Two-Start Pitchers: Week 11 (June 10-16): Tiered Rankings, Sleepers & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are very few high-end two-start options this week, leaving owners searching through the mid-tier guys to try and determine who is worth utilizing and who should be ignored.  Where does the value lie?  Who should we be rolling the dice on?  Let’s take a look at how the options currently breakdown (keep it mind that the pitchers are ranked within each tier):

American League Options   National League Options
Tier 1 – Elite Options      
1) CC Sabathia – New York Yankees – at   Oak, at LAA   1) Clayton   Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Ari, at Pit
2) Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels – at   Bal, vs. NYY      
                                                                      Tier 2 – Must Use Options      
3) Derek   Holland – Texas Rangers – vs. Cle, vs. Tor   2) Cole   Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies – at Min, at Col
4) Alex   Cobb – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Bos, vs. KC    
Tier 3 – Good Plays In All Formats      
5) Hisashi   Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners – vs. Hou, at Oak   3) Homer   Bailey – Cincinnati Reds – at CHC, vs. Mil
6) Doug   Fister – Detroit Tigers – at KC, at Min   4) Julio   Teheran – Atlanta Braves – at SD, vs. SF
7) Bartolo   Colon – Oakland Athletics – vs. NYY, vs. Sea   5) Tony   Cingrani – Cincinnati Reds – at CHC, vs. Mil
8) R.A.   Dickey – Toronto Blue Jays – at CWS, at Tex   6) Matt   Garza – Chicago Cubs – vs. Cin, at NYM
Tier 4 – Borderline, Depending On Alternatives    
9) Dylan   Axelrod – Chicago White Sox – vs. Tor, at Hou   7) Scott   Feldman – Chicago Cubs – vs. Cin, at NYM
10) Alexi   Ogando – Texas Rangers – vs. Cle, vs. Tor   8) Yovani   Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers – at Mia, at Cin
11) John   Lackey – Boston Red Sox – at TB, at Bal   9) Michael   Wacha – St. Louis Cardinals – at NYM, at Mia
12) Corey   Kluber – Cleveland Indians – at Tex, vs. Was   10) Dan   Haren – Washington Nationals – at Col, at Cle
13) Jeremy   Guthrie – Kansas City Royals – vs. Det, at TB   11) Wade   Miley – Arizona Diamondbacks – at LAD, at SD
14) Miguel   Gonzalez – Baltimore Orioles – vs. LAA, vs. Bos   12) Jeremy   Hefner – New York Mets – vs. Stl, vs. CHC
15) Wade   Davis – Kansas City Royals – vs. Det, at TB   13) Ricky   Nolasco – Miami Marlins – vs. Mil, vs. Stl
 16) Scott   Kazmir – Cleveland Indians – at Tex, vs. Was   14) Gerrit   Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. SF, vs. LAD
      15) Tim   Lincecum – San Francisco Giants – at Pit, at Atl
Tier 5 – Not Recommended Options      
17) Dallas   Keuchel – Houston Astros – at Sea, vs. CWS   16) Jason   Marquis – San Diego Padres – vs. Atl, vs. Ari
18) Roberto   Hernandez – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Bos, vs. KC   17) Jon   Garland – Colorado Rockies – vs. Was, vs. Phi
19) Freddy   Garcia – Baltimore Orioles – vs. LAA, vs. Bos    
20) P.J.   Walters – Minnesota Twins – vs. Phi, vs. Det    
21) Chad   Jenkins – Toronto Blue Jays – at CWS, at Tex      


  • Jered Weaver is tentatively listed as a two-start option, but that is not a guarantee.  Thanks to a double-header the Angels will need to utilize a six-man rotation temporarily.  They could opt to keep Weaver on regular rest (skipping Joe Blanton), but they also could just push him the day meaning they won’t have a two-start option.
  • R.A. Dickey has struggled this season, but it’s hard to imagine sitting him down given his upside.  That said, that start in Texas is definitely going to bring plenty of concern with it.
  • We all may want to trust Alexi Ogando, but there is definitely reason to be skeptical about utilizing him this week.  He’s benefitted from some luck (81.5% strand rate) and there’s always a risk that he gives up a lot of home runs (42.2% fly ball rate, 0.98 HR/FB vs. 1.23 mark in ’12).  With both Toronto and Cleveland ranking in the Top 10 in HR, the week does have the potential to get ugly.
  • Overall John Lackey has pitched well, we can’t argue that.  However, his splits tell a slightly different story.  He owns a 1.04 ERA at home vs. a 4.56 mark on the road.  Considering both starts come away from Fenway, it’s hard to call him a good play.
  • While Julio Teheran is coming off an impressive outing and has been generating strikeouts recently, but that hasn’t generally been the case with him.  As it is his season strikeout rate is just 6.97 and he’s benefitted from an 81.7% strand rate.  The matchups do work in his favor and he’s a recommended option, just don’t go expecting a repeat performance.
  • Tony Cingrani is expected to return to the Majors on Tuesday and steps right into a pair of favorable matchups.  He’s proven he can excel in the Majors, so don’t shy away from him.
  • Speaking of rookies, Gerrit Cole is expected to join the Pirates rotation this week.  He has failed to live up to expectations at Triple-A and all rookie pitchers carry with them an inherent risk.  It’s not worth rolling the dice on him, despite his upside potential, unless your other options are subpar.
  • Would anyone have expected Yovani Gallardo to be anything less than a Tier 3 option prior to the season? However this is where we are considering he’s consistently been hit hard (28.4% line drive rate) and his velocity is down (90.5 mph average fastball).  In other words, use him at your own risk.

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