Two-Start Pitchers For Week of August 12th
We’re back again taking a look at the two-start pitchers for the upcoming week after a difficult week of streaming. As always due to the fact that these rankings are going out on Friday they are subject to changes with respect to the matchups and the actual pitchers themselves. I may end up missing some two-start pitchers and may mention someone who ultimately does not go twice.
This week we are going to go with a slightly modified format adding some more information as I’ve teased. The chart will have two extra columns one for K’s and one for W’s. In this column there will be a “++”, “+”, “-“, “–“, or nothing indicating if this particular pitcher and his subsequent matchups are a plus or minus for those categories. This should help those who need to begin streaming to make up ground in a particular category. Additionally, I will be going into more detail on a few guys highlighting exactly why I placed them in the tiers that I did.
Two-Start Pitcher Tiers:
No Doubt – These are the guys who you do not even need to think about placing in your lineup regardless of match-up. This will typically be the smallest tier and I won’t provide much commentary on them.
Should Starts – These are the pitchers with solid match-ups or above-average pitchers with slightly tougher match-ups. If you own them start them.
Proceed With Caution – These arms have difficult match-ups or just aren’t very good and as a result, should only be started if you have no other options.
No -These guys should stay far away from your lineup no matter how desperate you are at the moment as they could end up destroying your ratios.
Note: the order within the tiers is not as important as the tier itself.
Two-Start Pitchers for the Week of August 12:
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2||SO||WIN|
Cole is the prime example of the issues with doing this column early as I discussed him last week. The right-hander is one of the best pitchers in baseball and has a fantastic matchup with the strikeout prone White Sox. There’s no way you were not starting him but this week is an easy choice.
Clevinger has one of the harder double dips of the slate facing two AL East powers. The Yankees are running out a makeshift lineup that somehow keeps working every day but they are still not as powerful as their name suggests. If you own Clevinger there is no way you are not starting him but temper expectations, especially in the win column.
All of our collective worries about Kershaw seem pretty dumb in hindsight. Sure he is no longer the undisputed best pitcher in baseball but the left-hander has been quietly excellent. He gets a great road tilt with the Marlins and a tougher matchup with the Braves. The fact that he pitches for the Dodgers will always help him out in the win column but both teams are better than league average in terms of K’s against lefties.
Next on the list is the newest Astro, Zack Greinke. The right-hander remains one of the best arms in all of baseball, slowly re-inventing himself over the years. The White Sox love to strike out and should lead to an easy win. The Athletics are tougher to K but still, with the powerful Astros’ lineup supporting him, I see a path to another win.
It is incredible to see German’s name in a tier like this but the right-hander has just been superb for the Yankees in 2019. The pure numbers themselves are fine, decent K/low walk/lots of homers, but the 14 wins have been excellent for his owners. This week he gets two plus matchups against below-average offenses, although the Indians’ has improved over the season. He gets a slight boost for win value but surprisingly both teams are around or below average for K’s so no real boost there.
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2||SO||WIN|
Fried and Wheeler are both pitchers who I wrote up last week as well but have their names repeated for the week ahead. Fried gets two relativiely difficult matchups with the Mets actually ranking as the 4th best offense in baseball against lefties. The Dodgers are no pushover obviously either. He gets the chance to be in your lineup and should be but temper expectations. Wheeler, on the other hand, has two below-average matchups for K purposes so he gets a small downgrade there. On the surface, he should come away with at least one win making this a neutral week.
Not going to lie, this Quintana ranking was a tough one. He has really been great in 2019 but he is coming off the heels of an excellent start his last time out. The road trip to Philly is tough but their other ballpark in Pennsylvania balances things out. The pairing is pretty neutral in terms of both K’s and wins.
In a different, better looking week I would not mess with Zac Gallen going to Coors. Not even to get my hands on the San Fran matchup, but the other options are not much better. His high K high walk profile makes this super risky in a hitter’s park like Coors, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take with this slate.
Lance Lynn might win the CY Young. That is a factual statement in the year 2019. He has been excellent, but two games in hitter’s parks, facing lineups with pop, has me wanting to avoid him. The Blue Jays like to strike out and the Twins don’t, making this one fall in the middle. Lynn deserves to be in the No Doubt tier but this week I cannot bring myself to do so.
Another week another frustratingly talented arm I need to mention. This time out its Eduardo Rodriguez. The left-hander gets a plus-plus matchup with the Orioles and as I’ve stated before, a slightly tougher than it seems one with the Indians. He should rack up the K’s against the Orioles and put himself in line for one win easily. He is a very solid play this week.
Flaherty is finally starting to look like the ace that he was drafted to be and he has an exciting week ahead of him. The reds are very strikeout prone and the Royals have a below-average offense making him a plus option this week. He should easily be in line for one win possibly even two
Paxton is another guy mentioned last week but slated to go this time out. He, like Erod, has flashed greatness in an otherwise disappointing season. He should be in line for one win easily and gets the elite matchup paired with a so-so one. He should dominate the K column though so if you need any help there he should be in your lineups this week.
