May 2013

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 22

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels

CORY’S PICKS

Worley @ Maholm – Maholm is useful vs. weak offenses

Parker @ Tepesch – bench but don’t cut Parker; better of late but hasn’t handled a top offense yet

Hellickson @ Buehrle – K/BB says Hellickson will get better, but HR rate says not yet

Kuroda @ Hammel

Buchholz @ Sale – tasty

Latos @ Harvey – yummy

Cahill @ De La Rosa – DLR has four scoreless outings this year; I’ll take my chances

Samardzija @ Liriano – Liriano throwing well and Cubs are a good matchup

Maurer @ Wilson

Shields @ Lyles

Ryu @ W. Peralta – Peralta struggling too much to use even vs. Dodgers

G. Gonzalez @ Bumgarner

Verlander @ Jimenez – if Ubaldo can handle the Tigers, though…

Lee @ Slowey – well that ended badly

Lyons @ B. Smith

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 21

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels

CORY’S PICKS

Garza @ Wandy – great matchup for Garza’s return

Scherzer @ Kluber

Hughes @ M. Gonzalez – Hughes a better road play, but tough matchup… pass

Cobb @ Ortiz

Leake @ Niese – perfect home/away setting for both

Pelfrey @ T. Hudson – hang with ‘em on Hudson vs. weak Twins

Cloyd @ J. Fernandez – Cloyd an underrated prospect, and of course great matchup

Straily @ Darvish

Doubront @ Quintana – Quintana risky but plenty of upside

W. Davis @ Norris – Norris solid at home and Royals don’t’ score much

Greinke @ Burgos

Kennedy @ Chacin – playing it safe on Kennedy in Coors… bench but don’t cut

Harang @ Williams – Williams gets SEA/KC in weekly leagues, oh baby!

Wainwright @ Volquez

Strasburg @ Cain

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/20

Hey everyone,

This week’s two-start pitcher choices were unappealing to say the least and for the most part, it’s more of the same for next week. Here are my notes, and as always be sure to listen to today’s podcast as we’ll have our usual two-start pitcher segment with Cory, Mike and special guest Nando Di Fino of CBS Sports!

-Zach

Julio Teheran  (vs. MIN, @NYM)

After getting off to a shaky start to the season, Teheran has settled down nicely, allowing three runs or less in each of his last four starts while posting a superb 14-to-1 K/BB ratio. He gets a pair of appealing matchups next week, as the Twins are a mid-pack offense while the Mets’ lineup has struggled mightily of late. Pitch.

Scott Kazmir  (vs. SEA, @BOS)

There’s no denying that Kazmir has pitched fairly well over his last four starts, but I still don’t trust him to the point where I’d roll him out there in a two-start week where one of the matchups (@BOS) is very scary. This is a situation where one blowup could ruin the entire week. I need to see more. Ditch.

Carlos Villanueva  (@PIT, @CIN)

The month of May has not been kind to Villanueva, who has gone 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in three starts. And he will likely be the odd man out once Matt Garza returns from the DL, which will probably happen sometime next week. While there’s no way I’d start him in a mixed league, you can do a lot worse in an NL-only. Villanueva still offers some strikeout upside, the @PIT matchup is a decent one, and he actually pitched very well at Great American Ball Park back in April. But like I said, in a mixed league I’m passing.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays

Bartolo Colon  (@TEX, @HOU)

Colon’s the type of pitcher who can dominate or get roughed up by any lineup. His strikeouts are down this year but you’ve got to like the two walks over 47 1/3 innings! On the other hand, you can’t like the seven homers through eight starts. In a 12-team mixed league, I’d take the conservative route and ditch since the @TEX matchup certainly comes with disaster potential. But in a deeper mixed league and of course an AL-only, I think I’d give it a shot and hope he gets through the first outing in decent shape before tossing a gem @HOU. Then again, would you be at all surprised if the reverse happens?

Wade Davis  (@HOU, vs. LAA)

Although Davis has managed to piece together a few quality performances this year, he’s also gotten lit up on a bunch of occasions. I’m not a big fan of these feast or famine types, especially when their strikeout rate is nothing special and their WHIP is 1.89. Even in a deeper mixed league and despite the semi-attractive matchups, I’d let Davis be someone else’s problem. Ditch.

