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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/1

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Happy Friday to all,

My two-start pitcher article will be of the blog-only variety this week, so there aren’t any links to click. Everything you need to know is right here. Tough week for two-start pitchers as many of the guys who might be available in your league or sitting on your bench are in line for difficult matchups. But here are five to consider. Note that the stats included are accurate through Wednesday’s games.

Jon Gray

Standard mixed leagues

Jon Gray (vs. LAD, vs. MIA)

Overcoming inconsistency can be a challenge for any young pitcher, but if Gray’s recent results are any indication, he is making major strides towards meeting that challenge. The Rockies righty registered a stellar 1.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 8.4 K/9 rate across five July starts, and it would not be surprising to see him carry over his strong July into his first two August outings. The Dodgers and Marlins rank 19th and 21st, respectively, in the Majors in runs scored and Gray pitched well against Miami back on June 17th, tossing six innings of two-run ball.

Matt Moore (vs. KC, vs. MIN)

Aside from a rough May (7.36 ERA), Moore has been a reliable contributor to mixed league squads this season. Since his final June outing, the Rays lefty has taken his game to a new level, posting a 1.99 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over his last six starts. The 27-year-old now heads into a two-start week with a pair of favorable matchups, as the Twins and Royals rank 26th and 28th, respectively, in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. Plus, both of these starts will come at home, where Moore sports a 3.46 ERA and a 1.10  WHIP this season compared to a 4.94 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP on the road.

Archie Bradley (vs. WAS, vs. MIL)

Another former top prospect who is showing steady progress, Bradley boasts a 2.62 ERA over his last four starts. Fresh off a dominant performance on Wednesday in which he limited the Brewers to just one run across seven innings, the Diamondbacks righty heads into a two-start week with one tough matchup followed by one favorable matchup. While the Brewers rank 12th in the NL in runs scored this season, the Nationals place in the top-5 in the Senior Circuit in both runs and OPS. But the Washington offense has not been quite as productive this month, ranking 7th in the NL in runs and 8th in OPS. Overall, Bradley has pitched well enough lately to earn the nod for next week, and his strikeout ability (8.7 K/9 this season) adds to his appeal.

Deeper mixed leagues

Doug Fister (vs. TOR, vs. TEX)

Fister struggled on Tuesday, as the Yankees tagged him for six runs in just 4 2/3 innings. But the Astros righty was coming off a three-start stretch during which he registered a combined 2.25 ERA. The Blue Jays and Rangers both rank in the top-3 in the AL in runs scored, so Fister should only be considered in deeper formats. That said, the 32-year-old veteran has fared well against the Rangers this season, posting a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP through two starts.

Zach Eflin (vs. SF, @SD)

Eflin’s poor outing on Wednesday against the Marlins (5 IP, 7 ER) makes him a risky play for next week. But the 22-year-old rookie was coming off a three-hit shutout, which capped an impressive stretch of six straight quality starts. The Padres rank 26th in the Majors in OPS while the Giants rank 23rd in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. For owners in deeper leagues, starting the Phillies righty could be a risk worth taking.

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

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Blake Snell

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Gallardo @ Happ

Miley @ Arrieta

R. Lopez @ Peavy – Let’s see if Lopez can bounce back after his rough big league debut.

Eovaldi @ Smyly – Eovaldi pitching better lately but he’s still too risky. Strikeouts aside, Smyly has been a major disappointment this season.

M. Gonzalez @ Milone

J. De La Rosa @ Colon

Fiers @ Verlander

Overton @ Tomlin – Tomlin has been inconsistent of late but I like this matchup.

Hellickson @ Teheran

Taillon @ Ch. Anderson

Garcia @ TBD (MIA)

Kennedy @ M. Perez – Disaster alert for Kennedy.

DeSclafani @ Friedrich

Pomeranz @ Santiago – Santiago has been solid lately but this is a tough matchup.

Shipley @ Kazmir

SUNDAY

Tillman @ Ar. Sanchez

Bettis @ Syndergaard

Keuchel @ Pelfrey – Seven straight quality starts for Keuchel.

Pineda @ Snell – Snell sports a 1.93 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over his last three starts and the Yankees rank last in the AL in OPS.

TBD (OAK) @ Kluber

C. Martinez @ Koehler

Eickhoff @ TBD (ATL)

Shields @ Big Erv – Gotta go with both at this point.

Liriano @ Garza

Gee @ Harrell

S. Wright @ Skaggs – Keep an eye on Skaggs going forward though.

G. Gonzalez @ Cain

Corbin @ B. Norris

Bailey @ TBD (SD) – Padres actually lead the NL in runs scored in July. Go figure.

King Felix @ Hendricks

MONDAY

Sabathia @ Verrett – Sabathia tempting here but I’ll pass in 12-team mixed leagues. He’s a viable option in deeper formats though.

Duffey @ Salazar

Duffy @ Archer – Anyone notice that Archer has a 3.38 ERA in July?

