September 2013

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, September 12

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Philadelphia Phillies


Hughes @ W. Chen
Griffin @ Diamond – Griffin’s K’s and solid WHIP, and win potential, outweigh so-so ERA
Richards @ Happ – Richards somewhat erratic but Jays aren’t that scary
Peavy @ Hellickson – anybody’s guess what Hellickson will do
Kluber @ Danks – Kluber’s remaining schedule: at CWS, at KC, vs HOU, at MIN… NICE
Garcia @ Flynn
Roark @ Harang
Ross @ Halladay
Rusin @ Locke
Thornburg @ Kelly
Cain @ Greinke

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, September 11

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees


Shields @ Kazmir – hang with ‘em on Shields, who’s been dominant on the road

Burnett @ Garza

Dempster @ Cobb

Pettitte @ Feldman – Feldman is on a tear, might as well push it

Wilson @ Dickey

An. Sanchez @ Quintana – why not Anibal for AL Cy?

Gray @ Pelfrey

Peacock @ Maurer – Peacock showing excellent K upside

Samardzija @ Leake – both fading, but good matchup for Leake

Nicasio @ Petit – can Petit be perfect again?

Stults @ Lee – easy matchup but Stults is fading badly

Haren @ Weaver

Minor @ Fernandez

Estrada @ Lynn – Lynn has a 5.10 ERA since the break

Corbin @ Ryu – Corbin’s ERA is up 2 runs since the break

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, September 10

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays


Nova @ M. Gonzalez

Guthrie @ McAllister

Williams @ Buehrle – Buehlre 2.21 ERA since All-Star

Buchholz @ Price – play it safe on Buchholz’s return

Liriano @ M. Perez

Porcello @ E. Johnson

Parker @ Hendriks –mismatch of the day

Lyles @ Saunders

Cashner @ Cloyd

Jackson @ Cingrani

Zimmermann @ Gee

Teheran @ Koehler – cushy return to the rotation for Teheran

W. Peralta @ S. Miller – Miller has been awful for awhile

Cahill @ Volquez – Cahill seems to be righting the ship but I’m still wary

De La Rosa @ Vogelsong

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/9

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks

Randall Delgado  (@LAD, vs. COL)

Outside of a decent but not great strikeout rate, there’s a lot to like about Delgado’s stat line this season. There’s even more to like about his second half stat line (3-2, 3.53 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). Despite the tough matchup against the Dodgers, I’m confident enough in Delgado to give him a shot next week. Also note that he’s allowed more than four runs in just one of his 15 starts this year, so the risk of a disaster outing is minimal.

Martin Perez  (vs. PIT, vs. OAK)

6-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in nine starts since the All-Star break. Pretty good. Oh yeah, and Perez’s ERA at home this year is 2.20 and he’s coming off a dominant performance against these same A’s. While the Pirates offense is no longer the anemic one of years past, they’re still no better than middle of the pack. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’m pitching Perez.

Ubaldo Jimenez  (vs. KC, @CHW)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Ubaldo. He’s just so maddeningly inconsistent and it’s often tough to play the matchups with him, as he could breeze through or struggle against any lineup. But let’s give the guy some credit. We’re talking about a 2.22 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and better than a strikeout per inning in eight starts since the Midsummer Classic. The matchups aren’t ultra-favorable but they’re not terrible either. I’d lean towards pitching Ubaldo, particularly if you’re looking for a strikeout boost.

Ivan Nova  (@BAL, @BOS)

Nova’s magical season hit a speed bump last night as the Red Sox knocked him out of the game after only four innings. Although Nova’s overall numbers remain exceptional, this is about as tough as it gets from a matchups standpoint.  On the bright side, he’s had a great deal of success vs. the Orioles this season, going 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 0.59 WHIP in three appearances (two starts). But the @BOS start is extremely risky, in fact too risky for my liking. I’d take the conservative route and ditch, though categorical needs should play a big factor in your decision.

Zach McAllister  (vs. KC, @CHW)

I like McAllister, but the reality is that he’s coming off two straight ugly performances and I need to see a turnaround before I can comfortably slot him into my lineup. But he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on for Pitch or Ditch purposes down the stretch. And don’t forget about him in drafts next spring. He turns 26 in December.

