June 2013

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 19

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres


Tillman @ Porcello – tough matchup for both but increased K rates give optimism

Ryu @ Kuroda (Gm 1 of doubleheader)

Capuano @ Hughes (Gm 2 of doubleheader)

Mendoza @ Masterson

Nicasio @ Buehrle – will Oswalt start for Rockies?

Hellickson @ Dempster – Hellickson benched until further notice

Milone @ Grimm

Sale @ Correia

Lohse @ Bedard

Saunders @ Wilson

Fernandez @ Cahill – Cahill scuffling but still a favorable matchup

Stults @ Bumgarner – have to roll Stults, right?

G. Gonzalez @ Kendrick

Marcum @ Medlen

Locke @ Arroyo

Jackson @ Westbrook

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 18

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays


Archer @ Doubront (Gm 1 of doubleheader) – don’t trust Archer’s walk rate

Odorizzi @ Aceves (Gm 2 of doubleheader) – you can’t beat the Marlins, you don’t get the BoSox… sorry Jake

Harvey @ A. Wood (Gm 1 of doubleheader)

Wheeler @ Maholm (Gm 2 of doubleheader) – tough debut, but let’s trust the pedigree

Big Erv @ Jimenez

Ryu @ Hughes – great matchup for Hughes but simply untrustworthy at home

Detwiler @ Lee

Francis @ Rogers

Hammel @ Verlander

Morton @ Latos

Parker @ Darvish – seven straight QS for Parker

Axelrod @ Pelfrey – Axelrod worth a look in deeper leagues

Figaro @ Lyles – rolling with Lyles vs. Braun-less Brewers

Samardzija @ Wainwright

Eovaldi @ Delgado

Bonderman @ Blanton – I’m not buying

Cashner @ Cain

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

MLB: Houston Astros at Pittsburgh Pirates



Lackey @ F. Garcia

Dickey @ Lindblom – can’t trust Dickey in Texas

Guthrie @ Cobb – Guthrie seems to be back in his groove

Phelps @ Hanson – don’t love the matchups

Zimmermann @ Kazmir

An. Sanchez @ Deduno

King Felix @ Griffin

Danks @ Harrell – great matchups for both; all of Harrell’s bad starts are vs. OAK and DET

Feldman @ Niese

Gaudin @ Minor

Kershaw @ TBD (PIT)

Gallardo @ Bailey

Pettibone @ Chatwood

Lynn @ Koehler

Miley @ Richard – Miley too hittable right now to trust


Strasburg @ Kluber – Kluber very impressive lately and Nats are scuffling

Lester @ M. Gonzalez – hang with ‘em

W. Davis @ R. Hernandez – ah, no

Fister @ Walters

Santiago @ Keuchel

Johnson @ Holland

Sabathia @ Weaver

Iwakuma @ Colon – awesome matchup that no one would’ve thought as awesome back in April

W. Peralta @ Cueto – Cingrani owners shed a tear

Garza @ Hefner

Wacha @ Nolasco – good chance for Wacha to save his rotation spot

Greinke @ Cole

Kennedy @ Marquis – use Kennedy now before the suspension kicks in!

Hamels @ Chacin

Lincecum @ Teheran – your call on Lincecum


Shields @ Carrasco

De La Rosa @ Johnson – DLR due for some regression… don’t say I didn’t warn you

Arrieta @ Scherzer

Straily @ Tepesch

Quintana @ Norris

Harang @ Vargas

Wood @ S. Miller – Wood also due for some regression… don’t say I didn’t warn you

Haren @ Lannan – Haren too erratic this year to trust vs. good offenses

Gee @ T. Hudson – tough matchup for Gee but he’s on a burner…

Liriano @ Leake

Turner @ Corbin

Volquez @ Zito

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/17

Hey everyone,

Here’s the latest installment of my two-start pitcher notes. And as always, be sure to catch today’s podcast as Cory will give his take on a bunch of these guys. The podcast also features excellent in-depth prospect analysis from special guest Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus. Trust me, you don’t want to miss that!


                                                                                                                                                    Jarrod Parker  (@TEX, @SEA)

Thursday’s gem vs. the Yankees marked Parker’s seventh straight quality start, and he’s 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.84 WHIP over his first three June outings. Now that the 24-year-old has clearly put his early-season struggles behind him, he’s back to being a guy who you should pitch in just about every matchup. Facing the Rangers on the road is always tough but Parker actually pitched well in Texas back in late-May (7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER). And the @SEA matchup more than makes up for the @TEX risk, as the Mariners rank next to last in the AL in runs scored and dead last in batting average. Pitch with confidence!

