Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 11

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Miguel Gonzalez

ZACH’S PICKS

Shipley @ Syndergaard – Shipley worth considering in deeper leagues but the walks are a concern.

Friedrich @ Taillon – Taillon sports a 2.62 ERA since the beginning of July.

Fister @ Berrios (Gm 1) – Keep an eye on Berrios going forward though.

Devenski @ Milone (Gm 2)

Bettis @ Harrell

R. Hernandez @ Garza

Tillman @ Triggs

Chacin @ Kluber

Pineda @ E. Rodriguez – Scary matchup for Pineda.

C. Martinez @ Lester

M. Gonzalez @ Duffy – Seven straight quality starts for Gonzalez and the Royals rank among the bottom two teams in the Majors in both runs scored and OPS since the All-Star break.

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 10

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Robbie Ray

ZACH’S PICKS

Samardzija @ Phelps – The inconsistency continues for Samardzija. Pitch only in deeper formats.

Hellickson @ Kazmir

Tomlin @ G. Gonzalez – Tomlin coming off rough outing and this is a tough matchup.

Jackson @ Vogelsong

Snell @ Happ – Snell pitching well lately but I’ll play it safe in this matchup.

Ray @ Colon – Ray always a fine source of K’s and the Mets offense ranks 14th in the NL in runs and 5th in strikeouts.

Eovaldi @ Pomeranz

DeSclafani @ Garcia – Garcia has been far from consistent this season but I’ll take a chance on him here.

J. De La Rosa @ M. Perez

Nolasco @ Hammel

De La Cruz @ Ch. Anderson

Keuchel @ Big Erv – Erv sports a 2.02 ERA since the beginning of July.

Quintana @ Kennedy

Gallardo @ Detwiler

Verlander @ King Felix

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 9

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Tom Koehler

ZACH’S PICKS

Griffin @ Chatwood – There’s nothing to like about this matchup for Chatwood.

Bauer @ Scherzer

Perdomo @ Kuhl – Kuhl worth a look in deeper formats.

Smyly @ Estrada – Smyly has pitched well lately but this is a very tough matchup.

Greinke @ Matz

Severino @ Porcello – Keep an eye on Severino but I’m not pitching him at Fenway.

Moore @ Koehler – Koehler’s home ERA (3.70) is more than half of a run lower than his road mark (4.29) and the Giants rank 14th in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break.

Weaver @ Lackey

Jenkins @ Peralta

Fiers @ Santiago – Both are decent options but I’ll play it safe in 12-team mixed leagues.

Sale @ Volquez

Finnegan @ Leake – Leake really struggling of late. I still don’t fully trust Finnegan.

Miley @ Neal – Miley an intriguing deep-league option here.

D. Norris @ LeBlanc – Taking a wait and see approach with Norris.

Velasquez @ Maeda

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

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Zach Davies

Hey everyone,

Hot off the press is a fresh batch of my two-start pitcher notes. And better yet, the full version is right here on the blog, so let’s get started.

Standard mixed leagues

Zach Davies (vs. ATL, vs. CIN)

The owner of a solid 3.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP through 19 starts in his first full big league season, Davies is well deserving of a secure spot on most mixed league rosters. Unlike many young hurlers, the Brewers righty has been very consistent, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 13 of his 16 starts dating back to the beginning of May. Look for the 23-year-old to turn in two more quality performances next week, as the Reds and Braves rank 25th and 30th, respectively, in the Majors in OPS. Plus, in two starts versus the Reds this season, Davies boasts a 1.42 ERA and 0.79 WHIP.

Kevin Gausman (@OAK, @SF)

After allowing six runs over three innings in a loss to the Blue Jays on July 29, Gausman bounced back on Wednesday, limiting a dangerous Rangers lineup to two runs across seven innings while tallying seven strikeouts. Do not be surprised if the Orioles righty finds further success in next week’s Bay Area tour. Gausman will take the mound in a pair of pitcher-friendly ballparks to face a pair of teams that rank in the bottom half of the Majors in both runs scored and OPS at home.

Hector Santiago (vs. HOU, vs. KC)

Santiago’s outstanding July (6-0, 1.78 ERA) has helped to salvage what had been a disappointing 2016 season. Now pitching for the Twins, the 28-year-old southpaw was not overly impressive in his debut for his new club (5 IP, 4 ER), but the matchup was a tough one, versus an Indians team that ranks 2nd in the AL in runs scored. Santiago will be rewarded with two favorable matchups next week, as the Royals rank last in the AL in runs while the Astros rank 10th in the Junior Circuit in both runs and OPS. Santiago’s ability to miss bats (career 8.2 K/9) only adds to his two-start week appeal, and the Astros just so happen to lead the AL in strikeouts.

Deeper mixed leagues

Tyler Anderson (vs. TEX, @PHI)

At this point, it is clear that Anderson belongs in the Majors. His first ten big league starts have resulted in a stellar 3.25 ERA and 52-to-12 K/BB ratio across 61 innings. The Rockies southpaw does not have the luxury of two favorable matchups next week, as an already strong Rangers lineup was further bolstered at the trade deadline with the additions of Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy. For this reason, Anderson is more of a deep-league option. But the Phillies rank among the bottom two teams in the Majors in both runs scored and OPS. In addition, Anderson fared well in a start against Philadelphia last month, tossing six innings of two-run ball while whiffing six.

