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.
Chris Sale (@DET, TBR)
Jon Lester (LAD, PIT)
Justin Verlander (BOS, @CLE)
Carlos Carrasco (CWS, DET)
Justin Verlander (BOS, @CLE)
Rich Hill (@CHC, ARI)
Jacob deGrom (@PHI, @MIA)
Cole Hamels (@LAA, @SEA)
Tanner Roark (STL, PHI) – I wouldn’t call myself a major Roark supporter, though these should be safe enough matchups to trust Roark for two starts.
James Paxton (HOU, TEX) – Pax looks on top of his game and you shouldn’t have hesitation to toss him out there even with Texas in his way.
Ian Kennedy (OAK, LAA) – He’s not my favorite starter, but two great matchups make this an easy play.
Garrett Richards (TEX, @KCR) – Even with the injury question, I’m throwing Richards out there based on how great he looked in his limited innings.
Matt Harvey (@PHI, @MIA) – It wasn’t the call-to-arms performance I wanted from Harvey, though he still pitches in the NL Easy, which grants his the Phils and Marlins this week. Yes please.
Jharel Cotton (@KCR, HOU) – The Royals should be a feast for Cotton and Houston doesn’t scare me enough to consider benching him.
Jameson Taillon (CIN, @CHC) – Taillon looked so good against the Red Sox, which makes me a little more secure in throwing him out there against the Cubs. Mix that with a date against the Reds and I’m super sold.
Jerad Eickhoff (NYM, @WSH) – Eickhoff is a sturdy arm that may have some trouble against the Nats but doesn’t bring enough concern to bench for the week. Let him fly.
Brandon Finnegan (@PIT, MIL) – I’m digging the changes Finnegan made to his approach, with a mechanical tweak and improved Heater/Changeup mix. Still, we have to err on the side of caution given a sample size of just one and the fact he was facing the Phillies. The Pirates and Brewers should put up more of a fight and while I like throwing him out there, it would be naive to overlook the risk.
Dylan Bundy (@BOS, @TOR) – He looked great against Toronto this week, definitely. We don’t know if he has the consistency just yet and has to do it again in Rogers Center and head to Fenway. There’s more risk than I want there to be with his ability.
J.A. Happ (MIL, BAL) – Sure, he had nine strikeouts earlier in the week, but that seems like a rarity while his 3 ER tally fits right in line. The Brewers are better than people think and we all know what Baltimore can do.
Alex Cobb (@NYY, @BOS) – One of the riskier plays here is Cobb, which I’m fine throwing out there for the Yankees but have clear hesitations against the Red Sox.
Taijuan Walker (@SFG, @LAD) – Don’t love this one either, and it should be reserved only for those that really need the start. Too much risk for most scenarios.
Charlie Morton (@SEA, @OAK) – Morton bumped his velocity and increased whiff rates in his small sample last year and it seems to still be there after one start. I wonder if he can repeat it against Seattle again, but Oakland should be a safe play.
Drew Pomeranz (BAL, TBR) – With the rain-outs, Pomeranz gets a two-start week now and I’m not loving him this week. Still a bit worried that he doesn’t have the polish he once had.
Matt Moore (ARI, COL) – While both of these are in AT&T park, it’s hard to put much faith in Moore against a pair of sturdy lineups.
Adam Wainwright (@WSH, @NYY) – Wainwright is in the twilight of his career, though it’s fathomable he strings together a few solid starts here.
Tyler Glasnow (CIN, @CHC) – I’m very cautious here since he’s be getting the Cubs at the tail end of the week and they like to walk and it could spell trouble. I love his start against Cincy, though.
Matt Boyd (MIN, @CLE) – He looked terrible on Thursday and you don’t want to put faith in Boyd right now.
James Shields (@CLE, @MIN) – Like Shields’ latest start is going to make me endorse him now.
Michael Pineda (TBR, STL) – His heater is still getting crushed and you don’t want any part of this risk.
Antonio Senzatela (SDP, @SFG) – I understand if people are excited about Thursday’s start though I still have my hesitations throwing him in Coors. Pair that with the Giants and I’m not taking the risk.
Tyler Chatwood (SDP, @SFG) – Don’t care if he gets the Padres, there isn’t a chance I’m trusting Chatwood.
Dan Straily (ATL, NYM) – Even though he gets a pair of lenient offenses, I’m not touching Straily.
Wily Peralta (@TOR, @CIN) – It was an impressive outing against the Rockies, still not enough to put any sort of faith in Peralta.
Rookie Davis (@PIT, MIL) – Not a fan of Rookie and the Brewers are a sneaky good offense.
Hector Santiago (@DET, CWS) – I have little interest in Santiago overall this season and I’d avoid him completely even with a date with the ChiSox.
Trevor Cahill (@COL, @ATL) – Cahill heading to Coors? Uh oh.