Now that the All-Star Game has been played and the results are in the books, it is time to once again examine the two-start options for the upcoming fantasy period. I look at a pitcher's consistency and trends when performing this weekly analysis, and that is not as easy with rotations being restructured and pitchers dealing with their regular schedules being disrupted, but I believe we can pinpoint some decent options for the upcoming week.

Start 'em If You Own 'em

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Doug Fister   WAS

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ COL

@ CIN

 

Franklin Morales   COL

Mat Latos   CIN

Adam Wainwright   STL

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. TB

@ CHC

 

Jake Odorizzi   TB

TBA

Chris Sale   CHW

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

vs. KC

@ MIN

 

Jeremy Guthrie   KC

TBA

Hyun-Jin Ryu   LAD

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ PIT

@ SF

 

Edinson Volquez   PIT

Matt Cain   SF

Scott Kazmir   OAK

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. HOU

@ TEX

 

Collin McHugh   HOU

TBA

Rick Porcello   DET

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ ARI

@ LAA

 

Chase Anderson   ARI

TBA

Mat Latos   CIN

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ MIL

vs. WAS

 

Wily Peralta   MIL

Doug Fister   WAS

Matt Cain   SF

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ PHI

vs. LAD

 

Roberto Hernandez   PHI

Hyun-Jin Ryu   LAD

Once again, I suggest that all these pitchers be inserted into your lineup, no matter the opponent or venue. Seems like Porcello is making himself at home in the top tier.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Jacob deGrom   NYM

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ SEA

@ MIL

 

TBA

Jimmy Nelson   MIL

Edinson Volquez   PIT

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. LAD

@ COL

 

Hyun-Jin Ryu   LAD

Franklin Morales   COL

Jake Odorizzi   TB

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ STL

vs. BOS

 

Adam Wainwright   STL

Jake Peavy   BOS

Ryan Vogelsong   SF

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ PHI

vs. LAD

 

Cliff Lee   PHI

Clayton Kershaw   LAD

Jonathon Niese   NYM

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ SEA

@ MIL

 

Roenis Elias   SEA

Wily Peralta   MIL

Jake Peavy   BOS

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ TOR

@ TB

 

J.A. Happ   TOR

Jake Odorizzi   TB

Eric Stults   SD

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ CHC

@ ATL

 

Kyle Hendricks   CHC

TBA

Franklin Morales   COL

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. WAS

vs. PIT

 

Doug Fister   WAS

Edinson Volquez   PIT

T.J. House   CLE

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ MIN

@ KC

 

TBA

Bruce Chen   KC

Cliff Lee   PHI

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

vs. SF

vs. ARI

 

Ryan Vogelsong   SF

Josh Collmenter   ARI

Bud Norris   BAL

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ LAA

@ SEA

 

TBA

Roenis Elias   SEA

Miguel Gonzalez   BAL

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ LAA

@ SEA

 

TBA

TBA

J.A. Happ   TOR

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. BOS

@ NYY

 

Jake Peavy   BOS

Chase Whitley   NYY

Vidal Nuno   ARI

7/21/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. DET

@ PHI

 

Justin Verlander   DET

Roberto Hernandez   PHI

Collin McHugh   HOU

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ OAK

vs. MIA

 

Scott Kazmir   OAK

TBA

Tom Koehler   MIA

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ ATL

@ HOU

 

TBA

Jarred Cosart   HOU

Drew Hutchison   TOR

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

vs. BOS

@ NYY

 

John Lackey   BOS

Shane Greene   NYY

Roenis Elias   SEA

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. BAL

 

Jonathon Niese   NYM

Bud Norris   BAL

Roberto Hernandez   PHI

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. SF

vs. ARI

 

Matt Cain   SF

Vidal Nuno   ARI

Justin Verlander   DET

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ ARI

@ LAA

 

Vidal Nuno   ARI

TBA

John Lackey   BOS

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ TOR

@ TB

 

Drew Hutchison   TOR

Chris Archer   TB

The top sub-tier consists of deGrom down to Niese. deGrom has silenced those who thought his mediocre minor league numbers spelled out a short term opportunity to pitch for the Mets. He is striking out batters, refusing to hand out free passes and limiting hits, too. Anything not to like? Volquez is coming off a nice little four game QS string, where he has allowed only three earned runs. The 2:1 K/BB ratio is not exciting over those four games, but he did hurt himself with a four walk outing against Philly, or the numbers would be more palatable. Odorizzi has only allowed more than two earned runs once over his last seven outings, and that was a three earned run effort against the Yankees on the road. With a 116:39 K/BB ratio on the season, he is a fine young pitcher that should be owned in more than just three quarters of leagues. Vogelsong has been pitching well of late, although you wouldn't necessarily notice with him being in the midst of a four game losing streak. During those four outings, he has given up one, two, three and two earned runs, while racking up 232 strikeouts and allowing only three walks. He is suffering through some bad luck, but still giving his owners the stats they want, with the exception of those elusive wins. Niese is coming back after a shoulder issue, but looking at his past production, you have to be hopeful that he can continue to twirl some useful innings, perhaps getting back to his strikeout ways as well. He pitches almost as well on the road as at home, so his match ups are not a concern this week.