Shaun Marcum  (vs. CIN, vs. ATL)

I had high hopes for Marcum heading into the season, as one of the more consistent yet underrated hurlers in the Majors over the past few years would get a chance to pitch his home games at Citi Field. But neck and shoulder injuries kept him sidelined for almost the entire month of April and he’s kicked off his Mets’ career in mediocre fashion. And that’s being kind. The good news is that his latest outing (6 2/3 IP, 2 ER) on the road against the Cardinals was his best one to date, so maybe Marcum is finally putting it together. That said, both of these matchups are very tough, even at home. In an NL-only league, you probably don’t have many better options, so you’ll have to start Marcum out of necessity. But in a mixed league, I’m staying away. Keep an eye on Marcum though. He could be mixed league relevant rather soon.

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

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Baltimore Orioles

CORY’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Saunders @ McAllister

Morrow @ Phelps – playing it safe on Morrow ‘til he proves he’s healthy

R. Hernandez @ Jurrjens

Santiago @ Blanton

Dempster @ Diamond

An. Sanchez @ Grimm – tough matchup for Grimm, play it safe

Big Erv @ Milone – love Milone at home

Hefner @ Feldman

Arroyo @ Kendrick – Kendrick has to be trusted until he proves otherwise

Bedard @ Burnett

Capuano @ Medlen

McCarthy @ Koehler – McCarthy appears to be “back”

Estrada @ LynnEstrada was superb last time, but this ain’t the Pirates

Lincecum @ Nicasio

Zimmermann @ Stults

                                                                                                                                               SUNDAY

King Felix @ Masterson

Dickey @ Sabathia

Moore @ Tillman

Lackey @ P. Hernandez – Lackey has been solid, back on the radar

Peavy @ Vargas – Vargas worth a look in deeper leagues, though

Mendoza @ Griffin

Fister @ Holland

Miley @ Nolasco

Magill @ Minor

Bailey @ Pettibone

Norris @ Locke – Locke worth a shot at home vs. Astros

Lohse @ Gast

Gee @ Wood – Gee a pure home/away matchup play

Haren @ Cashner

Zito @ Chatwood

                                                                                                                                             MONDAY

Iwakuma @ Kazmir – gotta go with Kazmir at home vs. Mariners

TBD (TB) @ Ortiz

Hughes @ F. Garcia – tough matchup for Hughes, but I’ll take the shot on the road

Colon @ Lindblom

Lester @ Axelrod

Guthrie @ Harrell

Correia @ Teheran

Cueto @ Marcum – whose spot is Cueto taking, Cingrani or Leake??

Hamels @ Sanabia – mismatch of the day, so Marlins will probably win 7-2

Kershaw @ Gallardo

Corbin @ Garland

S. Miller @ Marquis

Detwiler @ Vogelsong – Detwiler not 100%, Vogelsong simply terrible

***ZACH SAYS “For Sunday, I’d take a chance on Tillman. He’s now strung together five straight quality starts and the Rays’ offense currently ranks next to last in the AL in runs scored on the road. For Monday, there’s no way I’m starting Hughes coming off his dreadful performance vs. the Mariners. In fact, I wouldn’t be opposed to flat out dropping him in any mixed league. He’s been way too erratic this year.”

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 17

MLB: Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers

CORY’S PICKS

Hellickson @ Hammel – both have pitched better than the ERA would show

Maurer @ Jimenez – Ubaldo’s velocity is up, mechanics are tighter and it’s the Mariners

Buehrle @ Kuroda

Porcello @ Tepesch

Buchholz @ Worley

Sale @ Wilson – Wilson isn’t very good, but frankly neither are the White Sox

Shields @ Parker – Parker slowly rounding into form

Harvey @ Jackson

Cingrani @ Lee – important outing for Cingrani with Cueto back on Monday

Lyles @ Gomez

Cahill @ Slowey – back on Slowey train at home despite blowup in L.A.

Ryu @ Maholm

W. Peralta @ J. Garcia

Bumgarner @ De La Rosanot sold on DLR yet, not at home

G. Gonzalez @ Smith

Updated PoD Category Chart (5/15)

Zach here,

Alright, the time has finally arrived for an updated Pitch or Ditch category chart! Click on the link below to download the PDF

POD Chart 5-15

A quick 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.

Here are the changes we’ve made to the chart since the mid-April version:

MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox

PROMOTIONS

Harvey grad to ace

Bailey PoD to grad

Jimenez DTM to PoD

Kazmir indifferent to PoD

Grimm indifferent to PoD

Feldman indifferent to PoD

Slowey indifferent to PoD

MLB: Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants

DEMOTIONS

Vogelsong grad to PoD

Jackson grad to PoD

Niese grad to PoD

Beckett grad to PoD

Worley PoD to indifferent

Sanabia PoD to indifferent

By the way, Ryan Vogelsong has completely ruined the ERA/WHIP of two of my teams (fortunately, I had the sense to bench him Wednesday night). Personally, he’s DTM, but to be nice, we’ve listed him as PoD. He’s on a short leash though.

