Second full week of May rolls around, and you have plenty of two start pitchers to choose from, although the guys in the top tier are most likely all owned in your league. Still, plenty of good opportunities for your H2H matchups or your roto teams, too. Let us see what is in store.
The big shocker here is the inclusion of Porcello, and I will confess he has two road games that could turn nasty, but with his ground ball tendencies and increased strikeout numbers, and pitching for the Tigers, I am now a believer. Dave Dombrowski is a genius, opting to trade Fister and keep Porcello. The rest of these pitchers, if you are lucky enough to own them, don't hesitate to use them. Even King Felix, despite his recent performance, which I consider a blip on the radar. Koehler? Cannot argue with his success. In fact, I would recommend that any of the top three Miami starters be used no matter the match up or venue so long as the team is rolling, Although home starts are much preferred for Miami starters.
As per usual, I have ranked the pitchers in this tier in the order I would pick them up for my team, in a perfect world where my waiver wire is limitless. There are only two sub-tiers this week, the first running from Arroyo to Vogelson, the second beginning with Leake and ending with Norris, who almost didn't make the cut for the middle tier.
Arroyo may not be the ace of the Diamondback staff (Brandon McCarthy holds that distinction), but he has been very effective of late.3 QS and limited walks with decent strikeouts are hard to ignore. Smyly when he starts is a wonderful option, but the problem is that he is sometimes used in relief still, which makes his role as a SP tenuous. Just watch the Tigers' schedule to avoid disappointment. Still, he is also an excellent pitcher to leave in your starting line up just in case he gets a relief appearance. Cashner has not been posting the strikeout numbers we expected when he was drafted, but he has the skills to make a move to the top tier if he gets his mojo back.Pitching in Cincy and Colorado are not ideal venues, either, but I still have faith he can reclaim his ace status.Estrada has also demonstrated a waning strikeout tendency, and he hasn't been getting the wins his owners expect with the Brewers playing well, I expect he will right the ship, and his match ups are decent this week. Chavez is another fine young pitcher that Billy Bean has discovered. He has stumbled a bit lately, and perhaps hitters are figuring him out, but he sandwiched two starts when he gave up 4 earned runs with a beautiful shut out seven innings at Texas. His ownership percentage (92%!) reflects others' faith in him, too.Haren is a reliable starter who has tossed six QS out of his seven starts this season. He did exhibit back stiffness, but his next start is on schedule. Buehrle is also a reliable veteran, and has been dealing with the exception of a clunker against Boston that gave him his first loss, having picked up victories in his other six starts. Ride the hot hand, just don't expect much in the way of strikeouts. Draft day darling Salazar has been giving up too many earned runs, but the strikeouts are there. Don't bail on him, especially given how much you paid for him on draft day. He's young and will get it all figured out. Dickey has bounced back from a disappointing 2013. His first two starts are forgotten, except for the damage they did to his ERA. Both he and teammate Buehrle compete to see who can throw the slowest fastball in the majors, but the knuckler is back. Kuroda limits the free passes, and it is a wonder that cannot buy a victory. If you don't worry about the wins, he is still a fine option for the middle of your rotation. Ramos, like Smyly, shifts between the pen and the rotation, but is scheduled for two starts this period. Tampa Bay, just like Oakland and St. Louis, produces fine young pitchers, and Ramos follows that trend. Plus, he is undoubtedly available on your wire for a nice sneaky pickup. Peacock has posted two QS in his last starts, but his walk to strikeout ratio is worrisome, in terms of being able to consistently post good results in his starts. Be wary of a blow up at any time. Vogelson continues to be a nice rebound pitcher, having put up four QS in his last five appearances, the one exception being a severe clunker against the Rockies on the road. He has control issues occasionally, but also puts up decent K numbers most starts. He should be available, being owned in less than 20% of leagues.
Leake kicks off the second sub-tier, and while he has his upside, he is not at all exciting. The parks he's throwing at this week are not exactly pitcher friendly, but he should turn around his bad luck and pick up a victory soon. Wheeler tossed a gem his last time out, although he did issue a season high five walks over the course of his six shutout innings. You will experience ups and downs if you own him, but the gems outweigh the risks long term. Collmenter is an up and down type of starter, throwing a QS followed by a short stint where he cannot last six innings. He does have excellent control, which helps his game, since he isn't a consistent K guy. Lyons has the pedigree to be a successful starting pitcher, but I hesitate to go full in on him until I see some consistent production at the major league level. Still, as a Cardinal starter, he has my interest piqued, and I have him on my watch list. Wood was awful in his last start against cross-town rivals, the White Sox, allowing eight earned runs on eight hits and five walks in just four innings. If you discount the occasional blow up start, though, he has been very good this season, although you have to wonder when the wheels will come off as his team is just not good. I would use him as a spot starter, but nothing more. Colon has been inconsistent in his seven starts in terms of allowing runs, but he has shown excellent control and average strikeout numbers. Use him judicously and prepare for a hit to your pitching stats if you start him. Norris could have dropped to the bottom tier, and I won't be rostering him so long as he is pitching in Camden Yards. The strikeouts are a plus but are not a guarantee, and while he does have two wins on the year, he just is not on my watch list, rather being on my avoid unless extremely desperate list.
There are some decent pitchers here, notably Danks and Jiminez, but none of these guys are pitching particularly effectively right now. I did not like Jimenez's decision to move to Baltimore, and I fear that with his control issues, and the park effects, this will prove to be a long season for his owners. Danks can be effective, but you have to be in a very deep league to want to use him in your rotation on a regular basis.
Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the discussion.