Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/20

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411 Midseason All-Surprise Team

411 Midseason All-Disappointment Team

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Brett Anderson

Hey everyone,

Here’s a sampling of the latest two-start pitcher article. To read the full version, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

12-team mixed leagues

Brett Anderson (@ATL, @NYM)

Anderson might not be available in your 12-team mixed league, but if he is on the waiver wire, you need to grab him immediately. If you already own him, next week is an ideal time to start him. Since the beginning of May, the 27-year-old southpaw has been extremely consistent, allowing more than three runs just once across 14 starts. Anderson sports a 2.92 ERA in eight road starts this season and the Braves and Mets both rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored.

Deeper mixed leagues

Rubby De La Rosa (vs. MIA, vs. MIL)

De La Rosa has not been sharp of late, which is why I’d only consider him in deeper leagues. Prior to his last two outings, however, he had allowed two runs or fewer in four straight starts. While his inconsistency makes him a risky play, the 26-year-old righty does have the benefit of facing a sub-par Marlins lineup followed by a Brewers offense that has been average at best so far this season.

CLICK HERE for the complete article.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Sunday, July 18-19

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411 Midseason All-Surprise Team

411 Midseason All-Disappointment Team

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Marco Estrada

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Iwakuma @ Pineda – Iwakuma’s last start encouraging, but I’ll sit this one out in tough matchup.

E. Ramirez @ Dickey

Guthrie @ Quintana – Quintana going for his 10th straight quality start.

Kershaw @ Fister – Taking a chance on Fister. I wouldn’t blame you if you decide against doing so.

Koehler @ Billingsley – Koehler is tempting here but he’s strictly a home play.

Tillman @ Price

Liriano @ Nelson – Whenever I say pitch on Nelson, he implodes. So I’ll pass.

Lester @ Banuelos – Need to see more from Banuelos.

Kluber @ DeSclafani

Lewis @ Feldman

Colon @ Lackey – Colon’s worst outing of the season happened to come against the Cardinals. No thanks.

Peavy @ C. Anderson – Anderson too unreliable to trust.

Bettis @ T. Ross – Bettis an intriguing option in deeper leagues though for this matchup.

Porcello @ Richards

Hughes @ Kazmir – Still having a tough time trusting Hughes.

SUNDAY

King Felix @ Sabathia

Archer @ Estrada – Going for it with Estrada.

M. Gonzalez @ Verlander – Beginning to buy into Verlander but this matchup is too tough.

Carrasco @ Cueto

Greinke @ Scherzer

Haren @ Hamels

Duffy @ Sale

Locke @ Jungmann – Gotta go with Jungmann while he’s hot.

Gallardo @ Keuchel

Niese @ Cooney – Niese was terrible vs. Cards earlier this year but he’s strung together seven straight quality starts.

Milone @ Chavez – Chavez has been shaky lately. I’ll play it safe.

Butler @ Cashner

Bumgarner @ Corbin – Give Corbin a bit more time to work off the rust.

Arrieta @ Miller

E. Rodriguez @ Santiago – Rodriguez seems to be righting the ship, but I’m not a big fan of this matchup.

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 17

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CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (7/2 is most recent)

411 Midseason All-Surprise Team

411 Midseason All-Disappointment Team

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chris Young

CORY’S PICKS

Volquez @ Samardzija (Gm 1)

Young @ Danks (Gm 2) – Young has been very reliable, and the White Sox don’t score.

Bolsinger @ Zimmermann

Montgomery @ Tanaka – Do you trust Montgomery vs. a top-5 offense?

Fernandez @ Morgan

Odorizzi @ Hutchison

Jimenez @ An. Sanchez

Bauer @ Leake – GABP isn’t Coors, but Leake is definitely better on the road.

Hendricks @ Teheran

Morton @ Fiers – Morton is a no-game on the road, particularly vs. reinvigorated Brewers bats.

