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.
Carlos Martinez (@ARI, WSH)
Chris Sale (MIN, @TOR)
Max Scherzer (CHC, @STL)
Carlos Carrasco (TEX, @DET)
Jose Berrios (@BOS, @KCR)
Luis Severino (@CHW, @HOU)
Sean Manaea (@HOU, ATL)
Drew Pomeranz (MIN, @TOR) – The DIrty Cheerleader hosts a 9.86 K/9 and 3.21 ERA over his last eight starts. Don’t overthink this.
Dan Straily (NYM, @MIL) – There’s little reason to get off the Straily train facing teams like the Mets and Brewers ahead.
Gio Gonzalez (CHC, @STL) – Even with the Cubs ahead, you’re should be riding Gio and his recent strikeout surge.
Jake Arrieta (@WSH, @CIN) – Arrieta has altered his repertoire to limit his Slider usage and focus on Sinkers, Curveballs, and Changeups, which has helped lower his ERA over his last five starts. There’s risk here as he faces the Nationals, but I’m leaning start as he arrives with a new and successful approach.
Jeff Samardzija (COL, @PIT) – Samardzija is pitching better than his ERA indicates and could feast on the Pirates while fending off the Rockies in AT&T park.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAA, @SDP) – Ryu could get injured before either one of these starts, but if he gets them you best be rolling him out there against two weak lineups.
Jordan Montgomery (@CHW, @HOU) – Yes, the Astros are as scary as they come, but The Bear is misses bats a ton and has lowered his walk dramatically over his last five starts. The odds are in your favor that he will pay dividends in this two-start week.
Justin Verlander (KCR, CLE) – It was vintage Verlander as he faced the Mariners on Wednesday night, hinting that he could be getting back into form for the season ahead. He’s had his struggles against the Indians in the past, but I’m not turning him away for the entire week, especially when he gets a chance to feast on the Royals.
Jose Quintana (NYY, TEX) – Quintana brought his Two-Seamer back into his arsenal and has had success across his last four starts. While the start against the Yankees is a bit scary, I think the risk is worth the reward as he gets the Rangers over the weekend.
Zack Godley (STL, COL) – Godley is on a roll after surviving Coors on Thursday leaving few inhibitions for the week ahead.
Taijuan Walker (PHI, COL) – With Walker back from the DL, he gets to face the Rockies out of Coors (albeit in Arizona) and host the Phillies. I think the good outweighs the bad for him to get the nod.
Rich Hill (LAA, @SDP) – It’s hard banking a ton of Hill, but the Angels and Padres are as welcoming as you’ll find.
Sean Newcomb (@SDP, @OAK) – Looks like Bartolo Colon needs more time to recover, allowing Newcomb to get two starts against the Padres and Athletics. Doesn’t get much better than that and Newcomb surprisingly becomes a Tier 2 option.
Jeff Hoffman (@SFG, @ARI) – Don’t be hasty and miss out on that start in AT&T park, but I’m worried about heading to Coors-Lite.
Nick Pivetta (@ARI, @NYM) – After fanning 19 in his last two starts, that start against the Mets is awfully alluring. But is it worth a date in Arizona?
Mike Fiers (OAK, NYY) – Fiers is on a great run and I’d love to start him against the A’s. The Yankees? Not so much.
Mike Clevinger (TEX, @DET) – I think Clevinger is better than what the stat line showed Thursday night and the Rangers are struggling mightily.
Alex Cobb (@PIT, @BAL) – I’m not a fan of Cobb but it’s fathomable he gets two Wins against the Pirates and Orioles, who are far from tough opponents.
Eddie Butler (@WSH, @CIN) – The Nationals and Reds make for a tough week ahead for a guy that struggles to make it through six.
David Holmberg (NYY, TEX) – You don’t want to be trusting Holmberg in any situation.
Hector Santiago (@BOS, @KCR) – Santiago against the Red Sox? No way no how.
Amir Garrett (@STL, CHC) – Garrett Hasn’t displayed the command we wanted to see from him as he’s become a major liability in 12-teamers.
Jesse Chavez (@LAD, SEA) – Choosing Chavez against a pair of good offenses is a bad idea.
Jhoulys Chacin (ATL, LAD) – Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.
Joe Biagini (BAL, BOS) – It’s tough to label Biagini as a bench and while I can see the Baltimore start going okay, I don’t feel comfortable pitching him against the Sawx.
Junior Guerra (@CIN, MIA) – Guerra is a streaming choice and I don’t want to roll with him in either of these. Maaaaybe the Marlins but not if it’s including the Reds.
Kevin Gausman (@TOR, TBR) – The Rays are better offensively than you think and I need more than one start from Gausman before endorsing him again.
Martin Perez (@CLE, @CHW) – Perez is so boring it hurts. HURTS.
Matt Strahm (@DET, MIN) – I think there is good long term potential for Strahm, though this might be a bit rocky in the early going.
Michael Wacha (CIN, WSH) – While Wacha would normally be in the third tier or even higher with great matchups, the Reds and Nationals push him down here.
Rafael Montero (@MIA, PHI) – Montero is far from polished enough to make this a good bet.
Ricky Nolasco (@LAD, SEA) – When was the last time you wanted to start Nolasco twice in a week?
Tim Adleman (MIL, CHC) – I don’t trust that Adleman has consistent strikeout ability, let alone the upside to give you two good starts here.
Trevor Williams (TBR, SFG) – Please don’t.
Tyson Ross (@CLE, @CHW) – At some point this season Ross may be in the higher tier, but he has a lot of work to do before getting there.