Author Archive

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 31

MLB: Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants

CORY’S PICKS

Danks @ Smyly – Smyly had 11 K’s last time out. Is it OK to use him now?
Skaggs @ Norris
Young @ McAllister
Correia @ Ventura
Hutchison @ Cosart – Good arms but bad matchups.
TBD (COL) @ Arrieta
Miller @ Despaigne
Lee @ G. Gonzalez
Cueto
@ Koehler – Koehler is tough at home and the Reds are not great offensively.
Locke @ Collmenter – Blue-plate special; both have some appeal if categories allow.
Teheran @ Kershaw – Stay up late, kids.

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 30

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers

CORY’S PICKS

Gallardo @ Price
Hammel @ Keuchel – risk/reward here depends on your standings. Both are regressing hard right now.
Richards @ Gausman
King Felix
@ Kluber – King plus Kluber = K’s!
Noesi @ Scherzer
Buehrle @ Workman
Kuroda @ Lewis
Hughes @ Duffy
Kendrick @ Wheeler
Miley @ Simon
Roark
@ Hand – Hand is a sneaky good gamble in deeper leagues.
Morton @ Lincecum
B. Anderson
@ T. Wood – Wood also a good blue-plate option vs. depleted Rockies.
A. Wood @ Greinke
Kelly
@ Hahn – keep in mind, Hahn has about 60 innings left.

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 29

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Miami Marlins

CORY’S PICKS

Weaver @ Tillman
Iwakuma @ Bauer
Quintana
@ An. Sanchez
Stroman
@ R. De La Rosa – rematch!
Garza @ Cobb
McCarthy
@ Martinez – McCarthy is on a roll and the Rangers, er, are not
Gibson @ Shields
Samardzija
@ Feldman
Cahill @ Leake – I’m keeping an eye on both though
Hamels @ Gee – FYI, Hamels’ 4.38 career ERA vs. the Mets is his worst vs any NL club
Strasburg
@ Alvarez
J. De La Rosa @ Jackson
Harang @ Beckett
Lynn @ T. Ross
Liriano @ Hudson

***ZACH SAYS “I’d absolutely pitch Alvarez, who is coming off a strong outing against the Braves. The Nats are a tough lineup, but as long as you’re not expecting too many strikeouts, you’ll be happy with what you get from him going forward. Agree on rest.”

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/28

MLB: San Diego Padres at Cleveland Indians-Game Two

PITCHES

Trevor Bauer (vs. SEA, vs. TEX)

It took awhile, but Bauer is finally starting to live up to those great expectations. Yeah, the WHIP could use improvement, but he’s allowed three runs or less in each of his last six starts, and you gotta love the strikeouts. The Mariners rank next to last in the AL in both runs scored and batting average, the Rangers are no better than a mid-pack offense and Bauer’s ERA at home this year is 2.82. That’s good enough for me.

Aaron Harang (@LAD, @SD)

I’ve been doubting Harang all year, and I’m still not completely convinced that he will remain a viable option in 12-team mixed leagues through the end of the season. But for now, you can’t argue with the results, particularly the recent results, which have included six straight quality starts. The @LAD matchup might seem tough on paper, but the Dodgers offense has been mediocre at best in the month of July, ranking in the bottom half of the NL in runs and batting average and dead last in the Senior Circuit in homers. As for the @SD matchup, the Padres have scored the fewest runs in the Majors this year, and it’s not even close.

Chris Tillman (vs. LAA, vs. SEA)

After suffering through a brutal month of May (5.68 ERA, 1.53 WHIP), Tillman has rebounded nicely, posting a 3.10 ERA and 1.30 WHIP since the beginning of June. The vs. LAA matchup is a little scary, but the good news is that Tillman has been a far better pitcher at home (2.89 ERA) than on the road (4.68 ERA) this year. As for the vs. SEA matchup, there’s nothing scary about that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DITCHES

Nathan Eovaldi (vs. WAS, vs. CIN)

Heading into the season, I really liked Eovaldi as an undervalued pitcher, and things could not have gone much better in April (2.58 ERA, 1.02 WHIP). It’s been downhill since, however, and he’s allowed a combined 13 runs over his last two starts. I still haven’t given up on him, and I still think he deserves a roster spot in deeper mixed leagues, but you’re better off benching him for now. By the way, the Nationals lead the NL in runs scored in the month of July.

