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Every Friday I’ll be previewing the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. Hopefully that will give enough insight to make educated lineup moves and FAAB decisions over the weekend. As the old wrestling promoters would always say “Card Subject to Change," because lots can happen between the time this goes up and first pitch. Unfortunately, weather, injuries, and tinkering managers make this less than a science. I’ll do my best, though, and should new information present itself after this posts, we can go over it in the comments. We’ll crowdsource this as well, so if you hear anything, feel free to comment and we all can offer our takes, hot or not.

Here’s how this works. The pitchers will be split by league using these categories:

Auto-Starts: These are your aces, your studs, and your guiding lights. You paid big to acquire these guys, whether via early draft pick, high-dollar auction bid, or hefty trade package. You’re likely starting these guys anywhere, anytime, on a train, and on a plane. You get it. The list is fluid, and guys can pitch their way into or out of this category. You know all about these guys, so there won’t be as many notes associated with this group.

Starts: As the name suggests, this group won’t quite be as much of a slam-dunk decision, but I’m still recommending you give them the ball. Some will still be easy decisions due to pedigree, but others will be based mostly on favorable matchups that you can take advantage of.

Considers: This category will be populated by guys that are really 'tweeners, and your league settings and position in the standings will be a key factor in your ultimate decision. These pitchers can range from an SP2 or SP3 with a week of tough matchups to No. 5 starters pitching against bad teams in good ballparks. Your league context will be important here; if you are in a shallow mixed league, you probably have better options, and don’t need to take the risk. However, in an AL- or NL-only league, these guys could provide a nice opportunity to log some innings at a cheaper price.

Sits: These are the guys I want no part of this week. This group will run the gamut from mid-rotation starters with tough matchups (or trips to Coors Field), to just flat-out uninspiring options.

At this point of the season, the majority of these recommendations will be based on a combination of ADP/auction price and PECOTA projections for opponent strength. As the season progresses and we get more concrete data points for how the pitchers themselves and their opponents are actually performing, the formula will gradually evolve into a performance-based projection.

National League

Auto-Start

Bumgarner is 0-3, drop him. Kidding. He’s matchup-proof at this point, but he’s an especially tasty option against a Dodgers lineup that struggles with lefties, and the—ahem—Padres. Normally it’s wise to treat starters heading into Coors Field with kid gloves, but Strasburg is one of your studs, so you’re starting him.

As for Kershaw…*singing* AND I-I-I-I-I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. That’s all.

Start

Amir Garrett

@MIL, @STL

Zack Greinke

SD, COL

Robert Gsellman

ATL, @WAS

Julio Teheran

@NYM @MIL

Through three starts, Garrett was solid. Then he decided it would be cool to not let the other team make contact, striking out 12 Orioles in his most-recent start, with 19 swinging strikes. He did so by increasing his slider usage, giving him a more balanced three-pitch mix. Sure the Orioles strike out a lot, but he’ll face two of the top 10 most strikeout-prone lineups this week, so why not ride the hot hand?

Greinke is still learning to live with diminished velocity, but starts like his most-recent bout with the Padres (six strikeouts, 13 swinging strikes in eight innings) should help push him back toward ace-level status. Despite a couple of rocky starts early, Greinke’s 2.91 DRA indicate that better times could be ahead.

Apparently all it took was a start against the Phillies to cleanse the pitching palate. Gsellman looked like the guy we thought he could be against the Phils, striking out seven while surrendering only one walk in seven innings. His strikeout numbers have been good, even with his struggles, so if he can find a way to limit walks and homers, he should be back in our good graces for a long time.

Teheran doesn’t have to face Bryce Harper this week. That alone is a reason to start the 26-year-old Colombian with confidence.

Consider

Matt Cain

LAD, SD

Wei-Yin Chen

@PHI, PIT

Patrick Corbin

SD, COL

Chad Kuhl

CHC, @MIA

Joe Ross

@COL, NYM

Hyun-Jin Ryu

@SF, PHI

Vincent Velasquez

MIA, @LAD

Michael Wacha

TOR, CIN

Despite the fact that Cain hasn’t been good since the beginning of Obama’s second term, he’s getting a start against the Padres in AT&T Park. This is strictly a matchup play.

Chen had a year from hell in 2016, and is slowly working back to his Orioles form. The strikeouts haven’t come back yet (although they were always slightly below average), but he did toss seven no-hit innings against the Mariners his previous time out. So that’s good. The Phillies and Pirates both somewhat struggle against lefties, making Chen a sneaky good play this week.

So far this season, Chad Kuhl has managed to keep his (don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it) wits about him en route to 2.60 ERA in three starts. His strikeout numbers aren’t dazzling, but he still gets swinging strikes, and outside of a rocky six-walk performance in his first start, he has nicely avoided the free passes as well.

Outside of a very rocky first inning, Ross looked great in his first big league start against the Braves. I’m not thrilled to have him going to Coors Field to follow up, but if he can survive, he will be pushing the “Start” category for the foreseeable future.

In his last start against the Mets, it appeared as though Velasquez sacrificed some of his strikeout potential for a little more contact and the chance to pitch deeper into the game. He managed to grind out six innings, but only fanned two, with a paltry four swinging strikes. The key for the 24-year-old will be finding a balance.

