Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 24

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins


Quintana @ M. Gonzalez – Quintana coming off nice rebound performance.
Phelps @ Buehrle – Buehrle always makes me nervous but Yanks aren’t hitting right now.
Locke @ Archer
Smyly @ Lewis – Tough matchup for Smyly but he’s on a roll.
Kershaw @ Duffy – Ditto for Duffy.
Harang @ Feldman – I don’t trust Harang. Period.
Gibson @ Wilson – Gibson 21 IP, 0 ER over his last three starts.
Peavy @ Ramirez
Heaney @ Buchanan – Buchanan worth a look in NL-only leagues though.
Kazmir @ Colon – Interesting matchup.
Bailey @ Arrieta – Sticking with Bailey. Going for it with Arrieta at home.
Zimmermann @ Gallardo
Miller @ J. De La Rosa – Miller at Coors worries me.
Masterson @ Miley – Playing it safe with both in tough environment.
Hahn @ Hudson


Quintana @ M. Gonzalez
Phelps @ Buehrle – Buehrle is 13-for-15 in QS this year, gotta go for it
Locke @ Archer
Smyly @ Lewis
Kershaw @ Duffy
Harang @ Feldman – Harang is fading
Gibson @ Wilson - Gibson is on a nice run but I’m not sold yet
Peavy @ Ramirez
Heaney @ Buchanan – impressive debut for Heaney, let’s try again
Kazmir @ Colon – ironic matchup, huh??
Bailey @ Arrieta
@ Gallardo
Miller @ J. De La Rosa
Masterson @ Miley
Hahn @ Hudson

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/23

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins


Andrew Heaney (@PHI, vs. OAK)

Yeah, it was the Mets, but I really liked what I saw from Heaney in his big league debut. The one walk over six innings was very encouraging, as it shows that he has successfully carried over his stellar control to the big league level. I mean, how many times have we seen young pitchers struggle to consistently throw strikes upon their first promotion to the Majors? These are by no means easy matchups, but Heaney is the type of talent that deserves a spot in your active lineup regardless of the opponent, at least until he proves otherwise.

Bartolo Colon (vs. OAK, @PIT)

After getting roughed up by the Yankees on May 12th, Colon has been on quite a roll, going 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over his last six starts. The A’s are the highest scoring team in the Majors but they aren’t quite as good on the road, where they have posted a .709 OPS, this compared to a .796 mark at home. Plus, Colon boasts a 2.34 ERA through five starts at Citi Field this year. As for the Pirates, despite making some headway offensively this month, they still rank in the middle of the pack in runs scored.

Drew Smyly (@TEX, @HOU)

Even though he has been very up and down this year, Smyly has now turned in three straight excellent performances. High pitch counts have been an issue at times, but efficiency is a skill that he could easily improve upon as he gains more big league starting experience. Facing the Rangers in Arlington is no easy task, but somewhat surprisingly, Texas ranks in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored at home this season. Regardless, Smyly has the type of stuff that can baffle any lineup when he’s on his game. While the Astros offense is no longer a laughingstock, we’re not exactly talking about a run-scoring machine.

Wei-Yin Chen (vs. CHW, vs. TB)

Chen might seem like the riskiest of my four Pitch recommendations, but in four starts since the calendar turned to June, he’s 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. In seven home starts this season, he’s 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. The White Sox and Rays both rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored this month. What’s not to like?


Aaron Harang (@HOU, @PHI)

What can I say, I simply don’t trust this guy. And now is as good a time as any to jump off the Harang bandwagon (my condolences to those of you who pitched him for his last start). On paper, these matchups seem decent, but Harang will go up against a Phillies team that lit him up just a few days ago and an Astros lineup that is not nearly as inept as last year’s version. Harang owners would be wise to cash in their chips now before it really gets to be too late.

