Welcome back, Pitcher List community! I hope this segment helps you formulate your pitching staff each week. Each Friday, I look at every projected two-start pitcher for the week ahead and summarize my thoughts to help you set your rosters. You know the rules. There are four tiers: Definitely, Probably, Questionable, and Bench. Definitely Start features starters that are no-doubters for the week ahead, followed by Probably Start, which includes pitchers who 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.
Once again, we have an interesting schedule that includes six teams playing only five games: Arizona, Chicago (AL), Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, and New York (NL). It’s also the final week before the All-Star break, which means pitchers on innings limits or who have minor injuries may be skipped to allow for additional rest during the break. Be sure to stay up to date on the two-start pitchers below and what their team’s plan is for them.
Note: This article was written Friday morning, estimating probable starters through next week. These are subject to change.
Walker Buehler (ARI, SDP)
Patrick Corbin (MIA, KCR)
Charlie Morton (BAL, NYY)
Trevor Bauer (@KCR, @CIN)
David Price (@TOR, @DET)
Mike Minor (LAA, @MIN)
Matt Boyd (@CHW, BOS)
James Paxton (@NYM, @TB)
Jake Odorizzi (@OAK, TEX)
- While we might be short in terms of the elite aces, Walker Buehler and Patrick Corbin have fantastic two-start matchups next week. Buehler had been absolutely unhittable in his last four outings prior to last night’s start in Colorado, where he had an 0.87 ERA and an incredible 42 strikeouts in 31 innings. Corbin’s slate may be more favorable, as he’s getting two of the bottom six offenses in the league at home. Lock and load.
- I love that Charlie Morton has both of his starts at home. At age 35, he’s arguably having the best season of his career with a 13.4% swinging-strike rate and an incredible 34% CSW! All systems go for Charlie “Frickin'” Morton.
- Trevor Bauer has teased us, sandwiching two of his best outings with a clunker against the Tigers of all teams in between. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; after all, not many pitchers have the ability to go all nine innings and strike out out double-digit batters.
- If you haven’t been paying attention, David Price is having an excellent season. If he qualified, his 23% K-BB rate would be tied for 10th in the league. Toronto and Detroit are two great matchups with a quite a bit of strikeout upside, as the Tigers have struck out at a higher rate than any other team in the league, and the Blue Jays aren’t far behind. Mike Minor just keeps going, doesn’t he? Look, I know his SIERA and xFIP are 4.30 and 4.29, respectively, but his stretch of 12 games with three earned runs or fewer is anything but minor. The matchups aren’t ideal, but you can’t sit him right now.
- Matt Boyd and Jake Odorizzi have one good and one tough matchup next week. Regression has started to set in on Odorizzi, but his whiff rate is still strong. Boyd’s start against the Red Sox is at Comerica Park where fly balls to center field go to die. Oh, and he’s carrying his 26% K-BB% with him. Get him in your lineup.
Jack Flaherty (@SEA, @SFG)
Ross Stripling (ARI, SDP)
Dallas Keuchel (PHI, MIA)
Joe Musgrove (CHC, MIL)
Zac Gallen (@WSH, @ATL)
- What has happened to Captain Jack Flaherty? The home run rate has just gone bonkers and is nearing 2.0 HR/9. I think he will be fine next week, especially in Oracle Park, but the start in Seattle has me thinking twice. Give me some more Ross Stripling! He’s back in the rotation (for now) and not quite stretched out. That’s the only reason he’s settled in this tier.
- So while I haven’t been super impressed with Dallas Keuchel, he’s still shaking off the rust. You’re not starting him for strikeouts, but pitching at home for the Braves, he’s going to pile up the wins and quality starts, and keep balls in the yard. I love his matchups next week.
- Joe Musgrove is coming off back-to-back great starts. In both games, his velocity is back up over 93 mph, and he’s thrown more than 30% sliders + cutters. I’m fully back in on Musgrove even if his strikeout rate is below-average.
- After just two starts in his major league career, Zac Gallen is up in the second tier. He will be tested on road next week against the Nationals and Braves. There’s a chance Gallen gets skipped in his second start next week with the All-Star break the following week, to limit his innings.
