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2013 Fantasy Baseball: “Pitch or Ditch” Matchups For May 2nd

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The fantasy baseball season has already stunned many people. A number of pitchers have thrown shutouts and at the opposite end there’s some who cannot find the strike zone and have gotten hit hard every outing.

Hitters have shown their power, as the league leader in homeruns has 12.

Each day it is a struggle to find which pitcher to grab off the waiver wire, put said player in the lineup, and get the win. Here’s a look at which pitchers should be able to take advantage of their counterpart:

Chris Tillman @ Joe Blanton – After starting the season slowly, Tillman is heating up for the Baltimore Orioles. In his last two starts, he has given up just three earned runs in 12.2 innings. He has struck out just about one batter per inning and  in 26.2 innings has 25 strikeouts.

Tillman will face the Los Angeles Angels, who have started the season with a 10-17 record. He’s never faced Mike Trout or Albert Pujols in his career.  Has had success against Josh Hamilton, the righty has never allowed a hit in the six at-bats, which  includes three strikeouts.

The Angels will have right-hander Joe Blanton on the mound, who currently has a 7.09 era and a 2.10 whip. With the Orioles ranking in the top ten for runs and batting average, it is no question that he will need to have his best outing of the 2013 season for an Angels win.

Bench Blanton until he can prove he will not get blasted every start.

Jake Peavy @ Justin Grimm – Peavy has been one of the bright spots on the Chicago White Sox’s roster. Starting the season with a 3-1 record, he  has a 3.38 era and has one only one bad start so far this season.

Peavy, who is a strikeout machine  has registered 39 in 32 innings. He will start against the Texas Rangers, who are currently 17-9 and  leading the American League West. The Rangers have seen this pitcher before and there’s a number who have had success including  Mitch Moreland. Who has three hits, two of those hits being home runs, in six at-bats.

Grimm will take the mound for the Rangers, as the righty currently has a 2-0 record with a 1.59 era. Though he has been phenomenal as of late, he still isn’t worth pitching against Peavy. It’s not to say he’ll have an awful start, it’s not likely he’ll earn the win. Consider him in an AL-only or deep fantasy league.

Dan Haren @ Kris Medlen – Dan Haren has not pitched to expectations so far this season. The righty has a 2-3 record, along with a 6.29 era and a 1.73 whip. He is pitching against the Atlanta Braves, who have been outstanding to start the 2013 season.

He has struggled to last six innings, only accomplishing that once in five starts. Other than B.J. Upton, the Braves have not seen him pitch enough to get his number. He isn’t a power hitter and  is 10 for 31 against Haren with five home runs, all of which were solo shots.

Starting opposite of Haren, is Medlen for the Braves, as the righty will look for his second win of the season. Medlen has a 3.26 era and has three losses in his first five starts. Medlen could still have some trouble against the National’s offense, as Bryce Harper has been red-hot this season.

This game could be high-scoring, as both teams have the weapons to score a numerous amount of runs.

Ryan Dempster @ Josh Johnson – Dempster has been very good for the Boston Red Sox and will face the Toronto Blue Jays.

So far he has a 3.30 era and 1.13 whip in arguably the hardest division in baseball. He also is a strikeout pitcher and in 30 innings has recorded 43 strikeouts. The righty really only has to worry about Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in the Blue Jays lineup, yet  both players have hit for a combined three for 21 against him.

Dempster will pitch against Johnson, who is having a disappoitnting start with Toronto going 0-1 with a 6.86 era and a 1.88 whip. Johnson has never been his old dominant self since 2011, when the righty only pitched in nine games, posting a 1.64 ERA.

He did miss his last start due to a triceps injury, as he is questionable for tomorrow. Bench Johnson until he can regroup from his injury and become more consistent.

Roberto Hernandez @ Ervin Santana – Roberto Hernandez has not pitched well for the last couple of seasons. Currently, Hernandez has a 5.28 ERA, posting a 1-4 record in his first five games. He has only has one quality start so far this season, which ended up being his only win.

