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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/1

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Kyle Hendricks

PITCH

Kyle Hendricks  (@MIA, @WAS)

Simply put, Hendricks isn’t getting the attention he deserves, and maybe it’s because he isn’t pitching deep enough into games, which is the biggest reason why he’s recorded only one win through his first nine starts. But the ERA and WHIP are solid and the walk rate is exceptional (1.9 BB/9). Also, his 7.0 K/9 is a huge improvement over the 5.3 K/9 he posted last season. The Nationals are the highest-scoring team in the NL, but the Washington lineup has done most of its damage on the road. At home, the Nats rank 11th in the Senior Circuit in runs scored. Oh, and Hendricks’ last start happened to come against the Nationals, and he happened to pitch pretty well (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER). As for the Marlins, they rank in the bottom third of the NL in both runs scored and home runs.

Josh Collmenter  (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)

I own Collmenter in a few leagues this year, and I’ll admit that he’s tough to trust on a start to start basis. But these matchups are very enticing, and his 5.05 ERA is severely skewed by one disaster outing against the Nationals in which he gave up nine runs. The consistency just hasn’t been there for Collmenter this year, which makes pitching him in a 12-team mixed league a risky move. But in deeper leagues, the control specialist warrants serious consideration.

Colby Lewis

DITCH

Colby Lewis  (vs. CHW, @KC)

I had a feeling that a stat correction was coming, but that was ugly. Combine Wednesday’s blowup with the fact that Lewis had allowed five earned runs in each of his previous two starts and the bottom line is that Colby is simply unplayable for the time being, even in a two-start week when he will be facing a White Sox team that ranks last in the AL in runs scored. The @KC start has disaster written all over it. Even in deeper mixed formats, you’re better off leaving Lewis on your bench. He’s strictly an AL-only option.

Jaime Garcia  (vs. MIL, @LAD)

I’m curious to see how Garcia fares in his third start back from the DL, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he pitches well enough over the next few weeks to earn a stable roster spot in the majority of mixed leagues. But I still need to see a little more from him, and being that one of next week’s matchups (@LAD) is an especially tough one, I’d bench him this time and then reevaluate the situation the following week, that is if Garcia isn’t already back on the DL by then.

Archie Bradley  (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)

Bradley’s rookie season started out on such a bright note, but he’s hit a rough patch lately, and his most recent outing, on the road against the Cardinals, was his worst one to date. The upside is undeniable and these matchups are far from scary, but a 22-to-19 K/BB across 30 2/3 innings isn’t going to cut it. Owners of Bradley in 12-team mixed leagues, even non-keeper formats, should remain patient and hang onto him unless an extra roster spot is absolutely needed. As for starting him next week, however, the reward isn’t worth the risk.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, May 30-June 1

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Roenis Elias

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Ar. Sanchez @ Gibson – Gibson pitching very well but I don’t like this matchup.

J. De La Rosa @ Harang – Harang just continues to get it done.

E. Ramirez @ W. Chen – Sticking with Chen despite rough outing last time out.

Hellickson @ Lohse – Not a whole lot of upside with Lohse.

G. Gonzalez @ Iglesias

Quintana @ Keuchel – Still a big believer in Quintana.

Koehler @ Niese – Mets offense has been erratic of late.

Miley @ A. Gonzalez – Miley is hot but not chancing it here.

Ventura @ Wada – Wada worth monitoring but I’ll play it safe in tough matchup.

Frias @ Wacha 

Greene @ Weaver – Greene too much of a blowup risk.

Eovaldi @ Hahn – Both are not sure things but both are coming off gems.

W. Perez @ Lincecum

Marcum @ Elias – Elias 3 ER or less in each of his first six starts this season.

Morton @ Ross

SUNDAY

Roark @ Lorenzen – Roark was good enough in his first start that I feel comfortable pitching him here.

Phelps @ Colon – Did I mention that the Mets offense has been erratic?

Odorizzi @ Tillman

Lyles @ Williams – Lyles a decent NL-only option though.

C. Anderson @ Wagner – Anderson on a roll and the matchup is very favorable.

Hutchison @ Nolasco – Hutchison pitching a lot better lately and coming off CG SHO.

Danks @ R. Hernandez

B. Anderson @ C. Martinez

Guthrie @ Hammel

Kelly @ Wandy

Warren @ Chavez – PoD delight!

