Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, April 21

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Brandon Finnegan

ZACH’S PICKS

Kershaw @ Wisler

Karns @ Co. Anderson – Karns a decent play in deeper formats.

Scherzer @ Koehler

Odorizzi @ Price – Odorizzi coming off his best outing of the season.

Nolasco @ Jungmann

Weaver @ Danks – Slugfest alert!

S. Miller @ Cueto

R. Hill @ Severino – Hill has been too inconsistent to trust at Yankee Stadium. Sticking with Severino.

Estrada @ Tillman – Tough matchup for both. I’ll play it safe here.

Arrieta @ Finnegan – Finnegan very close to securing 12-team mixed league relevance but the walks still scare me and I don’t like this matchup.

Pelfrey @ Volquez

Keuchel @ Griffin

Cole @ Shields

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, April 20

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Ross Stripling

ZACH’S PICKS

Bettis @ Iglesias – Bettis a viable option in deeper leagues though.

Hendricks @ C. Martinez

Richards @ Sale

Walker @ Salazar

Colon @ Hellickson – Nice matchup for Colon. Hellickson fell back to earth his last time out.

Graveman @ Eovaldi – Graveman intriguing in deeper formats but this matchup would scare me off for 12-team mixed league purposes. Eovaldi too erratic to trust right now.

Dickey @ Jimenez

Stripling @ Teheran – Gotta go with Stripling in favorable matchup. Passing on Teheran here in 12-team mixed leagues.

Archer @ Porcello – Don’t give up on Archer. Rays rank last in Majors in runs scored, so I’ll take a chance on Porcello.

J. Ross @ Chen

Zimmermann @ Kennedy – Sitting Kennedy here but he’s deserving of a roster spot in the vast majority of leagues.

Fister @ Hamels

Milone @ Nelson – Nelson is on a roll.

Locke @ Pomeranz – I really like what I’ve seen from Pomeranz so far.

Greinke @ Bumgarner

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, April 19

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Logan Verrett

ZACH’S PICKS

Peralta @ Big Erv

Miley @ Carrasco

Verrett @ Velasquez – Verrett worth a shot here versus Phillies team that ranks last in the NL in runs and batting average.

Surkamp @ Pineda – Pineda bounced back nicely his last time out.

Stroman @ M. Wright

J. De La Rosa @ Stephenson

Wood @ W. Perez

Smyly @ Kelly

Strasburg @ Conley – Tough matchup for Conley but I’ll go for it.

Greene @ Ventura

Feldman @ Holland – Holland has been solid so far but I don’t like this matchup.

Shoemaker @ Latos – Shoemaker too inconsistent to trust. I might regret benching Latos but he still worries me, despite strong start.

Hammel @ Garcia

Liriano @ Rea

Ray @ Cain – Not giving up on Cain but it’s hard to pitch him with confidence coming off Coors Field collapse.

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/18

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Eickhoff_two-start

Hey everyone,

As is the Friday custom, here’s a sampling of my latest two-start pitcher article. For the complete version, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

12-team mixed leagues

Jerad Eickhoff (vs. NYM, @MIL)

Coming off a dominant outing against the Padres in which he tossed seven shutout innings while striking out nine, Eickhoff should take advantage of a pair of favorable matchups in Week 3. Heading into Thursday’s games, the Mets rank last in the NL in runs, batting average and OPS and Eickhoff pitched fairly well against them in his first start of the season, allowing two earned runs across five innings. As for the Brewers, they rank in the bottom third of the Senior Circuit in both runs and batting average. The 25-year-old righty, who registered a stellar 2.65 ERA and 1.04 WHIP across eight starts in his first taste of the big leagues last season, should be considered a must-start for next week.

Deeper mixed leagues

Chase Anderson (@MIN, vs. PHI)

Anderson has yet to allow an earned run through two starts this season, and both of those outings came against upper-tier offenses in the Astros and Cardinals. His schedule eases up considerably next week, as the Phillies and Twins rank 23rd and 30th respectively in the Majors in runs scored entering Thursday. Anderson’s inconsistent big league track record and modest career strikeout rate limits his appeal to deeper mixed leagues for now, but it might not be long before he emerges onto the 12-team mixed league radar.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE

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Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, April 16-18

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Nick Tropeano

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

King Felix @ Sabathia

Weaver @ Nolasco – Weaver very effective in his season debut but I’m still skeptical.

Finnegan @ Wainwright – Need to see one more strong outing from Finnegan before I can feel comfortable starting him in 12-team mixed leagues.

Bergman @ Arrieta

Young @ Bassitt

Estrada @ Price – There’s some risk with Estrada but he’s fresh off a gem versus these very same Red Sox.

Harvey @ Tomlin

Danks @ E. Ramirez – Ramirez a viable play in deeper formats though.

Jungmann @ Niese – Niese a worthy pitch versus sub-par Brewers lineup.

Scherzer @ Nola

Norris @ Koehler – Favorable home matchup for Koehler as Braves rank next to last in NL in runs, AVG and OPS.

Verlander @ McHugh – Sitting Verlander here in tough matchup. Now watch him throw a shutout!

Gallardo @ Lewis

Miller @ Cashner – Pitching Cashner at home, though he’s testing my patience.

Cueto @ Kazmir

SUNDAY

Iwakuma @ Tanaka

Chacin @ Cosart

Quintana @ Moore – Moore has earned this.

Matz @ Kluber – Not concerned about Matz quite yet.

Davies @ Nicasio – Not a believer in Nicasio.

Ar. Sanchez @ S. Wright – Sanchez has been great so far but this is a dangerous matchup, so if you choose to sit him in a 12-team mixed league, that’s fine too.

G. Gonzalez @ Morton

An. Sanchez @ Fiers – Tough matchup for Anibal but he’s been solid.

Tropeano @ Gibson – Tropeano was impressive in his season debut and the Twins aren’t hitting at all so far (last in MLB in runs).

Moscot @ Wacha

Chatwood @ Lester

M. Wright @ Holland – Holland worth monitoring but this matchup is too scary.

Medlen @ Gray – Medlen a decent play in deeper leagues for this one but his wildness is a concern.

Corbin @ Erlin

Samardzija @ Maeda

MONDAY

Happ @ Buchholz – This game has slugfest written all over it.

Syndergaard @ Eickhoff

Lyles @ Straily

Roark @ Fernandez – I still don’t trust Roark.

Lackey @ Leake – I’ve lost a lot of confidence in Leake.

Santiago @ Rodon – Santiago worth a try here.

Ch. Anderson @ Hughes – PoD delight!

Bradley @ Peavy

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, April 15

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Jimmy Nelson

ZACH’S PICKS

Bettis @ Hendricks

Nelson @ Locke – Not an easy matchup for Nelson but I’m very impressed with him so far. Also note that he pitched to a 2.48 ERA in six starts vs. PIT last season.

Karns @ Severino – Karns an intriguing PoD option going forward but I’ll pass on him at Yankee Stadium.

J. Ross @ Hellickson – I still don’t trust Hellickson.

W. Perez @ W. Chen – I still trust Chen.

Sale @ Odorizzi

Colon @ Co. Anderson – Gotta go with Colon versus an Indians offense that has underachieved so far. Anderson a decent option in deeper leagues as the Mets have struggled to score runs as well.

Dickey @ Porcello – Slugfest alert! Stay away from this one.

Worley @ M. Perez

Pelfrey @ Keuchel

Richards @ Milone

Melville @ C. Martinez

Volquez @ R. Hill – I don’t like this matchup for Hill and I can never trust Volquez.

Bumgarner @ Kershaw – This is must-watch TV.

Greinke @ Shields

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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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