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.
Justin Verlander (@BOS, HOU)
Jake Arrieta (@CWS, SEA)
Noah Syndergaard (STL, COL)
Kyle Hendricks (@CHW, SEA)
Aaron Sanchez (SDP, BAL)
Carlos Martinez (@NYM, @MIA)
Drew Pomeranz (DET, @LAA) – He should be in the higher tier, but with his poor debut against the Giants I’m sure there are some hesitant to roll with THe Dirty Cheerleader. Go with him, chances are in your favor and that Angels start is fantastic.
Steven Wright (DET, @LAA) – I’m not the biggest fan of Wright, but you shouldn’t be holding him back at all these days.
Anthony DeSclafani (@SFG, @SDP) – I love that matchup against the Padres and the Giants aren’t enough to deter that.
Dallas Keuchel (NYY, @DET) – Keuchel has been on a solid stretch and while the Tigers are a formidable offense, it’s worth the risk.
Bud Norris (TBR, ARI) – Norris has to avoid the longball, but his peripheral numbers are looking pretty as he faces two middle tier offenses. He might not get both starts as the Dodgers have two days off next week, though with the swirl of injuries surrounding the team, they may take advantage and run with just four starters for the week.
Jerad Eickhoff (@MIA, @ATL) – Despite his last outing, Eickhoff can rebound against the Marlins and earn himself a nice relaxing date with the Braves.
Michael Pineda (@HOU, @TBR) – It’s been an odd season for Pineda, but he’s look much improved over the last month. The Stros and Rays are solid matchups that should give you the confidence to let him ride it out.
Ian Kennedy (LAA, @TEX) – Kennedy has been looking good recently and should take advantage of the Angels. That start vs. Texas isn’t encouraging, though, and his last start was his third 7 ER outing of the season. Play according to what you need.
Jeremy Hellickson (@MIA, @ATL) – He’s coming off a solid performance against the Fish and could do it again while steamrolling the Braves…except that Hellickson is rather two-faced and could have his Fastball crushed in both of these outings as well.
Ervin Santana (ATL, CWS) – I’m not much of a fan of Santana, but he has two of the best opponents for the week and could be a surprise for strikeout production.
Gio Gonzalez (@CLE, @SFG) – Gio has the upside to produce in both of these outings, but he also has the floor to completely destroy your week as well.
Bartolo Colon (STL, COL) – The Rockies aren’t so good on the road and the Cards aren’t as scary as they used to be. Still, Colon can be a grenade at times and there is considerable risk involved.
Jake Peavy (CIN, WSH) – The magic is wearing off for Peavy, yet it’s fathomable that he can take advantage of Cincinnati. I worry heavily about his Washington start, though.
Jaime Garcia (@NYM, @MIA) – Garcia has a lot of work to do to get back to his end of 2015 production, though a pair of solid matchups may steer him in the right direction.
Yovani Gallardo (COL, @TOR) – Gallardo simply isn’t good enough to make me want to endure a start in Toronto.
Miguel Gonzalez (CHC, @MIN) – Miguel has provided a stabler floor than expected this year, but that date with the Cubs is too frightening to throw him out there.
James Shields (CHC, @MIN) – Shields has recovered a great deal since his horrific end to his Padres’ allegiance, though not enough to make me comfortable with an evening against his crosstown rivals.
Martin Perez (OAK, KCR) – Perez is a giant TEEs and I would hate to be depending on him to produce two boring yet serviceable starts. Not the worst in this tier, but not exciting enough to push him out of the bottom.
Patrick Corbin (@MIL, @LAD) – These are two solid matchups, but Corbin isn’t in a good groove to take capitalize.
Jorge De La Rosa (@BAL, @NYM) – That date with the O’s is too scary to consider even if he’s heading to Citi Field later in the week.
Chad Bettis (@BAL, @NYM) – Ditto for Bettis.
Mystery Diamondback Starter (@MIL, @LAD) – It was supposed to be Zack Greinke but he’ll need more time to recover. Whoever it is, I wouldn’t roll with him despite the good matchups.
Lucas Harrell (@MIN, PHI) – It’s a shame two solid outings are wasted on such an unreliable pitcher.
Brian Flynn (LAA, @TEX) – It’s unclear if Flynn actually gets that second start, and he’s not a smart stream in the first place
Mystery Angels Starter (@KCR, BOS) – If I had to guess, this would be Tyler Skaggs, who is red hot in the minors with double-digit strikeout nights under his belt. Still, this would be the first two games he’s pitched in the majors since 2014 and I’d be a bit skeptical it will translate against these good offenses.
Hector Santiago (@KCR, BOS) – Santiago regressed to his normal self last time out and I wouldn’t bank on a strong run against the Royals and the strong Sawx.
Wei-Yin Chen (PHI, STL) – Chen is throwing too many Fastballs down the heart of the plate to endorse him this season.
Tom Koehler (PHI, STIL) – He has his moments, though you never want to bank on them happening for you.
Chase Anderson (ARI, PIT) – Anderson can be a decent stream pick at times, but there is too much risk to chase him this week.
Matt Garza (ARI, PIT) – An easy bench as Garza struggles to be close to decent.
Daniel Mengden (@TEX, @CLE) – Mengden has struggled mightily and you should not be betting on it coming back against these two above average squads.
Colin Rea (@TOR, CIN) – Even with his start against the Reds I want nothing to do with Rea.
Matt Cain (CIN, WSH) – Think Peavy but a significant step down.
Kyle Lohse (OAK, KCR) – It doesn’t matter who he’s playing against, don’t start Lohse.