We spent five months waiting for baseball. Now, there’s already a full week of baseball in the books. Week two kicks off Sunday. Whether you’re looking for that elusive first win or trying to keep the perfect season alive, two-start pitchers will do you wonders. As I’m writing this in my room in New York, it’s snowing outside. Yeah, snow in April. So keep that in mind for those east-coast guys when reading this list. We’ve already seen a handful of postponements and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more next week.
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Friday, April 6 and are subject to change.
It’s simple. These are the two-start guys that you should slot into your roster and not worry about them. These are the guys that have a pair of favorable matchups, are hot of late, or are just plain studs.
Corey Kluber – Tue 4/10 vs. DET, Sun 4/15 vs. TOR
Max Scherzer – Tue 4/10 vs. ATL, Sun 4/15 vs. COL
Carlos Martinez – Tue 4/10 vs. MIL, Sun 4/15 @ CIN
Justin Verlander – Mon 4/9 @ MIN, Sun 4/15 vs. TEX
Luis Severino – Tue 4/10 @ BOS, Sun 4/15 @ DET
Zack Godley – Mon 4/9 @ SF, Sun 4/15 @ LAD
Johnny Cueto – Mon 4/9 vs. ARI, Sat 4/14 @ SD
Garrett Richards – Mon 4/9 @ TEX, Sat 4/14 @ KC
Aces, aces, aces! Do I even really need to say it? You’re going to want to start these guys, regardless of their matchups. They’re sure to put together great outings and help start off, and end, your week with a bang.
Proceed With Caution
I wouldn’t be so quick about running these guys out there for two starts in Week 1. That’s not to say I wouldn’t give them a look, though. If you’re a risk taker or are in a position where you need all the help you can get, give these guys a look.
Jon Gray – Mon 4/9 vs. SD, Sat 4/14 @ WSH
Though the talent is undeniably there, Gray falls just outside the “ace” category. Gray’s strikeout ability along with his weak contact (85.6 mph average exit velocity) has made me a full believer of a breakout season. That’s why I’ll still be running him out there despite a start at Coors and one against the Nationals.
Julio Teheran – Mon 4/9 @ WAS, Sun 4/15 @ CHC
Like Gray, Teheran falls just short of an ace. He’s been known to put forth some incredible games but is coming off a rough season in 2017. A bright spot in last year’s season for Teheran was his numbers on the road. He posted a 3.14 ERA away from SunTrust Park.
Jakob Junis – Mon 4/9 vs. SEA, Sat 4/14 vs. LAA
Junis has been a favorite breakout candidate of mine heading into 2018. His great control, (25:80 BB:K) allows him to pitch deep into games. We saw this with an incredible seven innings of three-hit ball in his first start.
Dylan Bundy – Mon 4/9 vs. TOR, Sun 4/15 @ BOS
Not many pitchers have gotten off to a better start than Bundy. He’s allowed just one earned run and owns a mouthwatering 3:15 BB:K over 13 innings in his two starts. He’ll face a tough task of navigating two right-handed heavy power lineups in Toronto and Boston.
Tyler Skaggs – Tue 4/10 @ TEX, Sun 4/15 @ KC
Like Bundy, Skaggs is another guy who has gotten off to a terrific start. 11 innings, two runs, just two walks and 11 strikeouts. In addition to the strikeouts, Skaggs has raised his ground-ball rate to over 50 percent. The southpaw will be going up against two lefty-heavy lineups, something he’s excelled at, so he makes for a quality two-start option in week two.
Blake Snell – Mon 4/9 @ CHW, Sat 4/14 vs. PHI
A strikeout pitcher versus two very strikeout-prone teams? Yes, please. Snell’s a power pitcher who can get wild at times but has a knack for missing bats. The White Sox ranked 27th in strikeouts per game with 10.33 while the Phillies were even worse at 10.83. Even if he doesn’t last past the fifth, expect enough strikeouts to give your team a boost.
J.A. Happ – Mon 4/9 @ BAL, Sun 4/15 @ CLE
Similar story with Happ. He may not last too deep into his starts, logging just ten innings across both starts. If you need strikeouts, though, Happ’s 2:14 BB:K looks really good right now.
Miguel Gonzalez – Mon 4/9 vs. TB, Sat 4/14 @ MIN
Tyler Chatwood – Mon 4/9 vs. PIT, Sun 4/15 vs. ATL
A.J. Cole – Mon 4/9 vs. ATL, Sat 4/14 vs. COL
Miles Mikolas – Mon 4/9 vs. MIL, Sat 4/14 @ CIN
Nothing To See Here
Stay away from these guys. I know the thought of two starts in a week is tempting, but it’s more likely these guys put you in the negative than help you.
Felix Hernandez – Mon 4/9 @ KC, Sun 4/15 vs. OAK
A decline with age is expected. With most guys, we can only hope that it’s long and gradual. That hasn’t been the case with King Felix. His numbers have been on the downslope for the past four seasons and 2017 marked the worst season of his career. Hernandez induced just seven swinging strikes among his 87 pitches. Seven. He’s not fooling anyone anymore and I’d stay clear of the veteran hurler.
Jake Odorizzi – Mon 4/9 vs. HOU, Sat 4/14 vs. CWS
Odorizzi finds himself up against one of the best offenses in the game in Houston and one of the hottest offenses in the game in Chicago. Though he hurled a gem on Opening Day, Odorizzi left much to be desired in his second start. He’s always had a problem with the long-ball, especially to righties. Well, unfortunately for Odorizzi, guys like Springer, Correa, and Altuve for Houston and Abreu, Garcia and Davidson on Chicago stand in his way. Expect the ball to be flying in his two starts.
Cody Reed – Mon 4/9 @ PHI, Sat 4/14 vs. STL
Josh Tomlin – Mon 4/9 vs. DET, Sat 4/14 vs. TOR
Francisco Liriano – Mon 4/9 @ CLE, Sat 4/14 vs. NYY
Jhoulys Chacin – Mon 4/9 @ STL, Sun 4/15 @ NYM
Clayton Richard – Mon 4/9 @ COL, Sat 4/14 vs. SF
Jose Urena – Mon 4/9 vs. NYM, Sun 4/15 vs. PIT
Ivan Nova – Mon 4/9 @CHC, Sat 4/14 @MIA
Doug Fister – Mon 4/9 vs. LAA, Sun 4/15 @ HOU
Kyle Gibson – Tue 4/10 vs. HOU, Sun 4/15 vs. CHW
Matthew Boyd – Mon 4/9 @ CLE, Sat 4/14 vs. NYY
Tyler Anderson – Tue 4/10 vs. SD, Sun 4/15 @ WAS
Carson Fulmer – Tue 4/10 vs. TB, Sun 4/15 @ MIN
Ben Lively – Mon 4/9 vs. CIN, Sun 4/15 @ TB
Daniel Norris – Tue 4/10 @ CLE, Sun 4/15 vs. NYY
Homer Bailey – Tue 4/10 @ PHI, Sun 4/15 vs. STL
Joey Lucchesi – Tue 4/10 @COL, Sun 4/15 vs. SF
Brian Johnson – Tue 4/10 vs. NYY, Sun 4/15 vs. BAL