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It's time to preview the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. As the old wrestling promoters would always say: “Card Subject to Change,” because injuries and tinkering managers can make this less than a science. Should new information present itself, we can go over it in the comments.

Most of these recommendations are 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 and their opponents perform, the formula will evolve into a performance-based projection. For more information on some key terms—Auto-Start, Start, Consider and Sit—click here.

National League


Stephen Strasburg


Despite the lowest strikeout totals of his career (an embarrassing 9.8 k/9), Strasburg is perhaps pitching better than ever. His 2.91 ERA is good, his 2.68 FIP is better, and his 2.02 DRA is, well you get it. Strasburg is also pitching deeper into games, averaging nearly seven innings per start.


Tyler Chatwood


Jacob deGrom


Kyle Freeland


John Lackey


Jimmy Nelson


There’s nothing like home cooking. That is, unless you’re Chatwood. The 27-year-old is giving up a .168/.255/.350 line on the road, with a sparkling 2.68 ERA. At home, however, well let’s just say it’s a good thing he’s getting one of the league’s worst offenses in his second start.

Much like his Colorado colleague, Freeland enjoys two promising matchups this week. The 24-year-old southpaw has been solid, if unspectacular, in his first extended foray as a big leaguer. While Coors Field is a monster for mediocre hurlers, Freeland, and his 60 percent ground-ball rate, should continue to survive. If you’re scoring at home, that’s two recommendations for Rockies’ starter this week. Only in 2017.

Lackey has been, um, lacking his good stuff, surrendering two homers per nine innings on his way to an ERA approaching 5.00. That’s not great. This week he gets two starts in pitcher friendly parks—one against a Pirates team that ranks 29th in the league for the long ball. If Lackey has anything left, we’ll see it this week.

Nelson throws more than half of his pitches in the zone, a feat that only eight qualified starters can boast. It’s working. In his past three starts, Nelson has struck out 27 batters and has given up only four runs in 21 innings. This week he gets a struggling Cardinals offense and the Padres.


Ty Blach


Jerad Eickhoff


Mike Foltynewicz


Lance Lynn


Brandon McCarthy


Joe Ross


Zack Wheeler


Before getting touched up by the Brewers, Blach had tossed at least seven innings without giving up more than three runs in five consecutive starts. The rookie is allergic to strikeouts, but he is also walking fewer than two batters per nine innings. His promising streak still doesn’t give me confidence to start the lefty in Coors Field this week, but I wouldn’t hesitate to toss him into the lineup against the Royals, a team that really struggles against left-handed pitching.

After a promising start, Eickhoff has struggled in his previous handful of starts. Hitters are chasing at only a quarter of his offerings, a number nearly five percentage points below the league average. The result has been tons of hits and in turn, a bloated WHIP and a less-than-palatable ERA.

It would appear as though Foltynewicz is a big fan of Juno—wife of Jupiter and goddess of marriage and children, namesake of the month. That is a long-winded and nonsensical way of saying he must like pitching in June, as he has yet to allow a run in 14 innings while striking out a batter per inning. While I’m hesitant to recommend non-elite starters against the Nationals on the road, Foltynewicz is a good bet to return value at home against the Marlins, a team that doesn’t impress against right-handed pitching.

Once again, Lynn is out-pitching his peripherals. His 2017 numbers match up eerily well to his pre-Tommy John totals from 2015, aside from a few extra dingers. While the right hander is typically a solid option, this might not be the week, as Lynn’s rates are probably buoyed a bit by a .201 BABIP, and his home-run issue could rear its ugly head against two top-10 clubs in the power category.

Ross is just the latest hurler to struggle from homer-itis this season, as the 24-year-old has given up nine bombs in 30 2/3 innings. That’s too many. The homers are attached to a 22.5 percent HR/FB rate, a number that should hopefully trend downward, closer to his career 9.6 percent marks.

Wheeler has looked strong in his return to the rotation. That’s encouraging. He gets the Cubs and Nationals this week. That’s less encouraging. Would I be surprised if Wheeler tossed a gem this week? No. Do I have any confidence in predicting which team he will best? Also no. Should I stop asking myself questions? Yes. OK, then.


Bronson Arroyo


Chad Kuhl


Ben Lively


Luis Perdomo


Jose Urena


Arroyo is giving up almost three home runs per nine innings. This leads the league.

Kuhl has been anything but, well, you know, in his second season as a starter. His strikeouts are slightly up, (they’re still underwhelming), but he has managed to walk an extra batter and a half (don’t ask) per nine innings in his first 12 starts. He gets two home starts this week, which sounds nice, but Kuhl’s career 7.39 ERA at home just isn’t, well, you know.

