Author Archive

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 12

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James Paxton

CORY’S PICKS

Lynn @ Carrasco

Buehrle @ Tillman – almost time to panic on Tillman

Burnett @ O’Sullivan

Gibson @ Simon – Simon off to another solid start

Foltynewicz @ DeSclafani – both are risky but I’ll still chase this early in the season

Eovaldi @ Archer

Volquez @ N. Martinez – not gambling on low-K Martinez vs. Royals’ hot bats

Syndergaard @ Arrieta

Sale @ Fiers

Heston @ McHugh

Strasburg @ R. De La Rosa

Masterson @ Pomeranz

Kendrick @ Wilson

Haren @ Bolsinger

Kennedy @ Paxton – Paxton seems to have turned the corner

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/11

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Mike Leake

PITCH

Mike Leake  (vs. ATL, vs. SF)

No, Leake isn’t going to finish the season with a 2.47 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. His pedestrian strikeout rate limits his fantasy value to that of a back end of the rotation guy, but he’s certainly someone worth holding onto in 12-team mixed leagues for the foreseeable future. And he’s certainly someone who you should be starting next week when he faces a Braves club that he just dominated last week to the tune of eight shutout innings followed by a Giants team that ranks next to last in the NL in runs scored.

Josh Collmenter  (vs. WAS, @PHI)

No one was starting Collmenter at Coors Field anyway, so I’m giving him at least a partial pass for his last outing, though he did manage to make it through seven innings. Yeah, he’s kind of boring, and he’s not going to post gaudy strikeout totals. But his low WHIP, thanks to a minuscule walk rate, can be useful in deeper mixed leagues. Even in a 12-teamer, Collmenter is a quality option for favorable matchups or two-start weeks. The vs. WAS matchup is somewhat scary, but at least it’s at home, where Collmenter has been very effective over the course of his career. The @PHI matchup is a no-brainer, with the Phillies ranking dead last in the Majors in runs scored. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give him a shot.

Wily Peralta  (vs. CHW, @NYM)

Coming off a breakthrough 2014 campaign, Peralta was inconsistent in the early going this season. But he’s now pieced together three straight starts of at least six innings and no more than two earned runs. His most recent start, versus a formidable Dodgers lineup (8 IP, 2 ER, 6 K), was especially impressive. I wouldn’t hesitate to start Peralta next week. The White Sox rank last in the AL in runs scored by a wide margin while the Mets have been at best a middle of the pack offense.

Alex Colome  (vs. NYY, @MIN)

In a 12-team mixed league, I might play it safe and pass on Colome, but he’s a very intriguing option in deeper formats. The Rays have enforced a strict pitch count so far, as Colome missed the beginning of the season due to a case of pneumonia, but we can expect him to soon go deeper into games. And seriously, what’s not to like about a 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 10-to-0 K/BB ratio? Still, the Yankees and Twins both rank in the top half of the AL in runs scored and batting average, which is why I’d only consider Colome in mixed leagues of more than 12 teams or AL-only leagues.

Ubaldo Jimenez

DITCH

Ubaldo Jimenez  (vs. TOR, vs. LAA)

Please don’t get sucked into the Ubaldo trap! I don’t care that he’s in line for two starts next week. I don’t care that he currently sports a 2.36 ERA and 0.98 WHIP to go along with 23 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He’s a tease, and he’s liable to implode at any moment. The Blue Jays lead the Majors in runs scored while the Angels lineup, despite underperforming so far, remains very dangerous. Let someone else gamble on Ubaldo.

Chris Heston  (@HOU, @CIN)

Heston looked fantastic over his first three starts this season, but two of his last three outings have been duds, and he simply doesn’t carry the track record necessary for fantasy owners to remain confident in him. Next week, Heston heads into two hitter’s parks to face two talented lineups, one of which (Houston) leads the AL in home runs. In 12-team mixed leagues, I wouldn’t have a problem with dropping him altogether.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, May 9-11

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David Phelps

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

W. Chen @ Whitley – Tough matchup for Chen, but just as tough to bench him right now.

Kelly @ Hutchison

Guthrie @ An. Sanchez

Teheran @ Fister

Hughes @ B. Chen – Passing on inconsistent Hughes versus potent KC lineup.

