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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


Gerrit Cole

@SF, @SD

Jacob deGrom


Zack Greinke


A rocky June ballooned Cole’s ERA, but the 26-year-old has rebounded this month, holding hitters to a line of .230/.240/.351 in three starts. You couldn’t ask for better matchups this week, as Cole squares off against light-hitting Giants and Padres offenses on the road.

Earlier this season, deGrom gave up a combined 15 earned runs in back-to-back starts. Since that debacle, the Mets’ ace has been unhittable, tossing 53 2/3 innings with an ERA hovering around 1.50 while striking out a batter per inning.


Gio Gonzalez


Kyle Hendricks


Dan Straily


Often a fantasy afterthought, Gonzalez is striking out almost a batter per inning en route to a 2.66 ERA in 19 starts. Even if he should revert a bit back to the old Gio, his 3.32 DRA indicates that tumble might not be far. This week, he takes on two strong offenses, but both starts will be at Nationals Park, neutralizing some of his opponents’ strengths.

Everyone’s favorite Ivy League hurler for a defending World Series champion is back this week. Hendricks looked very Hendricks-y in his two rehab starts, surrendering only one run in 8 1/3 innings.

It would not be shocking if this is Straily’s last week donning the citrus hues of the Marlins. The lefty hurler has exceeded expectations this season by basically being a little above average across the board. This week he gets a Reds team slightly below average against lefties, and a Rangers offense that is among the league’s worst. Or he might get traded. In which case, skip ahead.


Luis Castillo


Jhoulys Chacin


Patrick Corbin


Johnny Cueto


Seth Lugo


Lance Lynn


Clayton Richard


Antonio Senzatela


Vincent Velasquez


Castillo has certainly impressed thus far in his debut campaign, producing a 3.41 ERA and 13 percent whiff rate, while riding a fastball that sits at 98 mph. He still walks too many dudes, and has given up his fair share of home runs, but there’s a ton to like with the young right-hander. A start at Yankee Stadium is a little scary, but his second start at Marlins Park is a little more palatable.

The Padres pitching staff (non-Cahill edition) is obviously not super exciting. This week they’re getting two starts at home, and while the Mets’ offense is sneaky good, the Pirates are, let’s say, underwhelming. Sometimes that’s all it takes for a “Consider.”

Lynn’s numbers this season place him among the league’s “pretty good,” but the right-hander has really suffered from the new Dinger Era. Having said that, of his 20 surrendered homers, 14 have come on the road, and Lynn gets two home starts this week, where he has put up a 2.66 ERA in 47 1/3 innings.

In his first start off of the DL, Velasquez was solid, tossing six innings and getting touched up for only one run. Perhaps more importantly, he maintained his velocity, sitting around 95 mph with his fastball in the 79-pitch outing. Plus, he’s getting the Astros this week, so VINCE VELASQUEZ REVENGE GAME (or you know, whatever).


Tim Adleman


Zach Davies


R.A. Dickey


John Lackey


Mike Leake


There are moments where the knuckleball is dancing out of control, like nobody’s watching. It flutters into the zone and detours out just as quickly, leaving hitters predictably baffled. Those moments are just coming fewer and farther between for Dickey

After a dominant first month of the season followed by a strong May, Leake’s ship may have sprung a, well, you know. The righty’s past 10 starts have been nightmarish, striking out fewer than six batters per nine innings with a 5.04 ERA. If Leake isn’t preventing runs, he’s almost unusable due to miniscule strikeout totals.

American League


There are some strong options this week, but nothing stands out as a true no-brainer “Auto-Start.”


Jose Berrios


Sonny Gray


James Paxton


Brad Peacock


Eduardo Rodriguez


Justin Verlander


Obviously there have been some trade rumors swirling around Gray, and for good reason. Since June 1, the 27-year-old controllable starter (which seems to be the buzzword these days) has thrown 56 2/3 innings with a 3.02 ERA while striking out nearly a batter per inning. That kind of production would look pretty in any uniform.

Syrup is sweet, and so is Big Maple. Outside of a truly brutal June, Paxton has to be considered one of the best pitchers in the league this year. The hefty lefty is striking out over 10 batters per nine innings with a filthy 2.71 DRA and 73 cFIP in 15 starts.

