We have as large a slate of excellent two start pitchers as we've seen early on this season. I have ranked the middle tier in an order that reflects how I would value them this week. Not much need to rank the top tier, as any of these pitchers should be started if you own them, and with the final tier, my advice is that unless you are extremely desperate, you should not consider starting them at this point in the season.

 

Start 'em If You Own 'em

 

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Adam Wainwright  STL

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ NYM

vs. PIT

 

Dillon Gee  NYM

Edinson Volquez  PIT

Justin Verlander  DET

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. CHW

@ MIN

 

Chris Sale  CHW

Kyle Gibson  MIN

Chris Sale  CHW

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ DET

vs. TB

 

Justin Verlander  DET

Jake Odorizzi  TB

Felix Hernandez  SEA

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. HOU

vs. TEX

 

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

Yu Darvish  TEX

Yu Darvish  TEX

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ OAK

@ SEA

 

Dan Straily  OAK

Felix Hernandez  SEA

Masahiro Tanaka  NYY

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ BOS

vs. LAA

 

Jon Lester  BOS

Garrett Richards  LAA

Cliff Lee  PHI

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ LAD

@ ARI

 

Paul Maholm  LAD

Bronson Arroyo  ARI

Andrew Cashner  SD

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ MIL

@ WAS

 

Wily Peralta  MIL

Tanner Roark  WAS

Jon Lester  BOS

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. NYY

@ TOR

 

Masahiro Tanaka  NYY

R.A. Dickey  TOR

James Shields  KC

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ CLE

@ BAL

 

Danny Salazar  CLE

Miguel Gonzalez  BAL

Hyun-Jin Ryu  LAD

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. PHI

vs. COL

 

A.J. Burnett  PHI

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

Julio Teheran  ATL

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. MIA

vs. CIN

 

Tom Koehler  MIA

Johnny Cueto  CIN

Essentially, I would suggest you plug these guys into your rotation and let them go.Neither matchup nor venue matters to me with regard to these guys.

 

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

 

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Johnny Cueto  CIN

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ PIT

@ ATL

 

Edinson Volquez  PIT

Julio Teheran  ATL

Zach McAllister  CLE

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. KC

@ SF

 

Jeremy Guthrie  KC

Tim Lincecum  SF

Wily Peralta  MIL

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. SD

vs. CHC

 

Andrew Cashner  SD

Travis Wood  CHC

Clay Buchholz  BOS

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. BAL

@ TOR

 

Wei-Yin Chen  BAL

Brandon Morrow  TOR

Kyle Gibson  MIN

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ TB

vs. DET

 

Jake Odorizzi  TB

Justin Verlander  DET

John Danks  CHW

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ DET

vs. TB

 

Anibal Sanchez  DET

Cesar Ramos  TB

Tom Koehler  MIA

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ ATL

@ NYM

 

Julio Teheran  ATL

Dillon Gee  NYM

Francisco Liriano  PIT

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. CIN

@ STL

 

Mike Leake  CIN

TBA

Scott Feldman  HOU

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ SEA

vs. OAK

 

Erasmo Ramirez  SEA

Tommy Milone  OAK

Jenrry Mejia  NYM

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. STL

vs. MIA

 

TBA

Kevin Slowey  MIA

Travis Wood  CHC

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. ARI

@ MIL

 

Brandon McCarthy  ARI

Wily Peralta  MIL

Anibal Sanchez  DET

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. CHW

@ MIN

 

John Danks  CHW

Phil Hughes  MIN

Dillon Gee  NYM

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. STL

vs. MIA

 

Adam Wainwright  STL

Tom Koehler  MIA

Paul Maholm  LAD

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. PHI

vs. COL

 

Cliff Lee  PHI

Juan Nicasio  COL

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ SEA

vs. OAK

 

Felix Hernandez  SEA

Dan Straily  OAK

Mike Leake  CIN

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ PIT

@ ATL

 

Francisco Liriano  PIT

David Hale  ATL

Edinson Volquez  PIT

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. CIN

@ STL

 

Johnny Cueto  CIN

Adam Wainwright  STL

Miguel Gonzalez  BAL

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ TOR

vs. KC

 

R.A. Dickey  TOR

James Shields  KC

A.J. Burnett  PHI

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ LAD

@ ARI

 

Hyun-Jin Ryu  LAD

Brandon McCarthy  ARI

Jason Hammel  CHC

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. ARI

@ MIL

 

Bronson Arroyo  ARI

Marco Estrada  MIL

Danny Salazar  CLE

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. KC

@ SF

 

James Shields  KC

Ryan Vogelsong  SF

Ian Kennedy  SD

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ MIL

@ WAS

 