Detwiler @ Odorizzi

Niese @ Harang – I’ll trot out both.

C. Martinez @ Worley – Expecting a bounce-back performance from Martinez.

Cueto @ Rodon – I’m going for it with Rodon, though waiting one start isn’t a bad idea.

T. Wood @ Lohse – Not a big believer in Wood while Lohse has managed only one quality start in six tries.

Kershaw @ J. De La Rosa

Ross @ C. Anderson – Taking a chance on Chase coming off impressive outing versus the Dodgers.

Keuchel @ Shoemaker

Phelps @ Bumgarner – Phelps has a 1.86 ERA over his last three starts.

Hahn @ Happ – Both are decent options in deep mixed/AL-only formats but I just don’t like these matchups.

SUNDAY

B. Norris @ Pineda – Norris a bit too unpredictable for my liking.

Buchholz @ Dickey – Buchholz way too unpredictable for my liking. Playing it safe with Dickey in tough matchup.

May @ Salazar – Key stat for Salazar: 37-to-5 K/BB ratio. Keep an eye on May.

Wandy @ Smyly – Smyly has been outstanding over his last two starts.

Al. Wood @ Zimmermann

Gee @ Billingsley – Gee has a 1.83 ERA over his last three starts and this matchup is favorable.

Lyons @ Locke

Lorenzen @ Danks – Not a very favorable venue for Lorenzen but White Sox rank second to last in the Majors in runs scored.

Hendricks @ Garza – I haven’t given up on either but it’s hard to trust them at this point.

Feldman @ Richards

Latos @ Vogelsong – Latos has been solid lately.

Chavez @ King Felix – Chavez a little risky but I’ll roll the dice.

Greinke @ Kendrick

Cashner @ TBD (ARI)

Vargas @ Greene – Raise your hand if you trust Greene at this point. I didn’t think so.

MONDAY

S. Miller @ Leake – Leake continues to get it done.

Estrada @ Jimenez

Cole @ Williams

Sabathia @ Colome – Colome has earned it.

Samardzija @ Peralta – Peralta 2 ER or less in each of his last three outings and the matchup is right.

Duffy @ Lewis – Duffy has been too erratic and I remain skeptical on Lewis.

deGrom @ Lester

Scherzer @ Collmenter – Giving Collmenter a mulligan for his shaky Coors Field outing.

Porcello @ Kazmir – Porcello over his last two starts: 2-0, 0.64 ERA, 0.86 WHIP.

Koehler @ Greinke

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 8

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Miguel Gonzalez

ZACH’S PICKS

Stults @ G. Gonzalez – Gio outstanding in his last start. Hopefully, you bought low while you had the chance.

M. Gonzalez @ Warren – Miguel off to a nice start, and he dominated the Yankees last month.

Harvey @ Hamels – Enjoy!

Wacha @ Liriano

Miley @ Ar. Sanchez

Ventura @ Price – Ventura struggling lately, so wouldn’t blame you for ditching him in shallower leagues for this tough matchup.

Pelfrey @ Bauer – Sticking with Bauer.

Gallardo @ Karns – Both pitchers are a bit risky but Rangers and Rays both rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored and batting average.

Hammel @ Nelson

Marquis @ Noesi

B. Anderson @ Butler – I like Anderson, but not here.

Shields @ Hellickson

R. Hernandez @ Weaver – Weaver cannot be trusted right now.

Gray @ Walker – Walker continues to tease us.

Cosart @ Lincecum – Taking a chance on both.

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 7

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Jose Quintana

CORY’S PICKS

Pomeranz @ Nolasco – decent matchup but Pomeranz has not been impressive

Frias @ Fiers – exploit this matchup for Frias

Arrieta @ Lackey

Lobstein @ Quintana – Quintana has dominated his last two starts but Tigers crushed him before that

Kluber @ Volquez – hang with ‘em

Tillman @ Eovaldi – bad matchups with high blowup risk

DeSclafani @ Burnett

N. Martinez @ Archer

Despaigne @ R. De La Rosa – Rubby dodges Coors start thanks to the rain

McHugh @ Santiago

Haren @ Hudson – old dudes aren’t done yet!

***ZACH SAYS “I’ll ditch Despaigne. The matchup, in a hitter’s park, is concerning and he’s coming off a terrible performance in relief last Tuesday. I also don’t trust Rubby enough against a Padres team that leads the NL in runs scored. Agree on rest.”