Marcus Stroman (vs. NYY, vs. CHW)

Stroman certainly has a bright future, but as his last start against the Yankees demonstrated, growing pains are a part of the game for any young pitcher. The six walks over 28 innings is a great sign. The 38 hits? Not so much. A solid week here would get Stroman back into my good graces. But for now, in a 12-team mixed league, I’ll take a wait and see approach.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 21-23

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers



Norris @ Nuno

Young @ Vargas – Young pitching fairly well of late but Royals lead AL in runs scored this month. Vargas has posted five straight quality starts.

Rienzo @ Correia

R. De La Rosa @ Chavez

Peacock @ Odorizzi – I’ll give Peacock another shot in rematch with Rays.

Verlander @ Bauer – Who woulda thunk it? Watch Verlander throw a shutout here. Playing it safe with Bauer in tough matchup.

N. Martinez @ Weaver

Happ @ Leake – Scary matchup for Leake.

Hamels @ Wainwright – Nice!

Peralta @ Friedrich – Taking the conservative route with Peralta at Coors.

deGrom @ Koehler – Koehler has fallen back down to earth but this matchup is too enticing to pass up.

Worley @ T. Wood – Wood a decent option in deeper leagues but I’m just not a fan.

Teheran @ Fister

Beckett @ T. Ross – Fading Ross far from an automatic pitch versus strong lineup.

Vogelsong @ McCarthy – Not overly confident in Vogelsong though.


Scherzer @ Tomlin

Keuchel @ Bedard

Tillman @ Tanaka

Elias @ Ventura – Elias coming off a gem but it was against the Padres. Borderline call.

Danks @ Hughes – Danks 2 ER or less in each of his last five starts.

Lester @ Milone – Always pitch Milone at home.

Darvish @ TBD (LAA)

Dickey @ Cueto – Not a great environment for Dickey but Reds offense has underperformed this year.

Niese @ DeSclafani

Big Erv @ Roark – Roark continues to get it done.

Kendrick @ C. Martinez

Cumpton @ Hammel

Ryu @ Stults

Lohse @ Matzek

Bumgarner @ Bolsinger


Sale @ W. Chen – Rolling the dice on Chen at home.

Whitley @ Stroman – Could be 10-9 or 2-1. I’ll pass.

Volquez @ Cobb

Greinke @ Guthrie

Lackey @ King Felix

Eovaldi @ R. Hernandez

G. Gonzalez @ Garza – Hopefully, Gio has shaken off the rust.

Simon @ Samardzija

Lynn @ Chacin – Only 6 HR allowed by Lynn through 15 starts.

Despaigne @ Cain – If Cain gets roughed up here, we have a big problem.

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 20

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Toronto Blue Jays


Porcello @ Kluber

Jimenez @ Kuroda

Cosart @ Price

Iwakuma @ Shields – mmmm delicious pitching!

Noesi @ Nolasco

Saunders @ Richards

Doubront @ Mills

Morton @ Jackson

Minor @ Strasburg

Hendriks @ Latos

Matsuzaka @ Alvarez

Burnett @ J. Garcia – Garcia very sold since his return

Estrada @ Bergman – not in Coors, no thanks

Lincecum @ Collmenter

Haren @ Kennedy

***ZACH SAYS “Particularly in deeper leagues, Cosart makes for an intriguing option versus a Rays club that ranks dead last in the AL in runs scored. Agree on rest.”

Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, June 19

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets


Wilson @ Masterson
Duffy @ An. Sanchez – Tough matchup for Duffy but equally tough to bench him coming off latest gem.
Hutchison @ Phelps
McHugh @ Archer – Not overly confident in either though.
Quintana @ Pino
Peavy @ Kazmir
Bailey @ Locke
Gallardo @ C. Anderson – Anderson getting it done.
E. Ramirez @ Hahn
Floyd @ Zimmermann – I’ll trust Floyd here.
Wheeler @ Heaney – Wheeler cannot be trusted right now. Nice matchup for Heaney’s debut.
Buchanan @ Miller

Pitch or Ditch for Wednesday, June 18

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Baltimore Orioles


Guthrie @ Smyly
Gausman @ Cobb – Gausman living up to the hype since his latest promotion
Gibson @ Lackey
Hudson @ Sale
Tepesch @ Gray
Wilson @ Masterson – can’t trust Masterson until further notice
Buehrle @ Whitley
R. Hernandez @ Harang – roll with Harangatang vs. weak-hitting Phillies
Arrieta @ Eovaldi
Colon @ Lynn
Feldman @ G. Gonzalez – surprisingly tough matchup for Gio’s return
Simon @ Volquez
Garza @ Miley
J. De La Rosa @ Kershaw
King Felix @ Cashner – stay up late for this one!


