June 2013

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 29-July 1

USA TODAY Sports-Archive



Rogers @ Doubront – tough matchup for Rogers despite success as a starter

Wainwright @ Parker

Jimenez @ Axelrod

W. Davis @ Gibson – great setting for Gibson’s MLB debut

Blanton @ LylesBlanton 39 K’s in his last five starts, but bad matchup for Lyles

Sabathia @ Britton

Samardzija @ Harang – Harang worth a gamble at home vs. weak lineup, in deeper leagues

Leake @ Tepesch – scary matchup for Leake but results demand to use him

Verlander @ Archer

Jordan @ Gee – great setting for Jordan’s MLB debut

Kennedy @ T. Hudson

Cain @ De La Rosa

Stults @ Turner

Hand @ Liriano

Lee @ Ryu


Buehrle @ Dempster

Porcello @ Hellickson – looks like all that enthusiasm for Porcello was premature!

Masterson @ Sale

Big Erv @ Correia – Correia has allowed more than 4 runs only once this year

Wilson @ Harrell

Latos @ Darvish

Westbrook @ Milone

Jackson @ Bonderman – not buying Bonderman’s fast start just yet

Kuroda @ Tillman – Yankees are last in MLB in OPS in June. Last.

G. Gonzalez @ Wheeler

Cashner @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi looking very sharp since return

Cahill @ Maholm

Lohse @ Morton – watch for Morton in deeper leagues

Kendrick @ Fife

Bumgarner @ Pomeranz


Alvarez @ Dickey – oh so NOW Dickey’s pitching well again?

Pettitte @ Diamond

Moore @ Keuchel

Kickham @ Arroyo

Gallardo @ Zimmermann

Miley @ Marcum – hope everyone hung with ‘em on Marcum

Marquis @ J. Fernandez

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/1

Zach here,

The bad news is that there wasn’t a podcast today. The good news is that my two-start pitcher notes will never go on a hiatus! So let’s get started.

                                                                                                                                            Bronson Arroyo  (vs. SF, vs. SEA)

Arroyo has always been an incredibly frustrating guy to own, as he could blow up at any moment. But the end-of-year numbers are usually pretty good. The annoying thing though is that it’s tough to play the matchups with him, as he could dominate an elite offense in one start and then struggle against a light-hitting team his next time out. While Bronson is coming off a poor performance @OAK, he’s allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. The fact that the Giants and Mariners both rank second to last in their respective leagues in runs scored this month only adds to his appeal. Pitch.

Jason Hammel  (@CHW, @NYY)

Hammel’s overall numbers this year aren’t pretty, but if last season showed us anything, the Orioles’ righty still carries a decent amount of upside. The longball has been his biggest problem thus far, as he’s served up 16 of them through 16 starts, and the low K rate hurts his value. That said, I do like these matchups. Hammel is pitching a lot better on the road than at home, and the White Sox and Yankees’ lineups are both having trouble scoring runs of late. In deeper mixed leagues and of course AL-only formats, I’d be willing to roll the dice on Hammel.

Jason Marquis  (@MIA, @WAS)

I don’t care how well Marquis was pitching, prior to his ugly outing on Tuesday, or how enticing these matchups might be. My longstanding policy of ditching Marquis under any circumstances will remain intact. He cannot be trusted. It’s really as simple as that. Maybe he’s worth a try in an NL-only league but I don’t see him as mixed league material. To tell you the truth, I don’t see him as fantasy material. But that’s just me.

Phil Hughes  (@MIN, vs. BAL)

Just when you start to think that Hughes’ days as a mixed league contributor are numbered, he pitches a game like he did on Thursday, when he held the mighty Rangers to two runs on five hits over eight innings. He’s been a far better pitcher on the road than at home this season, which is the main reason why I’m scared about the vs. BAL matchup. But I love the @MIN matchup and would be fine with throwing Hughes out there next week with the hope that he can start performing at a more consistent level.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

Shaun Marcum  (vs. ARI, @MIL)

I was very high on Marcum heading into the season, so I’m a little surprised that the results have been this poor. But he was outstanding versus the White Sox on Wednesday and his peripheral stats suggest that his ERA should be a lot lower than its current 5.08 mark. These matchups aren’t great and Marcum has yet to string a few strong starts together, so sitting him is certainly understandable. But in deeper mixed leagues, I’d lean towards pitching him. I view him as a nice second half sleeper pick, health permitting of course.

Jeremy Hefner  (vs. ARI, @MIL)

Did you know that Hefner sports a 1.80 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in five June starts. Let me tell you a secret. I didn’t until I just looked it up. So being that I said to pitch the erratic Marcum, the more consistent Hefner, who has the same two matchups, is most certainly a pitch.

Justin Grimm  (vs. SEA, vs. HOU)

This is strictly an AL-only play, as Grimm has been way too unreliable to trust in a mixed league. But you could do a lot worse in an AL-only, as the Mariners and Astros rank in the bottom three in the AL in both runs scored and batting average.

Wily Peralta  (@WAS, vs. NYM)

Although pitching Peralta in a standard-sized mixed league is probably too risky, those of you in particularly deep mixed formats might want to consider it. After a brutal start to the season, he’s pitching a little better in June, and the matchups here are quite tasty!

