September 2012

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, September 20



Vasquez @ Kluber

Milone @ An. Sanchez – Milone coming back down to earth, and on the road… ditch

Laffey @ Hughes

Buchholz @ Price

Liriano @ Guthrie – Liriano was so impressive last time out, have to go for it vs. KC

Darvish @ Greinke

Norris @ J. Garcia – Bud on the road, no bueno… Jaime at home, mucho bueno

Cueto @ Berken

Richard @ Skaggs – toss-up on Richard, who’s been a little better on the road this year

De La Rosa @ Zito

Fiers @ Wandy

Capuano @ Detwiler

Cloyd @ Hefner

411 Season Recap Central

Hey everyone,

As we wind down our special end of season shows, we thought it would be a good idea to create a single blog post where you can easily access all of the content. Below are links to our 2013 preliminary positional rankings along with the Fantasy 411’s special teams. I’ll also be posting a link to this post on the top of all of our upcoming posts through the end of the regular season.


First Base and Third Base Rankings for 2013

Second Base and Shortstop Rankings for 2013

Catcher and Outfield Rankings for 2013

Starting Pitcher and Closer Rankings for 2013

All-Surprise and All-Disappointment Teams for 2012

2012 Report Cards

All-Rookie, All-Injury and All-Fantasy Teams for 2012

The Final Pitch or Ditch Category Chart


All-Surprise + All-Disappointment Teams for 2012


Hey everybody,

On today’s podcast, we discussed our All-Surprise and All-Disappointment teams for the 2012 season. Here are the rosters, and be sure to listen to the podcast for Mike and Cory’s in-depth analysis.

Next week, we’ll wrap up our in-season podcasts by unveiling our All-Rookie, All-Injury and All-Fantasy teams in addition to grading Mike and Cory’s preseason picks.



C    A.J. Pierzynski

1B  Edwin Encarnacion

2B  Aaron Hill

SS  Ian Desmond

3B  Chase Headley

OF  Mike Trout

OF  Alex Rios

OF  Josh Reddick

SP  R.A. Dickey

SP  Wade Miley

RP  Fernando Rodney


C    Mike Napoli

1B  Eric Hosmer

2B  Dan Uggla

SS  Dee Gordon

3B  Brett Lawrie

OF  Justin Upton

OF  Cameron Maybin

OF  Drew Stubbs

SP  Tim Lincecum

SP  Ricky Romero

RP  Heath Bell

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, September 19


Hendriks @ McAllister – McAllister has run out of gas.
Anderson @ Verlander
Alvarez @ Hughes
Matsuzaka @ Archer – Archer not a bad gamble though in AL-only/deep mixed leagues for the K potential.
Sale @ Mendoza
Holland @ Wilson – Holland pitching extremely well of late…five straight quality starts with plenty of K’s.
Saunders @ King Felix – If you’re ever going to pitch Saundo, this would be the time.
Beckett @ Lannan
Estrada @ McPherson – Estrada 1 ER or less in four of his last five starts.
Medlen @ Johnson – Medlen is on a ridiculous run right now.
Hamels @ Harvey
Leake @ Rusin – Leake is a toss-up as always, but he’s been a much better pitcher on the road.
Harrell @ Lynn – Harrell a little too risky here.
Volquez @ Cahill – Disaster alert for Volquez. Cahill seems to have gotten back on track.
Chatwood @ Cain

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, September 18


Walters @ Huff

Griffin @ Scherzer

Romero @ Pettitte – I feel comfortable pitching Andy in his first start back.

Doubront @ Hellickson – Doubront too erratic lately to trust.

Floyd @ Hochevar

Dempster @ Weaver

W. Chen @ Ramirez – Great matchup for Chen.

Harang @ Zimmermann – I’ll say pitch on Harang but if you’re protecting your ratios feel free to sit him.

Gallardo @ Burnett

Maholm @ Eovaldi – Maholm struggling but if he’s ever going to right the ship it would be in this matchup.

Cloyd @ Hefner

Bailey @ Germano – Homer a category-based decision but he’s been a lot better on the road and the Cubs’ lineup is sub-par.

Abad @ Lohse

Stults @ Kennedy – Stults keeps getting it done.

Francis @ Lincecum

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, September 15-17



Buchholz @ Villanueva – Villanueva coming off solid performance at Fenway but he’s been very inconsistent of late.

Quintana @ Deduno – Quintana got roughed up by the Twins last week but I still like the matchup.

An. Sanchez @ Masterson – Masterson is giving his owners a total headache this year.

Shields @ Nova – Playing it safe on Nova in his first start back.

