Author Archive

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, April 14

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Velasquez

ZACH’S PICKS

Zimmermann @ Cole

Pomeranz @ Velasquez – Velasquez coming off stellar season debut and has a favorable matchup here (Padres rank 12th in NL in OPS). Pomeranz is a breakout candidate this year and has an even more favorable matchup (Phillies rank 13th in NL in OPS).

Latos @ Big Erv – Not trusting Latos yet.

Salazar @ Archer – If you like strikeouts, don’t miss this one!

Peralta @ Garcia

Cain @ J. De La Rosa – Cain’s first start was encouraging, but I’m not pitching him at Coors.

Teheran @ Strasburg – Hanging with Teheran, though this matchup is far from ideal.

Eovaldi @ Stroman – There’s no way I’m pitching the inconsistent Eovaldi @TOR.

Tillman @ Hamels – Tillman could warrant mixed league attention soon, but this matchup is too tough.

Iglesias @ Hammel

Kennedy @ Fister – Kennedy very tempting here but I’ll play it safe for this matchup.

Ray @ Stripling – I need to see more from both before I can confidently recommend them in 12-team mixed leagues.

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, April 13

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Adam Conley

ZACH’S PICKS

Conley @ Verrett – Not giving up on Conley, especially versus struggling Mets offense (last in NL in runs, AVG and OPS).

Shoemaker @ Surkamp

Griffin @ Walker – Challenging matchup for Walker but I’m a big believer in him this year.

Wisler @ Roark

Greene @ Vogelsong

Rea @ Eickhoff

Pineda @ Happ – Pineda coming off rough opening outing and this matchup is as tough as it gets.

Jimenez @ Kelly

Carrasco @ Smyly

Simon @ Lackey

Rodon @ Hughes – Rodon was sharp in his first start. Keep an eye on Hughes but I’m not ready to trust him just yet.

Ventura @ Feldman – Ventura risky here but I’ll take a chance on him.

Ch. Anderson @ Leake – Sticking with Leake for now.

Peavy @ Lyles

R. De La Rosa @ Wood – Wood a toss-up here but I see more downside than upside.

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, April 12

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Hector Santiago

ZACH’S PICKS

Nicasio @ An. Sanchez – Not sold on Nicasio yet. Anibal not a slam dunk either but I’ll go for it.

Corbin @ Maeda

Chacin @ G. Gonzalez

Erlin @ Morton

Tanaka @ Ar. Sanchez – Sanchez a risky play here but he was so impressive his first time out that I’ll give it a shot.

M. Wright @ Buchholz – Clay was roughed up in his first start and I’ve never been a fan of his for fantasy purposes.

Kluber @ Moore – Need to see a bit more from Moore before I can trust him.

Fernandez @ Syndergaard – Enjoy!

Medlen @ Fiers – Keep a close eye on Medlen though. I don’t like the matchup for Fiers.

Samardzija @ Chatwood – Not risking it with Samardzija at Coors.

Santiago @ Graveman – Santiago coming off strong outing and this is a decent enough matchup.

Holland @ Miley – Holland worth monitoring but I’ll play it safe for now.

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/11

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For owners in weekly lineup leagues looking to routinely maximize their wins and strikeouts, two-start pitchers carry a significant amount of appeal. In some cases, two-start pitchers with a pair of favorable matchups can be added via the waiver wire. In other cases, the waiver wire will not offer many viable options. Instead, owners in search of an edge in counting stats will need to stick to their roster and perhaps play a riskier two-start pitcher over a more dependable hurler who is in line for one unfavorable matchup.

Every Friday throughout the season, I’ll be writing an article for the MLB.com site solely devoted to previewing the following week’s two-start pitchers who are worth considering. I will mostly focus on 12-team mixed leagues but will also mix in some pitchers more suitable for deeper mixed leagues or even non-mixed formats. Keep in mind that I will not be discussing the obvious choices. I don’t need to tell you to pitch Clayton Kershaw in two-start weeks. A sampling of the full piece along with a link to the complete article will be available right here on the blog. Below is a portion of this week’s article.

Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola (vs. SD, vs. WAS)

Nola certainly deserved a win on Wednesday night as he held the Reds to just one run on four hits with eight strikeouts across seven innings. Unfortunately, the Phillies bullpen was unable to preserve a one-run lead, so Nola had to settle for a no-decision. Wins might be tough to come by for Nola this season as Philadelphia’s lineup and bullpen could struggle often, but the 22-year-old righty has already proven that he can be a highly effective big league pitcher. He should be owned in all 12-team mixed leagues and belongs in starting lineups for all of his two-start weeks. This is especially true for next week, as Nola’s first opponent, the Padres, were shut out in each of their first three games this season.

Wei-Yin Chen (@NYM, vs. ATL)

Chen owners should not be too concerned about his rough opening outing against the Tigers. I still expect a strong season thanks to his career-long consistency and his move from the AL East to the much more pitcher-friendly NL East. Next week, the new Marlins southpaw gets one favorable matchup (vs. ATL) and one matchup of medium difficulty (@NYM), but like Nola, I view Chen as an automatic start in two-start weeks.

For the full article, CLICK HERE

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

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Padres Royals Spring Baseball

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Porcello @ Dickey – Bad matchup for both.

Sabathia @ Pelfrey

Cole @ Iglesias

Co. Anderson @ Sale – Anderson coming off strong spring but I’ll pass for now.

Kershaw @ Bumgarner – Nice!

Koehler @ J. Ross

Smyly @ M. Wright – Hanging with Smyly.

Fister @ Peralta – Fister could prove to be PoD worthy sooner rather than later.

Velasquez @ Matz – Need to see at least one solid outing from Velasquez before I can confidently pitch him.

Martinez @ Teheran

Milone @ Kennedy – Kennedy deserves consideration in deeper leagues but in 12-teamers, I’d play it safe for the time being.

Hendricks @ Greinke – Not a great matchup for Hendricks but I’ll go for it.

Pomeranz @ J. De La Rosa – I’m high on Pomeranz in general but not at Coors.

Hamels @ Richards

R. Hill @ Karns – Not trusting Hill right now. Karns offers sneaky upside this year.

SUNDAY

S. Wright @ Estrada – Taking a wait and see approach with Estrada.

Hellickson @ Colon – Great matchup for Bartolo.

Locke @ DeSclafani – DeSclafani is intriguing this year but I don’t like this matchup.

Cosart @ Scherzer

Wainwright @ W. Perez

Odorizzi @ T. Wilson

Tomlin @ Quintana (PPD)

Keuchel @ Nelson – I’m a believer in Nelson this season…just not for this start.

Nolasco @ Volquez

M. Perez @ Weaver – Weaver topping out in the low-80’s with his fastball…no thanks.

Kazmir @ Cueto

Arrieta @ S. Miller

Bassitt @ King Felix

Shields @ Bettis

Tanaka @ Verlander (PPD)

MONDAY

Niese @ Verlander – Niese strictly a deep mixed/NL-only option for this start.

Gallardo @ Price

Cashner @ Nola

Quintana @ Gibson – Gibson a viable two-start pitcher choice in deeper leagues for next week, but I’m reserving him in daily transaction formats.

Jungmann @ Wacha

B. Norris @ Scherzer

Cosart @ Matz

Finnegan @ Lester – I like Finnegan a lot this year but this matchup is too tough.

Young @ McHugh – Not giving up on McHugh.

Tropeano @ Gray

Lewis @ Iwakuma

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, April 8

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Taijuan Walker

ZACH’S PICKS

Severino @ Zimmermann

Eickhoff @ deGrom

Salazar @ Danks

Rea @ Lyles

Archer @ Tillman – Need to see more than two dominant innings from Tillman.

Kelly @ Stroman

Liriano @ Simon

Garcia @ Wisler

Feldman @ Ch. Anderson

Big Erv @ Ventura – Erv looked pretty good in his abbreviated first start, but I’ll play it safe in this matchup.

