If this is Wednesday, I must be in Boston. I will be heading off to Fenway Park in a bit, but wanted to get the Thursday Pitch and Ditch options out before taking in the splendor of the American League's oldest ballpark. More to come for the weekend tomorrow.
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Fenway Park was marvelous. Old time charm with modern conveniences. If you ever get a chance to visit, I urge you to do so, and make sure to take a stroll all around the park to soak up the ambiance. Like Wrigley Field, a mecca not to be missed. Anyhoo, onward with the rest of the Pitch and Ditch options for this weekend.
Andrew Cashner SD @ HOU Dallas Keuchel
Chris Young NYM @ LAD Chris Capuano
Franklin Morales BOS @ SEA Felix Hernandez
Zach McAllister CLE @ BAL Wei-Yin Chen
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Cashner was being stretched out in the minors, but the injury to Anthony Bass made the move to the Padres rotation come about quicker than anticipated. He's been sharp at AAA, so there is some hope he can continue his success facing the Astros. Young is worth a start so long as he can stay healthy. Young gave up 3 ER in his last start, marking the most he's allowed over 4 starts. He has 2 QS in a row, and while I would prefer to see more groundballs from him, he's only allowed one HR so far. Proceed with some caution, but realize Young has always had the talent, just not the health to succeed. Morales has tossed two QS, racking up 17 Ks over those starts with only one free pass allowed. He's also only given up 2 ER over those appearances, and the Mariners are not exactly a scary offensive monster. McAllister takes over for Jeanmar Gomez, who the Indians sent back to AAA. McAllister was once a highly regarded Yankee prospect, and he's looked acceptable in his 4 starts this year for Cleveland, posting a 22:6 K/BB ratio with a sub 4 ERA and a nice 1.24 WHIP over 25 IP. Baltimore is somewhat scary, given that he's not exactly a groundball inducing pitcher, but he's only given up 1 HR to date this season.
Jake Arrieta BAL vs. CLE Derek Lowe
Kevin Correia PIT @ StL Adam Wainwright
Aaron Harang LAD vs NYM R. A. Dickey
Mike Leake CIN @ SF Matt Cain
Jason MarquisSD @ COL Jeff Francis
Hector Noesi vs. BOS Aaron Cook
Jose Quintana CHW @ NYY Fredie Garcia
Since cooling his heels in the bullpen earlier in the month, Arrieta has picked up the pace. In his last 20 IP, he has posted a 18:3 K/BB ratio, and also managed to pick up a win. I will be interested to see if he can keep up the good work when I visit Camden Yards on Friday. For now, based on his recent results, Correia has cemented his spot in the Pirates rotation. While not a big K producer, he held Detroit to two ER in his last start, and didn't allow any against the Twins in the start before that. Harang is another pitcher not giving you the Ks you'd like, but still getting the job done. He's won twice so far in June, and has a total of 9 QS to date. The walks are a concern, to be sure, but he can be useful for streaming purposes at this point in his revived career. Over this season, Leake has shown a capacity to improve to hopefully become the SP we all envisioned in March. In 82.2 IP, his K/BB ratio is at 58:21, and his ERA continues to improve, albeit still at an attractive 4.46. Tough match up against the surging Giants, but available if you want to take the chance on him. Marquis seems to have been reinvigorated with the move to San Diego. Petco can have that effect. In his 4 starts for the Padres, he's had 4 QS over 26.1 IP, with an ERA of 2.05 and a 26:11 K/BB ratio. Pitching against the woeful Rockies, even in Colorado, for his next start could be a boon to his owners. Noesi, despite limited success this season, seems safe in his starting role. He also pitches well at home, but with his offense backing him, is more of an AL-only option at this point. Quintana does not post great K numbers, but he also exhibits great control, as his ratio is 24:6 over 43.1 IP. His WHIP and ERA may take a hit in New York vs the Yankees, with their tendency to hammer the ball out of the park, or sit and wait on pitches, drawing walks, so caution is urged in adding him for his next start.
Michael Fiers MIL vs. ARI Wade Miley
Rick Porcello DET @ TB Alex Cobb
Garrett Richards LAA @ TOR Henderson Alvarez
Only three SPs I feel warrant a mention here. Fiers has been up and down with his ER totals, losing when he gives up more than 3, and winning or pitching a QS when he limits the damage. He has shown good control as well as the ability to accumulate a decent number of strikeouts, with a 31:5 ratio this season. A 2.70 ERA and 1.11 WHIP can be expected to regress, especially since he does not induce many ground outs. Against Arizona, he may experience an uptick in HRs allowed, given how their offense has woken up. Porcello shows signs of putting it all together, but then regresses and disappoints his owners yet again. Never a great K producer, he has the ability to induce grounders, though with the Tigers' D, that is sometimes a curse rather than a blessing. In his earlier appearance against Tampa Bay, he pitched well enough to win but came away with a no-decision. This may be a good time to roster him for spot starts in expectation of better things to come. Richards is in the Angels rotation while Jerome Williams sits on the DL, and has only yielded 5 ER over his 4 starts in 26.2 IP. Over those appearances, his ratio sits at 22:13, nothing to write home about, but the two wins are nice. His mound opponent has mild elbow inflamation, so keep that in mind in deciding on your streaming options.
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Travis Blackley OAK @ TEX Yu Darvish
Joe Blanton PHI @ MIA Ricky Nolasco
Bruce Chen KC @ MIN Francisco Liriano
AaronLaffey TOR vs. LAA C. J. Wilson
Travis Wood CHC vs. HOU Jordan Lyles
An almost six-pack to wind up the weekend. Would have been a full sixer, if the Rays hadn't options Chris Archer to AAA. Keep an eye out for Archer's return, as his K/BB ratio in the minors and in limited MLB time was tasty. Blackley in six starts for Oakland has put up a nice 3.70 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, with a 28:11 ratio. Wins will be elusive as he pitches for Oakland, but the peripherals are there for the taking in AL-only leagues, or deeper mixed leagues. Blanton seems to be revived, like Harang and Marquis above, striking out batters and on a double digit win pace. Facing the Marlins could be a balm for his owners as well. Chen steps in for Hochevar as KC's starter on Sunday, and I am not so sure that changes my analysis of this option. Chen has been looking good in his last two appearances, after getting blown out by the Cardinals on June 16th, limiting the opposition to 2 ER over 12.2 IP, with a nice 11.3 ratio to boot. Facing the Twins can be helpful to keep a strong streak alive, as we've seen this season. Laffey is the scheduled starter as of this writing, but things change rapidly in Toronto, with most of the staff on the DL. He pitched strong in his first start against the Red Sox, not giving up an ER over 6 IP. The Blue Jays' rotation is in a state of flux, however, so if you want to add a Toronto SP for Sunday's game, keep apprised of manager John Farrell's decisions. Wood is also scheduled to start, and has been solid in his last 5 starts. He does have a 1-1 record with an ERA of 2.43 in his last five starts against Houston, and has a total ERA of 2.55 in 35.1 IP vs the Astros. Wood is another guy I expect to break out soon, but my results waiting on Porcello make me a tad gun-shy.
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