If you like strikeouts, Peacock is your man. If you like walks, well, same. The southpaw is rocking a 2.49 ERA and 1.22 WHIP thus far in 2017 despite walk totals that would make Trevor Bauer blush. His secret? Just strike everyone out. Additionally, he’s pitching deeper into games, which with the Astros’ offense, means more opportunities for wins and quality starts. And strikeouts. And walks.

Rodriguez’s first start off the DL was a lot like the first installment of a superhero franchise. Some pretty good, some pretty bad, and something to build from. This week he gets two fairly decent matchups. It comes at a good time for the Red Sox, as it’s been a while since they had a good lefty in the rotation.


Jharel Cotton


Jacob Faria


Jordan Montgomery


Martin Perez


Carlos Rodon


Aaron Sanchez


Blake Snell


Coming off his worst outing of the season, Faria will square off against two AL East foes. His changeup boasts the second-best swinging-strike rate in the league, and he’s been steadily increasing its usage as the season has progressed. Those whiffs will surely be on display against the Orioles, but the 23-year-old is definitely a riskier play at Yankee Stadium.

I have a Martin Perez problem. I shouldn’t “Consider” him, yet these decent matchups arise and I end up considering him. Please send help.

It was always going to be a process for Rodon to ease himself back into the rotation after missing the first couple of months. Well that process has been a little more tenuous than even the skeptics might have imagined, as the lefty is walking over 6.5 batters per nine innings and has given up five bombs in his first 20 1/3 innings of work. I still like Rodon long-term, but he’s hard to rely on right now.

Last season, Sanchez made a living limiting walks and inducing grounders. He also made a run at the AL Cy Young award. Injuries have plagued the 25-year-old this season, in addition to a curious case of going away from his sinker in favor of a fastball that has gotten fewer whiffs and fewer ground balls. Whether the new pitch mix is a byproduct of the injury, I can’t say. I’m not a doctor.

Snell would be wise to ctrl+C, ctrl+V the Jose Berrios blueprint. The southpaw has looked stellar at Triple-A Durham, but gives up way too many free passes in the big leagues. It’s a formula Berrios struggled with as well. The good news is that the stuff is there, and if he can figure out a way to limit easy baserunners, Snell can live up to the promise he showed as a prospect.


Kevin Gausman


Miguel Gonzalez


Jason Hammel


Francisco Liriano


Jesse Chavez


Josh Tomlin


Gausman has nearly doubled his walk output from last season, is giving up almost 12 hits per nine innings, and has a 6.11 ERA (backed up by a 6.15 DRA). I’m starting to think this isn’t going to be the Gausman Breakout Season that we were all hoping for.

Remember earlier this season when everyone was super high on Liriano as a sleeper and I—I mean people put them on their BP Model Portfolios because I—they thought big things were in store? Cool, me neither.

Nolasco has held opponents to one run or fewer in three of his past four starts. However, in that fourth start, he was torched for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings, so there’s that. Consistency be damned.

Thank you for reading

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Uh, Strailey is not a lefty.
Whoops. Thanks for the heads up, for some reason I've convinced myself he's a lefty. My bad.
In my defense, he's still facing two teams that struggle against lefties, it just has absolutely nothing to do with Straily.

Uh, no E in Straily
Your take on Dickey is a little unfair, even including a clunker in his last start vs the Cubs he's been good for the last month (6 starts, 40 IP, 30/10 K/BB, 2.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 2 wins). Even with the road start at AZ, he should be in the Consider column.
You're right, he's been a little better lately. He's still not striking many guys out, and in that stretch he has a 4.7 percent HR/FB rate. I'm nervous starting him going to those homer friendly parks this week. Maybe a consider in an NL-only or really deep league, but I'm skeptical in shallower formats.
A little late to the game here, but I'm wondering if Chacin's 1.94 ERA at home (7.35 on the road) makes him a stronger consideration? It's over 65 IP, fwiw.
Definitely. His success at home along with those matchups make him pretty enticing this week. That home/road split is crazy, btw.
Thanks. He's in my lineup so we shall see. Yeah, I think those splits must be borderline historic.