Image credit: USA Today Sports

Welcome to Mounds of Decisions, a new daily series where I’ll be dishing out starting pitching advice for owners in leagues that allow daily transactions. Not sure whether to start or bench a certain pitcher? Well, you’ve come to the right place. The format is simple. Each probable starting pitcher will be placed into one of four groups:

-Start in 12-team mixed leagues
-Start in deeper mixed leagues (13-15 teams)
-Start in very deep mixed leagues (16+ teams) and mono leagues
-Do not start in any league

Note that these articles will be posted a day in advance so that you can check your league’s waiver wire to see if any of the recommended plays are available.


Start in 12-team mixed leagues

Clayton Kershaw (vs. ARI)

Chris Sale (vs. BAL)

Noah Syndergaard (vs. MIL)

Stephen Strasburg (vs. COL)

Justin Verlander (vs. TEX)

Luis Severino (@DET)

Shohei Ohtani (#KC)

Carlos Martinez (@CIN)

Zack Godley (@LAD)

Dylan Bundy (@BOS) – Bundy is matchup-proof right now.

Sean Manaea (@SEA) – He’s been outstanding thus far yet is somehow still available in nearly 30% of ESPN leagues and 25% of Yahoo leagues.

J.A. Happ (@CLE)

Joey Lucchesi (vs. SF) – Coming off an impressive performance at Coors, Lucchesi should take full advantage of a home matchup versus a Giants team that ranks in the bottom third of the majors in both runs scored and OPS.

Lance Lynn (vs. CHW) – Control has been an issue so far but the matchup is favorable.

Blake Snell (vs. PHI) – He’s a little risky though.

Start in deeper mixed leagues

Julio Teheran (@CHC) – Coming off his best outing of the young season, but the walk rate is still high.

Felix Hernandez (vs. OAK)

Jose Urena (vs. PIT) – I’ll go ahead and start him in deeper formats, though the overall ceiling is limited.

Ivan Nova (@MIA) – Deserves consideration in favorable matchup.

Tyler Chatwood (vs. ATL) – Strictly a deep-league option for the time being.

Homer Bailey (vs. STL) – Two quality starts in three tries so far but very risky.

Start in very deep mixed leagues and mono leagues

Jhoulys Chacin (@NYM) – Disappointing start to the season for Chacin. He’s a desperation play.

Ben Lively (@TB) – Appealing matchup makes Lively at least worth a look.

Do not start in any league

Josh Tomlin (vs. TOR)

Miguel Gonzalez (@MIN)

Eric Skoglund (vs. LAA)

Francisco Liriano (vs. NYY)

Tyler Beede (@SD)

Tyler Anderson (@WAS)

Matt Boyd (vs. NYY)

Luis Cessa (@DET)

Bartolo Colon (@HOU) – Disaster alert!


Start in 12-team mixed leagues

Jacob deGrom (vs. WAS)

Aaron Nola (@ATL)

Masahiro Tanaka (vs. MIA)

Dallas Keuchel (@SEA)

James Paxton (vs. HOU)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (@SD) – Great matchup coming off dominant performance.

Jon Lester (vs. STL)

Aaron Sanchez (vs. KC)

Danny Duffy (@TOR) – Stick with him.

Luis Castillo (@MIL) – Seems to be figuring things out.

Mike Foltynewicz (vs. PHI) – I’m OK with taking a chance on Folty here.

Start in deeper mixed leagues

Brent Suter (vs. CIN)

Steven Brault (vs. COL) – Far from a safe play though.

Start in very deep mixed leagues and mono leagues

Adam Wainwright (@CHC) – Will he regain standard mixed-league relevance? Maybe, but not yet.

Daniel Mengden (vs. CHW) – I’m intrigued.

Andrew Cashner (@BOS) – Aren’t we all just waiting for the regression to set in?

Brian Johnson (vs. BAL)

Do not start in any league

Carson Fulmer (@OAK) – He’s a borderline mono-league option.

A.J. Cole (@NYM)

Caleb Smith (@NYY)

German Marquez (@PIT)

Martin Perez (@TB)

Luis Perdomo (vs. LAD)

TBD Starters: Rays

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