Carlos Torres  (vs. WAS, vs. MIA)

Torres showed me a lot on Tuesday when he limited a potent Braves’ lineup to three runs over seven innings while racking up six strikeouts. The transition from reliever to starter has been a seamless one for Torres, and how about that 46-to-8 K/BB ratio! And how about that 0.92 ERA and 0.85 WHIP at home! Both of next week’s starts will be at home. And just in case you didn’t know, the Marlins are the lowest scoring team in the Majors. And it’s not even close. Pitch.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!


Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, September 7-9

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins



Santiago @ W. Chen – Only pitch Santiago if you’re chasing K’s. Chen is a ditch until further notice.

Lackey @ Huff

Oberholtzer @ Straily – Straily has been erratic of late but the matchup is tasty.

Niese @ Kluber – Even though it’s Kluber’s first start back, this matchup is hard to resist.

Verlander @ Duffy

Happ @ Correia

Holland @ Richards

Archer @ Paxton

Greinke @ Latos

Hellweg @ Arrieta

A. Wood @ Kendrick – Expecting Wood to right the ship.

Roark @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi back in my good graces.

Locke @ Wainwright – Scary matchup for struggling Locke.

Chatwood @ Ross – Ross a solid source of K’s and he’s pitched especially well at home. Chatwood worth monitoring for road starts but he was rather shaky in return from DL.

McCarthy @ Cain – McCarthy a borderline call but I still don’t trust him.


Lester @ Kuroda

Matsuzaka @ Salazar – Salazar hasn’t been quite as sharp lately but it’s the Mets.

Rienzo @ Norris – Norris a so-so option but the matchup is favorable.

Fister @ B. Chen

Rogers @ Albers – Albers turning back into a pumpkin.

TBD (TEX) @ Vargas

Clemens @ Colon

Moore @ E. Ramirez – Ramirez 3 ER or less in each of his last four starts. Challenging matchup though.

Strasburg @ Turner – Turner running out of gas and lack of K’s limits his upside.

Maholm @ Hamels

Morton @ Wacha – Took a chance on Morton for the two-start week but in a daily league, I’ll sit him here.

Gallardo @ T. Wood – Gallardo is on a nice run.

Miley @ Bumgarner – As a Miley owner in two leagues, I’m hoping he gets back on track in this start. And I think he will.

Bettis @ Kennedy – Could Kennedy finally be turning things around?

Kershaw @ Bailey


Sabathia @ Tillman

Big Erv @ Jimenez – Ubaldo pitching well lately.

Weaver @ P. Hernandez

Cole @ Darvish

Scherzer @ Sale

Cosart @ Walker – Coming off his first rough outing of the season, Cosart deserves a mulligan. Sticking with Walker in favorable matchup.

T. Wood @ Arroyo – Bronson just keeps on getting it done.

G. Gonzalez @ Torres – Torres a PoD special in deeper leagues.

Medlen @ Alvarez

Delgado @ Nolasco – Tough test for Delgado but he’s been consistently effective for awhile now.

Chacin @ Lincecum

Musings from Wednesday’s Game Action

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies

Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs yesterday upped his season total to a disappointing 13. He does have 71 RBIs in 119 games, which isn’t too shabby, but a .277 average from a career .298 hitter? Come on! One of these years, the Panda will manage to put a consistent season together from start to finish while avoiding the DL entirely. But personally, I’m kind of tired of him, and his draft day price tag is never going to be low enough where you can get a legitimate positive return on your investment. After all, he is the Kung Fu Panda, and that name alone is worth about five bucks at the auction table!

Will Middlebrooks, who went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored in last night’s blowout win over the Tigers, is batting .343 with three homers and 13 RBIs since being recalled from the Minors in early-August. Clearly, something has clicked. 2014 post-hype sleeper alert!

Not unlike any young hitter, Wil Myers’ inaugural big league campaign has been one of ups and downs, but projecting his totals over a full season, we’re talking about roughly 25 homers and 90 RBIs to go along with double-digit steals, this from a 22-year-old. Oh yeah, and he’s batting .291. If the Royals don’t make the playoffs this year, they better get there next season, because if James Shields signs elsewhere after 2014, the Myers trade is going to look very bad. Very bad.


