(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.
J.A. Happ (LAA, @PHI)
Miles Mikolas (KCR, @PIT)
Masahiro Tanaka (@TEX, LAA)
Chris Sale (@TBR, ATL)
Gerrit Cole (SFG, @CLE)
- With great matchups ahead for J.A. Happ and Miles Mikolas, you should feel confident letting them fly for the week ahead.
- Gerrit Cole and Chris Sale are clear choices, while Masahiro Tanaka‘s volume of quality outings gives him the push into tier 1 despite his recent tough starts against the Sawx and Nationals.
Jameson Taillon (@CIN, STL)
Nick Pivetta (ATL, TOR)
Jose Berrios (DET, @SEA)
Kevin Gausman (@CHW, @TBR)
Walker Buehler (COL, SDP)
- There will be pushback on the Kevin Gausman pick here, but don’t punish him too harshly for an evening against the Red Sox. With two weak lineups ahead, Gausman should help you.
- Let’s all collectively hope that Jose Berrios‘s curveball is here to stay, allowing him to be as studly as ever against the Tigers and Mariners
- I’m not ready to get 100% back on the Jameson Taillon bandwagon, though you should feel confident for two starts against the Reds and Cardinals.
- With a date against the Rockies outside of Coors and with the Padres, Walker Buehler is an easy slot in the second tier. Meanwhile, Nick Pivetta is looking incredible and even a matchup against the Braves isn’t going to hold me back from letting him fly.
Jeremy Hellickson (SDP, @MIA)
Chase Anderson (ARI, NYM)
Jordan Lyles (@WSH, @LAD)
Mike Leake (@OAK, MIN)
German Marquez (@LAD, CIN)
Ian Kennedy (@STL, @TEX)
Trevor Cahill (SEA, ARI)
- Do I believe in Jordan Lyles? Definitely not. Do I think he could be a better play than the tier 4 options? Maybe give he just had one of the most dominant starts of the week. And that’s really there is to it.
- Mike Leake is a major question here, but I can fathom a week where he’s able to give you some production against the A’s and Twins.
- Wednesday’s start wasn’t pretty for Trevor Cahill and a pair of decent opponents does create some concern. Still, there is a good amount of upside in here for you to consider.
- Chase Anderson is returning from a stomach illness, making me a little skeptical he can return plenty of value against the Dbacks. He should be all set for the Mets, though, allowing him a spot in the third tier.
- If you need strikeout upside, consider Ian Kennedy as your ratios might not be demolished by the Cardinals and Rangers.
- German Marquez gets a weak offense at home and a meh offense on the road. I’m cool with those odds.
- It feels so weird to grant The Devil himself, Jeremy Hellickson a spot outside the bottom tier, but facing the Marlins and Padres will do that.
Hector Santiago (BAL, @DET)
Jacob Faria (BOS, BAL)
Matt Harvey (PIT, @COL)
Brandon McCarthy (@PHI, @BOS)
James Shields (BAL, @DET)
Jason Hammel (@STL, @TEX)
Bartolo Colon (NYY, KCR)
Doug Fister (NYY, KCR)
Andrew Cashner (@CHW, @TBR)
Matt Koch (@MIL, @OAK)
Zack Wheeler (MIA, @MIL)
Jason Vargas (MIA, @MIL)
Jhoulys Chacin (ARI, NYM)
Josh Tomlin (@CHC, HOU)
- There aren’t many points of contention here as plenty of teams are rolling out their worst starters to start Week 8.
- I considered throwing Brandon McCarthy into the third tier, but the start against Boston makes it too much of a risk.
- Even with a start against the Marlins and Brewers, Zach Wheeler is way too inconsistent for me to feel comfortable trusting him twice.
- Jacob Faria‘s outing against the Sawx outweighs any gamble you’d consider throwing him against the Orioles.