Greinke @ Guthrie

Vargas @ Feldman – SEA lineup does well on the road.

Britton @ Parker – Britton was awful vs. the Yankees on Sunday but I do like this matchup.

Locke @ Berken

Jackson @ Hanson

Kendrick @ Keuchel – Kendrick is on a roll.

Mejia @ Marcum – Losing patience with Marcum but I’ll give him one more chance vs. mediocre at best lineup.

Cueto @ Buehrle

Zito @ Miley – Zito cannot be trusted here.

Pomeranz @ C. Kelly – COL lineup woeful on the road.

J. Garcia @ Blanton – Time to take a break from Garcia, whose road struggles continue.


Moore @ Kuroda

Lester @ Morrow – I’m expecting a bounce back performance from Morrow.

Haren @ Smith

Peavy @ Diamond – Diamond hasn’t posted a quality start in more than three weeks.

Porcello @ Jimenez – Porcello not a bad choice in deeper formats though.

Beavan @ Harrison

TBD (BAL) @ Straily

Latos @ Nolasco – Nolasco is red-hot but he’s due for a blowup and the Reds’ lineup is dangerous.

Halladay @ Lyles

Young @ Peralta – Could be 10-9 or 2-1. This is a category-based decision.

Wandy @ Volstad

White @ Werner – Werner’s pitching well and it’s fun to pick on the Rockies when they’re on the road!

Wainwright @ Kershaw

Vogelsong @ Corbin – Tough matchup for the struggling Vogelsong. I think I’d sit this one out. Corbin has faded in September (6.10 ERA).

G. Gonzalez @ Minor


Fister @ Floyd – Floyd way too unpredictable.

Cook @ Cobb – Cobb has been excellent at home this year.

M. Gonzalez @ Ramirez – Outstanding matchup for Gonzalez.

Lee @ Dickey – This game could be over in 45 minutes!

Hudson@ LeBlanc

Correia @ Wood – Wood a quality NL-only play.

Chacin @ Bumgarner

Starting Pitcher and Closer Rankings for 2013


Hey all,

On today’s podcast, we unveiled our preliminary top-15 starting pitcher and top-10 relief pitcher rankings heading into next season along with a plethora of honorable mentions. We encourage each and every one of you to comment on these and we’ll share your thoughts on our next podcast which comes on Wednesday. Next up are our 2012 All-Surprise and All-Disappointment teams. But first things first, here are our pitcher rankings:

                                                                                                                                                STARTING PITCHER

1. Justin Verlander

2. Felix Hernandez

3. Jered Weaver

4. David Price

5. Clayton Kershaw

6. Cole Hamels

7. Stephen Strasburg

8. Matt Cain

9. Madison Bumgarner

10. CC Sabathia

11. Johnny Cueto

12. Gio Gonzalez

13. Zack Greinke

14. Jordan Zimmermann

15. R.A. Dickey

Honorable Mentions: Hiroki Kuroda, Jake Peavy, Roy Halladay, Chris Sale, Yovani Gallardo, Cliff Lee, Max Scherzer (MLB strikeout leader), Yu Darvish, Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright, Matt Moore, Mat Latos, James Shields

                                                                                                                                                 RELIEF PITCHER

1. Craig Kimbrel

2. Aroldis Chapman

3. Kenley Jansen

4. Joel Hanrahan

5. Jason Motte

6. Jonathan Papelbon

7. Joe Nathan

8. Huston Street

9. Fernando Rodney

10. J.J. Putz

Honorable Mentions: Ernesto Frieri, Rafael Betancourt, Tyler Clippard, Chris Perez, Rafael Soriano, Jim Johnson, Tom Wilhelmsen

***ALSO NOTE INJURED CLOSERS: Mariano Rivera, Brian Wilson, Drew Storen, Joakim Soria, Sergio Santos

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/17


Hey everyone,

Here are my two-start pitcher notes for next week. And as always, be sure to listen to today’s podcast to hear what Mike and Cory have to say about all of these guys. Not a whole lot of appealing options this time around.


A.J. Griffin  (@DET, @NYY)

Next week will be a tough test for Griffin, but the way he’s pitching right now (20 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 18 K in three starts since coming off the DL), you really can’t bet against him. If you’re a believer in the “due for a stat correction” theory, this would be a logical time to bench him. But I’m throwing him out there.