The next sub-tier runs from Peavy to House. Peavy is another hard luck pitcher, as he has pitched well enough to have won several games in the recent past, but just cannot get the run support he needs. He is posting decent enough strikeout numbers and has corralled the wayward pitches that led to an inflated walk rate earlier in the season. He may be moving to a new team, as the Red Sox wallow through the 2014 post-World Series blahs, which could boost his win total. Stults has settled into the Padres' rotation, pitching well in his last five starts since mid June. He is owned in less than 5% of league, and while the soft tosser will never rack up the Ks, he also doesn't walk many and thus provides his owners with nice peripherals when he limits the hits. I would prefer him to be pitching at home, but also am not worried tremendously with his two opponents this week, as maybe he can record some strikeouts in Atlanta. Morales is coming off a couple of games where he held the opposition to one earned run at Coors Field. Pitching at home does not seem to bother him, and he is recording nearly a strikeout per inning, although he will need to stop walking hitters to continue his success. House, if he can pitch into the later innings is a decent option in the two games against division rivals Minnesota and Kansas City this coming week. He is not going to blow away a ton of batters, but as an extreme ground baller, he has a chance to put up decent numbers, as he also limits the walks, posting a 2.73 K/BB ratio so far in 45 innings in the majors.

Lee and Norris form their own sub-tier, as both are coming off injury. We know what Lee will provide as a SP, and while I might have a bit of trepidation about him in his initial start, you should consider trying to acquire him if he does stumble a bit this week. Norris was pitching pretty well prior to his groin injury, although he was roughed up by Washington pretty badly on July 9th. He is nothing spectacular, but does provide some Ks and has the ability to provide useful peripherals.

Gonzalez, Happ, Nuno and McHugh for the next sub-tier. Gonzalez threw a couple of eight inning QS before the break, and while he can give you strikeouts, he also walks too many hitters to be truly effective on a consistent basis. I would prefer him at home, but he could surprise this week...but prolly not. Happ, Nuno and McHugh have all been guilty of inconsistent performance, notably letting in a bunch of earned runs. If you want to risk your stat line in a H2H league, these are the guys you want on your roster. Otherwise, it is too tough to pick match ups to rely on them.

The final tier consists of pitchers that I will take a chance on in the right circumstances, although their recent play scares me. Koehler has the occasional blow up game, but overall pitches adequately for a back of the rotation arm. Hutchison is coming off a stinker of a game against the Rays, but you can generally count on him for decent strikeout numbers, as well as the occasional gem. Otherwise, his pitching is generally acceptable. Elias has been in a downward spiral since the end of June, allowing five, five and six earned runs in his past three games. He was just alright for a while this season, and like a lot of inconsistent pitchers, can give you a good outing or two, but you'd do best to avoid him for the present, until he figures out how to close down opposing hitters again. Hernandez also has good games in his repetoire, but the occasional blow ups are killer. He can post nice strikeouts on occasion, but those efforts are few and far between. Avoid him unless you feel prescient and can predict his next good start. Verlander and Lackey should find themselves back where they belong soon enough, which is in the top tier of SPs. But I've been saying that about Verlander for weeks now, and despite some signs he is correcting whatever is wrong with his mechanics, he still is not able to avoid the disastrous inning that derails his otherwise excellent starts. Lackey I tend to think will recover before Verlander, as his struggles took place over a three game stretch in late June/early July. A decline in strikeouts is troubling, but he is still not handing out the walks, so I have some faith in his recovery back to ace like status sometime soon.

Not On My Roster

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Chase Whitley   NYY

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. TEX

vs. TOR

 

TBA

J.A. Happ   TOR

Scott Carroll   CHW

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. KC

@ MIN

 

Bruce Chen   KC

TBA

Shane Greene   NYY

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

vs. TEX

vs. TOR

 

Miles Mikolas   TEX

Drew Hutchison   TOR

Bruce Chen   KC

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

@ CHW

vs. CLE

 

Scott Carroll   CHW

T.J. House   CLE

Jimmy Nelson   MIL

7/22/2014

7/27/2014

 

vs. CIN

vs. NYM

 

Homer Bailey   CIN

Jacob deGrom   NYM

Miles Mikolas   TEX

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ NYY

vs. OAK

 

Shane Greene   NYY

Sonny Gray   OAK

Jeremy Guthrie   KC

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

@ CHW

vs. CLE

 

Chris Sale   CHW

Josh Tomlin   CLE

Wily Peralta   MIL

7/21/2014

7/26/2014

 

vs. CIN

vs. NYM

 

Mat Latos   CIN

Jonathon Niese   NYM

I am not interested in using any of these eight pitchers this scoring period, as none have demonstrated to my satisfaction an ability to consistently miss bats and keep runners from circling the bases. Peralta and Guthrie are perhaps not worthy of being cut just yet, but I wouldn't want to rely on them for one start, let alone two in a week.

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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