Feel free to post your questions and/or comments.

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 16

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

CORY’S PICKS

Niese @ Wainwright – bench but don’t cut Niese
Burgos @ Liriano – I need to see more from Liriano first
Harang @ Pettitte
Doubront @ Cobb
Latos @ J. Fernandez
Verlander @ Darvish – must-see TV
Cain @ J. Chacin
Quintana @ J. Williams – good matchup for both
Strasburg @ Volquez

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 15

MLB: NLDS-San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds

CORY’S PICKS

Marquis @ F. Garcia

Axelrod @ Pelfrey

Gallardo @ Wandy – going on the working assumption that Gallardo actually pitches better at some point

Lester @ Price

Marcum @ S. Miller

Kluber @ Hamels

Ogando @ Straily – Straily hasn’t earned the trust to face tough offenses

Iwakuma @ Hughes

Leake @ SanabiaLeake on the road, vs. the Marlins? Have to go for it

W. Davis @ Enright – the Angels are struggling so bad right now, take a shot on Davis

Keuchel @ Scherzer – over/under on Scherzer K’s? 14?

T. Hudson @ Kennedy

Vogelsong @ R. Ortiz – Morrow pushed back to Saturday

Garland @ Samardzija

Detwiler @ Greinke – Detwiler regressing a little but Dodgers are soooo bad

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 14

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels

CORY’S PICKS

Kazmir @ Pettibone – time to start taking Kazmir seriously…

King Felix @ Sabathia

Lackey @ Moore – Lackey looking very good so far…

Peavy @ Correia

Guthrie @ VargasVargas worth a look in deeper leagues, for the home start

Lohse @ Locke – tough matchup for Locke and K/BB says play it safe

Zito @ Dickey – don’t trust Zito on the road but like Dickey vs. Giants

Bailey @ Nolasco

Gee @ Gast

Holland @ Colon – Colon still worth a look at home though.

Cashner @ Tillman  – could be a lot of K’s here

Harrell @ Fister

Francis @ VillanuevaVillanueva fading as Garza nears return

Teheran @ Corbin

Haren @ Kershaw

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

MLB: Spring Training-Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago White Sox

CORY’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Buehrle @ Buchholz

Smith @ Hellickson

Jimenez @ Verlander – keep an eye on Ubaldo… velocity is back up and pitching well lately

J. Williams @ Quintana

Pettitte @ Shields

S. Johnson @ Worley

Darvish @ Bedard

Parker @ Maurer – last chance for Parker to save his rotation spot?

Liriano @ Niese

J. Chacin @ Wainwright

Jackson @ Strasburg

Maholm @ Bumgarner

Burgos @ Latos – Burgos will start in place of Estrada, who is pushed to Monday

Lee @ Cahill

Slowey @ Ryu – ride the Slowey train!

                                                                                                                                               SUNDAY

McAllister @ Porcello – tough matchup for McAllister but I’m a fan

Morrow @ Dempster – bench but don’t cut Morrow, especially coming off stiff neck

Stults @ R. Hernandez

Kuroda @ Big Erv – have to roll Big Erv, right?

W. Chen @ Diamond

Tepesch @ Lyles – favorable matchup for Tepesch

Milone @ Saunders – check the home/away splits on both of these guys… seriously

Wilson @ Sale

W. Peralta @ Arroyo – bench but don’t cut talented but inconsistent Peralta

Gomez @ Harvey

Feldman @ G. Gonzalez – Feldman is rolling, have to go with it

De La Rosa @ J. Garcia

Medlen @ Lincecum

LeBlanc @ Capuano

Kendrick @ McCarthy – tough matchup for McCarthy but he’s this close to getting it together

                                                                                                                                             MONDAY

Phelps @ Masterson  (Gm 1 of doubleheader) – still don’t trust Masterson vs. any team with good lefties

Nuno @ Bauer  (Gm 2 of doubleheader)

Norris @ An. Sanchez – Anibal might strike out 20 vs. whiff-tastic Astros

Santiago @ P. Hernandez

Mendoza @ Blanton

Grimm @ Griffin

Hefner @ Lynn

Estrada @ Burnett – Estrada pushed back from Friday; hang with ‘em

Nicasio @ Wood

Minor @ Miley

Zimmermann @ Beckett – what reason is there to start Beckett, really?

                                                                                                                                               ***ZACH SAYS “Cory’s loyalty to McCarthy is truly admirable but I need to see more before I can trust him. He’s coming off just his first quality start of the season and the Phillies’ lineup isn’t exactly one to pick on.”

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