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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 9

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And be sure to check out our latest Pitch or Ditch Category Chart

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Anthony DeSclafani

CORY’S PICKS

E. Rodriguez @ M. Gonzalez – Some blow-up risk here for both but the results demand both pitch.

Jungmann @ Liriano

Scherzer @ Tanaka – I’m pitching Tanaka in 100% of games until his arm falls off.

Haren @ Buehrle – Buehrle’s blow-up risk is too big to start vs. almost anyone.

Lester @ An. Sanchez

Shoemaker @ Karns

Harang @ DeSclafani – Good matchup for good-not-great DeSclafani.

Shields @ Foltynewicz

Heston @ Syndergaard – Six gems by Heston and five grenades. I’m not risking the latter.

Elias @ Kluber

Keuchel @ Rodon

Young @ May

Wacha @ J. De La Rosa – I’ll even take Wacha in Coors right now.

N. Martinez @ Gray

Ray @ Frias

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/8

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Hey everyone,

As I mentioned at the top of today’s Pitch or Ditch post, starting this week, my two-start pitcher series will come your way in article form as opposed to a blog post. The articles will consist of five Pitch choices broken down by league size, and I’ll be concentrating on pitchers who could be on the waiver wire in those leagues. Here’s a sampling from this week’s article. At the bottom, you will see a link to the full article.

Mike Leake

12-TEAM MIXED LEAGUES

Mike Leake  (vs. PHI, @CHC)

Leake was outstanding on Wednesday night against the Phillies. The only problem is that very few of his fantasy owners benefited since the vast majority of them likely benched the Reds righty, who had posted a 12.86 ERA and 2.50 WHIP over his previous three starts. So, is it safe to trust Leake again? I’ll admit that my overall confidence in him is still shaky, but in a two-start week and with these matchups, I’d go for it. The Phillies have scored the fewest amount of runs in the Majors by a wide margin this season, and as mentioned, Leake is coming off a gem against Philadelphia. The @CHC matchup is a bit troubling since it’s on the road in a hitter’s park versus a young and ultra-talented Cubs lineup. But the reality is that the Cubbies, as of Thursday morning, rank in the bottom third of the Majors in both runs scored and batting average, and the lineup is a rather undisciplined one, ranking second in the Majors in strikeouts.

DEEPER MIXED LEAGUES

Mike Foltynewicz  (vs. SD, @NYM)

Allowing more than a hit per inning and having recorded only three quality starts in seven tries, Foltynewicz hasn’t been quite as consistent as fellow sophomore Mike Bolsinger, which is why I’d lean towards considering him only in deeper mixed leagues. That said, Foltynewicz is a more reliable contributor in the strikeout department than Bolsinger, and I do slightly prefer this pair of matchups, with the Mets offense fresh off a month of May in which they ranked 14th in the NL in runs scored and 13th in batting average. In short, think of him as a high-end waiver wire addition in deep mixed leagues but more of a last resort choice in standard 12-team formats.

For the full article, CLICK HERE

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 6-8

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And be sure to check out our latest Pitch or Ditch Category Chart

***NOTE: My weekly two-start pitcher post will be coming your way either later tonight or tomorrow. Starting this week, they will be presented in article form on the site and I’ll just be posting a sampling of the article here in addition to a link to the full version.

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Julio Teheran

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Hammel @ A. Cole

Oberholtzer @ Hutchison – Hutchison still too inconsistent for my liking.

Wandy @ Ventura

Garza @ Graham

Bumgarner @ S. Gonzalez

Chavez @ Kelly – Tough matchup for Chavez but he’s been dominant for awhile now.

Jimenez @ Salazar– I’ll never fully trust Ubaldo.

Despaigne @ Lorenzen – Despaigne has been impressive lately but not chancing it on the road in tough environment. Lorenzen’s 18-to-19 K/BB scares me.

Phelps @ Kendrick – I’m a Phelps fan, but playing it safe in Coors.

Locke @ Teheran – Despite overall struggles, Teheran has been excellent at home (3-0, 1.82 ERA, 0.97 WHIP).

Price @ Danks

Richards @ Warren – Warren working on four straight quality starts.

Colome @ King Felix – I’m still a believer in Colome but he needs to be benched for the time being.

