August 2013

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 10-12

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

CORY’S PICKS

SATURDAY

An. Sanchez @ Hughes

Griffin @ Buehrle

Pelfrey @ Rienzo – Rienzo worth a look in deeper leagues

Wilson @ Jimenez

Doubront @ GuthrieGuthrie on a run, but bad matchup

Holland @ Peacock

Gorzelanny @ Iwakuma – Gorzelanny worth a gamble if chasing wins and K’s

R. Hernandez @ Greinke

W. Chen @ Gaudin

Lee @ Jordan

Eovaldi @ A. Wood – Wood has great stuff, and it’s a great matchup

Ross @ Cingrani – Ross is hot but avoid the Reds

Villanueva @ Wacha – might as well use him vs. the Cubs

Burnett @ Nicasio

Wheeler @ McCarthy – tough matchup, and Wheeler hasn’t impressed

                                                                                                                                                SUNDAY

Verlander @ Pettitte

Williams @ Masterson

Straily @ Dickey – both are high-risk/high-reward

Correia @ Quintana – Quintana 3.34 ERA since rejoining rotation

Lackey @ Shields

Perez @ Keuchel

W. Peralta @ King Felix – great test for improving Peralta

Kennedy @ Leake – I’ll use Kennedy in San Diego but not in Cincy

Alvarez @ Minor

Jackson @ Kelly

Norris @ Cain

Locke @ Bettis – playing it safe on Locke in Coors

Mejia @ Spruill

Kendrick @ Strasburg – cut Kendrick if he has a bad outing here

Hellickson @ Kershaw

                                                                                                                                               MONDAY

Straily @ Happ

Darvish @ Oberholtzer

Richards @ Kuroda

Fister @ Sale

Koehler @ W. Davis – Koehler a nice blue-plate special

Salazar @ Albers – if Salazar dominated the Tigers, what might he do to the Twins?

Hamels @ Teheran

Latos @ T. Wood – Wood is regressing…

Volquez @ Chacin – Chacin in Coors vs. an offense that’s much better away from Petco

Feldman @ Miley

Mejia @ Nolasco

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/12

Zach here,

Back with another installment of my weekly two-start pitcher notes. The special guest on today’s show was Steve Gardner of USA Today, so be sure to check out the podcast when it comes out later. Cory and JB will also discuss Car-Go, Wright and the Mets’ closer situation.

OK, onto my notes…

                                                                                                                                                    Miguel Gonzalez  (@ARI, vs. COL)

Coming off two straight shaky outings, Gonzalez turned in a solid performance his last time out, on the road vs. the Padres, tossing six innings of three-run ball with eight strikeouts. These aren’t the greatest matchups in the world, but Miguel has been consistent enough this year (14-for-20 in quality starts) that I’m comfortable starting him in pretty much any two-start week.

Eric Stults  (@COL, vs. NYM)

I don’t know, I still don’t fully trust Stults, but the results have been pretty darn good. Stults’ road ERA is more than two full runs higher than his home mark, and the fact that his road start next week comes at Coors Field is troubling. But the Rockies are without Car-Go and Stults actually pitched extremely well at Coors earlier this season (7 IP, 1 ER), which makes me feel a little better about this. And since he’s been lights out at home (5-2, 2.37 ERA, 0.93 WHIP), I think the Coors Field risk is worth it. Pitch.

Josh Johnson  (vs. OAK, @TB)

Yeah, Johnson did a nice job in his latest start, on the road against the Mariners. But let’s face it, he only went five innings! Pitch efficiency has been an issue for him this season, particularly in his last few starts, and quite frankly, he’s been awful more times than not this year. These matchups are far from favorable, and to be honest, I’m at the point where I wouldn’t pitch Johnson regardless of the opponent. Let him be someone else’s problem. Ditch.

Hector Santiago  (vs. DET, @MIN)

I’m a big fan of Santiago. I love the strikeout upside and overall, I view him as one of the more underrated pitchers in the game. Facing the Tigers is always a scary proposition, but Hector sports a quality 3.46 ERA in two starts vs. Detroit this year and has allowed three runs or less in nine of his last 11 starts. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’m definitely pitching Santiago. He’s a borderline call in shallower formats.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians

Danny Salazar  (@MIN, @OAK)

We heard a lot about Wheeler. We heard a lot about Cole. But we didn’t hear much about Salazar prior to his big league debut. We probably should have, as through two starts (one made back in July as a rotation fill-in), Salazar has been awfully impressive. Two homers plagued him on Thursday night, but Salazar still whiffed 10 Tigers while pitching into the eighth inning. A 3.29 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 17-to-2 K/BB ratio through 13 2/3 innings? What’s not to like? With one very favorable matchup and one so-so matchup on tap, I think you have to trot him out there. At least the @OAK matchup will be in a pitcher-friendly park.

