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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 19

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets


Wilson @ Masterson
Duffy @ An. Sanchez – Tough matchup for Duffy but equally tough to bench him coming off latest gem.
Hutchison @ Phelps
McHugh @ Archer – Not overly confident in either though.
Quintana @ Pino
Peavy @ Kazmir
Bailey @ Locke
Gallardo @ C. Anderson – Anderson getting it done.
E. Ramirez @ Hahn
Floyd @ Zimmermann – I’ll trust Floyd here.
Wheeler @ Heaney – Wheeler cannot be trusted right now. Nice matchup for Heaney’s debut.
Buchanan @ Miller

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 18

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Baltimore Orioles


Guthrie @ Smyly
Gausman @ Cobb – Gausman living up to the hype since his latest promotion
Gibson @ Lackey
Hudson @ Sale
Tepesch @ Gray
Wilson @ Masterson – can’t trust Masterson until further notice
Buehrle @ Whitley
R. Hernandez @ Harang – roll with Harangatang vs. weak-hitting Phillies
Arrieta @ Eovaldi
Colon @ Lynn
Feldman @ G. Gonzalez – surprisingly tough matchup for Gio’s return
Simon @ Volquez
Garza @ Miley
J. De La Rosa @ Kershaw
King Felix @ Cashner – stay up late for this one!


Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 17

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics


Stults @ Elias – Elias’ overall numbers are solid despite the occasional bomb
Shoemaker @ Tomlin – Tomlin will regress, but so far, so good
Stroman @ Tanaka – still playin’ it safe on Stroman, but not for much longer
Ventura @ Scherzer
Hughes @ Lester
M. Gonzalez @ Bedard
Cain @ Danks – Danks has his moments but the Giants have been solid offensively
Darvish @ Milone – yes on Milone at home!
@ Roark– surprising high-quality matchup of the night!
@ Cumpton
Kendrick @ Big Erv
@ DeSclafani
Niese @ Wacha
@ Miley
Chacin @ Greinke

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/16

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers


John Danks (vs. SF, @MIN)

Danks was tough to rely on in mixed leagues for the first quarter of the season, but in four starts since getting bombed by the Astros on May 18th, he’s registered a 1.53 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. Surprisingly, the Giants and Twins both rank in the top half of the Majors in runs scored this season, but neither offense truly scares me. All in all, this is a situation where I’ll pay more attention to the recent performance of the pitcher.

Tommy Milone (vs. TEX, vs. BOS)

When it comes to Milone, it’s always been simple. When he’s on the road, you ditch him. When he’s at home, you pitch him. This season has been no different, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in five home starts compared to 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven starts away from Oakland. Better yet, Milone is fresh off two straight quality starts on the road. But that’s besides the point, because he’s at home next week. The matchups aren’t overly appealing, but the Rangers and Red Sox both rank in the bottom half of the AL in runs scored on the road. But most importantly, Milone’s home/away split needs to be taken seriously. In mixed leagues of 12 or more teams, I’d give it a shot.

Marcus Stroman (@NYY, @CIN)

Following a brief stint in the bullpen, Stroman’s career as a big league starter has gotten off to a fine beginning, as he’s notched three straight quality starts while posting a stellar 17-to-2 K/BB ratio. At first glance, these matchups might seem unfavorable. But the Yankees and Reds have been arguably the two most disappointing offenses in all of baseball this season, both ranking in the bottom third of their respective leagues in runs scored. There’s still plenty of talent in those lineups, however, making Stroman a somewhat risky play. But in mixed leagues of at least 12 teams, I think it’s a risk worth taking.

Tom Koehler (vs. CHC, vs. NYM)

After getting off to a ridiculously good start to the season, Koehler is currently going through a regression phase that was simply inevitable. That said, he’s only had one disaster outing so far this year, and each of his last two mediocre starts came on the road in AL parks, so it’s not like he was a serious pitch candidate anyway. Although I recommended to bench Koehler for the one start against the Cubs, I’d at least think about using him for two-start pitcher purposes in deeper mixed leagues. The Cubs are still a sub-par offense, and when you add the vs. NYM matchup to the mix, Koehler becomes a lot more intriguing, as his best start of the season came against the Amazins (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Plus, he’s still 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six home starts this year.


