Two-Start Pitchers 2017: September 4-10: Ranking The Options & Finding Those Worthy (Berrios, Bundy & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this time of year you are likely taking one of two paths:

  1. Be conservative to protect your lead
  2. Be ultra-aggressive in an effort to make up ground however possible

Regardless of your path, you are likely looking closely at the two-start options and trying to determine if the risk outweighs the reward.  With that in mind let’s take a look at how things shake out:

 

Tier 1 – The Elite

  • Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals – at SD, vs. Pit

You can argue that Martinez isn’t truly elite, which is fair, but the matchups this week put him in the top class of options.  San Diego is never going to scare you and Pittsburgh tied for the sixth fewest runs scored in August…

 

Tier 2 – The Nearly Elite

  • Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs – at Pit, vs. Mil
  • Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals – at Mia, vs. Phi

Arrieta has been among the elite in the game of late, including a 1.59 ERA in the second half.  There is a little bit of risk, as the Brewers aren’t an easy matchup, and that limits his potential slightly…

 

Tier 3 – The Solid Options

  • Robbie Ray – Arizona Diamondbacks – at LAD, vs. SD
  • Rich Hill – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Ari, vs. Col
  • Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros – at Sea, at Oak
  • Jose Quintana – Chicago Cubs – at Pit, vs. Mil
  • Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals – at Mia, vs. Phi

No one is going to argue against using Gonzalez, but he’s coming off a poor outing and the luck metrics indicate the regression could continue (.249 BABIP, 84.5% strand rate)…

 

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

  • Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins – at TB, at KC
  • Michael Wacha – St. Louis Cardinals – at SD, vs. Pit
  • Dylan Bundy – Baltimore Orioles – vs. NYY, at Cle
  • Trevor Bauer – Cleveland Indians – at CWS, vs. Bal
  • Chase Anderson – Milwaukee Brewers – at Cin, at CHC
  • R.A. Dickey – Atlanta Braves – vs. Tex, vs. Mia

Dylan Bundy is coming off a dominant outing and has been on quite a strikeout binge, but keep the opponents in mind.  He draws a pair of tough matchups, including a Yankee team that he has a career 4.44 ERA against.  He’s obviously very usable, just know that there’s risk…  Berrios is this low?  Really?  Keep in mind that he owns a 5.12 ERA on the road (2.54 at home).  If it weren’t for favorable matchups he’d find himself a tier lower…  We have to be cautious with Anderson, who has allowed 8 ER over 9.0 innings in two starts against the Cubs, but he’s pitched well enough overall to try rolling the dice…  Wacha has been bad on the road this season, but when the road start comes in San Diego you don’t really worry about it …

 

Tier 5 – The Possibilities

  • Rafael Montero – New York Mets – vs. Phi, vs. Cin
  • Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves – vs. Tex, vs. Mia
  • Jake Junis – Kansas City Royals – at Det, vs. Min
  • Rick Porcello – Boston Red Sox – vs. Tor, vs. TB
  • Alex Cobb – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Min, at Bos
  • Garrett Richards – Los Angeles Angels – at Oak, at Sea
  • Jaime Garcia – New York Yankees – at Bal, at Tex
  • Adam Conley – Miami Marlins – vs. Was, at Atl
  • Jason Vargas – Kansas City Royals – at Det, vs. Min
  • Chad Bettis – Colorado Rockies – vs. SF, at LAD
  • Chad Kuhl – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. CHC, at Stl
  • A. Happ – Toronto Blue Jays – at Bos, vs. Det
  • Andrew Cashner – Texas Rangers – at Atl, vs. NYY
  • Erasmo Ramirez – Seattle Mariners – vs. Hou, vs. LAA
  • Mark Leiter – Philadelphia Phillies – at NYM, at Was

You’d think a Boston pitcher would be ranked higher, but Porcello has struggled at home this season (5.03 ERA).  If you are chasing wins he’s a better gamble than some others, but there’s a lot of risk involved…  Did anyone really expect Vargas to continue producing like he had been early in the season?  The wheels have fallen off, and while we wouldn’t completely write him off he’s nearly impossible to trust…  Julio Teheran owns a 6.54 ERA at home this season.  Considering both of his starts come at home it’s pretty hard to trust him…  At this time of year you sometimes need to take a gamble so it would make sense to see some appeal in Garrett Richards.  That said both starts come on the road and they are his first after a lengthy absence, so you are likely going to want to be conservative…

 

Tier 6 – The Untouchables

  • Kendall Graveman – Oakland A’s – vs. LAA, vs. Hou
  • James Shields – Chicago White Sox – vs. Cle, vs. SF
  • Robert Stephenson – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Mil, at NYM
  • Luis Perdomo – San Diego Padres – vs. Stl, at Ari
  • Reynaldo Lopez – Chicago White Sox – vs. Cle, vs. SF
  • Bartolo Colon – Minnesota Twins – at TB, at KC
  • Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Mil, at NYM
  • Travis Wood – San Diego Padres – vs. Stl, at Ari
  • Ben Lively – Philadelphia Phillies – at NYM, at Was
  • Chris Smith – Oakland A’s – vs. LAA, vs. Hou
  • Odrisamer Despaigne – Miami Marlins – vs. Was, at Atl

Sources – MLB.com, ESPN, Fangraphs

2 comments

  1. Frank says:

    Are we sure that Teheran gets 2 starts this week? Conflicting information out there.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Unfortunately this time of year it’s hard to be 100% sure. Team quite often will juggle things and take a look at youngsters

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