Randall Delgado  (vs. BAL, @PIT)

After piecing together back-to-back scoreless outings, Delgado has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts. He’s not a big strikeout guy, the vs. BAL matchup has blowup potential and the Pirates rank fourth in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. In deeper mixed leagues, maybe you take a chance on Delgado next week. But in 12-teamers, I’d rather play it safe. You would essentially be chasing wins here, and we all know how that usually turns out!

Jenrry Mejia  (@LAD, @SD)

The schedule has been kind to Mejia thus far, but a 1.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 18-to-3 K/BB ratio are hard to ignore. He gets to pitch in a pair of favorable parks next week, and I love the @SD matchup. But the @LAD matchup is a bit too dangerous for my taste and Mejia’s track record is limited. To me, he’s a worthy NL-only play and borderline call in NFBC-style mixed leagues. In a 12-team mixed, I’d look elsewhere.

Garrett Richards  (@NYY, vs. HOU)

I’m including Richards here because he’s allowed a combined five runs over his last three starts, spanning 18 innings, and because both of these matchups are promising. He’s a little risky, but as an under the radar play in deep mixed leagues, I actually like him slightly more than Mejia.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 9

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies

CORY’S PICKS

Gibson @ Danks  (Gm 1) – Gibson hasn’t shown anything yet

Hendriks @ Leesman  (Gm 2)

Porcello @ Nova

Weaver @ Jimenez

Parker @ Rogers

Peavy @ Big Erv

Garza @ Bedard

Lohse @ Saunders

Lannan @ Haren – Haren’s unpredictability scares me away here

Cashner @ Arroyo

Turner @ Beachy – tough matchup for Turner but he’s been solid

Rusin @ Lynn – Lynn should continue to get well vs. Cubs

Liriano @ De La Rosa

Hefner @ Corbin

Price @ Capuano

Tillman @ Vogelsong

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 8

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

CORY’S PICKS

Scherzer @ McAllister
Lester @ B. Chen – good chance for Lester to continue resurgent trend
Manship @ Gee
J. Fernandez @ Cole – young pitching porn
Samardzija @ Martin
Hand @ Lincecum
Ryu @ MartinezRyu is increasingly shaky but still worth using even vs. the Cards

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 7

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals

CORY’S PICKS

Happ @ Harang – great to see Happ back out there, ditch or not

Fister @ Salazar – Salazar was great in his debut, but play it safe vs. Tigers

Sabathia @ Santiago – hang with ‘em on CC?

Deduno @ TBD (KC)

Dempster @ Cosart – Cosart’s K/BB ratio says play it safe

Ogando @ Hanson

Colon @ Bailey

M. Gonzalez @ Stults – O’s have not been as scary since All-Star

Medlen @ Zimmermann

T. Wood @ Hamels

Koehler @ Morton – not a bad spot to gamble on Koehler, either

Chacin @ Harvey

Nolasco @ S. Miller

Archer @ Spruill

Gorzelanny @ Bumgarner – Gorz has been sharp since joining rotation

                                                                                                                                                ***ZACH SAYS “Even though Nolasco pitched well versus the Cards earlier this season, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch. That St. Louis lineup is extremely dangerous, so this is a situation where the risk outweighs the reward. Agree on rest.”

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 6

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

CORY’S PICKS

Verlander @ Masterson

Kuroda @ Sale

Albers @ Shields

Wright @ Lyles Lyles’ great hot streak feels so long ago…

Darvish @ Richards – Richards excellent lately, and at home vs. potentially Cruz-less Rangers

Johnson @ King Felix

Teheran @ G. Gonzalez

Jackson @ Kendrick – Kendrick 5.91 ERA in his last 10 starts

Alvarez @ Locke – I don’t trust Locke, but the numbers demand “pitch”

Straily @ Latos – tough road matchup for scuffling Straily

Bettis @ Mejia

Kershaw @ Kelly

Hellickson @ Miley

Norris @ Volquez

W. Peralta @ Cain

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 3-5

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners

CORY’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Garza @ Parker

E. Ramirez @ Feldman – I like Erasmo but the schedule is doing him no favors. Feldman has a 5.12 ERA in 5 starts with the O’s and M’s are scoring more lately

Danks @ Scherzer

Corbin @ Peavy – tough matchup for Corbin but he keeps rolling

Bedard @ Gibson

Lincecum @ Price – Rays are too tough to trust Timmy

Rogers @ Weaver

B. Chen @ Torres

Capuano @ Samardzija

Beachy @ TBD (PHI) – Beachy was OK last time and Phils are banged up

De La Rosa @ Liriano – who woulda thunk it?!

Haren @ Hand

Westbrook @ Cingrani

McAllister @ Turner – tough matchup for Turner, but he’s solid and at home

Nova @ Ross – double-sized blue-plate special!

