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

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays



Farmer @ Pino (Gm 1)

Verlander @ May (Gm 2) – Verlander was actually on a roll before his last start.

Carroll @ Kuroda – Kuroda coming off solid bounce back outing.

Hellickson @ Buehrle – Not trusting Hellickson in less than ideal matchup.

Young @ Workman – Workman a decent play in deeper leagues but I’m lukewarm on him for this one.

McHugh @ Salazar – Feel free to sit Salazar if you’re protecting your ratios.

Guthrie @ Tepesch

Wilson @ Lester – Wilson risky here but he seems to be figuring things out.

Norris @ Hendricks – Norris very quietly putting together an impressive season. Tough matchup for Hendricks but he’s been outstanding.

Lincecum @ Zimmermann

Wainwright @ Buchanan

Volquez @ Peralta

Big Erv @ Leake – Leake hasn’t been as sharp lately but he’s worth a shot here.

Koehler @ Lyles

Cashner @ Nuno – Not concerned about pitching Cashner in return outing.

deGrom @ Greinke – Ditto for deGrom.


Oberholtzer @ Bauer – Bauer has gone a month without posting two straight quality starts.

Sale @ Capuano – Capuano a serviceable AL-only/very deep mixed league option.

Archer @ Hutchison

Iwakuma @ Webster – Risk outweighs the reward for Webster.

Scherzer @ Gibson – Can’t trust Gibson against upper-tier lineups.

Vargas @ Mikolas – A little nervous about Vargas here but these aren’t your older brother’s Rangers.

Weaver @ Kazmir

Harang @ Simon – Harang unpredictable but Reds not a very good offense this year.

Vogelsong @ Strasburg – Vogelsong a true borderline call. Let the categories make your decision.

Masterson @ Williams

Worley @ Fiers – I’m back to not trusting Worley.

M. Gonzalez @ Wada – Gonzalez has been a popular PoD choice of mine all year. Not digging this matchup for Wada.

Colon @ Correia

Hand @ Bergman

Kennedy @ C. Anderson – Very favorable matchup for Anderson, who is looking for a rebound performance.


Pineda @ Shields

Odorizzi @ Tillman

Buchholz @ Happ

Samardzija @ Feldman

Cosart @ LeBlanc

Mikolas @ Elias

Roark @ Burnett – Burnett is a ditch until further notice. Don’t bother chasing K’s.

Lackey @ Liriano – Lackey getting his groove back.

Lohse @ Stults

Matzek @ Peavy – Peavy 3 ER or less in each of his last three starts and Rockies are a poor offense away from Coors.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 22

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees


Peacock @ Carrasco – Carrasco a decent play in deeper leagues but I’m still a bit leery.

Danks @ Greene - Greene has finally made me a believer. Now watch him get bombed!

Smyly @ Stroman – Smyly pitching well lately. Stroman’s been up and down but I’ll chance it.

King Felix @ Kelly

Ventura @ Lewis

Ray @ Milone – Ray has been shaky since recall. Hard to trust Milone after last outing.

Santiago @ Gray – I do like Santiago though…just not here.

Gausman @ Arrieta – Gausman 3 ER or less in five straight starts.

Hudson @ Fister

Miller @ Kendrick – Taking a break from Shelby.

Minor @ Latos – Minor not a terrible option, but I’m not yet convinced on his resurgence.

Locke @ Gallardo – Not a fan of Locke at all.

Alvarez @ Morales – Alvarez being a ground ball pitcher makes start at Coors less scary.

Despaigne @ Collmenter – Despaigne erratic lately. I’ll pass.

Niese @ Haren – Not sure what to expect from Haren these days. Pitch if you’re feeling lucky.

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 21

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks


Keuchel @ McCarthy

Kluber @ Hughes – Four straight quality starts for Hughes.

Price @ Cobb – No, these guys aren’t teammates anymore.

Shoemaker @ R. De La Rosa – Haven’t lost faith in Rubby but this matchup worries me.

Miley @ G. Gonzalez – Miley is pretty much an automatic pitch when on the road (5-3, 2.86 ERA).

Teheran @ Holmberg

Bumgarner @ T. Wood

T. Ross @ Kershaw

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 20

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles


Wheeler @ Samardzija – Wheeler working on nine straight quality starts.

Richards @ Buchholz – Clay has pitched well over his last two starts but I still don’t trust the guy.

