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How many times have you completely written off Francisco Liriano?  Seriously.  Probably four or five times, right?  I know I’ve uttered the phrase “f**k that guy, I’m never using him again” at least once a year for the last five years.  That’s the way it is with him — the K-potential has always made him an interesting option for fantasy streaming, but until this year, I don’t think he’s ever helped my team.  Not once.  Which is what makes Liriano’s 2013 production so absurd, and it’s definitely no fluke at this point.  Through roughly 90 IP he’s posted a 2.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while whiffing more than a batter per inning.  And given his sub-3 FIP, the peripheral numbers bode well, too.  I’m sure I’ll have to write him off again at some point, but it’s amazing to consider the path the 29-year-old Liriano has taken to transition from never-using-him-again streamer status, to one of the best arms in the league.  He goes twice this week, making his debut in the must start tier.  The rest of the week 18 two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

MUST START

Francisco Liriano (STL, COL);  A.J. Burnett (STL, COL); Matt Garza (LAA, @OAK); Jered Weaver (@TEX, TOR); C.J. Wilson (@TEX, TOR)

  • A couple new names in this tier this week.  Start ‘em all.

FIRST TIER

Zack Wheeler (@MIA, KC); Jeff Samardzija (MIL, LAD); Kyle Lohse (@CHC, WAS);  Mike Leake (@SD, STL); Scott Kazmir (CWS, @MIA); Derek Holland (LAA, @OAK); Wei-Yin Chen (HOU, SEA); Felix Doubront (TB, ARI)

  • Quietly, Zack Wheeler (40% owned in Y! leagues) has been very effective of late.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s been dominant, but since the calendar rolled over into July, the rookie is 3-0 with a sub-3 ERA through 4 starts.  Wheeler gets two cupcakes in week 18 and I’m starting him everywhere I can get my hands on him.  Scott Kazmir (16%), who’s allowed only 4 runs over his past 4 starts, gets a friendly schedule in the week ahead, too.  Wei-Yin Chen (35%) is another guy who’s been stringing together solid outings.  He faces Houston and Seattle next week, so yeah, I’m starting him.  I’m also gonna continue riding Felix Doubront (26%) while he’s hot — he hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER in two months now.  Kyle Lohse (61%) and Mike Leake (72%) are still surprisingly under-owned, but the rest of this group is surely owned.

SECOND TIER

Jeremy Hefner (@MIA, KC); Nathan Eovaldi (NYM, CLE); Jacob Turner (NYM, CLE); Ricky Nolasco (NYY, @CHC); Esmil Rogers (@OAK, @LAA); A.J. Griffin (TOR, TEX); Bud Norris (@BAL, @MIN); Jake Peavy (@CLE, @DET); Brandon Workman (SEA, ARI); Zach McAllister (CWS, @MIA); Jorge De La Rosa (@ATL, @PIT)

  • Tier two features plenty of streamable tw0-start options for week 18.  Both Marlins — Nate Eovaldi (3%) and Jacob Turner (25%) — are intriguing options with plenty of upside.  I’m confident using either this week, but Turner is the steadier of the two if you’re choosing between them.  Brandon Workman (1%) is available just about everywhere, as folks have been slow to take note of his consecutive quality outings versus Oakland and Tampa Bay.  Jeremy Hefner (14%) has hit a bit of a rough patch over his past two turns, but starts against the Marlins and the Royals should be able to get him back on track.  Zach McAllister (7%) also gets a couple sexy week 18 opponents, facing the White Sox and the Marlins.  Esmil Rogers (3%) continues to pop up here in the second tier during his two-start weeks, and that has little to do with match-ups — he’s just been surprisingly reliable as a starter this season.  Bud Norris (14%), Jorge De La Rosa (47%) and Ricky Nolasco (40%) are the last of the streamable options for the week ahead.

THIRD TIER

Ian Kennedy (@TB, @BOS); John Lannan (SF, ATL); Juan Nicasio (@ATL, @PIT); Carlos Villanueva (MIL, LAD); Jake Westbrook (@PIT, @CIN); Mark Buehrle (@OAK, @LAA); Mike Pelfrey (KC, HOU); Roberto Hernandez (@BOS, SF); Alex Wood (COL, @PHI); Brandon Beachy (COL, @PHI)

  • Brandon Beachy was a second tier guy when I initially put this together, but I’m not entirely comfortable using him in his first week back in the bigs after a long rehab process.  Still, if you’re dipping into tier three this week, you won’t find bigger upside than Beachy.  Jake Westbrook continues to pitch to a sub-3 ERA, and he’s a good bet to get a W or two, considering the team he chucks for, but his 4.59 xFIP is tough to ignore.  I’m gonna steer clear of that time bomb.  I’d do my best to avoid the rest of these guys, too.

