An. Sanchez @ Zimmermann
Big Erv @ W. Chen – BIG ERV!!
Milone @ McAllister – tough matchup but I’m a fan
Harang @ McDonald – McDonald MUCH tougher at home
Medlen @ Bailey
Sale @ Harvey
Diamond @ Dempster
Happ @ R. Hernandez – Happ a blue plate special for deeper leagues
Lynn @ Wood – Wood’s been getting it done, but scary matchup
Wilson @ Lyles
Grimm @ W. Peralta – bench but don’t cut scuffling Peralta
Kuroda @ De La Rosa
McCarthy @ Beckett – McCarthy’s indicators suggest improvement is coming
Sanabia @ Stults – at home vs. Marlins? YEP!
Kendrick @ Lincecum
Correia @ Kazmir – Correia’s getting it done, but regression is a cruel mistress
Colon @ Hughes – do you trust Hughes at home vs. the #1 scoring offense in MLB?
Iwakuma @ Dickey
F. Garcia @ Hanson – tough call on Hanson but I’ll play it safe vs. O’s
Quintana @ W. Davis
Scherzer @ Harrell
Lackey @ Ogando
Cingrani @ Samardzija
Wainwright @ Gallardo
Strasburg @ Locke – have to go for it w/ Locke vs. struggling Nats
J. Fernandez @ Hamels
Niese @ Teheran – risky start for Niese on the road, but I’ll take the shot
Price @ Garland
Corbin @ Richard – sticking with Richard at home
Lilly @ Vogelsong – assuming Lilly starts, I’m going for it
Pelfrey @ Kluber
Straily @ Pettitte
Saunders @ Morrow – hang with ‘em on Morrow
Peavy @ Shields
Lester @ Darvish
Hammel @ Richards
Verlander @ Humber
Harvey @ Hudson
G. Gonzalez @ Wandy
J. Garcia @ Estrada – Garcia better at home, but he’s rolling
Latos @ Jackson – Jackson is DTM
Slowey @ Halladay – Slowey worth a gamble in deeper leagues
Kennedy @ Volquez
Cobb @ Chatwood
Ryu @ Cain
Parker @ Jimenez – I like Parker better at home but appears to be turning the corner
Worley @ Buchholz
Buehrle @ Hellickson
Maholm @ Arroyo – not risking Maholm in GABP
Tepesch @ Feldman – blue plate special!
Cahill @ Capuano
LeBlanc @ Cashner
Lee @ Bumgarner
Here’s the latest installment of my two-start pitcher notes for all you weekly leaguers. Remember that these are mostly geared towards 12-team mixed leagues. Be sure to check out today’s podcast as we’re joined by the one and only Ron Shandler! Cory and Ron will go over many of these two-start options in addition to answering a bunch of listener questions.
Andrew Cashner (vs. MIA, @TB)
Since making the move from the bullpen to the starting rotation a couple weeks ago, Cashner has been maddeningly inconsistent. At times, he has looked like a dominant strikeout machine, but he has also battled some control issues. His most recent outing, on the road vs. the Cubs (4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K), was by far his worst one, so it’s hard to fully trust him heading into next week. But the strikeout upside is real and the vs. MIA matchup is extremely appealing. And it’s not like the Rays (10th in AL in runs scored and 12th in AVG) are offensive juggernauts. Pitch.
Jarrod Parker (@CLE, @SEA)
There’s no denying that Parker has been a colossal disappointment so far, but his latest performance (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) was somewhat encouraging. Still, you can’t possibly like the 2.01 WHIP and 18-to-16 K/BB ratio. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d take a chance on him next week as these matchups are far from scary. But if he fails to get the job done here, it might be time to consider cutting him in standard mixed leagues.
Bronson Arroyo (vs. ATL, vs. MIL)
Arroyo is a guy who on any given day could either toss a gem or turn in a disaster outing, and there’s simply no way to predict which Bronson will show up. For the most part, the good Arroyo has shown up this season, as he’s posted four quality starts in six tries. These matchups aren’t particularly unfavorable but they aren’t great either and Arroyo pitched significantly better on the road than at home last season. I guess the bottom line is that he makes me too nervous and I’d rather have someone else deal with the headache. Ditch.
