We return from the All-Star break with a small batch of set and forget two start options for Week 16. There are not exactly a whole lot of pitchers that are potential two start options in the middle tier, with only 11 SP this scoring period to consider. The bottom tier has nearly as many pitchers as the top two tiers combined.
Please realize that these articles feature most recent rotation information available when the article is written, but that circumstances do change due to weather conditions, injuries and general craziness with managers. If a pitcher listed here as having two starts ends up with one (or perhaps none) in the upcoming week, apologies but this article is meant to provide analysis, it is up to the manager to set the lineups or rotations.
Without further ado, here are this week’s two start pitchers:
There are only six starters that deserve consideration as set and forget options in Week 16. The top four are regular residents of this tier, with McCullers and Sabathia also joining the mix. McCullers has a couple of winnable starts, and is backed by the Houston offense, making him a good option this scoring period. Sabathia has pitched better on the road this season by a large margin, and thus he jumps up to the top tier.
Happ was roughed up in his last start against Houston prior to the All-Star break, ending a string of five consecutive QS. He offers good strikeout potential (8.85 K/9 over his 11 starts) and has excellent control (2.07 BB/9 over 61.0 innings in 2017). He does not have the best matchups, but he has been much more successful on the road this season.
Feldman has a pair of home starts in Week 16, although the second start against the Marlins looks more enticing than the first contest when the Nationals come calling. He has pitched much better at home this season, posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 54 innings. He generates a lot of groundballs, as evidenced by his 1.82 GB/FB ratio, which helps overcome his average strikeout numbers (86 Ks over 102.1 innings this season).
Nova sports an attractive set of ratio stats, with a 3.21 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over his 18 starts. He has been excellent at home this season, with a stellar 2.63 ERA, so he is a good option in his first trip to the hill even against the Brewers. The fly in the ointment, as it is for many SPs, is that his second start takes place at Coors Field, never an inviting venue for opposing pitchers. He relies on his excellent control to offset weak strikeout potential (1.12 BB/9, 5.00 K/9) and his ability to goad opposing batters into hitting the ball into the dirt (1.75 GB/FB over 94 innings). Use him against Milwaukee, but consider benching him when he head to Denver.
Rodriguez is coming off a knee injury, and pitched well in his third rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket, so there is hope he can resume his mostly effective performance this season. He is an excellent source of Ks with a 9.59 K/9 rate, and the 3.54 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are not unattractive, either. He faces a couple of teams currently playing below .500 ball, although the Angels should have Mike Trout back when the Red Sox head to Anaheim for his second start of the scoring period. Still, both starts are worthy of consideration in Week 16.
Miranda has been a veritable yo-yo this season, twirling a gem then getting banged around the next time he toes the rubber. He is coming off a poor outing against Kansas City, where he allowed six earned runs over five innings, allowing six hits, two walks and a pair of homers. That trend seems unlikely to continue as his first game post-All Star break is against the Astros on the road. His home start against Yankees is no walk in the park, either, but he has been much more effective at home than when away from Safeco Field. He is not a great strikeout artist, posting a 6.92 K/9 through 104 innings, but a 4.15 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are still useful ratio stats 2017 season featuring general offensive firepower throughout the majors.
Wheeler will be on a pitch count in the low-100s this season, as he comes back from Tommy John surgery as well as a biceps injury earlier this season. Given his propensity to issue free passes witnessed by his inflated 3.79 BB/9 over 15 comprising 76 innings in 2017. On the plus side, he produces Ks at a good pace (8.29 K/9) and generates more than his fair share of grounders (1.83 GB/FB ratio). He would move up the tier if he was not facing both his opponents at Citi Field this week, as his ERA at home is more than one run worse than on the road (5.35 vs 4.34). Another positive is that he faces a pair of teams who have struggled on the road in the Cards and A’s.
Suter joined the Brewers rotation when Chase Anderson hit the DL with an oblique injury. He faces a pair of sub-.500 teams in Week 16, and will look to keep up his production with two starts this scoring period. He is a good K source (8.23 K/9) and has only allowed one homer over his 27.1 innings this season to date. He also brings an excellent 2.96 ERA into the second half, and his 2.83 FIP suggests his success is valid.
Ross has managed to lower his ERA from a season high 9.35, which resulted from a seven earned run drubbing over three innings against Toronto, to a still horrible 5.33. He is an inconsistent option for your rotation, especially given his poor strikeout numbers and lack of control (1.38 K/BB, 18:13 K/BB over his five appearances). The start at Baltimore is where you might want to consider using him in Week 16.
Cashner is another erratic SP in the Texas rotation (notice a trend here?) who does not strike out many batters, and struggles with his control (4.43 K/9, 3.98 BB/9). He also pitches much better at home than on the road, making him a risky option in Week 16. As with his teammate Ross, the start to consider using him is against the Orioles.
Blach continues the trend of low strikeout pitchers (4.21 K/9 over his 92 innings in 2017) but in his favor, he does have excellent control with a 2.05 BB/9. He has a pair of home starts, another point in his favor this scoring period, and the matchup against San Diego in his second start is the more favorable option.
Bundy wraps up the middle tier, and would not have made it here but for the fact he has two home games this week. His ERA is nearly a full run better at Camden Yards than on the road (3.86 vs 4.80). Keep in mind, though, that he faces a couple of powerful offenses in Texas and Houston if you are considering employing his talents in Week 16.
The two Cardinal pitchers that lead off this tier are better options in St. Louis than on the road, and thus should not be counted on this week. Teheran has failed to live up his promise, and has been lit up at home. Odorizzi had a nice stretch but has since fallen on hard times, and therefore returns to the bottom tier where he opened the season. Unless you are incredibly desperate for innings, it would be wise to avoid any of the SPs that make up this group. If you really like a matchup, say Montero against the A;s in his second start of the week, or perhaps Romano taking on the Marlins at home, have at it but do not be shocked if that decision turns out to haunt you.
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