DON’T START

Sean O’Sullivan (CIN, NYY); Barry Zito (@PHI, @TB); John Danks (@CLE, @DET); Joe Saunders (@BOS, @BAL)

  •  I repeat:  don’t start.
  1. Fister Furbush says:
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    Miguel Alfredo Gonalez. SP from Cuba

    Signed with the Phillies tonight. He has to go throne or two minor league games before he is brought up.

    Since you’re also the prospect guy, can you give me some insight on this guy?

    Thanks Scott
    -josh

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Honestly haven’t seen too much of him, but on the surface, I see a MLB-ready arm with a deep arsenal full of deception… That should lead to good K numbers & fantasy relevance as soon as he surfaces.

  2. bossmanjunior says:
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    Need your advise on a couple things…

    1) Trying to trade my Altuve for Zobrist. While Altuve has been slightly better this season, I have Hill at 2B and Franklin at SS, so this would address my bigger need. Would you throw in either Parker or Ogando to sweeten the deal if necessary?

    2) Starlin Castro was dropped in my league but I don’t know if I should bother picking him up. I would have to drop Franklin or Altuve, but both are producing right now. Castro is hitting for a good average in July (.304 as of yesterday) but still isn’t offering much in the SB or HR department. Advise?

    3) Who would you drop for Ryu and/or Lincecum: Erasmo, Parker, Lester, Ogando, Kluber

    4) when do you think Bogaerts gets called up and what kind of numbers would you expect? Im stashing him in my n/a spot right now in a 10 team league.

    Thanks Scott!

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @bossmanjunior: sorry i just noticed this question just after typing the same one 2 spots below. I’d guess bogaerts is just about the best N/A player to stash right now.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      1 — Ogando + Altuve is fine for Zobrist, considering your needs.
      2 — I’d take Castro over Franklin
      3 — Ogando
      4 — 2nd week of August, but that’s nothing more than a guess & could be a high-impact SS immediately…

  3. Joe says:
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    Ervin Santana has a JUICY 2-start. Where he at?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yes he does… not sure how he dropped off my sheet. Anyway he’s a high-end first tier guy with those match-ups… fringe must start.

  4. goodfold2 says:
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    i’m hearing rumblings about how bogaerts might be up earlier due to iglesias turning back into himself? heard anything

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I see the Boston media has started clamoring for it, but nothing firm from the Red Sox or from the rumor mill.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: well my team has led me to infiltrate the bos media then.

  5. Josh Freeman says:
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    Locke and Lynn get 2-starts this week as well. Where would you rate them?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cards calling up Lyons for the double header, so I don’t think Lynn will go twice… Locke already named the probable for Wednesday, so he’s lined up for 2 in week 19.

      • Josh Freeman says:
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        @Scott Evans: I think you’re right about Locke, but Lynn should be scheduled to pitch in the DH Tuesday with Lyons, making him a 2-starter.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Lynn’s a tier two guy if he’s going twice… not the easiest slate for the Cards this week.

  6. baby hippo says:
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    do you think chris davis for adam jones/kershaw is a good trade?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Davis for Jones + Kershaw? I like the Jones & Kershaw side.

  7. yeshcheese says:
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    Doubront has been on a tear, I don’t know what is more unbelievable – that ive streamed his every start for 2mos, or that nobody including me has fostered him. Where’s the love??

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yeah, he probably should be owned in all formats at this point.

  8. shibboleth says:
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    any love for Cingrani @ LAD?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like it.

  9. Vottomatic says:
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    Stream Johnson vs the Lastros today?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      It’s probably a safe stream, but I’m avoiding Johnson.

  10. Brooks Jacoby says:
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    Which side in each?

    Yu and Bruce for Cargo?

    Longoria and Holiday for Cargo (I have wright at 3b)

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cargo, Cargo, but it obviously depends on needs.