M. Perez @ McHugh

Syndergaard @ Lynn

Cain @ Ray

Miley @ Wilson

Big Erv @ Gray

J. De La Rosa @ Shields

***ZACH SAYS “Hendricks is coming off three straight dominant outings against a trio of lower tier offenses. The Braves are a lower tier offense. Pitch. Agree on rest.”

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411 Midseason All-Disappointment Team

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (7/2 is most recent)

411 Midseason All-Surprise Team

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Zach back with you,

As promised, here’s our Midseason All-Disappointment team. Note that there were many quality options, but thinking in terms of performance to date relative to draft day cost, we ultimately came up with this group.

ALL-DISAPPOINTMENT TEAM

C – Jonathan LuCroy – Heading into the season, LuCroy was widely viewed as the #2 fantasy catcher behind Buster Posey. But after batting .297 with averages of 14 homers and 70 RBI from 2012-2014, the Brewers backstop is batting just .241 with two homers and 17 RBI over 191 at-bats this season. That said, I’m giving him at least a partial mulligan being that he missed significant time due to injury. Now healthy again, look for him to reward his frustrated yet patient owners. If the LuCroy owner in your league is both frustrated and impatient, try sending over a lowball trade offer.

1B – Adam LaRoche – A longtime favorite of mine, LaRoche has always been a guy who you could draft at a reasonable cost and would consistently put up solid power numbers. Judging from his ultra-quiet first half, however, could it be that the 35-year-old is finally nearing the end? Not so fast. Even in his prime, LaRoche was known as a streaky hitter and more importantly, a second half hitter. Considering that his splits have been so drastic over the years, I’m holding out hope that this trend will continue. While I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to trade for LaRoche, I wouldn’t rush to drop him either.

2B – Robinson Cano – Maybe the Yankees knew what they were doing when they said goodbye to their All-Star second baseman following the 2013 season. Cano hasn’t been the same player since he signed that monster contract with the Mariners. Despite the power decline last year, he still performed at the level of a top-tier second baseman thanks to a .314 batting average and 82 RBI. But this season has been a huge struggle from the start. Cano owners can take solace in the fact that he’s batting .327 with two home runs so far in July, but he has a lot of work to do in order to give his fantasy owners anything close to an equal return on their investment.

Ian Desmond

SS – Ian Desmond – Forget about most disappointing shortstop. When factoring in ADP, Desmond has been the most disappointing hitter, and it’s really not that close. After posting three consecutive 20/20 seasons, he’s on pace to finish 2015 with 13 homers and nine steals, and he’s batting .211. There goes the contract year theory.

3B – Adrian Beltre – Talk about consistency. Beltre enjoyed a four-year stretch from 2010-2013 during which he batted at least .296 with no fewer than 28 home runs and 92 RBI. His power numbers declined last season, however, and he’s barely been a starting caliber fantasy player in 2015. But a lingering thumb injury that landed him on the DL for a few weeks in June is partly to blame, and he did post a strong .293-4-16 line in May just prior to hitting the shelf. Beltre owners have little choice but to hang onto him and hope for better luck in the health department. For now at least, there’s no way that you will get fair value in a trade.

OF – Yasiel Puig – Although labeling Puig a fantasy bust wouldn’t be accurate considering that he too has missed a considerable number of games due to injury, the bottom line is that even when on the field, the production simply hasn’t been there. Owners of Puig paid a steep price for him on draft day, and time is running out for the Dodgers outfielder to start paying them back. Well, there’s always next year.

OF – Matt Kemp – Speaking of steep prices, Kemp’s huge second half last year raised his draft day price to a level that, in retrospect, might have been unreasonable. Maybe Kemp owners got carried away, thinking that a return to elite form was in the cards and drafting him outside the top-25 would prove to be a bargain. Not quite. The good news is that Kemp has remained healthy. The bad news is that a .250 batting average with eight homers through 89 games wasn’t what his owners signed up for. But seven of his eight home runs have come since the beginning of June. I wouldn’t give up on him yet.