Teheran @ Bumgarner – Too hard to trust Teheran right now.

Salazar @ Happ – Happ a decent option in deeper leagues but he still scares me.

Price @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker too inconsistent this year.

Locke @ Despaigne

MONDAY

Dickey @ Zimmermann

Pelfrey @ Buchholz – Not a Buchholz fan but you have to give the guy some credit. Watch him get destroyed here!

Hendricks @ Urena

Garza @ J. Garcia – Garcia a toss-up but not totally sold on him yet.

Jimenez @ Feldman – Ubaldo remains DTM for the foreseeable future.

Kershaw @ Butler

Al. Wood @ Bradley – Bradley cannot be trusted right now.

Colome @ Richards – Colome a borderline call. I’ll pass.

Pineda @ King Felix – Nice!

deGrom @ Cashner

Cole @ Vogelsong – Vogelsong not a bad gamble in deeper leagues though.

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 29

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Yovani Gallardo

CORY’S PICKS

Volquez @ Arrieta

Bettis @ Hamels

Karns @ M. Gonzalez – Tough matchup for Karns but he’s avoided blowups

Haren @ Harvey

Strasburg @ DeSclafani

S. Wright @ Gallardo – YoGa’s been pretty good and the BoSox have been disappointing

R. De La Rosa @ Nelson

Rodon @ McCullers – not trusting wild Rodon vs. take-and-rake ‘Stros

Buehrle @ May

Bolsinger @ Lackey – cash in your chips on Bolsinger after 1-hit gem

An. Sanchez @ Santiago – Santiago’s occasional wildness too big a risk vs. lefty-killing Tigers

Capuano @ Gray

Bauer @ Walker

Liriano @ Shields

Foltynewicz @ Hudson

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 28

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Ian Kennedy

ZACH’S PICKS

Sale @ T. Wilson (Gm 1)

Beck @ M. Wright (Gm 2)

E. Rodriguez @ N. Martinez

Farmer @ Wilson – Farmer is a highly regarded prospect though, so keep an eye on him.

Sabathia @ Graveman – Hard to trust either right now.

Kluber @ Paxton – Paxton on an impressive run.

Burnett @ Kennedy – I’ll pitch Kennedy at home and coming off one of his better outings of the season.

Miller @ Heston

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 27

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Colby Lewis

CORY’S PICKS

Lewis @ Carrasco – Two straight rough starts for Lewis vs. tough offenses.

Kendrick @ Leake – Which Leake will show up? Don’t pay to find out.

Hand @ Cole

Samardzija @ Estrada – Tough matchup but Shark is starting to roll.

Young @ Pineda

Porcello @ Hughes – Porcello’s K rates are tempting but he’s been too erratic.

O’Sullivan @ Syndergaard

King Felix @ Archer – Must-see TV.

Vogelsong @ Fiers

Simon @ Kazmir – A’s actually can hit righties, and I don’t trust Simon.

McHugh @ Jimenez – One blowup by Ubaldo is enough for me to shy away.

Scherzer @ Lester

Collmenter @ Lynn

Cashner @ Richards – Yeah baby.

Al. Wood @ Greinke – Dodgers actually not hitting lefties much.

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 26

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Kyle Hendricks

ZACH’S PICKS

Zimmermann @ Hendricks – Going with Hendricks despite tough matchup.

Feldman @ Tillman

Vargas @ Warren – Keep an eye on Warren but I don’t like this matchup.

Urena @ Locke

Danks @ Dickey – More downside than upside with Dickey.

Wandy @ Salazar – More upside than downside with Salazar.

J. De La Rosa @ Lorenzen

Williams @ deGrom

Happ @ Colome – Colome a toss-up. Pitch only in deeper leagues.

Bumgarner @ Garza

Buchholz @ Pelfrey – I’m never going to recommend Buchholz.

Bradley @ Garcia – Bradley needs to be more consistent. Garcia needs to cut down on the walks.

Teheran @ Kershaw

Despaigne @ Shoemaker – Tough to trust Shoemaker right now.

Price @ Chavez – Challenging matchup for Chavez but he’s earned it.