Roenis Elias (vs. SD, @KC)

Based on the matchups, it’s very tempting to pitch Elias, as the Padres and Royals rank 30th and 23rd respectively in the Majors in runs scored. I’d be careful though. In addition to getting roughed up by the Yankees on Thursday, the last time Elias has allowed three runs or less in consecutive starts was over a month ago. The bottom line is that the consistency just hasn’t been there. Like in the case of Danks, the pitcher’s recent results outweigh the quality of the matchups.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago White Sox

Wade Miley (vs. MIL, vs. SF)

I expected better from Miley this season. Although he usually pitches decently enough to keep his team in the game, he’s allowed less than three runs in just four of his 15 starts, and that just doesn’t cut it when it comes to mixed league relevancy. In 12-team mixed leagues, he belongs on the waiver wire. In deeper mixed leagues, he still deserves a roster spot but should not be started for next week’s pair of home starts. Why? Well, Miley holds a 1-5 record with a 5.69 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in eight home starts this year. I think that’s a good enough reason.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 14-16

MLB: Washington Nationals at Houston Astros



Duffy @ Noesi – Not giving up on Duffy but need to see a little more consistency.

Dickey @ Norris – Not a good matchup for the erratic Dickey.

House @ Peavy – Peavy just one quality start over his last six outings.

Deduno @ An. Sanchez

Archer @ Cosart – Archer’s on a roll. Cosart a worthy gamble with Rays offense ranking dead last in AL in runs scored.

Kuroda @ Kazmir

Saunders @ E. Ramirez

Jackson @ Buchanan

Bergman @ Vogelsong – Vogelsongcoming off worst outing in awhile but Rockies are a mediocre offense away from Coors.

TBD (SD) @ Wheeler – Wheeler struggling but this is an ultra-favorable matchup.

Morton @ Wolf – Morton 3 ER or less in eight of his last nine starts.

Cingrani @ Gallardo – Both are a bit risky though.

Richards @ Floyd – Floyd coming back down to earth and this matchup is no cakewalk.

Strasburg @ Miller – Shelby coming off CG SHO against tough Blue Jays lineup.

Collmenter @ Haren – Fading Haren worries me a little though.


Nolasco @ Porcello – Porcello no sure thing though as Twins actually rank 2nd in AL in both runs scored and batting average in the month of June.

Happ @ Tillman – Tillman still not trustworthy in tougher matchups.

Kluber @ Workman – Keep an eye on Workman but Indians are the highest scoring team in the Majors in the month of June.

Shields @ Rienzo

Price @ Peacock – Peacock continues to get it done.

Nuno @ Chavez

Martinez @ Iwakuma

Kennedy @ Matsuzaka – Dice-K an intriguing option in deep mixed/NL-only leagues.

TBD (PIT) @ Alvarez

T. Wood @ Burnett – Not jumping ship on Burnett yet.

Leake @ Estrada – Leake’s last two starts have been disturbing. Sticking with Estrada one more time, though benching him is understandable if you want to play it safe.

Fister @ J. Garcia – Not super confident in Garcia but he’s been very impressive overall.

Nicasio @ Bumgarner

Arroyo @ Beckett

Santiago @ Minor – Santiago could become a mixed league factor soon.


Weaver @ Bauer – Bauer no sure thing but I’ll chance it.

Vargas @ Verlander – One more bad start from Verlander and he’ll be a ditch.

Correia @ R. De La Rosa

W. Chen @ Odorizzi – Chen worth using vs. offensively challenged Rays.

Lewis @ Pomeranz – Not completely sold on Pomeranz but hard to argue with the results.

T. Ross @ Young – Young pitching well enough to earn the nod here in favorable matchup.

Hamels @ Teheran

Hammel @ Koehler – Koehler is well into the pumpkin transformation process.

deGrom @ Martinez – deGrom fading lately.

Peralta @ McCarthy

Matzek @ Ryu

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 13

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets


Hutchison @ Jimenez

Gibson @ Smyly

Masterson @ Lackey – is Masterson back on track? Let’s find out

Guthrie @ Quintana

Cobb @ McHugh – I’m not sold on McHugh but man the Rays just can’t score

Phelps @ Gray

Tepesch @ King Felix

Arrieta @ R. Hernandez

Cashner @ Colon – Colon pitching better and Padres still not scoring

Locke @ Eovaldi

Wilson @ Harang

Bailey @ Garza

Zimmermann @ Lynn

C. Anderson @ Kershaw – Anderson is on a roll, let’s push it

J. De La Rosa @ Lincecum

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 12

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Tampa Bay Rays


Buehrle @ Gausman – Gausman was sharp last time but this is a rough matchup
Tomlin @ Lester – check Tomlin’s stats!
Scherzer @ Sale – more games like this please, Baseball Gods
Miley @ Feldman
Whitley @ Elias
Greinke @ Simon                                                                                                                                                                                              Stults @ Kendrick – Kendrick at home vs. anemic Padres, why not!
Big Erv @ Chacin
Treinen @ Hudson
@ Volquez
Lohse @ Niese