OF – Marcell Ozuna – Ozuna’s name was included on plenty of breakout player lists going into this season, but he’s followed up a promising .269-23-85 season with a .249-4-26 line through 79 games this year. Underwhelming numbers, yes. But I’m not so sure he deserved to be sent down to the Minors. I’d be very surprised if he isn’t back in the Majors soon, and owners in deeper mixed formats and of course NL-only leagues would be wise to keep him on their roster.

SP – Stephen Strasburg – This is exactly why we don’t like to spend big on starting pitching. Largely viewed as a sure thing, injuries and inconsistency have plagued Strasburg’s 2015 campaign. The truth is that when it comes to starting pitching, there really aren’t any sure things. Even if he does return from the DL shortly after the break, how confident are we that he will stay off the DL for the remainder of the season? Back in April, Strasburg was the 23rd pick in the 411 Listener League draft. Chris Archer was taken at #149.

Julio Teheran

SP – Julio Teheran – Teheran has pitched better of late, as he’s fresh off back-to-back quality starts, a feat that he had yet to accomplish this year. And that goes to show just how rocky his 2015 season has been. Still only 24 years of age, a bounce back campaign in 2016 is very possible. As for his short-term outlook, it’s hard to have faith in a guy who has been this inconsistent over the course of three and a half months.

CL – Steve Cishek – The “don’t pay for saves” crowd must be loving this. A consensus top-15 closer entering the season, Cishek collected a grand total of three saves before being removed from the Marlins closer role in mid-May. Even after allowing only one run over his last 8 2/3 innings, his ERA sits at 5.14. With A.J. Ramos thriving in the ninth inning role, 99.9 percent of Cishek owners are no longer Cishek owners. And that’s the way it should be.

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411 Midseason All-Surprise Team

***NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog by hitting the Follow button on the right panel. You will then get an e-mail as soon as each new post goes up.

CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (7/2 is most recent)

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Zach here,

Many fantasy owners use the All-Star Break as a time to, well, take a break, and that’s probably a good idea. Take a break from the daily and often hourly responsibility of tracking the latest news, setting lineups, adding some players, dropping some players and trading other players. But personally, I have a hard time taking a break. Isn’t that what the winter is for? I like to use this “break” as an opportunity to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of my rosters, maybe make a trade or two in an effort to address weaknesses, and most importantly, begin to think about the second half of the season and what I can realistically expect from each of my players. And in order to do that, looking back at the first half of the season is a must. And what better way to look back at the first half of the season than to assemble mid-season All-Surprise and All-Disappointment teams. This has been a longtime tradition of the 411, and even though there will not be a podcast this week, we weren’t about to end that tradition. Here’s our All-Surprise team. Tomorrow, we’ll reveal our All-Disappointment team.

ALL-SURPRISE TEAM

C – Stephen Vogt – In 269 total at-bats last season, Vogt posted a .279-9-35 line. Through his first 279 at-bats this season, he’s batting .287 with 14 homers and 56 RBI. Pretty good for a guy who went undrafted in the vast majority of 12-team mixed leagues.

1B – Mark Teixeira – To be honest, I completely avoided Teixeira in drafts this spring, fully convinced that health would continue to be a major issue for him, not to mention the low batting average. Maybe he would hit 20 home runs, but there was simply too much baggage attached to those 20 home runs. As it turns out, Tex has 22 homers…at the All-Star break. All it took was 82 games for him to match last season’s 22 home runs and 62 RBI, and this makes the .240 batting average at least tolerable. Owners in OBP leagues have absolutely nothing to complain about, as his healthy walk rate has resulted in a .350 OBP.

2B – Joe Panik – From watching Panik down the stretch last season, it seemed like he was destined to be one of those guys who would always belong in the “better real-life player than fantasy player” group. Apparently not. Panik’s minor league numbers indicate that he’s fully capable of maintaining a batting average in the neighborhood of .300. But the power (seven homers) is surprising, and I’m not buying into it just yet. Add in the lack of stolen base production, especially for a middle infielder, and Panik is someone who I’d look to trade if I could get a quality return.

