Two-Start Pitchers 2017: September 25 – October 1: Ranking The Options & Finding Those Worthy (Davies, Mengden & More)

by Ray Kuhn

This is the last week of the season and that means you have one last chance towards making that final push towards fantasy supremacy. We also must take note that there is a lot subject to change this week as teams close out the season, playing it conservative in some cases and planning for the postseason in others. Let’s take a look at how our options currently rank and any possible value to be found:

Tier One:

  1. Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox – vs. Toronto; vs. Houston
  2. Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros – at Texas; at Boston
  3. Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs – at St. Louis; vs. Cincinnati

Tier Two:

  1. Cole Hamels – Texas Rangers – vs. Houston; vs. Oakland
  2. Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Chicago Cubs; vs. Milwaukee
  3. Johnny Cueto – San Francisco Giants – at Arizona; vs. San Diego
  4. Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals – at Philadelphia; vs. Pittsburgh
  5. Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs – at St. Louis; vs. Cincinnati

Tier Three:

  1. Luke Weaver – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Chicago Cubs; vs. Milwaukee
  2. Drew Pomeranz – Boston Red Sox – vs. Toronto; vs. Houston
  3. Zack Godley – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. San Francisco; at Kansas City
  4. Tanner Roark – Washington Nationals – at Philadelphia; vs. Pittsburgh

Tier Four:

  1. Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays – at New York Yankees; vs. Baltimore
  2. Zach Davies – Milwaukee Brewers – vs. Cincinnati; at St. Louis
  3. Colin McHugh – Houston Astros – at Texas; at Boston
  4. Jason Vargas – Kansas City Royals – vs. Detroit; vs. Arizona
  5. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners – at Oakland; at LA Angels
  6. Parker Bridwell – Los Angeles Angels – at Chicago White Sox; vs. Seattle

Tier Five:

  1. Daniel Mengden – Oakland A’s – vs. Seattle; at Texas
  2. Jake Junis – Kansas City Royals – at New York Yankees; vs. Arizona
  3. CC Sabathia – New York Yankees – vs. Kansas City; vs. Toronto
  4. Jose Urena – Miami Marlins – at Colorado; vs. Atlanta
  5. Trevor Williams – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Baltimore; at Washington
  6. James Shields – Chicago White Sox – vs. Los Angeles Angels; at Cleveland
  7. Tyler Chatwood – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Miami; vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Carson Fulmer – Chicago White Sox – vs. Los Angeles Angels; at Cleveland
  9. Andrew Cashner – Texas Rangers – vs. Houston; vs. Oakland
  10. Seth Lugo – New York Mets – vs. Atlanta; at Philadelphia
  11. Ricky Nolasco – Los Angeles Angels – at Chicago White Sox; vs. Seattle
  12. R.A Dickey – Atlanta Braves – at New York Mets; at Miami
  13. Anibal Sanchez – Detroit Tigers – at Kansas City; at Minnesota

Tier Six:

  1. Rafael Montero – New York Mets – vs. Atlanta; at Philadelphia
  2. Lucas Sims – Atlanta Braves – at New York Mets; at Miami
  3. Bartolo Colon – Minnesota Twins – at Cleveland; vs. Detroit
  4. Daniel Gossett – Oakland A’s – vs. Seattle; at Texas
  5. Rookie Davis – at Milwaukee; at Chicago Cubs
  6. Brett Anderson – Chicago Cubs – at Boston; at New York Yankees

Notes:

  • One of the constants this season in Washington’s rotation, who has flown under the radar, is Tanner Roark. Now he hasn’t been dominant all season, but through 29 starts the right-hander has been pretty solid. It really has been a tale of two halves, as after his most recent start against Atlanta he has held opponents to two runs or fewer in 11 of his 12 starts. After putting up a 5.27 first half ERA, Roark rebounded to the tune of a 3.24 second half ERA. Luck was also a factor as he saw his FIP drop from 4.44 to 3.65 as he once again was a reliable starter. With a 4.10 FIP there is some room for improvement for Roark as he closes the season out against the Phillies and Pirates.
  • Who would have expected Zach Davies to potentially finish just short of 20 wins this season? As he enters his last two starts he is 17-9 with decisions in 26 of his 32 starts, but that is really where his fantasy value ends. Davies is one of those pitchers who is better in real life than fantasy, as he has just 5.96 strikeouts per nine innings. The right-hander has been able to limit the damage, which has been helped by allowing just 0.91 home runs per nine innings along with 2.55 walks. That along with Davies’ 3.84 ERA (4.13 FIP) and 1.34 WHIP does limit the upside, but there is no harm chasing two victories without too much risk.
  • Don’t look now but Tyler Chatwood has worked his way into the discussion for making the Rockies’ playoff rotation. In his last three starts Chatwood has a 2.16 ERA and is owned in just 21% of CBS leagues. So far this month the right-hander has a 1.77 ERA in four starts, but I’m not sure he is worth the risk. Sure you have the chance at two victories, and he has 7.29 strikeouts per nine innings, but Chatwood also has a 4.56 ERA overall this season. Both of starts come at home, against the Marlins and Dodgers, and that also doesn’t bode well as he has a 5.85 ERA at home compared to 3.49 ERA on the road.
  • One risk potentially worth taking is Trevor Williams. In his last five starts after allowing eight runs to St. Louis, Williams has given up just seven runs in 29.2 innings while striking out 25 batters. Overall he has a 4.18 ERA in 30 games, 24 starts, this season with a 1.34 WHIP. Williams’ 6.92 strikeouts do limit the upside, but at this point in the season there really isn’t all that much left on the waiver wire. The right-hander has been relatively solid all season, and that is really the best you can ask for.
  • At just 14% ownership we can’t forget about Daniel Mengden. In his last three starts, the right-hander has been flat out dominant. After holding the Astros to three runs (two earned) in six innings of work, Mengden has thrown 16 shutout innings while scattering nine hits and striking out 11. The sample size is small, but at this point in the season that is all we have to go on. Mengden has benefited from a .210 BABIP, but his 2.65 FIP and even his 3.85 xFIP, work in his favor.

2 comments

  1. Tony says:

    I’m seeing Kuhl, not Williams as the Tuesday/Sunday for PIT on several sites. Same spot for Kuhl as Williams if that’s the case?

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