Summer officially ends on Monday, but baseball goes on. As pennant races tighten, the need for pitching grows for thoseDavid Price Detroit Tigers fantasy owners fighting to win their leagues. Thus, here is this week's two start pitcher analysis. Plenty of options to explore, especially in the middle tier. Just be careful if you use the pitchers at the bottom of the middle tier, as their results could jump up and bite you.

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Start 'em If You Own 'em

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

David Price DET

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ CLE

vs. SF

 

Corey Kluber CLE

Madison Bumgarner SF

Corey Kluber CLE

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

vs. DET

vs. CHW

 

David Price DET

Chris Sale CHW

Adam Wainwright STL

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. PIT

@ MIL

 

Jeff Locke PIT

Yovani Gallardo MIL

Julio Teheran ATL

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. PHI

@ MIA

 

Cole Hamels PHI

Henderson Alvarez MIA

Lance Lynn STL

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

vs. PIT

@ MIL

 

Gerrit Cole PIT

Jimmy Nelson MIL

Tyson Ross SD

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

vs. ARI

@ COL

 

Trevor Cahill ARI

Jorge De La Rosa COL

Zack Wheeler NYM

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ MIA

@ CIN

 

Henderson Alvarez MIA

Mat Latos CIN

Gio Gonzalez WAS

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ LAD

vs. PHI

 

Roberto Hernandez LAD

Cole Hamels PHI

James Paxton Seattle MarinersAs I say every week, these pitchers are ones that I would start without hesitation, no matter who they face or whatever venue they are playing in this week. This could have been a larger selection, but the top guys in the next tier need to prove to me that they belong before I elevate their status.

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Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Drew Smyly TB

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

vs. BOS

vs. BAL

 

Rubby De La Rosa BOS

Kevin Gausman BAL

James Paxton SEA

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ OAK

@ TEX

 

Sonny Gray OAK

Nick Tepesch TEX

Yordano Ventura KC

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. TEX

@ NYY

 

Colby Lewis TEX

Shane Greene NYY

Gerrit Cole PIT

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ STL

@ CHC

 

Lance Lynn STL

Jacob Turner CHC

Hector Santiago LAA

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ HOU

@ MIN

 

Brad Peacock HOU

Tommy Milone MIN

Carlos Carrasco CLE

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. DET

vs. CHW

 

TBA

Jose Quintana CHW

Roenis Elias SEA

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ OAK

@ TEX

 

Jason Hammel OAK

Colby Lewis TEX

Mat Latos CIN

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ BAL

vs. NYM

 

Bud Norris BAL

Zack Wheeler NYM

Tim Hudson SF

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ COL

@ DET

 

Franklin Morales COL

TBA

Cole Hamels PHI

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ ATL

@ WAS

 

Julio Teheran ATL

Gio Gonzalez WAS

Phil Hughes MIN

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ BAL

vs. LAA

 

Kevin Gausman BAL

Matt Shoemaker LAA

Yovani Gallardo MIL

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ CHC

vs. STL

 

Jake Arrieta CHC

Adam Wainwright STL

Shane Greene NYY

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. BOS

vs. KC

 

Joe Kelly BOS

Yordano Ventura KC

Jimmy Nelson MIL

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ CHC

vs. STL

 

Jacob Turner CHC

Lance Lynn STL

Jeremy Hellickson TB

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. TOR

vs. BAL

 

R.A. Dickey TOR

Bud Norris BAL

Wade Miley ARI

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ SD

@ LAD

 

Odrisamer Despaigne SD

Roberto Hernandez LAD

Trevor Cahill ARI

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ SD

@ LAD

 

Tyson Ross SD

Hyun-Jin Ryu LAD

Kevin Gausman BAL

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

vs. MIN

@ TB

 

Phil Hughes MIN

Drew Smyly TB

Jason Hammel OAK

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. SEA

vs. HOU

 

Roenis Elias SEA

Dallas Keuchel HOU

Nick Tepesch TEX

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ KC

vs. SEA

 

