Randall Delgado (@LAD, vs. COL)
Outside of a decent but not great strikeout rate, there’s a lot to like about Delgado’s stat line this season. There’s even more to like about his second half stat line (3-2, 3.53 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). Despite the tough matchup against the Dodgers, I’m confident enough in Delgado to give him a shot next week. Also note that he’s allowed more than four runs in just one of his 15 starts this year, so the risk of a disaster outing is minimal.
Martin Perez (vs. PIT, vs. OAK)
6-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in nine starts since the All-Star break. Pretty good. Oh yeah, and Perez’s ERA at home this year is 2.20 and he’s coming off a dominant performance against these same A’s. While the Pirates offense is no longer the anemic one of years past, they’re still no better than middle of the pack. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’m pitching Perez.
Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. KC, @CHW)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Ubaldo. He’s just so maddeningly inconsistent and it’s often tough to play the matchups with him, as he could breeze through or struggle against any lineup. But let’s give the guy some credit. We’re talking about a 2.22 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and better than a strikeout per inning in eight starts since the Midsummer Classic. The matchups aren’t ultra-favorable but they’re not terrible either. I’d lean towards pitching Ubaldo, particularly if you’re looking for a strikeout boost.
Ivan Nova (@BAL, @BOS)
Nova’s magical season hit a speed bump last night as the Red Sox knocked him out of the game after only four innings. Although Nova’s overall numbers remain exceptional, this is about as tough as it gets from a matchups standpoint. On the bright side, he’s had a great deal of success vs. the Orioles this season, going 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 0.59 WHIP in three appearances (two starts). But the @BOS start is extremely risky, in fact too risky for my liking. I’d take the conservative route and ditch, though categorical needs should play a big factor in your decision.
Zach McAllister (vs. KC, @CHW)
I like McAllister, but the reality is that he’s coming off two straight ugly performances and I need to see a turnaround before I can comfortably slot him into my lineup. But he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on for Pitch or Ditch purposes down the stretch. And don’t forget about him in drafts next spring. He turns 26 in December.
Carlos Torres (vs. WAS, vs. MIA)
Torres showed me a lot on Tuesday when he limited a potent Braves’ lineup to three runs over seven innings while racking up six strikeouts. The transition from reliever to starter has been a seamless one for Torres, and how about that 46-to-8 K/BB ratio! And how about that 0.92 ERA and 0.85 WHIP at home! Both of next week’s starts will be at home. And just in case you didn’t know, the Marlins are the lowest scoring team in the Majors. And it’s not even close. Pitch.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone!
Santiago @ W. Chen – Only pitch Santiago if you’re chasing K’s. Chen is a ditch until further notice.
Lackey @ Huff
Oberholtzer @ Straily – Straily has been erratic of late but the matchup is tasty.
Niese @ Kluber – Even though it’s Kluber’s first start back, this matchup is hard to resist.
Verlander @ Duffy
Happ @ Correia
Holland @ Richards
Archer @ Paxton
Greinke @ Latos
Hellweg @ Arrieta
A. Wood @ Kendrick – Expecting Wood to right the ship.
Roark @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi back in my good graces.
Locke @ Wainwright – Scary matchup for struggling Locke.
Chatwood @ Ross – Ross a solid source of K’s and he’s pitched especially well at home. Chatwood worth monitoring for road starts but he was rather shaky in return from DL.
McCarthy @ Cain – McCarthy a borderline call but I still don’t trust him.
Lester @ Kuroda
Matsuzaka @ Salazar – Salazar hasn’t been quite as sharp lately but it’s the Mets.
Rienzo @ Norris – Norris a so-so option but the matchup is favorable.
Fister @ B. Chen
Rogers @ Albers – Albers turning back into a pumpkin.
TBD (TEX) @ Vargas
Clemens @ Colon
Moore @ E. Ramirez – Ramirez 3 ER or less in each of his last four starts. Challenging matchup though.
Strasburg @ Turner – Turner running out of gas and lack of K’s limits his upside.
Maholm @ Hamels
Morton @ Wacha – Took a chance on Morton for the two-start week but in a daily league, I’ll sit him here.
Gallardo @ T. Wood – Gallardo is on a nice run.
