(Photo by Cliff Welch/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.
Patrick Corbin (SFG, SDP)
David Price (@LAA, @OAK)
Aaron Nola (@ATL, PIT)
Masahiro Tanaka (MIA, TOR)
Lance McCullers (@SEA, @CHW)
Sonny Gray (MIA, TOR)
Jacob Degrom (WSH, @ATL)
Dallas Keuchel (@SEA, @CHW)
James Paxton (HOU, @TEX)
- There are more question marks than ideal in the top tier, but you should still be starting all of these arms
- Even with Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray putting up clunkers against the Sawx, you should feel confident in rebounds against the Marlins that would carry them into a start against Toronto.
- Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers have looked shaky lately, though they are still plenty talented and should be able to take advantage of a start against the ChiSox while staving off a Mariners offense.
- Despite facing the tough Astros offense, feel confident in rolling with James Paxton after he was his elite self against the Twins last time out
- David Price’s early exit in Wednesday night’s game had many scared, though he’s on track for his Tuesday start that will give him two games against a pair of west coast teams. It seems scary, but it’s still worth it to slot him in for the week.
Rick Porcello (@LAA, @OAK)
Nick Pivetta (@ATL, PIT)
Luis Castillo (@MIL, @STL)
Danny Duffy (@TOR, @DET)
- Nick Pivetta and Rick Porcello have looked excellent in their first three outings, making them good choices facing somewhat average teams. I’d see if either on your wire in a 12-teamer.
- Yes, Luis Castillo has not been dominating like expected out of the gate. Still, the Brewers and Cardinals are not enough for me to turn down two starts from a pitcher that can rack up 7+ strikeouts easily.
- Danny Duffy has the benefit of facing two below average offenses and while he’s not showcasing the Top 25 upside we’ve seen in years past, it’s a pretty safe play for the week.
Johnny Cueto (@ARI, @LAA)
Kevin Gausman (@DET, CLE)
Aaron Sanchez (KCR, @NYY)
Marco Estrada (KCR, @NYY)
Trevor Williams (COL, @PHI)
Mike Foltynewicz (PHI, NYM)
Brandon McCarthy (PHI, NYM)
Ian Kennedy (@TOR, @DET)
Jon Lester (STL, @COL)
German Marquez (@PIT, CHC)
- Hosting Rockies in Pittsburgh and heading to Philly makes Trevor Williams a risky option but someone to consider for next week when chasing starts.
- I’m not a fan of German Marquez either, but these matchups could render an overall beneficial week if you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.
- It’s odd seeing Jon Lester out of the first two tiers, but given his slow start ot the season and a date in Coors, you have to tread lightly.
- Johnny Cueto looks to be rejoining the Giants on Tuesday, setting him up for a two-start week. I can’t say I’m a fan of heading to Chase Field even with the humidor, and while this isn’t a straightforward DLH situation, there is a still a little extra risk added.
- I’m worried about teammates Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada for their start in the Bronx, but facing the Royals should return rewards for invested owners.
- Kevin Gausman is teetering between tiers 2 and 3 as I’m all for starting him against the Tigers, but I have plenty of hesitation against the Indians. Plan accordingly.
Jordan Zimmermann (BAL, KCR)
Steven Brault (COL, @PHI)
Daniel Mengden (CHW, BOS)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (@SDP, WSH)
Brent Suter (CIN, MIA)
Andrew Cashner (@BOS, CLE)
Adam Wainwright (@CHC, CIN)
Martin Perez (@TBR, SEA)
Kyle Gibson (CLE, @TBR)
Caleb Smith (@NYY, @MIL)
Luis Perdomo (LAD, @ARI)
A.J. Cole (@NYM, @LAD)
James Shields (@OAK, HOU)
- Pretty easy choices for the most part, with only a few getting demoted based on the actual teams they’re facing
- Andrew Cashner is one of them as I’ve liked his command out of the gate, but two starts against the Sawx and a heating up Indians team doesn’t make this a smart play.
- I was tempted to put Hyun-Jin Ryu in the third tier, but it’s no guarantee that he takes advantage of the Padres, while a start against the Nationals is far from favorable.
- It’s not out of the question that James Shields doesn’t fall on his face against the A’s as he’s fresh off a solid outing against the Rays. Still, that Astros lineup is as scary as anything and deters me from having any faith in Shields.