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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

Auto-Start

Madison Bumgarner

@OAK, ARI

Carlos Martinez

@MIL, @CIN

There are reasons to be concerned about Bumgarner. His fastball velocity is down two ticks after returning from the DL and he’s managed a meager 4.3 percent swinging strikes in three starts since that fateful joyride. Having said that, if you held on to MadBum, you’re starting him, and mostly hoping for the best.

Martinez is a stud. He’s giving up a few more fly balls this season, and in turn, a few more dingers, but his strikeout numbers continue to rise. He’s got two hitter-friendly ballparks this week, so there could be a stray home run or two, but there will also be lots and lots of K’s.

Start

Patrick Corbin

@CHC, @SF

Mike Foltynewicz

@PHI, MIA

Gio Gonzalez

@MIA, @CHC

Jimmy Nelson

STL, @TB

Aaron Nola

@LAA, @COL

Jameson Taillon

CIN, SD

On May 28, Corbin had an ERA over 5.00 through 11 starts, and was giving up home runs at a career-high rate. Since that date, the southpaw has made 10 starts with a 3.55 ERA while striking out over a batter per inning. The success has correlated with incrementally increased usage in a slider that gets whiffs around a quarter of the time. This week he gets a Cubs team that is pretty good against lefties, but also a Giants team that is one of the worst offenses in the league.

Oh boy, does DRA not like Folty. Despite a DRA approaching 6.00, the 25-year-old has showed promise, especially in the last few months of the season. Starting June 1, Foltynewicz has 60 strikeouts in 60 innings with a 3.30 ERA (and that’s including a true dud of a start against the Nationals where he gave up eight runs and logged zero strikeouts). Two below-average offenses await this week.

Another FSPP, another week spent touting how good Gonzalez has been this season. He’s walking a few more guys than you’d hope, but despite a rocky May, the 31-year-old is allowing a line of .214/.297/.358 while striking out nearly a batter per inning with an ERA under 3.00.

In his past 10 starts, Nola has tossed 67 1/3 innings with a 78-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 2.27 ERA. He’s stranding an absurd amount of baserunners, so the ERA under 2.50 might not be sustainable, but Nola is really good and I’m not scared by him going to Coors Field (but also please don’t say “I told you so” if he gets bombed at Coors Field, my fragile ego can’t take it).

Consider

Jake Arrieta

ARI, WAS

Kenta Maeda

@ATL, @NYM

Steven Matz

@COL, LAD

Johnny Cueto

@OAK, ARI

Maeda’s sophomore season has been, well it’s been fine, but it hasn’t been remarkable. The Dodgers’ offense should put the righty in line for plenty of wins, but he has logged more than five innings only three times all season, which makes it really tough if you’re looking for high-strikeout volume or quality starts.

It feels like Matz is either really good or really bad with very little in between. If that holds true, that’s good news for one of his starts this week.

Sit

Homer Bailey

@PIT, STL

Braves SP

LAD, MIA

Nick Pivetta

@ATL, @COL

Jose Ureña

WAS, @ATL

I wish Bailey was better so I wouldn’t feel bad about making puns with his name. He’s not, so moving on.

Pivetta has done a great job eating innings for a non-contender.

Ureña’s house of cards has started to wobble a bit this month, as the 25-year-old has a 5.21 ERA in 19 July innings. Sure, it’s a small sample, but Ureña has been underwhelming, striking out around six guys per nine innings with a 5.39 DRA.

American League

Auto-Start

Chris Archer

@HOU, MIL

Yu Darvish

SEA, @MIN

Sonny Gray

SF, @LAA

Chris Sale

CLE, CWS

Luis Severino

DET, @CLE

Two of these guys might not be with the same team in a couple of days, so this might not end up as the most populated “Auto-Start” tier in FSPP history*.

* I did not fact-check this.

Welcome to the “Auto-Start” table, Luis Severino.

Start

Jose Berrios

@SD, TEX

Danny Duffy

@BAL, SEA

Michael Fulmer

@NYY, @BAL

Cole Hamels

SEA, @MIN

Brad Peacock

TB, TOR

After setting the world ablaze with his re-debut, Berrios has somewhat tumbled back to earth, posting a 5.76 ERA in his past six starts with an uncharacteristically low 8.4 percent swinging-strike rate. That’s definitely disappointing, however his past six starts did come against the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, Orioles, Royals, and Red Sox, most of whom boast pretty potent offenses. He gets the Padres and Rangers this week, who um, do not.

If the breakout didn’t happen for Duffy a year ago, we would probably all be pretty psyched about his 2017 season. Alas, it happened. Boy, did it happen. Duffy has been good, but not great this season. His velocity is down a couple of ticks and he’s striking out almost 2 ½ fewer batters per nine innings. His 11.4 percent swinging-strike rate is slightly down, but it’s still above average, so perhaps the K’s come out from hiding.