Jeremy Guthrie KC

James Paxton SEA

Joe Kelly BOS

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ NYY

vs. TOR

 

Shane Greene NYY

R.A. Dickey TOR

Bud Norris BAL

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. CIN

@ TB

 

Mat Latos CIN

Jeremy Hellickson TB

R.A. Dickey TOR

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

@ TB

@ BOS

 

Jeremy Hellickson TB

Joe Kelly BOS

Jacob Turner CHC

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. MIL

vs. PIT

 

Jimmy Nelson MIL

Gerrit Cole PIT

Franklin Morales COL

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. SF

vs. SD

 

Tim Hudson SF

Odrisamer Despaigne SD

Roberto Hernandez LAD

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. WAS

vs. ARI

 

Gio Gonzalez WAS

Wade Miley ARI

Drew Smyly Tampa Bay RaysThe first sub-tier begins with Smyly and runs down through Elias. Smyly has been superb since moving to the Rays in the David Price trade. His problem is that the Rays are going to limit him to 150-160 innings this season and he is already at 141.1 innings. So get these last two starts in and enjoy his excellence. Don't worry that the Mariners sent Paxton down to Triple-A, he will be back on September 1st and will take the mound for his two scheduled starts. He has been extraordinarily stingy with earned runs in his past five starts, giving up two earned runs once, and not yielding an earned run over 6.2 innings in his last start against the Rangers. Ventura was scratched from his last start with back tightness, so keep an eye on his status before plugging him in. He is a good source for strikeouts, and is working on a six game QS streak. Cole has also been sent to the minors for a short time to allow the Pirates to add a bat to their bench, but he'll be back September 1. He is also on a two game QS streak since he came off the DL. Santiago has allowed only three earned runs over his last four appearances, covering 22.2 innings, and has been striking out batters at nearly a batter per inning pace, to boot. Carrasco is working on a three game QS streak, and has allowed only two earned runs over his last 24.2 innings, as well as racking up 24 Ks over that stretch, too. Finally, Elias is another young pitcher who will soon be sitting when his inning limit is reached. His problem is that he doesn't pitch deep into games, but the innings he pitches are superb. Over his past six starts, he has allowed more than one earned run only once, and in that start he held the White Sox to only two earned runs, albeit over 5.2 innings. Because his innings are being closely watched, he isn't much of a source of wins, but the peripherals are great.

Mat Latos Cincinnati RedsLatos tops the second sub-tier which ends with Tepesch. Latos keeps going up and down, giving up one earned run, then following that game up with a three or four earned run effort. He still provides strikeouts, coming off a 10 K effort against the Cubs in his last start. If you don't mind the ERA and WHIP being a bit high, he's your guy. Hudson has gotten over a short rough patch, holding opponents to single earned runs over his past two outings, although he has only one win in those games for the effort. The eight inning start against the Rockies was especially frustrating, but as he has done all season, he is simply a steady presence for your rotation. Hamels strikeout numbers are trending downward, just as he has started to give up more earned runs in his appearances. His last three outing have been three earned run efforts, and with the lack of run support he receives, it is no wonder he has a 7-6 record. Hughes had been on a nice streak, until his last start where the Royals pinned four earned runs on him. He is a good source for Ks, and if he can go back to his ways of allowing zero or one earned run over six or seven innings, then he is well worth starting, even with his match ups against the Orioles and Angels this week. Gallardo looked as though he had rediscovered his strikeout abilities, but that isn't so of late. I am not a fan of his walk rate, but overall he has become a dependable if not exciting SP again. Greene has helped put the Yankees into the race for the wildcard in the American League, but I worry about his inconsistent results. He can be amazing, holding teams to two or less earned runs and racking up excellent strikeout numbers, or he can give up three or more runs and not miss many bats. You certainly take your chances with him, but the highs are worth the occasional misfire.Nelson's stretch of five consecutive QS has now turned into a two game two loss situation. He has immense talent, but is going through a small rough patch and I would expct him to rebound soon enough. Hellickson is not dependable at all, and thus he sits this low on the list. He can be a great provider of strikeouts and hold the opponent to limited runs, or he can get knocked out after four innings or so. I don't like to take on risk and am avoiding Hellboy for now. Miley is another inconsistent SP, frustrating his owners when he puts up a stinker like he did five starts ago, when the Royals hit him around to the tune of ten earned runs. Since then it has been three, one, zero and three earned run efforts. Too up and down to trust in my opinion. Cahill, Miley's teammate, is coming off a 3/1 inning outing where he let in six earned runs by the visiting Dodgers. He also has been on a downward trend with Ks his past three games, and has been walking too many hitters to be effective. Gausman has the potential you want to see in a young pitcher, but he is suffering some growing pains in the majors. He has gotten his control in order his past two outings, but you would like to see more strikeouts and less earned runs in your two start pitcher. Hammel was in real danger of losing his rotation spot, but he has been turning it on, with the exception of the three inning, five earned run effort in Atlanta one start before his last appearance, a seven inning, one earned run effort against the Astros. Those who have read me over the years know I adore Hammel, and while he had me worried, it looks like I can enjoy owing him again. Tepesch wraps this sub-tier up, and while I am not that high on any Ranger pitcher this year because the team is struggling big time, he has been decent, but the lack of Ks makes him less than desirable as a SP. That and the occasional blow up game, like the six earned run effort against the Royals two starts ago. You would have to be desperate to start him, especially when he faces the Royals on the road and then against the Mariners at home.

