Buehrle @ Kuroda – I’m off the Buehrle train
Lester @ Price – last start with their current teams for both??
Hammel @ Tepesch – 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
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 @ Harang – Alvarez was too good for too long to jump ship yet
T. Ross @ Jackson
Gee @ Garza
With the unofficial second half of the season underway, it’s a perfect time for an updated Pitch or Ditch category chart.
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.
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
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.
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
Martinez @ Whitley
Peavy @ Happ – Peavy’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
Jacob deGrom (@SEA, @MIL)
Over his last five starts, deGrom boasts a 1.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP to go along with 38 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. Next week, he gets to face a Mariners team that ranks in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored, home runs and batting average in a pitcher-friendly park. The @MIL matchup is a challenging one, but deGrom’s recent performance has convinced me to pitch him.
Ryan Vogelsong (@PHI, vs. LAD)
Although Vogelsong’s 2014 stat line doesn’t exactly jump off the page, he’s usually a safe bet for a quality outing. The Phillies rank 11th in the NL in runs scored and 13th in batting average and while the vs. LAD matchup is a little scary, note that Vogelsong’s ERA at home this year (3.04) is more than two full runs lower than his road mark (5.18).
Collin McHugh (@OAK, vs. MIA)
There’s a small chance that McHugh won’t make the @OAK start, but all indications are that he will be activated from the DL in time. Regardless, I’d be very wary of pitching him next week, as the A’s and Marlins both rank in the top-4 in their respective leagues in runs scored and McHugh hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he was during the early part of the season. In a league with daily lineups, I might consider pitching him against the Marlins if he does well against the A’s. But in a weekly, I think you’re better off ditching.
Shane Greene (vs. TEX, vs. TOR)
Greene has no doubt been a nice story, but let’s not overlook the fact that his entire big league body of work spans a mere 13 2/3 innings and his career minor league numbers are really nothing special. The bottom line is that I need to see a lot more before I can trust Greene in any mixed league and I don’t like these matchups at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks, the tale of Greene looks a lot like that of Chase Whitley. The wheels could fall off in a hurry.
Simon @ McCarthy
Lewis @ Stroman – Stroman no sure thing but Rangers a mid-pack offense this year.
Kluber @ Ray (Gm 1) – Ray expected to be sent back down after this start.
Salazar @ Scherzer (Gm 2) – Ditto for Salazar but he has slightly better chance of sticking around.
Duffy @ R. De La Rosa – Taking a chance on Rubby versus so-so offense.
Keuchel @ Noesi
Price @ Correia
King Felix @ Richards
W. Chen @ Hammel
Greinke @ Kelly
Garza @ G. Gonzalez
B. Anderson @ Morton – Rockies a mediocre at best offense away from Coors.
Hamels @ TBD (ATL)
Hudson @ Alvarez
T. Wood @ Miley – Miley has struggled at home but he’s hot.
Gee @ T. Ross
Cueto @ Kuroda
Tepesch @ Buehrle – Buehrle’s been a lot more hittable lately.
Tomlin @ Smyly – Both too risky.
Ventura @ Lester
Cosart @ Danks – Danks worth a try here.
Archer @ Hughes – Hughes 5 ER or more in four of his last five starts.
Young @ Skaggs – Not completely sold on Young but you can’t argue with the results. Skaggs a decent play vs. Mariners club that ranks last in AL in runs scored this month.
Gausman @ Gray
Lincecum @ Hand
Kendrick @ TBD (ATL)
Gallardo @ Fister – Not liking this matchup for fading Gallardo.
Matzek @ Locke – Locke has been outstanding of late and as mentioned above, Rockies can’t hit on the road.
Wheeler @ Despaigne – Nice matchup for both.
Arrieta @ Collmenter – Collmenter a solid play in NL-only leagues though.
Kershaw @ C. Martinez – Martinez still has some kinks to iron out
Mikolas @ Greene – Need to see a little more from Greene before I can fully trust him in a 12-team mixed.
Lackey @ Hutchison
Guthrie @ Sale
House @ K. Johnson
Norris @ Shoemaker
Niese @ Elias – Favorable matchup for Elias but he’s been terrible over his last three starts (10.05 ERA).
Vogelsong @ Lee – Vogelsong has done just enough this year to deserve the nod.
Ryu @ Volquez
Koehler @ Teheran
Latos @ Peralta
Fister @ Morales
Verlander @ Nuno – Not overly confident in Verlander though.
Leake @ Phelps – Taking a chance on both.
