Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, July 23

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates

CORY’S PICKS

Bauer @ Gibson

Shields @ Quintana - Quintana is very quietly having an outstanding season

Colon @ Walker

Darvish @ Phelps

Buchholz @ Dickey

Tillman @ Weaver

Peacock @ Chavez – But, Chavez 4.98 ERA in his last four starts…

Leake @ Lohse – Leake is rarely terrible, but too much risk here

Strasburg @ J. De La Rosa

An. Sanchez @ Cahill – keep an eye on Cahill once the schedule gets easy

Bumgarner @ Burnett – A.J’s last outing as a Phillie?

Haren @ Liriano – risk/reward on both but I’ll sit this one out

Eovaldi @ Big Erv – Eovaldi 2.95 ERA in his last 18 road starts

Cobb @ Lynn

Kennedy @ Wada

Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, July 22

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians

CORY’S PICKS

Martinez @ Whitley
Peavy @ HappPeavy’s getting it together and Jays are not at full strength
B. Chen @ Carroll
Salazar @ Pino – tasty return matchup for Salazar
M. Gonzalez @ Santiago
Oberholtzer @ Kazmir
deGrom @ E. Ramirez – good place to gamble on Erasmo if categories warrant
Petit @ R. Hernandez – good gamble on Yusmeiro, too
Beckett @ Worley
Turner @ Minor
Stults @ Hendricks
Bailey @ Nelson – Reds have not been a scary matchup this year
Odorizzi @ Wainwright
Zimmermann
@ Flande
Porcello @ C. Anderson

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 7/21

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Mets

PITCHES

Jacob deGrom (@SEA, @MIL)

Over his last five starts, deGrom boasts a 1.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP to go along with 38 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. Next week, he gets to face a Mariners team that ranks in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored, home runs and batting average in a pitcher-friendly park. The @MIL matchup is a challenging one, but deGrom’s recent performance has convinced me to pitch him.

Ryan Vogelsong (@PHI, vs. LAD)

Although Vogelsong’s 2014 stat line doesn’t exactly jump off the page, he’s usually a safe bet for a quality outing. The Phillies rank 11th in the NL in runs scored and 13th in batting average and while the vs. LAD matchup is a little scary, note that Vogelsong’s ERA at home this year (3.04) is more than two full runs lower than his road mark (5.18).

DITCHES

Collin McHugh (@OAK, vs. MIA)

There’s a small chance that McHugh won’t make the @OAK start, but all indications are that he will be activated from the DL in time. Regardless, I’d be very wary of pitching him next week, as the A’s and Marlins both rank in the top-4 in their respective leagues in runs scored and McHugh hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he was during the early part of the season. In a league with daily lineups, I might consider pitching him against the Marlins if he does well against the A’s. But in a weekly, I think you’re better off ditching.

Shane Greene (vs. TEX, vs. TOR)

Greene has no doubt been a nice story, but let’s not overlook the fact that his entire big league body of work spans a mere 13 2/3 innings and his career minor league numbers are really nothing special. The bottom line is that I need to see a lot more before I can trust Greene in any mixed league and I don’t like these matchups at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks, the tale of Greene looks a lot like that of Chase Whitley. The wheels could fall off in a hurry.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, July 19-21

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Simon @ McCarthy

Lewis @ Stroman – Stroman no sure thing but Rangers a mid-pack offense this year.

Kluber @ Ray (Gm 1) – Ray expected to be sent back down after this start.

Salazar @ Scherzer (Gm 2) – Ditto for Salazar but he has slightly better chance of sticking around.

Duffy @ R. De La Rosa – Taking a chance on Rubby versus so-so offense.

Keuchel @ Noesi

Price @ Correia

King Felix @ Richards

W. Chen @ Hammel

Greinke @ Kelly

Garza @ G. Gonzalez

B. Anderson @ Morton – Rockies a mediocre at best offense away from Coors.

Hamels @ TBD (ATL)

Hudson @ Alvarez

T. Wood @ Miley – Miley has struggled at home but he’s hot.

Gee @ T. Ross

SUNDAY

Cueto @ Kuroda

Tepesch @ Buehrle – Buehrle’s been a lot more hittable lately.

Tomlin @ Smyly – Both too risky.

Ventura @ Lester

Cosart @ Danks – Danks worth a try here.

Archer @ Hughes – Hughes 5 ER or more in four of his last five starts.

Young @ Skaggs – Not completely sold on Young but you can’t argue with the results. Skaggs a decent play vs. Mariners club that ranks last in AL in runs scored this month.

Gausman @ Gray

Lincecum @ Hand

Kendrick @ TBD (ATL)

Gallardo @ Fister – Not liking this matchup for fading Gallardo.

Matzek @ Locke – Locke has been outstanding of late and as mentioned above, Rockies can’t hit on the road.

Wheeler @ Despaigne – Nice matchup for both.

