Cobb @ M. Gonzalez – Gonzalez keeps getting it done…
Millwood @ Romero
Phelps @ Cook
Gomez @ Dempster – Dempster has overcome his rocky adjustment to the AL
Scherzer @ Floyd
Hochevar @ Walters
Griffin @ Big Erv – Big Erv very solid over the past 6 weeks
Johnson @ Lee
Lohse @ Richard – Richard still a must at home
Burnett @ Bailey – Bailey not trustworthy at home
Lannan @ Harvey
Wood @ Abad
Maholm @ Gallardo
Lincecum @ Francis – Lincecum has been measurably better since All-Star
Harang @ Cahill
Moore @ Hammel – Hammel coming off solid performance vs. Yanks.
Ramirez @ Morrow
Kuroda @ Lester – Lester’s been solid for awhile now.
Jimenez @ Harrison
Fister @ Peavy
Smith @ Diamond – Great opportunity for Diamond to get back on track.
Straily @ Williams
Eovaldi @ Halladay
Correia @ Leake – Leake too inconsistent to trust.
Zimmermann @ Dickey
Germano @ Lyles
Hudson @ Estrada – Estrada’s a grad now.
Bumgarner @ Chacin – Chacin’s last start has scared me off.
Kershaw @ Kennedy
Wainwright @ Volquez – Edinson’s at home but the matchup is too risky.
Moore @ Hammel
Ramirez @ Morrow
Kuroda @ Lester – amazing turnaround by Lester, roll with it
Jimenez @ Harrison
Fister @ Peavy
Smith @ Diamond
Straily @ Big Erv – Erv is risk/reward, start based on categories and needs
Eovaldi @ Halladay
Correia @ Leake – Leake too erratic to trust unless trading ratios for wins
Zimmermann @ Dickey
Germano @ Lyles – Lyles not terribly good, but a good “as needed” risk at home
Hudson @ Estrada
Bumgarner @ Chacin
Kershaw @ Kennedy
Wainwright @ Volquez – Volquez ONLY if desperate for K’s
Here are our preliminary top-10 catcher and top-15 outfielder rankings for next year. Be sure to listen to today’s podcast as Mike and Cory will go through this in depth. Also, feel free to send in comments. Disagree with any of these? We want to hear from you, and will address your comments on Friday’s show.
On Friday, we’ll cover starting pitchers and relief pitchers, so stay tuned!
1. Buster Posey
2. Joe Mauer
3. Yadier Molina
4. Carlos Santana
5. Miguel Montero
6. Brian McCann
7. Mike Napoli
8. Matt Wieters
9. Carlos Ruiz
10. A.J. Pierzynski Honorable Mentions: Ryan Doumit, Jesus Montero, J.P. Arencibia, Wilin Rosario, Alex Avila, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Salvador Perez, Jonathan LuCroy
1. Ryan Braun
2. Mike Trout
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Matt Kemp
5. Carlos Gonzalez
6. Andrew McCutchen
7. Matt Holliday
8. Jose Bautista
9. Giancarlo Stanton
10. Jason Heyward
11. Adam Jones
12. Jay Bruce
13. B.J. Upton
14. Justin Upton
15. Michael Bourn
Honorable Mentions: Carlos Beltran, Alex Rios, Hunter Pence, Melky Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Bryce Harper, Alfonso Soriano
B. Chen @ Sale
Sabathia @ Saunders – I don’t trust Saundo in this matchup.
Romero @ Matsuzaka – Romero is DTM and Dice-K is borderline DTM.
McAllister @ De Vries – McAllister struggling of late but I like him here.
Darvish @ Price
Verlander @ Wilson – Wilson showing some improvement.
Anderson @ Iwakuma – Great matchup for the red-hot Iwakuma.
Buehrle @ Detwiler
Medlen @ Hefner – Hefner outstanding over his last two starts but keep in mind that he faced the Astros and Marlins.
Capuano @ Cain
Chatwood @ Hamels
Samardzija @ McDonald – McDonald has been so erratic in the second half that I’d be hesitant to pitch him even vs. the Cubs.
Norris @ Arroyo – Despite his home woes, if you own Arroyo you might as well start him here.
Fiers @ Westbrook – Not gambling on Fiers vs. best offense in NL.
Miley @ Volquez – Edinson still has good numbers at home, but he’s just too blowup prone.
