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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 13

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates

CORY’S PICKS

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

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 12

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics

CORY’S PICKS

NYY @ BAL (PPD)

Collmenter @ House – Collmenter’s road/home splits are uuuugly

Hellickson @ Tepesch – not totally sold on Hellickson yet, but great matchup

Lester @ Guthrie

Pino @ McHugh – McHugh’s been consistently good this year

Williams @ Wilson

Happ @ Young

Ray @ Volquez

Haren @ Minor – high risk/high reward on both. Let the categories be your guide

Kelly @ Latos

Fister @ R. Montero

Wainwright @ Cosart

Peralta @ Hendricks – Hendricks may be O2W though

Flande @ Despaigne

Sale @ Vogelsong

***ZACH SAYS “I’d pass on Hellickson. I just don’t trust him yet and Rangers Ballpark is never an easy place to pitch. Agree on rest.”

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/11

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Tampa Bay Rays

PITCHES

Shelby Miller (@MIA, vs. SD)

Coming off a terrific rookie campaign, Miller has been an overall disappointment this season, so much so that he was temporarily bumped from the Cardinals rotation last month. But in three starts since rejoining the starting staff, he’s registered a 2.41 ERA and 0.59 WHIP. The Padres remain the lowest scoring team in the Majors by a healthy margin while the overachieving Marlins offense has fallen back down to earth of late, ranking 11th in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. If available on the wire, Miller is a must-add in all mixed leagues of 12 teams or more. Next week is as good a time as any to trot him out there.

Tom Koehler (vs. STL, vs. ARI)

Although Koehler’s dominant April (2.97 ERA) is a distant memory by now, he does have six quality starts in his last nine tries. His ERA at home is 2.45, this compared to a 5.05 mark away from Miami, and the Cardinals and Diamondbacks both rank in the bottom third of the NL in runs scored on the road. I’m convinced. Pitch.

Odrisamer Despaigne (vs. COL, @STL)

Being that he’s fresh off three straight mediocre performances, pitching Despaigne next week might seem like a leap of faith. Well, I’m ready to take that leap. Let’s not forget that through his first five big league starts, the Padres righty boasted a 1.31 ERA, so the talent is certainly there for him to finish the season strong. The Rockies are by far the highest scoring team in the Majors when at home, but it’s an entirely different story away from Coors Field, as they rank 28th in runs scored on the road. Meanwhile, the Cardinals offense has struggled all year. In shallower formats, maybe there are better waiver wire options, but even in a 12-team mixed, Despaigne would be squarely on my radar.

DITCHES

Drew Smyly (@TEX, vs. NYY)

In our Pitch or Ditch posts, we’ve had a love/hate relationship with Smyly all season, and quite honestly, I’m not as high on him as Cory might be. I do think he has a bright future, but is he an automatic start in 12-team mixed leagues? Far from it. And getting traded to the Rays doesn’t exactly help his outlook, as his run support will almost certainly take a hit. Smyly actually pitched very well at Rangers Ballpark back in June, but I still don’t trust him there. Starting him against the Yankees is something I’d probably do in a daily lineup league, but for the two-start week, I just don’t have a good feeling about this.

Dan Haren (@ATL, vs. MIL)

At this point, I’m so down on Haren that I wouldn’t even pitch him in a two-start week coming off a gem versus a tough Angels lineup. Why? Because that was only his second quality start in his last nine outings. The bottom line is that Haren is a shell of his former self, his stuff and velocity so diminished that he often looks like he’s throwing batting practice. The Brewers rank 2nd in the NL in both runs scored and homers, and while the Braves have been a sub-par offense this year, Haren sports an ugly 4.99 ERA through 13 road starts.

Mike Minor (vs. LAD, vs. OAK)

This one is kind of obvious, as Minor has been a mess this year while both of these opposing lineups are very dangerous. But from a big picture perspective, it goes to show just how unpredictable starting pitching can be from one year to the next. This is a guy who was an undisputed top-30 SP heading into the season. Four months later, he’s an automatic ditch in all mixed leagues, even in a two-start week. Go figure.

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

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Kluber @ McCarthy – McCarthy since joining Yankees (5 starts): 4-0, 2.08 ERA.

Scherzer @ Stroman – Tough matchup for Stroman though, as he’s coming off worst outing in awhile.

Lackey @ Jimenez

Hudson @ Shields

Darvish @ Feldman

Buchholz @ Richards

TBD (MIN) @ Samardzija

Noesi @ Paxton – Keep an eye on Paxton but let’s see him shake off the rust first.

Odorizzi @ Jackson

Gee @ Hamels – Gee coming off solid bounce back performance.

Stults @ Liriano – Nice matchup for Liriano.

Greinke @ Fiers

Roark @ Harang – Harang pitching well enough to start here.

TBD (MIA) @ Simon – Simon fading a bit but I’m not ready to jump ship yet.