Arrieta @ Collmenter – Collmenter a solid play in NL-only leagues though.

Kershaw @ C. Martinez – Martinez still has some kinks to iron out

MONDAY

Mikolas @ Greene – Need to see a little more from Greene before I can fully trust him in a 12-team mixed.

Lackey @ Hutchison

Guthrie @ Sale

House @ K. Johnson

Norris @ Shoemaker

Niese @ Elias – Favorable matchup for Elias but he’s been terrible over his last three starts (10.05 ERA).

Vogelsong @ Lee – Vogelsong has done just enough this year to deserve the nod.

Ryu @ Volquez

Koehler @ Teheran

Latos @ Peralta

Fister @ Morales

Verlander @ Nuno – Not overly confident in Verlander though.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 18

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals

ZACH’S PICKS

Leake @ Phelps – Taking a chance on both.

Darvish @ Dickey – Dickey 2 ER or less in each of his last three starts.

Bauer @ An. Sanchez – Bauer a real toss-up though.

Shields @ Buchholz – I’ll never recommend pitching Buchholz.

Feldman @ Quintana

Cobb @ Gibson

Iwakuma @ Weaver

Tillman @ Samardzija – Tillman seems to be back on track but I’ll play it safe in tough matchup.

Lohse @ Strasburg

J. De La Rosa @ Liriano

Bumgarner @ Eovaldi

Burnett @ Big Erv

Haren @ Lynn – Haren fading badly lately.

Jackson @ Cahill

Colon @ Kennedy

NL Fantasy All-Star Team

Zach here again,

Yesterday, I unveiled my AL Fantasy All-Star Team. Today, let’s move over to the Senior Circuit. Remember that I’m filling a standard fantasy starting roster of 14 hitters and 9 pitchers while following the All-Star Game rule requiring at least one representative from each MLB team. Here’s the National League roster.

HITTERS

C   Jonathan LuCroy

C   Devin Mesoraco

1B  Paul Goldschmidt

2B  Dee Gordon

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies

SS  Troy Tulowitzki

3B  Todd Frazier

CI  Anthony Rizzo

MI  Daniel Murphy

MLB: Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals

OF  Giancarlo Stanton

OF  Andrew McCutchen

OF  Charlie Blackmon

OF  Billy Hamilton

OF  Carlos Gomez

UT  Hunter Pence

PITCHERS

SP  Johnny Cueto

SP  Adam Wainwright

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

SP  Clayton Kershaw

SP  Zack Greinke

SP  Stephen Strasburg

SP  Tyson Ross

RP  Francisco Rodriguez

RP  Craig Kimbrel

RP  Jonathan Papelbon

As for the notable snubs, there’s no shortage of them.

Evan Gattis – Mesoraco vs. Gattis was incredibly close, but I ultimately chose Mesoraco as the #2 catcher due to the slightly higher AVG.

Yasiel Puig – His numbers are certainly All-Star worthy but I needed a Giants representative, so Pence got the last available hitter spot.

Julio Teheran - Unfortunately for Teheran, I needed a Padres representative (Ross).

Alfredo Simon – His non-elite strikeout rate was the difference.

Jason Hammel – I simply couldn’t justify picking him over any of the other starting pitchers on the roster.

Josh Beckett – See above.

Rafael Soriano – Lowest ERA of any closer (1.00) but he’s striking out less than a batter per inning and I needed a Phillies representative (Papelbon).

Anthony Rendon – I’ll save the biggest snub for last. Had him as my MI until I realized that the Mets were not represented, and Murphy is really the only reasonable choice out of all the Amazins.

As always, your feedback is more than welcome.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Carroll @ McAllister

Greene @ Jimenez

Peavy @ McHugh – Peavy better of late but I still don’t quite trust him. McHugh a little risky but Red Sox offense isn’t very good right now.

Hutchison @ Price

Porcello @ Shields – Porcello looking to bounce back from ugly outing last time out.

Weaver @ Mikolas

Chavez @ Iwakuma

Minor @ Jackson

Miley @ Vogelsong – Miley an automatic pitch when on the road (3-1, 3.19 ERA, 1.08 WHIP).

Wainwright @ Nelson

Koehler @ Matsuzaka – Koehler coming off disaster outing but he’s done very well against the Mets this year.

Correia @ Matzek

Morton @ Leake – Not a great matchup for Morton but he’s on a roll.

Strasburg @ Hamels

Kennedy @ Maholm

SUNDAY

Danks @ Bauer – Could be 2-1 or 10-9. I’d lean towards passing.

Happ @ Odorizzi – Odorizzi pitching well lately and Blue Jays offense is struggling.

Verlander @ B. Chen – Sticking with Verlander, though I wouldn’t blame you for ditching.

Buchholz @ Cosart – I have very little confidence in either.

Skaggs @ TBD (TEX)

Gray @ Young – Young has been a pleasant surprise but this matchup is as tough as it gets.

