Auto-Starts: Matt Cain (@HOU, @CHC) and Stephen Strasburg (@MIA, vs. STL)

Cain gets about as good a draw as a pitcher can possibly get this week, facing what are perhaps baseball’s two worst offenses.  The only thing that would make this better is if he were facing them at home.

Yovani Gallardo (@CHC, vs. PIT)
Marco Estrada (@CHC, vs. PIT)
Kyle Lohse (@PIT, @WSN)

Maybe I just expect a lot from my pitchers, but the list of guys I would absolutely start is quite limited this week.

Gallardo and Estrada get half of the Cain treatment with a start against the Cubs, and an outing each against the Pirates ain’t too shabby either.  

Patrick Corbin (vs. CIN, @LAD)
A.J. Burnett (vs. STL, @MIL)
Paul Maholm (@SD, vs. PHI)
Jake Westbrook (@PIT, @WSN)
Wade Miley (vs. CIN, @LAD)
Jeff Francis (vs. LAD, vs. SD)
Bud Norris (vs. SF, vs. CIN)
Chris Capuano (@COL, vs. ARI)
Joe Blanton (@COL, vs. ARI)
Vance Worley (vs. NYM, @ATL)

I discussed Corbin when I added him to the Value Picks list yesterday.  He gets a great matchup against the Dodgers in LA, but Cincinnati could give him a little trouble.

A.J. Burnett was one of my pet players this year, drafting him in LABR (though I traded him this past week for Craig Kimbrel).  While he’s been better than anyone could have hoped for, this might be the week to sit him down if you have other options.  The Cardinals and Brewers offenses won’t be easy to get past.

Francis might be a bit of a shock to see on the consider list, but he gets two very good match-ups this week, albeit in Coors.  I really do like his skills—he has tremendous control and generates groundballs—although the Rockies’ 75-pitch limit makes him a fringe option in deeper mixed leagues.

I love Capuano, especially on a week-by-week basis where you don’t really have to worry about his health (though he’s been surprisingly durable this season). Against poor offenses he’d easily get my “start” seal of approval, but his match-ups this week are terrible.

Justin Germano (vs. MIL, vs. SF)
Travis Wood (vs. MIL, vs. SF)
Bronson Arroyo (@ARI, @HOU)
Tyler Chatwood* (vs. LAD, vs. SD)
Padres SP (vs. ATL, @COL)

Tyler Chatwood gets an asterisk because he may not get that second start, depending on how the Rockies decide to deploy their pitchers.   Both would be good match-ups and might tempt me to use him in deeper leagues (like NL-only formats), but mixed leaguers can leave him alone given the uncertainty and, well, the fact that he’s Tyler Chatwood.

The Padres SP was going to be Jason Marquis, but he hit the DL and will be replaced by… someone.  It really doesn’t matter, though, given what’s up on the docket.

Auto-Starts: Jered Weaver (vs. BOS, @SEA), Felix Hernandez (@MIN, vs. LAA), David Price (@TEX, @TOR), Chris Sale (@BAL, @DET), and James Shields (@TEX, @TOR)

There are tons of AL auto-starts this week, although the Rays pitchers might have a tough road against Texas and Toronto inside both of their extreme hitter’s parks.  Still, Price and Shields are too good to bench in anything deeper than like a six-team mixed league.

Brett Anderson (@CLE, vs. BOS)
Tommy Milone (@CLE, vs. BOS)
Derek Holland (vs. TB, @CLE)
Anibal Sanchez (@KC, vs. CHW)

As in the NL, the list of guys I’d be completely confident starting is small.  These four all possess the combination of solid skills and good match-ups, even if Holland and Sanchez have struggled mightily of late.  The Oakland duo might be “considers” if Boston’s offense was at full strength, but with David Ortiz, Carl Crawford, and Will Middlebrooks all out, it seems a harmless enough match-up.

Anderson and Holland got a write-up in yesterday’s VP.  Anderson’s teammate Milone has been a pleasant surprise this year.  We knew he had stellar command, but this many strikeouts is a bit of a surprise coming from someone that many were content to throw a “soft-thrower” or “sixth starter” label on.  What he lacks in velocity, however, he makes for with quality secondary pitches and pitchability.  He’s a solid play, no question.

Scott Diamond (vs. SEA, @KC)
Liam Hendriks (vs. SEA, @KC)
David Phelps (vs. TOR, vs. BAL)

Very short list of considers.  Diamond is a soft-thrower with control in the mold of Milone, although he’s not quite as good either in terms of control or stuff.  He does get groundballs, though, which is something Milone doesn’t.  Facing the AL’s third- and fifth-lowest-scoring teams of the second-half—both in favorable parks—make him a fringe “start” and even earn teammate Liam Hendricks a “consider,” assuming he sticks around for the second start.

