It is now Week 12 according to my calculations, and while there is a notable absence from the top tier, there are a whole lotta options in the middle tier to consider for your fantasy use this week. Let's get right to it, shall we?

Start 'em If You Own 'em

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Masahiro Tanaka  NYY

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. TOR

vs. BAL

 

Marcus Stroman  TOR

Wei-Yin Chen  BAL

Max Scherzer  DET

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. KC

@ CLE

 

Yordano Ventura  KC

Josh Tomlin  CLE

Johnny Cueto  CIN

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ PIT

vs. TOR

 

Brandon Cumpton  PIT

Marcus Stroman  TOR

Julio Teheran  ATL

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. PHI

@ WAS

 

Cole Hamels  PHI

Doug Fister  WAS

Adam Wainwright  STL

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. PHI

 

Jacob deGrom  NYM

Cole Hamels  PHI

Cole Hamels  PHI

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ ATL

@ STL

 

Julio Teheran  ATL

Adam Wainwright  STL

Jon Lester  BOS

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. MIN

@ OAK

 

Phil Hughes  MIN

Tommy Milone  OAK

Michael Wacha  STL

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. PHI

 

Jonathon Niese  NYM

Kyle Kendrick  PHI

I say it every week, wind these guys up and let them go. The only one I hesitated about was Lester, but despite his recent struggles, I still trust him, unlike Verlander who has sunk to the bottom of the second tier. Fret not about match up opponent or venue, just put them in your lineup and let them pitch away.

UPDATE: Wainwright is being skipped on Monday, June 16, but is expected to pitch on Saturday, June 21.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Phil Hughes  MIN

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ BOS

vs. CHW

 

Jon Lester  BOS

John Danks  CHW

John Danks  CHW

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. SF

@ MIN

 

Matt Cain   SF

Phil Hughes   MIN

Drew Pomeranz  OAK

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. TEX

vs. BOS

 

Colby Lewis  TEX

Rubby De La Rosa  BOS

Tanner Roark  WAS

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. HOU

vs. ATL

 

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

Ervin Santana  ATL

Tommy Milone  OAK

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. TEX

vs. BOS

 

Yu Darvish  TEX

Jon Lester  BOS

Hyun-Jin Ryu  LAD

6/16/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. COL

@ SD

 

Tyler Matzek  COL

Eric Stults  SD

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ WAS

@ TB

 

Tanner Roark  WAS

Erik Bedard  TB

Jonathon Niese  NYM

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ STL

@ MIA

 

Michael Wacha  STL

Jacob Turner  MIA

Jason Hammel  CHC

6/16/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ MIA

vs. PIT

 

Tom Koehler  MIA

Brandon Cumpton  PIT

Wei-Yin Chen  BAL

6/16/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ TB

@ NYY

 

Jake Odorizzi  TB

Masahiro Tanaka  NYY

Jason Vargas  KC

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ DET

vs. SEA

 

Justin Verlander  DET

Chris Young  SEA

Josh Tomlin  CLE

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. LAA

vs. DET

 

Matt Shoemaker  LAA

Max Scherzer  DET

Marcus Stroman  TOR

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ NYY

@ CIN

 

Masahiro Tanaka  NYY

Johnny Cueto  CIN

Jered Weaver  LAA

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ CLE

vs. TEX

 

Trevor Bauer  CLE

Nick Martinez P TEX

Wily Peralta  MIL

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ ARI

@ COL

 

Brandon McCarthy  ARI

Juan Nicasio  COL

Trevor Bauer  CLE

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. LAA

vs. DET

 

Jered Weaver  LAA

Justin Verlander  DET

Kyle Lohse  MIL

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ ARI

@ COL

 

Wade Miley  ARI

Tyler Matzek  COL

Tyson Ross  SD

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ SEA

vs. LAD

 

Chris Young  SEA

Josh Beckett  LAD

Wade Miley  ARI

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. MIL

vs. SF

 

Kyle Lohse  MIL

Madison Bumgarner  SF

Jacob deGrom  NYM

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ STL

@ MIA

 

Adam Wainwright  STL

Tom Koehler  MIA

Tom Koehler  MIA

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. CHC

vs. NYM

 

Jason Hammel  CHC

Jacob deGrom  NYM

Yordano Ventura  KC

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ DET

vs. SEA

 

Max Scherzer  DET

Roenis Elias  SEA

Erik Bedard  TB

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. BAL

vs. HOU

 

TBA

Dallas Keuchel  HOU

Kyle Kendrick  PHI

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ ATL

@ STL

 

Ervin Santana  ATL

Michael Wacha  STL

Jake Odorizzi  TB

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. BAL

vs. HOU

 

Wei-Yin Chen  BAL

Brad Peacock  HOU

Chris Young  SEA

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. SD

@ KC

 

Tyson Ross  SD

Jason Vargas  KC

Brandon McCarthy  ARI

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. MIL

vs. SF

 

