Two-Start Pitchers 2017: July 3-9: Ranking The Options & Finding Those Worthy (Newcomb & More)

by Ray Kuhn

As crazy as it may sound we are already half way through the 2017 season. With that being said, this our last week before the All-Star break and there is no time like the present to try and make a move in the standings. Let’s take a look at the pitchers who are taking the mound twice this week and see who may be able to help us do so:

Tier One:

  1. Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers – vs. Boston; vs. Los Angeles Angels
  2. Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays – at Chicago Cubs; vs. Boston
  3. Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals – vs. New York Mets; vs. Atlanta

Tier Two:

  1. Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees – vs. Toronto; vs. Milwaukee
  2. David Price – Boston Red Sox – at Texas; at Tampa Bay
  3. Marcus Stroman – Toronto Blue Jays – at New York Yankees; vs. Houston
  4. Steven Matz – New York Mets – at Washington; at St. Louis

Tier Three:

  1. Jimmy Nelson – Milwaukee Brewers – vs. Baltimore; at New York Yankees
  2. Jameson Taillon – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Philadelphia; at Chicago Cubs
  3. J.A. Happ – Toronto Blue Jays – at New York Yankees; vs. Houston
  4. Ivan Nova – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Philadelphia; at Chicago Cubs
  5. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners – vs. Kansas City; vs. Oakland

Tier Four:

  1. Aaron Nola – Philadelphia Phillies – vs. Pittsburgh; vs. San Diego
  2. Trevor Bauer – Cleveland Indians – vs. San Diego; vs. Detroit
  3. Joe Ross – Washington Nationals – vs. New York Mets; vs. Atlanta
  4. Sean Newcomb – Atlanta Braves – vs. Houston; at Washington
  5. Ian Kennedy – Kansas City Royals – at Seattle; at Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Rick Porcello – Boston Red Sox – at Texas; at Tampa Bay

Tier Five:

  1. Hyun-Jin Ryu – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Arizona; vs. Kansas City
  2. Patrick Corbin – Arizona Diamondbacks – at Los Angeles Dodgers; vs. Cincinnati
  3. Jose Urena – Miami Marlins – at St. Louis; at San Francisco
  4. Alex Meyer – Los Angeles Angels – at Minnesota; at Texas
  5. Luis Perdomo – San Diego Padres – at Cleveland; at Philadelphia
  6. Carlos Rodon – Chicago White Sox – at Oakland; at Colorado
  7. Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Miami; vs. New York Mets
  8. John Lackey – Chicago Cubs – vs. Tampa Bay; vs. Pittsburgh
  9. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Miami; vs. New York Mets
  10. Daniel Gossett – Oakland A’s – vs. Chicago White Sox; at Seattle
  11. Luis Castillo – Cincinnati Reds – at Colorado; at Arizona
  12. Kyle Freeland – Colorado Rockies – vs. Cincinnati; vs. Chicago White Sox
  13. Adalberto Mejia – Minnesota Tigers – vs. Los Angeles Angels; vs. Baltimore
  14. Daniel Norris – Detroit Tigers – vs. San Francisco; at Cleveland
  15. Kyle Gibson – Minnesota Twins – vs. Los Angeles; vs. Baltimore

Tier Six:

  1. Mark Leiter – Philadelphia Phillies – vs. Pittsburgh; vs. San Diego
  2. Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds – at Colorado; at Arizona
  3. Jeff Hoffman – Colorado Rockies – vs. Cincinnati; vs. Chicago White Sox
  4. Ubaldo Jimenez – Baltimore Orioles – at Milwaukee; at Minnesota
  5. Wade Miley – Baltimore Orioles – at Milwaukee; at Minnesota
  6. Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – at Detroit; vs. Miami
  7. Jeff Locke – Miami Marlins – at St. Louis; at San Francisco
  8. Jesse Hahn – Oakland A’s – vs. Chicago White Sox; at Seattle

Notes:

  • Felix Hernandez is not the same pitcher that he once was, but he could still have value as long as you set your expectations properly. He hasn’t wowed anyone in his two starts back from the DL, but he did turn in two quality starts. In 12 innings, Hernandez allowed six runs on 13 hits and four walks while striking out 11. However, it is not a good sign that he allowed three home runs in those two games, and he has only went without allowing a home run in one of his seven starts this season. Overall Hernandez has a 4.66 ERA while the underlying metrics tell vastly different stories. He has a FIP of 5.16, but his xFIP is 3.65 with the right-hander also being hindered by a .368 BABIP. Both of Hernandez’s starts come at home in solid match-ups, against Kansas City and Oakland, and I would expect two solid starts. Just keep those expectations in check.
  • We are past the point of regarding Jimmy Nelson as a prospect or a pitcher with upside, and now we can judge him on his merits. Currently he is doing pretty well. Over his last three starts Nelson struck out 29 batters in 21 innings while putting up a 2.57 ERA. He has been a strikeout machine, 104 in 97 innings, to go along with a 3.43 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. The main thing has been reducing his walks from 4.32 per nine innings in 2016 to 2.32 per nine innings this year. With a 3.38 xFIP we can also believe in Nelson’s success, and it’s hard not to like the strikeouts. At age 28 it’s possible that he is finally figuring things out.
  • If he continues to pitch like this Sean Newcomb will remain in Atlanta’s rotation, but what does that mean for your fantasy team? His pedigree and status as a top prospect goes without saying, although how it translates to Major League success is not as clear. In four starts with the Braves he has 21 strikeouts in 24.3 innings with a 1.48 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. After not allowing a run in his first start over 6.1 innings, Newcomb has pitched six innings in each of his other three starts. It took until his most recent start, against the Padres, for him to get his first win as he kept San Diego off the scoreboard. Prior to his promotion he had a 2.97 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A while striking out 11.55 batters per nine innings. There is no reason not to continue rolling with Newcomb in your lineup until he proves otherwise.
  • It is clear that 2017 hasn’t gone according to plan for Joe Ross, but we also shouldn’t discount the right-hander and his recent success. This isn’t the first time that he has done well at the major league level as he won seven games last season while putting up a 3.43 ERA in 17 starts. Ross has spent some time at Triple-A this season, and in 11 starts with the Nationals he has a 5.12 ERA (with an xFIP of 4.09). After allowing six runs in three innings of work against the A’s in his first start of June, Ross’ ERA sat at 7.34. Since then he has allowed 11 runs in his last five starts to lower his ERA to 5.12. Things look even better if you take out his start against Atlanta in which he allowed five runs. There is always going to be the possibility of a rough start , but with just about a strikeout per inning (59 in 63.1 innings) it’s a chance worth taking.
  • If you want to take on some risk, without going too crazy, then Alex Meyer is worth a closer look. Owned in just 36% of CBS leagues the big right-hander has 2.93 ERA in his last starts. In 11 starts this season he is averaging just five innings per start while putting up a 3.74 ERA. With a 4.01 FIP and 4.39 xFIP, what you see from Meyer is what you get; and that is an uneven performer with the potential to be an asset. He is striking out 10.08 batters per nine innings so far this season and that production coupled with the chance at two victories counts for something.

Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:

Position
Posted
CatcherJune 1
First BaseJune 3
Second BaseJune 5
Third Base--
Shortstop--
Outfield--
Starting Pitcher--
Relief Pitcher--

3 comments

  1. MA says:

    Would you drop Desmond or Jones for Marte, Maybin, Polanco, or Domingo Santana? H2H Points league. Thanks.

  2. Miles says:

    Thought about Alex Meyer. Will gamble with him in one league where I need to gamble, but his road ERA made me play it safe in other league I own him.

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