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 6

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Chris Heston

CORY’S PICKS

Koehler @ Scherzer

Collmenter @ Matzek (Gm 1)

Ray @ Lyles (Gm 2)

Kennedy @ Heston – not sold on Heston yet

Jimenez @ deGrom

Leake @ Cole – Leake is on a roll and Pirates are most definitely not

Sabathia @ Buehrle

Colome @ Masterson – tough matchup for Colome but he was solid in his first outing

Williams @ Foltynewicz – great second matchup for Folty

Simon @ Sale

Carrasco @ Duffy

Wieland @ Peralta

Kazmir @ Gibson

Lewis @ Deduno

Lester @ Lynn

Elias @ Wilson

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 5

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Mat Latos

CORY’S PICKS

Latos @ Strasburg – Latos is gradually righting the ship

Lorenzen @ Locke – solid outing by Lorenzen in his debut, and Pirates offense is brutal

Pineda @ Estrada – I’ll be more interested in Estrada on the road

Smyly @ Porcello

Billingsley @ Miller

B. Norris @ Colon

Greene @ Samardzija – regression meets the weak ChiSox offense

Salazar @ Vargas

Greinke @ Garza

Chavez @ May

Wandy @ Feldman

Hendricks @ Lyons

Collmenter @ Matzek

Paxton @ Richards

Cashner @ Vogelsong

***ZACH SAYS “I’ve just about completely given up on Greene, and the White Sox offense has the ability to wake up at any moment, so I’ll say ditch. Agree on rest.”

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/4

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Braves Phillies Baseball

PITCH

Aaron Harang  (@ATL, vs. NYM)

Prior to his shaky outing on Wednesday, Harang had opened the season with four straight quality starts, including 21 strikeouts across 26 1/3 innings, and he is coming off a solid 2014 campaign.  Considering that he sports a career ERA of 4.19 and a career WHIP of 1.35, his current 2.51 ERA and 0.96 WHIP are bound to rise significantly. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing the stat correction next week. Harang has already made one start each against the Braves and Mets this season, and he’s allowed a combined one run over 14 innings. The Braves offense has performed much better than expected, but from a pure talent standpoint, this is still a sub-par lineup. After a red-hot start to the season, the Mets have lost five of their last seven games. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, Harang is certainly worth a shot.

Jesse Chavez  (@MIN, @SEA)

Chavez wasn’t overly impressive on Thursday in his second start of the season, but he did perform well in his first start and proved last year that he can succeed as a starter. With Kendall Graveman now out of the picture, Chavez has a rotation spot secured for the foreseeable future, and he will be a popular Pitch or Ditch pick going forward, thanks in large part to his career 8.0 K/9. Both the Twins and Mariners rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored, making Chavez an intriguing two-start option, even for those in 12-team mixed leagues.

Jesse Hahn  (@MIN, @SEA)

Same team, same opponents and same first name. What else is there to say? Hahn has made it through six innings in just one of his four starts, which is a bit unsettling. But at just 25 years of age, he still has plenty of time to improve his pitch efficiency. If he’s available in your league, pick him up for this two-start week and don’t be surprised if he remains on your roster through the end of the season. Being that Hahn struck out 70 batters in 73 1/3 innings last year, it’s safe to chalk up his current 4.5 K/9 to a small sample size.

Shane Greene

DITCH

Shane Greene  (@CHW, vs. KC)

We all knew the stat correction was coming, but 8 1/3 IP, 15 ER over a two-start stretch? Now that’s ugly. Greene did strike out eight in his last start, but that’s about the only positive thing we can say about him these days. Overall, he hasn’t been a reliable source of strikeouts, and with such a limited big league track record, it’s tough to have a lot of confidence in him going forward. He’s a back end of the rotation guy in 12-team mixed leagues. The White Sox rank dead last in the Majors in runs scored but the Royals rank 2nd, so you’re better off playing it safe by sitting Greene next week. If he continues to struggle, it might be time to think about dropping him.