Pitch or Ditch for Friday, September 6

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox


Doubront @ Pettitte – both lefties on a nice run

Danks @ Feldman – Feldman worth a look vs. rebuilding ChiSox

Wheeler @ Kazmir – Kazmir worth a gamble vs. old team

An. Sanchez @ Shields

Dickey @ Pelfrey

Garza @ Wilson

Keuchel @ Griffin

Cobb @ Iwakuma – Iwakuma to be shut down in another 2-3 starts

Lohse @ Rusin

Minor @ Lee

Capuano @ Leake – the regression zombies are feasting on Leake’s ERA

Haren @ J. Fernandez – enjoy the last 20 IP from Fernandez!

Burnett @ Kelly – Kelly has a 2.11 (!) ERA in 11 starts

Nicasio @ Smith – Nicasio worth a shot on the road vs. weak Padres

Corbin @ Petit – Corbin may be fading but Giants are an easy draw

                                                                                                                                                ***ZACH SAYS “Doubront is coming off an ugly outing vs. the awful White Sox and the Yankee lineup has really found its groove, so I’d play it safe and ditch in 12-team mixed leagues. I’m probably way too loyal to Haren, but particularly if you’re chasing K’s, the matchup is very favorable. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, he’ll help your ERA and WHIP too!”

Random Thoughts from Tuesday’s Games + Strop

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs

Wilson Ramos’ three-run homer last night marked his 10th home run of the season while his four RBIs brought his season total up to 38, this in only 57 games. Ramos is playing almost every day now and makes for a sneaky good pickup in deeper mixed leagues and a must-own in all NL-only formats, especially keeper leagues. Not too long ago (like last year), he was a popular breakout candidate, so don’t forget about him come 2014. Keep in mind that he just turned 26, so there’s still plenty of time for him to take that next leap forward.

After limiting the A’s to a mere one run over seven innings last night, Martin Perez now has six quality starts in his last seven outings, and his only non-quality start wasn’t too bad (7 IP, 4 ER). He’s definitely earned serious PoD consideration and is another guy to monitor closely heading into next season. He’s only 22!

Ricky Nolasco surprised most of us by pitching well at Coors Field last night (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). If he wasn’t Ricky Nolasco, we would’ve promoted him to grad status a long time ago. But unfortunately, this is Ricky Nolasco who we’re talking about. But do you know that he’s allowed three earned runs or less in each of his first 11 starts as a member of the Dodgers? Maybe it’s finally time to take him seriously.

Those of you in dire need of saves for the stretch run should go out and grab Pedro Strop. Today, Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum indicated that Strop could be used in save situations this month, and with the Cubs in rebuilding mode, it makes all the sense in the world that they would want to see if Strop has a future as a closer. Since coming over to the Cubs from the Orioles as part of the Scott Feldman trade, Strop has registered a 2.19 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and better than a strikeout per inning in 26 appearances. At this point in the fantasy year, every save is so important, and wouldn’t it be neat if you were to win your league thanks to a save on the final day of the season by Pedro Strop?

I thought so.



Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, September 5

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals


Saunders @ Guthrie – Guthrie worth a gamble if chasing wins

Peavy @ Nova – Nova en fuego since returning from minors

Quintana @ M. Gonzalez O’s are somewhat vulnerable to lefties

Price @ J. Williams

Peacock @ Gray – Peacock worth a gamble if chasing K’s

Lynn @ Cingrani – not trusting either in this matchup

Cahill @ Vogelsong

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, September 4

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres


Hendriks @ Lyles

Darvish @ Parker

Porcello @ Dempster

Britton @ McAllister

Johnson @ Sabathia – still trotting CC out there vs. low-tier offenses

Walker @ Big Erv

Hellickson @ Weaver

Gee @ Loe – Teheran being skipped to hold down IP count

Flynn @ Samardzija

Buehrle @ Delgado

Lincecum @ Stults – the matchup says gamble on both

Zimmermann @ Halladay – don’t expect vintage Halladay, but gotta try

S. Miller @ Arroyo – Miller is fading and Cincy is tough at home

Liriano @ W. Peralta – borderline call on Peralta; let your categories be your guide

Volquez @ De La Rosa – tough matchup but DLR keeps getting it done

                                                                                                                                                ***ZACH SAYS “Depending on your categorical needs, I might pitch Walker, as he was impressive in his big league debut. I’m a little concerned about Gee @ATL. If you’re ever going to ditch him and you have that luxury, now would be the time. Agree on rest.”