Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 20

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Tim Lincecum

CORY’S PICKS

Hahn @ Keuchel – Hahn has been a letdown so far, but keep him on the radar

Klein @ Kelly – Kelly has been a letdown so far, but keep him on the radar

Elias @ W. Chen

Warren @ Zimmermann – I like Warren but only trust him vs. weak offenses

Pelfrey @ Locke

Weaver @ Hutchison – scary to start Weaver in Toronto but have to after his last two dominant outings

Lohse @ Greene

Odorizzi @ W. Perez

C. Martinez @ Colon

C. Anderson @ Phelps

Marcum @ Rodon

Marquis @ Guthrie

S. Gonzalez @ Butler

Wada @ Ross – sticking with Ross despite ugly walk rates

B. Anderson @ Lincecum – not trusting Lincecum vs. the league’s best offense

***ZACH SAYS “Weaver @TOR is too risky for my liking. Save your innings for more favorable matchups. I’d roll the dice on Chase Anderson in Miami against a Marlins offense that has struggled this month (13th in NL in runs scored). Agree on rest.”

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 19

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Astros Angels Baseball

CORY’S PICKS

Nolasco @ Liriano
Eovaldi @ G. Gonzalez
Walker @ M. Gonzalez
Santiago @ Ar. Sanchez – very tough matchup for Santiago, play it safe
Nelson @ An. Sanchez
Hellickson @ Koehler
Wacha @ Niese
E. Ramirez @ Foltynewicz
Gallardo @ Miley
Cueto @ Ventura
Bauer @ Quintana – too much upside to pass on either of these guys
Gray @ R. Hernandez
Harang @ Bettis – not trusting Harang in Coors
Hammel @ Shields
Frias @ Hudson

***ZACH SAYS “Niese was roughed up a bit his last time out, but he does have a 1.35 ERA at home this season after posting a 2.74 ERA at home last season. The matchup is tough, but he’s at least someone to consider in deeper formats. I’m still not trusting Hutchison, so I’ll ditch him for the time being. Agree on rest.”

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/18

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Rubby De La Rosa

PITCH

Rubby De La Rosa  (@MIA, vs. CHC)

Since allowing six runs across 5 1/3 innings in his season debut, De La Rosa has pitched to a 3.72 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while registering a 37-to-10 K/BB ratio over 38 2/3 innings. The fact that Rubby is showing considerable improvement in the strikeout department (8.59 K/9 this season compared to 6.55 K/9 in 2014) is encouraging, and keep in mind that this is a guy who whiffed just under a batter per inning over the course of his minor league career, so I don’t think this is a fluke. The Marlins and Cubs have both been middle of the pack offenses so far. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d pitch him.

Nathan Karns  (@ATL, vs. OAK)

Through eight starts, Karns’ first full season in the big leagues has been a success, as he’s gone 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 44 strikeouts over 45 1/3 innings. Although the 4.2 BB/9 leaves a lot to be desired, Karns is displaying much improved control of late, posting a 2.6 BB/9 over his last three starts. The @ATL matchup is a favorable one but the vs. OAK matchup isn’t great. All in all, however, I think the risk outweighs the reward. If you’re in a mixed league of 12 or fewer teams, feel free to go with a more established one-start option. But if you’re looking for an under the radar waiver wire addition in a deep mixed format, Karns might just be your best bet.

Mike Foltynewicz  (vs. TB, vs. MIL)

Continuing on the theme of potential deep league waiver wire gems, Foltynewicz makes for an intriguing choice. Overall, I’m slightly more optimistic about Karns, as Foltynewicz’s control issues have been more severe (5.3 BB/9), but Mike’s matchups are more appealing and he’s coming off his most effective outing of the season (6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 K in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park). The Rays and Brewers both rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored.

C.J. Wilson

DITCH

C.J. Wilson  (@TOR, @BOS)

It’s nice to see that Wilson has finally gotten back on track, with three straight outings of at least seven innings and no more than two earned runs. But his matchups next week are about as bad as they get, with the Blue Jays leading the Majors in runs scored and Wilson sporting a 5.87 ERA over his last three starts at Fenway Park. Wilson still deserves a roster spot in the majority of 12-team mixed leagues, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable pitching him in any mixed league for next week.

