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Fantasy Baseball 2017: Two Start Pitchers Week 14

Welcome to Two Start Pitchers Week 14, where we will breakdown the two start pitchers from July 3-July 9. This week we do not see a lot of elite pitchers making two starts. However, there are quite a few names further down the list, especially in the “Some Upside Here” designation, that could provide real value to your staff this upcoming week. With this being the final week before the All Star break, it is always nice ending the “first half” on a high note and preparing your team for the second half run to glory. Every start counts, and every claim and waiver transaction counts, so make them matter and be wise when choosing a two starter. To the rankings we go!

 

Never a Doubt

  1. Yu Darvish, TEX (vs. BOS, vs. LAA): him
  2. Stephen Strasburg, WSH (vs. NYM, vs. ATL)

I knew it from day 1. My man Yu Darvish continues piling up the strikeouts and carrying the Texas Rangers game in and game out. If only they could supply him with some run support he could really be as elite as I predicted. On the year Darvish boasts a sparkly 3.11 ERA, .205 batting average against and has racked up 115 strikeouts, good for top 10 in the game. But he sports a 6-6 record due to the Rangers scoring, on average, 3.65 runs per game. Absolutely pathetic to score that little for your ace. In his 17 starts this year, the Rangers scored 1 run four times and 3 runs or less nine times (53% of his starts). The Rangers, overall, are 8-9 in games started by their ace, but in the 9 losses the Rangers scored a combined 20 runs, a 2.22 average per game. That is tough sledding for Yu (and you, too). Fortunately this man is cruising this year and we are all reaping the benefits from this stellar starter. So keep enjoying the fantastic ratios and let the wins fall where they may.

Borderline Aces

  1. Steven Matz, NYM (@WSH, @STL): him

While he has yet to find his strikeout groove, Steven Matz has impressed over his first four starts this year while facing some quality opponents too (namely the Dodgers and Nationals). On the year, Matz owns a 2.67 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and .220 batting average against. Home runs continue to be an issue for this young stud, but he craftily avoids allowing runs as evidenced by his (VERY unsustainable) 95.5% strand rate. And while that number assuredly will drop, I expect the strikeouts to take a big leap forward as he gets more comfortable and logs more innings. There was never a doubt with this guy. When called up, most considered him the third or fourth Met due to their stock of young power arms. But for me, this guy can take the ball for my team every fifth day and I won’t be let down.

Very Good

  1. David Price, BOS (@TEX, @TB)
  2. John Lackey, CHC (vs. TB, vs. PIT)
  3. Rick Porcello, BOS (@TEX, @TB)
  4. Marcus Stroman, TOR (@NYY, vs. HOU)
  5. Joe Ross, WSH (vs. NYM, vs. ATL)
  6. Felix Hernandez, SEA (vs. KC, vs. OAK)
  7. Lance Lynn, STL (vs. MIA, vs. NYM)
  8. J.A. Happ, TOR (@NYY, vs. HOU)
  9. Masahiro Tanaka, NYY (vs. TOR, vs. MIL)
  10. Adam Wainwright, STL (vs. MIA, vs. NYM)
  11. Aaron Nola, PHI (vs. PIT, vs. SD)
  12. Ivan Nova, PIT (@PHI, @CHC)

Ladies and gentlemen we have a Felix Hernandez sighting. While not electrifying us as he did over the last decade, Felix returned to the Mariners rotation last week and has pitched pretty well since (4.50 ERA, 11 strikeouts in 12 innings). His FIP (5.16) will tell you he is pitching right around his 4.66 ERA, but his xFIP (3.66) shows great room for improvement due to his career high and eye-popping 2.09 HR/9 and 27.3% HR/FB ratios. Tough to imagine given he (assumedly) pitches half his games in the caverns of Safeco Field. This week Felix finds himself at home against two of lowest scoring offenses in the game where Felix maintains an unblemished 3-0 record and respectable 3.86 ERA (although a very unsightly .307 batting average against). Start him with confidence and hopefully we can tap back into that 2010 type pitcher. A Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher ranked in the top 15?!? It must be a mistake! I demand a recount! You heard it here people, Aaron Nola is legit and deserves your attention. Last year you may look at his 4.78 ERA and say he sucked. And this year, with his ERA over 4.00 again, you may say “Blah, the hype is not real and it never was!” And to that I would say open your eyes a little wider. Last year, his FIP and xFIP were a matching 3.08, better than 2016 AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello‘s 3.15 ERA (I had to throw that in there). Sheesh, I did not know that RedSocker45. Well you do now. Also, over the past two years, Nola strikes out over 9 batters per 9 innings pitched. Wow that is actually pretty good RedSocker45! Listen, I am not saying he is Cy Young, but I am saying he is still only 24 years old and has pitched pretty well for a pretty desolate organization. I hope the Phillies get this man some support cause this guy has top of the rotation type stuff. This week Nola gets two of the bottom six scoring offenses in baseball. And while he may not rack up the wins (since his team also happens to rank in the bottom six in the league in runs scored) he should rack up the strikeouts and will really help out your ratios.