Conley @ Hammel – Challenging matchup for Conley but I have faith in him.

Stroman @ Fister – Playing it safe with both.

Strasburg @ Bradley – I’ll take a chance on Bradley despite difficult matchup.

E. Rodriguez @ Paxton – Risk outweighs reward for Paxton in this matchup.

Nelson @ TBD (SD)

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 29

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Tyler Chatwood

ZACH’S PICKS

Iwakuma @ Lester – Tough matchup for Iwakuma but he’s been solid lately.

Gausman @ Estrada – Going for it with Gausman despite risky matchup.

Chatwood @ Matz – Chatwood is 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA in eight road starts this season.

McHugh @ Boyd

Nova @ Odorizzi – I still don’t trust Nova.

Graveman @ Bauer – Graveman has been outstanding lately but I don’t like this matchup. Pitch only in deeper formats.

Leake @ Urena – I’m comfortable with Leake here.

Velasquez @ Jenkins

Volquez @ Griffin

Quintana @ Nolasco

Brault @ Guerra – Guerra just continues to roll.

Porcello @ Lincecum

Godley @ Maeda

Scherzer @ Samardzija – Samardzija is risky though.

Finnegan @ Jackson

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 28

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Tyler Anderson

ZACH’S PICKS

T. Anderson @ deGrom – Anderson 3 ER or fewer in seven of his eight starts this season and the Mets rank 13th in the NL in runs scored.

Ray @ Davies – Ray too inconsistent to trust unless you’re chasing strikeouts. Davies has allowed 2 ER or fewer in each of his last three starts.

Jimenez @ Gibson

Nola @ Wisler – Nola very unpredictable these days but I like the matchup.

Wacha @ Fernandez

Sale @ Lackey

Ventura @ Hamels

Price @ Weaver

Roark @ Cueto

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 27

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Zach Eflin

ZACH’S PICKS

Eflin @ Conley – Eflin coming off three-hit shutout and the Marlins rank 13th in the NL in OPS since the All-Star break.

Strasburg @ Carrasco

Perdomo @ Dickey

Fulmer @ E. Rodriguez

Moore @ McCarthy – Five straight quality starts for Moore.

Straily @ Bumgarner – Four straight quality starts for Straily. I’ll take a chance on him here.

J. Gray @ Bundy – Dangerous matchup for Gray.

Paxton @ Cole

Wainwright @ Verrett

Ranaudo @ Hammel

Manaea @ Darvish

Bradley @ Nelson – Bradley a little risky though.

Foltynewicz @ Duffey – Foltynewicz worth a look in deeper formats.

Tanaka @ McCullers

Shoemaker @ Duffy

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 26

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Tom Koehler

ZACH’S PICKS

Bettis @ Tillman – Tillman is 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last four starts.

King Felix @ Liriano – Sticking with Felix. Still wary of Liriano.

Cashner @ Stroman – Stroman coming off dominant outing (8 IP, 1 ER). I’ll take a chance on him here.

Hendricks @ Shields – Playing it safe with Shields in this matchup.

Pelfrey @ S. Wright

Eickhoff @ Koehler – Koehler has registered a 1.64 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in three starts versus the Phillies this season.

C. Martinez @ Syndergaard (Gm 1)

Garcia @ Colon (Gm 2) – Colon a little risky though.

G. Gonzalez @ Salazar

S. Gray @ N. Martinez – Gray a borderline call here.

Corbin @ Garza

Harrell @ Big Erv – Great matchup for Erv.

Sabathia @ Fister

Skaggs @ Gee

Archer @ B. Norris – I’ll continue to pitch Archer and hope for the best.

Reed @ Cain

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/25

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Updated Pitch or Ditch Category Chart (7/22)

Jeremy Hellickson

Hey everyone,

As is the Friday custom, here’s a sampling of my latest two-start pitcher article. For the complete version, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Standard mixed leagues

Jeremy Hellickson (@MIA, @ATL)

After registering a rough 5.40 ERA in June, Hellickson has bounced back nicely this month, pitching to a 2.42 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through four July outings. The Phillies righty could close out the month in strong fashion with a pair of favorable matchups on tap. The Marlins and Braves rank 23rd and 30th, respectively, in the Majors in runs scored this season and in four combined starts against these two clubs, Hellickson boasts a 2.49 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

Deeper mixed leagues

Bartolo Colon (vs. STL, vs. COL)

The normally reliable Colon has struggled in two of his last three starts, but those two outings came against the Cubs and Nationals, teams that rank in the top-10 in the Majors in runs scored. Next week’s matchups are far from favorable, especially the first one, as the Cardinals lead the NL in runs. For this reason, Colon is more of a deep-league option. Still, the Mets righty, with his trademark pinpoint control, is the type of pitcher who can handle any lineup when he’s on his game. Plus, the Rockies, despite ranking 4th in the Majors in runs scored overall, rank only 19th in runs scored on the road.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE 

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Updated PoD Category Chart (7/22)

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Dodgers Brewers Baseball

Zach here,

What better way to celebrate the first full week of the season’s unofficial second half than to post an updated Pitch or Ditch category chart!

