Two-Start Pitchers 2014: May 26 – June 2: Sorting Through The Mass Of Options For The Coming Week

by Ray Kuhn

The top of this list has names that are widely owned and are going to be started each week regardless of how many times they take the hill and who the opponent is. Their statuses obviously should not be questioned, but even if you don’t own a few of those pitchers fear not as there are plenty of options this week.  Don’t believe us, here’s a sample of one of the under-the-radar options available:

Tommy Milone is making two starts at home and is only owned in 21% of CBS leagues. That sounds like opportunity to me. While Milone is not a starter that really stands out from the crowd, he does have success pitching at home, Detroit and the Angels do not have offenses that will roll over, but they are also manageable. This season Milone has a 1.80 ERA at home to go with an ERA of 5.60 on the road. Last season Milone pitched 156.1 total innings and the splits were 3.44 and 4.69. If you are looking for a bigger sample size, he pitched 189.1 innings and the split was even more dramatic, 2.74 compared to 4.83. Those numbers are enough of a sample size to warrant an addition and start.

Of course not all of the options are owned or should be started, but that is why we rank them here each week:

Pitcher Opponent #1 Opponent #2
Tier 1
Yu Darvish at Minnesota at Washington
Max Scherzer at Oakland at Seattle
Johnny Cueto at LA Dodgers at Arizona
Zack Greinke vs. Cinncinati vs. Pittsburgh
Tier 2
Sonny Gray vs. Detroit vs. LA Angels
Cole Hamels vs. Colorado vs. NY Mets
Jered Weaver at Seattle at Oakland
Jon Lester at Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay
Michael Wacha vs. NY Yankees vs. San Francisco
Jeff Samardzjia at San Francisco at Milwaukee
Tier 3
Yordano Ventura vs. Houston at Toronto
Lance Lynn vs. NY Yankees vs. San Francisco
Mark Buerhle vs. Tampa Bay vs. Kansas City
Tyson Ross at Arizona at Chicago White Sox
Alfredo Simon at LA Dodgers at Arizona
Ervin Santana vs. Boston at Miami
Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Cinncinati vs. Pittsburgh
Kyle Lohse vs. Baltimore vs. Chicago Cubs
Jonathan Niese vs. Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Matt Cain vs. Chicago Cubs at St. Louis
Tier 4
Tim Hudson vs. Chicago Cubs at St. Louis
Tyler Skaggs at Seattle at Oakland
Drew Smyly at Oakland at Seattle
Chris Tillman at Milwaukee at Houston
Aaron Harang vs. Boston at Miami
Phil Hughes vs. Texas at NY Yankees
Brandon McCarthy vs. San Diego vs. Cincinnati
Jose Quintana vs. Cleveland vs. San Diego
Drew Hutchinson vs. Tampa Bay vs. Kansas City
Nathan Eovaldi at Washington vs. Atlanta
Tommy Milone vs. Detroit vs. LA Angels
Tier 5
Tanner Roark vs. Miami vs. Texas
Roenis Elias vs. LA Angels vs. Detroit
Wei-Yin Chen at Milwaukee at Houston
Clay Buchholz at Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay
Wade Miley vs. San Diego vs. Cincinnati
Scott Feldman at Kansas City vs. Baltimore
Colin McHugh at Kansas City vs. Baltimore
Jacob deGrom vs. Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Nick Tepesch at Minnesota at Washington
Chris Young vs. LA Angels vs. Detroit
Tier 6
Josh Tomlin at Chicago White Sox vs. Colorado
Jeremy Guthrie vs. Houston at Toronto
Edinson Volquez at NY Mets at LA Dodgers
Jhoulys Chacin at Philadelphia at Cleveland
Kyle Kendrick vs. Colorado vs. NY Mets
Chase Whitley at St. Louis vs. Minnesota
Erik Bedard at Toronto at Boston
Kevin Correia vs. Texas at NY Yankees
Eric Stults at Arizona at Chicago White Sox



  • Cole Hamels should be a no brainer, with the fact that he is making two starts this week is just a bonus. A few weeks ago if you had some doubts about starting Hamels that is understood, but at this point there should no longer be any questions that he is back and healthy. Yes, the 4.30 ERA and 1.41 WHIP could scare some people off, but after a closer look I have full confidence in him this week. He has pitched seven innings each of his last three starts allowing one, one, and three earned runs respectively. During that time Hamels is also keeping the bases clear, for the most part, allowing 16 hits and five walks while striking out 26 batters. He does take the mound against the Rockies prolific offense, but at least it is not in Coors Field, with the Mets being Hamels’ other opponent.
  • We always say don’t go chasing wins, and this season Jeff Samardzjia owners certainly can identify with that. The Cubs’ hurler is winless on the season as he takes an 0-4 record into this week. You could make the argument that law of averages will not allow him to take a winless record into June, but it is possible. Regardless of the appeal of Samardzjia finally finding a win, it is hard to make an argument that he could be pitching better this season. The right-hander has a 1.46 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, which makes him a must start and the lack of wins just an unfortunate thing. He makes both of his starts this week on the road, in San Francisco and Milwaukee, so the matchups are not terrible.
  • Where did this come from? Alfredo Simon is one of the most surprising starters this season as he sports a 2.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in nine starts along with a 6-2 record. Last season he had success, but his 2.88 ERA came entirely while pitching in relief. Instead injuries pushed the right-hander into the rotation, and so far he has not disappointed.  He faces the better offense, the Dodgers, in a park friendlier to pitchers while taking the mound in a hitter friendly park, Arizona, against a weaker offense. Simon won’t really strike batters out, 36 in 58.1 innings, but in a week where he starts twice the impact of that is minimized. If you take out one start against the Rockies, where Simon only lasted three innings while giving up five runs, six of his last seven starts have been quality starts with eight earned runs total. That is enough for me to buy in.
  • Going further down on the list, Nick Tepesch is only owned in 16% of CBS leagues. Both of his starts are away from his hitter friendly home park, in Minnesota and in Washington. The Twins offense is not one that puts fear into opposing pitchers and the Nationals are at less than full strength without Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. So far this season Tepesch has made two starts, and you really can’t ask for anything more. He pitched 5.1 innings against the Astros allowing just one run in a no decision and then beat the Mariners pitching 6.1 innings while allowing three earned runs. Last season he made 17 starts and had mixed results, logging a 4.84 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, so there is some risk involved.
  • Tyler Skaggs makes two starts on the road this week, but they couldn’t come in better parks. Skaggs takes the hill in Seattle and Oakland, which makes him pretty close to a must start. At some point this season, Skaggs might reach that point regardless of how many starts he is making in a week and where is making them, but at this point he is more of a matchup play. For the season the 22 year-old has a 4.14 ERA, which could stand to improve, but he is doing a good job of keeping the bases clear as he has a 1.13 WHIP. The knock is that he only has 39 strikeouts in 58.7 innings but by starting twice in the week, he doesn’t put you at too much of a disadvantage.


  1. Bryan says:

    You list Matt Cain – knowing he’s been scratched for Monday he is definitely a buy low opportunity. What do you think? I was offered Cain for J Bruce who looks lost at the plate. Love to hear your take on both players.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I would still prefer Bruce, who should figure it out and be one of the best sources of power. That’s not to say Cain isn’t worth acquiring, but it all depends on the cost.

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