Two-Start Pitchers 2017: July 24-30: Ranking The Options & Finding Those Worthy (Peacock, Chacin & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

This is always one of the trickier weeks of the season to plan for as things feel like they are in flux across the league.  Forget about injuries or other circumstances, the trade deadline is fast approaching and that will certainly impact rotations across the league in the coming week.  Just be prepared for things to change, but given what we know today here’s how we rank the two-start options:


Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Jacob deGrom – New York Mets – at SD, at Sea
  • Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. Atl, at Stl

Is there any pitcher on a better roll than deGrom?  He’s allowed 1 ER or less in six of his past seven starts, quickly making everyone forget about his mid-year debacle (15 ER over 8.0 IP)…


Tier 2 – The Nearly Elite

  • Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates – at SF, at SD
  • James Paxton – Seattle Mariners – vs. Bos, vs. NYM
  • Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Col, vs. Ari

Cole is coming off an ace-like performance and draws matchups against two of the weaker offenses in the league.  What exactly is there not to like…  While the matchups may not be ideal for Paxton, keep in mind that he owns a 2.67 ERA at home (4.05 ERA on the road).  With 25 K vs. 4 BB over 20.0 IP in his past three starts (including a start at Houston) the upside is simply too high to ignore…  Colorado owns the third worst SLG on the road (.386) while Arizona also has it’s issues away from home (.394 SLG).  Couple that with Lynn’s better performance at home (2.66 ERA) and there’s every reason to believe…


Tier 3 – The Solid Options

  • Sonny Gray – Oakland A’s – at Tor, vs. Min
  • Patrick Corbin – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. Atl, at Stl

While it’s hard not to like Gray, his ERA on the road is high (4.85) and Toronto has the potential to explode at any time.  He’s been on too good of a role to even consider sitting, but there is some risk…  Keep in mind that Corbin’s spot on this list is dependent on how the Diamondbacks reinstall Taijuan Walker into the rotation.  If Walker pitches Monday or Tuesday he would simply slide into Corbin’s spot as a Tier 3 starter…


Tier 4 – The Not Quite Must Play, But Nearly Options

  • Brad Peacock – Houston Astros – at Phi, at Det
  • Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – vs. KC, vs. Hou
  • Jacob Faria – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Bal, at NYY
  • John Lackey – Chicago Cubs – vs. CWS, at Mil
  • Eduardo Rodriguez – Boston Red Sox – at Sea, vs. KC
  • Luis Castillo – Cincinnati Reds – at NYY, at Mia

The Phillies are never going to be an offense that scares you and who knows who will be left in Detroit by the time that game rolls around.  That makes Peacock an intriguing option, though the risk of home run issues creeping up (41.6% groundball rate, 0.13 HR/9) and lackluster control (4.98 BB/9) knock him down a bit…  While Faria is an intriguing option he’s allowed 4 HR thus far and three of them have come against the Orioles.  He’s also coming off a poor outing and as a rookie there are going to be bumps along the way…


Tier 5 – The Possibilities

  • Jhoulys Chacin – San Diego Padres – vs. NYM, vs. Pit
  • Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs – vs. CWS, at Mil
  • Mike Leake – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Col, vs. Ari
  • Dan Straily – Miami Marlins – at Tex, vs. Cin
  • Jordan Montgomery – New York Yankees – vs. Cin, vs. TB
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Min, vs. SF
  • Josh Tomlin – Cleveland Indians – vs. Cin, at CWS
  • Seth Lugo – New York Mets – at SD, at Sea
  • Kevin Gausman – Baltimore Orioles – at TB, at Tex
  • Jason Hammel – Kansas City Royals – at Det, at Bos
  • Zach Davies – Milwaukee Brewers – at Was, vs. CHC
  • A. Dickey – Atlanta Braves – at Ari, at Phi
  • Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Bal, at NYY
  • Carlos Rodon – Chicago White Sox – at CHC, vs. Cle
  • Antonio Senzatela – Colorado Rockies – at Stl, at Was

We’d love to recommend Kyle Hendricks, but we’re always cautious with a pitcher making his first start off the DL.  It’s not impossible to use him, but he’s hardly a must start…  Rodon continues to hold upside potential, but would you trust him right now?  The desperate could consider rolling the dice on upside, but the matchups should dissuade most…  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Chacin has been better at home than on the road, but the contrast is stark (1.94 ERA vs. 7.35).  That said, the Mets have been a more dangerous offense on the road (their .492 SLG is second highest) and the Pirates are warming up so remain cautious…  Kevin Gausman is coming off a great outing, but he has two starts on the road (where he owns a 7.98 ERA) and he’s been inconsistent, at best, making him tough to trust…


Tier 6 – The Untouchables

  • Vince Velasquez – Philadelphia Phillies – vs. Hou, vs. Atl
  • Francisco Liriano – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Oak, vs. LAA
  • Clayton Richard – San Diego Padres – vs. NYM, vs. Pit
  • Martin Perez – Texas Rangers – vs. Mia, vs. Bal
  • Jesse Chavez – Los Angeles Angels – at Cle, at Tor
  • Tim Adleman – Cincinnati Reds – at Cle, at Mia
  • Miguel Gonzalez – Chicago White Sox – at CHC, vs. Cle
  • Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – vs. Pit, at LAD
  • Adam Conley – Miami Marlins – at Tex, vs. Cin
  • Bartolo Colon – Minnesota Twins – at LAD, at Oak

Vince Velasquez is an intriguing name, but he has an extremely difficult matchup in his first start off the DL.  It’s impossible to trust him…

Sources –, Fangraphs, CBS Sports

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  1. Mitch says:

    Who should I start Castiilo with 2 starts or Arieta @CWS ,Ray @STL

  2. Rotoprofessor says:

    I’d go Arrieta/Ray

  3. bbboston says:

    Isn’t Berrios going twice? I assume he’d be a st least a “solid option”.

    • BW says:

      Yes I saw this too. I think it might be a new development in the last few days. Maybe they shuffled their rotation or skipped someone.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Unless they flipped him withColon tonight ( still has Colonlisted), or are skipping someone I think he only goes once. . Either way at Dodgers ales him usable, but not am must start option

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