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.

 

 

Start 'em If You Own 'em

 

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Adam Wainwright  STL

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. CHC

vs. ATL

 

Jake Arrieta  CHC

Aaron Harang  ATL

Felix Hernandez  SEA

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. TB

@ MIN

 

Cesar Ramos  TB

Ricky Nolasco  MIN

David Price SP TB

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ SEA

@ LAA

 

Hisashi Iwakuma SP SEA

TBA

James Shields  KC

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. COL

vs. BAL

 

Jorge De La Rosa  COL

Ubaldo Jimenez  BAL

Jordan Zimmermann  WAS

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ ARI

vs. NYM

 

Josh Collmenter  ARI

Zack Wheeler  NYM

C.J. Wilson LAA

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

@ TOR

vs. TB

 

Mark Buehrle  TOR

Cesar Ramos  TB

Gerrit Cole  PIT

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ MIL

@ NYY

 

Marco Estrada  MIL

Vidal Nuno  NYY

Tom Koehler  MIA

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

@ LAD

@ SF

 

Dan Haren  LAD

Tim Lincecum  SF

Rick Porcello  DET

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

@ BAL

@ BOS

 

Bud Norris  BAL

John Lackey  BOS

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.

 

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

 

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Bronson Arroyo  ARI

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. WAS

vs. LAD

 

Stephen Strasburg  WAS

Dan Haren  LAD

Drew Smyly  DET

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ BAL

@ BOS

 

Ubaldo Jimenez  BAL

Felix Doubront  BOS

Andrew Cashner  SD

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ CIN

@ COL

 

Mike Leake  CIN

Juan Nicasio  COL

Marco Estrada  MIL

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. PIT

@ CHC

 

Gerrit Cole  PIT

Jake Arrieta  CHC

Jesse Chavez  OAK

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. CHW

@ CLE

 

John Danks  CHW

Danny Salazar  CLE

Dan Haren  LAD

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. MIA

@ ARI

 

Tom Koehler  MIA

Bronson Arroyo  ARI

Mark Buehrle  TOR

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

vs. LAA

@ TEX

 

C.J. Wilson LAA

Robbie Ross  TEX

Danny Salazar  CLE

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ TOR

vs. OAK

 

R.A. Dickey TOR

Jesse Chavez  OAK

R.A. Dickey TOR

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. CLE

@ TEX

 

Danny Salazar  CLE

Colby Lewis  TEX

Hiroki Kuroda  NYY

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. PIT

 

Bartolo Colon  NYM

TBA

Cesar Ramos  TB

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

@ SEA

@ LAA

 

Felix Hernandez  SEA

C.J. Wilson LAA

Brad Peacock  HOU

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. TEX

vs. CHW

 

Colby Lewis  TEX

John Danks  CHW

Ryan Vogelsong  SF

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. ATL

vs. MIA

 

Mike Minor  ATL

Jacob Turner  MIA

Mike Leake  CIN

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. SD

@ PHI

 

Andrew Cashner  SD

Cole Hamels  PHI

Zack Wheeler  NYM

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ NYY

@ WAS

 

Vidal Nuno  NYY

Jordan Zimmermann  WAS

Josh Collmenter  ARI

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

vs. WAS

vs. LAD

 

Jordan Zimmermann  WAS

Clayton Kershaw  LAD

Tyler Lyons  STL

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

vs. CHC

vs. ATL

 

Travis Wood  CHC

Alex Wood  ATL

Travis Wood  CHC

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

@ STL

vs. MIL

 

Tyler Lyons  STL

Matt Garza  MIL

Bartolo Colon  NYM

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

@ NYY

@ WAS

 

Hiroki Kuroda  NYY

Gio Gonzalez  WAS

Bud Norris  BAL

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

vs. DET

@ KC

 

Rick Porcello  DET

Jeremy Guthrie  KC

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.

 

Not On My Roster

 

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Colby Lewis  TEX

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ HOU

vs. TOR

 

Brad Peacock  HOU

R.A. Dickey TOR

Jake Arrieta  CHC

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ STL

vs. MIL

 

Adam Wainwright  STL

Marco Estrada  MIL

John Danks  CHW

5/12/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ OAK

@ HOU

 

Jesse Chavez  OAK

Brad Peacock  HOU

Vidal Nuno  NYY

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. PIT

 

Zack Wheeler NYM

Gerrit Cole  PIT

Tim Lincecum  SF

5/12/2014

5/17/2014

 

vs. ATL

vs. MIA

 

Gavin Floyd  ATL

Tom Koehler  MIA

Felix Doubront  BOS

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ MIN

vs. DET

 

Ricky Nolasco  MIN

Drew Smyly  DET

Jacob Turner  MIA

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

@ LAD

@ SF

 

Josh Beckett  LAD

Ryan Vogelsong  SF

Ubaldo Jimenez  BAL

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. DET

@ KC

 

Drew Smyly  DET

James Shields  KC

Ricky Nolasco  MIN

5/13/2014

5/18/2014

 

vs. BOS

vs. SEA

 

Felix Doubront  BOS

Felix Hernandez  SEA

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 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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