Wade Miley (@OAK, @SF)

Although inconsistency has been an issue for Miley this season, prior to his outing on Thursday, the veteran southpaw was in the midst of a strong three-start stretch during which he registered a 2.79 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 7.9 K/9 rate. And his Thursday performance was against a tough Rangers lineup. Next week’s matchups are far more favorable. The A’s rank 23rd in the Majors in OPS while the Giants place in the bottom third of the league in both runs scored and OPS since the All-Star break. The new Oriole makes for an intriguing two-start option for those in deeper formats.

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

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Tyler Skaggs

ZACH’S PICKS

SATURDAY

Kluber @ Sabathia

E. Rodriguez @ Stripling

Arrieta @ S. Gray – Gray has been a huge disappointment this year.

Berrios @ Archer – Archer finally showing some consistency.

Bailey @ Nova – I need to see more than just one start from Bailey.

Cain @ Strasburg

Tillman @ Rodon – Not a good matchup for the up and down Rodon.

Verrett @ Boyd

Harrell @ Fister – Fister has fared well versus Rangers this season (2.25 ERA over two starts) but he’s still too risky here.

R. Hernandez @ C. Martinez

Ar. Sanchez @ Duffy – Challenging matchup for Duffy but he’s earned must-start status.

Cashner @ Bettis – Not chancing it with Cashner at Coors.

Garza @ Corbin

Thompson @ Clemens

Skaggs @ Walker – Skaggs has yet to allow a run through 12 1/3 innings this season and the Mariners rank 24th in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. Let’s see how Walker does in his first start back.

SUNDAY

Carrasco @ Tanaka

Gibson @ Andriese – Andriese worth a shot in deeper formats though.

deGrom @ An. Sanchez

Straily @ Cole – Six straight quality starts for Straily.

Bumgarner @ Roark

Bundy @ Shields – Bundy deserves the nod. Scary matchup for Shields.

Darvish @ Musgrove

Foltynewicz @ Wainwright

Stroman @ Ventura – Stroman pitching better of late and I like this matchup.

Hendricks @ Manaea

Shoemaker @ Paxton – Paxton a borderline call but the Angels offense has been hot lately.

Conley @ J. Gray – I’ll steer clear of Conley at Coors just to be safe, though home runs have not been a problem for him this year.

Nelson @ Bradley – Not overly enthusiastic about either pitcher here.

Eickhoff @ Cosart

Price @ McCarthy – Hard to trust McCarthy right now, especially in this matchup.

MONDAY

Odorizzi @ Dickey

Cueto @ Fernandez

Whalen @ Davies – Tasty matchup for Davies.

McHugh @ Duffey – McHugh coming off solid bounceback outing.

Reed @ Wacha

Hamels @ T. Anderson – Anderson continues to impress but this matchup scares me.

Gausman @ Graveman

Fulmer @ Iwakuma

Eflin @ Urias

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Pitch or Ditch for Friday, August 5

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Jeremy Hellickson

ZACH’S PICKS

DeSclafani @ Taillon – Taillon has been impressive so far.

Tomlin @ Pineda – Pineda cannot be trusted.

Samardzija @ G. Gonzalez – Tough matchup for the inconsistent Samardzija. I’ll sit this one out.

Big Erv @ Snell

Syndergaard @ Verlander

Gallardo @ M. Gonzalez

M. Perez @ Keuchel – Keuchel coming off his worst outing in awhile, but I’ll stick with him.

De La Cruz @ Garcia – I’m expecting a solid bounceback performance from Garcia.

Liriano @ Gee

Phelps @ J. De La Rosa

Ch. Anderson @ Shipley

Lester @ Overton

S. Wright @ Kazmir

Lincecum @ King Felix

Hellickson @ Friedrich – Hellickson has allowed 3 ER or fewer in seven of his last eight starts and the Padres rank 13th in the NL in OPS.

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Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, August 4

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Bartolo Colon

ZACH’S PICKS

Kennedy @ Smyly – Kennedy coming off stellar bounceback outing. I still have a hard time trusting Smyly.

Santiago @ Clevinger – Challenging matchup for Santiago in Twins debut. I’ll pass.

Leake @ Finnegan – Leake has not been sharp of late but I do like this matchup.

Moore @ Velasquez – I’m expecting big things from Moore the rest of the way.

Quintana @ Zimmermann – Taking a chance on Zimmermann despite it being his first start back.

Colon @ Eovaldi – Colon’s ERA since the All-Star break is a disappointing 4.91, but the Yankees offense is not so scary these days, ranking 28th in the Majors in OPS this season.

Hahn @ Nolasco – Keep an eye on Hahn though.

Griffin @ Miley

Vogelsong @ Jenkins

Happ @ Fiers – Fiers way too risky here.

Maeda @ Chatwood – Chatwood pretty much an automatic sit when at home.

