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


Carlos Martinez


Max Scherzer


Among qualified NL starters, Martinez and Scherzer are currently ranked first and second according to DRA. They are also one and two according to ERA (in the non-Kershaw edition). Both are striking out tons of dudes. They are penciled in to square off Sunday night. It will be fun.


Jake Arrieta


Zack Godley


Gio Gonzalez


Rich Hill


Jeff Hoffman


Jeff Samardzija


At this point, it’s not worth running guys out there based on their draft-day value. Having said that, even though Arrieta hasn’t been JAKE ARRIETA this season, you’re probably still starting him because he’s been, well, decent. It’s not sexy and it’s not what you paid for, but until he gets a handle on the home-run issues, that’s where we’re at.

Godley has been a godsend for the Diamondbacks this season, tossing 50 innings with an ERA under 2.50. The strikeouts are a little scarcer than you might like, but his 13.4 percent swinging strike rate is well-above league average, so it’s very possible that they’re on the way.

You’re a Rich Hill, and you’ve come so far

But we really need to talk that DRA

You can rely on the Dodgers’ money

You can rely on the Dodgers’ money

Here’s the sitch, Hill, it’s gone too far

And we really need a few more k’s

These walks won’t get you too far,

Get you too far

Hoffman had an 86 percent strand rate before the Diamondbacks Incident on Wednesday night. It now stands at 65.2 percent. Which, I mean, wow. Both of his starts this week will be on the road.

Samardzija was coming off a solid, nine-start stretch before he was Coors Field-ed (I’m sensing a pattern), and bombed for eight runs in six innings. The veteran righty is having success this season thanks largely to an elite 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, placing him with the league’s best.


Jhoulys Chacin


Junior Guerra


Nick Pivetta


Hyun-Jin Ryu


Dan Straily


Michael Wacha


Taijuan Walker


Trevor Williams


Sure, home/road splits are shaky at best, but Chacin has a 1.72 ERA in 47 innings at Petco Park and a 9.08 ERA in road starts. Both of his starts come at home this week, if you’re feeling frisky.

Be careful with Guerra. He is striking out fewer than six guys per nine innings, while walking nearly five. He has surrendered six homers in 31 2/3 innings, and has stranded 89 percent of baserunners. Batters are hitting .180 on balls in play against Guerra. Guerra’s ERA is 2.84. Winter is coming.

Pivetta looked supremely “meh” in his first six starts. In his past two however, he has leaned on his fastball a bit more and has had success throwing it lower in the zone, leading to more whiffs and 19 strikeouts in 13 innings.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Wacha has been pitching while living out of a suitcase. In home starts, the righty has a 3.50 ERA in 43.7 innings. On the road, batters are slashing .346/.409/.529 against Wacha, en route to a 7.03 ERA. Both of his starts this week will be at Busch Stadium.

Williams has a pair of decent matchups. The Rays strike out a ton, but they also hit a ton of bombs. The Giants, well the Giants are a better-than-decent matchup.


Tim Adelman


Eddie Butler


Bartolo Colon


Amir Garrett


Mets Starter


The Brewers and Cubs hit a lot of home runs. Adelman gives up a lot of home runs. Great American Ball Park is very conducive to hitting home runs. I think you see where I’m going with this.

Butler is averaging 4.7 innings per start and his DRA (6.61) is higher than his strikeout rate (5.8 K/9). I’ll pass, thanks.

Colon, well…see the thing about Colon is that…ugh 🙁

American League


Chris Sale


Sale leads all starters in strikeout rate, strikeout-to-walk ratio, DRA and FIP. His 60 cFIP would be downright filthy (even for a reliever)—and it is 12 points better than the next best starter. What I’m trying to say, is that Chris Sale is good at pitching.


Jose Berrios


Carlos Carrasco


Alex Cobb


Jordan Montgomery


Luis Severino


Justin Verlander


To say that Berrios has been a different pitcher than he was during his first foray into the big leagues would be akin to saying In-N-Out is a different experience than a half-eaten, frozen burger pulled out of the garbage. He has managed to find the zone more frequently this season, which has led to more strikeouts and fewer walks (#analysis). He is stranding runners at a 79 percent clip and his HR/FB rate is artificially low, so expect some bumps along the way, but this version of Berrios is still really, really good.

Severino has increased his changeup usage significantly, especially against lefties. The offering has gotten whiffs nearly 13 percent of the time and has given him a legit third pitch. The results have been awesome, as Severino is averaging 10 strikeouts per nine innings with an ERA under 3.00.