James McDonald (vs. SEA, @NYM)
Another guy who frustrates his owners to no end, McDonald is sometimes nearly unhittable but sometimes has no idea where the ball is going. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch, and there’s a decent chance that he won’t even be making the @NYM start as the returns of Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton might bump him out of the rotation. The Pirates will need to choose between McDonald and Jeff Locke for their fifth starter spot and Locke has been the far more effective pitcher so far.
Jorge De La Rosa (vs. NYY, @STL)
I’m bullish on De La Rosa going forward and he is 4-for-6 in quality starts, but the Dodgers roughed him up pretty good on Tuesday and the reality is that he missed nearly the entire 2012 season. Let him work out the kinks first before pitching him in mixed leagues. Oh yeah, and I don’t like these matchups at all. But keep an eye on him as he could resurface on the mixed league radar fairly soon.
Nick Tepesch (@CHC, @HOU)
Tepesch did a fine job in the Minors last year and has gotten off to an equally impressive start in his first big league season, registering a 3.54 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 18-to-5 K/BB ratio over his first five outings. And on paper, these matchups are very favorable. In a 12-team mixed, I’d understand if you’re a bit hesitant to pitch him due to the limited track record, unless you’re the gambling type, but in a 15-teamer and of course an AL-only, I think I’d give it a shot.
Brandon McCarthy (@LAD, vs. PHI)
On today’s podcast, Cory and Ron said to pitch McCarthy, and while I understand their reasoning, I need to preach what I practice (I think that makes sense?) and say that if I owned McCarthy in any league (and I don’t), I would not feel at ease starting him. Zero quality starts in six tries so far and an OK but not great strikeout rate. Both the Dodgers and Phillies have been erratic offensively but both lineups have the ability to put plenty of runs on the board. I just don’t have a good feeling about this.
Zach McAllister (vs. OAK, @DET)
I’m a fan of McAllister and he’s certainly gotten off to an exceptional start this year, but it’s been too exceptional. I think a stat correction is in order, and I think it’ll happen next week. The Tigers boast one of the more dangerous lineups in baseball and these aren’t your older brother’s Oakland A’s. They can actually hit now. I’ll follow the same approach with McAllister as with De La Rosa. Ditch but monitor closely.
Leake @ Villanueva
Nolasco @ Pettibone – Nolasco pitching reasonably well but hard to trust in CBP
P. Hernandez @ Masterson – hard to trust Masterson vs. any lineup with decent lefty power
Griffin @ Sabathia – hang with ‘em on Griffin
Detwiler @ Burnett
King Felix @ Romero
Marcum @ Minor – tough matchup for Marcum if he’s not at 100%
Doubront @ Holland – risk/reward to both, but Holland pitching better
Santiago @ Guthrie – blue plate special!
