Angels the first two times he faced them this year, he’s coming off a strong performance against them (7 IP, 2 ER). Pitch.
Trevor Cahill (@COL, vs. CHC)
This one is a real tough call. It’s always risky to start a mid-level pitcher at Coors, but the bottom line is that Cahill has been lights out in September (3-0, 2.79 ERA). And he’s done a nice job of limiting the homers (15 HR allowed in 30 starts). On the negative side, Cahill’s ERA at home (4.96) dwarfs his road mark (2.91), so the vs. CHC matchup isn’t quite as attractive as it might seem at first glance. Still, Cahill’s recent performance stands out as the most important factor, so I’ll say pitch.
Tommy Milone (@TEX, vs. SEA)
Next week has disaster written all over it for Milone. First, he gets the worst matchup possible (I don’t care that he’s pitched well against the Rangers this year). Then, he’ll face a Mariners’ lineup that performs rather well on the road. AL-only owners might want to throw him out there, but I’m not touching him in mixed leagues. He’s faded badly in September, pitching to a 4.95 ERA and 1.90 WHIP. Ditch.
Mike Fiers (@CIN, vs. HOU)
Like Milone, Fiers has struggled mightily of late, registering a 6.61 ERA and 1.96 WHIP in September. But he’s still racking up those strikeouts. The @CIN matchup poses a challenge, but Fiers has dominated the Reds this year to the tune of a 1.29 ERA and 0.57 WHIP. And you’ve got to love the vs. HOU matchup. There’s risk here considering his recent pitching, but I’d slightly lean towards starting him.
Paul Maholm (vs. MIA, vs. NYM)
Maholm owners might be panicking, as he’s gotten lit up twice in his last four outings. But the good news is that he’s coming off a strong outing on the road against the Marlins and then gets the Marlins at home to begin next week before facing the Mets. The Marlins and Mets rank 14th and 15th respectively in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break and Maholm is a combined 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA against these two teams this season.
Francisco Liriano (vs. CLE, vs. TB)
Liriano is a category-based gamble. We all know that he can blow up at any moment but we also know that he’ll rack up plenty of strikeouts, that is as long as he stays in the game beyond the second inning! These aren’t terrible matchups, so if you can afford to risk ERA and WHIP and are in need of K’s, Liriano might be worth a look. Otherwise, feel free to pass and avoid the headache.
Edinson Volquez (vs. LAD, vs. SF)
Volquez is a lot like Liriano. He’s high risk/high reward. The one major difference is that I’d much rather start a high risk pitcher who’s making two starts at Petco than one who’s making two starts at U.S. Cellular. Edinson isn’t a must-start, but his 3.11 ERA and 9.13 K/9 at home this year is enough of a reason to take a chance on him, unless you’re in an ultra-tight WHIP race. Volquez won’t help you much in that department.
Aaron Harang (@SD, vs. COL) *Two-Start Pitcher status in question
Harang has been nothing more than an average pitcher this year. His ERA is solid but the record, the WHIP and the strikeout rate are mediocre. I like him a lot for next week though. Harang has pitched better on the road than at home this season, and @SD is about as favorable as it gets in terms of road matchups. What about the home matchup? It’s simple. The Rockies do not hit well on the road. I think we’ve mentioned this before. Pitch!
Mike Leake (vs. MIL, @PIT)
Leake has been a major source of frustration for me this year as you just never know which Mike Leake you’re going to get from one start to the next. The @PIT matchup is a decent one, but I don’t like the vs. MIL matchup at all. Believe it or not, the Brewers have overtaken the Cardinals as the highest scoring team in the NL and they also rank first in the NL in homers. Oh yeah, Leake’s home ERA is 5.54. In NL-only leagues, he might warrant some attention, but I want no part of him in mixed leagues.
Deduno @ Porcello
Parker @ Sabathia
M. Gonzalez @ Lester – Gonzalez has been solid on the road, too
Villanueva @ Shields – Villanueva 3.49 ERA in 14 starts
Masterson @ Mendoza – Masterson too erratic, especially on the road
Peavy @ Big Erv – BIG ERV!
M. Perez @ Iwakuma
Carpenter @ Volstad – great matchup for Carpenter to return
Hanson @ Kendrick – don’t trust Kendrick vs. Braves
Marcum @ Jackson
Blanton @ Arroyo – roll the dice if you must, but not me…
Turner @ Niese – Turner pitching well, Mets struggling…
Locke @ E. Gonzalez
Miley @ Pomeranz – I’ll risk Miley in Coors
C. Kelly @ Vogelsong – risk/reward with Kelly; let the categories guide you