In the baseball world, the month of July seems like never-ending chaos. First, there’s the All-Star break, then the trade deadline. Add in all the rain that we’ve been hit with this month and predicting two-start pitchers has been a challenge. Nonetheless, this week brings us into August and with it hopefully some clarity. Here are this week’s two-start pitchers.
For more help setting this week’s lineups, check out Eric Cross’ Waiver Wire Pickups.
Two-Start Pitchers for Week of July 30
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Saturday, July 28 and are subject to change.
No-Brainer Two-Start Pitchers
It’s simple. These are the two-start pitchers you should slot into your roster and not worry about. These are the guys that have a pair of favorable matchups, are hot of late, or are just plain studs.
- Aaron Nola – 7/30 @ BOS, 8/5 vs. MIA
- Gerrit Cole – 7/30 @ SEA, 8/5 @ LAD
- Jon Lester – 7/31 @ PIT, 8/5 vs. SD
- Tyler Skaggs – 7/31 @ TB, 8/5 @ CLE
- Robbie Ray – 7/30 vs. TEX, 8/5 vs. SF
- James Paxton – 7/30 vs. HOU, 8/4 vs. TOR
Per usual, there is a lot to love from this week’s no-brainers. Nola versus Miami, Lester versus San Diego and Ray versus Texas are a few of the highlights. Of course, not every matchup is ideal but none are tough enough to make me second guess any of these guys this week.
There’s no doubt that these guys could go out there and keep opposing hitters at bay. They’re the kind of pitchers 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.
- Masahiro Tanaka – 7/31 vs. BAL, 8/5 @ BOS: With Friday’s rainout, keep an eye on what Aaron Boone decides to do as far as the rotation goes. As it stands now, Tanaka is slated to get two starts; one against Baltimore and one at Boston. Tanaka is coming off an absolute gem, a complete game shut-out against Tampa Bay. Before that, he put forth 6.1 innings of two-run ball against a tough Cleveland team. Boston’s always tough, but I’m riding Tanaka’s hot streak for now.
- Jack Flaherty – 7/31 vs. COL, 8/5 @ PIT: Few pitchers get off as lucky as Flaherty does this week in terms of park advantages. Not only does he get to face the Rockies away from Coors, he also gets to perform in the pitcher-friendly PNC Park. Flaherty will take any advantage he can get to try and right the ship. In his last seven starts, he’s logged just 34.1 innings, an average of less than five a game. While he’s not pitching very deep, he’s still striking plenty of batters out with 49 strikeouts over that span.
- Danny Duffy – 7/31 @ CWS, 8/5 @ MIN: I don’t want to get too excited just yet but Duffy has looked more and more like the Duffy of old. In his last seven starts, he owns a 3.09 ERA and has struck out 44 batters in 43.2 innings. When I say he looks like the Duffy of old, that, of course, includes his troubles with consistency. That’s evident by his seven-run performance against Detroit after three great outings before that. If you can deal with his inconsistencies, Duffy should reward you with two outings against the White Sox and Twins.
- Julio Teheran – 7/30 vs. MIA, 8/4 @ NYM: When playing in the NL East, sometimes you are lucky enough to face the Marlins and Mets back-to-back. That’s the case with Teheran, who takes on the Marlins at home before heading to Queens for the Mets. That being said, Teheran was just shelled for nine runs against Miami in his last start. Still, when you’re paired up against a team ranked dead last in hitting, your chances are pretty good.
- Anibal Sanchez – 7/31 vs. MIA, 8/5 @ NYM: The same goes for veteran righty, Anibal Sanchez. The veteran has been very good this season, owning an even 3.00 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 14 starts. If you’re expecting the veteran to regress, and I don’t blame you if you are, don’t expect it to start this week.
- Jon Gray – 7/31 @ STL, 8/5 @ MIL: Since being called back up, Jon Gray has pitched like he wants to stay at the big league level. In his last two starts, he’s allowed just two runs and completed seven innings in both. Most impressively, he’s been able to keep the ball on the ground despite making both starts at Coors. He’ll get a shot at continuing his hot streak with two starts away from Colorado, at St. Louis and Milwaukee.
- Tyler Anderson – 7/30 @ STL, 8/4 @ MIL: A quick look at Anderson’s last seven games should be enough to have confidence in him this week. Across 46.2 innings he owns a 2.12 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and is averaging over a strikeout per inning. He’s been red hot and has done it with just one start away from Coors. Like Gray, Anderson will get two starts away from home and has a chance to put up some great numbers.
- Rich Hill – 7/31 vs. MIL, 8/5 vs. HOU
- Walker Buehler – 7/30 vs. MIL, 8/4 vs. HOU
- Tanner Roark – 7/31 vs. NYM, 8/5 vs. CIN
Proceed With Caution
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, though, so don’t expect too much.
- David Price – 7/30 vs. PHI, 8/5 vs. NYY: Price looked to have taken a step forward after a really strong June. Since then, he’s taken two giant steps backward after a horrific July. In four starts, Price has allowed 15 earned runs over 21 innings. What’s more concerning is the eight, yes eight, home runs he gave up over that stretch. Not at all the kind of momentum you want to bring into a matchup against the homer-happy Yankees.
- Freddy Peralta – 7/30 @ LAD, 8/4 vs. COL: There are a lot of things not to like about Peralta this week. He’s coming off a start in which he gave up a career-high seven runs and owns a 6.10 ERA in the month of July. He also has the very tough task of facing the Dodgers in Los Angeles. If it wasn’t for Peralta’s strikeout potential, he’d be a big no for me. I’m still not very confident that he’ll perform well but if you’re willing to risk it for the strikeouts, all the power to you.
- Shane Bieber – 7/30 @ MIN, 8/5 vs. LAA
- Ervin Santana – 7/30 vs. CLE, 8/5 vs. KC
- James Shields – 7/31 vs. KC, 8/5 @ TB
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Nothing To See Here
Stay away from these two-start pitchers. 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.
- Ryan Borucki
- Dan Straily
- Wade Miley
- Corey Oswalt
- Edwin Jackson
- Eric Lauer
- Wei-Yin Chen
- Martin Perez
- Chris Stratton
It’s time to multi-task! Keep up with all of our baseball coverage, but kick off your football prep and dig into our 2018 Fantasy Football Draft Kit. Then head on over to Fantrax and join a Fantasy Football league.