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MLB Fantasy Advice: 2 Start Pitchers Week Five

This week’s MLB Fantasy list is rather long with some repeat players from last week’s list. Due in large part to all the rainouts from week four. Part of planning 2 start pitchers is taking into account that possibility. Though it isn’t perfect science, it is something to consider. When choosing a pitcher you must ask yourself if you can afford to live with only one start if forced to miss one. All that said, there are some really great match-ups this week with several top notch starters going twice. We could see some really high point totals come out of this week.

This may be our last week writing this piece, but as always I’ll tier these groups and offer some quick hit insight. These projected starts are not a lock and are subject to change due to rain outs, injury, performance issues, or managerial whims in accordance to each player’s actual major league team. I only offer my the opinion on the match-ups, there are no guarantees on the actual starts.

No Reason You Wouldn’t Be Starting Any Of These…

  • Clayton Kershaw – (5/01 vs. SF-Johny Cueto; 5/7 @ SD-Trevor Cahill)
  • Johnny Cueto- (5/01 @ LAD-Clayton Kershaw; 5/7 @ CIN-Scott Feldman
  • Corey Kluber – (5/2 @ DET-Justin Verlander; 5/7 @ KC-Danny Duffy)
  • Chris Sale – (5/2 vs. BAL- TBA; 5/7 @ MIN-TBA)
  • James Paxton – (5/2 @ LAA-Matt Shoemaker; 5/7 vs. TEX-Cole Hamels)
  • Ervin Santana – (5/2 vs. OAK-Sonny Gray; 5/6 vs. BOS-Rick Porcello)
  • Luis Severino – (5/1 vs. TOR-Marco Estrada; 5/7 @ CHC-Jon Lester)

It is too bad that someone has to lose the Kershaw/Cueto match-up, as both pitchers have very favorable match-ups the next game. Kluber facing a toothless tiger team and a stumbling Royals team should equal great week. Sale must be so good that he has scared away opponents; no opposite starters announced yet. I’m a big believer in Paxton and thus far he has been one of the few bright spots in Seattle. Santana, I’m less inclined to believe will continue to dominate, but A’s won’t be much competition and Boston is at home. Severino is pitching lights out thus far in ’17 and going to Cubs and facing off against Lester will be a big test for him.

Good Bets to Post Two Solid Starts…

  • Cole Hamels – (5/2 @ HOU-Mike Fiers; 5/7 @ SEA-James Paxton)
  • Gerrit Cole – (5/1 @ CIN-Amir Garrett; 5/7 vs. MIL-Zach Davies)
  • Michael Wacha – (5/1 vs. MIL-Zach Davies; 5/7 @ ATL-Julio Teheran)
  • Jon Lester – (5/2 vs. PHI-Jeremy Hellickson; 5/7 vs. NYY-Luis Severino)
  • Justin Verlander – (5/2 vs. CLE-Corey Kluber; 5/7 @ OAK-Sonny Gray)
  • Jake Odorizzi – (5/1 @ MIA-Wei-Yin Chen; 5/6 vs. TOR-Marco Estrada)
  • Carlos Martinez – (5/2 vs. MIL-Wily Peralta; 5/7 @ ATL-R.A. Dickey)
  • Danny Duffy – (5/2 vs. CHW-Jose Quintana; 5/7 vs. CLE-Corey Kluber)
  • Tanner Roark – (5/2 vs. ARI-Taijuan Walker; 5/7 @ PHI-Jeremy Hellickson)
  • Dylan Bundy – (5/1 @ BOS-Rick Porcello; 5/6 vs. CHW-Dylan Covey)
  • Amir Garrett – (5/1 vs. PIT-Gerrit Cole; 5/6 vs. SF-Ty Blach)

[the_ad id=”384″]Although this group is the second tier, there really shouldn’t be any fear in starting any of these guys. Hamels issue will be two games on the road this week against AL West opponents. Gerrit Cole is capable of dominating a game and look for him to do so as the season progresses. Wacha thus far is pitching well, but I’m waiting for the wheels to fall off while riding the hot streak. Lester has not yet dominated like last year but is a solid veteran workhorse. Verlander, too, has started a little iffy to start the season, but after last season I refuse to doubt him again. Odorizzi is making a start after a D.L. stint for a hamstring issue and has two agreeable match-ups. Martinez has not yet locked-in for the season and I need to see him stabilize a bit here in the early going. Duffy has really only had the one bad start plus both games this week at home. As usual Roark’s solid, unspectacular approach goes ignored by most. Bundy has been Orioles’ best pitcher to date but still looks to improve. Garrett is a youngster coming off a bad start giving up multiple HR. He has two home starts to rebound and the talent to do so.