PoD Chart 7-22-16

For a number of years now, we have been posting these charts periodically throughout the season, and longtime 411 fan Big Barry deserves a special acknowledgement for suggesting the framework of the idea. For those unfamiliar with the format, in an effort to help you make those all important Pitch or Ditch decisions and determine whether or not a certain player deserves to remain on your roster, we have divided all of the pitchers currently in starting rotations into four groups: Aces, Grads, PoD and Indifferent. Keep in mind that the chart is geared towards standard 12-team mixed leagues. And of course, a pitcher’s designation will likely fluctuate throughout the season (especially between PoD and Grad). With each updated version of the chart, we will list the changes made since the previous version.

Aces – Elite starters with the track record to prove it. These pitchers should be in your active lineups regardless of the matchup.

Grads – Pitchers who aren’t ace material but should not be dropped and should be started in the vast majority of matchups.

PoD – Consider adding these guys off the waiver wire to start in favorable matchups, but feel free to drop them afterwards if you need the roster spot.

Indifferent – These pitchers are too risky to trust in any matchup and should remain on the waiver wire.

Here are the notable changes since the last version:

PROMOTIONS

Salazar grad to ace
Moore PoD to grad
Bauer PoD to grad
Duffy PoD to grad
Shoemaker PoD to grad
Guerra PoD to grad
Leake PoD to grad
Graveman indifferent to PoD

DEMOTIONS

Eovaldi grad to PoD
Smyly grad to PoD
Stroman grad to PoD
Shields grad to PoD
Chen grad to PoD
Nola grad to PoD
Ch. Anderson PoD to indifferent
Locke PoD to indifferent

And as always, your questions and comments are welcome.

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

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Tyler Anderson

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Iwakuma @ Dickey – I’ll pass on Iwakuma here.

Nola @ Glasnow – My confidence in Nola is now restored…mostly. Nice matchup for Glasnow if he does indeed make this start.

Samardzija @ Nova – I still have a hard time trusting Nova.

Tomlin @ Gausman – Tough matchup for Tomlin though.

Jackson @ Scherzer

Ray @ Sampson – Ray a viable option in deeper formats.

Lackey @ Davies

Boyd @ Sale

Weaver @ McHugh

Nolasco @ Price

deGrom @ Fernandez

Maeda @ Leake – Leake is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA over his last two starts with a whopping 21 K’s across 13 innings.

Hamels @ Ventura

Wisler @ T. Anderson – Anderson sports a solid 3.43 ERA over his first seven big league starts and the Braves rank last in the Majors in runs scored, batting average and OPS.

Smyly @ Graveman – Graveman remains more of a deep-league option.

SUNDAY

Cueto @ Eovaldi

LeBlanc @ Happ

Godley @ Finnegan – Finnegan too risky for 12-team mixed league purposes.

Matz @ Urena

Kluber @ Worley

Milone @ Porcello

Velasquez @ Taillon – I’ll take a chance on Taillon.

Friedrich @ TBD (WAS)

Lester @ Guerra – Challenging matchup for Guerra but he’s more than earned it.

An. Sanchez @ Quintana

Lincecum @ Fiers

Griffin @ Volquez

Snell @ Hahn – Snell a strong play here.

Jenkins @ Chatwood – Despite favorable matchup, Chatwood has been too inconsistent lately.

Kazmir @ Lyons

MONDAY

J. De La Rosa @ Gallardo

Rea @ Ar. Sanchez

Verlander @ Pomeranz

Hellickson @ Cosart – Hellickson is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts vs. Marlins this season.

C. Martinez @ Syndergaard (PPD)

Shipley @ Ch. Anderson

Mengden @ M. Perez

Arrieta @ M. Gonzalez

Pineda @ Keuchel

Santiago @ Kennedy

DeSclafani @ Peavy

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 22

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Adam Conley

ZACH’S PICKS

Bauer @ Bundy

Eflin @ Cole – Eflin a decent option in deeper formats though.

Perdomo @ Roark

Bumgarner @ Tanaka

Paxton @ Estrada – Playing it safe with Paxton here.

Bradley @ Straily – Bradley worth a shot versus sub-par Reds offense. Three straight quality starts for Straily but I don’t like this matchup.

Gibson @ E. Rodriguez

Verrett @ Conley – Conley sports a 2.12 ERA and 0.94 WHIP through three July starts and the Mets rank 28th in the Majors in runs scored this season.

Hammel @ Nelson – Tough matchup for Nelson but he’s pitched well against the Cubs this year (0.71 ERA in two starts).

Fulmer @ Turner

Shoemaker @ McCullers – McCullers a little risky but the strikeouts are too enticing to pass up.

McCarthy @ Wacha

Darvish @ Duffy

Teheran @ J. Gray – Favorable matchup for Gray.

Odorizzi @ Manaea – Ditto for Odorizzi.

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