Garcia @ Kershaw – Might as well roll with Garcia while he’s healthy.

Colon @ C. Anderson – Pitch Colon only in deeper mixed leagues. Very dangerous matchup.

SUNDAY

B. Norris @ Carrasco

Wilson @ Sabathia – Wilson has been a pleasant surprise, but not throwing him out there at Yankee Stadium.

McHugh @ Dickey

Cashner @ Cueto

Graveman @ Buchholz – Graveman has been much better since his return, but I’m still not comfortable pitching him in tougher matchups.

G. Cole @ A. Wood

Vogelsong @ O’Sullivan

Simon @ Samardzija – Just when we thought Samardzija was back…I’d still lean towards pitching him here.

Lewis @ Guthrie – I have little interest in riding the Lewis roller-coaster.

Fiers @ Pelfrey – Fiers seems to have righted the ship.

Hendricks @ Zimmermann

Archer @ Montgomery – Montgomery could soon become mixed league relevant but I need to see a bit more.

Urena @ J. De La Rosa

deGrom @ Collmenter – Collmenter at home and facing an inconsistent lineup? Yes, please!

Lynn @ Greinke

MONDAY

Nelson @ Burnett – Nelson a true toss-up, but I’ll go for it.

Hand @ Estrada – Estrada on a nice roll of late.

Kennedy @ Miller – Kennedy is driving me crazy this year. I’ll ditch, which probably means he will throw a shutout.

Hamels @ Leake – Leake very tough to trust these days but this matchup is about as good as it gets.

McCullers @ Sale

Vargas @ Hughes – Hughes needs to be avoided for now.

Lackey @ Hale – Lackey pitching too well to sit, even at Coors.

R. De La Rosa @ Bolsinger – Not in love with this matchup for either.

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 5

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And be sure to check out our latest Pitch or Ditch Category Chart

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Tanner Roark

CORY’S PICKS

Wada @ Roark – Good blue-plate special.
Weaver @ Eovaldi – Recent results aside, I’m still shy about using Weaver on the road.
Lincecum @ Williams
R. Hernandez @ Ar. Sanchez
Tillman @ Marcum – Tillman’s issues are all command. Sit it out for now.
Kazmir @ Miley
Ross @ Iglesias
Morton @ W. Perez – Also shy about using Morton on the road, his first two starts notwithstanding.
Ryan @ Quintana
Lohse @ Gibson
C. Gonzalez @ Volquez
Koehler @ Butler
Niese @ Hellickson
C. Martinez @ B. Anderson
Odorizzi
@ Happ

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Updated Pitch or Ditch Category Chart (6/4)

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CLICK HERE to listen to our latest podcasts (5/28 is most recent)

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Trevor Bauer

Zach back with you,

We’ve reached the one-third mark of the season, which means that by now you should have a pretty good idea as to the strengths and weaknesses of your teams and whether or not you have a realistic shot at a league title. But regardless of where you stand, we here at the 411 are here to help, so hopefully you find this updated Pitch or Ditch chart useful.

New POD Chart 6-4-15

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the chart, this is something we started doing a few years ago (special acknowledgment to longtime 411 fan Big Barry for the framework of the idea) to help guide you not only in your Pitch or Ditch decisions but also in knowing whether or not dropping a certain pitcher would be a mistake.

We’ve divided all of the current starting rotation pitchers into five groups: Aces, Grads, PoD, DTM and Indifferent.

Aces: Fairly straightforward. Elite starting pitchers with the track record to prove it. Aces should be started 100% of the time, regardless of the opponent or the venue.

Grads: Not quite ace-caliber but also not worth dropping under any circumstances. Grads should be started 99% of the time.

PoD: These pitchers do not deserve a permanent roster spot but should be picked up and started in favorable matchups. If their next matchup is not so favorable, feel free to drop them. Some PoD guys could earn Grad status if they string together several consecutive strong outings.

DTM: DTM pitchers are guys that we might have once liked but have repeatedly let us down to the point where we’ve had enough of them and will never pitch them again, no matter what.

Indifferent: Pitchers who are just not that good and should not be rostered.