Verlander has almost doubled his walk total from a season ago, and is giving up two more hits per nine innings, a clear recipe for a bloated WHIP. He has been better lately, with a 3.71 ERA in his past five outings, but it’s a far cry from his 2015-2016 renaissance.


Joe Biagini


Mike Clevinger


Mike Fiers


Sean Manaea


Martin Perez


Drew Pomeranz


Jose Quintana


Matt Strahm


Biagini could be this season’s unluckiest hurler. The 27-year-old righty is running a 4.45 ERA thanks in part to a 58 percent strand rate, and one of the worst defenses in the league according to BP’s Park Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. In contrast, he’s also running a 2.95 DRA, thanks in part to a near 60 percent ground-ball rate and an aversion to free passes.

Fiers has given up 18 home runs in 14 starts, but hasn’t surrendered a gopher ball since May 25. A sign of improvement or setting the stage for Aaron Judge and the Yankees to turn Minute Maid Park into a launching pad? He’s a gamble.

Previously, on The FSPP: “I will not get sucked back into liking Martin Perez. I will not get sucked back into liking Martin Perez. I will not get—”. Now, he’s hitting 96 mph, throwing his change more (and getting more whiffs with it), has a career-best strikeout rate, and wait, how did I get back here?

Three of Pomeranz’s 14 starts were responsible for nearly half of his earned runs this season. In the other 11 starts, the lefty has given up two or fewer runs. Pomeranz is striking out over 10 batters per nine innings, but he’s also one of the league leaders in pitches per inning (18.6) which has hampered his ability to get deep into games.

There’s no way to be diplomatic here: Quintana has been bad this season. The Yankees are obviously a tough matchup for anyone, but they’re weaker against lefties, as are the Rangers. It could be a decent week for Quintana to rebuild some value.


Jesse Chavez


Kevin Gausman


David Holmberg


Ricky Nolasco


Tyson Ross


Hector Santiago


A nice thing this week for Chavez is probably that, despite being with the road team against the Dodgers, he probably still gets to sleep in his own bed. Other than that, man, I don’t know.

I mean, Gausman has been so disappointing this season. He’s walking more guys, striking out fewer, and giving up more home runs. That’s not a great combo. His velocity is consistent, so hopefully he’s not hiding any injuries, but that would certainly explain a lot.

A nice thing this week for Nolasco is prob…

Tyson Ross has thrown 169 big-league pitches since April 2016. Most of them haven’t gone super well. With his velocity fluctuating like Jonah Hill’s physique, it’s hard to trust him too much right now.

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
Can you go into J. Montgomery a bit? I would think that road start in Houston would make him a "consider" over a "start".
That's definitely fair. Both opponents hit lefties pretty well, so it's not a slam dunk, but I just really like what Montgomery has been doing with incrementally limiting the walks/hits as the season has progressed. He has the 4th best swinging strike rate in the AL, and while I don't love him against the Astros, I am really liking him in general, if that makes sense.
I do like Montgomery, but I don't love these starts especially on the road. Since this is a daily league, I could risk cutting him, but I'd prefer to keep him. But that Houston start is going to be rough, I'm afraid.
Monty's a gamer, but I can see both sides here. I, on the other hand, have no choice but to move forward with the rusty Tyson Ross...Hoping I can get out of there with a 1-1 4.50 ERA over these two starts...Wish me luck...
I do not envy that spot, but wish you the best of luck. I don't think that's a crazy hope, either.
Love the Rich Hill bit. A co-worker is Dodger and Hall and Oates fan. Not sure that he'll appreciate the commentary, but it is darn funny.
Hoffman gets to start away from Coors but one start is at the BOB and the DBacks lead the majors in home OPS. Plus the DBacks pasted him this week. That isn't good.

The other start is in SF where the Giants are last in home OPS so Hoffman has that going for him.

Seems like a tough call.
CBS Sports has Trevor Bauer on a double-start this coming week. Truth or no? If so, where would he go?
I haven't seen that yet for Bauer, but I'd have him as a "high consider", if that's a thing. He's been better lately when he leans on his curve, but there's always the risk of a walk-induced blowup.
It looks like Martin Perez is going on the DL (which is lucky for me to avoid that trap) and Cole Hamels will take his place. I'm usually skeptical leaning on a starter just off the DL, but I'd still "Consider" him this week.

Also, the Mets have named Gsellman as the guy that is getting two. The matchups aren't bad, but I'm still sitting unless it's an emergency.
Paxton is showing as two starts. Any thoughts?
If he gets two this week, I'm starting him, especially with some pretty strong matchups.