August 2014

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 9/1

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks


Wade Miley (@SD, @LAD)

If you’re a regular reader of my two-start pitcher series, feel free to skip this paragraph. But for those of you who haven’t noticed, Miley’s home/road splits this year are so drastic that it’s rather easy to decide whether to pitch him or ditch him. The Diamondbacks lefty is 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA and 1.47 WHIP at home but 5-3 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.22 WHIP on the road. The @LAD matchup is a bit scary, but that is far outweighed by the extremely favorable matchup in Petco Park against a Padres club that has scored the fewest runs of any team in the Majors this season.

Jimmy Nelson (@CHC, vs. STL)

Although Nelson hasn’t been quite as sharp as usual of late, his overall numbers this season remain solid. He’s allowed three runs or less in seven of his nine starts and his 7.7 K/9 along with a 2.6 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 are all promising signs for any young pitcher. The Cubs and Cardinals rank 13th and 14th respectively in the NL in runs scored. If you can’t trust Nelson for next week, there’s really no point in owning him.

Carlos Carrasco (vs. DET, vs. CHW)

Over his last four starts, Carrasco has allowed a combined two runs across 24 2/3 innings to go along with 24 strikeouts. Some will say he’s due for a blowup, and he might be. But keep in mind that this is a former top prospect, so maybe it’s a case of a high-upside talent finally starting to figure things out at the big league level. The vs. DET matchup is a tough one, and that alone probably limits his appeal to deeper mixed leagues. But in a 12-team mixed, depending on your specific standings situation, Carrasco is a guy worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a strikeouts boost.

Hector Santiago (@HOU, @MIN)

Simply put, Santiago hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves this year. I mean, look at the stats! The Angels southpaw has been especially dominant in the second half, going 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across nine games (seven starts). The biggest concern here is that the Astros and Twins both rank in the top-4 of the AL in runs scored since the All-Star break, but this is a situation where recent performance is more important than the matchups.


Jason Hammel (vs. SEA, vs. HOU)

You might be tempted to start Hammel next week being that he’s coming off a gem against the Astros (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 K). But prior to that start was an ugly outing versus the Braves (3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER), and I’m just not convinced that he’s over the inconsistency issues that have plagued him ever since he was dealt to the A’s. Plus, the Astros and Mariners aren’t exactly the pushover offenses of years past. If he gets through next week in decent shape, maybe I’ll become convinced. But for now, I’m playing it safe.

R.A. Dickey (@TB, @BOS)

Honestly, I’ve given up trying to predict how Dickey will fare from one start to the next. I know that he’s posted three quality starts in his last four tries. I know that he’s done well against the Red Sox this year (3-0, 2.49 ERA). But he makes me too nervous. I’m not saying that starting him would be a huge mistake, and the rational move is probably to start him. But I guess I’m kind of irrational when it comes to Dickey. I’d rather not deal with the headache.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 30-September 1

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins



Pineda @ Hutchison

Scherzer @ Sale (Gm 1) – Must watch TV!

Ryan @ Bassitt (Gm 2)

Gibson @ Tillman

Bauer @ Shields – Bauer a tough call but he’s gone more than a month without back-to-back quality starts.

Mikolas @ Feldman

Webster @ Odorizzi

Samardzija @ TBD (LAA)

Strasburg @ Young – Young is 8-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 13 home starts this season.

Doubront @ Masterson (Gm 1) – Move to NL has done little to help Masterson.

Wada @ TBD (STL) (Gm 2) – Looks like Wada is for real.

Simon @ Worley – Worley risky but Reds have been a sub-par offense all year.

Cosart @ Harang – Cosart is hot and Braves offense has been mediocre this season.

Williams @ Colon

Matzek @ Nuno – Nuno worth considering in NL-only leagues.

Greinke @ Kennedy

Fiers @ Peavy


McCarthy @ Happ

Nolasco @ W. Chen – Sticking with Chen.

Buchholz @ Cobb

Porcello @ Quintana

Martinez @ Keuchel

Kazmir @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker continues to get the job done.

Roark @ Iwakuma

House @ Duffy

Burnett @ Gee

Cueto @ Liriano

T. Wood @ Lackey                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Lohse @ Bumgarner

Correia @ Stults – Stults a decent deep league gamble but there’s limited upside here.

J. De La Rosa @ C. Anderson – De La Rosa has a 3.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP since the All-Star break.

Eovaldi @ A. Wood


R. De La Rosa @ Smyly – Taking a break from Rubby, who has been shaky lately.

Hughes @ Gausman

Price @ Kluber

Young @ Hammel – Hammel showing some signs of improvement but he’s still a ditch in a 12-team mixed.

Lewis @ Ventura

Hamels @ Teheran

Wheeler @ Alvarez

Cole @ Lynn

Nelson @ Turner

Cahill @ T. Ross

Hudson @ Morales

G. Gonzalez @ R. Hernandez

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 29

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals


May @ M. Gonzalez – Gonzalez 2 ER or less in six of his last seven starts.