Wily Peralta  MIL

Ryan Vogelsong  SF

Ervin Santana  ATL

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. PHI

@ WAS

 

Kyle Kendrick  PHI

Tanner Roark  WAS

Rubby De La Rosa  BOS

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. MIN

@ OAK

 

Kevin Correia  MIN

Drew Pomeranz  OAK

Tyler Matzek  COL

6/16/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ LAD

vs. MIL

 

Hyun-Jin Ryu  LAD

Kyle Lohse  MIL

Justin Verlander  DET

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

vs. KC

@ CLE

 

Jason Vargas  KC

Trevor Bauer  CLE

Roenis Elias  SEA

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. SD

@ KC

 

Eric Stults  SD

Yordano Ventura  KC

Breaking down the middle tier, I see the first sub-tier as running from Hughes to Chen. Hughes rebounded from the blow up against Houston by pitching seven innings against the Jays and not allowing an earned run and racking up nine Ks. Danks is another starter that I am willing to get behind, especially after his correction of a mechanical flaw. Limiting long balls is another plus for him this season. Milone, Pomeranz and Roark have all been pitching well for some time now, although it would be nice if they could provide a steady source of strikeouts instead of just an occasional burst. Ryu is coming off a loss, but has a couple good match ups this week, so he is still in good graces.The final four of the top sub-tier are all solid SP options this period, even with Hammel's last start (11 hits, four earned runs in 5.0 IP) and the Ks are moderately dependable for all four pitchers.

The second sub-tier consists of those pitchers from Vargas until we reach Weaver. Vargas has put together a solid 4 start run, and the downward trend in walks with reasonable K rate makes him usable. Tomlin's excellent control continues to carry him, as do his decent whiff rates per game. Stroman is looking good, with a 17:2 K/BB ratio over 18 innings in his three starts, and doesn't look out of place on the mound despite his youth. His ownership percentage is growing weekly, so act fast if he is still available in your league. Weaver is iffy as far as a dependable starter, but when he is on, he is well worth starting. Problem is, who can tell when he will be on his game?

Sub-tier number three begins with Peralta and stops once we reach Koehler. Peralta has fallen off a tad recently, but picked things up in his last start in New York against the Mets. Facing the Diamondbacks is not a bad start to the week, and with Colorado struggling, the end of the week projects for a decent start, too. Baurer has shown better control over his last three starts, but still allows too many runs to be a dependable fantasy option on a regular basis. The lone K in his last start has to be an aberration, though.  Lohse bounced back from an atrocious eight earned run start against Pittsburgh with an eight inning one run (unearned) appearance in New York vs the Mets, and is a decent option on the road facing Arizona and the Rockies, like his teammate Peralta. Ross will look to hold the Mariners and Dodgers to minimal earned runs and maintain his sub-3 ERA, but those match ups are not exactly great, so be cautious. Miley can toss the occasional gem, but this is not the week I'd be looking for a stellar set of performances, yet he can still give you good K results. deGrom has fallen off a bit, yielding three, four and three earned run over a three game stretch, which still isn't that shabby, but aside from an 11 K surprise against Philly, don't expect more than a few whiffs. Koehler rounds out the sub-tier, and with two home games, I like him, but temper my enthusiasm with the fear of limited innings and too many earned runs.

The final group consists of pitchers I just consider too inconsistent to trust at this point given their recent performances. I sort of expect the ups and downs from Ventura, Odorizzi, de la Rosa, Elias and Matzek, given their youth. Bedard, Kendrick and Young were all pitchers you figured had a regression in them. I am most disappointed with McCarthy, Santana, and especially Verlander. There is hope all three of these guys bounce back and quickly, and I am encouraged by Verlander's recent press conferences. Until they show me some positive results, however, they will be benched.

Not On My Roster

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Colby Lewis  TEX

6/16/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ OAK

@ LAA

 

Drew Pomeranz  OAK

Matt Shoemaker  LAA

Jacob Turner  MIA

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. CHC

vs. NYM

 

Jeff Samardzija  CHC

Jonathon Niese  NYM

Matt Shoemaker  LAA

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ CLE

vs. TEX

 

Josh Tomlin  CLE

Colby Lewis  TEX

Brandon Cumpton  PIT

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

vs. CIN

@ CHC

 

Johnny Cueto  CIN

Jason Hammel  CHC

Kevin Correia  MIN

6/16/2014

6/21/2014

 

@ BOS

vs. CHW

 

Rubby De La Rosa  BOS

Andre Rienzo  CHW

Eric Stults  SD

6/17/2014

6/22/2014

 

@ SEA

vs. LAD

 

Roenis Elias  SEA

Hyun-Jin Ryu  LAD

None of these pitchers will grace my roster, absent a huge turnaround in the near future. Lewis just isn't pitching deep enough to trust, and while Cumpton may demonstrate enough to move up a tier soon, I am not willing to put my fantasy team's fate in his hands as of yet.

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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