by Ray Kuhn
In leagues where there are no innings limits it is important to maximize your opportunity for counting stats, though you do not want to do that at the expense of poor performance. Quality is always better than quantity.
Each week during the season we will break down all of the pitchers scheduled to make two starts in the upcoming scoring period. Just like when assembling your rotation, we will break the pitchers down by tier. In essentially all formats every pitcher within the first two tiers should be owned. Pitchers in the third and fourth tiers will likely be available depending on the format and structure of your league.
Within each tier, the pitchers are also ranked. Starting decisions should be made accordingly.
Here are the Week 1 Two Start Pitchers:
|Tier||Pitcher||Opponent #1||Opponent #2|
|Tier 1:||Justin Verlander||@ MIN||vs. NYY|
|Clayton Kershaw||vs. SF||vs. PIT|
|Felix Hernandez||@ OAK||@ CHW|
|Stephen Strasburg||vs. MIA||@ CIN|
|Cole Hamels||@ ATL||vs. KC|
|David Price||vs. BAL||vs. CLE|
|Matt Cain||@ LAD||vs. STL|
|R.A. Dickey||vs. CLE||vs. BOS|
|Jered Weaver||@ CIN||@ TEX|
|CC Sabathia||vs. BOS||@ DET|
|Tier 2:||Adam Wainwright||@ ARI||@ SF|
|Yovani Gallardo||vs. COL||vs. ARI|
|James Shields||@ CHW||@ PHI|
|Chris Sale||vs. KC||vs. SEA|
|Jonathon Niese||vs. SD||vs. MIA|
|Johnny Cueto||vs. LAA||vs. WAS|
|Tier 3:||Jeff Samardzija||@ PIT||@ ATL|
|A.J. Burnett||vs. CHC||@ LAD|
|Tim Hudson||vs. PHI||vs. CHC|
|Matt Harrison||@ HOU||vs. LAA|
|Jarrod Parker||vs. SEA||@ HOU|
|Brett Anderson||vs. SEA||@ HOU|
|Tier 4:||Hisashi Iwakuma||@ OAK||@ CHW|
|Justin Masterson||@ TOR||@ TB|
|Bud Norris||vs. TEX||vs. OAK|
|Ricky Nolasco||@ WAS||@ NYM|
|Edinson Volquez||@ NYM||@ COL|
|Jhoulys Chacin||@ MIL||vs. SD|
It is both a good thing and a bad thing that it is the first week of the season. Also, it is a short week where all teams are playing 6 games. That means that only the best of the best are making two starts this week. Well at least that statement applies individually to the teams, and not necessarily your fantasy teams. Additionally, you do not want to start the season from behind in ERA or WHIP.
Taking a look at this week’s options, it goes without saying that this is likely the best stable of pitchers taking the hill twice. All of the pitchers from the first three tiers should be starting in all formats this week. Iwakuma is likely the only pitcher from the fourth tier that I would take a chance on as he very well could be a likely sleeper option. Norris has the potential to be an ace, but he has a tough matchup in Texas on Opening Day and he has had some inconsistency issues in the past. Masterson had potential coming into last year and he did not deliver. He is another pitcher worth taking a chance on, but I’m not sure that I would start him in the first week of the season depending on my other options. Nolasco and Chacin could be downright frightening.
The most important thing to remember is that baseball is back and it is time to start managing your roster.