Miley @ Bumgarner – As a Miley owner in two leagues, I’m hoping he gets back on track in this start. And I think he will.
Bettis @ Kennedy – Could Kennedy finally be turning things around?
Kershaw @ Bailey
Sabathia @ Tillman
Big Erv @ Jimenez – Ubaldo pitching well lately.
Weaver @ P. Hernandez
Cole @ Darvish
Scherzer @ Sale
Cosart @ Walker – Coming off his first rough outing of the season, Cosart deserves a mulligan. Sticking with Walker in favorable matchup.
T. Wood @ Arroyo – Bronson just keeps on getting it done.
G. Gonzalez @ Torres – Torres a PoD special in deeper leagues.
Medlen @ Alvarez
Delgado @ Nolasco – Tough test for Delgado but he’s been consistently effective for awhile now.
Chacin @ Lincecum
Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs yesterday upped his season total to a disappointing 13. He does have 71 RBIs in 119 games, which isn’t too shabby, but a .277 average from a career .298 hitter? Come on! One of these years, the Panda will manage to put a consistent season together from start to finish while avoiding the DL entirely. But personally, I’m kind of tired of him, and his draft day price tag is never going to be low enough where you can get a legitimate positive return on your investment. After all, he is the Kung Fu Panda, and that name alone is worth about five bucks at the auction table!
Will Middlebrooks, who went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored in last night’s blowout win over the Tigers, is batting .343 with three homers and 13 RBIs since being recalled from the Minors in early-August. Clearly, something has clicked. 2014 post-hype sleeper alert!
Not unlike any young hitter, Wil Myers’ inaugural big league campaign has been one of ups and downs, but projecting his totals over a full season, we’re talking about roughly 25 homers and 90 RBIs to go along with double-digit steals, this from a 22-year-old. Oh yeah, and he’s batting .291. If the Royals don’t make the playoffs this year, they better get there next season, because if James Shields signs elsewhere after 2014, the Myers trade is going to look very bad. Very bad.
Doubront @ Pettitte – both lefties on a nice run
Danks @ Feldman – Feldman worth a look vs. rebuilding ChiSox
Wheeler @ Kazmir – Kazmir worth a gamble vs. old team
An. Sanchez @ Shields
Dickey @ Pelfrey
Garza @ Wilson
Keuchel @ Griffin
Cobb @ Iwakuma – Iwakuma to be shut down in another 2-3 starts
Lohse @ Rusin
Minor @ Lee
Capuano @ Leake – the regression zombies are feasting on Leake’s ERA
Haren @ J. Fernandez – enjoy the last 20 IP from Fernandez!
Burnett @ Kelly – Kelly has a 2.11 (!) ERA in 11 starts
Nicasio @ Smith – Nicasio worth a shot on the road vs. weak Padres
Corbin @ Petit – Corbin may be fading but Giants are an easy draw
***ZACH SAYS “Doubront is coming off an ugly outing vs. the awful White Sox and the Yankee lineup has really found its groove, so I’d play it safe and ditch in 12-team mixed leagues. I’m probably way too loyal to Haren, but particularly if you’re chasing K’s, the matchup is very favorable. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, he’ll help your ERA and WHIP too!”
Wilson Ramos’ three-run homer last night marked his 10th home run of the season while his four RBIs brought his season total up to 38, this in only 57 games. Ramos is playing almost every day now and makes for a sneaky good pickup in deeper mixed leagues and a must-own in all NL-only formats, especially keeper leagues. Not too long ago (like last year), he was a popular breakout candidate, so don’t forget about him come 2014. Keep in mind that he just turned 26, so there’s still plenty of time for him to take that next leap forward.
After limiting the A’s to a mere one run over seven innings last night, Martin Perez now has six quality starts in his last seven outings, and his only non-quality start wasn’t too bad (7 IP, 4 ER). He’s definitely earned serious PoD consideration and is another guy to monitor closely heading into next season. He’s only 22!
Ricky Nolasco surprised most of us by pitching well at Coors Field last night (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). If he wasn’t Ricky Nolasco, we would’ve promoted him to grad status a long time ago. But unfortunately, this is Ricky Nolasco who we’re talking about. But do you know that he’s allowed three earned runs or less in each of his first 11 starts as a member of the Dodgers? Maybe it’s finally time to take him seriously.
