(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)
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.
Note: This article was written Friday morning, estimating probable starters through the week. These are subject to change.
Madison Bumgarner (@MIA, @LAD)
Patrick Corbin (PIT, NYM)
Carlos Carrasco (@CHW, MIN)
Aaron Nola (COL, @MIL)
Mike Foltynewicz (NYM, SDP)
Lance McCullers (@OAK, @KCR)
- Madison Bumgarner, Lance McCullers, and Carlos Carrasco are clear Tier 1 options this week with easy matchups and clear upside
- I understand not liking Patrick Corbin against the Pirates or wavering slightly at Aaron Nola against the Brewers, but you should have zero hesitations slotting them in your lineup this week.
- Mike Foltynewicz deserves the bump to tier 1 with two poor lineups ahead and how he’s currently feeling his slider.
Dylan Bundy (BOS, MIA)
Eduardo Rodriguez (@BAL, @SEA)
Jack Flaherty (SDP, CHC)
Andrew Heaney? (@SEA, @OAK)
- I debated if Eduardo Rodriguez belonged in Tier 1, but the Mariners offense should be considered and Erod still isn’t a Top 25 arm.
- If Andrew Heaney gets two starts – Shohei Ohtani is supposed to miss at least one turn in the rotation and is the six-man rotation still in play? – he will be one of the better plays this week
- Even with his latest struggle, I’d throw Jack Flaherty out there against the Cubs, especially if comes with a date against San Diego
- Dylan Bundy is cruising, making me okay with a start against Boston if it comes with Miami on the backend.
Jose Quintana (@MIL, @STL)
Jon Gray (@PHI, @TEX)
Junior Guerra (CHC, PHI)
Trevor Williams (@ARI, CIN)
Zack Wheeler (@ATL, @ARI)
Clay Buchholz (PIT, NYM)
Jake Odorizzi (@DET, @CLE)
Tanner Roark (@NYY, @TOR)
- The Nationals are using a four-man rotation for now, giving Tanner Roark two starts this week. He’s a tough call with the Yankee matchup, though the Blue Jays start is one I’d love to roll Roark out there for.
- A sneaky play may be Clay Buchholz against the Pirates and Mets. It’s a big risk against Pittsburgh, yet his newfound cutter could carve out a productive overall week when it includes a night against the Mets.
- I’m not a fan of normally running with Trevor Williams, though the Diamondbacks and Reds don’t scare me, and it could be serviceable.
- Jose Quintana and Jon Gray would normally be in the second tier with these matchups, but their inconsistencies this season have them as third-rate choices
- I love going with Junior Guerra against the Phillies, but the Cubs can be a difficult obstacle and lower Guerra to the Questionable tier.
- You could do worse than chasing Jake Odorizzi with a start coming against the Tigers and taking a chance on surviving the Indians.
Jordan Lyles (@STL, @ATL)
Lucas Giolito (CLE, DET)
Wei-Yin Chen (SFG, @BAL)
Sam Gaviglio (@TBR, WSH)
Wade Leblanc (LAA, BOS)
Hector Santiago (CLE, DET)
Adam Plutko (@CHW, MIN)
Steven Wright (@BAL, @SEA)
Blaine Hardy (MIN, @CHW)
Chris Stratton (@MIA, @LAD)
Trevor Richards? (SF, @BAL)
Matt Strahm (@STL, @ATL)
Chase Anderson (CHC, PHI)
CC Sabathia (WSH, TBR)
Daniel Mengden (HOU, LAA)
Mike Leake (LAA, BOS)
- Plenty of these options are #4/#5 starters and have little fantasty relevance, making them clear bottom tier options
- Mike Leake, Daniel Mengden, CC Sabathia, and even Sam Gaviglio would have been considered for the third tier, but their difficult matchups ahead force a bench this week
- I can imagine Chris Stratton squeaking out production against the Marlins and Dodgers, it’s not enough to make him any sort of target, though.
- It was a tough call for Jordan Lyles heading to the bottom tier, and in the end, I don’t think his upside for the Cardinals start is worth the low floor against the Braves
- Despite his performance last year, we can’t expect Chase Anderson to turn it around this week against the Cubs, even if the Phillies follow.
So is Plutko coming up for sure?
I should have put a question mark there! I’m assuming he is though.
Happy Friday Nick!
What are your thoughts on Jaime Barria? He seems to be doing quite well. Would you drop Gohara or Kingham for him?
I’m cool dropping Gohara for him, not Kingham.
Why is Paxton the picture if he’s not going twice?
Ahhh, thanks for that! I meant to swap in Nola, it’s fixed!
Who do you like better this week and ROS? Heaney or Flaherty?
Nick, Steven Wright? What makes this potential 2-start play a comedy of errors in Points League?