Feldman @ Pineda – Pineda coming off encouraging return outing.

Porcello @ Odorizzi

W. Chen @ Noesi – Chen a worthy play here.

House @ Nolasco

Martinez @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi risky but I’ll give it a shot at home.

Paxton @ Hamels – Paxton pretty safe to use at this point.

Dickey @ Nelson – I like Nelson but TOR offense with E42 now back scares me. Dickey scares me a bit too but I’ll chance it.

Cahill @ Roark

A. Wood @ Cole – Feel free to ditch Cole for this comeback start if you can afford it.

Cueto @ Lynn

Peavy @ Jackson – Peavy a toss-up but his numbers since joining Giants (3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) are solid.

Duffy @ J. De La Rosa – Duffy a tough call but in 12-team mixed. I still think the risk outweighs the reward.

Stults @ R. Hernandez


Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 19

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers


Oberholtzer @ Capuano
Weaver @ Webster
Scherzer @ Archer
Tillman @ Quintana
Bauer @ Gibson – Bauer always risky but I’ll give him a shot here.
Gee @ Kazmir – Gee a borderline call in tough matchup.
C. Anderson @ Strasburg
Iwakuma @ Burnett – Burnett hard to trust right now.
Harang @ Liriano – Harang coming off rough outing and Pirates lead NL in runs scored since All-Star break.
Mikolas @ Cosart
Vogelsong @ Wada
Happ @ Fiers – Fiers a decent gamble in deeper leagues but I’m not liking this matchup.
Simon @ Lackey
Shields @ Matzek – Very dangerous matchup for Shields though.
Kennedy @ Correia

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/18

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs


Kyle Hendricks (@NYM, vs. BAL)

How could anyone not be impressed by what they’ve seen from Hendricks through his first six big league starts? Although his minor league strikeout numbers are nothing special, his other ratios are outstanding, so it wouldn’t be wise to dismiss this fast start as a fluke. The Mets offense is mediocre at best and while the Orioles lineup poses a significant challenge, at least that start will come at Wrigley, where the O’s won’t get the benefit of the DH.

Mike Leake (@STL, vs. ATL)

Even though Leake is coming off his worst outing in awhile (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER vs. BOS), I still have confidence in him. Prior to his last start, he had allowed a combined three earned runs over his previous three outings. The Braves and Cardinals rank 28th and 29th respectively in the Majors in runs scored.

Trevor Bauer (@MIN, vs. HOU)

Bauer’s erratic ways continue to frustrate his fantasy owners, but when he’s on his game, he’s a pretty good pitcher. And he’s fresh off a dominant performance against the Diamondbacks (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 9 K). Bauer’s 5.82 road ERA is a bit scary, but the Twins rank near the bottom of the AL in runs scored at home. The Astros offense has far exceeded expectations this season, but they have enjoyed a lot more success at home than on the road, where they are the lowest scoring team in the AL. Oh, and Bauer’s home ERA this season is 3.36.

Bud Norris (@CHW, @CHC)

Norris is more of a deep mixed/AL-only play, but he’s an intriguing option nonetheless. In his five starts since the All-Star break, Norris is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 29 innings, and the White Sox and Cubs are both mid to low-end offenses. Norris is rarely terrible, so the risk of a disaster outing is minimal. That said, his 4.55 road ERA is concerning. Depending on your specific situation, taking a shot on Bud could pay off, but he’s a true toss-up in a 12-team mixed.


C.J. Wilson (@BOS, @OAK)

Yeah, there’s reason for optimism following Wilson’s quality outing against the Phillies, but he was so awful leading up to his DL stint and in his first start back that I’d proceed with caution. If he makes it through next week in decent shape, I think it would be safe to once again treat him as a grad, a guy who deserves to start in just about any matchup. But making it through next week in decent shape will be tough to say the least. The A’s have been the top offense in baseball all season long and starting any non-elite pitcher at Fenway Park always scares me. At least for next week, the risk outweighs the reward.

Aaron Harang (@PIT, @CIN)

No, I’m not as down on Harang as I was earlier in the season, as he’s done a nice job proving his doubters wrong. But his last start was his worst since mid-June, and it’s fair to wonder if the 36-year-old is simply running out of gas, as he’s already eclipsed last season’s innings total. The Pirates rank 1st in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break, and while the @CIN matchup isn’t terrible, like with Fenway Park, I try to avoid starting mid to lower tier pitchers at Great American Ball Park.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, August 16-18

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox



Greene @ Smyly – Smyly erratic but the Yanks aren’t hitting at all these days.