I’m interested in Wacha’s matchups this week, and he’s been pretty good early this season. Let’s hope he can stay healthy.

Sit

Brett Anderson

@PIT, @BOS

Tyler Anderson

WAS, @ARI

Jhoulys Chacin

@ARI, @SF

Matt Garza

CIN, ATL

Clayton Richard

@ARI, @SF

Chris Rusin

WAS, @ARI

Brett Anderson has been healthy, which is the most the Cubs could have hoped for, but he will face two pretty tough matchups this week.

I’m about as big of a Tyler Anderson mark as there is. It hasn’t gone super well, thanks for asking. The lefty has really struggled so far this season, and he’s got more daunting matchups this week. Ugh.

Don’t go Chacin Padre pitchers, Please don’t pick the Richard or the lakes that you’re used to.

Garza is slated to make his first two starts of the season this week. I am not overly excited about it.

Previously a fixture in the Rockies’ bullpen, Rusin will get a couple of spot starts this week. The matchups aren’t great, but the lefty has extreme ground-ball tendencies, which could help make him an interesting option in deep leagues moving forward.

American League

Auto-Start

Chris Archer

@BAL, @TOR

Dallas Keuchel

@CLE, OAK

Once again, Archer is pitching really well. Once again, Archer’s DRA is much better than his ERA. This guy might be my favorite pitcher to watch.

Yes it’s probably too early to say, but it sure appears as though 2015 Keuchel is back. He hasn’t quite matched even last season’s strikeout rates yet, but he has a 0.96 ERA, a 0.79 DRA, and a 73 (!) percent ground-ball rate. That helps. Even if he’s not 2015 Keuchel, he’s close enough.

Start

Marco Estrada

@STL, TB

Felix Hernandez

@DET, @CLE

Rick Porcello

NYY, CHC

Jason Vargas

@CWS, MIN

At a certain point, we’re all just going to have to accept that Estrada has an inexplicable knack for out-pitching his peripherals (it’s going to be difficult, be we can support each other). Known for a nasty changeup that generates tons of whiffs, Estrada is even getting a little more swing-and-miss on his four seamer this season, which has led to a slight uptick in strikeout totals.

I’m not quite ready to proclaim that The King is back, but Hernandez is at least doing his best King Felix impersonation to start the season. He’s doing by inducing super-weak contact and running a 20:1 strikeout to walk rate. I don’t know if Hernandez will get back to “Auto-Start” territory, but after a tough 2016, he’s trending in the right direction.

I’m not scared off by Porcello’s rocky start to 2017. I’m a little scared by his matchups against the Yankees and Cubs, however.

As Eric Roseberry wrote earlier this week, Vargas has been surprisingly not terrible this year. In his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, he’s been, um, awesome in his first three starts. He has jumped on the “Throw Your Best Pitches More Often” trend, and has ridden an excellent changeup to eye-popping, albeit small sample, numbers. He’s getting two optimal matchups this week.

Consider

Kendall Graveman

@LAA, @HOU

Francisco Liriano

@LAA, TB

Luis Severino

@BOS, BAL

Jordan Zimmermann

SEA, CWS

Graveman added a tick to his fastball and is now throwing a sinker that touches 97 mph. Color me intrigued. The A’s placed him on the 10-day DL with a shoulder strain after his previous start, but barring a setback, he’s still penciled in for two starts this week.

I mean, what do you do with Francisco Liriano? Seriously, I’m asking you. He’s frustrating, sure, but I liked him heading into the season and I’m too stubborn to turn back now. Let’s do this.

There are still rumblings as to whether Severino can stay in the rotation long term, but he’s been downright filthy so far in 2017, striking out 27 batters in 20 innings. He garnered 17 swinging strikes in his last start against the White Sox, and despite a somewhat inflated 4.05 ERA, his 0.47 DRA is breathtaking.

Zimmermann hasn’t been very good in his first three starts. His strikeout numbers have dipped to a Jered Weaver-ian level, and now he’s giving up almost four walks per nine innings. That’s not a great combo. His matchups this week are at least interesting, and despite his poor performance, Zimmermann could be used in a pinch.

Sit

Josh Tomlin

HOU, SEA

Miguel Gonzalez

KC, @DET

Ubaldo Jimenez

TB, @NYY

Phil Hughes

@TEX, @KC

Ricky Nolasco

TOR, @TEX

Martin Perez

MIN, LAA

J.C. Ramirez

OAK, @TEX

Tomlin will go through stretches where he feels usable (and he works super fast, so that’s fun), but ultimately he just gives up too many dingers to feel comfortable starting regularly.

Gonzalez has been pretty decent with a 2.84 ERA through three starts. That might not tell the full story (not to mention it’s a pretty small sample). His 4.36 DRA and inflated WHIP numbers paint a picture that looks awful foreboding. And we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Or something.

No thanks, Ubaldo. You’re not fooling me with that start against the Reds.

Ramirez has performed his role as a swingman fairly admirably thus far this season. Even so, I’m probably not starting him this week.