July 2013

First Half All-Surprise + All-Disappointment Teams

Hey everyone,

Today’s podcast was devoted to discussing our mid-season All-Surprise and All-Disappointment teams, so before you go and listen to it, here are the rosters:


C   Jason Castro

1B  Chris Davis

2B  Jason Kipnis

SS  Jean Segura

3B  Josh Donaldson

OF  Carlos Gomez

OF  Starling Marte

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates

OF  Domonic Brown

SP  Patrick Corbin

SP  Jeff Locke

CL  Jason Grilli

                                                                                                                ALL-DISAPPOINTMENT TEAM

C   Alex Avila

1B  Paul Konerko

2B  Rickie Weeks

SS  Asdrubal Cabrera

3B  Brett Lawrie

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Kansas City Royals

OF  B.J. Upton

OF  Melky Cabrera

OF  Andre Ethier

SP  Ian Kennedy

SP  Jason Hammel

CL  J.J. Putz

Feel free to comment on our choices and/or share your own teams!


***ALSO, while we’re on this subject, here’s a link to my latest Mastersball column where I discuss my own first half All-Bargain squad. This article covers the pitchers and there’s a link to my previous article, which deals with the hitters.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, July 20-22

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Philadelphia Phillies



Hellickson @ Buehrle

Kuroda @ Lackey

Maholm @ Peavy – Maholm too erratic lately to trust.

Verlander @ Shields

Kluber @ Correia – 18 K’s for Kluber over last two starts and this is a great matchup.

Iwakuma @ Bedard – Bedard not a bad play in deeper leagues though.

M. Gonzalez @ Wolf – Playing it safe with Gonzalez @ TEX.

Straily @ Wilson

Hamels @ Wheeler

Burnett @ Latos

Greinke @ G. Gonzalez

Eovaldi @ Gallardo – Eovaldi has been lights out through five starts this season.

Volquez @ Lynn

Villanueva @ Nicasio – I like Villanueva but not here.

Miley @ Cain


Archer @ Dickey – Gotta go with Archer.

Minor @ Quintana

Fister @ Guthrie

Masterson @ Diamond

King Felix @ Lyles

Colon @ Williams – Williams has been awful of late.

Tillman @ Perez – Taking the same approach with Tillman as I am with all the other BAL pitchers @ TEX…better be safe than sorry.

Sabathia @ Lester

Locke @ Bailey – Locke due for regression though.

Lee @ Harvey – Must-see TV.

Kershaw @ Zimmermann – Must-see TV Part Deux.

Alvarez @ W. Peralta – Peralta worth a try here.

Stults @ Wainwright – Stults a dangerous play but can’t ignore the results.

Delgado @ Bumgarner

Jackson @ Chatwood – Only pitch Chatwood on the road until further notice.


TBD (NYY) @ Darvish

Ryu @ TBD (TOR)

Moore @ Dempster

Scherzer @ Sale

Hammel @ W. Davis – Disappointing year for Hammel coming off breakthrough 2012.


Gibson @ Blanton

Jimenez @ TBD (SEA)

Morton @ Haren – Could be 3-2 or 10-9. I’ll take the under.

Teheran @ Gee – Gee an automatic pitch when at home.

TBD (SD) @ Gorzelanny

Koehler @ Pomeranz

Garza @ TBD (ARI) – Will Garza even make this start?

Arroyo @ Lincecum

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/22

Zach here,

Hopefully, you have all used your four-day break from fantasy wisely. I’m talking about catching up on some sleep (from all those nights of staying up late only to watch your starting pitcher get bombed) and spending some time outdoors, though here in New York, time outdoors was pretty unbearable thanks to the 97 degree temperature. I couldn’t help but complete a trade on Tuesday morning. I guess I was suffering from withdrawal. I had to do something fantasy-related!

Anyway, time to take a look at some of next week’s two-start pitchers.

                                                                                                                                             Jhoulys Chacin  (vs. MIA, vs. MIL)

Why this guy is still owned in just 46 percent of ESPN leagues and 69 percent of CBS leagues is beyond me. Chacin has allowed two earned runs or less in six of his last seven starts and boasts a solid 2.87 BB/9 rate for the season, easily a career-low. With an appealing pair of matchups in store for next week, the Rockies’ righty is a pitch in pretty much any format.

Ivan Nova  (@TEX, vs. TB)

Nova has been on quite a roll since getting called back up to the big leagues late last month, pitching to a 2.45 ERA over four starts while whiffing a shade under a batter per inning. But I need to see a little more before I can trust him in a 12-team mixed league. Keep in mind that this is a pitcher who was flat-out awful for most of last season and has spent the majority of this year in the Minors. Next week is a scary time to throw him out there. The @TEX start could very well be a disaster and the Rays’ offense is above average. If Nova registers two quality starts next week, I might hop on the bandwagon. But until then, I’ll play it safe and ditch.

