You have to love it when the schedule lines up just right and gives some of the best pitchers in the game two starts. That’s what we have this week, as some of the hottest pitchers in baseball help us kick off June with two starts. With every no-brainer, though, there are always a handful of guys that are harder to trust. Deciding who to start and who to bench is tough, but I’m here to hopefully make that decision a little bit easier.
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Sunday, May 27 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.
- Justin Verlander – 5/28 @ NYY, 6/2 vs. BOS
- Jacob deGrom – 5/28 @ ATL, 6/2 vs. CHC
- Gio Gonzalez – 5/28 @ BAL, 6/2 @ ATL
- Charlie Morton – 5/29 @ NYY, 6/3 vs. BOS
- Mike Clevinger – 5/29 vs. CWS, 6/3 @ MIN
- Jon Lester – 5/29 @ PIT, 6/3 @ NYM
- Kenta Maeda – 5/29 vs. PHI, 6/3 @ COL
- Jake Arrieta – 5/29 @ LAD, 6/3 @ SF
- David Price – 5/28 vs. TOR, 6/2 @ HOU
Clearly, the No-Brainers list is loaded this week. Aside from Price and Porcello, not a single pitcher has an ERA over 3.40. In fact, six of them (Verlander, deGrom, Gonzalez, Morton, Lester, and Arrieta) are among the top-15 in ERA in all of baseball. While Price may seem like the only question mark on this list, he’s coming off two superb starts and has earned some trust moving forward.
There’s no doubt that these guys could go out there and keep opposing hitters at bay. They’re the kind of guys that you can lean on to give you six quality innings. They’re solid, safe bets and should be relied on to put forth respectable outings.
- Michael Wacha – 5/29 @ MIL, 6/3 vs. PIT
- Luke Weaver – 5/28 @ MIL, 6/2 vs. PIT
- This pair of Cardinals have been somewhat opposites this season. While Wacha’s numbers have been great, hitters are barreling him up consistently and making solid contact. Weaver, on the other hand, hasn’t had the best numbers, and much of it can be attributed to bad luck. Wacha may be due to regress a bit, while Weaver’s luck should surely improve. With two matchups against the Brewers and Pirates, they both can be trusted with two starts this week.
- Chris Archer – 5/28 @ OAK, 6/2 @ SEA
- Archer has completely flipped the script on his season with a huge month of May. In 32.2 innings, Archer has posted a 2.76 ERA and has recorded four out of five quality starts. His 4.68 ERA and 1.33 WHIP are both on the way down and should continue to dip with two starts against the A’s and Mariners.
- Rick Porcello – 5/29 vs. TOR, 6/3 @ HOU
- Porcello has been the definition of a safe bet all season. While he hasn’t been dominant by any means, he’s worked into the sixth inning in all but just one start this season. He can be counted on for innings, even if it means giving up three or four runs along the way. His 8.7 K/9 surely doesn’t hurt, either.
- Jake Junis – 5/28 vs. MIN, 6/3 vs. OAK
- Like Porcello, you pretty much know what you’re getting with Junis. He doesn’t have the strikeout numbers that Porcello has, but he can be trusted to pile up innings. He’s worked into the sixth inning in eight of his ten starts and has given up two runs or fewer in seven of them.
- Tyson Ross – 5/29 vs. MIA, 6/3 vs. CIN
- Caleb Smith – 5/28 @ SD, 6/2 @ ARI
- Marco Gonzales – 5/28 vs. TEX, 6/2 vs. TB
Survive and Thrive
With two starts come two chances to put up big numbers. However, pitchers aren’t always fortunate enough to match up against two weak teams in a week. A lot of times, pitchers will be faced with one easier matchup and one tougher one. If they can so much as survive the tougher one, they have a chance to thrive on the weaker matchup and really help a fantasy team.
- Michael Fulmer – 5/29 vs. LAA, 6/3 vs. TOR
- Fulmer’s bread and butter this season has been keeping the ball in the park. After leading the league last year with a 0.7 HR/9, he’s following it up with a 0.9 HR/9 so far in 2018. That being said, the Angels are still an undeniably tough team at the plate. Their 67 homers are good for fifth in baseball, and Mike Trout seems to hit one every day. Fulmer also draws the Blue Jays, who are tied with the Angels with 67 homers on the season. However, he benefits from making both his starts at Comerica, where he owns a 0.7 HR/9.
- Aaron Sanchez – 5/28 @ BOS, 6/3 @ DET
- No one wants to face the Red Sox, understandably so. Sanchez has that tough task in his first start of the week. His biggest problem this year has been issuing too many walks, owning a 5.5 BB/9. It’s preventing him from pitching deep into games and providing much fantasy value. Fortunately, if he can get past the Red Sox, he’ll get to feast on the Tigers, who are dead last in baseball in drawing walks.
- Jeremy Hellickson – 5/29 @ BAL, 6/3 @ ATL
Medium Risk, High Reward
It’s never a sure thing what you’re going to get from these guys. Their matchups aren’t overly challenging, which could allow them to turn in some really solid numbers. There’s always risk with these guys, though, so don’t expect too much.
- Dylan Bundy – 5/29 vs. WAS, 6/3 vs. NYY
- Sure, 14 strikeouts in a game are great, but Bundy’s start against the White Sox wasn’t perfect. He surrendered his 14th homer of the season, something he’s struggled with all year. He won’t find any help on that front as the Nationals and Yankees, two home-run hitting teams, come to Camden Yards.
- Felix Hernandez – 5/29 vs. TEX, 6/3 vs. TB
- The King hasn’t given us much to be encouraged about this season. He’s walking guys, giving up the long-ball, and not missing many bats. If it wasn’t for his favorable matchups, Hernandez wouldn’t be on this list.
- Tyler Chatwood – 5/28 @ PIT, 6/2 @ NYM
- Vince Velasquez – 5/28 @ LAD, 6/2 @ SF
- Dan Straily – 5/29 @ SD, 6/3 @ ARI
- Kyle Gibson – 5/29 @ KC, 6/3 vs. CLE
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.
- CC Sabathia
- Matt Boyd
- Chad Bettis
- Ivan Nova
- Nate Eovaldi
- Dylan Covey
- Chad Kuhl
- Matt Koch
- Steven Matz
- Daniel Gossett
- Austin Bibens-Dirkx
- Andrew Suarez
- Eric Lauer
- Brandon McCarthy
- Domingo German
- Alex Cobb
- Homer Bailey
- Brent Suter
- Adam Plutko
- Doug Fister
- Lance Lynn