Francisco Liriano (@SF, @ARI)

Liriano has done a great job over his last two starts (12 IP, 1 ER, 12 K), and I might soon start to be a believer. But not yet. The strikeouts are nice, but the 4.79 BB/9 is disturbing, and with Liriano, there’s always the risk of a disaster outing. The days of the Giants being an offense to pick on are over, and the Diamondbacks rank in the top-5 of the NL in runs scored, home runs and batting average at home. I need to see more from Liriano before I can feel comfortable pitching him, even in a two-start week.

David Phelps (@TEX, @BOS)

Having allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last five starts , Phelps has emerged onto the mixed league radar. And he probably deserves an immediate pickup in deeper mixed formats. But next week is not a good time to use him. Although the Rangers and Red Sox haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard this season, Rangers Ballpark and Fenway Park are two tough places to pitch, and Phelps’ ERA on the road is more than two runs higher than his ERA at home. Don’t forget about him in the coming weeks, but for next week, I’m playing it safe and ditching.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, July 26-28

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Hutchison @ Greene – I don’t fully trust either.

Norris @ Young – Norris not a bad gamble in deeper leagues though.

McAllister @ Guthrie

Sale @ Gibson – Gibson very erratic of late.

Koehler @ Cosart – Koehler has five quality starts in his last six outings.

Lackey @ Hellickson – Lackey appears back on track. Keep an eye on Hellickson.

Gray @ Tepesch

Verlander @ Shoemaker – Riding it out with Verlander.

Miller @ Arrieta – Not completely giving up on Miller though.

G. Gonzalez @ Cueto

Collmenter @ Lee – Collmenter an intriguing deep mixed/NL-only league option.

Niese @ Peralta – Peralta 14 IP, 1 ER since disaster outing vs. PHI.

Despaigne @ Teheran – All aboard the Despaigne bandwagon!

Locke @ Matzek – Playing it safe with Locke at Coors.

Kershaw @ Vogelsong – Not a great matchup for Vogelsong but he does have a 3.04 ERA at home.

SUNDAY

Happ @ Whitley

Peavy @ Archer – Peavy has a 5.87 ERA on the road and Rays hitting has improved.

Salazar @ B. Chen – Nice matchup for Salazar, who pitched pretty well in his return on Tuesday.

Carroll @ Pino

Turner @ McHugh – McHugh is fading.

Porcello @ Santiago – Santiago worth monitoring going forward but this matchup is too tough.

M. Gonzalez @ Elias – Gonzalez has been dominant over his last three starts (1.90 ERA, 0.93 WHIP).

Kazmir @ Mikolas

Fister @ Latos

Nuno @ R. Hernandez

deGrom @ Nelson – Nelson worth a shot here.

Wainwright @ Hendricks

Volquez @ Morales

Stults @ Minor

Ryu @ Petit

MONDAY

Dickey @ Buchholz – Could be 2-1 or 10-9. No thanks.

Lohse @ Odorizzi – Tough matchup for Odorizzi but he’s earned it.

Phelps @ Darvish – I’m a fan of Phelps, but not here.

Chavez @ Oberholtzer – Chavez hasn’t been as sharp lately, but the K’s are still there.

Lane @ Big Erv

C. Anderson @ Bailey – Homer has been a lot better lately.

Burnett @ Colon

Zimmermann @ Eovaldi – I’m quickly losing confidence in Eovaldi.

Flande @ Wada

Worley @ Bumgarner – Worley a borderline call but in a 12-team mixed, I’ll take the conservative route.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 25

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers

CORY’S PICKS

Buehrle @ Kuroda – I’m off the Buehrle train

Lester @ Price – last start with their current teams for both??

Hammel @ Williams – good matchup for Hammel to rebound

Tomlin @ Ventura

Danks @ Correia – Danks has 10 starts this year with 0-2 runs but four with 6+ runs!