Pitch or Ditch for Tuesday, June 17

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics


Stults @ Elias – Elias’ overall numbers are solid despite the occasional bomb
Shoemaker @ Tomlin – Tomlin will regress, but so far, so good
Stroman @ Tanaka – still playin’ it safe on Stroman, but not for much longer
Ventura @ Scherzer
Hughes @ Lester
M. Gonzalez @ Bedard
Cain @ Danks – Danks has his moments but the Giants have been solid offensively
Darvish @ Milone – yes on Milone at home!
@ Roark– surprising high-quality matchup of the night!
@ Cumpton
Kendrick @ Big Erv
@ DeSclafani
Niese @ Wacha
@ Miley
Chacin @ Greinke

Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/16

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers


John Danks (vs. SF, @MIN)

Danks was tough to rely on in mixed leagues for the first quarter of the season, but in four starts since getting bombed by the Astros on May 18th, he’s registered a 1.53 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. Surprisingly, the Giants and Twins both rank in the top half of the Majors in runs scored this season, but neither offense truly scares me. All in all, this is a situation where I’ll pay more attention to the recent performance of the pitcher.

Tommy Milone (vs. TEX, vs. BOS)

When it comes to Milone, it’s always been simple. When he’s on the road, you ditch him. When he’s at home, you pitch him. This season has been no different, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in five home starts compared to 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven starts away from Oakland. Better yet, Milone is fresh off two straight quality starts on the road. But that’s besides the point, because he’s at home next week. The matchups aren’t overly appealing, but the Rangers and Red Sox both rank in the bottom half of the AL in runs scored on the road. But most importantly, Milone’s home/away split needs to be taken seriously. In mixed leagues of 12 or more teams, I’d give it a shot.

Marcus Stroman (@NYY, @CIN)

Following a brief stint in the bullpen, Stroman’s career as a big league starter has gotten off to a fine beginning, as he’s notched three straight quality starts while posting a stellar 17-to-2 K/BB ratio. At first glance, these matchups might seem unfavorable. But the Yankees and Reds have been arguably the two most disappointing offenses in all of baseball this season, both ranking in the bottom third of their respective leagues in runs scored. There’s still plenty of talent in those lineups, however, making Stroman a somewhat risky play. But in mixed leagues of at least 12 teams, I think it’s a risk worth taking.

Tom Koehler (vs. CHC, vs. NYM)

After getting off to a ridiculously good start to the season, Koehler is currently going through a regression phase that was simply inevitable. That said, he’s only had one disaster outing so far this year, and each of his last two mediocre starts came on the road in AL parks, so it’s not like he was a serious pitch candidate anyway. Although I recommended to bench Koehler for the one start against the Cubs, I’d at least think about using him for two-start pitcher purposes in deeper mixed leagues. The Cubs are still a sub-par offense, and when you add the vs. NYM matchup to the mix, Koehler becomes a lot more intriguing, as his best start of the season came against the Amazins (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Plus, he’s still 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six home starts this year.


Roenis Elias (vs. SD, @KC)

Based on the matchups, it’s very tempting to pitch Elias, as the Padres and Royals rank 30th and 23rd respectively in the Majors in runs scored. I’d be careful though. In addition to getting roughed up by the Yankees on Thursday, the last time Elias has allowed three runs or less in consecutive starts was over a month ago. The bottom line is that the consistency just hasn’t been there. Like in the case of Danks, the pitcher’s recent results outweigh the quality of the matchups.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago White Sox

Wade Miley (vs. MIL, vs. SF)

I expected better from Miley this season. Although he usually pitches decently enough to keep his team in the game, he’s allowed less than three runs in just four of his 15 starts, and that just doesn’t cut it when it comes to mixed league relevancy. In 12-team mixed leagues, he belongs on the waiver wire. In deeper mixed leagues, he still deserves a roster spot but should not be started for next week’s pair of home starts. Why? Well, Miley holds a 1-5 record with a 5.69 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in eight home starts this year. I think that’s a good enough reason.

