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.
Jose Quintana (@NYM, @DET)
Jake Arrieta (LAD, ARI)
Corey Kluber (TEX, KCR)
Justin Verlander (@LAA, CWS)
Jose Fernandez (PIT, NYM)
Aaron Nola (WSH, MIL)
Gerrit Cole (@MIA, LAA)
Jeff Samardzija (@ATL, @STL) – Shark has been crusing and if it weren’t for a date with one of the best offenses around in St. Louis, he would be in the top tier.
Tanner Roark (@PHI, @CIN) – Roark’s 2016 has been a major surprise and while I think he’s outplaying his abilities, it’s hard to argue against a pair of matchups against the Phils and Reds.
Tyler Duffey (@OAK, TBR) – Despite a duo of rough outings, I still like Duffey against two weak offenses where his strikeout ability can flourish.
Drew Smyly (@KCR, @MIN) – May hasn’t treated Smyly well, though he’s far from droppable. He should still be started against the Royals and Twins.
Jon Gray (CIN, @SD) – The Reds aren’t a scary team even in Coors, and the Padres in Petco is a lovely thing for Gray to please owners.
Lance McCullers (@ARI, OAK) – Sending McCullers to Arizona isn’t enough of a deterrent to hold him back from facing the A’s.
Carlos Martinez (@MIL, SF) – I’m far from the biggest Cmart fan these days, but a date with the Brewers
Jason Hammel (LAD, ARI) – Hammel isn’t incredible flashy, though I trust him to be serviceable against the Dodgers and Dbacks.
Kevin Gausman (BOS, NYY) – While the risk is there facing the Sawx, Gausman can make up for it as he faces the Yankees.
Ian Kennedy (TBR, @CLE) – Ian has the ability to capitalize against two middling ballclubs.
Josh Tomlin (TEX, KCR) – A pair of average offenses for Tomlin makes him a good discount choice.
Nate Karns (@SD, @TEX) – Karns in San Diego is a pleasant idea, and the Rangers aren’t threatening enough to cancel the date.
Matt Harvey (CWS, @MIA) – This is the riskiest of the bunch, and I fully understand someone not wanting to take the dive with Harvey. However, luck hasn’t been on Harvey’s side, and his Slider looked better last time out + his pitch mix improved despite allowing a trio of bombs. I can see him rebounding a bit this week.
Steven Wright (@BAL, TOR) – I hate trusting knuckleballers, but it’s hard to ignore what Wright has done so far this year. Too bad he gets two strong teams.
Ervin Santana (@OAK, TBR) – Santana can bring the K upside when facing poor squads and he gets that this weak. His floor is low, though, forcing him into the Questionable tier.
Marco Estrada (NYY, @BOS) – An evening in Beantown makes Estrada riskier than normal.
Chad Bettis (CIN, @SD) – I’m not much of a fan of Bettis, but the Reds + Padres will make me a fan of nearly anyone.
Mike Foltynewicz (SF, @LAD) – Folty is expressing his upside more often than usual and while the Giants aren’t quite inviting, the Dodgers could be beneficial.
Collin McHugh (@ARI, OAK) – A start in O.Co is enough for me to endorse McHugh with his recent strikeout resurgance even if HR-Friendly Chase Field is also on the bill.
Scott Kazmir (@CHC, ATL) – Kaz is coming off a 12 K start and I love his outing against the Braves.
Jeremy Hellickson (WSH, MIL) – It’s tough to see myself endorsing Hellickson in any way, but there’s a chance this will turn out well for Hellickson.
Hisashi Iwakuma (@SD, @TEX) – Iwakuma has been pretty disappointing this season, though a stop in Petco could be a bright spot.
Matt Andriese (@KCR, @MIN) – I’m not a long-term fan of Andriese, though there are worst options against two below average teams.
Junior Guerra (STL, @PHI) – Guerra has been somewhat hot lately, allowing just 3ER in his last three outings, making his matchup against the Phils an intriguing one though. There is major risk at home against the Cardinals, though.
Matt Wisler (SF, @LAD) – The Dodgers aren’t looking so hot offensively, while the Giants are slightly above average with their bats. Meanwhile, Wisler has three straight 7 K outings under his belt and could provide value in his two-start week.
Rubby De La Rosa (HOU, @CHC) – If he faced easier teams I would consider Rubby for the tier above. Alas, this is not the case.
Patrick Corbin (HOU, @CHC) – It’s been a super rough year for Corbin and I don’t see his script flipping this week.
Dan Straily (@COL, WSH) – Straily has been performing better than I give him credit, though these two opponents are not in his favor.
Mike Bolsinger (@CHC, ATL) – Bolsinger maaay be a last resort option given his start against the Braves, but I don’t trust him not to blow up vs. the Cubs.
Eduardo Rodriguez (@BAL, TOR) – Buchholz has been overwhelming bad more often than good and it looks to get worse. Looks like Erod is taking Bucky’s spot in the rotation, but I wouldn’t trust the young southpaw twice in his first week back, especially against these powerhouse offensive clubs.
Tyler Wilson (BOS, NYY) – Wilson isn’t a guy you want to roster and his week ahead is far from enticing.
Anibal Sanchez (@LAA, CWS) – Even with the poor offensive teams I don’t want to be relying on Anibal.
Dillon Gee (TBR, @CLE) – Gee just isn’t good enough these days to trust as a good stream.
Jhoulys Chacin (DET, @PIT) – The move to LA hasn’t done Chacin any favors.
Justin Nicolino (PIT, NYM) – There is very little to like about Nicolino – is there anything, honestly? Well, I’m sure he’s a nice person.
Wily Peralta (STL, @PHI) – Peralta is at the bottom of the barrell of all starters in the majors, making him a poor choice even if he didn’t get paired with the Cardinals.
Ivan Nova (@TOR, @BAL) – It’s too bad Nova gets these tough teams next as his strikeouts returned last time on the hill. Too much risk.
Kendall Graveman (MIN, @HOU) – I’ve never been a fan of Graveman and that’s not changing today.
Jeff Locke (@MIA, LAA) – It doesn’t matter who Locke is playing, you best not be rostering him for the week.
CC Sabathia (@TOR, @BAL) – CC has been hot lately, but not hot enough to turn a blind eye to Toronto and Baltimore.
Andrew Cashner (@SEA, COL) – This won’t end well for Cashner.
James Shields (@SEA, COL) – I considered placing Shields in the Questionable tier, but these matchups do him no favors.
Jake Peavy (@ATL, @STL) – Despite facing the Braves, Peavy against the Cardinals is a disaster waiting to happen.
Colby Lewis (@CLE, SEA) – I’m not a fan of Lewis and I don’t trust that he’ll outperform his peripherals for another week. And that’s ignoring his blowup last time out.