Those of you in dire need of saves for the stretch run should go out and grab Pedro Strop. Today, Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum indicated that Strop could be used in save situations this month, and with the Cubs in rebuilding mode, it makes all the sense in the world that they would want to see if Strop has a future as a closer. Since coming over to the Cubs from the Orioles as part of the Scott Feldman trade, Strop has registered a 2.19 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and better than a strikeout per inning in 26 appearances. At this point in the fantasy year, every save is so important, and wouldn’t it be neat if you were to win your league thanks to a save on the final day of the season by Pedro Strop?
I thought so.
Saunders @ Guthrie – Guthrie worth a gamble if chasing wins
Peavy @ Nova – Nova en fuego since returning from minors
Quintana @ M. Gonzalez – O’s are somewhat vulnerable to lefties
Price @ J. Williams
Peacock @ Gray – Peacock worth a gamble if chasing K’s
Lynn @ Cingrani – not trusting either in this matchup
Cahill @ Vogelsong
Hendriks @ Lyles
Darvish @ Parker
Porcello @ Dempster
Britton @ McAllister
Johnson @ Sabathia – still trotting CC out there vs. low-tier offenses
Walker @ Big Erv
Hellickson @ Weaver
Gee @ Loe – Teheran being skipped to hold down IP count
Flynn @ Samardzija
Buehrle @ Delgado
Lincecum @ Stults – the matchup says gamble on both
Zimmermann @ Halladay – don’t expect vintage Halladay, but gotta try
S. Miller @ Arroyo – Miller is fading and Cincy is tough at home
Liriano @ W. Peralta – borderline call on Peralta; let your categories be your guide
Volquez @ De La Rosa – tough matchup but DLR keeps getting it done
***ZACH SAYS “Depending on your categorical needs, I might pitch Walker, as he was impressive in his big league debut. I’m a little concerned about Gee @ATL. If you’re ever going to ditch him and you have that luxury, now would be the time. Agree on rest.”
Sale @ Kuroda
Tillman @ Jimenez
Scherzer @ Lester
E. Ramirez @ B. Chen – Ramirez a good source of K’s and this is a decent matchup.
P. Hernandez @ Cosart – Great matchup for Cosart, who has allowed 2 ER or less in seven of his eight starts this year.
Moore @ Vargas
Perez @ Colon – Bartolo passed the @DET test, so I’ll pitch him here.
G. Gonzalez @ Martin
Torres @ Medlen – Torres continues to pitch well but I’ll play it safe in rough matchup.
Koehler @ Jackson
Wacha @ Bailey – Wacha a little too risky.
Cole @ Gallardo
Nolasco @ Chacin – Nolasco’s career numbers at Coors are ugly.
Redmond @ Miley
Bumgarner @ Erlin
No podcast today but you can always count on my two-start pitcher notes each and every Friday.
Have a splendid Labor Day weekend!
Ian Kennedy (vs. SF, vs. COL)
As I said in the Pitch or Ditch post below, Kennedy is DTM. For some crazy reason, I drafted him on four of my five teams this year, fully convinced that a bounce back season was in store. Oops. He’s steadily regressed in just about every statistical category for two years running now, and while his move to the Padres is somewhat promising, he hasn’t even taken advantage of Petco yet, having already gotten hammered there by the Mets. The Mets! Anyway, despite these two promising home matchups, I can’t trust this guy under any circumstances. It’s as simple as that, though would I be surprised if he pitches well next week? Not really. But I don’t care. Ditch.
Jose Quintana (@NYY, @BAL)
Let’s face it, this guy has been extremely consistent this season. Better yet, he’s even upped his strikeout rate significantly in eight starts since the All-Star break, with 48 punchouts in 50 2/3 innings. These matchups are far from ideal, but the Yankees are still an inconsistent offensive club and I’m at the point with Quintana where I trust him regardless of the opponent. Pitch.
Bud Norris (@CLE, vs. CHW)
The 3-1 record is nice, but the 4.91 ERA and 1.70 WHIP since joining the Orioles is flat out ugly. There’s always strikeout upside with Norris, but his habit of blowing up every now and then has me fearing that if you do choose to pitch him and one of these starts turns out to be a disaster outing (a legitimate possibility), your whole week would be ruined. Better be safe than sorry. Ditch.
