After a busy week of trades and last-minute rotation changes, things will be subject to significant changes. However, like always I am taking a look at the week ahead with respect to two-start pitchers. As always, a few notes before we begin. These ranking tiers are not specific to your league and we are getting closer to the stretch run so it is important to begin to look at all options to help with your own specific needs.
Secondly, these matchups are subject to change and most likely will.
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 5:
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2|
Cole is fortunate to get the Rockies on the road and a bad Baltimore offense. No matter the matchups he will be in your lineup and the matchups are elite this week.
DeGrom is another guy who is matchup proof and he has a mixed bag matchup-wise this week. The Marlins are a double plus matchup but the Nationals are a tougher one. Do not over-think it.
Berrios is quietly becoming a star and is the ace for this Twins team. He gets plenty of run support and has double-digit strikeout upside every time out. Start him despite the tougher matchups.
Castillo may have gotten his “ace” title taken by new acquisition Trevor Bauer but do not be mistaken, he is reaching that tier on his own. The Cubs are a tough matchup and the Angels refuse to strikeout but there is no way he’s coming out of your lineup.
Lastly, we have Ryu who is squarely in the NL Cy Young debate. The lefty has been excellent in 2019 and despite the rough pairing with the Cardinals, no owner will be benching Ryu.
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2|
Giolito has been excellent and is right on the border of the No Doubt tier. He gets an incredible matchup with the Tigers but the Athletics offense could make this a dangerous week and a ruining one for Gio. I want a small amount of caution with him and as a result, I have him in the second tier. He should be starting everywhere you own him.
Mike Soroka is not my type of preferred pitcher. His low K style plays well when he can keep the ball in the yard but that Twins offense can mash and might be able to over-power him. The Marlins matchup is elite so if you have him, he’s been good enough to justify the risk.
Wheeler was the subject of a million trade rumors but ultimately remained with the Mets. The righty has pitched better then the results suggest and the team has been playing great lately. Hope he can contain the Nats well enough to take advantage of the Marlins matchup.
Darvish and Tanaka have been two of the most frustrating pitchers to own. Darvish has had walk issues which have plagued him all season while Tanaka has been victimized by the long ball. Darvish has two difficult matchups but hes been pitching really well recently and deserves to be started where he is owned. Tanaka gets two elite matchups in tough ballparks but he should have a chance at two wins.
Mikolas is another in the Soroka mold with low Ks and low walks that is at the mercy of his ability to keep the ball in the yard. The Dodgers are a great lineup but I like his chances of containing them. The Pirates offense does not scare me enough to avoid this two-start week.
I have long been a fan of Pineda. He is such a frustrating pitcher to watch but the stuff is as good as anyone in the league. This could be one that falls to the tier below depending on how the new-look Indians offense performs this weekend.
Marquez is the subject of a twitter debate almost every time he takes the mound but this week he avoids Coors entirely. The Astros offense is still dangerous but Marquez is just too talented to bench him when he gets two starts away from home.
Paxton has not been what Yankee fans have been imagining but he is still one of the few pitchers in the game who can strikeout ten plus each time out. He gets two below-average offenses and I’ll be starting him where I own him.
Fried is another relatively low K pitcher who I prefer to avoid but I want to take my chances with this Marlins matchup in a relatively rough week for two-start pitchers. The Twins right-handed power-laden offense could ruin this week before we even get a chance at the Marlins matchup.
Following a theme, we end up with Porcello the goal here is two wins. The Royals matchup should be an easy one but the Angels refuse to strikeout. Good news for Porcello, K’s are not his strong suit so that does not downgrade the matchup much.
Lastly, in this group, we have one of my favorite pitchers I’ve owned all season, Brett Anderson. Despite him being allergic to strikeouts which is not my preferred style of arm, Anderson has been extremely solid and is supported by a good offense. The week is a tough one but the White Sox matchup is plus and he just needs to do enough against the Cubs to make this a positive one. I mainly just wanted to take the chance to highlight Anderson.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
|Pitcher||Start 1||Start 2|
Arrieta is a shell of his former dominant self and while he has two solid matchups away from home, I just do not want to be trusting him unless I absolutely have to this week.
Musgrove was a popular sleeper coming into the season and he’s been frustrating for his owners but when he is on he is one of the better pitchers in baseball. He has two extremely tough matchups this week and the chances of a blow-up are high this week. I will be benching him for a better single start matchup this week.
Cashner was a pleasant surprise for the Orioles enough so that he was able to be traded to the Red Sox. Problem is Cashner just is not a good pitcher and despite the decent pairing of matchups, there is no way I would be starting him this week.
Plesac has filled in admirably for the Indians as injuries tore through their rotation. He does not really do anything exceptionally well except limit walks and the peripherals suggest a major downturn is coming. Two powerful offenses could be what begins the downfall.
Anytime Shark pitches at home, he is one to pay attention to as he does just enough to continue to be a solid option if not an unspectacular one. Two tough offenses make this a tough week to justify starting him for me and as a result, I’ll be avoiding him this week.
Anibal was a tough call as he could easily slot in the Should Start tier. He has been solid again building off his comeback 2018 season and has a fantastic matchup with the Giants. The Mets offense has been better lately and can provide some power to blow this week up. There are a few pitchers in the tier above I could justify starting Anibal over.
Yamamoto has had a solid start to his career but I have a hard time believing he is this good at limiting homers. The lower K numbers and poor walks could spell disaster. He faces two teams in his division who could make those walks pay.
Lamet was mentioned in the last article but comes up again here this week. The hard-throwing righty has incredible raw stuff and once he fully heals, he will be a potential frontline starter but the Padres are being careful with his innings making him a risky proposition.
Canning has gotten off to a terrible start to his MLB career and faces two solid to above-average offenses in hitters parks. I will be avoiding this one if possible.
I will never be able to get myself to quit Velasquez as the pure stuff tantalizes me too much for me just give up. However, the results at this point are what they are and we have no reason to believe that he will turn it around anytime soon.
Junis has been fine but even the plus Tigers matchup does not give him a huge edge for a win and does not make this a worthy risk with respect to the Boston matchup. There is not enough upside present here for me to put him into my lineups.
Lyles gets to face the team that just traded him in the Pirates back in a pitchers park but gets the super dangerous Rangers in Miller. He has not been good enough for me to be taking that risk and he’s been killing his owners of late. I’ll keep him on the wire where he belongs.
Cease has shown flashes of skill but nothing solid enough for me to want to roll with him this week. The Tiger matchup is appealing but the Athletics are more dangerous than they seem and the team has no real reason to push Cease so I could see short pitch counts.
We do not know what to expect with Salazar and the pitch counts should be limited. For that reason, I will not be starting him this week but he is worth an add to see if he can regain his old form that made him a valuable fantasy commodity.
The stuff and results have not quite matched for Alcantara and while I still have hope he can be a useful MLB starter I do not think this is a good week to run him out there. The Mets are surging and the Braves have one of the most potent offenses in the league.
Norris and Alexander are both listed in some places as two starts some have just Norris but both guys would interest me slightly due to their two plus matchups. Wins will be hard to come by but if you own either arm this is likely the only week you could legitimately justify starting them. Alexander has pitched pretty well in his small sample limiting walks and striking out just enough. He is worth a flier in super deep leagues. Norris might never live up to his old prospect hype but there’s still enough there to make him a decent back end of a rotation starter.
|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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