(Photo by Frank Jansky/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 afternoon, estimating probable starters through the week. These are subject to change.
Clayton Kershaw (SFG, @SEA)
Mike Foltynewicz (MIA, COL)
Jacob Degrom (@NYY, @PHI)
Justin Verlander (COL, @OAK)
Luis Severino (NYM, TOR)
Mike Clevinger (@CIN, BAL)
Madison Bumgarner (@LAD, @CIN)
Zack Greinke (@TEX, @SDP)
Jameson Taillon (@MIN, CHC)
- Lots of aces going this week and few tough matchups among them as well, save for Jacob deGrom against the Yankees. But he’s my NL Cy Young so…start him.
- Jameson Taillon, Madison Bumgarner, Mike Foltynewicz, and Mike Clevinger all have solid matchups this week, making them clear options for the week ahead.
Sean Manaea (SEA, HOU)
Andrew Heaney (@SDP, @TEX)
Anibal Sanchez (MIA, COL)
Miles Mikolas (WSH, MIL)
J.A. Happ (TBR, TOR)
- J.A. Happ and Andrew Heaney both have easy matchups, making them prime options.
- Even with Nationals offense heating up and a threatening Milwaukee lineup, you can still trust Miles Mikolas for two starts.
- Anibal Sanchez left Thursday’s start after taking a liner to the calf, but expect him to return for two solid outings.
- I struggled most here with Sean Manaea as he faces a weakened Astros lineup and struggling Mariners. He’s acted more like a solid Toby this year than someone budding on the Top 25, but I think you can still roll him out there.
Nick Pivetta (BOS, NYM)
Marco Gonzales (@OAK, LAD)
Reynaldo Lopez (@DET, KCR)
Pablo Lopez (@ATL, @WSH)
Jake Odorizzi (PIT, DET)
Jaime Barria (@SDP, @TEX)
Gio Gonzalez (@STL, MIA)
German Marquez (@HOU, @ATL)
- I wanted to put Nick Pivetta in the second tier, but a date with the Red Sox terrifies me. It could still be fantastic – and that Mets start should be as well – or a date with Boston could end horrifically.
- There are some decent discount options this week in the Lopez twins, Pablo Lopez and Reynaldo Lopez. ReyLo is coming off a strong outing against the Yankees, flashing his potential with three options in his arsenal. Pablo is getting plenty of weak contact with his two-seamer off the plate and has potential in a changeup to hint at better strikeout days.
- I’m not a big fan of either Jake Odorizzi or Gio Gonzalez, but I think there are above the bottom tier with their weak teams ahead.
- German Marquez leaves Coors, but gets the Astros and Braves. It’s a tough call, though he’s been feeling his curveball lately and it could result in solid strikeout production for the week.
- It’s hard to endorse Marco Gonzales as his cutter has eluded him lately, while he also gets a pair of tough outings against the A’s and Dodgers. I slightly prefer Jaime Barria’s week ahead, but both are better plays than those below.
Homer Bailey (CLE, SFG)
Mike Hauschild (@KCR, @NYY)
Brad Keller (TOR, @CHW)
Jacob Turner (CHW, @MIN)
Clayton Richard (LAA, ARI)
Tommy Milone (@STL, MIA)
Jason Vargas (@BAL, @PHI)
Mike Montgomery (MIL, @PIT)
Blaine Hardy (CHW, @MIN)
Ryan Borucki (@KCR, @NYY)
Heath Fillmyer (TOR, @CHW)
Andrew Suarez (@LAD, @CIN)
Robbie Erlin (LAA, ARI)
John Gant (WSH, MIL)
- Not much to mention here with already questionable pitchers getting at least one tough matchup in Week 19.
- I’m simply not a fan of Andrew Suarez these days, though he is most likely the biggest gray area between Tier 3 and 4 as it’s possible he squeaks by with some production.
- There are some desperate choices here even in the depths with Heath Fillmyer, Brad Keller, and Blaine Hardy each facing weak teams, but I’d hate putting faith in them twice in a row, even with poor lineups ahead.
- I can see people going after Tommy Milone as he had his way against the Mets in the past and Miami + St. Louis shouldn’t be much different. There’s a chance at two wins here, but there’s also a chance at killing your ratios.