***Note that this chart is geared towards standard 12-team mixed leagues.

And finally, here’s a list of the changes we have made since the last version of the chart, posted in late-April:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PROMOTIONS

Pineda grad to ace
Archer grad to ace
Keuchel grad to ace
deGrom grad to ace
Gray grad to ace
Zimmermann grad to ace
Lester grad to ace
Arrieta grad to ace
Bauer PoD to grad
Salazar PoD to grad
Haren PoD to grad
Hammel PoD to grad
C. Martinez PoD to grad
Lorenzen indifferent to PoD
Vogelsong indifferent to PoD

DEMOTIONS

Kennedy grad to PoD
Hudson grad to PoD
Kendrick PoD to indifferent
Butler PoD to indifferent
Guthrie PoD to DTM

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 4

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Yovani Gallardo

CORY’S PICKS

Hahn @ Greene

W. Chen @ Keuchel – Chen is unsexy but pretty reliable.

Milone @ S. Wright

Arrieta @ G. Gonzalez – Gio will be fine, hang with ‘em.

DeSclafani @ Harang

Rodon @ Gallardo YoGa has been solid and ChiSox aren’t hitting.

Bauer @ Young

Harvey @ Hellickson

Wacha @ Frias

E. Ramirez @ Elias – Tempting to “pitch” Erasmo but I’m still wary.

***ZACH SAYS “I’d take a chance on both DeSclafani (favorable matchup) and Harang (check out the guy’s stats). Agree on rest.”

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 3

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Anibal Sanchez

CORY’S PICKS

Hughes @ E. Rodriguez (Gm 1) – Fabulous debut, try it again.

May @ Porcello (Gm 2)

Nelson @ Lackey

Tanaka @ Walker – Reasonable matchup for Tanaka’s return.

Foltynewicz @ R. De La Rosa – Very high reward on both outweighs moderate risk.

Liriano @ Hudson

Buehrle @ Jordan

Leake @ Hamels

Gray @ An. Sanchez – Hang with ‘em on Anibal.

Lester @ Haren

Bolsinger @ Bettis – Not rolling the dice on Bolsinger in Coors.

Sale @ N. Martinez – Pickin’ on the ChiSox.

Kluber @ Vargas

M. Gonzalez @ McCullers

Gee @ Shields

Karns @ Santiago – Santiago’s walks are a concern but the results keep coming.

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 2

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Josh Collmenter

CORY’S PICKS

Nicasio @ J. De La Rosa (Gm 1)

Greinke @ Hale (Gm 2) – Greinke is good enough for Coors.

Estrada @ Scherzer

Cueto @ O’Sullivan – Tasty matchup for Cueto’s return from the sore elbow.

Graveman @ Simon

Pelfrey @ Buchholz

Hendricks @ Hand

Samardzija @ Lewis – With respect to Lewis: “well, THAT escalated quickly!”

Carrasco @ Guthrie

M. Wright @ McHugh – Not yet on Wright.

Cravy @ Lynn

Miller @ Collmenter – Collmenter is an auto-start at home.

Archer @ Wilson

Sabathia @ Montgomery

Syndergaard @ Kennedy

Burnett @ Heston – I’ll try Heston at home, sure.

***ZACH SAYS “I’d pitch Wilson here. He’s been a pleasant surprise this season and the Rays rank 13th in the AL in runs scored. Agree on rest.”

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/1

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Kyle Hendricks

PITCH

Kyle Hendricks  (@MIA, @WAS)

Simply put, Hendricks isn’t getting the attention he deserves, and maybe it’s because he isn’t pitching deep enough into games, which is the biggest reason why he’s recorded only one win through his first nine starts. But the ERA and WHIP are solid and the walk rate is exceptional (1.9 BB/9). Also, his 7.0 K/9 is a huge improvement over the 5.3 K/9 he posted last season. The Nationals are the highest-scoring team in the NL, but the Washington lineup has done most of its damage on the road. At home, the Nats rank 11th in the Senior Circuit in runs scored. Oh, and Hendricks’ last start happened to come against the Nationals, and he happened to pitch pretty well (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER). As for the Marlins, they rank in the bottom third of the NL in both runs scored and home runs.

Josh Collmenter  (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)

I own Collmenter in a few leagues this year, and I’ll admit that he’s tough to trust on a start to start basis. But these matchups are very enticing, and his 5.05 ERA is severely skewed by one disaster outing against the Nationals in which he gave up nine runs. The consistency just hasn’t been there for Collmenter this year, which makes pitching him in a 12-team mixed league a risky move. But in deeper leagues, the control specialist warrants serious consideration.

