Welcome back to the weekly two-start pitcher article! Each Friday, I look at every projected two-start pitcher for the week ahead and summarize my thoughts to help you set your rosters. You know the rules. There are four tiers: Definitely, Probably, Questionable, and Bench. Definitely Start features starters who are no-doubters for the week ahead, followed by Probably Start, which includes pitchers who 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.
With only two weeks left in the regular season (starting Monday), several teams are attempting to make up postponements. The Cardinals will attempt to pack in 10 games, while the Pirates and Marlins will play nine and several others with eight. Next week’s slate is filled with aces. Since we are in the home stretch, you’re obviously slotting them in your lineup. Feel free to use this article to find some diamonds in the roughs next week but also utilize Nick’s article highlighting every pitcher’s rest-of-season schedule. Alright, let’s dive into the rest of the two-start pitchers for week nine.
Note: This article was written Friday morning, estimating probable starters through next week. These are subject to change
Trevor Bauer (PIT, CHW)
Carlos Carrasco (@CHC, @DET)
Zack Greinke (TEX, ARI)
Jack Flaherty (@MIL, @PIT)
Clayton Kershaw (@SDP, @COL)
Corbin Burnes (STL, KCR)
José Berríos (@CHW, @CHC)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (@NYY, @PHI)
Walker Buehler (@SDP, @COL)
- Trevor Bauer looked nasty on Wednesday night against the Cubs. He’s been nothing short of fantastic. Even better than his 2018 season with an insane 29.4% K-BB rate. Cookie’s back! He’s sporting a 0.95 ERA over his last three starts and draws the Cubs and Tigers. As usual, the Tigers continue to strike out a ton the Cubs are ranked 24th in wRC+ over the last two weeks.
- Believe it or not, Zack Greinke has 21 punchouts over his last 17 innings. He’s been the most consistent pitcher over the last four seasons and I see no reason not to start him next week.
- It was nice to see Jack Flaherty turn in a solid outing last night, albeit against the Tigers. He’ll face the Pirate and Brewers who are both struggling, so if you’ve got ’em, you’re starting him. The same goes for Aaron Nola despite two slightly more difficult matchups. Clayton Kershaw gets a slight downgrade with that start in Coors but I fully expect him to contain the Rockies.
- Corbin Burnes is an automatic start at this point. Don’t ever think about benching him the rest of the way. He’s tied with Yu Darvish for the most strikeouts over the last two weeks and hasn’t given up a run over that timeframe. With Jose Berrios, his velocity and strikeout are up, unfortunately, so are his free passes. I get that the White Sox are a tough matchup but I’m still confident in rolling with him next week.
- We talked about Hyun-Jin Ryu a couple of weeks ago. He’s an evergreen start at this point, especially with his strikeout rate up this season. Walker Buehler owners are likely frustrated. I get it. But, if you own him and you’re competing, he has to be in your lineup.
Jesus Luzardo (@SEA, SFG)
Zach Davies (LAD, @SEA)
Pablo Lopez (PHI, WSH)
Sandy Alcantara (BOS, WSH)
Dallas Keuchel (MIN, @CIN)
Marco Gonzales (OAK, SDP)
Michael Pineda (@CHW, @CHC)
Deivi Garcia (TOR, @BOS)
- It’s a dream matchup in Seattle for Jesus Luzardo as the Mariners have managed just a 69 wRC+ against LHP (28th in MLB). Surprisingly, the Giants have mashed lefties but the backdrop of the Oakland Coliseum eases my concerns.
- Zach Davies has essentially been a poor man’s Kyle Hendricks over the course of his career with a 3.80 ERA despite throwing sub-90 mph. I’m not going to pretend to know how he’s getting it done and there’s certainly some luck involved, but he should be started.
- Well, at least we got that annual Pablo Lopez blowup out of the way this week. He’ll draw two home starts against the Phillies and Nationals next week. Home is the key there. He has a 2.79 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP at home this year (3.39, 1.08 in 2019). If a league mate rage-dropped him, I’d scope him up and run him out there.
- Sandy Alcantara and Dallas Keuchel are similar in that they will generate ground balls and limit the damage. That’s why they will be in my lineup next week, not their strikeout potential. I have Sandy over Dallas because of his 30% CSW.
