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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

Max Scherzer

MIA, SF

Obviously a lot of this depends on his lingering neck soreness, but if Scherzer goes, he starts. Has anyone ever thrown two no-hitters in the same week?

Start

Jake Arrieta

@SF, @ARI

Zack Godley

LAD, CHC

Brent Suter

@MIN, CIN

Michael Wacha

@KC, ATL

Adam Wainwright

@KC, ATL

After struggling mightily to begin the season, Arrieta seems to have found a new rhythm, with a new pitch mix to boot. The former Cy Young winner has all but ditched his slider, opting instead for a sinker he has thrown over 70 percent of the time in the second half. The results haven’t yielded many strikeouts, but Arrieta has enjoyed a 2.08 ERA in his past six starts, while cutting his home-run rate nearly in half.

Call me Natalie Imbruglia, because I’m torn on Godley. He’s really good—that’s not why I’m conflicted. This week he’s squaring off against the best offense in baseball and a rejuvenated defending champion at the launching pad that is Chase Field. I’m still likely starting the 27-year-old.

Raise your hand if you saw “Brent Suter, reliable starter” as a thing that was coming in 2017. I do not believe a single one of you. That’s where we’re at, though, as Suter has pitched admirably in seven starts for the Crew. He’s always relied heavily on his fastball, and he’s starting to mix in some other offerings, a necessary tool for sustained success. Right now, I’d favor the slider, a pitch he has thrown around 18 percent of the time that has limited hitters to a .063 ISO and a whiff rate approaching 20 percent.

Feels like we’re all sleeping a little bit on how strong Wacha has been this season. The 26-year-old has increased his ground-ball rate, increased his strikeout rate, and decreased his walk rate. Those are all good things. His velocity is back to 2015, pre-injury levels and he’s one of the few guys to actually manage fewer than one homer per nine innings.

Consider

Jhoulys Chacin

@CIN, @LAD

Robert Stephenson

SD, @MIL

Matt Garza

@MIN, CIN

Edwin Jackson

MIA, SF

Chad Kuhl

DET, @TOR

Sal Romano

SD, @MIL

Zack Wheeler

TEX, @PHI

OK, so there’s no way around it. Chacin has been really bad on the road this season, sporting a 7.35 ERA in 49 innings. Having said that, he’s been better recently, giving up only five runs in his past 18 1/3 innings away from Petco Park.

Good lord, how did we end up back here? In three starts with the Nationals, Jackson has tossed 19 innings with a 2.84 ERA. He’s giving up tons of homers and his .167 BABIP certainly will rise, but the matchups are pretty good this week, so it’s quite possible you could squeeze another couple of starts out of the 33-year-old before the dam breaks.

Well it finally happened. After 18 weeks of this column, I think I’ve run out of Kuhl puns. After a frosty start to the season the right-hander has flown under the radar, producing a 3.27 ERA in 33 July innings and holding opponents to a line of .231/.328/.336 for the month. That’s cool (and that was forced, ugh).

Hitters haven’t been swinging at Romano’s stuff (38.2 percent swing rate, over eight percentage points below average). They certainly haven’t been chasing his stuff (21.7 percent chase rate, also eight percentage points fewer than the norm). This has led to hugely inflated walk numbers, however the 23-year-old has still managed to scrape together a strikeout per inning. If Romano’s misses can be a little more competitive, he could be extremely interesting.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for Wheeler. In his first 11 starts, the righty tossed 62 2/3 innings with a solid 3.45 ERA. In his next seven starts, the (ahem) wheels came off, as the 27-year-old gave up 27 earned runs in 30 2/3 innings, leading to a stint on the DL. He’s slated to return this week with two decent matchups, so hopefully Wheeler can turn his season around again.

Sit

Matt Moore

CHC, @WAS

Chris O’Grady

@WAS, COL

Luis Perdomo

@CIN, @LAD

Jake Thompson

@ATL, NYM

Trevor Williams

DET, @TOR

Vance Worley

@WAS, COL

For some reason when I see O’Grady’s name, I picture Chris O’Dowd, the not-Jon Hamm dude from “Bridesmaids.” I don’t really want to start either this week.

