Only two days away from the start of the season, which means it’s time to begin our weekly tradition of analyzing all two-start pitchers for your fantasy matchups.
Every Friday I look at every projected two-start pitcher for the week ahead and detail my thoughts about rolling with them on your roster. There are four tiers: Definitely, Probably, Questionable, Bench. Definitely Start features starters that are no doubters for the week ahead followed by Probably Start with pitchers that look like good plays but may create a hesitation or two. Players labeled as Questionable are for deeper leagues or have one-of-two outings that should be skipped. Pitchers under Bench should be avoided despite their two starts in the week ahead.
Clayton Kershaw (SDP, @COL)
Madison Bumgarner (@ARI, @SDP)
Rick Porcello (PIT, @DET)
Danny Duffy (@MIN, @HOU)
Masahiro Tanaka (@TBR, @BAL)
Jon Lester (@STL, @MIL)
Chris Archer (NYY, TOR)
Jose Quintana (DET, MIN)
Corey Kluber (@TEX, @ARI)
Justin Verlander (@CWS, BOS)
Noah Syndergaard (ATL, MIA)
Carlos Martinez (CHC, CIN)
Yu Darvish (CLE, OAK)
Stephen Strasburg (MIA, @PHI)
Felix Hernandez (@HOU, @LAA) – I’m not fully sold that Felix is going to have a major rebound in 2017, though getting the Astros and Angels may be a great start for The King.
Julio Teheran (@NYM, @PIT) – Two middling offenses seem like a solid choice to start Teheran twice.
Kenta Maeda (SDP, @COL) – The Dodgers haven’t disclosed who their #2 starter is yet and I’m betting on Maeda. A trip to Coors is never fun, though the Padres will numb the risk for the week.
Kevin Gausman (TOR, NYY) – With the Orioles having both Tuesday and Thursday off and without a proper fourth starter, I’m assuming Gausman gets the call on normal rest to face the Yankees on Sunday.
Zack Greinke (SFG, CLE) – His velocity has increased after being “not ideal” earlier in spring training and while he doesn’t get easy offenses, you still have to trust Greinke at this point.
Jon Gray (@MIL, LAD) – The Brewers could be a sneaky good offense this year while it’s never fun facing any above-average team inside of Coors, but it’s still Gray and his mighty-fine Slider that you have to trust in most leagues.
Lance McCullers (SEA, KCR) – I have concerns about his health/lack of depth in his repertoire, though if you own McCullers, there’s little reason now to start him twice.
Dallas Keuchel (SEA, KCR) – Don’t love his Seattle matchup on opening day, but Keuchel could give you two solid outings after recovering from a bum shoulder in 2016.
Sean Manaea (LAA, @TEX) – I’m loving Manaea this year and even with a poor matchup against the Rangers I’m risking it for his outing against the Halos.
Jake Odorizzi (NYY, TOR) – Not the best matchups for Odorizzi. I’d still throw him out there if he’s a part of your roster.
Gerrit Cole (@BOS, ATL) – Despite the great matchup against Atlanta, I’m very cautious starting Cole inside Fenway. Not a fan of that major risk right off the bat for a pitcher I’m not confident can get back to his former glory.
Marco Estrada (@BAL, @TBR) – Not loving the first start against the Orioles, though the Rays should balance this out into a decent option for the week.
Matt Shoemaker (@OAK, SEA) – Hard to deny Shoemaker a start against the A’s and Seattle isn’t enough of a deterrent to give this much hesitation.
Ervin Santana (KCR, @CWS) – He’s not my favorite of starters and there is innate unpredictability with Santana. Still, the strikeouts are there and the Royals + White Sox are as great as you can hope for.
Jeremy Hellickson (@CIN, WSH) – I’m liking his start against the Reds, though the Nationals give me concern. It would be his style to give us a great start followed by a dud…
Tyler Anderson (@MIL, LAD) – I’m not much of a fan of Anderson, but there’s a chance he comes out of these two starts with his head high…if he is indeed the second starter in the Colorado staff.
Taijuan Walker/Robbie Ray (SFG, CLE) – It’s still up in the air who gets the call here (I’m leaning Ray), though either one is questionable given the decent opponents ahead and the lack of consistency among the pair.
Junior Guerra (COL, CHC) – Normally Guerra would be in the higher tiers, but facing the Rockies and Cubs in the same week is hard to endure.
Ricky Nolasco (@OAK, SEA) – Nolasco may be the #2 in Los Angeles, but he shouldn’t be # anything on your team.
Kendall Graveman (LAA, @TEX) – Graveman is not my type of pitcher to trust against a heavy loaded offense like the Rangers, even if he gets a lax evening against the Angels.
Zach Davies (COL, CHC) – I’m imagining Davies as the #2 guy in Milwaukee, but it doesn’t really matter who it is as I’m benching any Brewers starter facing the Rockies + Cubs.
Edinson Volquez (@WSH, @NYM) – The start against the Mets is questionable while the Nationals make me turn away all together given Volquez’s mediocrity.
Jhoulys Chacin (@LAD, SFG) – I don’t like Chacin in normal circumstances, let alone getting two solid offenses.
Clayton Richard (@LAD, SFG) – Ditto for Richard.
Scott Feldman (PHI, @STL) – Even though the Phillies may be a bottom tier offense this season, I’m not going to put myslef through two starts of Feldman.