Aaron Harang  (@COL, @WAS)

Harang owners have to be plenty pleased with what they have gotten from him so far this year, but when it comes to next week, it’s probably a good idea to take a break from him. Among NL clubs, the Nationals trail only the Dodgers in runs scored and they rank 3rd in the Senior Circuit in home runs. Even if we forget about that matchup, starting a non-elite pitcher in Coors Field is always very risky, especially an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Harang. Outside of NL-only leagues, there’s just too much downside here.

Drew Pomeranz  (@HOU, @TB)

This one is pretty simple. While Pomeranz is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in three home starts this season, he’s 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in four road outings. So with a pair of road starts looming, he’s a ditch, though it’s possible that Pomeranz can eventually break the pattern and graduate to automatic start status for two-start weeks. But for now, I’ll pass.

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

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Chris Heston

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Al. Wood @ Latos – Latos seems to have figured things out.

Colome @ May – Still a believer in Colome despite blowup versus Yankees but I’ll play it safe and sit him versus a Twins offense that ranks 1st in the AL in runs scored this month.

Price @ Lyons

Cole @ Lester

Shoemaker @ B. Norris – Shoemaker has been erratic so far, and I don’t like this matchup.

Bradley @ Williams – Bradley a bit risky in his first start back but the matchup is too good to pass up.

Sabathia @ Duffy – Gaining confidence in CC but not ready to pitch him just yet.

Vogelsong @ Leake – Still not trusting Vogelsong.

Estrada @ Feldman

Garza @ deGrom – Garza trying for his fifth straight quality start.

Salazar @ Lewis – Tough not to start Lewis right now.

Scherzer @ Cashner

Danks @ Chavez – Chavez putting up strong K numbers and this is a favorable matchup.

Porcello @ King Felix – Sticking with Porcello.

J. De La Rosa @ Greinke

SUNDAY

Heston @ DeSclafani – Heston scares me a bit but too hard to sit him coming off his last outing.

Peralta @ Syndergaard – Peralta 2 ER or less in each of his last four starts.

Miller @ Koehler – Koehler worth considering in deeper leagues.

Richards @ Jimenez – I can never trust Ubaldo.

Collmenter @ O’Sullivan – Collmenter’s last outing was so awful that he’s at least temporarily unplayable.

Eovaldi @ Volquez – Going for it with Eovaldi despite unfavorable matchup.

Archer @ Gibson

Buehrle @ McHugh

Burnett @ Arrieta

Carrasco @ N. Martinez

Samardzija @ Kazmir – Shark owners need to keep trotting him out there.

Wright @ Paxton – Paxton in a nice groove.

Kendrick @ Bolsinger

Strasburg @ Kennedy – Strasburg owners shouldn’t panic. Kennedy is beginning to annoy me but I’ll pitch him anyway.

Simon @ Lynn – I remain skeptical on Simon but you have to honor the results.

MONDAY

Wilson @ Redmond – Wilson pitching very well right now but this matchup is about as tough as it gets.

Lackey @ Harvey

Fiers @ Lobstein – Playing it safe with Fiers in this matchup.

R. De La Rosa @ Haren – De La Rosa no sure thing but I’ll chance it.

Kluber @ Sale – All is well in Kluber Land.

Pomeranz @ McCullers – Pomeranz is 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA on the road this season.

Hamels @ Lyles

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, May 15

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Chase Anderson

ZACH’S PICKS

Locke @ Hendricks – Hendricks not a bad deep league option though.

Weaver @ W. Chen – Weaver’s CG SHO was encouraging but I’ll bench him one more time in tough matchup. Chen is on a roll.

C. Anderson @ Billingsley – Favorable matchup for Anderson, who is coming off two straight strong outings.

Bumgarner @ Marquis

Lohse @ Colon – Lohse a bit risky but Mets offense has struggled lately.

Teheran @ Phelps – How can you not pitch Phelps right now?

B. Chen @ Wandy

Pineda @ Young – Young has pitched well this year but I’m staying away here.

Odorizzi @ Hughes – Hughes too unpredictable to trust, even in appealing matchup.

Dickey @ Keuchel – Not a whole lot of upside in pitching Dickey these days.

Greene @ C. Martinez – Greene is still a ditch until further notice. Taking a chance on the scuffling Martinez against a Tigers offense that has been sub-par of late.

Rodon @ Hahn – Rodon needs to cut down on the walks, but he’s legit. Playing it safe with Hahn.