Nobody in baseball gets more ground balls (minimum 90 innings) than Perdomo. Even with a poor defense and a high BABIP, he still has a DRA around 5.50, which makes the 24-year-old all the more mystifying.

Thompson showed some promise as a member of the Rangers’ organization, but mostly has been disappointing since coming over in the Cole Hamels deal. He got rocked in his first taste of the big leagues a season ago, and it hasn’t been much better this year, making only two starts for the Phillies. He’s striking more batters out, but he’s also walking more guys and has a DRA approaching 8.00. Eight is enough.

American League

Auto-Start

Corey Kluber

COL, @TB

Chris Sale

@TB, @NYY

There will be K’s.

Start

Trevor Cahill

STL, @CWS

J.A. Happ

NYY, PIT

Dallas Keuchel

@CWS, @TEX

Ariel Miranda

@OAK, LAA

Ervin Santana

MIL, @DET

Cahill has looked less like King Kong and more like King Ralph since coming to Kauffman Stadium. Despite the struggles, the 29-year-old is still striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings, getting tons of ground balls and has two pretty solid matchups this week.

OK, let’s get weird with some arbitrary samples. Since being sprinkled with Ray Searage dust in 2015 (which turned Happ into an interesting pitcher rather than a DFA candidate), the lefty has enjoyed seeing the warm summer months turn into crisp fall days. In the final two months of each of the past two seasons, Happ has tossed 127 1/3 innings with a 2.55 ERA, averaging a little over 10 strikeouts per nine innings. We are now entering the final two months of the season.

Keuchel is still being eased back into the rotation after missing nearly two months with a neck injury. He hasn’t been great since coming back, serving up more dingers and walks than normal. However there’s a strong chance a week against the White Sox and Rangers can cure what ails him.

Miranda is so close to being a pretty reliable starter for the Mariners. He’s a little light on the strikeouts (although the swinging-strike rate shot way up in July, in part due to increased changeup and slider usage), but doesn’t walk many batters and has a knack for limiting hits. It’s just those pesky homers. The southpaw is averaging almost two dingers per nine innings, which makes run prevention, um, harder. I’m rolling the dice this week as Miranda is facing two offenses ranking in the bottom seven when it comes to hitting lefties.

Consider

Parker Bridwell

BAL, @SEA

Dylan Bundy

@LAA, @OAK

JC Ramirez

BAL, @SEA

CC Sabathia

@TOR, BOS

Jason Vargas

STL, @CWS

Jordan Zimmermann

@PIT, MIN

No, I don’t think Bridwell is a true talent 2.83 ERA guy. Having said that, despite tiny strikeout totals, his swinging-strike rate isn’t bad and he’s done a great job at keeping guys off the bases, issuing around two free passes per nine innings.

The year is 2031, CC Sabathia has reinvented himself again and is once more finding new ways to get guys out. Jason Vargas is there too.

Ramirez rebounded from a truly horrific June with a nice month of July, holding hitters to a .246/.357/.383 line in 29 2/3 innings. He also does a relatively good job at limiting the long ball, making him a sneaky option this week.

Sit

Matt Boyd

@PIT, MIN

Daniel Gossett

SEA, BAL

Derek Holland

HOU, KC

Adalberto Mejia

MIL, @DET

Austin Pruitt

BOS, CLE

I want Boyd to be good—he just gives up SO MANY HITS.

The Brewers and Tigers rank in the top 10 for slugging against lefties (with Detroit occupying the top spot), making Mejia a tough start this week.

I keep seeing Pruitt listed as the Rays’ starter and can’t help but hope that they just misspelled Brent Honeywell (although there’s talk that Jake Odorizzi could be making these starts, in which case, I’d consider him).

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GBSimons
8/04
Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters were on a Saturday and Wednesday.
markusbaa
8/04
Thanks! I guess it should be too hard then - let's do this Max!
markusbaa
8/04
Looks like the Nats will have Jackson start this weekend, so he won't get two this week. Right now they have A.J. Cole and Strasburg penciled in as replacements, which I don't know if you can truly replace Edwin Jackson...
jguariglia
8/08
Holy Crap, was that a King Ralph reference? Fantastic or terrible, I can't decide!