Yovani Gallardo  MIL

Taylor Jordan  WAS

Jeremy Guthrie  KC

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ CLE

@ BAL

 

Zach McAllister  CLE

Wei-Yin Chen  BAL

Jake Odorizzi  TB

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. MIN

@ CHW

 

Kyle Gibson  MIN

Chris Sale  CHW

Wei-Yin Chen  BAL

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ BOS

vs. KC

 

Clay Buchholz  BOS

Jeremy Guthrie  KC

Bronson Arroyo  ARI

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

@ CHC

vs. PHI

 

Jason Hammel  CHC

Cliff Lee  PHI

Cueto should be started for so long as he stays healthy. McAllister is owned in less than 50% of leagues, and that should be seen as opportunity knocking for you if he is still available in your league.Go ahead, stop reading and grab him now. Peralta has been pitching well so far, and has two good match ups this week. Buchholz has been strong after his first disastrous start against the Brewers, increasing his strikeouts and reducing the number of baserunners. Gibson has been pitching like an ace, and the Twins sure can use a top pitcher. He has give up only 2 scant earned runs over his first thee starts and while I would expect some regression, you need to ride the hot hand right now. Danks is not someone I would have considered drafting, but he has been good over the past couple of starts, and is worth an add if you need to cover for injury. Koehler is another pitcher that has been surprisingly good so far, having twirled 7 scoreless innings in his last start, although he doesn't have the greatest control and that will ultimately come back to bite him.

I expected some regression from Liraiano, but he's been allowing too many runs early on this season to be fully dependable. Feldman, Meija and Wood all have the issue of pitching for below average teams, but also have been effective to date. There seems to be something wrong with Sanchez, as he is not able to pitch deeply into games, but that is a current issue for all Tiger SPs. If he is not hiding an injury, then expect him to right the ship soon and you will want to be riding his arm when he straightens things out. Gee and Maholm both have tough early week match ups, but I do like their end of the period games. Keuchel has been a pleasant revelation early this season, limiting the free passes and racking up decent Ks while also not letting the oppontent plate runs.

Leake through Burnett are all steady performers although I don't fully trust Volquez to keep up the strong start he's enjoying. Hammel seems to like pitching in Chicago, and hasn't shown any signs of last season's injuries slowing him down. Long time readers know how much I like this development. Salazar was a draft day darling, but he is still learning his craft at the MLB level, so expect some ups and downs, like those he showed in Detroit on Thursday. The final sub-tier are all decent options depending on match up. Of these guys, Iike the chances for Arroyo and Odorizzi best, although if pressed, I would start any of them over the guys in the lowest tier.

 

Not On My Roster

 

 

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Tommy Milone  OAK

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. TEX

@ HOU

 

TBA TEX

Scott Feldman  HOU

Tanner Roark  WAS

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. LAA

vs. SD

 

Garrett Richards  LAA

Andrew Cashner  SD

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. SF

@ LAD

 

Ryan Vogelsong  SF

Hyun-Jin Ryu  LAD

Dan Straily  OAK

4/21/2014

4/26/2014

 

vs. TEX

@ HOU

 

Yu Darvish  TEX

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

Garrett Richards  LAA

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ WAS

@ NYY

 

Tanner Roark  WAS

Masahiro Tanaka  NYY

R.A. Dickey  TOR

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. BAL

vs. BOS

 

Miguel Gonzalez  BAL

Jon Lester  BOS

Ryan Vogelsong  SF

4/21/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ COL

vs. CLE

 

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

Danny Salazar  CLE

Brandon McCarthy  ARI

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

@ CHC

vs. PHI

 

Travis Wood  CHC

A.J. Burnett  PHI

Taylor Jordan  WAS

4/22/2014

4/27/2014

 

vs. LAA

vs. SD

 

Tyler Skaggs  LAA

Ian Kennedy  SD

Of these nine SPs, I like the two National's pitchers best, although both have failed to cement themselves as the fifth starters when Fister comes back to displace one of them. At present, you would need to be desperate to rely on any of these guys for two starts.

Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at ia@fantasyalarm.com to continue the discussion.




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About Ivar G. Anderson

I have actively played fantasy sports since 2004, when I was roped into competing in an auto-pick football league on Yahoo. My devotion, and number of teams has continued to grow to the present. I began writing about fantasy sports for FantasyGameday in 2008, and was recruited to join the FantasyAlarm team in 2011, where I cover Starting Pitching on the baseball side of things, and publish a weekly IDP Report and NFL Weather Report weekly during the football season. I can be reached by e-mail at: ia@fantasyalarm.com and my Twitter handle is: @johnwhorfin

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