Charlie Morton (@MIL, @STL)
Five straight starts of two earned runs or less might have you thinking that Morton in a two-start week is a no-brainer pitch. Not quite. For the season, the Cardinals lead the NL in runs scored and batting average. And it’s not even close. Then there’s the fact that the last time Morton gave up more than two earned runs in a start was on August 1st. Against who? Yup, the Cardinals! If we were just talking about the @MIL start, I’d say pitch. But unfortunately, the @MIL start is tied to the @STL start, so I’ll say ditch. Feel free to pitch him in NL-only leagues though, as you probably don’t have many better options. And who knows, maybe Morton will surprise me. He already has.
Erasmo Ramirez (@KC, vs. TB)
I really like what I’ve seen from Erasmo this year. I like the high strikeout rate. I like the exceptional 3.00 K/BB ratio. The 5.18 ERA is largely the product of an inflated home run rate, and being that Ramirez served up only six homers over 59 innings last season compared to nine in 48 2/3 frames this year, I think he’s bound to improve in that department. The Royals and Rays are both middle of the pack offenses, so I don’t have much of a problem pitching Ramirez next week.
Feldman @ Nova – Feldman not a bad play in deeper leagues but I just don’t have a whole lot of confidence in him.
Guthrie @ Dickey – Dickey’s been so unpredictable this year but he’s pitching fairly well of late.
Kazmir @ An. Sanchez
Danks @ Peavy – Danks has been solid but this is a bad matchup.
Saunders @ Keuchel
Pelfrey @ Garza
Cobb @ Gray – Gray coming off brutal outing but the overall results have been impressive.
Lee @ Rusin – Rusin 2 ER or less in each of his last four starts.
Wheeler @ Haren
Lynn @ Burnett
Williams @ Estrada – I think it’s fairly safe to use Estrada now.
Turner @ Minor – Turner’s been shaky after hot start.
Reynolds @ De La Rosa – DLR has been lights out at home (8-1, 2.58 ERA).
Vogelsong @ Cahill – Vogelsong close to regaining my trust but for now I’ll only pitch him at home.
Cashner @ Capuano – Capuano too hit or miss.
W. Chen @ Hughes – Let’s not freak out after one bad start from Chen at Fenway.
Shields @ Happ
Salazar @ Verlander
Rienzo @ Doubront – Doubront has gotten back on track.
Iwakuma @ Oberholtzer
Correia @ Blackley
R. Hernandez @ Griffin – Not too confident in Griffin though.
Lyons @ TBD (PIT)
Wilson @ Lohse
Kendrick @ Arrieta
Ross @ Greinke – Not a good matchup for Ross. He’s purely a chasing K’s option.
Leake @ Nicasio – Leake is fading and it’s Coors. Nicasio very risky but I’ll roll the dice. His home ERA is almost two full runs lower than his road mark.
Zito @ Corbin
Eovaldi @ A. Wood – Wood’s on a roll.
Niese @ Ohlendorf – The same can be said for Niese. Ohlendorf a strong NL-only play and decent choice in deeper mixed leagues versus depleted Mets lineup.
Quintana @ Pettitte
Fister @ Lackey – Fister no longer an automatic start though, so if you want to sit this one out, that’s fine.
King Felix @ Duffy – Keep a close eye on Duffy.
Albers @ Clemens
Norris @ Masterson – Norris has been erratic of late and this is not a favorable matchup.
Holland @ Straily – I’ll throw Straily out there coming off strong showing @DET.
Archer @ Richards – Playing it safe on Richards, who got roughed up by Rays his last time out.
Matsuzaka @ Maholm – Despite ultra-favorable matchup, I just can’t trust Maholm.
Kelly @ Latos – Kelly warrants consideration in deeper leagues but the matchup is a little scary and his lack of K’s limits his upside.
Morton @ Gorzelanny – Morton is red hot.
Alvarez @ T. Wood
Petit @ Kennedy – Kennedy is officially DTM. Now watch him throw a gem!
Kershaw @ Bettis
Redmond @ McCarthy – Still not sold on McCarthy.
Strasburg @ Hamels