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.
Max Scherzer (@BAL, PHI)
Justin Verlander (@ARI, @LAA)
Jacob deGrom (@MIL, SFG)
Masahiro Tanaka (@CIN, HOU)
Jameson Taillon (@ARI, @LAD) – Taillon wasn’t his sharpest against the Reds, though I expect him to bounce back even against some of the tougher offenses around.
Robbie Ray (DET, PIT) – A start against the Pirates is tantalizing while the Tigers aren’t enough of a deterrent to bench Ray.
Ivan Nova (@ARI, @LAD) – Nova had a misstep on Thursday and it could continue next week…but you can’t turn him down after just one bump in the road after kicking off the season as one of the hottest pitchers in baseball.
Jeff Samardzija (CIN, @NYM) – After striking out 11 batters, it would be hard to deny Samardzija both his starts next week, one start which includes the mediocre Mets.
Drew Pomeranz (@MIL, TBR) – The Dirty Cheerleader is on a roll and these teams are not intimidating enough to reconsider.
Carlos Martinez (CHC, @MIA) – He’s be in the top tier if it weren’t for the Cubs that could present some difficulties. Still, you can’t bench him here.
Gio Gonzalez (@BAL, PHI) – Gio still holds an ERA under 2.00 and I expect him at the very least lower his walk total from last time (seven walks?!) and keep the momentum up against two middle-ground offenses.
Marcus Stroman (CLE, SEA) – If Stroman is indeed starting both of these outings after reports of his injury last night, then I’ll roll with him. Check to see if he’s actually getting that first start, though.
Jake Arrieta (@COL, @STL) – I was tempted to put him in the “Questionable” tier given a start in Coors and his command inconsistences. At the end of the day, he still has a great repertoire and I like him more than anyone in the third tier.
Charlie Morton (ATL, @NYY) – I really want to roll with Morton after his last two outings, thing is that the Yankees are looking incredible strong lately. Maybe they cool off by next weekend, maybe they diminish a possible solid outing against the Braves.
Matt Moore (CIN, @NYM) – Moore has had his struggles and the Reds are hot. For the most part, I think you roll him out there, though it would naive to call this an obvious start.
Hisashi Iwakuma (@PHI, @TOR) – Both the Phils and Jays are struggling offensively and Iwakuma could be of use if you want to roll the dice on two starts.
A.J. Griffin (OAK, @SDP) – Given these two lackluster offenses, it’s conceivable Griffin earns a Win for the Rangers without killing your week.
Blake Snell (@BOS, KCR) – The K upside could show up and Kansas City could roll over for Snell, though the Red Sox present a scary evening.
Kevin Gausman (WSH, @KCR) – It’s been a struggle for Gausman thus far and getting ejected early + getting the Nationals aren’t helping things. Still, a start against the Royals looks to be beneficial and it’s possible he squeaks out a serviceable week.
Hector Santiago (@CHW, @CLE) – The only scenario where I’d even consider rolling with Santiago twice in a week is when he has a pair of bottom 10 offenses. This is not that week.
Antonio Senzatela (CHC, LAD) – Hosting a pair of games against above-average offenses in Coors is not a recipe for success.
Adam Conley (ATL, STL) – You don’t know what you’re going to get from Conley on a given night, making this too much risk without enough reward.
Alex Meyer (DET, @OAK) – Meyer’s command problems make me concerned on any given night.
Jered Weaver (@CHW, TEX) – Even getting good matchups I want nothing to do with Weaver.
Julio Urias (@COL, PIT) – Urias heading to Coors mixed with a low IPS turns this into a tough endorsement.
Kyle Freeland (CHC, LAD) – Even with his recent success, the Cubs and Dodgers in Coors are not starts I want to be running with Freeland.
Luis Perdomo (@CHW, TEX) – The lack of consistency from start to start has me looking elsewhere.
Matt Andriese (@BOS, KCR) – Yes it was a good start on Thursday for Andriese, it’s not enough for me to trust it’s going to be consistent. One of the better upside plays in this tier, though.
Mike Pelfrey (MIN, SDP) – Pelfrey just isn’t fantasy relevant.
Nathan Karns (BAL, @TBR) – There’s some K upside here, but either one of these starts could demolish your week.
Ricky Nolasco (DET, @OAK) – Nolasco against the Tigers is a matchup I would love to avoid. And even if he escapes that one, there’s no guarantee he can handle the A’s.
Rookie Davis (NYY, @SFG) – Don’t expect Davis to be the antidote for the deadly Yankee offense.
Ubaldo Jimenez (WSH, @KCR) – If you want to raise your blood pressure, Ubaldo might be a good option as he gets a matchup with the Nationals.
Wily Peralta (BOS, NYM) – Peralta has shown some life in the strikeout department lately, though an date with the Red Sox does not instill confidence.