Not Bad Fall Back Options…

  • Matt Harvey – (5/2 @ ATL-R.A. Dickey; 5/7 vs. MIA-Edinson Volquez)
  • Julio Teheran – (5/1 vs. NYM-Robert Gsellman;5/6 vs. STL-Michael Wacha)
  • Trevor Bauer – (5/1  @ DET-Daniel Norris; 5/6 @ KC-Jason Vargas)
  • Jose Quintana – (5/2 @ KC-Danny Duffy; 5/7 @ BAL-Alec Asher)
  • Matt Shoemaker – (5/2 @ SEA-James Paxton; 5/7 vs. HOU-Mike Fiers)
  • Taijuan Walker – (5/2 @ WAS-Tanner Roark; 5/7 @ COL-Tyler Chatwood)
  • Lance McCullers- (5/1 vs. TEX-Andrew Cashner; 5/6 @ LAA-J.C. Ramirez)
  • Jeremy Hellickson – (5/2 @ CHC-Jon Lester; 5/7 vs. WAS-Tanner Roark)
  • Marco Estrada – (5/1 @ NYY-Luis Severino; 5/6 @ TB-Jake Odorizzi)
  • Zach Davies – (5/1 @ STL-Michael Wacha; 5/6 @ PIT-Gerrit Cole)

[the_ad id=”693″]There are still a lot of good starters falling into this group only because of maybe a tough match-up or some questionable performances. Harvey has yet to have a real confidence building start. The last one could be explained away as poor management/communication. Teheran may be a bit underrated here with both games at home. Bauer is very hit or miss, as usual. Quintana has had a tough start,which could be due to mental stress of trade talks in the early going. Shoemaker, Walker, and McCullers are all guys looking to solidify their spots near the tops of their staff with more consistent performances. Estrada keeps doing his thing on a team struggling to perform offensively. Davies is young enough to improve and on a good team to do so, but both starts being on the road could make it tough to do this week.

MEH, There Are Much Better Starters Out There…

  • Sonny Gray – (5/2 @ MIN-Ervin Santana; 5/7 vs. DET-Justin Verlander)
  • Andrew Cashner – (5/1 @ HOU-Lance McCullers; 5/6 @ SEA-Chase De Jong)
  • Rick Porcello – (5/1 vs. BAL-Dylan Bundy; 5/6 @ MIN-Ervin Santana)
  • Wei-Yin Chen – (5/1 vs. TB-Jake Odorizzi; 5/6 @ NYM-Robert Gsellman)
  • Brett Anderson – (5/1 vs. PHI-Vince Velasquez; 5/6 vs. NYY-Jordan Montgomery)
  • Wily Peralta – (5/2 @ STL-Carlos Martinez; 5/7 @ PIT-Tyler Glasnow)
  • R.A. Dickey – (5/2 vs. NYM-Matt Harvey; 5/7 vs. STL-Carlos Martinez)
  • Jason Vargas – (5/1 vs. CHW-Dylan Covey; 5/6 vs. CLE-Trevor Bauer)
  • Robert Gsellman – (5/1 @ ATL-Julio Teheran; 5/6 vs. MIA-Wei-Yin Chen)
  • Trevor Cahill – (5/2 vs. COL-Tyler Chatwood; 5/7 vs. LAD-Clayton Kershaw)
  • Vince Velasquez – (5/1 @ CHC-Brett Anderson; 5/6 vs. WAS-Joe Ross)

With the last three tiers chock full of decent options this tier really starts to fill up with what’s left. There are plenty of pitchers in this group that have performed pretty decently during the season. Peralta, Anderson, Dickey have all posted good games. Gray, Cashner, Chen, Cahill are all pitchers working their way back from injuries, yet to perform consistently fantasy wise. I am still waiting for Porcello to have a decent run. Gsellman and Velasquez could be good candidates to buy low on in deep leagues. Neither has really performed well to start the season, but both are young enough and have shown some levels of success at the major league level to believe they could.

No Interest At All…

  • Edinson Volquez – (5/2 vs. TB-Alex Cobb; 5/7 @ NYM-Matt Harvey)
  • Mike Fiers – (5/2 vs. TEX-Cole Hamels; 5/7 @ LAA-Matt Shoemaker)
  • Scott Feldman – (5/2 vs. PIT-Tyler Glasnow; 5/7 vs. SF-Johny Cueto)
  • Daniel Norris – (5/1 vs. CLE-Trevor Bauer; 5/36 @ OAK-Jesse Hahn)
  • Alex Cobb – (5/2 @ MIA-Edinson Volquez; 5/7 @ TOR-TBA)
  • Tyler Glasnow – (5/2 @ CIN-Scott Feldman; 5/7 vs. MIL-Wily Peralta)
  • Tyler Chatwood – (5/2 @ SD-Trevor Cahill; 5/7 vs. ARI-Taijuan Walker)
  • Alec Asher – (5/2 @ BOS-Chris Sale; 5/7 vs. CHW-Jose Quintana)
  • Dylan Covey – (5/1 @ KC-Jason Vargas; 5/6 @ BAL-Dylan Bundy)

With the abundance of useable 2 start pitchers out there I find little reason to utilize any of these. Cobb could be another buy low type player as mentioned above. Glasnow is a deep league keeper, but until he proves himself in the big leagues he may be headed for a trip back to AAA to work some things out. Chatwood is best used as a streamer type pitcher, especially in road starts.

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