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. The first tier features starters that are no doubters for the week ahead followed by a tier of pitchers that look like good plays but may create a hesitation or two. Players inside Questionable Starts are for deeper leagues or have one-of-two outings that should be avoid. Pitchers labeled Bench should be avoided despite their dual week ahead.
Madison Bumgarner (@PIT, PHI)
Johnny Cueto (@PIT, PHI)
Justin Verlander (SEA, CLE)
John Lackey (STL, @MIA)
Clayton Kershaw (WSH, @PIT)
Aaron Nola (@MIN, @SFG)
Stephen Strasburg (@LAD, @MIL)
Jose Fernandez (ATL, CHC)
Noah Syndergaard (KCR, @ATL)
Sonny Gray (MIL, @LAA)
Chris Sale (@BOS, TOR)
Jason Hammel (STL, @MIA) – It’s hard to like an outing against the Cards, but Hammel has had a great 2016 and you should continue sticking him into your lineup.
Steven Wright (CWS, @TEX) – Wright has been excellent and a date with the Rangers isn’t enough to consider benching him.
Kevin Gausman (@TEX, TBR) – Gaus hasn’t been as sharp as his first couple starts, though these matchups shouldn’t sway you from running with him this week.
Anthony DeSclafani (@TEX, SDP) – Tony Disco has been a bit rough to start off and a matchup with the Rangers isn’t ideal. On the flip side, he also gets a fantastic outing against the Padres to make this a possible option.
Josh Tomlin (TBR, @DET) – Tomlin was almost elevated into the higher tier, though he doesn’t have the overwhelming upside to ignore a start versus the mighty Tigers.
Doug Fister (LAA, @KCR) – Fister holds the lowest ERA on the Astros, making a date with the Halos a solid stream. The Royals, while not ideal, aren’t enough of a deterrent. His upside isn’t high enough to pull him to the second tier, but he’s one of the better discount choices out there.
Archie Bradley (@PHI, @TOR) – It’s a tough call for Bradley given that matchup in Toronto. His strikeout upside against Philly is enough to pull him into the 3rd tier.
Tyler Duffey (PHI, @NYY) – It has been a disappointing month for Tyler, but it’s possible Duffey can bring his K upside against a pair of weak opponents.
James Paxton (@DET, STL) – I love Paxton and it’s unfortunate he has to face two excellent offenses next week.
Drew Smyly (@CLE, @BAL) – Smyly was excellent this week and his strikeout ability could carry over to his next start against Cleveland. Proceed with caution against the O’s, though.
Patrick Corbin (@PHI, @TOR) – I nearly placed Corbin in the lower tier here. Ultimately, I like his start against the Phils and it’s plausible he doesn’t get crushed by the Jays.
Miguel Gonzalez (@BOS, TOR) – These are two incredibly tough matchups for an incredibly mediocre pitcher.
Eduardo Rodriguez (CWS, @TEX) – There’s simply too much risk with Erod these days as he’s far away from becoming the dominant pitcher he flashed in 2015.
Nate Karns (@DET, STL) – Karns would normally be at least in the third tier, but you want to stay away from these matchups.
Jaime Garcia (@CHC, @SEA) – Garcia has been slumping as of late and a pair of Top 5 offenses are not the answer.
Jorge De La Rosa (@MIA, ARI) – De La Rosa’s ERA is well north of 7.00, making this a huge risk for little reward.
Chad Bettis (@MIA, ARI) – Bettis simply isn’t a fantasy relevant pitcher.
Mike Pelfrey (SEA, CLE) – Neither is Pelfrey.
Bud Norris (@MIA, NYM) – While he showed his classic strikeout upside last time out, you can’t depend on Norris even against a pair of NL Easy teams.
Hector Santiago (@HOU, OAK) – I can understand people going with Santiago due to Oakland and Houston isn’t so imposing. However, Hector hasn’t performed well for a while and he’s trending in the wrong direction.
Jhoulys Chacin (@HOU, OAK) – Jhoulys has the same matchups as Santiago, and I can understand an argument to lift him to the next tier, but I’m hesitant to take the risk.
Justin Nicolino (COL, CHC) – Nicolino isn’t a solid option against mediocre teams, which gets amplified when facing the Cubs.
Jeremy Hellickson (ARI, @SFG) – Hellickson is known for his inconsistency, and these starts don’t look to bring the best out of him.
Juan Nicasio (SFG, LAD) – Nicasio’s flame has dwindled since the spark in late March.
Derek Holland (BAL, BOS) – The Dutch Invasion is returning as Holland gets two nightmarish offenses ahead.