Capuano @ Buehrle

Ranaudo @ Archer

Verlander @ Carroll – Sticking with Verlander in favorable matchup.

Salazar @ Vargas – Both deserve a shot here.

Baker @ Oberholtzer

Lester @ Weaver

Zimmermann @ King Felix

Leake @ Volquez – I really don’t care how well Volquez has pitched of late. He’s still DTM in mixed leagues.

Buchanan @ deGrom – Buchanan worth considering in deep mixed/NL-only leagues.

Koehler @ Big Erv – Koehler very quietly putting together an impressive season.

Hendricks @ Miller – Miller a borderline call but I’ll play it safe.

Bergman @ Collmenter

Haren @ Cashner – Ideal matchup for the inconsistent Haren.

Peralta @ Vogelsong – Vogelsong a little risky though. Let your league standings be the deciding factor.

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 28

MLB: Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees


Kuroda @ Lobstein

Hellickson @ Norris – Hellickson has been impressive but I’ll play it safe for this matchup. Sticking with Norris.

Carrasco @ Danks – Carrasco due for some regression but White Sox offense has struggled for most of the season.

Milone @ Guthrie

Tepesch @ McHugh

Gray @ Wilson – Wilson getting back on track.

Arrieta @ Axelrod

Lyles @ Petit – Petit an intriguing option in NL-only leagues though.

Minor @ Niese – Minor coming off three straight quality starts.

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 27

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers


Lewis @ E. Ramirez

Greene @ Price – Not liking this matchup for Greene. Pitch only in very deep mixed/AL-only.

Smyly @ Gausman – Tough spot for Smyly but he’s earned it.

Kelly @ Stroman – Stroman a bit risky but he’s pitched very well vs. BOS this year (2-0, 0.64 ERA).

Kluber @ Noesi

Hughes @ Hendriks

Pomeranz @ Peacock

Alvarez @ Santiago – I’d give Santiago a shot here in mixed leagues of 12+ teams.

Wainwright @ Locke

Fister @ Kendrick

Turner @ Latos

Teheran @ Wheeler

Kershaw @ Miley – Miley at home (6.20 ERA) against a good offense? No thanks.

Gallardo @ Despaigne

Morales @ Hudson


Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 26

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers


Cobb @ W. Chen
R. De La Rosa @ Dickey – Both a little risky though. Consult your league standings.
McCarthy @ Porcello
House @ Quintana
Nolasco @ Duffy
Hammel @ Keuchel – Hammel cannot be trusted right now.
Eovaldi @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker having a solid year.
Martinez @ Paxton – I’ll take a chance on Paxton here.
G. Gonzalez @ Hamels
Lynn @ Cole
T. Wood @ Cueto
A. Wood @ Gee
R. Hernandez @ Cahill
Nelson @ T. Ross – Very favorable matchup for Nelson.
J. De La Rosa @ Bumgarner

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/25

Hey everyone,

While looking at the projected two-start pitchers for next week, I came to the realization that there was really no one, outside of the more obvious guys, who I would definitely bench. So instead of the usual Pitches and Ditches, we’ll focus solely on Pitches this time.

Wei-Yin Chen (vs. TB, vs. MIN)

Chen has been one of my favorite two-start pitcher picks this season, and there’s a good reason why. He’s rarely terrible, and with a strong offense supporting him, a quality start usually means a W (not that we chase wins or anything). The owner of a 4-1 record and 2.72 ERA through six starts since the All-Star break, Chen gets to face the Twins and Rays next week, a pair of mediocre offenses that rank 9th and 14th respectively in the AL in runs scored on the road. Pitch with confidence!

James Paxton (vs. TEX, vs. WAS)

Yeah, he’s been a little erratic since returning from a four-month injury absence, managing just two quality starts in four tries. But the bottom line is that Paxton is a high-end talent who should only get better as he shakes off the rust. The Rangers lineup has been a major disappointment this season (losing Prince Fielder for the year certainly didn’t help) and while the Nationals are a top-tier offense overall, Washington’s lineup has been significantly less productive on the road than at home.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox

Matt Shoemaker (vs. MIA, vs. OAK)

I’ve been hesitant to climb aboard the Shoemaker bandwagon for awhile, but I’m now convinced that this is a guy who deserves to be on all 12-team mixed league rosters. After all, he’s 12-4 with a 3.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, just under a strikeout per inning and a 102/19 K/BB ratio. What more could you possibly ask for? That said, next week presents a tough challenge for Shoemaker, as he will face an underrated yet solid Marlins offense followed by the best offense in baseball in the A’s. Still, this is a situation where performance quality trumps the matchups, and Shoemaker’s performance quality this season has been pretty good.