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/25

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David Phelps

PITCH

David Phelps  (@PIT, @NYM)

Prior to his most recent outing, Phelps had pieced together five straight starts in which he pitched at least six innings while allowing no more than two runs. And his performance on Wednesday was far from terrible. The Mets rank dead last in the NL in runs scored this month while the Pirates haven’t been much better, currently in a three-way tie for 11th. Oh, and Phelps is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 1.04 WHIP on the road this year compared to 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA and 1.67 WHIP at home. Good thing he will be making two road starts next week.

Wei-Yin Chen  (vs. HOU, vs. TB)

I’ve always been a fan of Chen and this year is no exception, especially considering his impressive start to the season. I’ll admit that some regression is on the way. His current .237 BABIP is unsustainable, and that’s a big reason why Chen sports a 7.2 H/9 this season compared to a career H/9 of 8.9. But one of Chen’s biggest strengths is that he doesn’t hurt himself with walks (career 1.25 WHIP). The Rays offense is sub-par and while the Astros rank 3rd in the AL in runs scored, they’re also a very undisciplined team, ranking 1st in the AL in strikeouts by a wide margin. So perhaps Chen can take advantage of that. The vs. HOU matchup makes pitching Chen a bit risky, but with four quality starts in his last five outings, I’d go for it in mixed leagues of 12 or more teams.

Brett Anderson  (vs. ATL, @STL)

Anderson is a much more appealing choice in deeper formats than in a standard 12-team mixed league, as starting him @STL is risky. But he deserves consideration nonetheless if you’re not happy with some of your one-start options. While Anderson is allowing well over a hit per inning, he’s issued a mere nine walks across 42 1/3 innings, and his strikeouts have picked up of late. Over his last two starts, Anderson has whiffed 15 batters.

Roenis Elias  (@TB, vs. CLE)

Looking for a rotation fill-in who happens to be scheduled for two starts next week? Elias, who is likely still available in most 12-team mixed leagues, might just be your best option. The 26-year-old lefty boasts a 2.76 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through five starts this season, and don’t forget that he was solid last year over the course of his 29-start rookie campaign. Next week, Elias gets to face one below average lineup followed by one mid-tier lineup. Sounds good to me.

Shane Greene

DITCH

Shane Greene  (@OAK, @LAA)

By now, Greene is firmly in the YPNM (your problem, not mine) group. The window to trade him for a useful player is pretty much closed, so Greene owners have no choice but to either hang onto him and devote a roster spot to a guy who cannot be trusted or simply cut him. In mixed leagues of 12-plus teams, I’d be hesitant to drop him being that he’s pitching a lot better of late and perhaps that trade window can reopen. But Greene should be glued to your bench until further notice, even in a two-start week. The disaster outing risk is too high.

Carlos Rodon  (@TOR, @HOU)

The upside is undeniable, but 19 walks in 22 1/3 innings simply isn’t going to cut it at the big league level. It sounds like the White Sox will stick with Rodon in their rotation for the time being, and if you are a Rodon owner in a deeper mixed league, don’t rush to drop him, as patience is a must. But as long as he continues his wild ways, he cannot be trusted as a fantasy starter. And don’t even think about pitching him next week, as the Blue Jays and Astros both rank in the top-3 among AL clubs in runs scored and homers.

Nathan Eovaldi  (vs. KC, @OAK)

Inconsistency has been the name of the game for Eovaldi, who has yet to toss back-to-back quality starts this season. The Yankees off-season acquisition continues to give up a ton of hits and he’s just not worth the trouble for mixed league purposes, especially next week. The Royals and A’s rank 2nd and 4th in the AL respectively in runs scored.

Chase Anderson  (@STL, @MIL)

Although Anderson remains a quality Pitch or Ditch option when the matchups are right, these matchups would scare me off. It seems like every time I start a non-elite pitcher against the Cardinals, he gets rocked, and while the Brewers rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored, the Milwaukee lineup has been much more productive at home, ranking 13th in the Majors in runs. Outside of NL-only leagues or very deep mixed formats, I’d take the conservative route and ditch Anderson for next week, despite his stellar pitching of late.

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

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Carlos Frias

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

N. Martinez @ Sabathia – Encouraged by Sabathia’s recent outings but this isn’t a great spot to use him.

Paxton @ Buehrle – Taking a chance on Paxton despite scary matchup.

DeSclafani @ Kluber – DeSclafani has been shaky lately. I’ll sit this one out.