  11. fantasyvultures says:
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    Been holding onto Beachy and Pineda for the end run. Drop either fir potential of Miguel Alfredo gonzalez? Like that he’s not coming off an injury. Beachy’s wildness scares me. Thoughts on taking a flier.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      You can probably drop Beachy for him… might wait to see Beachy’s first start, though…

  12. smellin sara silvermans buttman says:
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    ??? Has anyone had issues w/ the drop/add button on ESPN? I somehow got hit with 2 erroneous pickups this week thus ;losing 2 valuable drop/adds. Anybody?? Please help

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I haven’t had any issues…

  13. Dirtbag says:
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    Need advice. Deep league.
    Choo and J. Zimmerman for my Beltre. I need bags and runs
    Is this enough? Thanks!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Sure, ‘d take Choo & Zimm for Beltre.

  14. Doc says:
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    Would you give Harvey to get tulo or should I ask for more?

    I’m about 25 innings over the cap…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Getting Tulo? Take it.

  15. JJ says:
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    I need to figure out what to do with this team.
    12 team H2H 5X5 KEEPER league(we keep 10)
    I have 2 guys in KEMP and GRANDERSON that should be coming off of the disabled list soon so I will have to make some room.
    My team
    C-W.ROSARIO
    1B-E.HOSMER
    2B-D.PEDROIA
    SS-H.RAMIREZ
    3B-B.LAWRIE
    OF-J.WERTH
    OF-C.CRISP
    OF-D.FOWLER
    UTIL-A.LAROCHE, JJ HARDY
    DL-M.KEMP, C.GRANDERSON, J.GYORKO

    SP-M.HARVEY
    SP-M.BUMGARNER
    SP-C.HAMELS
    RP-A.CHAPMAN
    RP-C.JANSSEN
    P-K.UEHARA
    P-J.BENOIT
    BENCH-J.FERNANDEZ, M.GARZA, K.MEDLEN, G.COLE, Z.WHEELER, E.RAMIREZ

    GYORKO is technically off of the DL but I didnt activate him as of yet so he is still in that spot on my roster. Both he and Laroche have basically done nothing for me lately so I dont have any real problem with dropping both.

    If I dropped both I could pick up a bat
    Best available FA
    A.CABRERA
    L.SCOTT
    J.SMOAK
    D.VICIEDO
    K.JOHNSON
    D.UGGLA

    Any advice appreciated!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Drop Gyorko & Laroche, scoop Smoak.

      • JJ says:
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        @Scott Evans:
        Im surprised that you didnt say grab Asdrubal.

        what would you do in about a week when Kemp and Granderson come back?

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          See if Smoak is still hot… if not, cut him to make room.

          • JJ says:
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            @Scott Evans:
            Dont mean to be annoying but I would have to cut 2 to activate Kemp and Grandy

  16. Sky

    Sky says:
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    I saw Liriano’s first start this year and fell in love. Twins management are idiots. Traded Cingrani for him to someone who didn’t trust him in my keeper league and he offered the trade. Feel like I scammed him but you can’t do that if they offer the trade, right?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      No, gotta prey on the weaklings & teach them lessons. How deep is the keeper & will you be keeping Lirano?

  17. flanwagon says:
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    I’d like to pick up Kazmi this week… don’t know who to drop though. Current SPs are:

    Kershaw, Bumgarner, Moore, Samardzija, Liriano, TWood, Griffin, Colon, Chen, Wheeler, Cinigrani, Beachy….

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Well, don’t drop Kershaw… Beachy would be my cut.

  18. flanwagon says:
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    I’d like to pick up Kazmir this week… don’t know who to drop though. Current SPs are:

    Kershaw, Bumgarner, Moore, Samardzija, Liriano, TWood, Griffin, Colon, Chen, Wheeler, Cinigrani, Beachy….

    • JJ says:
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      @flanwagon:
      If you are set on grabbing him id drop Chen.

  19. Brooks Jacoby says:
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    Drop Cespedes yet? I have holiday coming off the DL

    • Brooks Jacoby says:
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      him or rollins (he is my brad miller insurance at SS)

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        No fringe pitchers to drop?

        • Brooks Jacoby says:
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          I can wait a few days and drop sport starter, but im rolling 3 deep hitter wise on my bench and am having problems making a trade.