Travis Wood  (@STL, vs. HOU)

I keep waiting for Wood to turn back into a pumpkin but it just hasn’t happened yet. And who knows, it might never happen. Look, Wood is a quality pitcher, but he’s just not a 2.65 ERA, 1.00 WHIP pitcher. And the @STL matchup worries me. It worries me a lot. In a 12-team mixed league, I’d pass on Wood for next week, as you don’t want to be the one starting him when the stat correction does happen. In deeper mixed leagues, you probably don’t have many better options, but I’d still think twice before pitching him.

Jeremy Hellickson  (@BOS, @NYY)

What’s happened to this guy? He’s gotten worse and worse each year since his outstanding first full season in the bigs back in 2011. His walk and strikeout rates haven’t changed much since last year and his home run rate has gone up a bit, but not by a whole lot. His hit rate, on the other hand, has skyrocketed. Although you can’t ignore Hellickson’s accomplishments through the 2012 season, it’s also true that he benefited from some fortunate BABIPs and strand rates. Maybe he’s just not a high-end pitcher after all. I’m not saying that he won’t significantly improve upon his current performance level, but the bottom line is that he cannot be trusted in the tougher matchups. And next week is about as tough as it gets. Ditch!

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins

Dan Haren  (@PHI, vs. COL)

Heading into this season, I really liked Haren as an undervalued pitcher who you could draft at a No. 4-type SP cost but get back No. 2-type production. Was I wrong on that one! After posting back-to-back quality starts against the Phillies and then the Orioles, Haren has now put up two straight stinkers (9 IP, 10 ER) and is simply giving up way too many homers. 17 home runs through 13 starts? That’s ridiculous. In standard 12-team mixed leagues, Haren is borderline waiver wire material. Regardless, he doesn’t belong anywhere near your lineup right now. Ditch.

Jorge De La Rosa  (@TOR, @WAS)

DLR got off to a red-hot start to the season but has stumbled of late. His upside combined with his still solid numbers this year makes him worth a roster spot in the majority of 12-team mixed leagues, but my confidence in him isn’t at the level where I’d pitch him regardless of the matchup. In other words, he’s still a PoD guy. That said, I do like these matchups and would lean towards pitching him for the two-start week.

Phil Hughes  (vs. LAD, vs. TB)

Inconsistency continues to be a major issue for Hughes. While the K/BB rate has been solid, the home run ball has plagued him (13 longnballs allowed in 13 starts) and he’s giving up well over a hit per inning. With one favorable matchup followed by one matchup of medium difficulty, Hughes is far from a no-brainer pitch, and if you have better alternatives, benching him isn’t a bad idea. But I’d give it a shot, if for no other reason than that his recent track record vs. the Rays is actually pretty good.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays

Ubaldo Jimenez  (vs. KC, vs. MIN)

Yeah, Ubaldo is a headache to own, but in terms of matchups, you can’t get much better than this. The Royals and Twins are both sub-par offenses and Jimenez already dominated Kansas City once this season (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). Ubaldo’s 7.53 home ERA is the one major factor that would give me pause. While I personally won’t be picking him up (I’ve instituted a “No Ubaldo” policy no matter what) and don’t think you should go out of your way to add him, if you’re thinking about rolling the dice on him in a deep mixed league, this is the week to do it.

Bud Norris  (vs. CHW, @ CHC)

While Norris’ home/road splits are still significant, they’re nowhere near as drastic as they were last year, and his overall numbers this season are very strong. Even though one of these starts will come on the road, the Cubs’ lineup is mediocre at best and Norris has surprisingly pitched very well away from Minute Maid Park of late (13 IP, 3 ER, 12 K in last two road starts). I’d pitch Bud in all but the shallowest of mixed leagues.

Jason Vargas  (vs. SEA, vs. PIT)

This one is simple:

Vargas at home this season: 4-1, 3.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP

Vargas on the road this season: 1-3, 4.42 ERA, 1.58 WHIP

Two starts at home = Pitch

Jose Quintana  (@HOU, @KC)

The nice thing about Quintana is that you’re pretty much assured of a quality performance. He might not dominate, but he won’t turn in a disaster outing either. We’re talking 3 ER or less in eight of 13 starts and 4 ER or less in 12 of 13 starts. The Astros and Royals rank 12th and 13th in the AL respectively in runs scored and Quintana’s road ERA is more than half a run lower than his home mark. I’m feeling good about pitching him.

Updated PoD Category Chart (6/13)

Julio Teheran boasts a 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP since the start of May

Julio Teheran boasts a 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP since the start of May

Hey everyone,

It’s been awhile since our last Pitch or Ditch chart update, but not a whole lot has changed. Here’s the PDF.

POD Chart 6-13-13

And here are the changes we’ve made since the last version from mid-May.