Colby Lewis

DITCH

Colby Lewis  (vs. CHW, @KC)

I had a feeling that a stat correction was coming, but that was ugly. Combine Wednesday’s blowup with the fact that Lewis had allowed five earned runs in each of his previous two starts and the bottom line is that Colby is simply unplayable for the time being, even in a two-start week when he will be facing a White Sox team that ranks last in the AL in runs scored. The @KC start has disaster written all over it. Even in deeper mixed formats, you’re better off leaving Lewis on your bench. He’s strictly an AL-only option.

Jaime Garcia  (vs. MIL, @LAD)

I’m curious to see how Garcia fares in his third start back from the DL, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he pitches well enough over the next few weeks to earn a stable roster spot in the majority of mixed leagues. But I still need to see a little more from him, and being that one of next week’s matchups (@LAD) is an especially tough one, I’d bench him this time and then reevaluate the situation the following week, that is if Garcia isn’t already back on the DL by then.

Archie Bradley  (vs. ATL, vs. NYM)

Bradley’s rookie season started out on such a bright note, but he’s hit a rough patch lately, and his most recent outing, on the road against the Cardinals, was his worst one to date. The upside is undeniable and these matchups are far from scary, but a 22-to-19 K/BB across 30 2/3 innings isn’t going to cut it. Owners of Bradley in 12-team mixed leagues, even non-keeper formats, should remain patient and hang onto him unless an extra roster spot is absolutely needed. As for starting him next week, however, the reward isn’t worth the risk.

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, May 30-June 1

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Roenis Elias

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Ar. Sanchez @ Gibson – Gibson pitching very well but I don’t like this matchup.

J. De La Rosa @ Harang – Harang just continues to get it done.

E. Ramirez @ W. Chen – Sticking with Chen despite rough outing last time out.

Hellickson @ Lohse – Not a whole lot of upside with Lohse.

G. Gonzalez @ Iglesias

Quintana @ Keuchel – Still a big believer in Quintana.

Koehler @ Niese – Mets offense has been erratic of late.

Miley @ A. Gonzalez – Miley is hot but not chancing it here.

Ventura @ Wada – Wada worth monitoring but I’ll play it safe in tough matchup.

Frias @ Wacha 

Greene @ Weaver – Greene too much of a blowup risk.

Eovaldi @ Hahn – Both are not sure things but both are coming off gems.

W. Perez @ Lincecum

Marcum @ Elias – Elias 3 ER or less in each of his first six starts this season.

Morton @ Ross

SUNDAY

Roark @ Lorenzen – Roark was good enough in his first start that I feel comfortable pitching him here.

Phelps @ Colon – Did I mention that the Mets offense has been erratic?

Odorizzi @ Tillman

Lyles @ Williams – Lyles a decent NL-only option though.

C. Anderson @ Wagner – Anderson on a roll and the matchup is very favorable.

Hutchison @ Nolasco – Hutchison pitching a lot better lately and coming off CG SHO.

Danks @ R. Hernandez

B. Anderson @ C. Martinez

Guthrie @ Hammel

Kelly @ Wandy

Warren @ Chavez – PoD delight!

Teheran @ Bumgarner – Too hard to trust Teheran right now.

Salazar @ Happ – Happ a decent option in deeper leagues but he still scares me.

Price @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker too inconsistent this year.

Locke @ Despaigne

MONDAY

Dickey @ Zimmermann

Pelfrey @ Buchholz – Not a Buchholz fan but you have to give the guy some credit. Watch him get destroyed here!

Hammel @ Urena

Fiers @ J. Garcia – Garcia a toss-up but not totally sold on him yet.

Jimenez @ Oberholtzer – Ubaldo remains DTM for the foreseeable future.

Kershaw @ Kendrick

Al. Wood @ Bradley – Bradley cannot be trusted right now.

Colome @ Richards – Colome a borderline call. I’ll pass.

Pineda @ King Felix – Nice!

deGrom @ Cashner

Cole @ Vogelsong – Vogelsong not a bad gamble in deeper leagues though.

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