J. De La Rosa @ Cahill – De La Rosa a decent play in deeper leagues but I just don’t fully trust him.

SUNDAY

Carrasco @ Kuroda

Price @ Buehrle – Regression was inevitable for Buehrle.

Lynn @ Gausman – Three straight quality starts for Gausman and Cards have been a bottom tier offense this year.

Lincecum @ Duffy – Lincecum erratic of late but I’ll stick with him for now.

Martinez @ Keuchel

R. De La Rosa @ Santiago – Taking the safe route here but both are worthy gambles in deeper leagues.

Hughes @ Hammel

Danks @ TBD (SEA)

Hand @ Cueto

Wheeler @ Kendrick – Kendrick pitching decently lately but Mets have roughed him up this year (6.23 ERA).

T. Ross @ Morton

Kershaw @ Nelson – Nelson’s on a roll.

Cobb @ T. Wood

Morales @ Miley – I’m back to not trusting Miley at home. 10 ER outing will do that.

G. Gonzalez @ A. Wood

MONDAY

Capuano @ Norris – Norris an intriguing AL-only option though.

Smyly @ Lewis – Playing it safe with Smyly in tough environment.

Gray @ Ventura

Milone @ Peacock

Hutchison @ King Felix

Niese @ Buchanan

Correia @ Teheran

Verlander @ Locke – Not a believer in Locke.

Miller @ Koehler – Giving Koehler another chance in favorable matchup.

Gallardo @ Arrieta

Lyles @ Hahn – Hahn very impressive this year and Rockies can’t hit on the road.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 8

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates

CORY’S PICKS

Masterson @ Tillman
Bauer @ Rogers
An. Sanchez @ Dickey – Dickey pitches better at home and Tigers are scuffling a little offensively
Bumgarner @ Vargas
Mikolas @ Oberholtzer
Webster @ Weaver
Gibson @ Kazmir
Quintana @ Iwakuma
Archer
@ Wada
Colon @ Burnett
Kennedy @ Worley – might as well ride the Worley train
Eovaldi @ Leake – blue-plate special on both if your categories will allow the risk
Strasburg @ Big Erv
R. Hernandez @ Lohse
Matzek @ C. Anderson

***ZACH SAYS “I’d give Tillman a shot at home (2.78 ERA this year) against a non-elite offense. Agree on rest.”

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 7

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels

ZACH’S PICKS

Porcello @ Greene

M. Gonzalez @ Happ – I’m a fan of Gonzalez, but not here.

Ryu @ Wilson – Playing it safe with the struggling Wilson in not so ideal matchup.

Pino @ Lester

Carroll @ Elias – Elias 16 IP, 3 ER, 21 K over his last three starts.

deGrom @ Zimmermann

Peavy @ Peralta – Not overly confident in Peavy but I’ll go for it.

Hendricks @ Flande

McHugh @ O’Sullivan

Flynn @ Volquez

House @ Bailey

Workman @ Wainwright – Workman not a bad option in deeper leagues but I wouldn’t fully trust him in a 12-team mixed.

Guthrie @ Nuno

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 6

MLB: New York Mets at San Diego Padres

ZACH’S PICKS

Despaigne @ Correia – Despaigne roughed up his last time out but deserves a shot here.

Tepesch @ Sale

Hellickson @ Gray

Teheran @ Young

Verlander @ Capuano – Verlander pitching well lately.

W. Chen @ Hutchison – Chen a decent option in deeper leagues but I’m not a fan of this matchup.

Haren @ Shoemaker – Bench Haren until further notice. Shoemaker a borderline call but I’ll play it safe in tough matchup.

Niese @ Fister

Peacock @ Buchanan

Koehler @ Locke – Koehler 3 ER or less in four straight starts. Locke scares me.

Salazar @ Latos

Kelly @ Miller – Shelby a bit risky though.

Vogelsong @ Gallardo

Arrieta @ Lyles

Ventura @ Collmenter – Collmenter a worthy NL-only play.

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 5

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels

ZACH’S PICKS

Cueto @ Tomlin
Price @ Kuroda – Kuroda has been a little better lately.
Norris @ Buehrle – Not trusting Buehrle here.
Lewis @ Danks
Hahn @ Hughes – Favorable matchup for both.
Smyly @ Hammel – Taking a break from Smyly in tough matchup, so expect a shutout!
A. Wood @ King Felix
Wheeler @ G. Gonzalez
Keuchel @ Kendrick
Hand @ Morton – Morton a little risky here, but he’s rarely terrible.
Lincecum @ Nelson – Lincecum’s last two starts concern me while Nelson has been solid over his last two.
R. De La Rosa @ Lynn – Rubby 3 ER or less in five of his last six outings.
T. Wood @ B. Anderson – Anderson has pitched pretty well this year but I’m scared to start him at Coors.
Duffy @ Miley – Miley has struggled at home but Royals offense is mediocre at best.
Santiago @ Kershaw – Santiago a sneaky play in deeper leagues though.

