It's time to preview the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. As the old wrestling promoters would 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



Zack Godley


Lance Lynn


Steven Matz


Jimmy Nelson


Aaron Nola


Jameson Taillon


Adam Wainwright


I wrote a little piece about Godley this week (you can check it out here). I’m basically in on him from here. The last time I put my eggs in a young pitcher’s basket was Amir Garrett, and that turned out great (well, unless you watched the games or looked at box scores). What could possibly go wrong?

Nelson has catapulted himself into the conversation as a legit fantasy starter. Since the calendar turned to May, Nelson has a 2.64 ERA with over 10 strikeouts per nine innings, while also managing to shave nearly two free passes from last season’s walk rate. He’s good.

Part of Nola’s success a season ago can be traced to increased reliance on his nasty curveball. Whether due to circumstance or injury, he threw the pitch less frequently earlier this season and struggled as a result. This month, he’s throwing the deuce at 2016 levels and is having much more success with a 3.42 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning.

Wainwright had been rounding into form before two roadblocks (well, I guess giving up nine runs on two separate occasions probably deserves a harsher term—landmines?) threw a wrench into his plans. While implosion potential is obviously there, Wainwright has been much better at home this season, running a 2.64 ERA in 47 2/3 innings.


Jerad Eickhoff


Jeff Hoffman


Ivan Nova


Jeff Locke


Luis Perdomo


Joe Ross


Hyun-Jin Ryu


Jose Urena


Eickhoff has been really disappointing this season, walking more guys than ever en route to a DRA approaching 7.00. He’s currently serving a stint on the DL with a back issue, so hopefully some time away will help him reclaim his 2015-2016 levels. If he pitches this week, the Padres and Pirates offenses could be the cure to what ails him.

Hoffman has looked pretty good so far in his rookie season, but a 5.9 percent HR/FB rate for a fly ball pitcher gives me pause. Oh, and both of his starts are at Coors Field this week.

The best thing about Locke and Ureña (read: perhaps the only good thing) this week is that they’re squaring off against the Cardinals and Giants, two teams ranked 16th and 30th (there are only 30 teams, remember), respectively, in slugging percentage.

I know I’ve said it a lot, but I swear there’s something there with Perdomo. While the 66 percent ground-ball rate has been great, the Padres infield defense (ranked 28th in defensive efficiency on ground balls) sure hasn’t been. Remember this when he fires seven shutout innings this week with approximately ALL the grounders (also, please forget this when he gets torched and doesn’t make it through the third inning, thanks).

When Ryu doesn’t give up homers, he’s good, carrying strikeout and walk rates that are a tick above average. The problem is that he’s averaging nearly two home runs per nine innings, which really makes it tough to be effective.


Homer Bailey


Brewers Starter


Matt Cain


Luis Castillo


Kyle Freeland


John Lackey


I do not envy pitchers who have to go to Coors and Chase Field in back-to-back starts. Godspeed to the Reds this week.

Cain has his lowest home-run rate since 2014 (yay!). He also has a 5.46 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, and a DRA higher than the sum of those two numbers (boo!).

There’s a lot to like about Freeland, but the White Sox lead the league in wRC+ against lefties, and the Reds are nipping at the heels of the top 10. Also, both of his starts are at Coors.

Lackey always has been framed as a gamer, a competitor, a [insert old-timey scout speak here]. This season, the elder statesman has failed to average six innings per start, which has really put a dent in his value. His strikeout and walk numbers are still decent, but everything else has been disappointing.

American League


Yu Darvish



Felix Hernandez


David Price


Marcus Stroman


Masahiro Tanaka


The Price hasn’t been quite right yet. The walks are up, the strikeouts are down, and the RA’s—both E and D—are sky high. So why is he a “Start” you might say? That’s a great question, I would respond. The Rangers are one of the worst teams in the league when facing left-handed pitching, and the Rays are slightly below league average. The teams rank Nos. 1 and 2 in strikeout percentage against lefties, so there’s a strong chance Price will rack up some whiffs this week.

In the same week that Braun chucks Roman Reigns into the side of an ambulance, Marcus fires 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles. Huge week for the Stroman family. The 26-year-old righty’s matchups are as scary as you can get outside of the thin air of Coors Field, but Stroman is a stud. This month, he has even started to throw more sliders, a pitch that gets whiffs 27 percent of the time, so a strikeout surge could be coming to pair with a 61 percent ground-ball rate.

Guys, I’m back in on Tanaka. He has the fifth-best swinging-strike rate in the league and has been victim to a 23.6 percent HR/FB rate which is, wait for it, the highest in the league. It’s also the highest for his career by over five percentage points. The homers will slow down…I mean they have to, right?


Trevor Bauer


Jesse Hahn


J.A. Happ


Alex Meyer


Daniel Norris


David Paulino


Rick Porcello


Carlos Rodon


Bauer has started throwing his curveball much more frequently in the last two months, and it has helped the enigmatic hurler lower his ERA by nearly two full runs. Sure it’s still over 5.20, but still. This week, he gets the Padres and a Tigers team that is slightly worse against right-handed pitching.

Hahn had an ERA in the mid-threes before his start against the Astros on June 22. Two innings and nine earned runs later, the proverbial wheels came exploding off the bandwagon and hurtled into oncoming traffic, causing a large pileup and ruining the commute for fantasy owners everywhere. Wait, where was I? Right, Hahn. He’s not that bad, but he’s maybe not that great, so start him if you need solid and at times slightly above-average production.

Happ has been solid since returning from the DL in late May, enjoying a 3.28 ERA in June while hitters struggle to the tune of a .227/.260/.354 line. He seems to have righted the ship since early season struggles, however I’m just not as confident that he will shut down the Yankees and Astros this week.

Here’s what we know: Meyer walks a ton of dudes. Like, a ton. Like, he leads the league, a ton. Wearing the crown as the league leader in walk rate is not ideal, but the 6’9” righty pairs his generosity with heavy strikeout totals and the ability to limit baserunners via hits. His, let’s say… effective wildness has plummeted his swing rate, as batters are offering at his pitches only 39 percent of the time, a number seven percentage points below league average. With perhaps only a few more pitches in the zone, we could have something with Meyer.

There were signs of promise with Rodon’s first start of the season, most notably that he was, um, on the mound. The lefty gave up way too many walks, but I’ll give him a free pass (get it?) and let him take some time to shake the rust off. Even still, I’m not starting him on the road against the Rockies.


Kyle Gibson


Daniel Gossett


Ian Kennedy


Ubaldo Jimenez


Mariners SP


Adalberto Mejia


Wade Miley


Blake Snell


Gibson has been better, I guess, since returning from a tune-up at Triple-A Rochester in early May, but I guess that’s a little like saying “Batman v. Superman” is better than “Suicide Squad.” I’ll pass on both.

In his past 15 1/3 innings, Mejia has allowed only two runs. That’s an improvement, sure, but he’s still issuing almost five free passes per nine innings, and just doesn’t strike enough guys out to make up for it.

Speaking of walks, hello Blake Snell. The young lefty still oozes promise long term, but he’s throwing only 37.3 percent of his pitches in the zone (league average is 45.2 percent) and hitters are swinging only 38.4 percent of the time (league average is 46.4 percent). Until he finds the plate a little more frequently, and hitters figure out they might need to swing at a few pitches, Snell will remain too unreliable to start and feel good about it.