Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 5 (4/30 – 5/6)

Nick Pollack looks at every two-start pitcher for Week 5, telling you which to start and which to bench.

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

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.

Note: This article was written Friday morning, estimating probable starters through the week. These are subject to change.

Definitely Start

Clayton Kershaw (@ARI, @SDP)

Max Scherzer (PIT, PHI)

Chris Sale (KCR, @TEX)

Jake Arrieta (@MIA, @WSH)

Charlie Morton (NYY, @ARI)

Justin Verlander (NYY, @ARI)

Zack Greinke (LAD, HOU)

  • Even with Charlie Morton and Justin Verlander getting a pair of tough starts, they need to be started. That simple.
  • Zack Greinke is a little more of a question as well, but his high whiff rate and talent level speaks to a pair of green lights regardless of the teams.

Probably Start

Eduardo Rodriguez (KCR, @TEX)

Rich Hill (@ARI, @SDP)

Tanner Roark (PIT, PHI)

Aaron Sanchez (@MIN, @TBR)

Jon Lester (COL, @STL)

Trevor Bauer (TEX, @NYY)

  • Trevor Bauer would be in the higher tier if not a pair of tough opponents. Even with the obstacles ahead, he should most likely be let loose on both evenings.
  • Both Aaron Sanchez and Tanner Roark favor heavily from a pair of beneficial matchups, especially Roark whose season outlook isn’t as favorable as the others


Jameson Taillon (@WSH, @MIL)

Felix Hernandez (OAK, LAA)

Michael Wacha (CHW, CHC)

Kyle Gibson (TOR, @CHW)

Jhoulys Chacin (@CIN, PIT)

Andrew Triggs (@SEA, BAL)

Jacob Faria (@DET, TOR)

Jakob Junis (@BOS, DET)

Cole Hamels (@CLE, BOS)

Alex Cobb (@LAA, @OAK)

Marco Estrada (@MIN, @TBR)

Kyle Freeland (@CHC, @NYM)

Matt Wisler (@NYM, SFG)

Mike Clevinger (TEX, @NYY)

Jordan Montgomery (@HOU, CLE)

Matthew Boyd (TBR, @KCR)

  • Plenty of questionable options to choose from this week, with a good amount most likely on your wire. There are overall weak arms with good matchups (Jhoulys Chacin, Matt Wisler, Matthew Boyd), upside plays that could turn out very well or fall very flat (Cole Hamels, Marco Estrada, Jakob Junis, Jacob Faria), and decent arms that have a favorable matchup and one that should come with caution (Kyle Freeland, Michael Wacha, Jordan Montgomery).
  • Felix Hernandez and Alex Cobb both face Oakland and Los Angeles and could hurt you plenty this week…or figure out their changeups and return some value. Be cautious here, especially with Cobb.
  • I feel that Mike Clevinger is so close to blossoming into a Top 25/30 starter, though there should be hesitation committing to starts against both the Rangers and Yankees.
  • Jameson Taillon didn’t pitch as poorly as his 7 ER start looks against the Tigers, though the Nats and Brewers won’t make it easy for him to rebound quickly.


Eric Lauer (@SFG, LAD)

James Shields (@STL, MIN)

Steven Matz (ATL, COL)

Wei-Yin Chen (PHI, @CIN)

Jason Hammel (@BOS, DET)

Brandon Finnegan (MIL, MIA)

Lance Lynn (TOR, @CHW)

Jordan Zimmermann (TBR, @KCR)

Chad Kuhl (@WSH, @MIL)

Sonny Gray (@HOU, CLE)

Matt Koch (LAD, HOU)

  • Plenty of easy decisions here with arms like Matt Koch and Eric Lauer so far removed from your radar and for good reason.
  • Even with two good matchups, please don’t trust Jordan Zimmermann.
  • Seeing Sonny Gray in the bottom tier is a shock for anyone looking at this in March, but he’s as lost as they get on the hill these days. Scheduled dates against the Astros and Indians will do him no favors.
  • There is upside in the tank for both Brandon Finnegan and Chad Kuhl, however it comes with too much risk to trust them this week.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

11 responses to “Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 5 (4/30 – 5/6)”

  1. BigTuna says:

    Are the questionable starters ranked in terms of order of preference? So Kyle Gibson > Estrada > Boyd for example? 12 tm h2h pts, looking to start 1 of those 3.

  2. Harry says:

    Ohtani? I know there’s the blister issue, but if LAA sticks to the schedule, that would line him up for vs Baltimore on Tuesday and @ Seattle on Sunday.

  3. wasntme says:

    What about Kenta Maeda? Isn’t he a 2-start?

  4. Chucky says:

    If Luis Castillo shows up on any list….there is no purpose to having a list. Chances are he will be sent to AAA by the time the anyone reads this. Nick, you were his biggest cheerleader and now it’s time to acknowledge the obvious.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      The obvious that I’ve already stated? That holding Castillo = stashing for June and beyond?

      The fact that he’s still in the majors and threw harder today means that he’s the equivalent of a stud prospect with the chance of actually being productive before we expect him to improve.

      I don’t really see why tonight’s effort is suddenly setting you off, honestly. We already had this talk after his previous start.

      • Chucky says:

        Are you buying the new “arm angle” alibi or are the Reds just grasping at straws?

        • Nick Pollack says:

          I’m not all too much as I didn’t see a major shift in release points thus far. However, Paxton did get a wildly improved effect with a new arm slot and it’s possible it’s the tweak Castillo needs.

          The more important aspect is the fact that the Reds are at least tinkering now instead of just hoping it would sort itself out.

  5. ReleasetheMckraken says:

    Marcus Stroman is killing me. Hold or is it time to move on. I’m worried he’s pitching through the shoulder injury and isn’t going to right all season…

  6. KDallas says:

    Where would Newcomb slot? Looks like he’s now slated for a 2-fer @ mets and v. Giants.

  7. Ken Plane says:

    Would you start a struggling Taillon or Triggs this week?

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