Jimenez @ Carrasco

King Felix @ Price – Must watch TV!

Peacock @ R. De La Rosa – I like what I’m seeing from Rubby lately.

Buehrle @ Danks

Ventura @ Hughes – Hughes always risky but he seems to be back on track.

Shoemaker @ Lewis – Shoemaker a decent play in deeper leagues but in a 12-team mixed, I’d play it safe.

Kendrick @ Hudson

Locke @ G. Gonzalez – Not trusting Locke against strong offense.

Gray @ Teheran

Straily @ Niese

Miley @ Alvarez – Miley a solid play on the road (5-2, 3.00 ERA this season).

Hahn @ Miller – Favorable matchup for both.

TBD (CIN) @ Lyles

Gallardo @ Kershaw


Gausman @ Salazar – Both are borderline calls.

Young @ Ray – Young continues to impress.

McHugh @ Kelly – Both pitchers make me a little nervous though.

Kuroda @ Hellickson – Sticking with Kuroda. Hellickson is pitching well enough to trust for this matchup.

Hutchison @ Carroll

Guthrie @ Milone – Favorable matchup for Milone.

Santiago @ Tepesch – I’m a fan of Santiago, but not for this start.

Arrieta @ R. Montero – Keep an eye on Montero, but he’s not mixed league material just yet.

Collmenter @ Koehler – Giving Koehler one more chance. 2.66 ERA at home this year.

Despaigne @ Wainwright – Coming off 7 IP, 0 ER, 8 K performance, Despaigne deserves a shot.

Buchanan @ Lincecum – Lincecum back to being a constant headache.

Lohse @ Haren – Still not sold on Haren.

Latos @ Flande

Volquez @ Fister

Lester @ Minor


Wilson @ Workman – Need to see one more solid outing from Wilson.

Norris @ Sale – Norris an intriguing option in deeper leagues though.

Vargas @ May – Vargas coming off CG SHO vs. OAK, but he still worries me.

Hendricks @ Torres – Hendricks has been outstanding for awhile now.

Nuno @ Zimmermann

Elias @ Williams

Big Erv @ Worley – Not too confident in Worley but the Braves have struggled offensively lately.

Leake @ Masterson – Nice bounce back opportunity for Leake. Masterson getting closer to regaining my trust.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 15

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics


W. Chen @ Kluber – Chen is a toss-up, but he’s much better at home than on the road and this matchup isn’t great.
Paxton @ Porcello – Paxton has been decent but I don’t like this matchup.
Keuchel @ Buchholz – Buchholz is DTM.
McCarthy @ Cobb
Richards @ Martinez
Stroman @ Noesi
Duffy @ Nolasco
Morton @ Roark – Morton has been a little erratic of late and the Nats offense is hot.
T. Wood @ Wheeler
Cahill @ Hand
Hammel @ A. Wood - Sticking with Hammel for now.
T. Ross @ Lynn
Cueto @ Morales
Nelson @ Greinke – Tough matchup for Nelson but he’s coming off four straight quality starts.
Hamels @ Bumgarner

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 14

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals


Liriano @ Scherzer

Samardzija @ Shields

Feldman @ Webster

Odorizzi @ R. Ross

R. Hernandez @ Harang

Fiers @ Jackson – Fiers is a nice blue-plate special if you can afford to take a risk

Strasburg @ Gee Gee’s been erratic; play it safe if your categories dictate

C. Anderson @ Penny

Stults @ Lackey – good matchup for Lackey to bounce back

Simon @ J. De La Rosa – Simon has been good enough to trust in Coors vs. depleted Rox

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 13

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates


Gibson @ Oberholtzer

Pineda @ Tillman

Chafin @ Bauer (Gm 1) – Bauer hot and cold right now, but D-backs are cold with Goldy out.

Nuno @ Tomlin (Gm 2)

Worley @ Farmer

Archer @ Mikolas

Kazmir @ Vargas

Burnett @ Weaver – don’t like Burnett vs. Angels’ offense

Dickey @ Iwakuma

Ranaudo @ Leake

Quintana @ Peavy

Matzek @ Kennedy

Ryu @ Big Erv

Zimmermann @ Colon

Masterson @ Eovaldi

Lohse @ Wada


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