Aaron Harang  (@WAS, @CIN)

Harang’s overall numbers won’t blow you away, but he’s allowed three runs or less in each of his last seven starts. But the 4.23 BB/9 and 1.60 K/BB leave a lot to be desired. The good news is that he’s actually pitched better on the road this year (7-4, 3.57 ERA) than at home (2-5, 4.02 ERA). The bad news is that the Nationals and Reds both rank in the top-6 in the NL in runs scored and batting average at home. The bad news outweighs the good news. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’m ditching.

Ervin Santana  (vs. TEX, vs. CWS)

Big Erv is back! Since the beginning of August, Santana boasts a 3.10 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Another encouraging note is that his home ERA is nearly a run and a half lower than his road mark, and he’ll be making a pair of home starts next week. The White Sox lineup is strong on the whole but they have struggled away from U.S. Cellular, ranking just 12th in the AL in road scoring. All that said, the vs. TEX matchup makes me very nervous. Erv got lit up by the Rangers at home on July 21 (1 2/3 IP, 6 ER) and this is a situation where one disaster outing could ruin the two-start week. I’ll play it safe and ditch.

Alex Cobb  (vs. BOS, vs. TOR)

Since enjoying a four-start stretch during which he allowed a mere six runs over 28 innings, Cobb has alternated excellent and poor starts. He’s due for an excellent one and the Red Sox lineup is a shell of it’s former self. Not to mention that the Blue Jays have a tough time scoring on the road and that Cobb’s ERA at home this season is 3.34. Yeah, he’s risky. But all signs suggest that next week could be a decent one for Cobb. In 12-team mixed leagues, I might not bother. But in NFBC-style mixed leagues and of course AL-only leagues, I like him.

Mike Leake  (@CHC, vs. LAD)

Leake is a very frustrating guy to own, as he’s always susceptible to a disaster outing. Considering that the Cubs rank second to last in the NL in both runs scored and batting average and that Leake’s road ERA is 3.74, I’d definitely pitch him there. But I don’t like the vs. LAD matchup one bit. The very potent Dodgers’ lineup has been underachieving of late, but it’s only a matter of time before they’ll get it going. And Leake’s 5.54 home ERA scares me big time. Outside of NL-only leagues, I’d stay away.

Miguel Gonzalez  (@SEA, @BOS)

It was nice to see Gonzalez put up a decent stat line on Wednesday as he was coming off a mediocre performance on the road vs. the Blue Jays. This is a tough call, as the @SEA matchup is as good as it gets but the @BOS matchup is a rough one. But Miguel handled the Red Sox rather well back on August 15th (6 IP, 2 ER) and he’s been a very effective road pitcher this year, going 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA. I’ll say pitch.

Jhoulys Chacin  (@SF, vs. ARI)

After allowing a combined three runs over his first three starts since coming off the DL in late-August, Chacin has struggled mightily in each of his last two starts, and I just don’t see how anyone can trust him. One might think that the @SF matchup is promising, but keep in mind that Chacin has been beat up in his two starts vs. the Giants this year (8 IP, 8 ER) and how can anyone have confidence in him pitching at Coors against a D-Backs lineup that ranks 4th in the NL in home runs since the All-Star break? Even in NL-only leagues, I’d have a hard time starting Chacin.

Travis Wood  (vs. PIT, vs. STL)

Anyone notice that Wood has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last five starts? The problem here is that his ERA at home is 4.86, the Cardinals are a dangerous lineup and the Pirates are no pushover either. I’d consider pitching Wood in NL-only leagues due to his recent performance, but he’s too risky for mixed leagues.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, September 14


An. Sanchez @ Kluber – Anibal hasn’t been great, but nice matchup

Price @ Sabathia

Matsuzaka @ Laffey

Iwakuma @ Darvish – I’d like Iwakuma a lot more at home than in Texas

Wilson @ B. Chen

Liriano @ De Vries – can’t trust Liriano here unless truly desperate for K’s

Saunders @ Milone – Saunders a category-based decision

McDonald @ RusinMcDonald hit and miss but have to love the matchup

Arroyo @ Turner – don’t trust Arroyo but like the matchup

Detwiler @ Medlen

Hamels @ E. Gonzalez

Niese @ Fiers

Cain @ Skaggs – Skaggs walking too many so far

Chatwood @ Cashner

J. Kelly @ Capuano

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, September 13


Hellickson @ W. Chen – Chen has been mostly consistent
Anderson @ Weaver
King Felix @ Alvarez
Hughes @ Doubront – Hughes a category-based toss-up
McAllister @ Holland
Verlander @ Sale – yes please
Mendoza @ Hendriks
Cloyd @ Harrell – good matchup for Cloyd; Harrell tough at home
Lynn @ Beckett – you woulda said “pitch” on this game in a second back in May!