Buchholz @ Happ – Not a Buchholz fan, so I’ll just keep ditching him.

Butler @ Kershaw – Keep an eye on Butler going forward, but this isn’t the spot to pitch him.

Zimmermann @ Despaigne

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, May 14

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Trevor Bauer

ZACH’S PICKS

Wacha @ Bauer – Not going to chance it with Bauer here.

Worley @ Harang – Harang continues to get it done.

Pelfrey @ An. Sanchez

Guthrie @ Detwiler

Niese @ T. Wood

Lincecum @ Cueto – Timmy still makes me nervous but can’t argue with the results.

Whitley @ E. Ramirez

Hutchison @ R. Hernandez

Kelly @ Elias – Elias worth keeping an eye on in deeper leagues but this isn’t a good matchup.

Bettis @ B. Anderson

Fister @ Ross

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, May 13

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Adam Warren

CORY’S PICKS

Miley @ Gray

G. Gonzalez @ Hellickson

Lackey @ Kluber – Stick with Kluber. Peripherals say he will rebound.

Liriano @ Hamels

Ar. Sanchez @ M. Gonzalez

Nolasco @ Lobstein

Stults @ Iglesias

Warren @ Karns – Warren can handle the Rays’ middling offense.

Cosart @ Frias – Cosart off to a decent start, but not worth the gamble vs. the Dodgers.

Ventura @ Gallardo – Hangin’ with Yordano.

Harvey @ Hammel

Quintana @ Nelson – Have to gamble on Nelson’s K potential vs. scuffling Sox.

Hudson @ Oberholtzer

Lyles @ Santiago – Santiago’s K’s worth the gamble.

Shields @ Walker – I’ll chance Walker at home vs. righty-heavy Pads.

***ZACH SAYS “I’m still not trusting Walker until I see at least one more strong outing, and this isn’t the spot to experiment. The Pads lineup might be righty-heavy but it’s also pretty good, ranking 2nd in the NL in runs scored. Agree on rest.”

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, May 12

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James Paxton

CORY’S PICKS

Lynn @ Carrasco

Buehrle @ Tillman – almost time to panic on Tillman

Burnett @ O’Sullivan

Gibson @ Simon – Simon off to another solid start

Foltynewicz @ DeSclafani – both are risky but I’ll still chase this early in the season

Eovaldi @ Archer

Volquez @ N. Martinez – not gambling on low-K Martinez vs. Royals’ hot bats

Syndergaard @ Arrieta

Sale @ Fiers

Heston @ McHugh

Strasburg @ R. De La Rosa

Masterson @ Pomeranz

Kendrick @ Wilson

Haren @ Bolsinger

Kennedy @ Paxton – Paxton seems to have turned the corner

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/11

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Mike Leake

PITCH

Mike Leake  (vs. ATL, vs. SF)

No, Leake isn’t going to finish the season with a 2.47 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. His pedestrian strikeout rate limits his fantasy value to that of a back end of the rotation guy, but he’s certainly someone worth holding onto in 12-team mixed leagues for the foreseeable future. And he’s certainly someone who you should be starting next week when he faces a Braves club that he just dominated last week to the tune of eight shutout innings followed by a Giants team that ranks next to last in the NL in runs scored.

Josh Collmenter  (vs. WAS, @PHI)

No one was starting Collmenter at Coors Field anyway, so I’m giving him at least a partial pass for his last outing, though he did manage to make it through seven innings. Yeah, he’s kind of boring, and he’s not going to post gaudy strikeout totals. But his low WHIP, thanks to a minuscule walk rate, can be useful in deeper mixed leagues. Even in a 12-teamer, Collmenter is a quality option for favorable matchups or two-start weeks. The vs. WAS matchup is somewhat scary, but at least it’s at home, where Collmenter has been very effective over the course of his career. The @PHI matchup is a no-brainer, with the Phillies ranking dead last in the Majors in runs scored. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d give him a shot.

Wily Peralta  (vs. CHW, @NYM)

Coming off a breakthrough 2014 campaign, Peralta was inconsistent in the early going this season. But he’s now pieced together three straight starts of at least six innings and no more than two earned runs. His most recent start, versus a formidable Dodgers lineup (8 IP, 2 ER, 6 K), was especially impressive. I wouldn’t hesitate to start Peralta next week. The White Sox rank last in the AL in runs scored by a wide margin while the Mets have been at best a middle of the pack offense.