Hand @ Keuchel – Keuchel 33 hits in his last 16.0 IP

Smyly @ Skaggs – I guess I’m a lot more bullish on Smyly than the 411 community J

Gausman @ King Felix

Kelly @ T. Wood

Miley @ Kendrick

Roark @ Simon

Hahn @ A. Wood

Wheeler @ Gallardo

Morton @ B. Anderson – playing it safe on Charlie in Coors

Greinke @ Lincecum

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 24

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Yankees

CORY’S PICKS

R. De La Rosa @ Stroman – good matchup of talented young arms
Lewis @ McCarthy – McCarthy is revitalized since returning his cutter
Feldman @ Samardzija
Kluber @ Duffy
Noesi @ Hughes
Scherzer @ Richards – yes please!
W. Chen @ Iwakuma
Hudson @ Hamels
Alvarez
@ HarangAlvarez was too good for too long to jump ship yet
T. Ross @ Jackson
Gee @ Garza

Updated PoD Category Chart (7/22)

Hey everyone,

With the unofficial second half of the season underway, it’s a perfect time for an updated Pitch or Ditch category chart.

POD Chart 7-22

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the chart, this is something we started doing a few years ago (special shout out to longtime 411 fan Big Barry for the framework of the idea) to help guide you not only in your Pitch or Ditch decisions but also in knowing whether or not dropping a certain pitcher would be a mistake.

We’ve divided all of the current starting rotation pitchers into five groups: Aces, Grads, PoD, DTM and Indifferent.

Aces: Fairly straightforward. Elite starting pitchers with the track record to prove it.

Grads: Not ace-caliber but also not worth dropping under any circumstances. Grads should always be started, regardless of the matchup.

PoD: These pitchers do not quite deserve a permanent roster spot but should be picked up and started in favorable matchups. If their next matchup is not so favorable, feel free to drop them. Some PoD guys could earn Grad status if they string together several consecutive strong outings.

DTM: An old 411 acronym for “dead to me”, DTM pitchers are guys that we might have once liked but have repeatedly let us down to the point where we’ve had enough of them. It takes a lot to become DTM, but once you become DTM, it’s very tough to escape that category!

Indifferent: Pitchers who are just not that good and should not be rostered.

***Note that this chart is geared towards standard 12-team mixed leagues.

Here are the changes we’ve made since our last version from early-June.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at San Francisco Giants                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

PROMOTIONS

Lester grad to ace

Teheran grad to ace

Quintana PoD to grad

Arrieta PoD to grad

Simon PoD to grad

Lincecum PoD to grad

Alvarez PoD to grad

Smyly PoD to grad

Porcello PoD to grad

Bailey PoD to grad

  MLB: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

DEMOTIONS

Buehrle grad to PoD

Peralta grad to PoD

Haren grad to PoD

Whitley PoD to indifferent

Lewis PoD to indifferent

And as always, feel free to comment below.

-Zach

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 23

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates

CORY’S PICKS

Bauer @ Gibson

Shields @ Quintana - Quintana is very quietly having an outstanding season

Colon @ Walker

Darvish @ Phelps

Buchholz @ Dickey

Tillman @ Weaver

Peacock @ Chavez – But, Chavez 4.98 ERA in his last four starts…

Leake @ Lohse – Leake is rarely terrible, but too much risk here

Strasburg @ J. De La Rosa

An. Sanchez @ Cahill – keep an eye on Cahill once the schedule gets easy

Bumgarner @ Burnett – A.J’s last outing as a Phillie?

Haren @ Liriano – risk/reward on both but I’ll sit this one out

Eovaldi @ Big Erv – Eovaldi 2.95 ERA in his last 18 road starts

Cobb @ Lynn

Kennedy @ Wada

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 22

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians

CORY’S PICKS

Martinez @ Whitley
Peavy @ HappPeavy’s getting it together and Jays are not at full strength
B. Chen @ Carroll
Salazar @ Pino – tasty return matchup for Salazar
M. Gonzalez @ Santiago
Oberholtzer @ Kazmir
deGrom @ E. Ramirez – good place to gamble on Erasmo if categories warrant
Petit @ R. Hernandez – good gamble on Yusmeiro, too
Beckett @ Worley
Turner @ Minor
Stults @ Hendricks
Bailey @ Nelson – Reds have not been a scary matchup this year
Odorizzi @ Wainwright
Zimmermann
@ Flande
Porcello @ C. Anderson

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