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Two-Start Pitchers: Week of July 31, 2017

Welcome to another weekly look at projected two-start pitchers. This week the focus will likely be on the aftermath of the official MLB trade deadline on Monday night. Trades will impact not only major league teams’ rosters that are taking part in the trades, but also fantasy teams and potentially two-start pitchers.

This week we see a large number of pitchers in the top tiers who are not only recommended this period, but are great options moving forward. Most of the two-start pitchers this week are having solid to dominant seasons and should be owned and utilized on a weekly basis for the rest of the season. With the sheer number of pitchers available this week, there should be quite a few big scores in points leagues as fantasy owners utilize multiple two-start options.

These projected starts are subject to change due to rain outs, injury, performance issues, or managerial whims. I only offer my the opinion on the matchups; there are no guarantees on the actual starts.

Topping Last Week’s High Water Mark…

  • Madison Bumgarner – (7/31 @ OAK-Paul Blackburn; 8/5 vs. ARI-Taijuan Walker)
  • Chris Sale – (8/1 vs. CLE-Trevor Bauer ; 8/6 @ CHW-Mike Pelfrey)
  • Jake Arrieta – (8/1 @ ARI-Patrick Corbin; 8/6 vs. WAS-Gio Gonzalez)
  • Chris Archer – (8/1 @ HOU-Mike Fiers; 8/6 vs. MIL-Jimmy Nelson)
  • Carlos Carrasco – (7/31 @ BOS-Drew Pomeranz; 8/5 vs. NYY-CC Sabathia)
  • Jimmy Nelson – (8/1 vs. STL-Carlos Martinez; 8/6 @ TB-Chris Archer)
  • Cole Hamels – (7/31 vs. SEA-Felix Hernandez; 8/5 @ MIN-Bartolo Colon)
  • Luis Severino – (7/31 vs. DET-Michael Fulmer; 8/4 @ CLE-Josh Tomlin)
  • Mike Foltynewicz – (7/31 @ PHI-Nick Pivetta; 8/5 vs. MIA-Dan Straily)

This week sees the top tier max out with nine very worthy pitchers. What a season Luis Severino is putting together in the Bronx. The 23-year-old right-hander is currently sporting a 3.03 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP on the year. Even more impressive, in his last three starts he has allowed only one earned run in 21 innings (0.43 ERA) with 21 strikeouts. His game against the Tigers should yield a decent enough start, and I look for him to hold a surging Indians lineup at bay later in the week. Don’t sleep on Mike Foltynewicz this week. He has put together quite a nice season (3.83 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 101 strikeouts in 110.2 innings) and has a premium two-start matchup against the Phillies and Marlins. With five wins in his last six starts, he has become a very reliable option in Atlanta.

As Full As It Is, This Tier Could Be Even Bigger…

  • Felix Hernandez – (7/31 @ TEX-Cole Hamels; 8/5 @ KC-Danny Duffy)
  • Aaron Nola – (8/1 @ LAA-Ricky Nolasco; 8/6 @ COL-TBD)
  • Gio Gonzalez – (7/31 @ MIA-Jose Urena; 8/6 @ CHC-Jake Arrieta)
  • Carlos Martinez – (8/1 @ MIL-Jimmy Nelson; 8/6 @ CIN-Homer Bailey)
  • Drew Pomeranz – (7/31 vs. CLE-Carlos Carrasco; 8/5 vs. CHW-James Shields)
  • Danny Duffy – (7/31 @ BAL-Ubaldo Jimenez; 8/5 vs. SEA-Felix Hernandez)
  • Masahiro Tanaka – (8/2 vs. DET-Jordan Zimmermann; 8/6 @ CLE-Trevor Bauer)
  • Alex Cobb – (7/31 @ HOU-Charlie Morton; 8/5 vs. MIL-Zach Davies)
  • Cole Hamels – (7/31 vs. SEA-Felix Hernandez; 8/5 @ MIN-Bartolo Colon)
  • Kenta Maeda – (8/1 @ ATL-Aaron Blair; 8/6 @ NYM-Steven Matz)
  • Michael Fulmer – (7/31 @ NYY-Luis Severino; 8/5 @ BAL-Ubaldo Jimenez)

With 11 pitchers in this tier, it quite easily could have had one from the tier above and a couple from the tier below and still been legitimate. Michael Fulmer has run into a bit of bad luck and poor timing over his last two starts, going 0-2 with 11 runs allowed (eight earned), but still registering a solid eight strikeouts and only one walk in 10.2 innings. Believe in the 3.35 ERA and 1.10 WHIP on the year and use accordingly. The latest starts should just be a blip on the radar. Since coming off the DL on July 4th with an oblique injury, Danny Duffy holds a 3.62 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over five starts with 25 whiffs in 32.1 innings. Look for steady improvement as he distances himself from that oblique injury and builds on these numbers against strikeout-prone Orioles and Mariners lineups.