Speaking of low strikeout numbers, hello Michael Fulmer. Fulmer is fanning a mere 6.4 batters per nine innings. It hasn’t really mattered, because the 24-year-old righty has basically dominated everywhere else. The matchups this week are tough, but Fulmer has a sub-3.00 ERA on the road, so he should be up for the challenge.

Remember when “Peacocking” was a thing? Well, the Astros’ righty is taking it back, thank goodness. However, with the team’s rotation getting healthy (and perhaps adding some new blood), it would appear as though Peacock might be the odd man out. It’s a shame, because he’s been a lot of fun in the rotation. Since becoming a starter in late May, Peacock has averaged over 12 strikeouts per nine innings (almost five walks, which isn’t great) en route to a 2.93 ERA. He’s also only given up one home run in 55 1/3 innings. One.

Consider

Paul Blackburn

SF, @LAA

Dylan Bundy

KC, DET

Mike Clevinger

@BOS, NYY

Alex Cobb

@HOU, MIL

Felix Hernandez

@TEX, @KC

Ian Kennedy

@BAL, SEA

Ricky Nolasco

PHI, OAK

Drew Pomeranz

CLE, CWS

C.C. Sabathia

DET, @CLE

I’m not really buying into Blackburn, but he’s always had a knack for limiting runs with a low WHIP, despite miniature strikeout totals. He won’t likely be a savior for your team, but he’s an interesting option this week, in two pitcher-friendly parks.

Aside from a hiccup in his most recent start against the Angels, Clevinger has given the Tribe everything they could ask for this season. He’s doubled his curveball usage and eased up on its velocity a bit, helping him keep the pitch competitive. So far, so good, as Clevinger has a swinging-strike rate over 26 percent on the pitch, and 13.3 percent overall. He’s good, but the matchups this week are not.

Cobb has enjoyed a slight uptick in velocity, hitting pre-TJ surgery numbers on the gun. His splitter touts the highest vertical movement in baseball, and he’s throwing a little more often, getting ground balls around half of the time. Only the matchups are keeping Cobb from creeping up to the “Start” tier.

We’re entering the old gunslinger phase of King Felix’s career. He’s not blowing 98 mph fastballs past anyone anymore, hell, he’s having a hard time hitting 92 mph. That said, the strikeouts are up from a season ago, the walks are down, and the 31-year-old has a 3.41 DRA, which is imminently tolerable. It’s all about expectations.

You aren’t psyched to run Kennedy out there, I get it. The veteran righty has been better in his past eight starts, however, racking up four wins with a 3.26 ERA.

Gone are the days of Sabathia beasting-out complete games with lots of strikeouts. Enter beguiling, crafty Sabathia, who has soft-tossed his way to a strong 3.44 ERA in 89 innings. The Tigers lead the league in wRC+ against lefties, so the stout southpaw could be a risky play this week.

Sit

Marco Estrada

@CWS, @HOU

Ubaldo Jimenez

KC, DET

Andrew Moore

@TEX, @KC

Mike Pelfrey

TOR, @BOS

Anibal Sanchez

@NYY, @BAL

James Shields

TOR, @BOS

Since June 1, hitters are slashing .333/.429/.624 against Estrada. In 1992, Barry Bonds hit .311/.458/.624. He won the MVP that year.

If you were concocting a master plan to improve your draft position, a savvy move would be to start Pelfrey and Shields as many times as possible.

Andrew Moore? I’ll have Andrew less (not great, dude, not great).

As a starter, Sanchez has been merely bad, rather than superbad as his full season stats might suggest. A 4.66 ERA with around eight strikeouts and two walks per nine might even earn a “Consider” in some weeks. This week he has road starts facing the Yankees and Orioles, so no thanks.

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tbdubbs
7/28
What do you see the ceiling and/or realistic outcome for Nick Pivetta? The strikeout numbers look good for a SP with K/9 of 9.3 currently, and his WHIP is as high as it's been at any level.
markusbaa
7/28
The K/9 numbers are good, but he has a below average swinging strike rate, which doesn't bode well for sustainability. Guys are just teeing off on his stuff. I'll keep him on the radar because he's young, but I don't have high hopes of anything beyond a back-end guy.
markusbaa
7/28
With the Price DL news, it looks like the Red Sox are going to slide Pomeranz into a Sunday start which would push him off of a two start week. Sounds like maybe Brian Johnson getting the 5th spot in the rotation, and if so, he'll get two against the White Sox and Indians. Both are good against lefties.
markusbaa
7/28
So I guess, it's going to be Doug Fister now getting back into the rotation. I think I'll pass.
dodrill81
7/31
Looks like Lester is slated for 2 starts as well this week (Arizona and Washington).