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 28

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves


Bauer @ Santiago (Gm 1)
Carrasco @ Quintana (Gm 2) – Carrasco worth a look in deeper/unmixed leagues though
Phelps @ Gausman – I like Phelps but not vs. the O’s
Johnson @ Webster – riskier than you may think for JJ though
Scherzer @ Colome
Cueto @ Perez
Shields @ Walters
J. Williams @ Keuchel – Williams last 4 outings: 6.00 ERA, 24 hits (5 HR) in 18.0 IP
S. Miller @ Colon
Wood @ Iwakuma – both starting to regress, but still good enough to matchup
Hellweg @ Cole
TBD (WSH) @ Harvey
Volquez @ Nolasco – Nolasco pitching well and at home, so go for it
Delgado @ Teheran
Zito @ Chacin – not using Chacin at home, but he’s solid
Lannan @ Capuano – Capuano 2.55 ERA in his last 6 starts

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 27

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels


Holland @ Hughes
Weaver @ FisterI’m very concerned about Weaver and this is a dangerous matchup… bench but don’t cut
Kluber @ M. Gonzalez – tough matchup but they’re both gettin’ it done
Wang @ Lester – bench but don’t cut Lester
Guthrie @ Deduno – either could be a nice blue-plate special pick
Garza @ W. Peralta – same for Peralta, coming off great outing vs. Atlanta
Corbin @ Strasburg
Hefner @ Chatwood
Pettibone @ Greinke

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 26

MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago White Sox


Dickey @ R. Hernandez – Dickey is outside the circle of trust right now

Bailey @ Griffin

Gomez @ King Felix

Oswalt @ Lackey – need to see more before using Oswalt vs. top offenses

Grimm @ Pettitte – Pettitte’s only good start of the last five was in Seattle

Kazmir @ Hammel – toss-up on Hammel, but he’s been facing some tough matchups lately

Hanson @ Alvarez

Marcum @ Danks – taking another shot on Danks

Minor @ Mendoza

Lynn @ Bedard – not trusting Bedard vs. the Cardinals

Diamond @ Koehler

Miley @ Zimmermann

Feldman @ Gallardo

Lincecum @ Kershaw – decent matchup for Lincecum, go for it

Hamels @ TBD (SD)

***ZACH SAYS “I’d pitch Wade Miley versus a Nats offense that ranks dead last in the Majors in runs scored in the month of June. Miley has been very inconsistent this year but he has posted a quality start in three of his last four outings. It’s worth a try.”

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 25

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Minnesota Twins


Cahill @ G. Gonzalez – good matchup for Cahill, assuming he’s healthy

Masterson @ Tillman – Tillman 4-0, 2.25 in June

Darvish @ Kuroda

Wilson @ Porcello

Nicasio @ Dempster – now five straight QS for Dempster

Correia @ J. Fernandez – Correia hasn’t been great this year, but only one terrible start, and great matchup

Buehrle @ Moore – Buehrle 2.16 ERA in June

Medlen @ Big Erv

Jackson @ Lohse – both throwing well lately but Lohse has matchup edge here

Wheeler @ Sale

Westbrook @ Bedard – not trusting Bedard vs. high-scoring Cards

Arroyo @ Milone – not trusting Arroyo… note that 4.45 road ERA

Kendrick @ Marquis

Locke @ Saunders – gotta use Saundo at home vs. weak Pirates

Kickham @ Fife

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 22-24

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals



Colome @ Sabathia

M. Gonzalez @ Wang

Quintana @ W. Davis – good matchup for walk-prone Quintana

Walters @ Kluber

Webster @ Scherzer

Liriano @ Vargas – Vargas rolling of late

Straily @ Harang

Chacin @ HarenI don’t trust Haren right now, too erratic

Norris @ Wood

Gee @ Pettibone – Gee is on a tear

Turner @ Zito – good matchup for both

Hudson @ Gorzelanny

Perez @ S. Miller

Greinke @ Volquez

Leake @ Corbin – whouda thunk it??


Pelfrey @ Carrasco – Carrasco worth a look in deeper leagues though

F. Garcia @ J. Johnson

Doubront @ Verlander

Archer @ TBD (NYY) – I like Archer but still too erratic

Axelrod @ Shields – Axelrod worth a look in deeper leagues, too

Morton @ Blanton – too risky on both

Parker @ Bonderman

De La Rosa @ Detwiler

Harvey @ Lannan

Maholm @ Figaro – your call on Maholm; Brewers can hit lefties

Lyles @ Samardzija

Eovaldi @ Cain

Magill @ Cashner

Latos @ Delgado

Tepesch @ Wainwright


Jimenez @ Britton – no on Ubaldo vs. O’s… bench but don’t cut

Rogers @ Hellickson – hangin’ with unpredictable Helly

Bumgarner @ Ryu

Lee @ Stults – he’s some kinda wonderful!

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/24

Hey everyone,

With only four games scheduled for Monday, the two-start group for next week is a little thinner than usual, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of attractive options. So let’s get right to it. Here are some of the tougher decisions.