Pitch or Ditch for Saturday-Monday, June 14-16

MLB: Washington Nationals at Houston Astros



Duffy @ Noesi – Not giving up on Duffy but need to see a little more consistency.

Dickey @ Norris – Not a good matchup for the erratic Dickey.

House @ Peavy – Peavy just one quality start over his last six outings.

Deduno @ An. Sanchez

Archer @ Cosart – Archer’s on a roll. Cosart a worthy gamble with Rays offense ranking dead last in AL in runs scored.

Kuroda @ Kazmir

Saunders @ E. Ramirez

Jackson @ Buchanan

Bergman @ Vogelsong – Vogelsongcoming off worst outing in awhile but Rockies are a mediocre offense away from Coors.

TBD (SD) @ Wheeler – Wheeler struggling but this is an ultra-favorable matchup.

Morton @ Wolf – Morton 3 ER or less in eight of his last nine starts.

Cingrani @ Gallardo – Both are a bit risky though.

Richards @ Floyd – Floyd coming back down to earth and this matchup is no cakewalk.

Strasburg @ Miller – Shelby coming off CG SHO against tough Blue Jays lineup.

Collmenter @ Haren – Fading Haren worries me a little though.


Nolasco @ Porcello – Porcello no sure thing though as Twins actually rank 2nd in AL in both runs scored and batting average in the month of June.

Happ @ Tillman – Tillman still not trustworthy in tougher matchups.

Kluber @ Workman – Keep an eye on Workman but Indians are the highest scoring team in the Majors in the month of June.

Shields @ Rienzo

Price @ Peacock – Peacock continues to get it done.

Nuno @ Chavez

Martinez @ Iwakuma

Kennedy @ Matsuzaka – Dice-K an intriguing option in deep mixed/NL-only leagues.

TBD (PIT) @ Alvarez

T. Wood @ Burnett – Not jumping ship on Burnett yet.

Leake @ Estrada – Leake’s last two starts have been disturbing. Sticking with Estrada one more time, though benching him is understandable if you want to play it safe.

Fister @ J. Garcia – Not super confident in Garcia but he’s been very impressive overall.

Nicasio @ Bumgarner

Arroyo @ Beckett

Santiago @ Minor – Santiago could become a mixed league factor soon.


Weaver @ Bauer – Bauer no sure thing but I’ll chance it.

Vargas @ Verlander – One more bad start from Verlander and he’ll be a ditch.

Correia @ R. De La Rosa

W. Chen @ Odorizzi – Chen worth using vs. offensively challenged Rays.

Lewis @ Pomeranz – Not completely sold on Pomeranz but hard to argue with the results.

T. Ross @ Young – Young pitching well enough to earn the nod here in favorable matchup.

Hamels @ Teheran

Hammel @ Koehler – Koehler is well into the pumpkin transformation process.

deGrom @ Martinez – deGrom fading lately.

Peralta @ McCarthy

Matzek @ Ryu

Pitch or Ditch for Friday, June 13

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets


Hutchison @ Jimenez

Gibson @ Smyly

Masterson @ Lackey – is Masterson back on track? Let’s find out

Guthrie @ Quintana

Cobb @ McHugh – I’m not sold on McHugh but man the Rays just can’t score

Phelps @ Gray

Tepesch @ King Felix

Arrieta @ R. Hernandez

Cashner @ Colon – Colon pitching better and Padres still not scoring

Locke @ Eovaldi

Wilson @ Harang

Bailey @ Garza

Zimmermann @ Lynn

C. Anderson @ Kershaw – Anderson is on a roll, let’s push it

J. De La Rosa @ Lincecum


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