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.
Clayton Kershaw (@PHI, SFG)
Max Scherzer (@ATL, @NYM)
- It’s pretty lonesome at the top, though it’s fitting to see Scherzer and Kershaw as the sole aces getting two starts next week. It’s not even close to fair that they both have two of the easiest matchups as well.
- You may be wondering where Yu Darvish is, but the Dodgers are most likely in a six-man rotation, pushing him to Monday of the final week of the season.
- The same goes for Sonny Gray, as it’s expected for the Yankees to keep Jordan Montgomery in the rotation as a six-man through the final weeks.
- …and for Aaron Nola as well with Henderson Alvarez‘s Sunday start a sign of a six-man rotation ahead.
Jose Berrios (@NYY, @DET)
Jon Lester? (@TBR, @MIL)
Patrick Corbin (@SDP, MIA)
Marcus Stroman (KCR, NYY)
Dylan Bundy (BOS, TBR)
Mike Clevinger (@LAA, @SEA)
Chase Anderson (@PIT, CHC)
Brad Peacock? (CHW, LAA)
German Marquez (@SFG, @SDP)
- With Lance McCullers sidelined once again and the recent injury to Collin McHugh, it’s unclear which Astros starter gets two starts next week. I’m crossing my fingers it’s Brad Peacock as he would face the ChiSox and Angels, which could be a difference maker for your playoffs.
- Don’t bank on Jon Lester getting two starts just yet as there is still a lot of mystery of the Cubs’ plan for next week. Could Jake Arrieta return? Will Jen-Ho Tseng stick around? If the Cubs look to be sticking to a five-man for the week, he’s a clear play.
- Even with Dylan Bundy getting the Red Sox, the overall week is worth the gamble as he holding improved velocity and a larger focus on his Slider. Meanwhile, teammate Kevin Gausman doesn’t get a second start as Gabriel Ynoa has inserted himself into the rotation, pushing the Orioles into a six-man for the foreseeable future.
- German Marquez gets the huge benefit of pitching twice outside of Coors and getting to face the Giants and Padres. Still a little inconsistent, he’s worth a pickup if out there on your wire.
- Jose Berrios, Patrick Corbin, and Mike Clevinger don’t have the smoothest of schedules next week, but with Corbin proving himself Wednesday night, Clevinger’s hot streak, and Berrios pitching like his mid-season slump is over, it’s in your best interest to roll with the trio.
Ervin Santana (@NYY, @DET)
Luiz Gohara (WSH, PHI)
Dan Straily (NYM, @ARI)
Doug Fister (@BAL, @CIN)
Lucas Giolito (@HOU, KCR)
Jack Flaherty? (@CIN, @PIT)
Blake Snell (CHC, @BAL)
Brent Suter (@PIT, CHC)
Mike Leake (TEX, CLE)
Luis Perdomo (ARI, COL)
- Ervin Santana is a great arm to trust against weak teams and a date with the Tigers is exactly what the doctor ordered. However, there may be a bit of a struggle as he faces the Yankees.
- After a questionable debut, Luiz Gohara was sharp against the Nationals, and it could spread into his next two starts versus the Phils and a repeat matchup against the Nationals.
- Since heading to the Mariners Mike Leake has been a new man. Not so new that I can overlook a date with the Indians, but a good enough coat of paint that I can lift him into the third tier this week.
- There’s confusion about the future of Adam Wainwright in the Cardinals rotation, making Jack Flaherty‘s two starts up in the air for now. If he does get both starts, he could be a decent option facing the Pirates, though I don’t like trusting him in Cincinnati.
- I would do a lot to avoid Lucas Giolito squaring off against the Astros, but it’s possible a start against the Royals patches up whatever happens in Houston.
- Yes, Luis Perdomo is facing both the Diamondbacks and Rockies, but fortunately for him he gets to do it in San Diego. Facing those offenses away from their offense-friendly parks paired with Perdomo’s incredible ability to survive at least six innings makes him a possible candidate for desperate teams.
Ian Kennedy (@TOR, @CHW)
Jharel Cotton (@DET, TEX)
Chad Bell (OAK, MIN)
Buck Farmer (OAK, MIN)
Martin Perez (@SEA, @OAK)
Matt Harvey (@MIA, WSH)
Nick Pivetta (LAD, @ATL)
Tyler Mahle (STL, BOS)
Tyler Skaggs (CLE, @HOU)
- There could be some discussion about Tyler Skaggs entering the third tier after his start against the Astros on Wednesday night, though I don’t buy that he can repeat it against the Indians and the Astros in the same week.
- I understand Ian Kennedy gets two great matchups next week. I still don’t want to put any faith in him as he had his start skipped this week with shoulder fatigue. If he were to get replaced, Eric Skoglund is not someone I would chase either.
- Please don’t chase Martin Perez. He will hurt your team regardless of the matchups.
- Tyler Mahle does bring some intrigue, but I don’t want to dance with him against the Dodgers and the Braves are a Top 5 offense in the last two weeks.