SS – Brandon Crawford – On pace to finish the year with 22 homers and 95 RBI, Crawford is clearly in the midst of a career year. But will he even come close to reaching those totals? Considering the track record, I have my doubts.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees

3B – Alex Rodriguez – What else is there to say? Well, I think it’s safe to say that a high percentage of fantasy owners who were willing to take a chance on A-Rod this year are in title contention. I chose not to draft him in any league, for moral reasons of course. But I really should’ve learned by now that fantasy baseball success is more about the stats and less about the morals, especially when the cost of those stats was minimal.

OF – J.D. Martinez – Even the most optimistic of Martinez believers could not have predicted that he would follow up his breakout 2014 campaign with an MVP caliber season in 2015. Although I’d hold off on the MVP talk, I don’t necessarily view Martinez as a sell-high player. His fantasy owners are probably better off simply sitting back and enjoying the ride, unless they receive a trade offer that is too good to pass up.

OF – A.J. Pollock – Pollock is similar to Martinez in that we knew he would be good, but not this good. The power is there. The speed is there. The batting average is there. While it might be unfair to expect him to continue producing at this rate, Pollock is legit. Congrats to all Pollock owners, especially those of you in keeper leagues.

OF – Cameron Maybin – Remember him? So I guess Maybin decided that he was tired of being known as just another former top prospect who fell off the map. At this point, a 15 HR/30 SB season is a distinct possibility, though I’d be surprised if the career .252 hitter maintains his current .289 batting average. An average in the .270-.275 range is more likely.

MLB: Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians

SP – Dallas Keuchel – Keuchel was drafted in the 18th round (216th overall) in the 411 Listener League. Keuchel will get the start for the AL in tonight’s All-Star Game. Enough said.

SP – Hector Santiago – Santiago has been a 411 favorite for quite some time, but up until this season, the consistency hasn’t been there. This season has been a different story (2.33 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 98 K’s in 108 1/3 IP). Santiago’s emergence this year is just another data point in support of the 411 philosophy of not investing heavily in starting pitching on draft day.

CL – Jeurys Familia – If it wasn’t for Jenrry Mejia’s PED suspension, we might have never known that Familia has the ability to be an elite-level closer. And that’s exactly what he’s been through the first three and a half months of the 2015 season. And that’s exactly what I think he will continue to be through the final two and a half months of the 2015 season. And if it wasn’t for Jenrry Mejia’s PED suspension, Familia might still be on your league’s waiver wire.

What do you think of this roster? Any other deserving candidates? As always, your comments are welcome.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Sunday, July 11-12

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Chris Heston

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Buehrle @ Young

Simon @ Hughes – Hughes pitching a lot better of late but I still don’t trust him against the Tigers.

Sale @ Lester

Corbin @ Harvey – Corbin was good enough in his season debut to trust in a favorable matchup like this one.

Wisler @ J. De La Rosa

DeSclafani @ Latos – Taking a chance on Latos, though I understand if you’re hesitant to do so.

Keuchel @ Odorizzi – Less than favorable matchup for Odorizzi in his return, so I’ll play it safe.

Bassitt @ Carrasco – Sticking with Carrasco.

Zimmermann @ M. Gonzalez – Tough opponent for Gonzalez but he’s 3-1 with a 3.25 ERA in seven home starts this season.

Nova @ E. Rodriguez – Nova strictly a deep mixed/AL-only league option for this one.

Lackey @ Burnett

Shields @ Lewis

Buchanan @ Vogelsong – Vogelsong worth considering in NL-only leagues though for this matchup.

Wilson @ Iwakuma – Iwakuma still shaking off the rust, so I’ll sit this one out.