Bronson Arroyo  (@SF, @LAD)

A 3.42 ERA and 1.13 WHIP through 19 starts. Who would have expected this? I know I didn’t. Even more crazy is that he’s allowed more than three earned runs in just five of those 19 outings. At 36 years of age, outside of a mediocre strikeout rate, Arroyo is putting together arguably the finest season of his career. Sure, he’s prone to a blow up every now and then, but I don’t see it happening next week. Pitch.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

Dillon Gee  (vs. ATL, @WSH)

Although Gee’s road numbers are on the ugly side, I think he’s pitched well enough on the whole this year to deserve serious consideration in a two-start week in which he will be making at least one home start. Plus, the fact that his road outing comes against the Nationals, a club that he has dominated this season (3-0, 0.96 ERA), makes next week all the more promising. I’m starting Gee in all mixed leagues of 12 teams or more and would even think about using him in a 10-team mixed, depending of course on your other options.

Hector Santiago  (vs. DET, vs. KC)

Like Chacin, Santiago simply isn’t getting enough respect. A 5.8 ownership percentage in ESPN leagues? Really? Hector has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his seven starts since moving back into the rotation and he’s putting up excellent strikeout numbers. I’d be a bit concerned about next week though. Starting any mid-tier type pitcher against the Tigers is playing with fire and Santiago’s home ERA (4.15) dwarfs his road mark (2.73). In a very deep mixed leagues, I might give him a try, as I’m a fan of Santiago, but I’d sooner go with someone else if I could.

Rick Porcello  (@CHW, vs. PHI)

Although Porcello’s 4.80 ERA leaves a lot to be desired, his quality 1.26 WHIP suggests that his ERA is bound to go down. I also like what I’m seeing the strikeout department, where the 24-year-old is making great strides. The White Sox rank dead last in the AL in runs scored and the Phillies’ offense is OK but not great. All this adds up to a pitch.

Phil Hughes  (@TEX, vs. TB)

To some, this might not seem like an obvious ditch. To me, I wouldn’t even think twice about leaving Hughes on my bench next week. The reality is that, despite a number of strong performances, Hughes has been wildly inconsistent this year. Next week doesn’t look good at all. First, he heads to Arlington to face a powerful Rangers’ lineup in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Then, he returns home, where his ERA is more than two full runs higher than his road mark. Pass.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 19


MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs


Nolasco @ Strasburg
Price @ Rogers
Pettitte @ Doubront – Pettitte not pitching well enough for this matchup
Kendrick @ Hefner
Liriano @ Leake
W. Chen @ Holland – numbers say pitch, but high blowup risk for both in this matchup
Hudson @ Danks – Danks four straight QS, 45-8 K-BB ratio… have to pitch
Kazmir @ Pelfrey
An. Sanchez @ Big Erv
Turner @ Lohse – tough matchup for Turner but he’s on a roll
Saunders @ Norris – Norris at home vs. a weak opponent… mmmmmm
Marquis @ Westbrook
Samardzija @ De La Rosa – bench but don’t cut slumping Shark in Coors…
Griffin @ Weaver
Kennedy @ Gaudin – hang with ’em on Kennedy

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Sunday, July 13-14

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees



Deduno @ Hughes – Favorable matchup for Hughes but it’s at home (5.74 ERA).

Santiago @ Lannan – Santiago’s last two starts have been solid.

Bailey @ Minor

Redmond @ Hammel – Jays’ offense dangerous enough to scare me away from Hammel.

Keuchel @ R. Hernandez

Guthrie @ Kazmir – Could be 2-1 or 9-8. I’ll pass.

Chatwood @ Greinke – Tough matchup for Chatwood but it’s on the road (1.26 ERA).

Torres @ Burnett

Lynn @ Garza

Holland @ Scherzer – Tall task for Holland, who got roughed up by DET on 5/19.

Haren @ J. Fernandez – If you can’t trust Haren here, why is he still on your roster?

Lester @ Griffin – Lester has been awful on the road and Griffin inconsistent of late.

Weaver @ King Felix

Lohse @ Delgado – I’m willing to give Delgado a shot.

Lincecum @ Volquez – Logic says Lincecum does well here.


Shields @ Jimenez – I’ll roll the dice on Ubaldo, but not without trepidation.

Gibson @ Sabathia

Perez @ Verlander

Jordan @ Slowey – Both are decent gambles in deeper leagues though.

Quintana @ Hamels

Cingrani @ Teheran – Nice!

Gee @ Locke – Gee is strictly a home play for now.

Johnson @ Feldman

Bedard @ Archer – Gotta go with Archer vs. HOU.

TBD (BOS) @ Colon

Blanton @ Iwakuma – Iwakuma due for regression though. Selling high not a bad idea.

Chacin @ Nolasco – Chacin 2 ER or less in five of his last six starts.

W. Peralta @ Kennedy – Both are risky.

Zito @ Stults – Zito more of an NL-only option.

Wainwright @ Wood

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 12

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds


Kelly @ Villanueva – Bad matchup for Villanueva. Kelly worth a look in deeper leagues.

Danks @ Pettibone – Pettibone pitching well but I’m not feeling this matchup.