Alex Colome  (vs. NYY, @MIN)

In a 12-team mixed league, I might play it safe and pass on Colome, but he’s a very intriguing option in deeper formats. The Rays have enforced a strict pitch count so far, as Colome missed the beginning of the season due to a case of pneumonia, but we can expect him to soon go deeper into games. And seriously, what’s not to like about a 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 10-to-0 K/BB ratio? Still, the Yankees and Twins both rank in the top half of the AL in runs scored and batting average, which is why I’d only consider Colome in mixed leagues of more than 12 teams or AL-only leagues.

Ubaldo Jimenez

DITCH

Ubaldo Jimenez  (vs. TOR, vs. LAA)

Please don’t get sucked into the Ubaldo trap! I don’t care that he’s in line for two starts next week. I don’t care that he currently sports a 2.36 ERA and 0.98 WHIP to go along with 23 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He’s a tease, and he’s liable to implode at any moment. The Blue Jays lead the Majors in runs scored while the Angels lineup, despite underperforming so far, remains very dangerous. Let someone else gamble on Ubaldo.

Chris Heston  (@HOU, @CIN)

Heston looked fantastic over his first three starts this season, but two of his last three outings have been duds, and he simply doesn’t carry the track record necessary for fantasy owners to remain confident in him. Next week, Heston heads into two hitter’s parks to face two talented lineups, one of which (Houston) leads the AL in home runs. In 12-team mixed leagues, I wouldn’t have a problem with dropping him altogether.

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

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David Phelps

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

W. Chen @ Whitley – Tough matchup for Chen, but just as tough to bench him right now.

Kelly @ Hutchison

Guthrie @ An. Sanchez

Teheran @ Fister

Hughes @ B. Chen – Passing on inconsistent Hughes versus potent KC lineup.

Detwiler @ Odorizzi

Niese @ Harang – I’ll trot out both.

C. Martinez @ Worley – Expecting a bounce-back performance from Martinez.

Cueto @ Rodon – I’m going for it with Rodon, though waiting one start isn’t a bad idea.

T. Wood @ Lohse – Not a big believer in Wood while Lohse has managed only one quality start in six tries.

Kershaw @ J. De La Rosa

Ross @ C. Anderson – Taking a chance on Chase coming off impressive outing versus the Dodgers.

Keuchel @ Shoemaker

Phelps @ Bumgarner – Phelps has a 1.86 ERA over his last three starts.

Hahn @ Happ – Both are decent options in deep mixed/AL-only formats but I just don’t like these matchups.

SUNDAY

B. Norris @ Pineda – Norris a bit too unpredictable for my liking.

Buchholz @ Dickey – Buchholz way too unpredictable for my liking. Playing it safe with Dickey in tough matchup.

May @ Salazar – Key stat for Salazar: 37-to-5 K/BB ratio. Keep an eye on May.

Wandy @ Smyly – Smyly has been outstanding over his last two starts.

Al. Wood @ Zimmermann

Gee @ Billingsley – Gee has a 1.83 ERA over his last three starts and this matchup is favorable.

Lyons @ Locke

Lorenzen @ Danks – Not a very favorable venue for Lorenzen but White Sox rank second to last in the Majors in runs scored.

Hendricks @ Garza – I haven’t given up on either but it’s hard to trust them at this point.

Feldman @ Richards

Latos @ Vogelsong – Latos has been solid lately.

Chavez @ King Felix – Chavez a little risky but I’ll roll the dice.

Greinke @ Kendrick

Cashner @ TBD (ARI)

Vargas @ Greene – Raise your hand if you trust Greene at this point. I didn’t think so.

MONDAY

S. Miller @ Leake – Leake continues to get it done.

Estrada @ Jimenez

Cole @ Williams

Sabathia @ Colome – Colome has earned it.

Samardzija @ Peralta – Peralta 2 ER or less in each of his last three outings and the matchup is right.

Duffy @ Lewis – Duffy has been too erratic and I remain skeptical on Lewis.

deGrom @ Lester

Scherzer @ Collmenter – Giving Collmenter a mulligan for his shaky Coors Field outing.

Porcello @ Kazmir – Porcello over his last two starts: 2-0, 0.64 ERA, 0.86 WHIP.

Koehler @ Greinke

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