Archive for August 31, 2012

Pitch & Ditch: September 1

Jhoulys Chacin – Colorado Rockies – vs. San Diego
I hate the 75 pitch limit the Rockies have put on their starters, but Chacin has proven he can still go deep enough into games. While control has always been an issue, he has walked just 2 batters in 11.0 since coming off the DL.

As I have said before, throw out his early season struggles as there was some poor luck and an injury at play. He has plenty of upside, especially against a team he held to a 2.50 ERA in 18.0 innings in 2011. The Padres offense isn’t going to scare anyone, so using Chacin makes a lot of sense.

The pitch count limits his potential for a W, but it obviously doesn’t eliminate it. Roll with him for his chance at good ratios and some K (17 strikeouts in his meetings with San Diego last season).

Waiver Worthy: Free Agent Finds Who Can Boost Your Ratio Stats

by Will Overton

Last week I emphasized the importance of narrowing in on a specific category specialist when looking through your waiver wire to find the right fit for your team and what you need. I focused on base stealers in my last waiver report, this week I am going to be looking at the forgotten guys on waiver wires, the guys who help you in ratio categories.

Fair warning, this topic is geared more towards head to head players building for the playoffs, but roto players can get use out of this too. Ratio specialists get overlooked because at times it feels impossible to really make or lose ground in ratio categories with just one guy. In a head to head league though where you have a guy like Adam Dunn or Pedro Alvarez on your team for power, a high average specialist can be played if for no reason than to balance the other guys out.

The same goes for pitchers too. You like to have the flame throwers who rack up K’s, but some of those guys area risk every start to walk five batters, like a Yu Darvish, and blow your WHIP up. Or someone like Max Scherzer may go out and give up 8 ER in 3 IP. This is where the less attractive options who steadily go 6 – 7 IP with 2 ER come in handy, even if they don’t get K’s. Read more

Pitch & Ditch – August 31

Remember, the requirements to be eligible for this is to be owned in less than 60% of both ESPN and CBS formats. If someone is available in more than that, are they really a pitch and ditch candidate? It makes it difficult sometimes, but if you are going to stream pitchers it is supposed to be difficult.  Also, starting tonight I will be revealing the pick for the next day at around 7 PM EST.  Now, onto the pick:

August 30 Results:
Zach Britton – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 10 K, W
Well, if you decided to stream Britton yesterday I would say you hit a home run, wouldn’t you?

Today’s Pick:
Mike Leake @ Houston
Streaming pitchers could simply come down to taking whoever is facing the Astros, couldn’t it? I mean, you are almost guaranteed a victory. Plus, the lineup feels like that of a Triple-A team (or on some nights a Double-A team).

The Astros entered Thursday with a .238 average (fourth worst in the league) and 474 runs (fewest in the league). Amazingly they have been even worse in August, hitting just .220 as a team.

While Leake isn’t going to be a huge source of strikeouts, he is coming off a good start against the Cardinals (2 ER in 6.2 innings) and tossed a complete game against the Mets earlier in the month (yea, they sandwiched a poor outing, but those happen). He could easily add 5 strike outs or so and a victory over the Astros. That makes him worthy of rolling the dice on.
Confidence Level – Moderate

Around the Majors: August 31: Britton Shines, Lester Struggles, A. Gordon Streaks & Much More

We have a few hitters really turning up the dial, like Alex Gordon, Bryce Harper and Josh Reddick.  We saw some pitchers shine, like Zach Britton & Ian Kennedy.  We had some pitchers fall flat, like Justin Masterson and Jon Lester.  Let’s look at their performances and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

  1. Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles – Starting Pitcher - It was a dominant outing for Britton, allowing 1 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 innings to defeat the Chicago White Sox.  He has now won three straight starts allowing 3 ER over 20.2 innings of work.  While the strikeouts were impressive yesterday, over his minor league career he posted a K/9 of 7.29, so I wouldn’t get too excited over it as it is not a number we should expect to continue.  That said, he should generate enough strikeouts and have good enough control (3.25 BB/9 in the minor leagues) to excel thanks to his ability to generate groundballs.  In 35 starts prior to yesterday he had a 54.6% groundball rate and of his 10 non-strikeouts he got 8 groundballs.  While the AL East is tough, he is a pitcher that is definitely worth considering while he is pitching well like this.

More Quick Thoughts:

  • Justin Masterson continues to frustrate fantasy owners as he was once again rocked by the Oakland A’s.  Over 4.0 innings he allowed 8 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 3.  Considering he’s supposed to be a groundball pitcher, the fact that he allowed 3 HR is especially concerning.  While he does still have potential and I wouldn’t completely write him off, it’s hard to recommend having him anywhere but your bench right now (and I wouldn’t be against cutting bait if you haven’t already if you need the roster spot).  It’s hard to imagine him earning our trust once again over the final month of the season. Read more

Could August Fizzlers Be September Sizzlers: Hitter’s BABIP Edition

Let’s take a look at who has struggled with a poor BABIP in August, which could lead to a big finish to the season if the luck turns in their favor:

1. Jason Kubel – Arizona Diamondbacks – .161
2. Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox – .179
3, Michael Saunders – Seattle Mariners – .192
4t. Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies – .200
4t. Carlos Pena – Tampa Bay Rays – .200
6. Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees – .213
7. Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners – .214
8t. Kelly Johnson – Toronto Blue Jays – .220
8t. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – .220
10. Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals – .227

Others notables who have struggled - Freddie Freeman (.230), Bryce Harper (.239), Albert Pujols (.246), Matt Wieters (.246), Salvador Perez (.247) and Ian Kinsler (.250)

Notes:

  • I know Jason Kipnis has struggled since a hot start, but it is hard to imagine him continuing to struggle this badly.  His line drive rate was down in August (15.0%), but he had been at 23.5% each of the previous three months .  While he’s hitting .171 in August, there is no reason to think that he isn’t going to get things turned around (especially with the expected improvement to his line drive rate).  Read more

Pitch & Ditch – August 30

Yesterday’s Results:
Joe Kelly @ Pittsburgh – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 3 K
This one certainly didn’t pan out, but that’s going to happen from time-to-time when you stream pitchers.  Now, the question becomes if Kelly will even get another start or if the team will either go back to Lance Lynn or recall Shelby Miller once rosters expand over the weekend.  As I’ve said, I’m guessing Miller gets a shot but time will tell.

Today’s Pick:
Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles – vs. Chicago White Sox
It is honestly slim pickings for a streaming option today, with a smaller schedule and a lot of heavily owned pitchers taking the mound. So, I will roll the dice with the hot hand.

Britton has pitched well over his past two starts, going 2-0 and allowing just 2 ER over 13.2 innings against the Tigers and Blue Jays. His overall numbers are poor, though there has been a lot of poor luck. Considering he has posted a line drive rate of 14.3%, his .313 BABIP is extremely inflated.

Now, whether you believe the line drive rate is a completely different story. It also is a tough matchup, so keep that in mind. However, he has been pitching well and that’s all you can ask for. If you can avoid a Pitch & Ditch today I would consider passing, but if it is a necessity I would roll the dice on Britton.
Confidence in Selection – Low