This season he’s struck out a fair amount of hitters, though he has struggled finding the strikezone at times as he’s given up plenty of walks and hits. Many hitters on the Kansas City Royals have Hernandez’s number, including Billy Butler and Alex Gordon, who together have hit a combined 25 for 66, including 11 walks.

He gets to face Ervin Santana who has been outstanding. The righty has a 2.00 era with a 1.03 whip in 36 innings, as he finally broke out of his ‘pitching slump’.

Last season, Ervin didn’t pitch well, he had a 5.16 ERA in 178 innings. He has found his dominance so far, has a 3-1 record with 31 strikeouts so far. For now, keep pitching Santana until he starts to get hit hard. As for Hernandez, sit him until he can start having a numerous amount of quality starts.

Alex Sanabia @ Kyle Kendrick – Sanabia has not been awful in 2013, though he has not been good enough to even consider starting. He is barely owned in  leagues, yet does have a 2-3 record.

His era is at 4.85 with a 1.62 whip in his five starts, has struck out 15 in 29.2 innings, which isn’t geting it done for an average pitcher. Another giant flaw Sanabia has, is the amount of walks given up with 16.

This is an easy win for Kendrick. Other than his first start, Kendrick has been flawless. Even with the less then stellear performance he has a 2.41 era with a 1.10 whipo. In his last start,

Kendrick threw a complete game shutout versus the New York Mets, surrendering just three hits and striking out five. Even though he has been great his record is 2-1 and  if he pitches like he has been, it is an easy win for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Eric Stults @ Travis Wood – In the first game of Stults’ season, he pitched a flawless five innings, giving up no earned runs and striking out seven. After that start, he’s hit a rocky road. Over the last four he’s given up 17 earned runs in 22 innings with one win, a no decision and two losses.

Has never struck out more then four in this stretch.

Though he going against the Chicago Cubs, he is facing one of their better pitchers in Wood. He’s started off the season on hot, never giving up more than two earned runs in a single game. At the moment his record is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA and a .97 WHIP. Although Wood doesn’t strike out as much batters as the other pitchers, he still finds a way to pitch quality starts. Both teams are not great hitting teams, so this game will be a rubber match.

With one cold and the other hot, the decision on who to start is easy.

Jake Westbrook @ Wily Peralta – Westbrook has started the season with a commanding .98 ERA along with a 1.37 whip. He’s allowed only three runs this season, all which came against the Phillies. Also, has thrown a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds.

Westbrook does have some control issues, walking 14 batters in 27.2 innings. He doesn’t strike out many hitters with only 14 so far. This start he’ll get to face the Milwaukee Brewers, who have scored 28 runs in the past three games.

Due to being a contact pitcher, the Breweres might have their way with the righty. With Westbrook being a contact pitcher, the Brewers might just have their way with the righty. With the success he’s had of late he should silence their bats.

Peralta will get his chance against the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s got a 5.02 era and a 1.47 whip. Has picked up wins in his last two starts and isn’t known for the strikeout and at times struggles with command. Meaning that it could go either way a high scoring affair or a hitting barrage, with Westbrook coming out on top.

Rick Porcello @ TBA (HOU) – Porcello has struggled with a  8.84 era and a 1.71 whip in 19.1 innings. He pitched well in a relief appearance against the Oakland Athletics, yet hasn’t done much since. He is 1-2 to start out.

Got his first win of the season against the Braves, going 6.1 giving up three earned runs and striking out five. Has struck out eight this season and has walked five.

He may get a reprieve facing the Houston Astros, which will help bring up his strike out totals.

There hasn’t been an announcement of who will pitch for the Astros. Their pitching has been awful in 2013 and normally do not get much run support.

The Detroit Tigers on the other hand have a deadly offense, able to score plenty of runs. This game no matter who starts should get Porcello a win.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at

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