F. Garcia @ Britton – Can’t trust Britton vs. Yanks, no matter how much their lineup is struggling.
Happ @ Buchholz
Harrison @ Shields
Guthrie @ Santiago
Masterson @ Vasquez – I’m officially retired from the Masterson guessing game.
An. Sanchez @ Greinke
Milone @ Vargas – Great matchup for both.
E. Gonzalez @ Cueto
Hanson @ Young
Nolasco @ Jackson – Nolasco on a roll but I can’t see him dominating Nats lineup twice in less than two weeks.
Pomeranz @ Cloyd
Rusin @ Locke
Marcum @ J. Kelly – I’ll give Marcum another chance. J. Kelly a decent play in deeper formats.
Kennedy @ C. Kelly – C. Kelly coming off rough outing at Coors but he’s now at home against an inconsistent ARI lineup.
Kershaw @ Zito – Not a fan of Zito.
Porcello @ Quintana
Kluber @ Deduno
Parker @ Haren
LeBlanc @ Kendrick – Tasty matchup for Kendrick.
Wandy @ Latos
G. Gonzalez @ Dickey – Nice!
Volstad @ Lyles
Minor @ Peralta – Need to see more from Peralta before I can trust him vs. non-terrible lineup.
Vogelsong @ White – Vogelsong fading badly and he did not fare too well at Coors last month.
J. Garcia @ Werner – For this one start, I’ll pitch Garcia.
Time for our weekly look at two-start pitchers! Here are my thoughts on a bunch of non-obvious choices for next week. Make sure to listen to today’s podcast, as Mike and Cory will give their take on all of these guys.
Jaime Garcia (@SD, @LAD)
Garcia has been a model of inconsistency through four starts since returning from the DL, tossing a combined 15 1/3 scoreless innings in two of those starts while allowing 10 runs over 11 1/3 innings in his other two starts. You might think that next week’s matchups are promising, but keep in mind that Garcia’s home/road splits are drastic. He’s 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in seven home starts this year as opposed to 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA in eight starts away from Busch Stadium. I still like him at Petco but the Dodgers’ lineup is strong. This really comes down to whether or not you can sacrifice a little in ERA and WHIP for wins and K’s and if there are better two-start options either on your roster or on the wire. But believe it or not, I’d lean towards ditching Jaime in 12-team mixed leagues.
Justin Masterson (@MIN, vs. DET)
I’ve been wrong on this guy in PoD just about every time, so your guess is as good as mine here. But I’m ditching. Masterson got roughed up @MIN back in late-July and his 6.21 road ERA dwarfs his 3.74 home mark. He’s had some success against the Tigers this year but they remain a very dangerous lineup. I just don’t see much upside in starting Masterson outside of AL-only leagues and very deep mixed formats.
Aaron Harang (@ARI, vs. STL)
I’ve been extremely impressed with Harang in 2012 but these matchups really scare me. He’s pitched poorly against the D-Backs this year (9.42 ERA in three starts) and the Cardinals are the highest scoring team in the NL. Not to mention that Harang’s home ERA is more than a half run higher than his road ERA. I’d be very surprised if at least one of these starts doesn’t turn out to be ugly. Too much risk here. Ditch.
Alex Cobb (@BAL, @NYY)
I don’t care how well Cobb pitched against the Yankees his last time out. These matchups are brutal. I don’t like his chances at all pitching in Yankee Stadium and the Orioles rank in the top half of the AL in both homers and runs scored since the All-Star break. Plus, there’s the home/road factor. In 10 starts at home this year, Cobb’s ERA is 3.34. In nine starts away from Tropicana Field, his ERA is 5.30. Ditch.
Kyle Kendrick (vs. MIA, @HOU)
I’m not a huge Kendrick fan, but there’s no denying that he’s red-hot, having allowed a mere six runs combined over his last five starts, spanning 35 1/3 innings. Look, he’s due for a blowup. But I don’t see it happening next week. Kendrick has dominated the Marlins this year (1.46 ERA in two starts) and while he has yet to face the Astros, Houston ranks dead last in the NL in both runs scored and batting average. Pitch.
Marco Estrada (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)
How about a 3.94 ERA and 64-to-14 K/BB ratio over 61 2/3 innings? These are Estrada’s stats through 11 starts since the All-Star break. The Braves are a slightly above-average offense while the Mets’ lineup is sub-par. That’s good enough for me. Pitch.