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            Well don’t sacrifice flexibility in order to keep a bench bat that’s doing nothing for you. I’d cut Cespedes before I’d cut Rollins.

  20. Tom says:
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    So I’m in a win now situation in a dynasty league. I’m planning of trading profar soler wheeler urrutia for tulo and fister. What do you think about this deal

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      It’s definitely an overpay, but I’m always a proponent of winning now. Tulo & Fister is a nice take for ROS & that puts you in position to win ‘ship, you go for it.

      • Tom says:
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        @Scott Evans: who would I need to remove so I won’t be overpaying?

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          See if you can cut out Soler or Wheeler… preferably Soler.

          • Ryan says:
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            @Scott Evans: how about just profar wheeler urratia for tulo?

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              Sounds better.

  21. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    Sorry but I have a prospect question, is it time to start stashing Xander in 12 teamers? I’m hurting at MI and am going to need to be on top of everything at this point to finish with respectability. I don’t see why not at this point for the Sox

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Not too soon to stash if you have a spot for him. I have him in one deep format.

  22. peely says:
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    Which 2 would you keep from the following? Shane victorino, Eric young Jr, Brett Lawrie, kendrys Morales, chase headley

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Headley, Morales

  23. bossmanjunior says:
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    Thoughts on Erasmo thus far? Apparently Grey is ready to move on and Im holding him for his Twins start. His control has obviously been off his first couple starts.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’m not discouraged yet. I’m definitely holding him for tomorrow’s start.

  24. D. Jackson says:
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    Must start one fatty, and one fatty only. Thoughts?

    C.C. @SD
    Bartolo vs TOR

    Thanks. DJax

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Tough to sit Bartolo these days…

  25. DiRo says:
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    Need to start 3; Holland, Doubrant, King Felix, Smaradjiza, Bailey?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Holland, Doubront, Felix

  26. Justin says:
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    Hey Scott which pitcher out of these do you like the best for this week?

    Kyle Lohse (vs. cubs & nationals), AJ Burnett(vs cardinals & Rockies) , AJ Griffin (vs blue jays & rangers)

    Thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Burnett, but Lohse isn’t far behind.

  27. Matt .P. says:
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    I need to pick one SP for this upcoming week; who do you like better?

    Cole Hamels or Kyle Lohse?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Lohse.

  28. Field of Dreams says:
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    Which Pittsburgh Pirate do you like the best this week- Franciso Liriano or A.J. Burnett & would you start any them over the combo of Zack Grenike/Cole Hamels? My SP ace that I’m not moving to the bench is David Price

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Liriano over Greinke/Hamels

  29. Harris says:
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    Was offerred Matt Carpenter or Stanton for Archer. I’m in a h2h league. I’ve got lots of pitching and it’s kept me in the mix. Have 4 of top 8 in pts. My offense is streaky. I am leaning towards Carpenter because he plays 3 positions and is always good for 15 pts. Stanton’s tempting but I have Kemp,Puig,Gomez,Upton and Fowler. Streaky bunch. Carp seems like a surer thing. What do you think? Btw I start 6 SP’s and have Felix,Wainwright,Zimm,Colon,Garza,AJ Griff,Locke and Strailey.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I think we addressed this on my other thread.

  30. Mike says:
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    Hey I need to pick one to start this upcoming week; Kyle Lohse or Francisco Liriano

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Liriano.

  31. Jake the snake says:
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    I see that David Price starts tomorrow (Monday), I can’t see the rest of the week but is he a two-start pitcher? I’m starting him no matter what just was curious

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yeah, he’ll go twice.

  32. Bobby's world says:
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    Pick 1- Ervin Santana, cole Hamels or Francisco liriano

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Liriano

  33. Jason says:
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    im not convinced Jeff Samardzija is a 1st tier.

  34. Jon says:
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    Need to start one; Ervin Santana , cole Hamels or Francisco Liriano

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Liriano

  35. DiRo says:
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    When will Alfredo Gonzalez be available to pick up in ESPN leagues?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Good question.

      • Di Ro says:
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        @Scott Evans: I have fantasy dynasty leagues I need to dominate! lol

  36. T.J. says:
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    Yovani Gallardo also starts twice this week, @CHC and v. WAS. I traded Beltran for him earlier this year; that trade has sucked hard so far. I’m about ready to give up on him, but those are two pretty good matchups.

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