Fister @ Norris
S. Miller @ Lohse
Moore @ Francis
M. Gonzalez @ Vargas
Miley @ Marquis
Kershaw @ Zito
Gee @ LeBlanc – have to “Pitch” pretty much everyone vs. Stanton-less Marlins
Diamond @ An. Sanchez
J. Gomez @ Burgos
Bailey @ Lynn
Wilson @ Milone – Wilson shares MLB lead in walks allowed
Bedard @ Phelps – Phelps has sneaky-good K upside
Lee @ Bauer – don’t trust Bauer’s command issues
Buchholz @ Buehrle
Zimmermann @ Maholm
Sale @ Tepesch – Tepesch worth a gamble in deeper leagues
Cashner @ Feldman
Hellickson @ Mendoza
Lincecum @ McCarthy – hang with ‘em on McCarthy, stuff is there
W. Chen @ Harang
Nicasio @ Beckett – Dodgers can’t hit, can’t hit at home, can’t hit righties
Humber @ Kuroda – OTOH I am picking **against** Humber in Beat the Streak
Halladay @ McAllister – tough matchup for McAllister but I’m a fan
Lester @ Morrow
Worley @ Verlander
Hefner @ Slowey – you read that right
G. Gonzalez @ T. Hudson
Quintana @ Darvish
Volquez @ Jackson – indecisive on Jackson, but might as well
McDonald @ Estrada – indecisive on McDonald, but passing this time
Cobb @ Shields
Arroyo @ J. Garcia
Bumgarner @ Cahill
Richards @ Parker – bench but don’t cut Parker, he’s pitching for his job
Hammel @ Maurer
De La Rosa @ Ryu
Medlen @ Porcello – never mind Porcello, stash Drew Smyly while you can
Happ @ Sabathia – Happ has been throwing well but it’s too risky
Tillman @ Griffin
Holland @ P. Hernandez
Peacock @ Doubront – good K potential, and blow-up potential, on both sides
Moore @ Floyd
Jimenez @ Guthrie
Blanton @ King Felix
Leake @ Haren – Leake much better on the road, and Nats struggling to score
Pettibone @ Marcum – tough matchup for his season debut, but take a shot
Burnett @ Westbrook – Westbrook due for some painful regression
Wood @ Sanabia
Francis @ Miley
Zito @ Stults – might as well!
W. Peralta @ Fife
Dickey @ Hughes – I don’t trust Hughes in Yankee Stadium
Norris @ Lackey
Price @ Axelrod
Masterson @ Mendoza – Masterson is a mirror from which we see reflected our own wants, hopes and dreams, but sometimes our worst fears as well
Ogando @ Correia
M. Gonzalez @ Colon
Vargas @ Iwakuma
Minor @ Fister
Hamels @ Niese – Niese has to start throwing more strikes, though…
Villanueva @ Nolasco
Cingrani @ Detwiler – expect to see lots and lots of fastballs and not much else
Locke @ S. Miller
Lohse @ Kershaw
Vogelsong @ Marquis
Garland @ Corbin
Harrell @ Pettitte
Pelfrey @ Scherzer
Kluber @ Davis – good gamble at home vs so-so Tribe offense
Hanson @ Anderson – not trusting Hanson vs. good offenses
TBD (BAL) @ Saunders
Strasburg @ Teheran
Harvey @ J. Fernandez
Richard @ Samardzija – Cubs can’t hit lefties so Richard is a reasonable deep-league gamble
Wandy @ Gallardo – good chance for Gallardo to get straightened out
Latos @ Wainwright
Cain @ Kennedy
Chatwood @ Lilly – Lilly looked very sharp vs. the Mets
Back with more of my two-start pitcher notes! We have a very special podcast coming your way today as Rotowire’s Jeff Erickson joins us to go over many of these two-start options and answer a bunch of listener questions, so be sure to catch the podcast when it becomes available later this afternoon.
Brett Anderson (vs. LAA, @NYY)
I’m still an Anderson fan but with a combined 17 ER allowed over his last three starts (10 2/3 IP), there’s no way I’m pitching him next week, as these matchups are far from enticing. Despite all of their injuries, the Yankees still lead the AL in homers. The Angels? Well, they only lead the AL in hits. In shallower mixed leagues, I wouldn’t be opposed to dropping Anderson. But in mixed leagues with 12 or more teams, bench but don’t cut.
Jose Quintana (@TEX, @KC)
After getting roughed up in his first outing of the season, Quintana is on a nice little run, allowing 2 ER or less in each of his last three starts while striking out 17 over 18 2/3 innings. Still, I don’t trust him enough @TEX to recommend him for next week. There are plenty of better two-start options out there.
Julio Teheran (vs. WAS, vs. NYM)
Teheran’s only quality start this season happens to be his most recent one, as he held the Rockies to one run over seven innings, and he did it pitching at Coors. Strange stuff. At just 22 years of age and coming off a dominant spring training, there’s certainly a lot to like about Teheran. But I’d like to see a little more consistency before I can consider him a no-brainer mixed league starter. These matchups aren’t awful but they aren’t great either. If you want to take a chance on him in a deep league, that’s fine. A 12-team mixed league? I’ll pass.