- Marco Gonzales has walked four batters in 50 innings this year! The start against the Padres has me concerned but they aren’t nearly as dangerous against LHP. I feel more comfortable slotting him in my lineup against the Athletics at home but would still start him in most formats.
- Am I getting sucked back into the Michael Pineda experience again? Look, there is;t much time left and he’s looked good with a 15.7% SwStr%. Devi Garcia has 18 strikeouts against two walks over his last two outings. Neither matchups has me running, so I’m going to ride the hot hand with Garcia.
Joe Musgrove (@CIN, STL)
Ryan Yarbrough (WSH, @BAL)
Matt Boyd (KCR, CLE)
Carlos Martinez (@MIL, @PIT)
Mike Minor (@SEA, SFG)
Dane Dunning (MIN, @CIN)
Julio Teheran (ARI, TEX)
Taijaun Walker (@NYY, @PHI)
J.T. Brubaker (@CIN, STL)
- I don’t want to deal with the potential homer barrage in Cincinnatti but the Cardinal in St. Louis is favorable for Joe Musgrove. Ryan Yarbrough continues to give up weak contact but his K% is an ugly 15.7%. He should be stretched out enough to go through five innings in these starts, so he’s a deep league ratios play.
- Next week’s matchups look like a dream for Matt Boyd but can we trust him? Look, if you need strikeouts, roll him out there. if you’re protecting ratios, then bench him. I’m not going to hold the two brutal starts for Carlos Martinez this year. Both were against the Twins. I would bench him against the Brewers because I don’t think he’ll get through the fifth. However, that Pirates start looks great for those in daily leagues.
- Mike Minor hasn’t looked good since coming to the A’s. I would think about rolling him out there against the Mariners but don’t love his chances against the Giants. Dane Dunning is a deep league flier. Neither matchup is great. he’s a high-risk, high-reward option. How lucky are you feeling next week?
- I know, I know, it’s Julio Teheran. But, he has the easiest matchups next week. The Diamondbacks and Rangers are both in the bottom five offensively not only for the season but over the last two weeks as well. If there is ever a time to start Teheran, it’s next week.
- Taijuan Walker is not as good as his ERA indicates. But, he’s limiting hard contact (27.9%). I’m not touching him against the Philies but he looked OK against the Yankees this week. Only in deep leagues. Same can be said for J.T. Brubaker. I don’t want to touch him against the Reds but a home outing against the Cardinals seems doable.
Jake Arrieta (NYM, TOR)
Tanner Roark (@NYY, @PHI)
Michael Wacha (@PHI, ATL)
Austin Voth (@TBR, @MIA)
Anibal Sanchez (@TBR, @MIA)
Tommy Milone (@BAL, @NYM)
Jose Urena (BOS, WSH)
Taylor Clarke (@LAA, @HOU)
Jorge Lopez (ATL, TBR)
- Jake Arrieta has a seven percent SwStr% on the season. He throws his sinker nearly 555 of the time. That pitch has generated seven swinging strikes this year. He’s far too risky to start at this point in the season given the strength of his opponents.
- The Yankees have struggled offensively but they are getting healthier and the Phillies are downright dangerous. There’s no way I’m starting Tanner Roark next week especially with his recent struggles to find the zone. The strikeouts have been there for Michael Wacha but he’s getting bombed with a 2.25 HR/9. How many home runs does he give up next week? I’ll set the over/under at four. Just stay away.
- Anibal Sanchez needs his cutter to be working to be successful. It’s been bad with a 137 wRC+ against and has missed very few bats. If you’re thinking about streaming Tommy Milone against the Orioles. Don’t be. The Orioles are tied for fourth in home runs at home this season, so this start isn’t as easy as it looks. Meanwhile, the Mets are mashing. Don’t do it.
- I was surprised to the Jose Urena go five innings in his first start this season but he just doesn’t have the upside to throw out there next week. I don’t love the matchups for Taylor Clarke next week. He’s not likely to get any run support and I think his .200 BABIP regresses next week. Then, there’s Jorge Lopez. No, you guys. It’s Jorge Lopez.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)