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.

*This week is a little wonkier than most, as some leagues started new head-to-head matchups Friday, while others carried stats over from the week before the All-Star break. With some leagues back to business as usual with games on Monday, July 17, I figured we should follow that lead and get started on our stretch run toward Titletown. Not every club has announced their plans for handling pitchers to start the second half, so we’re pulling on our projection pants and trying to piece together what these rotations might look like. Expect change. Bear with me.

National League


Zack Greinke


Clayton Kershaw


Stephen Strasburg


Greinke's back. In a lot of ways, the 33-year-old is enjoying his best season ever, striking out over 10 batters per nine innings, while walking fewer than two. His 2.36 DRA would be his lowest since 2009 and he’s even managed to limit homers despite playing his home games at the Chase Field launching pad. What I’m trying to say is that Greinke is good and you should start him.

Kershaw is also good. You should also start Kershaw.

Stras…well you get it.


Jerad Eickhoff


Jon Lester


Jameson Taillon


Michael Wacha


Adam Wainwright


Eickhoff looked tremendous in his first start back from the DL, striking out eight in five shutout innings (ok, it was against the Padres, but still). If his early season struggles can be mainly the product of his injury, Eickhoff could be a sneaky pickup for the remainder of the season.

Since returning from his own DL stint, Taillon has pitched 27 1/3 innings, striking out 29 batters with a 1.98 ERA. He’s back to leaning on his sinker (a pitch he went away from in May) and it’s driving his success, with around 20 percent whiffs and nearly 60 percent ground balls. Yes, Coors Field is daunting (which has become a theme of this column), but Taillon is good and I’d take the risk.

In his last six starts, Wacha has been extremely serviceable, tossing 31 2/3 innings with a 3.13 ERA while striking out over a batter per inning. The production can be partly tied to his reliance on a changeup that gets whiffs around 18 percent of the time. The former Aggie has had difficulty pitching deep into games, so there’s always a danger of losing out on wins or quality starts, but the stuff seems to be coming back to pre-2016 levels.

Wainwright has made 18 starts, and has given up 56 earned runs. Of those 56 runs, 39 have come in four starts. While the wily veteran is certainly prone to the occasional blowup, he hasn’t been as consistently awful has his overall numbers might indicate. I think I’m rolling the dice.


Matt Cain


Scott Feldman


Kyle Freeland


Matt Moore


Ivan Nova


Brent Suter


Julio Teheran


Zack Wheeler


Feldman is one of the few pitchers that prefers the Great American Ball Park, as the righty’s ERA is nearly a full two runs lower (3.00) at home than on the road. Both of his starts will take place at GABP this week.

Full disclosure: I wanted to put Freeland in the “Start” tier. The Padres and Pirates are below average offensively against left-handed pitching and Freeland is actually a little better at home than on the road (3.23 ERA in 55 1/3 innings, compared to 4.35 in 51 1/3 innings). But then – forget it Jake, it’s Coors Field.

Hitters are making Moore contact (I’m so sorry) than ever against the Giants’ southpaw, which has led to unsightly rate stats and a seemingly unsustainable .347 BABIP. Does the 28-year-old have any Moore left (I can’t stop)? Maybe not, but he gets two starts at home this week, one against the Padres. You couldn’t ask for a Moore (I have a problem, please help) suitable opponent for a bounceback.

Suter has enjoyed some success in his first three starts this season for the Brewers, including a strong outing in the Bronx against the Yankees before the break. The 3.7 percent HR/FB rate is unlikely to hold, sure, but matchups against the offensively challenged Pirates and Phillies could help the 27-year-old keep rolling.


Junior Guerra


Tom Koehler


Dinelson Lamet


Rafael Montero


Sean Newcomb


Luis Perdomo


Sal Romano


I don’t care that Guerra is getting two pretty decent matchups, his DRA is approaching Fellini movie title levels (I think I made this joke before, but it’s still apropos, so it stays) and that’s not good .