B. Chen @ Kluber – Kluber strictly an AL-only play. These aren’t your older brother’s Royals.

Diamond @ Kuroda

Hefner @ Morton – NL-only owners should consider Morton though.

Buehrle @ Tillman

Grimm @ Fister

Cosart @ Price – Cosart a must-pickup in AL-only leagues but I wouldn’t use him yet.

Strasburg @ Eovaldi

Arroyo @ Medlen – Logical to think Arroyo blows up here, so watch him throw a two-hitter!

Gorzelanny @ Corbin

Lackey @ Parker – Tough test for Parker but he’s been solid for awhile now.

J. Williams @ Saunders – Williams’ last two outings have been dreadful.

Nicasio @ Kershaw

Gaudin @ O’Sullivan – Great matchup for Gaudin.

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 11

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies


Buehrle @ Salazar – try to stash Salazar in AL-only keeper leagues… quality prospect
Pelfrey @ Moore
Big Erv @ Pettitte
Sale @ An. Sanchez
Dempster @ TBD (SEA)
Darvish @ M. Gonzalez
Zimmermann @ Kendrick – the Nationals offense is alive so play it safe on Kendrick
Latos @ Hudson
Westbrook @ Jackson
Gallardo @ Miley – Arizona’s erratic offense vs. erratic Gallardo… something’s gotta give!
Pomeranz @ Capuano
Bumgarner @ Marquis

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 10

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves


Maholm @ Turner – Maholm 5.18 ERA on the road, 4.75 in his last 5 overall

Leake @ Hellweg

Wheeler @ Cain – good matchup for both to iron things out

W. Davis @ Nova

Milone @ Liriano

Lindblom @ W. Chen

Rogers @ Masterson

G. Gonzalez @ Lee

Axelrod @ Porcello – Porcello worth the gamble if you’ve got the guts

Correia @ Hellickson

Wilson @ Samardzija

Lyles @ S. Miller – not chancing Lyles vs. the top offenses (yet)

Ryu @ Skaggs – tempting on Skaggs, but Dodgers are en fuego

Doubront @ Harang

De La Rosa @ Cashner

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 9

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates


Shields @ Sabathia

Straily @ Cole – first test for Cole against a top offense, I’ll play it safe

Perez @ Britton – same for Britton as Cole… conservatism vs. top offenses

Johnson @ Jimenez – toss-up on Ubaldo but trust is in short supply

Jordan @ Hamels

Quintana @ Verlander – Quintana has upside, but too risky vs. Tigers

Teheran @ Alvarez

Gibson @ Archer – Gibson a toss-up but I’ll put him with Cole and Britton

Blanton @ Wood – Blanton is on a tear and Wood is an All-Star!

Cingrani @ W. Peralta I would’ve liked Peralta much better vs. the Mets!

Norris @ Wainwright

Nolasco @ Kennedy

Webster @ Iwakuma

Chacin @ Stults – Chacin 2.05 ERA in 7 road starts

Gee @ Zito – Zito 1.98 ERA in 10 home starts

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, July 6-8

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs



Tillman @ Pettitte – Pettitte very erratic lately, so if you want to sit him, I wouldn’t blame you

Pelfrey @ Dickey – Great matchup for Dickey

Parker @ Big Erv

An. Sanchez @ Carrasco

Keuchel @ Darvish

Sale @ Moore

Dempster @ TBD (LAA)

Eovaldi @ Kelly – Kelly a blue-plate special

Morton @ Jackson

Marquis @ Zimmermann

Bonderman @ Latos

Marcum @ Gallardo – Yo-Ga testing my patience but it’s the Mets

Maholm @ Kendrick – This could be 2-1 or 10-9

Fife @ Bumgarner

Pomeranz @ Miley


Hammel @ Kuroda

Fister @ Kluber – Kluber falling back down to earth and this matchup is too tough

Diamond @ Redmond

Danks @ Price – Danks worth considering in deep/non-mixed leagues

Griffin @ Mendoza

Bedard @ Grimm

Lackey @ Weaver

Saunders @ Arroyo

Erlin @ Strasburg

Medlen @ Pettibone

Hefner @ W. Peralta – Hefner is red-hot

J. Fernandez @ Lynn

Gomez @ Villanueva – Villanueva a nice under the radar play

Kershaw @ Gaudin

Oswalt @ Corbin


Guthrie @ Hughes – Your call on Guthrie but I just don’t see the upside

Holland @ Feldman

Scherzer @ Kazmir

Deduno @ R. Hernandez

Garza @ Santiago – Good matchup for Santiago

Lester @ King Felix – If you don’t feel comfortable pitching Lester here, you shouldn’t have him on your roster

Haren @ Lannan – Taking a wait and see approach on Haren

Colon @ Locke

Minor @ Slowey

Bailey @ Lohse

Greinke @ Delgado – Delgado is on a roll

Chatwood @ Volquez – Chatwood has been especially great away from Coors

Harvey @ Lincecum