TBD (NYY) @ Tillman – Tillman has improved dramatically of late and he’s been strong at home all season (2.74 ERA).

Liriano @ Cueto

Hand @ deGrom – deGrom’s last four starts: 25 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 30 K.

Roark @ Kendrick – Roark fading a bit but I’ll give him another chance.

C. Martinez @ Peralta – Martinez worth a look in NL-only leagues but this matchup isn’t a favorable one.

Teheran @ T. Wood

C. Anderson @ Bumgarner – Decent enough matchup for Anderson.

Ross @ Ryu

Hughes @ B. Anderson – Not trusting Hughes at Coors.

AL Fantasy All-Star Team

Zach here,

What better way to honor the upcoming All-Star game than to assemble Fantasy All-Star teams? Well, that’s exactly what I decided to do, starting with the AL squad today before naming the NL team tomorrow. The framework is simple. I’m using a standard fantasy starting roster of 14 hitters and 9 pitchers with the one caveat being that every real-life team has to be represented, just like in the real thing. So without further adieu, here’s the Junior Circuit roster.

HITTERS

C   Salvador Perez

C   Yan Gomes

1B  Edwin Encarnacion

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays

2B  Jose Altuve

SS  Alexei Ramirez

3B  Miguel Cabrera

CI  Jose Abreu

MI  Ian Kinsler

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals

OF  Nelson Cruz

OF  Mike Trout

OF  Michael Brantley

OF  Adam Jones

OF  Jose Bautista

UT  Victor Martinez

PITCHERS

SP Felix Hernandez

SP Masahiro Tanaka

SP Yu Darvish

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Athletics

SP Scott Kazmir

SP David Price

SP Jon Lester

RP Koji Uehara

RP Glen Perkins

RP Dellin Betances

And just like in the real thing, there are snubs, most of them as a result of that annoying representative rule. Don’t get me wrong, every player who I ultimately chose for this team is deserving, but here are the notable guys who were left off the team even though from a stats perspective, they certainly deserve a spot.

Chris Sale – Needed a Rays representative, so Price got the nod.

Garrett Richards – Needed representatives from both the Rangers and Red Sox, so Darvish and Lester were automatic picks. Felix and Tanaka were no brainers, so in order to fit Richards, I would’ve needed to leave out Kazmir. Richards vs. Kazmir was a very close call.

Greg Holland – Needed a Twins representative, and Perkins was the best option.

Derek Norris – Gomes beat him out by a tiny margin.

Brandon Moss – Counting stats are there but his unspectacular AVG held him back.

Agree with the roster? Disagree with the roster? Any other snub suggestions? Let’s hear from 411 nation!

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, July 11

MLB: Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres

ZACH’S PICKS

Kuroda @ M. Gonzalez

Noesi @ Kluber

Buehrle @ Archer – Buehrle due for regression but I like this matchup.

Richards @ Tepesch

An. Sanchez @ Duffy – Challenging matchup for Duffy but I think he’s up for the task.

Lackey @ Feldman

Samardzija @ King Felix – Nice!

Al. Wood @ Arrieta

Zimmermann @ Burnett

Locke @ Latos

Alvarez @ Wheeler – Wheeler no sure thing but he did shut out Marlins last month.

Kelly @ Gallardo – Kelly a decent play in NL-only leagues but this matchup is a bit scary.

K. Johnson @ J. De La Rosa

Hahn @ Haren – Tough matchup for Hahn but I’ll give him a shot. Expect a rebound outing from Haren coming off Coors Field debacle.

Bolsinger @ Lincecum – Hard not to pitch Lincecum right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             CORY’S PICKS

Kuroda @ M. Gonzalez

Noesi @ Kluber

Buehrle @ Archer  – Buehrle has a 4.09 ERA in his last five starts…

Richards @ Tepesch

An. Sanchez @ Duffy

Lackey @ Feldman – Lackey 4.76 ERA since the start of June

Samardzija @ King Felix

Al. Wood @ Arrieta

Zimmermann @ Burnett – six straight QS for A.J. after rough May

Locke @ Latos – Reds struggle vs. lefties

Alvarez @ Wheeler

Kelly @ Gallardo

K. Johnson @ J. De La Rosa

Hahn @ Haren

Bolsinger @ Lincecum

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, July 10

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers

CORY’S PICKS

Quintana @ Lester
G. Gonzalez @ W. Chen
Phelps @ House
Santiago @ Lewis
Smyly @ Guthrie – struggling Smyly vs. lesser offense, or groovin’ Guthrie vs. big offense? I’ll sit this one out
Pino @ Wilhelmsen
Hendricks @ Bailey
Buchanan @ Garza
Kazmir @ Hudson
Harang @ Colon – Colon’s last two outings haven’t been sharp but I like him at home
Volquez @ Miller
Despaigne @ Kershaw

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