Two-Start Pitchers 2014: May 12-18: Is Andrew Cashner A Questionable Option & More

by Eric Stashin Stashin

There are ample options for fantasy owners looking for a two-start pitcher for the upcoming week.  However, which gambles are worth taking and which should be ignored?  Which big names should we trust and which should we be a little skeptical about…

Wait, there are bigger names that we may want to avoid?  It’s not to say that they aren’t usable, but here’s one prime example of a pitcher you may want to be skeptical about:

Not only is Andrew Cashner coming off a poor outing, but he is going to pitch in two less than favorable ballparks in Cincinnati and Colorado.  Throw in that he’s always been a significantly better pitcher at home than on the road (1.67 ERA/5.00 ERA split in ’14, 2.68/4.21 for his career) and there are significant reasons to be concerned heading into the week.  The upside keeps him usable, but he’s hardly as good of an option as he normally would be considered.

What other notes should we know?  How do we rank the two-start starters?  Let’s take a look:

Pitcher
Start #1
Start #2
Tier 1 - The Elite
Felix Hernandez - Seattle Marinersvs. TBat Min
Adam Wainwright - St. Louis Cardinalsvs. CHCvs. Atl
David Price - Tampa Bay Raysat Seaat LAA
Tier 2 - A Notch Below
Jordan Zimmermann - Washington Nationalsat Arivs. NYM
James Shields - Kansas City Royalsvs. Colvs. Bal
C.J. Wilson - Los Angeles Angelsat Torvs. TB
Tier 3 - Good, Not Great
Jesse Chavez - Oakland Athleticsvs. CWSat Cle
Marco Estrada - Milwaukee Brewersvs. Pitat CHC
Gerrit Cole - Pittsburgh Piratesat Milat NYY
Hiroki Kuroda - New York Yankeesvs. NYMvs. Pit
Tier 4 - Riskier, But Options
Andrew Cashner - San Diego Padresat Cinat Col
Dan Haren - Los Angeles Dodgersvs. Miaat Ari
Mike Leake - Cincinnati Redsvs. SDat Phi
Danny Salazar - Cleveland Indiansat Torvs. Oak
Mark Buehrle - Toronto Blue Jaysvs. LAAat Tex
R.A. Dickey - Toronto Blue Jaysvs. Cleat Tex
Tyler Lyons - St. Louis Cardinalsvs. CHCvs. Atl
Tom Koehler - Miami Marlinsat LADat SF
Tier 5 - Depends On Your Situation
Aaron Harang - Atlanta Bravesat SFat Stl
Zack Wheeler - New York Metsat NYYat Was
Drew Smyly - Detroit Tigersat Balat Bos
Ryan Vogelsong - San Francisco Giantsvs. Atlvs. Mia
Ubaldo Jimenez - Baltimore Oriolesvs. Detat KC
John Danks - Chicago White Soxat Oakat Hou
Vidal Nuno - New York Yankeesvs. NYMvs. Pit
Rick Porcello - Detroit Tigersat Balat Bos
Travis Wood - Chicago Cubsat Stlvs. Mil
Bud Norris - Baltimore Oriolesvs. Detat KC
Felix Doubront - Boston Red Soxat Minvs. Det
Josh Collmenter - Arizona Diamondbacksvs. Wasvs. LAD
Jake Arrieta - Chicago Cubsat Stlvs. Mil
Colby Lewis - Texas Rangersat Houvs. Tor
Jacob Turner - Miami Marlinsat LADat SF
Tier 6 - Don't Bother
Cesar Ramos - Tampa Bay Raysat Seaat LAA
Tim Lincecum - San Francisco Giantsvs. Atlvs. Mia
Bartolo Colon - New York Metsat NYYat Was
Ricky Nolasco - Minnesota Twinsvs. Bosvs. Sea
Brad Peacock - Houston Astrosvs. Texvs. CWS

Thoughts:

  • Marco Estrada draws the Pirates (5-0, 2.01 ERA) and Cubs (5-0, 3.71 ERA).  Considering that both teams have struggled offensively this season, his past success against them makes him look extremely appealing.  He has had a bit of luck on his side, however, with a .227 BABIP and 84.3% strand rate, but it’s still hard not to like him.
  • Speaking of risk, we talked about Dan Haren earlier in the week in regards to his loss of velocity (click here to view).  While he’s a very usable option, he also is an ideal sell high candidate right now.
  • Tyler Lyons may not be long for the Cardinals rotation, but he’s there right now and is definitely an intriguing flier for the coming week. Not only are the matchups less than scary, let’s not forget that he owns an 8.02 K/9 and 2.21 BB/9 in the minors since 2011. If there’s a starter to take a flier on, he seems like a good one.
  • Rick Porcello is 5-1 this season, but he’s simply not generating groundballs like we have grown accustomed to (43.9% in ’13). Going to Camden Yards and Fenway Park, there’s a major risk that the long ball plagues him this week.
  • We all know that Danny Salazar is a risky option at this point, and his matchups also aren’t ideal (the Blue Jays, for instance, are tearing the cover off the ball at the moment).  However, he has strikeout potential and that is going to make him a better option than many of the other “questionable” choices.
  • While Kuroda has had his issues this season, he is coming off arguably his best start of the season and draws the Mets.  Yea, there’s no reason to shy away.
  • Travis Wood has seen a spike in strikeouts thus far this season (8.64 K/9), but it simply isn’t for real.  Take that out of the picture and he’s simply the same mediocre option that he’s always been.

Source – Fangraphs

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