                                                                                                                                                SUNDAY

Rienzo @ Porcello

McCarthy @ Doubront – tough spot for McCarthy’s return

Saunders @ W. Chen

Zito @ R. Hernandez – can you trust a guy who changed his name? Not me

Keuchel @ Pelfrey

Buehrle @ Wilsonnot buying on Buehrle vs. even mid-tier offenses

Holland @ Griffin

Lynn @ Leake – Leake continues to defy logic and expectations

Big Erv @ Hefner

Kazmir @ Eovaldi

Nicasio @ Burnett – Nicasio throwing well enough to use on the road vs. so-so offense

Jordan @ Lohse

Greinke @ Villanueva

Hughes @ Kennedy – great spot for Kennedy’s Padres debut

A. Wood @ Lannan

                                                                                                                                               MONDAY

An. Sanchez @ Kluber

Pettitte @ Quintana

Correia @ Guthrie

Lackey @ Oberholtzer

Perez @ Williams

Dickey @ Iwakuma – your call on Dickey

Kershaw @ Wainwright – pitching porn

Minor @ Strasburg

Thornburg @ Gaudin – family-sized blue-plate special!

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/5

Zach here,

Time for your weekly filling of my two-start pitcher notes. I guess I’m in a particularly good mood today as I like all of these guys…except one.

And make sure to listen to today’s podcast, as Mike, Cory and special guest Derek Carty will share their two-start pitcher thoughts.

Ricky Nolasco  (@STL, vs. TB)

Nolasco continues to pitch just well enough to be start-worthy in most mixed leagues. He’s allowed three earned runs or less in each of his first five starts with the Dodgers yet he’s made it through the 6th inning in only one of those outings. He gets a tough set of matchups next week, but unless you’re in a mixed league with fewer than 12 teams, I’d throw him out there, close my eyes and hope for the best. He’s already had success against both teams this year and seems to be a rejuvenated pitcher now that he’s away from a losing environment.

Kyle Kendrick  (vs. CHC, @WAS)

It was a rocky month of July for Kendrick, who failed to post back-to-back quality starts and is coming off a disastrous outing versus a far from intimidating Giants lineup. Still, I’d give him a shot next week. The Cubs offense is average at best while the Nats are a team that Kendrick has fared well against this season (3.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP in three starts).

Corey Kluber  (vs. DET, vs. LAA)

I know, the vs. DET matchup is plenty scary. But how can you bench a guy who has posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over his last five starts to go along with 34 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings? I can’t, so I’d pitch Kluber. But if you would prefer to sit this week out, it’s understandable. I guess it ultimately comes down to your specific situation and whether chasing K’s is worth the ERA/WHIP risk.

Andy Pettitte  (@CHW, vs. DET)

Although Pettitte has been far from dominant this season, he always manages to keep his team in the game, so the risk of a disaster start isn’t all that high. Usually, I’d stay away from an aging two-start pitcher who has one very unfavorable matchup on tap, but in the case of Pettitte, I’d lean towards pitching him because I just don’t see him getting completely roughed up vs. the Tigers and expect him to do well vs. the White Sox.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies

Tyler Chatwood  (@NYM, vs. PIT)

Nine quality starts in 15 tries and a 2.77 road ERA, even after his most recent start, an absolute shellacking @ATL. Chatwood is an extreme ground ball pitcher who has given up a mere four homers over 85 2/3 innings this year, a skill that is obviously essential for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home. The @NYM matchup is outstanding and even the Pirates, despite their overall team success, aren’t exactly a club that lights up the scoreboard. Pitch!

Wily Peralta  (@SF, @SEA)

Like most young pitchers, Peralta is prone to blowups, but three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts combined with solid strikeout numbers is enough of a reason to start him next week. Oh yeah, and the matchups are ultra-favorable. Pitch.

Chad Gaudin  (vs. MIL, vs. BAL)

It’s hard to argue with the results, and both of these starts will come at home, where Gaudin sports a 1.96 ERA. But I just don’t trust him. Maybe it’s the career 4.43 ERA and 1.48 WHIP and the fact that the vs. BAL matchup scares me to no end. I’m passing.

Wow. Six pitches to one ditch. I won’t even bother looking it up. For me, an 87% thumbs up rate is definitely a record.               
                                                                                                         

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 2

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers

CORY’S PICKS

Harang @ Tillman

Santiago @ Fister – tough matchup for Santiago but I like the K potential

Delgado @ Lester – Lester appears back in the groove. I’m cashing in my profits on Delgado, though

Bumgarner @ Archer

Keuchel @ Deduno – Deduno cashing in hot streak vs. weak schedule

Redmond @ Hanson – both of these guys are intriguing for various reasons, but not enough to pitch here

Ogando @ Milone – Ogando not sharp yet since coming off the DL

Ryu @ Wood – Wood has allowed more than 3 runs only 2 times in 21 starts. Mind, blown.

Medlen @ Lee

Chacin @ Cole

Miller @ Arroyo

W. Davis @ Gee

Jimenez @ Fernandez – gotta run with Ubaldo in Miami

Zimmermann @ Gorzelanny

Sabathia @ Cashner – CC still good enough to try in San Diego

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