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 11

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Toronto Blue Jays


Hughes @ Stroman – OK I’m warming up to Stroman now
Bauer @ Ventura
R. De La Rosa @ W. Chen
Wacha @ Bedard
Turner @ Darvish
Verlander @ Danks
McCarthy @ Keuchel – McCarthy’s skills are solid but he’s better at home and Astros are raking lately
Milone @ Weaver
Tanaka @ Young
T. Ross @ Hamels – item of note: Hamels has thrown 125 pitches in back-to-back starts
@ Cumpton
Ryu @ Cueto
@ deGrom – hard to argue with deGrom’s results so far
Teheran @ Matzek
Roark @ Cain

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 10

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Houston Astros


Workman @ Tillman
Correia @ Happ
Wainwright @ Odorizzi – not trusting Jake yet vs. any decent offense
Koehler @ Lewis
Verlander @ Danks – not trusting Danks vs. elite offenses yet
Kluber @ Vargas
@ Santiago
Nuno @ Iwakuma
@ Arroyo – Peacock’s control is improving and K rate is rising…
Kennedy @ Burnett
T. Wood @ Liriano – just. Say. NO!
Beckett @ Leake
@ Matsuzaka
Minor @ Nicasio
Fister @ Bumgarner

Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/9

Zach here,

I’m kind of liking this three pitch/three ditch format, so here we go.


Francisco Liriano (vs. CHC, @MIA)

Back in March, Liriano was viewed by many as a solid mid-rotation fantasy starter, at the very least. Coming off a dominant bounce back season in 2013, that seemed like a more than reasonable expectation. But he’s been a lot more hittable this season and has battled control issues (4.67 BB/9). The good news is that he’s continuing to strike out more than a batter per inning and sports a 3.45 ERA over his last three starts. The Cubs are a sub-par offensive team and while the Marlins are no pushover, at least that start will come on the road, where Liriano boasts a 2.84 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Owners who drafted Liriano this year are probably so fed up with his erratic performance that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s currently sitting on the waiver wire in the vast majority of 12-team mixed leagues. He’s risky of course, as he’s always been prone to the disaster outing, but the Pirates lefty could be a risk worth taking for next week.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds

Ryan Vogelsong (vs. WAS, vs. COL)

Following two straight stellar seasons in 2011 and 2012, Vogelsong was a colossal bust in an injury-plagued 2013 campaign, finishing with a 5.73 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. And he got off to a shaky start this year (7.71 ERA over his first four starts). But something has clicked since, as he’s rattled off six quality starts in eight tries, with the two non-quality outings being of the not so terrible 6+ IP, 4 ER variety. Both of his matchups next week are at home, where he’s 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA through six starts. The Nationals rank 13th in the NL in runs scored on the road and the Rockies lineup is far less dangerous away from Coors Field.

Travis Wood (@PIT, @PHI)

Wood is really nothing special, and his overall stat line this season isn’t pretty. That said, his 5.04 ERA is skewed by a pair of disaster outings. The Pirates and Phillies are both middle of the pack offenses at best and Wood has allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his 12 starts this season. Again, he’s nothing special, and maybe he isn’t quite special enough to use in a 12-team mixed league. But owners in deeper formats should think about it.


Chris Tillman (vs. BOS, vs. TOR)

I really expected better from Tillman. This is a guy who went 25-10 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 48 starts spanning from 2012-2013, so I didn’t see this coming at all. Most of his struggles have come recently though, as he’s allowed at least five earned runs in three of his last four starts. But I’m not giving up on Tillman just yet, and I wouldn’t drop him in mixed leagues of 12 teams or more. Would I start him next week? Absolutely not. I don’t think you can comfortably start any non-elite pitcher against the Blue Jays right now, and while the Red Sox offense has underperformed this year, there’s still a lot of talent in that lineup. Tillman needs to be benched in all mixed leagues.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Boston Red Sox

Jake Peavy (@BAL, vs. CLE)

Although Peavy has turned in a few dominant performances this year, the consistency just hasn’t been there, as he’s allowed at least five earned runs in five of his 12 starts while registering a career-low 1.83 K/BB ratio. As in the case of Tillman, I’m not giving up on Peavy, as the track record suggests that improvement should be expected. Then again, maybe this is a sign that the end is drawing near. Regardless, I’d play it safe and bench him next week in all mixed leagues. These aren’t exactly easy matchups either.

Mike Leake (vs. LAD, @MIL)

The owner of a 3.29 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through 12 starts this year, Leake is certainly proving that last season’s breakout campaign was no fluke. However, he is coming off his worst performance of 2014 (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER vs. SF), and the fact that he’s not a big strikeout pitcher limits his upside to the point where he needs to consistently excel in the ERA and WHIP departments to maintain mixed league value. And he might. But with a tough pair of matchups on tap for next week, I’d lean towards benching him in favor of a more exciting two-start, or even one-start, alternative. In deeper mixed leagues, it’s entirely possible that you don’t have a more exciting alternative. But in a 12-team mixed, you probably do.


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