Edwin Jackson (vs. SD, vs. CIN)
A longtime 411 favorite, E-Jax has been nothing special thus far. On the bright side, he’s striking out roughly a batter per inning. On the other hand, he’s walking too many guys and his high pitch counts have prevented him from going more than six innings in any one of his first five starts. Also, his two worst outings have come at Wrigley, where he’ll be making both of his starts next week. I’m lukewarm about this one but in a 12-team mixed, I’d lean towards pitching E-Jax. At least you know you’ll get the K’s and he actually pitched well against both the Padres and Reds last season.
Garrett Richards (@OAK, vs. BAL)
If you asked me 24 hours ago, I would’ve said that pitching Richards next week was a decent gamble. But after last night’s mediocre performance, I’m scared off. Guess which team leads the AL in runs scored so far and is tied for 2nd in the Junior Circuit in hits? Yep, the A’s. Guess which team ranks 2nd in the AL in runs scored and 4th in hits? Yep, the Orioles. Pass.
Zach McAllister (vs. PHI, vs. MIN)
McAllister struggled in his most recent start on the road vs. the White Sox but still managed to limit the damage (5 2/3 IP, 3 ER). Overall this year, he’s been solid, limiting the opposition to a .239 batting average while sporting a 20-to-8 K/BB ratio over 23 innings. The vs. PHI matchup will be somewhat challenging but I love the vs. MIN matchup. I’d give McAllister a shot. Pitch.
Ted Lilly (vs. COL, @SF)
Quite a 2013 debut for Lilly, as the veteran lefty tossed five scoreless innings against the Mets while whiffing seven. Avoiding the DL has been Lilly’s biggest obstacle over the course of his career, but when he’s been able to pitch, he’s been very effective, particularly in the all-important K/BB department. And you have to like these matchups. Pitch.
Clayton Richard (@CHC, vs. ARI)
The poster boy for the pitch at home but ditch on the road approach, Richard is coming off a disaster outing. And it was at home. My overall confidence in him is waning, and the fact that one of these starts will be on the road combined with the fact that he’s a low-strikeout pitcher makes him a ditch in any mixed league.
Wade Davis (vs. CLE, vs. CWS)
Two great starts, two horrible starts. That’s been the story of Davis’ 2013 season. Inconsistent command and mounting pitch counts have been recurring issues and I’m not in love with these matchups. In a 15-team mixed league, you might want to take a chance on him, as he has shown the ability to post solid strikeout numbers. But in a 12-team mixed, I just don’t think that the reward is worth the risk.
Tommy Hanson (@OAK, vs. BAL)
Remember when this guy was a no doubt future ace? Hanson has been a complete enigma this year. On one hand, he’s posted two quality starts in three outings. On the other, the strikeouts have been nonexistent and the hit rate sky-high. He has the same unappealing matchups as Richards and quite frankly, I’d let him be someone else’s problem. Ditch.
Bailey @ Zimmermann
Johnson @ Nova – your patience with Johnson should not be endless, though…
Maholm @ An. Sanchez – tough matchup for Maholm, playing it safe
Feldman @ LeBlanc – why not?
Bedard @ Dempster
Kendrick @ Gee – don’t love Kendrick on the road, but after handling CIN and STL…
Kazmir @ Big Erv
R. Hernandez @ Peavy
Grimm @ Diamond – Grimm worth a gamble in deeper leagues
J. Sanchez @ Lynn
Nicasio @ McCarthy – one more shot on McCarthy at home
W. Chen @ Milone
Wilson @ Harang – don’t really trust Wilson, but Mariners don’t score much
Burgos @ Beckett – Beckett’s peripherals are still OK
Lincecum @ Cashner
***ZACH SAYS “I’d pitch Chen. 3 ER or less in each of his first four starts and the matchup is favorable. Agree on rest.”