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 (NYM, COL)
Corey Kluber (@BAL, MIN)
Johnny Cueto (@ATL, NYM)
Jon Lester (SDP, @MIA)
Michael Pineda (LAA, TEX)
Zack Greinke (@COL, PHI)
Lance McCullers (@OAK, @SEA) – I’m expecting McCullers to return in time and DLH doesn’t really apply after just one start, especially against the A’s.
Dylan Bundy (CLE, @TBR) – He’s been shaky, but if you own him you should start him.
Ervin Santana (CHW, @CLE) – Santana isn’t looking the man he was at the start of the year. Still, a date with the ChiSox is enough to escalate him into the second tier.
Brandon McCarthy (NYM, COL) – McCarthy is a solid add for any team at this point, and I’m comfortable throwing him out there for two, even if it includes hosting the Rockies.
Marco Estrada (@TEX, @KCR) –While Estrada is going through a rough patch, two bottom half offenses should work in his favor.
Brad Peacock (@OAK, @SEA) – If you own Peacock, you understand his massive strikeout potential, He’s on the border of tiers 2/3 given his low floor and in most cases I’d roll with him.
Jordan Zimmermann (@SEA, @SDP) – It’s odd seeing an endorsement of Zim, but his Slider has taken new shape and one of these starts is against the Padres. I have my concerns against the Mariners, though.
Mike Leake (@PHI, PIT) – Leake has been struggling mightily lately, while his two matchups are as good as you’ll find.
Justin Verlander (@SEA, @SDP) – I wanted to put Verlander in the second tier but there’s no denying that he’s labored through his recent starts. In most cases, you roll with this but I want to bench where possible against the Mariners.
Mike Montgomery (SDP, @MIA) – Monty looks to have his spot in the rotation secured with Kyle Hendricks out for extended time. Paired with a start of 88 pitches last time out and it’s possible he goes 2-for-2 in the week ahead.
Gerrit Cole (@MIL, @STL) – Cole has been far from good, but he did have a rebound this week and could help against middling offenses.
Tanner Roark (@MIA, CIN) – I don’t like owning Roark, though you can’t count out the possibility of a pair of QS and Wins under his belt at the end of this.
Jake Odorizzi (CIN, BAL) – Odorizzi is as boring as they come, which could lead to a pair of solid outings or a pair of duds.
Sonny Gray (HOU, @CHW) – I don’t like Gray against the Astros, but he’s showing K upside that could shine there and negate his ratios against a weak ChiSox offense.
Zack Wheeler (@LAD, @SFG) – The Dodgers scare me, but I love the idea of Wheeler inside AT&T park.
Francisco Liriano (@TEX, @KCR) – It’s a coin flip when you start Liriano, even if he gets two weak opponents ahead.
Derek Holland (@MIN, OAK) – These last two are desperate plays for a cheap Win, and don’t be surprised if they let you down.
Julio Teheran (SFG, MIL) – Teheran has been a shadow of his former self, though he did have a strong start against the Nationals. It’s possible he’s returned, while it’s a big risk that could kill your week.
Alex Cobb (CIN, BAL) – This is on the border, but I don’t trust Cobb
Andrew Cashner (TOR, @NYY) – If you still own Andrew, please Cash Out now.
Ariel Miranda (DET, HOU) – Miranda is a TEEs and you’re going to see more starts like Thursday night’s 6 ER clunker.
Clayton Richard (@CHC, DET) – It’s the wrong Clayton! I can see this as a desperate hope for a Quality Start, but in most cases I’m benching.
Austin-Bibens Dirkx (TOR, @NYY) – Dirkx is a Cup of Schmo meaning you don’t want anything to do with him.
Chad Kuhl (@MIL, @STL) – Yeah, Kuhl just isn’t good enough.
Daniel Gossett (HOU, @CHW) – I actually think Gossett is better than how he pitched, but I’m not ready to toss him out there for two starts including a date with the hot hitting Astros offense.
Chris Tillman (CLE, @TBR) – You Can’t Spell Win With Tillman. Seriously, you don’t want anything to do with Tillman right now.
Edinson Volquez (WSH, CHC) – Yes, he threw a no-hitter and had a great start afterward. Then he had a bad day and now gets the Nationals and Cubs. No thanks.
German Marquez (ARI, @LAD) – Marquez is not a bad pitcher, but he has to host the Dbacks in Coors and face the Dodgers offense.
Hector Velazquez (@KCR, LAA) – I love these matchups, but it’s too soon to trust Velazquez and this could be ugly.
Jason Hammel (BOS, TOR) – He’s performing better as of late, too bad he has a tough road ahead.
Jeremy Hellickson (STL, @ARI) – Don’t do this to yourself.
Josh Tomlin (@BAL, MIN) – Tomlin doesn’t have the upside to toss him out there twice.
Matt Garza (PIT, @ATL) – Regardless of the matchups, you don’t want to start Garza or you’ll start acting like this.
Matt Moore (@ATL, NYM) – Moore has seen better days. Much better days.
Matt Shoemaker (@NYY, @BOS) – Shoemaker has had upside in the past, but it’s so hard to believe he’s going to start a hot streak while pitching against the Yankees and Red Sox.
R.A. Dickey (SFG, MIL) – Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.
Robert Gsellman (@LAD, @SFG) – Gsellman is so far away from the man we want him to be. Sigh.
Sam Gaviglio (DET, HOU) – Like Dirkx, Gaviglio is a Cup of Schmo and you should not chase him, especially against the Tigers and Astros.
Scott Feldman (@TBR, @WSH) – Feldman Schmeldman. He couldn’t even handle the Padres last time out.
Vance Worley (WSH, CHC) – Never.
Zach Davies (PIT, @ATL) – Davies best days are behind him and I have trouble believing he’s someone that you’ll want for both of these days.
Aw man, definitely should’ve capitalized on Kuhl isn’t Kuhl enough. Y’all hiring? 😂
LL Kuhl J. Stacking up those L’s this year like we all knew he would.
I felt like I needed one break from “Kuhl story, bro” :-D