And as always, be sure to check out today’s podcast. This week’s special guest was Eric Mack of SI.com.


Chris Tillman  (vs. CLE, vs. NYY)

Since getting roughed up by the Nats back on May 29th, Tillman has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last four starts. These aren’t ideal matchups but after a hot start to the season, the Indians’ offense has struggled in the month of June, ranking 12th in the AL in runs scored and 13th in batting average. As for the Yankees, their lineup is an absolute mess, ranking dead last in the Majors in runs scored in June and second to last in average. Next week is a great time to roll the dice on Tillman.

Rick Porcello  (vs. LAA, @TB)

Like Tillman, Porcello is also on a nice roll of late, his most recent outing notwithstanding. Prior to Wednesday’s poor showing vs. the Orioles, he had pieced together four straight quality starts during which he registered a 1.33 ERA and 0.70 WHIP. Plus, a strong Tigers’ lineup will always put him in a great position to pick up the W. The matchups are a little challenging, but in mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give Porcello a try.

Ubaldo Jimenez  (@BAL, @CHW)

Regardless of the matchup, pitching Ubaldo is always a risk, as he’s liable to blow up at any moment, and unless both matchups are favorable, I’ll tend to shy away from starting him. The @BAL matchup worries me quite a bit, as the Orioles rank 3rd in the Majors in both runs scored and batting average and 1st in homers (thank you, Chris Davis). On the surface, the @CHW matchup seems favorable, as the Pale Hose are the lowest scoring offense in the AL. But note that the South Siders have actually been a middle of the pack offense in the month of June, and their lineup still includes some dangerous hitters. I want no part of Ubaldo next week.

Eric Stults  (vs. PHI, @MIA)

Stults has flown under the radar so far this season but he’s been effective more times than not. Wednesday’s quality outing vs. the Giants marked the fifth straight start in which he has allowed two earned runs or less. Even with Giancarlo Stanton back, the Marlins’ lineup is still a lineup worth picking on, and the Phillies’ offense has been very erratic for much of the season. Unless you’re in a shallow mixed league, Stults deserves the nod.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays

Jeremy Hellickson  (vs. TOR, vs. DET)

I’m not giving up on Hellickson just yet. The fact that he sports an excellent 70-to-19 K/BB ratio this season to go along with a career-low walk rate and a stellar 1.25 WHIP suggests that luck can at least be partly to blame for his dreadful 5.50 ERA. I expect the 26-year-old to start performing at a more consistent level as the season goes along. As for next week though, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch. The Blue Jays are hot and we all know what kind of damage the Tigers’ lineup can do to any pitcher. And it’s not like Hellickson can be counted on for strikeouts. I just don’t see the upside in pitching him here.

Chris Capuano  (vs. SF, vs. PHI)

Capuano’s return from the DL on Wednesday was an overwhelming success, as he tossed six shutout innings vs. the Yankees, on the road no less. While the veteran lefty hasn’t quite resembled the pitcher who won 12 games for the Dodgers last season to go along with a 3.72 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 162 punchouts, he can still get the job done, and you have to like this pair of matchups. The fact that both of them are at home is an added bonus. In deeper mixed leagues, Capuano makes for a fine two-start option.

Kevin Correia  (@MIA, vs. KC)

Don’t laugh but Correia is actually putting together a pretty darn good season. He’s allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last five starts, and although he gives up a lot of hits, he doesn’t hurt himself with walks. Maybe I’d think twice about pitching Correia in a 12-team mixed, as he is, after all, Kevin Correia. But in deeper mixed leagues, you can do a lot worse for next week. The Marlins are the Marlins and the Royals’ lineup is mediocre at best.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 21

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles DodgersB


Keuchel @ Garza

Chatwood @ Strasburg – Chatwood pitching well, away from Coors, vs. struggling Nats

Deduno @ Kazmir

Hefner @ Hamels

R. Hernandez @ Phelps – Phelps hard to predict so far this year but upside is there

Hammel @ Dickey – Hammel much better on the road… your call on Dickey

Lester @ Fister – have to sit struggling Lester vs. Tigers

Teheran @ W. Peralta

Santiago @ Guthrie – good matchup for Guthrie rebound

Holland @ Lyons – tough matchup for Holland but results have been there

Cueto @ Miley

Cole @ Weaver

Kershaw @ Richard – Richard may get back into the always-start-at-home graces with a few more good ones…

Colon @ Iwakuma – surprise All-Star preview matchup of the year

Nolasco @ Lincecum

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 20

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves


Moore @ Pettitte – Moore hasn’t been the same since the rainy night in Cleveland, but Yankees no longer frighten
Danks @ Diamond
Griffin @ Lindblom – play it safe on Griffin in Texas
Gallardo @ Harrell
Lackey @ Alvarez
King Felix @ Hanson – good home matchup for Hanson
Cumpton @ Bailey
Oswalt @ Zimmermann – soft spot for Oswalt’s return but let’s see one first
Niese @ Minor – Niese on a nice run and Braves not exactly tearing it up lately
Feldman @ Lynn
Fife @ Marquis
Koehler @ Gaudin – home vs. Marlins? Might as well go for it!