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The final sub-tier opens with Kelly and wraps with Hernandez, and is comprised of pitchers that I wouldn't necessarily trust to start a game for me, let alone two in the same week. That being said, they can put up a good start, but a lot depends on the match up, and I don't like any of these guys this week. Kelly, despite giving up seven earned runs to the Astros mid-month, has been a strong starter for the Red Sox overall, since moving to the AL. More strikeouts would make him more attractive, as would better control. He could turn things around, but I will wait until he does so before I add him to my rotation. Norris has had a couple of bad outings, especially the rain shortened start where he only went two innings against the Cubs and gave up four earned runs on four hits and a walk. He was good in past because of the strikeouts he offered, but now he is just a back of the rotation SP.  Dickey is frustrating as he is as capable of twirling a gem, as he is of giving up four or five earned runs. He is a long way from his Cy Young season, and I would let him sit. Turner, like Dickey, is capable of great performances, and terrible outings, too. Given a lack of strikeout ability, he is not worth trusting as things go down to the wire in your league. Morales has two home games this upcoming week, and while he does pitch somewhat better at home than on the road, that still doesn't say much for him. He doesn't pitch deep into games and any SP with a 5.14 ERA and 1.59 WHIP should not really be trusted. Hernandez wraps up this tier, and while he is not a terrible option, he is also not someone you can expect to push you over the top in your match ups. He does pitch better at home, though, so if you wanted someone for an end of the week spot start, then using him when he faces the Diamondbacks could give decent results.

Not On My Roster

Starting Pitcher

First Start/Opponent

Second Start/Opponent

Tommy Milone MIN

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. CHW

vs. LAA

 

Hector Noesi CHW

Hector Santiago LAA

Colby Lewis TEX

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ KC

vs. SEA

 

Yordano Ventura KC

Roenis Elias SEA

Rubby De La Rosa BOS

9/1/2014

9/6/2014

 

@ TB

vs. TOR

 

Drew Smyly TB

J.A. Happ TOR

Henderson Alvarez MIA

9/1/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. NYM

vs. ATL

 

Zack Wheeler NYM

Julio Teheran ATL

Odrisamer Despaigne SD

9/2/2014

9/7/2014

 

vs. ARI

@ COL

 

Wade Miley ARI

Franklin Morales COL

The five starting pitchers in the final tier are just not pitching well enough to trust even with a good match up. I would advise you to leave them on the wire until they can demonstrate some dependability on the hill.

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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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Cole Hamels - "Maybe Yes, Maybe No" - are you kidding me????


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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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