Scherzer grad to ace

Teheran PoD to grad

Lyles indifferent to PoD

Hefner indifferent to PoD

Bedard DTM to PoD


Dickey ace to grad

Wilson grad to PoD

Haren grad to PoD

Kennedy grad to PoD

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear from you!


Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 14

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins


Dempster @ Tillman – both are HR-prone but appear to have recovered from rough patches

G. Gonzalez @ Masterson

Mendoza @ Moore – hang with ‘em

Buehrle @ Grimm

Porcello @ Diamond – Porcello worth a look in deeper leagues

Sale @ Bedard – Bedard very risky but White Sox are a soft matchup

Pettitte @ Wilson

Saunders @ Milone

Fife @ Locke

Lohse @ Arroyo – gotta go for it

Jackson @ Marcum

Westbrook @ J. Fernandez – good return matchup for Westbrook, though

Bumgarner @ Medlen

Kendrick @ Nicasio – I like both, but not chancing it in Coors

Cahill @ Stults – Cahill struggling too much to trust right now

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 13

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays


Wainwright @ Harvey – pitching porn
Latos @ Samardzija – pitching NC-17
Detwiler @ Francis
Kuroda @ Parker – tough matchup for Parker but he’s been rolling
Doubront @ Gausman – can’t trust Gausman vs. the Red Sox
Cain @ Morton
Big Erv @ Hellickson – get back on the Hellickson bus vs. Royals
Buehrle @ Darvish
Lee @ Correia

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 12

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies


J. Williams @ Hammel – tough matchup for spot starter Williams

Verlander @ Shields

Leake @ Wood – keep ridin’ it…

Maholm @ Volquez

Zito @ Liriano

TBD (BOS) @ Archer – tough matchup for Archer, play it safe

Figaro @ Slowey

S. Miller @ Gee – Gee throwing much better, but Cards too tough

Jimenez @ Tepesch

Cloyd @ Pelfrey – blue plate special!

Rogers @ Sale

TBD (WSH) @ De La Rosa

Hughes @ Straily – toss-up on both… you decide!

Corbin @ Ryu

Lyles @ Bonderman Lyles very effective of late and Mariners don’t score

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 11

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Arizona Diamondbacks


Vargas @ M. Gonzalez – Vargas not nearly as good on the road

Lincecum @ Cole – I’ll be watching Cole but not pitching

Lester @ R. Hernandez

W. Peralta @ Turner – with Stanton and LoMo back, Marlins are no longer an autoPitch

Wacha @ Hefnernice matchup for Wacha despite rocky outing last time

Cingrani @ Garza

Kluber @ Holland

Scherzer @ W. Davis

Hamels @ Walters

Wang @ Quintana – only 4 QS for Quintana this season, but more than 4 runs only once

Haren @ Chacin

Sabathia @ Colon

Kennedy @ Greinke – good bounce-back opponent for Kennedy

T. Hudson @ Cashner

Norris @ Harang – Norris still not trustworthy on the road

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 8-10

MLB: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox



Darvish @ Buehrle

Masterson @ Porcello – Masterson is still vulnerable to lefties, and the Tigers can hurt anyone

Milone @ Danks – the White Sox can’t score, but Milone’s 5.06 road ERA says ditch anyway

Pettitte @ Saunders – Saunders worth a look at home in deep leagues, though

Gausman @ Hellickson – can’t use Hellickson vs. the O’s the way he’s going now

Wilson @ Buchholz

Bedard @ Big Erv – you read that right!

Slowey @ Marcum

Burnett @ Samardzija

Diamond @ Karns

Kendrick @ Gorzelanny – tough matchup for Kendrick, caution is advised

Lyons @ Latos

Stults @ Chatwood

Medlen @ Fife

Bumgarner @ Cahill


Grimm @ J. Johnson

Kazmir @ An. Sanchez

Blanton @ Dempster

Tillman @ Moore

Griffin @ Santiago

Harrell @ Mendoza

Phelps @ King Felix – taking another shot on Phelps vs. Mariners

Koehler @ Niese – Koehler worth a look in deep leagues since Mets don’t score much

Deduno @ Zimmermann

Pettibone @ Lohse

Locke @ Jackson

Minor @ Lilly

Richard @ Nicasio

Gaudin @ Skaggs

Lynn @ Arroyo – Arroyo’s rolling but I never trust him vs. good offenses


Lackey @ Cobb

Weaver @ F. Garcia

Kluber @ Ogando

Dickey @ Axelrod – Dickey was much better last time out and the White Sox are weak

Fister @ Guthrie

Keuchel @ Iwakuma

Gallardo @ Nolasco – if you can’t use Gallardo in Miami, cut him

Bailey @ Feldman

Miley @ Kershaw

Teheran @ Marquis