Pomeranz @ Miranda

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Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, August 3

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Kendall Graveman

ZACH’S PICKS

Koehler @ Lackey – Scary matchup for Koehler.

Guerra @ Jackson

Scherzer @ Godley

Matz @ Green

Cueto @ Nola – Nola has yet to earn back my trust.

Hamels @ Gausman – Probably a good idea to bench all non-elite pitchers versus Rangers now.

Sale @ Fulmer

Volquez @ Odorizzi – Odorizzi is on a roll.

Duffey @ Bauer

Locke @ Whalen

Wacha @ Reed

Estrada @ McHugh – McHugh coming off disaster outing and the Blue Jays offense is pretty good.

Stewart @ T. Anderson – Anderson continues to get the job done but the Dodgers ranked 1st in the NL in OPS in July. I’ll play it safe here.

Graveman @ Weaver – In five July starts, Graveman went 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.03 WHIP and he’s pitched to a 1.83 ERA in three starts versus the Angels this season.

Porcello @ Iwakuma – Iwakuma a borderline call but this is a tough matchup.

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Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, August 2

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Astros Angels Baseball

ZACH’S PICKS

Bumgarner @ Eflin

Darvish @ Bundy – Too tough of a matchup for Bundy.

Shields @ An. Sanchez – Shields continues to be a risky play though.

Ventura @ Andriese – Keep an eye on Andriese.

Gibson @ Carrasco

Tanaka @ deGrom

Cole @ Foltynewicz

Wainwright @ Straily – Five straight quality starts for Straily but I don’t like this matchup. Pitch only in deeper formats.

Fernandez @ Hammel

Dickey @ McCullers – Challenging matchup for McCullers but you gotta love those strikeouts.

McCarthy @ J. Gray – McCarthy was shaky in his last outing. I’ll sit him at Coors. Gray sports a 1.89 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in five starts since the beginning of July.

Roark @ Ray – Playing it safe with Ray here.

Manaea @ Shoemaker – Shoemaker boasts a 0.75 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in two starts versus the A’s this season.

Price @ LeBlanc

Davies @ Perdomo

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Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/1

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Happy Friday to all,

My two-start pitcher article will be of the blog-only variety this week, so there aren’t any links to click. Everything you need to know is right here. Tough week for two-start pitchers as many of the guys who might be available in your league or sitting on your bench are in line for difficult matchups. But here are five to consider. Note that the stats included are accurate through Wednesday’s games.

Jon Gray

Standard mixed leagues

Jon Gray (vs. LAD, vs. MIA)

Overcoming inconsistency can be a challenge for any young pitcher, but if Gray’s recent results are any indication, he is making major strides towards meeting that challenge. The Rockies righty registered a stellar 1.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 8.4 K/9 rate across five July starts, and it would not be surprising to see him carry over his strong July into his first two August outings. The Dodgers and Marlins rank 19th and 21st, respectively, in the Majors in runs scored and Gray pitched well against Miami back on June 17th, tossing six innings of two-run ball.

Matt Moore (vs. KC, vs. MIN)

Aside from a rough May (7.36 ERA), Moore has been a reliable contributor to mixed league squads this season. Since his final June outing, the Rays lefty has taken his game to a new level, posting a 1.99 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over his last six starts. The 27-year-old now heads into a two-start week with a pair of favorable matchups, as the Twins and Royals rank 26th and 28th, respectively, in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. Plus, both of these starts will come at home, where Moore sports a 3.46 ERA and a 1.10  WHIP this season compared to a 4.94 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP on the road.

Archie Bradley (vs. WAS, vs. MIL)

Another former top prospect who is showing steady progress, Bradley boasts a 2.62 ERA over his last four starts. Fresh off a dominant performance on Wednesday in which he limited the Brewers to just one run across seven innings, the Diamondbacks righty heads into a two-start week with one tough matchup followed by one favorable matchup. While the Brewers rank 12th in the NL in runs scored this season, the Nationals place in the top-5 in the Senior Circuit in both runs and OPS. But the Washington offense has not been quite as productive this month, ranking 7th in the NL in runs and 8th in OPS. Overall, Bradley has pitched well enough lately to earn the nod for next week, and his strikeout ability (8.7 K/9 this season) adds to his appeal.

Deeper mixed leagues

Doug Fister (vs. TOR, vs. TEX)

Fister struggled on Tuesday, as the Yankees tagged him for six runs in just 4 2/3 innings. But the Astros righty was coming off a three-start stretch during which he registered a combined 2.25 ERA. The Blue Jays and Rangers both rank in the top-3 in the AL in runs scored, so Fister should only be considered in deeper formats. That said, the 32-year-old veteran has fared well against the Rangers this season, posting a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP through two starts.

Zach Eflin (vs. SF, @SD)

Eflin’s poor outing on Wednesday against the Marlins (5 IP, 7 ER) makes him a risky play for next week. But the 22-year-old rookie was coming off a three-hit shutout, which capped an impressive stretch of six straight quality starts. The Padres rank 26th in the Majors in OPS while the Giants rank 23rd in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. For owners in deeper leagues, starting the Phillies righty could be a risk worth taking.

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