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/4

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics 

PITCHES

Kevin Gausman (@WAS, vs. STL)

Following a rocky outing on the road versus the A’s on July 20th, Gausman has now pieced together two straight quality starts, and he pitched well against a dangerous Angels lineup his last time out. He’s still walking a few too many for my liking (3.4 BB/9) and these might not seem like great matchups on paper. But note that the Cardinals have been arguably the most disappointing offense in the Majors this season, ranking next to last in the league in runs scored. The Nationals lineup is formidable, but Gausman has been a lot better on the road (2.86 ERA) than at home (4.24 ERA). In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, he’s worth a shot.

Dillon Gee (vs. SF, @PHI)

Since returning from the DL, Gee has posted only one quality start in four tries, and he’s allowed a combined 11 earned runs over his last two outings. But his overall numbers are still strong, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Gee has been far from impressive against the Phillies this year, but the Philadelphia lineup is still mediocre at best. The Giants offense isn’t terrible, but it’s nowhere near elite.

Jason Hammel (vs. TB, vs. MIN)

To say that the A’s haven’t gotten what they had hoped from Hammel when they acquired him in early-July would be an understatement. In four starts with Oakland, he’s 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA and 2.12 WHIP. Not good. But I haven’t given up on him just yet. Next week, Hammel gets to face two sub-par offenses that both rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored since the All-Star break. And he will get to face them at home in a pitcher-friendly park. If he can’t get the job done here, feel free to cut bait in mixed leagues. But in deeper mixed formats and of course AL-only leagues, I’d trot him out there for this two-start week.

Charlie Morton (vs. MIA, vs. SD)

Usually a safe bet for a quality performance, Morton is in the midst of an uninspiring stretch that has seen him allow at least four runs in three of his last four starts. There is hope for next week, however, as both of Morton’s starts will come at home, where he boasts a 2.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP for the season. The Padres are by far the lowest scoring team in the Majors this year and the Marlins offense, despite being surprisingly decent overall, ranks 13th in the NL in runs scored on the road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DITCHES

Mark Buehrle (vs. BAL, vs. DET)

It was only a matter of time before Buehrle would become the victim of the dreaded stat correction. The month of July was not kind to the veteran southpaw, as he posted a 5.74 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in five starts. These are very scary matchups, and since Buehrle’s strikeout rate is low, pitching him basically amounts to chasing a win. No thanks. If you still own Buehrle in a mixed league, feel free to drop him. Hopefully, you cashed in your profits while you had the chance.

Phil Hughes (vs. SD, @OAK)

Talk about turning back into a pumpkin. The last time Hughes posted consecutive quality starts was a month and a half ago. Yeah, the strikeouts are nice, and his walk rate (0.85 BB/9) is actually excellent. But his hit rate (10.3 H/9) leaves a lot to be desired, and he’s too prone to the disaster outing. If we were just talking about the vs. SD start, I’d pitch him. But @OAK is a definite ditch, which makes the two-start week a ditch.

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

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Greene @ Webster

Vargas @ Lester – Nice matchup for Lester in his A’s debut.

Paxton @ M. Gonzalez – Gonzalez is hot and M’s rank second to last in AL in runs scored. Need to see a bit more from Paxton.

Mikolas @ House

Matzek @ Porcello

Pino @ Carroll

Dickey @ Oberholtzer – Favorable matchup for inconsistent Dickey.

Wilson @ Archer – Wilson was struggling mightily prior to DL trip but I’ll chance it.

Burnett @ Zimmermann – A.J. a bit risky though.

Peavy @ deGrom – Now back in NL, I’m expecting better results from Peavy.

Bailey @ Eovaldi – Eovaldi turning back into a pumpkin.

Nelson @ Masterson – I’ll give Nelson a shot. Taking a wait and see approach with Masterson.

Worley @ C. Anderson – Still wary of Worley.

Big Erv @ Kennedy

Wada @ Ryu

SUNDAY

Darvish @ Bauer

J. De La Rosa @ An. Sanchez

Iwakuma @ Tillman – Tillman 3 ER or less in each of his last ten starts.

Weaver @ Odorizzi

Gibson @ Quintana

Stroman @ Feldman – Stroman’s last three starts: 0.43 ERA, 0.71 WHIP.

Shields @ Kazmir

Phelps @ Buchholz – Not trusting either.

Bumgarner @ Colon

Leake @ Alvarez – Leake coming off dominant outing vs. ARI.

Hamels @ Strasburg – Must watch TV!

Lohse @ Lynn

Jackson @ Beckett – Beckett still needs to shake off the rust.

Harang @ T. Ross – Tasty matchup for Harang.

Liriano @ Cahill – Liriano still scares me but can’t argue with the recent results.

MONDAY

Scherzer @ McCarthy – Not a fan of this matchup for McCarthy.

Simon @ Kluber

Martinez @ Noesi

Cobb @ Samardzija

Hudson @ Gee – Call me crazy but I’m sticking with Gee.

Gausman @ Roark – Cautiously optimistic about Gausman in not so great matchup.

Richards @ Greinke

 

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