Griffin Canning (@TEX, @HOU)
Tyler Mahle (MIL, CLE)
Brad Peacock (@COL, LAA)
Matt Strahm (SFG, @LAD)
Logan Allen (SFG, @LAD)
Yu Darvish (PIT, @CHW)
Nick Pivetta (@ATL, @NYM)
Jeff Samardzija (@SDP, STL)
Chase Anderson (@CIN, @PIT)
Ariel Jurado (LAA, @MIN)
Jakob Junis (CLE, @WSH)
Trent Thornton (BOS, BAL)
Daniel Mengden (MIN, @SEA)
- Both Griffin Canning and Brad Peacock belong in the tier above, but I’m wary of their matchups. Canning has two difficult road starts in the great state of Texas. In case you don’t know, the weather is hot, especially in July, and balls find the seats quite often. Roll with Canning if you need strikeouts. Peacock is coming off a clunker, and I won’t be starting him in Coors Field. He’s given up eight homers in his last four games.
- The Padres have a nice seven-game slate next week that starts out with the cushy Giants but ends in a fiery blaze with the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. Neither Matt Strahm nor Logan Allen is worth the risk in both starts next week. Nick Pivetta just can’t seem to figure it out. Home runs are way up, BABIP is still high, and his strikeouts are down. Look, he’s still carrying a strong 30.2% CSW rate, but that’s not enough for me to give him two starts.
- Even with two very solid matchups, Jeff Samardzija is a tough guy to insert into your lineups next week. He’s given up 14 earned runs in his last three outings, and I don’t have any confidence with his long-ball tendencies. Normally, the Pirates are a team to stream against, but they have been on fire with a 123 wRC+ over the last two weeks. We all know Great American Ball Park is a launching pad, so pick your poison with Chase Anderson. If I had to choose one, I’d lean starting him in Cincinnati.
- There’s nothing special about Ariel Jurado‘s repertoire, and I would not be starting him in Minnesota. However, he’s pitched better at home, so I could see streaming him against the Angels in deeper formats. Jakob Junis and Daniel Mengden are not going to help you in terms of strikeouts, so of the bottom three, I’d lean Trent Thornton if you need whiffs. Otherwise, you can keep them on the bench or on waivers against the difficult opponents (@WSH, BOS, and MIN), but they are worth a stream in deep formats.
Wade LeBlanc (STL, OAK)
Steven Brault (CHC, MIL)
Adrian Houser (@CIN, @PIT)
Taylor Clarke (@LAD, COL)
Clayton Richard (KCR, BAL)
Jaime Barria (@TEX, @HOU)
Josh Rogers (@TBR, @TOR)
Glenn Sparkman (@TOR, @WSH)
- Steven Brault is a little bit interesting in two home starts. However, his 11.5% walk rate will not play well with the patient Cubs or the Brewers next week. He’s not a great streaming option. I’ve shown both Ryne Stanek and Jalen Beeks for the Rays, but Beeks would be the long-man option. I could see grabbing Beeks for a potential cheap win against the Orioles, but the Yankees are far too dangerous top to bottom.
- Taylor Clarke is averaging less than 4.5 innings per start. That’s not enough for a quality start let alone for a win. It’s also difficult to earn a win with a 6.10 ERA. Clayton Richard could not have drawn two easier matchups next week. OK, maybe if he were facing the Marlins, but the point remains. Richard has walked 16 batters against 15 strikeouts in 31 innings! He shouldn’t be used in any format.
- I actually believe Jaime Barria has a future, but as I discussed earlier, Texas in the summer is not a great place to pitch. The Astros and Rangers are healthy; Barria will be left on my waiver wire next week. Who is this Mr. Josh Rogers? I’ll tell you everything you need to know. His fastball averages under 90 mph, he has a 7.3% strikeout rate, and has a 50% hard-contact rate against. If you are thinking about starting Rogers or Glenn Sparkman next week, you need to be in a shallower league.
- Good luck next week and thanks for reading. There won’t be a two-start article next week due to the All-Star break, but I’ll be sure to get an abbreviated Sit/Start article out some time for the short weekend series after the break.
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)