I’m surprised that Montero’s name appears on this list, penciled in for two starts this week for the Mets, and not this list.

After starting his big league career with four solid starts of six innings or more, Newcomb has failed to escape the fifth inning in his previous two outings. Perhaps even more troubling, the walks that plagued the young lefty’s minor league career may have returned, as Newcomb walked six batters in his last six innings. That doesn’t bode well this week against two of the three most patient teams in the league.

American League


Lance McCullers


Remember when McCullers couldn’t stay healthy and couldn’t throw strikes? Well the 23-year-old flamethrower has shaved his walk rate by over two per nine innings, while also striking out 106 batters in 91 1/3 innings. Now if we can just figure out that health part.


Ian Kennedy


Jordan Montgomery


Eduardo Rodriguez


Marcus Stroman


Ok, this might sound crazy, but Kennedy might be righting the ship. In his last five starts, he has touted a 2.67 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. At this point, he’s always going to surrender homers but if he can keep the baserunners in check, he might be able to trade crooked numbers for solo shots. Playing two games this week in Kauffman Stadium should help.

Montgomery is quickly becoming a southpaw assassin, as fellow lefties are hitting .154/.233/.410 against the Yankee hurler. An innings limit could be in Montgomery’s future down the road, but for now, he’s a strong option against two lineups that struggle against left-handed pitching.

Stroman is the second most prolific thrower of ground balls among qualified starters. The diminutive righty has also managed to increase his strikeout rate for the third straight season, all while wearing the crown as the league’s most GIF-able pitcher. Only the matchups keep Stroman from “Auto-Start” status this week.


Dylan Bundy


Mike Clevinger


J.A. Happ


Jake Odorizzi


Jordan Zimmermann


Bundy looked like the Ace that was Promised early this season, but has really struggled as the winds warmed into the summer months. His velocity has dropped and he’ll likely eclipse last season’s innings total in his next start. He has been about a run better in Camden Yards, so it’s possible home cooking could be helpful this week.

A trendy sleeper pick heading into last season, Clevinger is finally cashing in on some of the intrigue he built as a prospect. Last season he walked way too many dudes, didn’t strike out nearly enough, and couldn’t hold on to a spot in the rotation. This season, the strikeouts are up. He’s still walking too many guys, but he also decided to stop giving up hits, which has helped run prevention. In the end, Clevinger is probably closer to a 4.00 ERA guy than a 3.00 ERA guy, but the skills are there, and he’s got strong matchups this week.


Matt Boyd


Andrew Cashner


Sam Gaviglio


Daniel Gossett


Adalberto Mejia


Ariel Miranda


Tyson Ross


Chris Tillman


Travis Wood


Cashner has the second worst strikeout rate among starters with at least 80 innings. He’s also walking four batters per nine innings and has a DRA approaching 6.00. I guess I’m saying I don’t believe in the 3.54 ERA.

I’m not starting Gossett this week unless your league rewards impeccable moustaches.

I actually kind of like Miranda. He displayed solid skills early before really struggling with a 5.34 ERA in his last five starts. Getting the Astros and Yankees in the same week, however, is about as tough as it gets.

Last week, Wood made his first start since September 2015. It went, it went fine. The 30-year-old could be an interesting option should be remain in the Royals’ rotation, but this week he gets two of the league’s best offenses against left-handed pitching.

Thank you for reading

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FWIW, Taillon will not have a two-start week:
Well there's the first of probably many dominoes to fall. Thanks. It sounds like Chad Kuhl might get those starts, and I do not have nearly as much confidence in him.
Just picked up Eickhoff in both my leagues - hoping to owe you a huge THANK YOU later in the season...
For your sake, I hope to get it!
Perdomo: If I skip his start vs. the Rocs in Colorado, he's a must start against the Giants, right?
15 team pts. league.
I don't believe either Kennedy or Montgomery (NYY) have two starts this week.