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 (ARI, KCR)
Jameson Taillon (@PHI, @CHC)
David Price (@TEX, @TBR)
Felix Hernandez (KCR, OAK)
Jimmy Nelson (BAL, @NYY)
Stephen Strasburg (NYM, ATL)
Yu Darvish (BOS, LAA)
Aaron Nola (PIT, SDP)
Marcus Stroman (@NYY, HOU) – These are two tough matchups for Stroman, but it’s not enough to hold back two possible beneficial outings given his solid floor.
Zack Godley (@LAD, CIN) – Godley is cruising and even playing two tough teams isn’t enough for me to reconsider starting him.
J.A. Happ (@NYY, HOU) – Like Stroman, Happ is in a good place and I’d toss him out there even against two strong teams.
Ivan Nova (@PHI, @CHC) – Nova could churn out two Quality Starts against the Phils and inconsistent Cubs.
Masahiro Tanaka (TOR, MIL) – If Tanaka were playing tougher teams, he’d be in the third tier, but I think his current success mixed with two middling offenses makes him a tier two option.
Jeff Hoffman (CIN, CHW) – There’s clear risk throwing Hoffman out in Coors, though he’s shown he can survive it and the White Sox are far from scary.
Rick Porcello (@TEX, @TBR) – Will this be the week Porcello puts it together? The Rangers could certainly help, while the Rays – who are better than expected – still don’t strike fear in pitchers.
Trevor Bauer (SDP, DET) – It’s hard not to love Bauer against the Padres, though a date with the Tigers could spell trouble.
Steven Matz (@WSH, @STL) – I don’t think Matz is quite where he was last year just yet, which means that start against the Nats could be disastrous.
Jerad Eickhoff (PIT, SDP) – It’s possible he makes it back for the start against Pittsburgh, which makes him a tough two-start pick even with the matchups, as DLH is a thing.
Joe Ross (NYM, ATL) – You may look at these matchups and his recent starts and think this is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, we’ve seen Ross struggle against these weak teams before and he could certainly do that again.
Lance Lynn (MIA, NYM) – Lynn rebounded against the Diamondbacks, though it followed two horrendous 7 ER starts prior. Be careful.
Adam Wainwright (MIA, NYM) – I can’t endorse Waino longterm, but he’s been better lately and this isn’t the worst desperation add.
Luis Perdomo (@CLE, @PHI) – Perdomo has a decent floor and while I don’t like his start against Cleveland, his outing against the Phils could make it worthwhile.
John Lackey (TBR, PIT) – Lackey has been all kinds of disappointing this season, though it’s possible he gives you at least one good outing here.
Alex Meyer (@MIN, @TEX) -If you need strikeouts, Meyer should give you double digits this week, with upside for 15+.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (ARI, KCR) – The Dodgers could still be in six-man by the end of next week (does Brandon McCarthy come back?), which would take away this two-start week. If he does get it, that start against the Dbacks could destroy any potentially good outing against the Royals.
Homer Bailey (@COL, @ARI) – Bailey just isn’t ready yet, especially Coors and Coors lite.
Ian Kennedy (@SEA, @LAD) – Kennedy is far from his peak self and you want to avoid this two teams.
Adalberto Mejia (LAA, BAL) – You don’t want anything to do with Mejia.
Mystery Brewers Starter (BAL, @NYY) – With Chase Anderson down for some time, the Brewers will need to replace him for the week ahead. Whoever it is, it’s not worth the risk.
Mystery Mariners Starter (KCR, OAK) – Same goes for the Mariners starter.
Jeff Locke (@STL, @SFG) – Nor Locke. Definitely not Locke.
Blake Snell (@CHC, BOS) – Snell has upside, but his command is still wonky and you don’t want to deal with that.
Carlos Rodon (@OAK, @COL) – Rodon may be helpful in the second half, though we need to give him time to settle in now.
Daniel Gossett (CHW, @SEA) – That start against the White Sox isn’t the worst, but I don’t want to make this gamble twice.
Daniel Norris (SFG, @CLE) – Norris is a shadow of his September self.
David Paulino (@ATL, @TOR) – It’s not even certain Paulino sees both of these and his command isn’t good enough for me trust him twice.
Jesse Hahn (CHW, @SEA) – The floor is too low to chase the upside with Hahn.
Jose Urena (@STL, @SFG) – If you start Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Kyle Freeland (CIN, CHW) – Freeland was a TEEs before he starting pitching like the FIP/xFIP he truly is. Don’t chase this.
Kyle Gibson (LAA, BAL) – When was the last time you wanted to own Gibson?
Luis Castillo (@COL, @ARI) – I adore Castillo for the second half, but you have to sit on your hands until then.
Matt Cain (@DET, MIA) – You know Cain isn’t the guy for your team, right?
Sean Newcomb (HOU, @WSH) – Newcomb has had a hot start, but he hasn’t faced tough teams like these.
Ubaldo Jimenez (@MIL, @MIN) – It was a nice night for Ubaldo but let’s not get carried away.
Wade Miley (@MIL, @MIN) – There’s no way you can trust Miley to not blow up your week.
The Mariners starter should be Andrew Moore if I’m not mistaken. Would you be willing to throw him out there against two below-average teams?
Good call Matt!
It depends on my situation but I’d shy away from it in standard 12 teamers if I could. I think his margin for error is pretty small and while he could pull it off, the floor is lower than I’d like it to be.