Jungmann @ TBD (LAD) – Jungmann has been a pleasant surprise, but this matchup is too tough for mixed league purposes.

SUNDAY

Gray @ Kluber

R. De La Rosa @ Niese – Nice matchup for Rubby while Niese is working on six straight quality starts.

Cueto @ Haren

McCullers @ Moore – Not trusting Moore just yet.

Eovaldi @ Miley – Both have pitched well lately but both have difficult matchups.

Fister @ W. Chen – Take a look at Chen’s stats and you’ll see why I’m pitching him, even vs. Nats.

Doubront @ Volquez

Greene @ Gibson – Gibson a very tough call vs. Tigers but in a 12-team mixed, I’d lean towards ditching.

Quintana @ Arrieta

T. Ross @ Gallardo – Ross a risky play here, but the K upside wins me over.

Billingsley @ Heston – Excellent matchup for Heston.

Heaney @ Walker – Get used to these names going forward!

Lohse @ B. Anderson

Banuelos @ Bettis

Cooney @ Liriano

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 10

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Marco Estrada

CORY’S PICKS

Rodon @ Hendricks

Lynn @ Cole

G. Gonzalez @ Tillman – Tough matchup for Gio but he’s turning it around lately.

Ch. Anderson @ Syndergaard

Leake @ Phelps

McHugh @ E. Ramirez – One pleasant surprise, one notsomuch.

Pineda @ Buchholz

Graveman @ Salazar

Kennedy @ Wandy

Miller @ Hale

Verlander @ Big Erv – Siano’s 2010 dream matchup.

Estrada @ Duffy – KC should be more vulnerable without Gordon.

Santiago @ Montgomery – Ride both while they’re rolling.

Nelson @ Bolsinger – Bolsinger regressing and the Brewers have been scoring lately.

Hamels @ Bumgarner

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 9

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Jesse Chave

CORY’S PICKS

Chavez @ Tanaka Hangin’ with Tanaka, but Chavez looks like he may be taking on water.

Karns @ Ventura

Dickey @ Samardzija I keep comin’ back for a little more.

C. Martinez @ Locke

Holmberg @ Fernandez

Oberholtzer @ Co. Anderson

Price @ Pelfrey

Al. Wood @ Kendrick

Richards @ King Felix – Best pitching matchup of the night.

S. Gonzalez @ Greinke

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 8

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Charlie Morton

CORY’S PICKS

Jimenez @ Milone – I like Milone but don’t trust him vs. the O’s just yet.

Teheran @ Fiers – The Brewers have heated up but Teheran has not.

An. Sanchez @ Happ

deGrom @ Peavy

Lorenzen @ G. Gonzalez – Gio hasn’t been very good this year.

Kazmir @ Sabathia

Cashner @ Morton – Hangin’ with Morton at home vs. the weak-hitting Pods.

Straily @ Bauer

Koehler @ Porcello – If you’re ever going to use Porcello again, home vs. the Marlins would be the time.

Hellickson @ Harrison

Wacha @ Hammel

Archer @ Guthrie

Hutchison @ Danks

Shoemaker @ Rusin

Morgan @ Kershaw – Perfect game alert on DEFCON3.

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 7

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Jose Quintana

CORY’S PICKS

Lyons @ Arrieta (Gm 1)

Cooney @ Beeler (Gm 2)

Moore @ Young (Gm 1)

Andriese @ Volquez (Gm 2)

Gray @ Eovaldi

Cueto @ Scherzer – Game of the Day!

T. Ross @ Liriano – Get ready to see A LOT of sliders.

Haren @ Miley

Velasquez @ Kluber – Velasquez has earned this test.

Ray @ Gallardo

Doubront @ Quintana – Not using Quintana vs. the Blue Jays’ lefty crushers.

Banuelos @ Cravy

Gausman @ Gibson

Heaney @ Bettis

Ryan @ Walker

Billingsley @ B. Anderson

Colon @ Cain

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