Zach McAllister (vs. OAK, vs. TEX)
Francisco Liriano (@BAL, @DET)
Luke Hochevar (vs. DET, vs. MIN)
Hisashi Iwakuma (@MIN, vs. LAA)
Franklin Morales (@LAA, @OAK)
J.A. Happ (@NYY, vs. TB)
Clay Buchholz (@LAA, @OAK)
Roberto Hernandez (vs. OAK, vs. TEX)
Aaron Laffey (@NYY, vs. TB)
Chris Tillman (vs. CHW, @NYY)
Luis Mendoza (vs. DET, vs. MIN)
Tommy Hunter (vs. CHW, @NYY)

McAllister has been a very nice surprise this year, and I buy into him to a large extent, but his match-ups this week are less than ideal.  Oakland might sound harmless, but they’ve been on fire recently and are, in fact, the fifth-highest-scoring offense in the league in the second-half.  They may not be that good, but they do have a lot of quality hitters and can’t be considered push-overs anymore.  And, of course, Texas is a powerhouse, which means McAllister just misses the “consider” cut.

I could see gambling with Liriano given the right conditions, but you do have to be pretty desperate and be completely okay running the risk of a seven-run outing.

I talked about how much I like Hochevar yesterday, but this isn’t the week to try it out unless you’re in an AL-only league.  Same goes for Iwakuma, who I discussed on Monday.

No one else got much consideration from me, though I do think good things could be in store for J.A. Happ with the right set of opponents.






Matt Cain

Yovani Gallardo

Scott Diamond

Zach McAllister

Jered Weaver

Marco Estrada

Patrick Corbin

Francisco Liriano

Stephen Strasburg

Brett Anderson

A.J. Burnett

Justin Germano

Felix Hernandez

Tommy Milone

Paul Maholm

Travis Wood

David Price

Derek Holland

Jake Westbrook

Luke Hochevar

Chris Sale

Anibal Sanchez

Wade Miley

Hisashi Iwakuma

James Shields

Kyle Lohse

Jeff Francis

Franklin Morales



Bud Norris

Bronson Arroyo



Chris Capuano

J.A. Happ



Joe Blanton

Clay Buchholz



Vance Worley

Tyler Chatwood*



Liam Hendricks

Roberto Hernandez



David Phelps

Aaron Laffey




Chris Tillman




Luis Mendoza




Tommy Hunter




Padres SP

Before I wrap up, I just wanted to point out that I’ll be holding a live chat on Monday for those of you with stretch-run questions, keeper league conundrums, or curiosities about the man behind the curtain.

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
Always appreciate these articles, have my claims in for Estrada and Anderson. Thanks!
Corbin's not a 2-start pitcher next week. He's pitching tonight, so his next start will be Wednesday at the earliest.
Hmm, yeah, ESPN has him listed to start on Tuesday, but that would be on four days rest. It also has Saunders listed, who is likely to be replaced by Skaggs. Not quite sure how the order will shake out yet.
Hey Derek, CBS is reporting that Wei-Yin Chen is being pushed back to Monday which lines him up vCHW and @NYY this week. Where would you slot him in the rankings assuming that's accurate?
Hmm... let's say between Liriano and Hochevar.
OK, due to the crazy Red Sox/Dodgers trade, I have the ability to take either Carl Crawford or Josh Beckett at $1A contract status for Jerry Sands. Who is the better keeper? A $1A contract means that I can keep a player for $1 for 2013 (B-year) and $1 for 2014 (C-year) and then he goes back into to the auction pool. Before the C-year, I have the option of extending the player for $5 each additional year of extension: aka, if I want Crawford until 2016, I would have to pay $1 in 2013, $11 in 2014, $11 in '15, and $11 in '16. Crawford is out with TJS (little return in 2013) and Beckett moves from the AL East to the NL West/Dodger Stadium. Who's the better pick? Whichever player I don't take will go another team who had Allen Webster for a reserve pick. He will get a $10 salary whenever the new player is activated.
And the guy who had Rubby De La Rosa is out of luck, if he's a PTBNL as mentioned in the transaction breakdown piece.
Beckett is safer, but Crawford has more upside. Beckett will be 33 next year, so he'll be entering major decline for those extension years. As risky as Crawford may be, I think I'd take him.
Yeah, I think I'm going with Crawford.
Good luck!
Well, since Jerry Sands was a PTBNL, I no longer get Crawford. The owner of Rubby De La Rosa was out of luck too, so the Allen Webster owner gets Crawford and Punto as free keepers, while Loney's owner gets an $11 AGonz and $11 Beckett.
Them's the breaks; stupid team who claimed Sands...
Speaking of Beckett, he's now a 2 start starter for week 22 (@COL, ARI).

Where does he stand?
It's not the friendliest start to his NL career. He'd be in the top half of the considers, though I do really like him over the rest of the season.
G'day Derek. Who do you like ROS in non-keeper points league: Anderson, Harvey, Skaggs or Marcum?
I'd take Marcum, though a case could be made for Anderson. While health is a concern for Marcum too, it's probably more so for Anderson.