Hamels @ Strasburg – Ultra-favorable matchup for the slumping Strasburg.

Harvey @ Burnett

McCullers @ Lobstein – Keep an eye on McCullers though.

May @ Sale

Fiers @ Miller – Fiers coming off back-to-back strong outings.

Graveman @ Karns

Heston @ Lyles

Wilson @ S. Wright

Lackey @ Duffy

N. Wright @ Haren

Kennedy @ Bolsinger – Sticking with Kennedy.

Arrieta @ R. De La Rosa

SUNDAY

Cueto @ Bauer

Walker @ Ar. Sanchez – Bench but don’t cut Walker in deeper mixed leagues.

R. Hernandez @ An. Sanchez – Not concerned about Anibal.

M. Gonzalez @ Koehler – Gonzalez a toss-up but I do like this matchup.

Gray @ E. Ramirez

Santiago @ Miley – Tough challenge for Santiago but he’s been outstanding lately. Miley worth considering but he’s been a lot better on the road than at home.

Nelson @ Foltynewicz

Harang @ G. Gonzalez – Hard to sit Harang right now. Golden opportunity for Gio to get back on track.

Niese @ Liriano – Niese has been too erratic lately.

Gibson @ Quintana

Wacha @ Volquez – I’ll have to pitch Volquez sooner or later but not chancing it here.

Shields @ Frias – Frias getting it done.

Hudson @ Bettis – Hudson has poor career numbers at Coors.

Hammel @ Hellickson

Gallardo @ Capuano

MONDAY

Guthrie @ Eovaldi

Butler @ Marquis

S. Gonzalez @ Colon – Bartolo has struggled lately but Phils rank dead last in the Majors in runs scored and home runs.

Keuchel @ W. Chen – Chen very quietly having an outstanding season.

Lincecum @ Lohse – Tiny Tim still scares me but you have to respect the results.

Kelly @ Nolasco

Roark @ Wada

Greene @ Hahn – Greene pitching better lately but he’s too disaster-prone.

Klein @ Marcum

C. Anderson @ C. Martinez – Still a fan of Anderson but I’ll play it safe here.

Phelps @ Morton – Going for it with Phelps.

Noesi @ Hutchison

Elias @ Odorizzi – Elias 3 ER or less in each of his first five starts this season.

W. Perez @ B. Anderson – Anderson worth a shot.

Ross @ Weaver

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 22

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Colby Lewis

CORY’S PICKS

Leake @ Carrasco – the K/BB and HR/FB rates say better days are coming for Carrasco

Lewis @ Pineda – tough matchup for Lewis but Yankees are slumping

O’Sullivan @ Scherzer

Syndergaard @ Cole

King Felix @ Estrada

McHugh @ Simon – not sold on Simon but results have been solid

Richards @ Porcello – Porcello quietly building another solid year

Jimenez @ Alvarez – Alvarez is almost a must-start at home, even vs. O’s

Kazmir @ Archer

Peralta @ A. Wood – Wood’s lucky HR/FB rate making up for unlucky BABIP

Hughes @ Samardzija

Lynn @ Young

Vogelsong @ Kendrick

Lester @ Collmenter – Collmenter almost a must-start at home

Cashner @ Greinke

***ZACH SAYS “I’m benching Collmenter until he shows more consistency. And with only two quality starts in five tries, it’s not like he’s been that great at home this year anyway. Agree on rest.”

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 21

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Clay Buchholz

CORY’S PICKS

Bradley @ Latos – Latos has been too erratic and the D-backs are starting to hit

Happ @ Tillman – hang onto Tillman though…I think a correction is coming

Feldman @ Price

Garcia @ deGrom

Williams @ J. De La Rosa

Kershaw @ Bumgarner

Shoemaker @ Dickey – this has slugfest written all over it

Garza @ Teheran – good matchup for Teheran to get back on track

Chavez @ Colome

Wandy @ Buchholz – I don’t have the courage to pitch Buchholz

Salazar @ Danks

Hendricks @ Despaigne

***ZACH SAYS “I agree with all of these, though I’d at least think about pitching Garza in deeper formats since it’s a favorable matchup. But it’s awfully hard to trust a guy who is coming off a 10 ER outing. So ultimately, I’d pass.”

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