Lively looked great in his first start of the season, but he didn’t record any strikeouts and squeezed only six swinging strikes from the Giants lineup. This week he faces two tough offenses in two tough parks.

Perdomo trails only Dallas Keuchel when it comes to getting ground balls. That’s great and all, but it doesn’t appear as though Perdomo has been able to translate that elite skill to above-average productivity.

American League


Dallas Keuchel was scheduled to get two starts this week, which would be great, because he’s very good. With his DL stint, there are no American League Auto-Starts this week, so let’s be careful out there.


Michael Pineda


David Price


C.C. Sabathia


Jason Vargas


Pineda makes a trip out west this week and, luckily, he will pitch in two large ballparks. His 13.6 percent swinging-strike rate ranks fifth best in all of MLB, but he will need to find a way to limit the long ball if he wants to become truly elite.

Price looked sharp in his first two outings off the DL, tossing 12 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 12.2 percent swinging strike rate. Perhaps most importantly, the lefty’s velocity has hovered around last season’s levels, which is a good sign moving forward.

Don’t look now, but Carsten Charles is having a bit of a resurgence. In his past five starts, Sabathia has a 1.11 ERA with 31 punchouts in 31 1/3 innings. The run has coincided with a complete abandoning of his four-seam fastball (he’s been phasing it out for a while now) and more reliance on his changeup and cutter. There will be some regression, but Sabathia has turned himself into a useful starter once again.

Vargas has been great this year. Against lefties, the Giants have not been great this year. The Angels have been fine. I’m starting Vargas this week.


Astros Starter


Trevor Bauer


Christian Bergman


Jharel Cotton


Buck Farmer


Derek Holland


Alex Meyer


Jake Odorizzi


Rick Porcello


J.C. Ramirez


As of now, we don’t really know who will take the ball twice for the Astros this week. Chris Devenski would be super interesting, though manager A.J. Hinch said he wouldn’t be the guy (and even then, the matchups aren’t especially exciting).

Previously known for his control, the fact that Cotton is now issuing almost 4.5 walks per nine innings is extremely troubling. The 25-year-old has had difficulty locating his changeup this season, with more misses in the zone leading to a .429 slugging percentage on the pitch (compared to a meager .061 a season ago). This has led Cotton to throw it much less frequently, which is a problem, considering that many believed it to be his best. The inconsistency makes Cotton a dicey play.

The 26-year-old Farmer has spent the past several seasons wearing out the road from Toledo to Detroit. He has definitely taken advantage of his most recent promotion. In 13 innings, Farmer has yet to give up a run, while striking out 16 and walking only three. He gets two offenses this week that feast on right-handed pitching, otherwise Farmer might have tilled himself into a better category (that was so bad, I’m sorry).

Before a shellacking at the hands (paws?) of the Tigers, Holland was having a really good season. He actually still is and, most importantly, he has been healthy. This week he gets two offenses that are middling to below average against lefties.


Alec Asher


Yovani Gallardo


Dillon Gee


Kyle Gibson


Wade Miley


Adalberto Mejia


Mike Pelfrey


Asher has made four starts this season. Three of them have been perfectly fine. The other…not as fine. If you’re feeling frisky, you could do worse. You could also do better.

I wouldn’t trust Gee as far as I could throw him, and I’m not physically strong enough to throw a human, nor do I have enough Erector-set pieces to build a catapult. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I would not start Gee this week.

All good things must come to an end. Summer turns into fall. The carriage turns into a pumpkin. And Wade Miley eventually goes back to being Wade Miley, sometimes good, sometimes serviceable, and sometimes neither.

Thank you for reading

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Sounds like Joe Musgrove will get the two for the Astros this week. I like Musgrove and think he's eventually going to be really good, but I might stay away this week, or at the very least, start him against the Rangers and sit him against the Red Sox.
The Yankees are now pushing Tanaka back to Monday, which could make him a 2-start guy, unless the Troutless Angels pound him, in which case he could be in the bullpen.

All of which is to say, Pineda might not get his 2 starts.
Man, I wish I knew what to make of Tanaka. Some of his peripherals are still good. But oh... the homers.
Could you run a situational report on Tanaka after 5 days rest as opposed to regular 4? (or is it 6 instead of 5?) He seems a different pitcher with that extra day. Wondering if it's just my perception.
That's interesting. I'm not really sure how to do that, but I'd be curious about the results.
There he goes again, extra day rest, great start.
What are your thoughts on Peacock?
I think he's really interesting. George Bissell has been flying that flag for awhile now. This last stint in the bullpen has his swinging strike rate way up and he's just giving up much less contact in general. There's an awful lot to like. I'm optimistic.
Kershaw is now slated for two @ Cle vs Bauer and @ Cin vs Arroyo. Gotta figure he's an Auto-Start, right?
The auto-startiest of all auto starts.