Every Friday, we preview the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. Hopefully that gives 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.

National League


No auto-starts in the NL this week. We’re going to have to get creative with some lower-tier guys.


Tyler Anderson


Kyle Hendricks


Rich Hill


Mike Leake


Robbie Ray


Tanner Roark


Michael Wacha


Full disclosure: I’ve been a bit of an Anderson mark for a while. It hasn’t gone super well. Let’s not sugar coat it, when your ERA is approaching 6.00, it’s hard to call it unlucky. That said, in his past four starts, he has fanned 32 batters in 24 2/3 innings, with an ERA under 2.60. Yes, those are arbitrary end points, but this week he gets two teams that really struggle against lefties. Come out on the limb with me, the water is warm.

One of the keys to Hill’s reemergence has been his ability to avoid baserunners. That knack hasn’t translated yet this season, as Hill is walking batters at an alarming rate. It’s early and Hill is likely still rounding into form after missing time, so I wouldn’t be terribly worried yet. Having said that, keep an eye on the walk totals. If they aren’t fixed, Hill just isn’t as interesting.

The formula for Leake is relatively simple: Don’t walk anybody and see what happens. Relying primarily on a sinker/cutter combination, he has benefited a bit from a suppressed BABIP, but his WHIP should always be low, and if he doesn’t regularly give up dingers, he should remain solid.

Roark has surrendered four or more earned runs in three of his past four starts, but this week he is doing the Bay Area double-dip—getting a start at AT&T Park, and at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (that name sure strikes fear in the hearts of all) is a great way to try and bounce back.

Wacha has been pitching in the big leagues since 2013, yet I still hear Fozzy Bear’s “Waka, waka, waka” every time I see his name. You would think that I would have grown up by now. Nope. Anyway, the 25-year-old former Aggie has reclaimed some of his early career buzz, thanks in part to finding two extra ticks on his fastball. His 2.71 ERA looks relatively legit, thanks to above-average strikeouts, below average walks, and a dominant .222 TAv against.


Lisalverto Bonilla


Tyler Chatwood


Zach Davies


Randall Delgado


Matt Harvey


Jeremy Hellickson


Julio Teheran


Jose Urena


Delgado hadn’t started a game since 2015 when the Diamondbacks tossed him into the rotation last week. He was fine in a short outing, and perhaps more importantly he managed to maintain his velocity despite throwing more pitches than he had all season. He has two road starts at good pitcher's parks this week, although he could struggle getting deep enough into games to factor into any decisions.

Hellickson is striking out fewer than four batters per nine innings, which seems impossible. He’s not a great option right now, but he has matchups this week against two bottom-10 offenses.

It has been a roller-coaster season for Teheran. Four of his starts have yielded zero earned runs. Three of his starts have produced small parties on the basepaths, en route to six runs or more. The most troubling trend for the 26-year-old Colombian has to be the ever-shrinking chasm between strikeouts and walks. Teheran’s walk rate (4.2 bb/9) is a career high, and his strikeout rate (6.6 k/9) is a career low.

Urena had been a nice surprise for a Marlins rotation starved of, well, pitching. Then, he bombed in an outing in Oakland. This week he gets two starts at home in the cavernous Marlins Park, the ideal spot for a fly-ball pitcher with strikeout allergies.


Jarred Cosart


Matt Garza


Robert Gsellman


Matt Moore


Edinson Volquez


Trevor Williams


The Padres have been easing Cosart back into the rotation, and he hasn’t eclipsed the 72-pitch threshold in any of his three starts. He’ll need to regain some of the strikeout stuff he had during his prospect days before we really need to take notice, however.

Garza’s ERA has been inexplicably good so far this season, but a 4.19 DRA indicates that trouble is on the horizon.

Gsellman’s season has been… confusing. He has maintained his velocity amid injury rumblings and still generates grounders at a near-elite level. Perhaps the strangest occurrence, batters are making contact on Gsellman’s pitches outside of the zone at nearly an 80 percent clip. League average hovers around 63 percent. That’s crazy.