Hammel @ Ray – Ray is too risky here, and though I’m not super confident in Hammel, I’ll say pitch.

Griffin @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker could become a viable PoD option soon.

Surkamp @ Walker – I have high hopes for Walker this year.

Stripling @ Cain

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, April 7

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Derek Holland

ZACH’S PICKS

Morton @ Stephenson – Playing it safe with Stephenson in his big league debut despite tempting matchup.

Latos @ Graveman – Graveman a decent option in AL-only leagues though.

Fiers @ Eovaldi – Tough matchup for both but I’ll give it a shot.

Conley @ Roark – There’s a lot to like about Conley this year.

Wood @ Peavy – Pitching both, but both are a little risky.

Kelly @ Salazar (PPD)

Hughes @ Jimenez – I don’t like the matchup for Hughes and I don’t trust Ubaldo.

Lackey @ R. De La Rosa

Holland @ Santiago – It’s only two games, but the Angels offense isn’t looking good so far (.115 AVG, 1 R), so I’ll pitch Holland. I’m also pitching Santiago at home, where he registered a 2.65 ERA last season.

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, April 6

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Brandon Finnegan

ZACH’S PICKS

Happ @ Moore – Moore worth monitoring but this matchup is too tough.

Samardzija @ Jungmann

Miley @ Lewis

Chatwood @ Corbin

An. Sanchez @ Fernandez

Buchholz @ Carrasco – I’m not a big Buchholz fan but if you drafted him, you might as well start him here.

McHugh @ Pineda

Gibson @ Gallardo – Taking a wait and see approach with Gibson.

Leake @ Nicasio – Let’s see Nicasio perform well when it really counts!

Nola @ Finnegan – Favorable matchup for both breakout candidates.

Strasburg @ Norris

Maeda @ Cashner – Not a great matchup for Cashner but at least he’s at home.

Rodon @ Gray

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, April 5

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Aaron Sanchez

ZACH’S PICKS (Bold = Pitch)

Keuchel @ Tanaka

Price @ Kluber

Syndergaard @ Young

Wacha @ Niese – I’m liking Niese as an undervalued SP this year.

Verlander @ W. Chen

Ar. Sanchez @ Odorizzi – Sanchez could warrant mixed league consideration very soon, but not yet.

Iwakuma @ M. Perez

Cueto @ Nelson – Nelson more of a deep mixed league option for this one.

Bettis @ Miller – Bettis could graduate to being a viable play for road starts, but not yet.

Lester @ Heaney – Heaney worth monitoring but I don’t like this matchup.

Quintana @ Bassitt

Kazmir @ Shields

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The Inaugural Pitch or Ditch for 2016 (Monday, April 4)

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Zach here,

New season, and Pitch or Ditch is back. PoD has been a vital part of the 411 from the very beginning, and that’s not going to change in 2016. The exclusive home of Pitch or Ditch will be right here on the blog, so get ready for daily posts listing all of the probable starters for the following day’s games along with our all-important decisions and some commentary where applicable. Although the main goal of the Pitch or Ditch strategy is to search the waiver wire for starters who have pitched well of late and are heading into a favorable matchup, it’s also important to know when to bench or even drop a struggling SP currently on your roster. Unless otherwise noted, these picks are geared towards 12-team mixed leagues, and of course, 12-team mixed leagues that allow for daily transactions. Let’s get started!

Raisel Iglesias

ZACH’S PICKS (Bold = Pitch)

Keuchel @ Tanaka (PPD)

Bumgarner @ Peralta

Big Erv @ Tillman – Keep an eye on Erv but this is a tough matchup.

King Felix @ Hamels

Price @ Kluber (PPD)

Hellickson @ Iglesias – Breakout season for Iglesias? He should get off to a nice start here.

Scherzer @ Teheran

Kershaw @ T. Ross

Dickey @ Smyly – Tough opening matchup for Smyly but I’ll go for it.

J. De La Rosa @ Greinke

Arrieta @ Richards

Sale @ R. Hill – Not trusting Hill for now, even at home.

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