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.
Jacob Degrom (@NYY, MIA)
Danny Salazar (@MIN, @KCR)
Madison Bumgarner (@MIA, PHI)
Gio Gonzalez (LAA, @SDP)
Zack Greinke (HOU, @MIN)
- Pretty easy selections here. Gio Gonzalez might be a bit of a surprise, but with his run and two breezy matchups, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be a definite starter.
- Zack Greinke has the toughest date of the lot with a matchup against the Astros, but we’re clearly in “must start always” territory for Greinke at this point.
Jose Quintana (CIN, TOR)
Justin Verlander (@TEX, LAD)
Brad Peacock (@ARI, OAK)
Collin McHugh (@ARI, OAK)
Masahiro Tanaka (NYM, @BOS)
Sonny Gray (NYM, @BOS)
Luis Castillo (@CHC, @ATL)
- Jose Quintana was considered heavily for the the top tier given that the Reds are not the same offense they were in the first half. Recent bumps in the road have made him a less desirable choice.
- Justin Verlander, Sonny Gray, and Masahiro Tanaka could all have made the leaps as well, but each come with one tough matchup (Dodgers, Red Sox) that took them down a peg.
- The toughest choices here were Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh, and Luis Castillo. They each come with a poor matchup (in Arizona, Cubs), but ultimately they are better pitchers than those in the third tier with likewise scenarios.
A.J. Griffin (DET, CHW)
Trevor Bauer (@BOS, @KCR)
Adam Conley (SFG, @NYM)
Dinelson Lamet (PHI, WSH)
Jerad Eickhoff (@SDP, @SFG)
Kevin Gausman (@SEA, LAA)
Ivan Nova (@MIL, STL)
Kyle Hendricks (CIN, TOR)
Vince Velasquez (@SDP, @SFG)
Jake Odorizzi (@TOR, SEA)
- There are some debatable placements in the third tier this week. Dinelson Lamet has to endure the Nationals and it’s a gamble to bet that he’ll not destroy your week in just one start. Jake Odorizzi’s 2017 season has been far from his previously consistent self and even with decent matchups he’s still a liability. Kyle Hendricks can be solid in both starts, but he has a small margin or error that should bring hesitation for owners.
- For those trying to find a cheap two-start arm, look toward A.J. Griffin or Adam Conley. Griffin has been known to squeeze out low ER starts against poor squads while those who can look past Conley struggling against the Nationals could be rewarded as he faces weak teams in the Giants and Mets.
- Keep in mind, the status of Vince Velasquez is still unknown after leaving Thursday’s game after just one frame as he could miss at least one of these starts. Whoever would replace him is not worth your time.
Blake Snell (@TOR, SEA)
Jake Junis? (@OAK, CLE)
Doug Fister (CLE, NYY)
Chad Bettis? (ATL, MIL)
Antonio Senzatela (ATL, MIL)
Asher Wojciechowski (@CHC, @ATL)
Jharel Cotton (KCR, @HOU)
Julio Teheran (@COL, CIN)
Marco Estrada (TBR, @CHC)
Miguel Gonzalez (@LAD, @TEX)
Mike Leake (@BOS, @PIT)
Nick Tepesch (TBR, @CHC)
Rafael Montero (@NYY, MIA)
Robbie Ray (HOU, @MIN)
Sean Newcomb (@COL, CIN)
Travis Wood (PHI, WSH)
Ty Blach (@MIA, PHI)
Tyson Ross (DET, CHW)
Yovani Gallardo (BAL, @TBR)
- Plenty of clear bench options here, but there are a few that will turn some heads. We still don’t know when Robbie Ray will return from the DL, though if he does have to face the Astros, I would hate to endure that start for the week.
- I questioned if Marco Estrada should jump up a tier given that he’s pitched at least seven frames in three straight starts and he’s the biggest gray area in this tier. The dealbreaker was the unfavorable matchups he gets in the Rays and Cubs.
- Sean Newcomb could be considered for the one start against the Reds, but a night in Coors is too much to trust him for a full week.
- There will be some that want to roll with Ty Blach as he gets the Marlins and Phillies, though I really hate making a Three-Fists Compromise with someone who holds a 4.15 ERA over the year, even if it’s a 2.98 ERA in his last seven starts (4.36 xFIP…).
- It’s unknown who will be starting for the Royals come Monday (and thus get two starts), but the logical guess is Jake Junis and I wouldn’t be rolling with him. His Slider is great, but his entire repertoire is far from polished.
- Chad Bettis is slated to return for Monday’s start in an emotional return to the rotation. If he gets a second start during the week is the major question, though there’s little reason to put faith in a pair of good performances if he does.
- With Hector Santiago needing one more rehab start, it’s most likely that he’ll squeeze in a start at the end of next week, making Bartolo Colon pitch on Tuesday and Monday instead of getting a two-start week.
Latest posts by Nick Pollack (see all)
- Zach Davies’ Fastball + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs From Monday’s Games - August 22, 2017
- Check The Mike - August 22, 2017
- The List 8/21: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday - August 21, 2017