(Photo by George Walker/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 Saturday evening, estimating probable starters through the week. These are subject to change.
Gerrit Cole (@SEA, @LAD)
Aaron Nola (@BOS, MIA)
Robbie Ray (TEX, SFG)
Tyler Skaggs (@TBR, @CLE)
Jack Flaherty (COL, @PIT)
- Save for the clear aces, there are some interesting names here. Tyler Skaggs and Jack Flaherty aren’t definitive Tier 1 plays normally, but given Flaherty’s matchups and Skaggs’ recent consistency, it would be tough to let them sit.
- Robbie Ray bounced back in a big way against the Cubs and will the Rangers and Giants ahead, there’s no reason to hold back.
Kenta Maeda (MIL, HOU)
James Paxton (HOU, TOR)
Shane Bieber (@MIN, LAA)
Carlos Martinez (COL, @PIT)
Tyler Anderson (@STL, @MIL)
Anibal Sanchez (MIA, @NYM)
Jon Gray (@STL, @MIL)
Jon Lester (@PIT, SDP)
- James Paxton was moved to the second tier as I’m a little worried in a return from his DL stint against the Astros to open the week. Still roll with him, but not a definitive 1st tier play.
- Despite Shane Bieber looking as bad as any pitcher I’ve seen this season, I think you’re still worthwhile starting him against the Twins and Angels this week. Pitchers bounce back often.
- Kenta Maeda gets a date with Houston paired with an underrated Milwaukee offense, which arguably places him in tier 3. His strikeout upside makes him a better play than the rest in my mind still.
- Carlos Martinez is returning from a brief DL stint and normally I’d hold back from letting him go, but Rocky Road and Pittsburgh make this a better choice than those below.
David Price (PHI, NYY)
Julio Teheran (MIA, @NYM)
Ryan Borucki (@OAK, @SEA)
James Shields (KCR, @TBR)
Freddy Peralta (@LAD, COL)
Sam Gaviglio (@OAK, @SEA)
Steven Matz (@WSH, ATL)
Tanner Roark (NYM, CIN)
Danny Duffy (@CHW, @MIN)
- I have no choice but to put David Price in Tier 3 given his struggles against the Yankees. I know.
- It’s weird for me to endorse the likes of Julio Teheran, Ryan Borucki, Sam Gaviglio, Danny Duffy, and James Shields, but they all have good enough matchups that they can be considered decent discount plays.
- Freddy Peralta is a Cherry Bomb, so plan accordingly. He could blow up in one of those starts, but he could also win you your week.
- I’m hesitant to put Steven Matz here, especially against the Braves, but he’s overperformed long enough that it could stick for one more week.
- Tanner Roark is fresh off a double-digit strikeout performance and now gets the Mets and Reds. I just can’t turn away from that.
Ervin Santana (CLE, KCR)
Martin Perez (@ARI, BAL)
Edwin Jackson (TOR, DET)
Wei-Yin Chen (@ATL, @PHI)
Eric Lauer (SFG, @CHC)
Dan Straily (@ATL, @PHI)
Matthew Boyd (CIN, @OAK)
Wade Miley (@LAD, COL)
Yefry Ramirez (@NYY, @TEX)
Mike Leake (HOU, TOR)
- Not much to think about here with plenty of arms you’d never consider getting terrible matchups.
- Edwin Jackson is a decent desperate play as he gets the Jays and Tigers. Still super risky, but not the worst choice.
- Same goes for Matthew Boyd who has shown some life in his last two starts. The A’s are ultra hot, though, and the Reds can surprise you, so be careful.