Some Upside Here

  1. Zach Godley, ARI (@LAD, vs. CIN)
  2. Hyun-Jin, Ryu, LAD (vs. ARI, vs. KC)
  3. Jeff Hoffman, COL (vs. CIN, vs. CWS)
  4. Trevor Bauer, CLE (vs. SD, vs. DET)
  5. Jameson Taillon, PIT (@PHI, @CHC)
  6. Kyle Freeland, COL (vs. CIN, vs. CWS)
  7. Jimmy Nelson, MIL (vs. BAL, @NYY)
  8. Sean Newcomb, ATL (vs. HOU, @WSH)
  9. Jose Urena, MIA (@STL, @SF)
  10. Ian Kennedy, KC (@SEA, @LAD)
  11. Jerad Eickhoff, PHI (vs. PIT, vs. SD): him
  12. Adalberto Mejia, MIN (vs. LAA, vs. BAL)

I am on the record as not trusting any pitcher in Coors Field. It can make any man crumble over time, so any prolonged stretch of success there should not go unnoticed. And Jeff Hoffman, I see you. On the year, Hoffman maintains a more than respectable 4.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 9.35 K/9. But in Coors Field, Hoffman sports an ugly 8.22 ERA and .324 batting average against. So what gives? Why are we trusting in a pitcher who struggles mightily at home and starts two games at home?!? Sounds bananas right? But let’s take a deeper dive. First I do not think I have to talk about his paltry opponents, the Reds and the White Sox, two of the worst teams in baseball. Second, and most importantly, his home stats are slightly skewed. And by slightly I mean majorly. In his most recent home start he faced an offensive juggernaut led by Paul Goldschmidt and the Arizona Diamondbacks absolutely tattooed him to the tune of 9 runs over 3.2IP. So what about his other two starts at home? 1-0, 3.48 ERA, 8.71 K/9. Small sample size, but not bad. His 2.83 FIP actually shows just how well he is pitching this year, so I expect that to continue this week against two bottom-feeding opponents.

Cross Your Fingers and Pray

  1. Carlos Rodon, CWS (@OAK, @COL)
  2. David Paulino, HOU (@ATL, @TOR)
  3. Daniel Norris, DET (vs. SF, @CLE)
  4. Luis Perdomo, SD (@CLE, @PHI)
  5. Blake Snell, TB (@CHC, vs. BOS)
  6. Jesse Hahn, OAK (vs. CWS, @SEA)
  7. Kyle Gibson, MIN (vs. LAA, vs. BAL)
  8. Matt Cain, SF (@DET, vs. MIA)
  9. Daniel Gossett, OAK (vs. CWS, @SEA)
  10. Jeff Locke, MIA (@STL, @SF)
  11. Wade Miley, BAL (@MIL, @MIN)

Carlos Rodon joined the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday and lines up for two road starts, one in the spacious confines of the Oakland Coliseum and the other in the Coors stratosphere. I am a Rodon advocate. Sure he has starts where he will legitimately ruin your entire week on the pitching side. Hell he may even ruin your entire week, period. But the upside is real. For all the ups and downs and injuries, Rodon is still only 24 and has a career 3.84 ERA and matching 3.98 FIP, striking out 8.99 batters per 9 innings pitched. In his first start back he allowed 0 earned runs over five innings, but that walk bugaboo creeped up again as he allowed 6 free passes in 5 innings. Completely unacceptable. But he allowed only two hits and pitched very effectively after the first inning, allowing only one hit over his final 4 innings. But for this week, all I have to say is: Coors Field.

Please No

  1. Ubaldo Jiminez, BAL (@MIL, @MIN)
  2. Homer Bailey, CIN (@COL, @ARI)
  3. Luis Castillo, CIN (@COL, @ARI)

Pretty obvious call here. With Cincinnati visiting two of the top six scoring teams in Major League Baseball on the road in two of the top three hitter friendly parks, you should expect a pretty low ranking. So while Homer Bailey did not think his 27.00 ERA over his first two starts could get any higher and Luis Castillo thought maybe the Majors ain’t so bad after his first two (impressive) big league starts, they are both sadly mistaken.

Come back to Roto Street Journal every Friday to see the two start ranks and how to best build your rotation for success. Good luck navigating the week, and happy streaming!

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy baseball discussion, please email me at redsocker45@gmail.com or tweet me @AJGamballer.

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