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:
|Tier 1 - The Elite|
|Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners||vs. TB||at Min|
|Adam Wainwright - St. Louis Cardinals||vs. CHC||vs. Atl|
|David Price - Tampa Bay Rays||at Sea||at LAA|
|Tier 2 - A Notch Below|
|Jordan Zimmermann - Washington Nationals||at Ari||vs. NYM|
|James Shields - Kansas City Royals||vs. Col||vs. Bal|
|C.J. Wilson - Los Angeles Angels||at Tor||vs. TB|
|Tier 3 - Good, Not Great|
|Jesse Chavez - Oakland Athletics||vs. CWS||at Cle|
|Marco Estrada - Milwaukee Brewers||vs. Pit||at CHC|
|Gerrit Cole - Pittsburgh Pirates||at Mil||at NYY|
|Hiroki Kuroda - New York Yankees||vs. NYM||vs. Pit|
|Tier 4 - Riskier, But Options|
|Andrew Cashner - San Diego Padres||at Cin||at Col|
|Dan Haren - Los Angeles Dodgers||vs. Mia||at Ari|
|Mike Leake - Cincinnati Reds||vs. SD||at Phi|
|Danny Salazar - Cleveland Indians||at Tor||vs. Oak|
|Mark Buehrle - Toronto Blue Jays||vs. LAA||at Tex|
|R.A. Dickey - Toronto Blue Jays||vs. Cle||at Tex|
|Tyler Lyons - St. Louis Cardinals||vs. CHC||vs. Atl|
|Tom Koehler - Miami Marlins||at LAD||at SF|
|Tier 5 - Depends On Your Situation|
|Aaron Harang - Atlanta Braves||at SF||at Stl|
|Zack Wheeler - New York Mets||at NYY||at Was|
|Drew Smyly - Detroit Tigers||at Bal||at Bos|
|Ryan Vogelsong - San Francisco Giants||vs. Atl||vs. Mia|
|Ubaldo Jimenez - Baltimore Orioles||vs. Det||at KC|
|John Danks - Chicago White Sox||at Oak||at Hou|
|Vidal Nuno - New York Yankees||vs. NYM||vs. Pit|
|Rick Porcello - Detroit Tigers||at Bal||at Bos|
|Travis Wood - Chicago Cubs||at Stl||vs. Mil|
|Bud Norris - Baltimore Orioles||vs. Det||at KC|
|Felix Doubront - Boston Red Sox||at Min||vs. Det|
|Josh Collmenter - Arizona Diamondbacks||vs. Was||vs. LAD|
|Jake Arrieta - Chicago Cubs||at Stl||vs. Mil|
|Colby Lewis - Texas Rangers||at Hou||vs. Tor|
|Jacob Turner - Miami Marlins||at LAD||at SF|
|Tier 6 - Don't Bother|
|Cesar Ramos - Tampa Bay Rays||at Sea||at LAA|
|Tim Lincecum - San Francisco Giants||vs. Atl||vs. Mia|
|Bartolo Colon - New York Mets||at NYY||at Was|
|Ricky Nolasco - Minnesota Twins||vs. Bos||vs. Sea|
|Brad Peacock - Houston Astros||vs. Tex||vs. CWS|
- 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