Jimmy Nelson (@SD, @SF)

Nelson is coming off a mediocre outing against the Blue Jays, but prior to that start, he had registered five straight quality starts, so there’s no doubt that the former top prospect can succeed at the big league level. Both of Nelson’s starts next week will take place on the road in pitcher-friendly parks against a pair of offenses that each rank in the bottom third of the NL in runs scored and home runs at home.

Jake Peavy (vs. COL, vs. MIL)

The move back to the Senior Circuit has certainly helped Peavy, who sports a 3.58 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through his first five starts with the Giants. Both of his starts next week come at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, and while the Brewers offense is formidable, the Rockies rank 13th in the NL in runs scored and batting average away from Coors Field. All in all, Peavy is a risk worth taking in all mixed leagues of at least 12 teams.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 23-25

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays



Farmer @ Pino (Gm 1)

Verlander @ May (Gm 2) – Verlander was actually on a roll before his last start.

Carroll @ Kuroda – Kuroda coming off solid bounce back outing.

Hellickson @ Buehrle – Not trusting Hellickson in less than ideal matchup.

Young @ Workman – Workman a decent play in deeper leagues but I’m lukewarm on him for this one.

McHugh @ Salazar – Feel free to sit Salazar if you’re protecting your ratios.

Guthrie @ Tepesch

Wilson @ Lester – Wilson risky here but he seems to be figuring things out.

Norris @ Hendricks – Norris very quietly putting together an impressive season. Tough matchup for Hendricks but he’s been outstanding.

Lincecum @ Zimmermann

Wainwright @ Buchanan

Volquez @ Peralta

Big Erv @ Leake – Leake hasn’t been as sharp lately but he’s worth a shot here.

Koehler @ Lyles

Cashner @ Nuno – Not concerned about pitching Cashner in return outing.

deGrom @ Greinke – Ditto for deGrom.


Oberholtzer @ Bauer – Bauer has gone a month without posting two straight quality starts.

Sale @ Capuano – Capuano a serviceable AL-only/very deep mixed league option.

Archer @ Hutchison

Iwakuma @ Webster – Risk outweighs the reward for Webster.

Scherzer @ Gibson – Can’t trust Gibson against upper-tier lineups.

Vargas @ Mikolas – A little nervous about Vargas here but these aren’t your older brother’s Rangers.

Weaver @ Kazmir

Harang @ Simon – Harang unpredictable but Reds not a very good offense this year.

Vogelsong @ Strasburg – Vogelsong a true borderline call. Let the categories make your decision.

Masterson @ Williams

Worley @ Fiers – I’m back to not trusting Worley.

M. Gonzalez @ Wada – Gonzalez has been a popular PoD choice of mine all year. Not digging this matchup for Wada.

Colon @ Correia

Hand @ Bergman

Kennedy @ C. Anderson – Very favorable matchup for Anderson, who is looking for a rebound performance.


Pineda @ Shields

Odorizzi @ Tillman

Buchholz @ Happ

Samardzija @ Feldman

Cosart @ LeBlanc

Mikolas @ Elias

Roark @ Burnett – Burnett is a ditch until further notice. Don’t bother chasing K’s.

Lackey @ Liriano – Lackey getting his groove back.

Lohse @ Stults

Matzek @ Peavy – Peavy 3 ER or less in each of his last three starts and Rockies are a poor offense away from Coors.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 22

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees


Peacock @ Carrasco – Carrasco a decent play in deeper leagues but I’m still a bit leery.

Danks @ Greene – Greene has finally made me a believer. Now watch him get bombed!

Smyly @ Stroman – Smyly pitching well lately. Stroman’s been up and down but I’ll chance it.

King Felix @ Kelly

Ventura @ Lewis

Ray @ Milone – Ray has been shaky since recall. Hard to trust Milone after last outing.

Santiago @ Gray – I do like Santiago though…just not here.

Gausman @ Arrieta – Gausman 3 ER or less in five straight starts.

Hudson @ Fister

Miller @ Kendrick – Taking a break from Shelby.

Minor @ Latos – Minor not a terrible option, but I’m not yet convinced on his resurgence.

Locke @ Gallardo – Not a fan of Locke at all.

Alvarez @ Morales – Alvarez being a ground ball pitcher makes start at Coors less scary.

Despaigne @ Collmenter – Despaigne erratic lately. I’ll pass.

Niese @ Haren – Not sure what to expect from Haren these days. Pitch if you’re feeling lucky.

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 21

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks


Keuchel @ McCarthy

Kluber @ Hughes – Four straight quality starts for Hughes.

Price @ Cobb – No, these guys aren’t teammates anymore.

Shoemaker @ R. De La Rosa – Haven’t lost faith in Rubby but this matchup worries me.

Miley @ G. Gonzalez – Miley is pretty much an automatic pitch when on the road (5-3, 2.86 ERA).

Teheran @ Holmberg

Bumgarner @ T. Wood

T. Ross @ Kershaw