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. The first tier features starters that are no doubters for the week ahead followed by a tier of pitchers that look like good plays but may create a hesitation or two. Players inside Questionable Starts are for deeper leagues or have one-of-two outings that should be avoid. Pitchers labeled Bench should be avoided despite their dual week ahead.
Zack Greinke (SDP, @SFG) Note: At the time of publication, we are still waiting to hear if Greinke will make his Monday start or not.
Danny Salazar (DET, NYY)
Taijuan Walker (@HOU, @KCR)
Carlos Martinez (PIT, @MIL)
Carlos Carrasco (DET, NYY)
Kyle Hendricks (CIN, @PIT)
John Lackey (CIN, @PIT)
Max Scherzer (MIL, @NYM)
Masahiro Tanaka (@CWS, @CLE)
Rick Porcello (TEX, TBR) – Decent matchups for Porcello as he’s shown he can take advantage when not facing top tier offenses.
Steven Matz (MIA, WSH) – There is some risk here given the bone spurs in his elbow, though if the Mets are letting him pitch you should be too.
Matt Harvey (MIA, WSH) – It isn’t ideal to see Harvey face off against the Nats, but you have to roll with him if he’s on your roster.
Michael Pineda (@CWS, @CLE) – Pineda has looked on top of his game lately and gets two teams that aren’t much of a deterrent. Replaced with Tanaka.
Aaron Sanchez (KCR, DET) – Sanchez is performing too well to discount him for his start against the Tigers.
Mike Leake (PIT, @MIL) – While I don’t see Leake keeping it up all year, the Pirates are 2nd worst in the majors in wOBA over the last month, making this two excellent matchups for a hot hand.
Kenta Maeda (BAL, SDP) – Even though he gets a tough matchup against the O’s, Maeda has looked great and should be a good play for the week.
Lance McCullers (SEA, OAK) – I‘m most worried about McCullers in this tier, but his strikeout upside is too tantalizing to pass up, especially with a start against the A’s.
CC Sabathia (@CWS, @CLE) – I would place this in the higher tier, but CC looks to be troubled still by a sore ankle, giving me concern that he can get hot again.
Gio Gonzalez (MIL, @NYM) – Starts against the Brewers and Mets dictate a higher tier for Gio than Questionable, though he’s looked horrible over his last 8 starts, failing to record a start under 3 ER.
Dallas Keuchel (SEA, OAK) – An evening with Oakland can be very serviceable from Keuchel, just be wary of his shaky floor that could expose itself against the Mariners.
Yovani Gallardo (LAD, LAA) – Gallardo is far from the most enticing of options. Starts against the Dodgers and Angels could make him a bit sweeter in your eye.
Jake Odorizzi (LAA, @BOS) – Odorizzi hasn’t looked good against strong teams, while he’s been great against weaker squads. As expected, love that start against LAA, hate his start against Boston.
Jerad Eickhoff (ATL, @COL) – I love Eickhoff’s start against the Braves, but a date in Coors is the fastest route to a cold shower. I can see people taking the gamble, which makes him questionable instead of benched.
Sean Manaea (@MIN, @HOU) – Manaea has the upside to make this a serviceable week as
Brock Stewart (BAL, SDP) – If Stewart gets the chance to pitch in both of these games, he could provide some sneaky value – especially in that start against the Friars.
Jameson Taillon (@STL, CHC) – While I really love Taillon this year, these matchups are a tough sell.
James Shields (NYY, ATL) – Yes, we all know how bad he looked for five straight starts. He has righted the ship in his last two outings, though, and he faces a pair of bottom tier offenses. The risk is clearly there, just note that there is a reward.
A.J. Griffin (@BOS, MIN) – It’s possible Griffin makes it out unscathed from his start in Boston, and he can be serviceable this week. Probably your best bet in this tier, though I would hate depending on it.
Joel De La Cruz (@PHI, @CWS) – Joel might not actually be a two-start guy as the Braves have made it unclear how long he’ll be in the rotation. Either way, you don’t want to be trusting Cruz for the week ahead.
Daniel Norris (@CLE, @TOR) – I can understand streaming Norris against Cleveland, and it’s the Toronto start that sends shivers down my spine.
Jordan Zimmermann (@CLE, @TOR) – Zimmermann has looked pretty bad lately and that matchup against the Blue Jays looks like a death sentence.
Eddie Butler (@SFG, PHI) – Butler isn’t cut out to be trusted twice in one week.
Cody Reed (@CHC, @MIA) – Reed is still developing and faces too hard of a challenge against the Cubs to consider.
Tom Koehler (@NYM, CIN) – There’s a part of me that wants to push Koehler higher, but his super low floor makes that a bad choice.
Edinson Volquez (@TOR, SEA) – Volquez has looked super shaky over the last month+ and even with his recent decent start I wouldn’t throw him into the fray.
Tim Lincecum (@TBR, @BAL) – The Lincecum party ended a long time ago.
Tyler Anderson (@SFG, PHI) – Anderson gets Coors for his better matchup, making this an easy pass.
Junior Guerra (@WSH, STL) – I want to endorse Guerra, but these starts force me to label him as a bench.
Ricky Nolasco (OAK, @TEX) – Even with a start against Oakland, Nolasco is an easy bench.
Tommy Milone (OAK, @TEX) – Same for Milone. Definitely Milone.
Kendall Graveman (@MIN, @HOU) – Graveman doesn’t get the worst matchups, but his ceiling is too low.
Zach Elfin (ATL, @COL) – The Atlanta start is a good stream pick, though heading to Coors makes this a weak overall play.
Jon Niese (@STL, CHC) – You really don’t want anything to do with Niese these days.
Erik Johnson (@ARI, @LAD) – Johnson doesn’t present enough upside to risk his floor.
Christian Friedrich (@ARI, @LAD) – Friedrich has his moments, just don’t bet on it coming out this week.
Wade Miley (@HOU, @KCR) – Miley bounced Karns from the rotation and I don’t see that being a good thing for fantasy owners. It’s not the matchups that make Miley a bench, it’s his overall ability.
Matt Moore (LAA, @BOS) – Moore can give you a solid evening here and there, but that start in LA isn’t guaranteed success, and you do not anything to do with him against the Sawx.
Nick Martinez (@BOS, MIN) – Martinez is way too inconsistent without enough strikeout upside to endure a start in Boston.
Jake Peavy (COL, ARI) – Peavy had a good run in him and it has come to a close. Don’t be on the wrong side of the fallout.