Here on Fridays 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.
Matt Harvey (ATL, @SDP)
Jose Quintana (BOS, MIN)
Justin Verlander (@CLE, TEX)
Gerrit Cole (CHC, @STL)
Jake Arrieta (@PIT, WSH)
Aaron Nola (@STL, @MIA)
Sonny Gray (SEA, @BAL)
Dallas Keuchel (MIN, SEA)
Michael Wacha (PHI, PIT)
Johnny Cueto (@CIN, COL)
Hisashi Iwakuma (@OAK, @HOU) – Despite Iwakuma’s problems on the hill, I still like him against the Athletics, and he could rack up the Ks in Houston.
Patrick Corbin (@MIA, @ATL) – Corbin would normally be in the top tier if it weren’t for his troubles in April. Still, his matchups against the Gordon-less Marlins and Slugger-less Braves gives you little chance to say no.
Bartolo Colon (ATL, @SDP) – It doesn’t get much better than this when it comes to matchups, making someone like Colon, who is generally reserved as a streamer, a dependable pick to take advantage.
Matt Moore (LAD, @LAA) – The upside is becoming realized for Moore, which make his week against the average Dodgers and bottom tier Angels a good bet.
Gio Gonzalez (@KCR, @CHC) – Gio has been impressive to start 2016 and he would be in the top tier if it weren’t for two great offenses in his way.
Kyle Hendricks (@PIT, WSH) – Despite getting a pair of worthy opponents, Hendricks’ chance for a Win mixed with a good floor makes him a solid choice.
Marco Estrada (TEX, LAD) – Estrada is a decent option as he faces two average offenses while playing for a winning ballclub.
Jose Berrios (@HOU, @CWS) – Now that Tommy Milone is getting skipped over, Berrios gets 2-start treatment. I see him rebounding from his debut and coming into his own against both the Stros and Chi Sox.
Chris Tillman (NYY, OAK) – Tillman has shown his upside in flashes of brilliance, which could come out against Oakland. Or he could falter both times out.
Jeff Samardzija (@CIN, COL) – The start in Cincy for Samardzija is certainly intriguing, but an evening with the Rockies is never a fun time.
James Shields (COL, NYM) – Drafting Shields has been a major disappointment for owners thus far, and he gets a pair of above-average offenses this week.
Adam Wainwright (PHI, PIT) – Waino has seen much better days on the hill, and while it’s possible he could recover against the Phils, I’m not liking his date with the Pirates.
Luis Severino (@BAL, BOS) – There is a ton of upside in Severino, but it’s taking longer than expected for it to come out this season. I’m leaning sit as he works it out, but he could pay dividends to a gambling man.
Edinson Volquez (WSH, @CLE) – Two good matchups are lined up for Volquez, and outside of his last outing where he reverted to his former self, Volquez has been productive in 2016. He’s probably the closest of being in the “Probable” tier of the bunch.
Collin McHugh (MIN, SEA) – Well, McHugh and Volquez, that is. McHugh gets a pair of decent offenses to start against, though his struggles out of the gate have me questioning his reliability.
Nate Karns (@OAK, @HOU) – Karns had a nice bounce back last time out and while the risk of walking too many batters is still present, he could be a worthwhile stream this week against the poor hitting A’s and strikeout friendly Stros.
Tanner Roark (@KCR, @CHC) – Roark has been hot lately, though he gets two tough opponents this week that could have him reverting back to his old self.
Jeremy Hellickson (@STL, @MIA) – Hellickson is a man of extremes and his volatile ways mixed with decent matchups upgrades him from the bottom tier.
Brandon Finnegan (SFG, MIL) – Finegan has looked a bit shaky lately, though a start against the Brew Crew is appetizing.
Jimmy Nelson (LAA, @CIN) – Nelson wouldn’t be in this tier if it weren’t for a pair of poor teams ahead. He has strikeout upside if you need the help, though the risk of a high WHIP is ever present.
Jon Gray (@SDP, @SFG) – Gray has the unfortunate luck of calling Colorado his team, though he has the stuff to succeed at times outside of Coors. He gets the Padres to start the week and I can see him being somewhat productive.
Steven Wright (@CWS, @NYY) – Don’t trust a knuckleballer. Well, Wright has been good the last two times out and the Chi Sox aren’t looking so hot. You could do worse but this could get ugly fast.
Ricky Nolasco (@HOU, @CWS) – I’m shocked I’m placing Nolasco out of the bottom tier, but he’s been surprisingly serviceable thus far and could succeed against two questionable offenses. Update: Nolasco is getting pulled back to Sunday, which means he’s not longer a 2-start pitcher.
Josh Tomlin (@DET, KCR) –Tomlin struggled against the Twins last time out and now faces two much tougher lineups.
Jered Weaver (@MIL, TBR) – Despite the solid matchups, I simply cannot endorse Weaver.
Taylor Jungmann (LAA, @CIN) – It has been a very rough 2016 for Jungmann thus far and while he gets two streamable teams, I wouldn’t bank on Jungmann to rebound.
Justin Nicolino (ARI, PHI) – Nicolino can be okay at times, but his lack of upside makes this risk not worth it.
A.J. Griffin (@TOR, @DET) – Griffin is performing better than expected to start the year, but he gets the worst matchups of any two-start pitcher this week. Bummer.
Bud Norris (@NYM, ARI) – I highly doubt there will be a moment I will ever endorse Norris to start a game.
Andrew Cashner (COL, NYM) – The Rockies are a top tier offense, and the Mets’ bats are heating up after a slow start.
R.A. Dickey (TEX, LAD) – Don’t trust a knuckleballer. Yes, I know what I said about Wright, but I don’t like throwing Dickey out there randomly, even if it’s against two middle-of-the-road offenses.
Eddie Butler (@SDP, @SFG) – Butler is rarely worth the start and his outing against the Padres isn’t enough to endure the Giants.
Jon Moscot (SFG, MIL) – Don’t do this. Moscot is one of the weakest pitchers you can trust these days.