Williams has been a decent stopgap for the Pirates so far this season, however that just doesn’t do much for us on the fantasy landscape.

American League


Carlos Carrasco


Chris Sale


Sale is on pace for approximately 492 strikeouts this season. Or something like that—I didn’t check the math.


Jose Berrios


Sonny Gray


Daniel Norris


Luis Severino


Marcus Stroman


Pour me another glass of the Berrios Kool-Aid, please. After walking nearly everyone in his rookie season, he has decided to stop nibbling and pound the zone with some nasty stuff. Berrios is throwing first-pitch strikes 10 percent more often, and is approaching a 50 percent zone rate compared to 38 percent last season. As a result, his walk totals have been reminiscent of the minor-league rates that had us all salivating. I’m cautiously* optimistic. (*Not cautious at all, I jumped in without looking. What could possibly go wrong?)

It seems so simple. Throw your best pitch more often. For Gray that has meant heavy reliance on his slider, especially in his past two outings. The pitch has generated 15 whiffs in 43 offerings. So that’s pretty good. He’s facing a good offense and a juggernaut offense this week, so it’s not an easy stretch, but we’ll see if he can sweep the clouds of a poor 2016 away.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: When Norris can avoid the long ball, he’s pretty good. In recent outings, the 24-year-old lefty has relied on his slider and changeup a little more, which has led to an increase in grounders, and in turn, a little more success. He still issues more walks than you would prefer, but this week he gets two offenses that just flat out refuse to take walks. I believe.


Trevor Bauer


Dylan Bundy


Dylan Covey


Jordan Montgomery


Charlie Morton


David Price


Erasmo Ramirez


Just when I thought I was out…Bauer pulls me back in. Let’s face facts: Bauer is giving up way too many homers this season. Outside of the dingers, however, his strikeouts are way up, his walks are slightly down, and his 3.10 DRA is over three full runs better than his ERA.

After all of the injuries and setbacks, it’s awesome watching Bundy pitch. He has been really good this year, but it feels a little like a house of cards, and not in a fun, “Kevin Spacey talks to the camera in a Machiavellian-type” of way. The Yankees and Red Sox come to Baltimore this week, so it will be a good litmus test for the 24-year-old right-hander.

When the Red Sox hadn’t announced a starter for Monday’s turn through the rotation, I originally wrote that unless the mystery Red Sox starter is good, healthy David Price, I’m sitting tight. Turns out it’s Price. Whether he’s good, healthy—and has a long leash—we will see.

Since joining the Rays in 2015, Ramirez has been a Swiss-Army knife weapon for the pitching staff. He has been solid in whatever role he has been thrust into, and has produced a 3.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in his three starts this season. His strikeout numbers are low, but he fills up the zone, letting the Rays’ defense, which ranks sixth best in the league, do the work.


Sam Gaviglio


Kyle Gibson


Jesse Hahn


Jason Hammel


Ariel Miranda


Ricky Nolasco


Martin Perez


Chris Tillman


A personal rule of thumb: Avoid middling starters when they take trips to Coors Field. That means you, Sam Gavilgio. And you Ariel Miranda (I kinda, sorta like Miranda, though. I’d be more apt to start him at home against the Rays).

Nolasco is surrendering 2 1/2 homers per nine innings. That’s too many.

I will not get sucked back into liking Martin Perez. I will not get sucked back into liking Martin Perez. I will not get—

Tillman hasn’t been very good since returning from injury, and his velocity is down two ticks from a year ago. I’m sitting him until further notice.

Thank you for reading

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The White Sox just put Covey on the DL, so he won't get two starts. It looks like it's possible Quintana could get two, but that might depend on what happens with the weather in Chicago this weekend. He hasn't been his command/control self, but I'm still starting Quintana without too much hesitation.
Also Brad Peacock has two starts this week @MIN and @TEX.