Darvish @ Dickey – Dickey 2 ER or less in each of his last three starts.
Bauer @ An. Sanchez – Bauer a real toss-up though.
Shields @ Buchholz – I’ll never recommend pitching Buchholz.
Feldman @ Quintana
Cobb @ Gibson
Iwakuma @ Weaver
Tillman @ Samardzija – Tillman seems to be back on track but I’ll play it safe in tough matchup.
Lohse @ Strasburg
J. De La Rosa @ Liriano
Bumgarner @ Eovaldi
Burnett @ Big Erv
Haren @ Lynn – Haren fading badly lately.
Jackson @ Cahill
Colon @ Kennedy
Zach here again,
Yesterday, I unveiled my AL Fantasy All-Star Team. Today, let’s move over to the Senior Circuit. Remember that I’m filling a standard fantasy starting roster of 14 hitters and 9 pitchers while following the All-Star Game rule requiring at least one representative from each MLB team. Here’s the National League roster.
C Jonathan LuCroy
C Devin Mesoraco
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Dee Gordon
SS Troy Tulowitzki
3B Todd Frazier
CI Anthony Rizzo
MI Daniel Murphy
OF Giancarlo Stanton
OF Andrew McCutchen
OF Charlie Blackmon
OF Billy Hamilton
OF Carlos Gomez
UT Hunter Pence
SP Johnny Cueto
SP Adam Wainwright
SP Clayton Kershaw
SP Zack Greinke
SP Stephen Strasburg
SP Tyson Ross
RP Francisco Rodriguez
RP Craig Kimbrel
RP Jonathan Papelbon
As for the notable snubs, there’s no shortage of them.
Evan Gattis – Mesoraco vs. Gattis was incredibly close, but I ultimately chose Mesoraco as the #2 catcher due to the slightly higher AVG.
Yasiel Puig – His numbers are certainly All-Star worthy but I needed a Giants representative, so Pence got the last available hitter spot.
Julio Teheran - Unfortunately for Teheran, I needed a Padres representative (Ross).
Alfredo Simon – His non-elite strikeout rate was the difference.
Jason Hammel – I simply couldn’t justify picking him over any of the other starting pitchers on the roster.
Josh Beckett – See above.
Rafael Soriano – Lowest ERA of any closer (1.00) but he’s striking out less than a batter per inning and I needed a Phillies representative (Papelbon).
Anthony Rendon – I’ll save the biggest snub for last. Had him as my MI until I realized that the Mets were not represented, and Murphy is really the only reasonable choice out of all the Amazins.
As always, your feedback is more than welcome.
Carroll @ McAllister
Greene @ Jimenez
Peavy @ McHugh – Peavy better of late but I still don’t quite trust him. McHugh a little risky but Red Sox offense isn’t very good right now.
Hutchison @ Price
Porcello @ Shields – Porcello looking to bounce back from ugly outing last time out.
Weaver @ Mikolas
Chavez @ Iwakuma
Minor @ Jackson
Miley @ Vogelsong – Miley an automatic pitch when on the road (3-1, 3.19 ERA, 1.08 WHIP).
Wainwright @ Nelson
Koehler @ Matsuzaka – Koehler coming off disaster outing but he’s done very well against the Mets this year.
Correia @ Matzek
Morton @ Leake – Not a great matchup for Morton but he’s on a roll.
Strasburg @ Hamels
Kennedy @ Maholm
Danks @ Bauer – Could be 2-1 or 10-9. I’d lean towards passing.
Happ @ Odorizzi – Odorizzi pitching well lately and Blue Jays offense is struggling.
Verlander @ B. Chen – Sticking with Verlander, though I wouldn’t blame you for ditching.
Buchholz @ Cosart – I have very little confidence in either.
Skaggs @ TBD (TEX)
Gray @ Young – Young has been a pleasant surprise but this matchup is as tough as it gets.
TBD (NYY) @ Tillman – Tillman has improved dramatically of late and he’s been strong at home all season (2.74 ERA).
Liriano @ Cueto
Hand @ deGrom – deGrom’s last four starts: 25 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 30 K.
Roark @ Kendrick – Roark fading a bit but I’ll give him another chance.
C. Martinez @ Peralta – Martinez worth a look in NL-only leagues but this matchup isn’t a favorable one.
Teheran @ T. Wood
C. Anderson @ Bumgarner – Decent enough matchup for Anderson.
Ross @ Ryu
Hughes @ B. Anderson – Not trusting Hughes at Coors.