Yes, It Really Is This Deep This Week…

  • Yu Darvish – (8/1 vs. SEA-Andrew Moore; 8/6 @ MIN-Jose Berrios)
  • Trevor Bauer – (8/1 @ BOS-Chris Sale; 8/6 vs. NYY-Masahiro Tanaka)
  • Jeff Samardzija – (8/1 @ OAK-Sean Manaea; 8/6 vs. ARI-Patrick Corbin)
  • Ian Kennedy – (8/1 @ BAL-Dylan Bundy; 8/6 vs. SEA-Andrew Moore)
  • CC Sabathia – (8/1 vs. DET-Anibal Sanchez; 8/5 @ CLE-Carlos Carrasco)
  • Jose Berrios – (8/1 @ SD-Jhoulys Chacin; 8/6 vs. TEX-Yu Darvish)
  • Sean Manaea – (8/1 vs. SF-Jeff Samardzija; 8/6 @ LAA-Ricky Nolasco)
  • Jose Urena – (7/31 vs. WAS-Gio Gonzalez; 8/6 @ ATL-Aaron Blair)
  • Charlie Morton – (7/31 vs. TB-Alex Cobb; 8/5 vs. TOR-Cesar Valdez)
  • Jameson Taillon – (8/1 vs. CIN-Homer Bailey; 8/6 vs. SD-TBD)

[the_ad id=”384″]I could very easily see using any of the pitchers in this tier this week with little reservation. I have been slow to warm to Charlie Morton, but his July numbers are hard to ignore. Through four starts, Morton has a 3.28 ERA and 0.97 WHIP with 27 Ks in 24.2 frames. On a very strong Astros team, the right-hander is a good bet to pick up a couple of wins this week.

Meh, It Is Starting To Drop Off, But Not a Steep Drop…

  • Anibal Sanchez – (8/1 vs. NYY-CC Sabathia; 8/6 @ BAL-Dylan Bundy)
  • Ubaldo Jimenez – (7/31 vs. KC-Danny Duffy; 8/5 vs. DET-Michael Fulmer)
  • Mike Fiers – (8/1 vs. TB-Chris Archer; 8/6 vs. TOR-Marco Estrada)
  • Nick Pivetta – (7/31 @ ATL-Mike Foltynewicz; 8/5 @ COL-Jon Gray)
  • Aaron Blair – (8/1 @ LAD-Kenta Maeda; 8/6 vs. MIA-Jose Urena)
  • Patrick Corbin – (8/1 @ CHC-Jake Arrieta; 8/6 @ SF-Jeff Samardzija)
  • Dylan Bundy – (8/1 vs. KC-Ian Kennedy; 8/6 vs. DET-Anibal Sanchez)
  • Paul Blackburn – (7/31 vs. SF-Madison Bumgarner; 8/5 @ LAA-Jesse Chavez)
  • Steven Matz – (8/1 @ COL-TBD; 8/6 vs. LAD-Kenta Maeda)

There is still enough talent and usable veterans in this tier this week to cautiously dream on. I still want to believe Dylan Bundy is going to show us what we all saw and got excited about at the end of last season. His overall body of work is not all that bad. His 4.53 ERA is a little bloated, but his 1.27 WHIP still gives the impression there is possibly more in the tank. He seems to tease us with a good game and then follows it up with more inconsistency.

After So Many Good Options This Is What Is Left…

  • James Shields – (7/31 vs. TOR-Marco Estrada; 8/5 @ BOS-Drew Pomeranz)
  • Mike Pelfrey – (8/1 vs. TOR-Marcus Stroman; 8/6 @ BOS-Chris Sale)
  • Marco Estrada – (7/31 @ CHW-James Shields; 8/6 @ HOU-Mike Fiers)
  • Ricky Nolasco – (8/1 vs. PHI-Aaron Nola; 8/6 vs. OAK-Sean Manaea)
  • Homer Bailey – (8/1 @ PIT-Jameson Taillon; 8/6 vs. STL-Carlos Martinez)
  • Andrew Moore – (8/1 @ TEX-Yu Darvish; 8/6 @ KC-Ian Kennedy)

In really deep leagues, I suppose I could see the random dart throw to get an extra starter in the lineup. I can’t think of any reason that I would realistically suggest any of these pitchers this week with so many other better options out there. You very likely have better one-start options.

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