Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 9 (5/28 – 6/3)

Nick Pollack looks at every two-start pitcher for Week 9, telling you which to start and which to bench.

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/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

Jacob deGrom (@ATL, CHC)

Blake Snell (@OAK, @SEA)

Justin Verlander (@NYY, BOS)

Jake Arrieta (@LAD, @SFG)

Jon Lester (@PIT, @NYM)

Mike Clevinger (CHW, @MIN)

Charlie Morton (@NYY, BOS)

Michael Fulmer (LAA, TOR)

Tyson Ross (MIA, CIN)

  • Jacob deGrom, Blake Snelland Jake Arrieta are the easy choices this week. It’s unfortunate that both Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton have to face both the Sawx and Yankees, but their talent level forces them into the top tier.
  • You can’t stop rolling with Tyson Rossespecially with starts against Miami and Cincinnati. The same with Jon Lester against the Pirates and Mets, though there is a greater possibility of cracking than Ross.
  • There may be some pushback on Mike Clevinger and Michael Fulmer being placed in this tier, though I believe their skill sets dictate strong performances for the two-start week.

Probably Start

Caleb Smith (@SDP, @ARI)

Kenta Maeda (PHI, @COL)

Chris Archer (@OAK, @SEA)

Gio Gonzalez (@BAL, @ATL)

Luke Weaver (@MIL, PIT)

Michael Wacha (@MIL, PIT)

Dylan Bundy (WSH, NYY)

David Price (TOR, @HOU)

Rick Porcello (TOR, @HOU)

Jakob Junis (MIN, OAK)

Tyler Skaggs (@DET, TEX)

  • Despite a questionable matchup against the Diamondbacks, I’d love to roll with Caleb Smith for his two-start week ahead, especially kicking it off with an evening in San Diego
  • I don’t love Kenta Maeda heading to Colorado, but it’s well worth the risk as he’s as hot as anyone right now + your brass will be rewarded with the Phillies offense.
  • With Shohei Ohtani getting pushed to Monday, I don’t expect him to return again for Sunday considering how they are “managing his workload,” creating a window for Tyler Skaggs to start twice on Tuesday and Sunday.
  • Luke Weaver and Michael Wacha get comfortable lineups in the Brewers and Pirates and should be able to ride their recent success through the week.
  • It’s too bad Dylan Bundy has to face both the Nationals and Yankees, but with the way he’s pitching, you have to favor him over the tier two options.
  • Gio Gonzalez and Chris Archer get mediocre overall matchups and should be free to fly.
  • I don’t like that teammates Rick Porcello and David Price have to face the Astros, but I’m willing to look past it for a start against Toronto, each with the upside to return two favorable starts.
  • Jacob Junis is the one I debated the most here, though I’m leaning to take a chance on him against a Khris Davis-less A’s offense and middling Twins squad.


Kyle Gibson (@KCR, CLE)

Vince Velasquez (@LAD, @SFG)

Jeremy Hellickson (@BAL, @ATL)

Homer Bailey (@ARI, @SDP)

Matthew Boyd (LAA, TOR)

Marco Gonzales (TEX, TBR)

Brandon McCarthy (NYM, WSH)

Dan Straily (@SDP, @ARI)

  • Kyle Gibson, Homer Bailey, Dan Strailyand Brandon McCarthy each have one favorable start I’m all for, paired with one that makes me a bit uneasy. Plan accordingly to see if it’s worth the risk for your team.
  • Matt Boyd and Marco Gonzales have overperformed a bit this year, though they could continue their solid starts to 2018 against teams outside the top tiers.
  • Vince Velasquez gets the benefit of the Dodgers and Giants, and while I dislike his floor, I’d consider VV one of the better choices in the third tier.
  • I heavily dislike chasing Jeremy Hellickson’s recent hot streak, though I will not ignore his improved curveball that could carry over through the week. Monitor his blister situation first to ensure he gets these starts.


Doug Fister (@SEA, @LAA)

Andrew Suarez (@COL, PHI)

Adam Plutko (CHW, @MIN)

Chad Bettis (SFG, LAD)

Lance Lynn (@KCR, CLE)

Daniel Gossett (TBR, @KCR)

Brent Suter (STL, @CHW)

Tyler Chatwood (@PIT, @NYM)

Steven Matz (@ATL, CHC)

Felix Hernandez (TEX, TBR)

Chad Kuhl (CHC, @STL)

Ivan Nova (CHC, @STL)

Matt Koch (CIN, MIA)

Aaron Sanchez (@BOS, @DET)

Eric Lauer (MIA, CIN)

Dylan Covey (@CLE, MIL)

Domingo German (HOU, @BAL)

CC Sabathia (HOU, @BAL)

Alex Cobb (WSH, NYY)

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.

5 responses to “Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 9 (5/28 – 6/3)”

  1. Codylee says:

    Why are you so worried about the Diamondbacks offense? They’ve been awful on offense over the last couple weeks and completely in a rut. If anything they seem like a team you want to be throwing starters against

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Awesome avatar, by the way.

      That’s totally fair, I’m not banking on that rut continuing – they rarely do.

  2. AC says:

    Thoughts on starting Alex Reyes on his return? Doesn’t seem like a typical DLH situation, given the number (and quality) of his rehab starts. If they bring him back Tuesday as they seem to be thinking, looks like he could be @Mil and home to PIT (instead of Wacha).

  3. Jeff Meredith says:


    I just listened to you and PS(or as you referred to him, Paul) go at it on the Pod. Great job on the fireside and it is now a part of my weekly mandatory consumption. I must apologize that I had not heard of your website, PL until Paul mentioned it in the beginning and that if you weren’t coming here, you’re doing it wrong. I don’t like doing it wrong. Forgive me, correction made. Homescreened it.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha, thanks Jeff! Glad you had a good time listening to the cast.

      Hope to see you around the comments! Definitely check out our daily SP Roundup and Batter’s Box pieces + the weekly lists.

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