Clay Buchholz  (vs. TB, @TOR)

I’ve never been a fan of Buchholz, and his maddeningly inconsistent start to this season proves why. Two great outings, one poor outing, one horrible outing and one outing in which he somehow gave up only two runs despite allowing 11 hits. At this point, Buchholz should not be started regardless of the matchup and especially in a two-start week when one of the matchups is on the road against the Blue Jays. No thanks.

Mat Latos  (@WAS, @SF)

I actually liked Latos quite a bit heading into the season, figuring that he would greatly benefit from a move away from Cincinnati to a pitcher-friendly park in Miami, so I’m very surprised by his rocky April. But the bottom line is that he’s just not getting the job done, allowing 28 hits across 21 innings to go along with a mediocre 17-to-9 K/BB ratio. A hamstring strain forced him to leave his last start after only five innings, so there’s a chance he might not be able to make these starts next week. But even if he does, Latos should be relegated to your bench until further notice. That said, I haven’t given up on him yet. He’s still worth a roster spot in the majority of 12-team mixed leagues.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, May 2-4

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Marlins Phillies Baseball

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Eovaldi @ Miley – Staying away from this one.

Danks @ Nolasco

Liriano @ Lackey

Fiers @ Arrieta – Still a believer in Fiers though.

Santiago @ Hudson – Walks remain an issue for Santiago, but the overall results have been impressive.

Ar. Sanchez @ Kluber – Sanchez could be moved back to bullpen sooner rather than later.

Hamels @ Haren

Archer @ M. Gonzalez – Gonzalez a borderline call but Rays offense isn’t too scary.

Price @ Volquez – This could be where we see the stat correction for Volquez.

Marquis @ Stults

Walker @ McHugh – Walker seems to be back on track but I’ll sit him one more time to be sure.

G. Gonzalez @ Niese – Gio a nice buy-low target.

Pomeranz @ N. Martinez – Challenging matchup for Martinez but too tough to sit him right now.

J. De La Rosa @ Morrow

Hellickson @ Baker

SUNDAY

Hutchison @ Bauer – My confidence level in Hutchison is very low right now. Bauer a risky play here but I’ll go for it.

Fister @ Gee – 14 2/3 IP, 3 ER by Gee over his last two starts.

O’Sullivan @ Cosart – Cosart pitching well and Phils are the lowest-scoring offense in the Majors so far.

Karns @ W. Chen – Chen, coming off dominant performance vs. Red Sox, now gets much easier matchup.

Cueto @ Teheran

An. Sanchez @ Vargas

Noesi @ Pelfrey

Happ @ R. Hernandez – Rolling the dice on Happ.

Worley @ Wacha

Nelson @ Hammel – Giving Nelson a mulligan for his last outing.

Gray @ Gallardo

Weaver @ Lincecum – This could be 2-1 or 10-9. I’d rather not chance it.

C. Anderson @ B. Anderson – Chase was shaky last time out and the matchup isn’t ideal. Brett has been mediocre of late.

Matzek @ Shields

Warren @ Kelly

MONDAY

Phelps @ Zimmermann – Phelps a decent option in deeper leagues though.

Whitley @ Dickey

Odorizzi @ Buchholz – You just never know which Buchholz you’re going to get from one start to the next.

Harang @ Al. Wood – Harang’s last start versus Braves: 8 IP, 0 ER.

Kershaw @ Lohse – Lohse a little better lately but staying away here.

T. Wood @ C. Martinez

Hahn @ Hughes – Hahn putting up solid numbers despite not pitching deep into games. Hughes a bit risky, so feel free to ditch in shallower formats.

Detwiler @ Keuchel

Collmenter @ Matzek

King Felix @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker very inconsistent so far and chances are he won’t get a lot of run support here.

Ross @ Bumgarner

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 1

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Rubby De La Rosa

CORY’S PICKS

Peralta @ Lester

Colome @ Tillman – can’t trust Tillman right now; can’t risk Colome vs. the O’s

Sabathia @ Masterson – great matchup in 2012 maybe

Buehrle @ Carrasco

Scherzer @ Harvey – aaawww yeeaaahhh

Williams @ Koehler

DeSclafani @ Foltynewicz

Kazmir @ Lewis

Lobstein @ Young

Quintana @ Gibson

Elias @ Deduno

Burnett @ Lynn

R. De La Rosa @ Frias – Rubby has been excellent lately but play it safe in this matchup

Butler @ Kennedy

Wilson @ Heston

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