Lucchesi and his funky churve have two weird matchup this week. Both offenses are league average or below against lefties and unlucky for him the Phillies get to face him at home. However, the real draw here is that the Rays have the worst K rate against left-handers in baseball. On the surface, this seems like a tough matchup but start him no matter what.
Spotlight Arm – Brendan McKay
The guy I want to delve deeper into this week is Brendan McKay. The young left-hander has two fantastic matchups facing two of the worst teams in baseball with respect to strikeouts versus left-handed pitchers. McKay has shown an interesting profile since coming up to the bigs pairing high K rates with a non-existent walk rate. However, what has done him in has been a poor HR/9. One reason for this could be an insanely low GB% of 31.8. McKay has thrown 29.2 innings thus far and that rate would rank 8th lowest among all starters with at least 30 innings if he made that threshold. This is odd though as McKay has not shown a FB tendency this extreme in his minor league numbers. His heat maps, especially with the fastball do tend to skew a bit higher in the zone that this could be something he is being instructed to do by him Major League coaches. However, that would likely have been a directive through the entire organization so this could just be a small sample size blip. If that is in fact the case and McKay can keep his elite K/BB skills while generating a few more grounders he could become an ace in short order. I am extremely excited to watch him pitch this week ahead.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2||SO||WIN|
Looking at the chart above there’s a lot of negatives and downgrades. Some of this is due to matchup and some is just the pitcher. Zach Plesac, for example, has not shown any real strikeout skills and gets lucky enough to face two very good offenses. He has probably been a valuable pickup for you but he should not be in your lineup this week.
Yamamoto has actually been pretty good in his small sample so far and has what appear to be some interesting skills. But this week is about as bad as it gets facing the Dodgers and the Rockies in Coors. I am interested in the pitcher long term but not this week.
I will never be able to convince myself that I should be starting Leake. There is nothing in the profile that excites me and with a Coors date on tap I will be sitting him this week.
Remember when Alex Wood was good? Well, sadly you do not have to go that far because he is actually still really good. Injuries have derailed what could have been one of the more fun careers to follow but he still has some skill. However, this week is not a pretty one for him and one I would prefer to avoid if possible. He is not the worst option though so don’t feel bad starting him if you really need to.
It feels like ages ago that everyone was fawning over the new Martin Perez. Sadly he has been just terrible in his last few outings and has been a huge negative for his owners. Two matchups in bad parks for pitchers with powerful offenses is one I want to avoid. He does get a small strikeout boost if ratios do not matter and you can afford a blow-up of a week.
There is very little reason to chase the success of Vargas this season. The results have been pretty good but there’s a reason the Mets gave him away for almost nothing. He pitches in Citizens Bank twice against powerful offenses so a blow-up is likely. He does not generate a lot of K’s but the matchups are plus for strikeouts if you are really desperate.
Trevor Williams is a fairly boring pitch-to-contact type facing a heavy contact offense in the Angels. For that reason, I really want to avoid him this week as that is recipe for disaster. There is really nothing exciting about him this week and he almost made his way in the NO tier for this week. Do not start him.
I have long been a fan of Anderson especially this season but there is nothing in terms of strikeouts and going up against the right-handed heavy Astros this has all the making of a miserable week. He has been good enough to warrant some respect but he shouldn’t be in your lineup.
John Means has been a pleasant surprise in an otherwise dismal season for the Orioles and he has two awful matchups against AL East foes. He has probably been a positive addition to your roster but he is not one I want to trust this week ahead.
Kikuchi has been a massive disappointment for owners and for the Mariners this season, showing nothing really positive at all. He likely is not owned by many anymore but he does get two above-average matchups this week. Both teams are strikeout prone and he should get a chance at a win or two but I do not want to take that chance.
Spotlight Arms – Angels Pitchers
Both Peters and Suarez get interesting matchups this week facing two below-average offenses. The White Sox love to strike out and the Pirates are league average in this regard. You could do worse than these two arms though and both have some intrigue for this week. Suarez is getting ruined by the long ball likely due to his extreme FB tendencies. If he can magically keep the ball in the yard then he is a guy who takes advantage of these matchups. Peters, on the other hand, has had some success in the follower role and has shown some skills in limiting baserunners. He has also had his HR issue though not as extreme as Suarez. If he can get a bump in his poor K rate due to the matchups this could be one of the most interesting long shot streamers of the week.
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2|
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Paul Mammino is a former collegiate baseball player turned fantasy writer. He joined Fantrx HQ in 2019 and writes for a number of different places including Sportsline and Friends With Fantasy Benefits. He focuses on two-start pitchers for Fantrax but is also extremely interested in relief pitching which he covers for Sportsline.
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