Miguel Gonzalez (vs. TB, @OAK)
Gonzalez put up a mediocre stat line in his latest start @TOR, but his bullpen deserves at least some of the blame as Luis Ayala allowed all three inherited runners to score in the seventh inning. Prior to that outing, Gonzalez had allowed two runs or less in four of five starts. You’ve got to like the @OAK matchup and while Gonzalez got knocked around by the Rays in late-July, he blanked them over seven innings on August 5th. I’ll roll the dice and say pitch.
Eric Stults (vs. STL, vs. COL)
Stults has done an outstanding job since moving to the rotation, allowing one run or less in five of his six starts. The vs. STL matchup is a challenging one, but the Cardinals’ offense isn’t quite as dangerous on the road than they are at home. And the Rockies are the lowest scoring road offense in baseball. In deeper mixed leagues (12 teams or larger), I’d give Stults a shot.
Carlos Villanueva (vs. SEA, vs. BOS)
Yeah, he’s been a little erratic, but Villanueva’s overall stat line, especially the K rate, is still very solid. He’s 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA at home, and while these matchups aren’t ideal, they aren’t particularly scary either. I’ll say pitch, though a strong argument can be made to sit this one out.
On today’s podcast, we turned our focus to the second base and shortstop positions. Below you’ll find our preliminary top-10 rankings for 2013. And for good measure, we’ve included a few honorable mentions.
On Monday, we’ll cover catcher and outfield.
And feel free to comment on these rankings. We might even share some of your responses on Monday’s show!
1. Robinson Cano
2. Ian Kinsler
3. Dustin Pedroia
4. Brandon Phillips
5. Ben Zobrist
6. Jason Kipnis
7. Chase Utley
8. Jose Altuve
9. Aaron Hill
10. Neil Walker
Honorable Mentions: Danny Espinosa, Howard Kendrick, Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks
1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Jose Reyes
3. Troy Tulowitzki
4. Ian Desmond
5. Starlin Castro
6. Jimmy Rollins
7. Derek Jeter
8. Elvis Andrus
9. Asdrubal Cabrera
10. Alexei Ramirez
Honorable Mentions: Mike Aviles, Zack Cozart, Alcides Escobar, J.J. Hardy
It’s been a little over three weeks since we last updated the Pitch or Ditch category chart, so here it is!
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 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, as we finally send Ricky Romero to Club DTM. Remember when he was an ace back in April? It’s been a long, long season for Ricky Ro.
Dempster PoD to grad
Holland PoD to grad
Medlen PoD to grad
Estrada PoD to grad
Iwakuma indifferent to PoD
Hefner indifferent to PoD
De Vries indifferent to PoD
Nolasco DTM to PoD
Cahill grad to PoD
McAllister grad to PoD
Alvarez PoD to indifferent
Romero PoD to DTM
As always, feel free to comment. Disagree with some of our choices? We’d love to hear from you.
Hughes @ W. Chen – Chen has been more stable than Hughes this year.
Alvarez @ Doubront
Holland @ Hellickson
Mendoza @ Liriano – do you feel lucky with Liriano? Not me.
Gomez @ Hendriks
Scherzer @ Big Erv – Scherzer is on a serious tear.
Griffin @ King Felix – minus the start in which he got hurt, Griffin is 8-for-8 in QS this year.
Turner @ Strasburg – enjoy the show while you can.
Francis @ Lee
Wood @ Burnett
Harrell @ Bailey – I don’t trust Bailey at home vs. AN. Y. ONE.
Maholm @ Niese – Maholm struggling of late.
Gallardo @ Lohse
Skaggs @ Cashner – Cashner’s K upside worth a little chase.
Beckett @ Lincecum – Lincecum 3.26 ERA since All-Star.
Walters @ Peavy
Haren @ McCarthy
Jimenez @ Fister
M. Gonzalez @ Morrow – Gonzalez’s gopheritis not a big worry vs. Bautista-less Jays
Kuroda @ Moore
Dempster @ Teaford – tasty road matchup for Dempster
Cook @ Millwood
Halladay @ Leake – Leake not as good at home, and Phils are scoring more now
Dickey @ Wainwright
Volstad @ G. Gonzalez
Abad @ Correia
White @ Minor
Peralta @ Eovaldi
Richard @ Harang – Harang worth using if chasing K’s, Richard for the win
Cahill @ Bumgarner – Cahill only 3-of-10 QS since All-Star