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The trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!

What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).

Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!

Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.

A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…

Must-Start

Felix Hernandez (ATL, CWS), Clayton Kershaw (LAA, @MIL), Max Scherzer (@NYY, @TOR), David Price (@NYY, @TOR)

Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles! Felix has the best matchups, so Felix is John. Kershaw is Paul, Scherzer being the old Tiger is George, and Price lookin’ kinda goofy gets to be Ringo.

First Tier

Jeff Samardzija (TB, MIN), Corey Kluber (CIN, @NYY), Zack Greinke (LAA, @MIL), Johnny Cueto (@CLE, MIA), Alex Cobb (@OAK, @CHC)

First of all, let me tell you how long it took me to finally find Jeff Samardzija in my secret Stat Cave database (some website you use every day). Couldn’t spell it. S-a-r-m-a-r-d-z-j-a. Nope. S-a-m-a-r-d-i-z-i-ja. Na-uh. S-a-m-a-r-d-z-j-i-z-h-a-n-d-m-y-b-a-d. Not it either. I was starting to feel like one of the Bobs in “Office Space,” and I was expecting Jeff to jump out of the computer at me to yell his name in my face like Samir. Hmmm…Samir … Samardzija! But there are real reasons to give Samardzija the stink eye, and not just because his goatee-mustache combo has this greasy Three Dog Night look to it. For one, his FIP. He’s currently ranked 33rd in MLB. That’s behind the likes of Ian Kennedy, Scott Kazmir and Dallas Keuchel and just above the likes of Henderson Alvarez, Jake Odorizzi and Bartolo Colon. You might say, well, that first group consists of some pretty good pitchers. And I would counter by saying well yes, but if the A’s had landed Keuchel or Kennedy a few weeks back in advance of the deadline, would people have been flipping their Lidz goin’ cray-cray? Nope. And then what if they had traded for Odorizzi or Colon? A’s fans woulda been like huh? His K/9 is down one whole point, but his BB/9 is down one whole point too, so that’s a wash there. I guess I just don’t like Samardzija because he’s not a winning pitcher. He went 9-13 for the Cubs in 2012, 8-13 last year, and 4-8 overall this year, but 2-7 before coming over from Chicago to Oakland. Fine, he pitched for the Cubs. But the past two years he earned those records with ERAs of 3.81 and 4.34, respectively. I just don’t think Samardzija is who we think he is. He’s not a rip-roaring blow your face off Number 1. Do you think Billy Beane goes all in and deals Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester at the deadline if Samardzija comes over and smokes the first five teams he faces? All that being said, Samardzija has a nice week set up for him.

Second Tier

Zack Wheeler (@WSH, @PHI), Tanner Roark (BAL, @ATL), Garrett Richards (@LAD, BOS), Gio Gonzalez (NYM, @ATL), Dallas Keuchel (@PHI, TEX)

Third Tier

Hiroki Kuroda (DET, CLE), Charlie Morton (MIA, SD), Jason Hammel (TB, MIN), Danny Duffy (@ARI, SF), Tim Hudson (@NYM, @KC), Matt Garza (SF, LAD), Kevin Gausman (@WSH, STL), Alfredo Simon (@CLE, MIA), Brandon McCarthy (DET, CLE), Tim Lincecum (@MIL, @KC), Brad Hand (@PIT, @CIN)

I feel OK about starting these guys. Some decent streamers here, with Morton pulling the best matchups. Simon has had an unexpectedly nice year, but he looks like he’s running out of gas, like he’s been piling Alfredo down his throat.

Fourth Tier

Dillon Gee (SF, @PHI), Mark Buehrle (BAL, DET), John Danks (TEX, @SEA), Bud Norris (@TOR, STL), Kyle Kendrick (HOU, NYM)

I don’t feel OK about starting these guys. You could start Buehrle hoping he reaches back and remembers that he once knew how to pitch in 2014, and you could start Tyler “Jason Biggs” Skaggs and hope he doesn’t make an insensitive Tweet about a plane crash. But there are better options. By the way, Zach McAllister was going to go in here, but the Indians sent him down with no word of a replacement.

Don’t Start

Joe Kelly (@STL, @LAA), Hector Noesi (TEX, @SEA), Phil Hughes (SD, @OAK), Travis Wood (@COL, TB), Nick Martinez (@CWS, @HOU), Wade Miley (KC, COL), Jordan Lyles (CHC, @ARI)

These are the guys you’ll see when you oversleep or forget to check your phone for probable pitchers in the morning. That being said, fantasy baseball isn’t real baseball or real life, so don’t let it ruin your day.

From Around The Web

  1. A-Aron says:
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    Nice list. Although Lackey won’t be a two-start option, due to being bumped up to tomorrow vs. the Brewers.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @A-Aron: thanks for the heads up!

  2. BootsyBaby says:
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    Why is everyone listing Skaggs as a decent two start option? Didn’t the Angels place him on the DL? I believe he cannot even pitch next week.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @BootsyBaby: Thanks for pointing that out – my bad. I never said he was a good option either way!

  3. Emilioooooo says:
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    Hey i need a win this upcoming week; drop tanaka who is a major question mark for zach wheeler – id then be rolling w/ Strasberg, cueto & wheeler & keuchel & Stroman at RP

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Emilioooooo: if you need wins do what you gotta do. I like Wheeler’s matchups, and i’d use him, but there’s minor risk there as he’s a youngin.

  4. Hondo says:
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    This is like the 3rd site that doesn’t have Lackeys schedule right.I almost used my last move of the week on him this morning.

    Moral of story-trust noone.LOL

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Hondo: you are trusting whoever told you about how he doesn’t have 2 starts. just trust those guys first. or better yet look at a schedule first.

  5. Joe says:
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    Pete should i start rick porcello vs colorado ?

  6. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    Even though I made that statement regarding the Cardinals getting the most out of mediocre arms. I’m still stacking Brewers against Masterson in a DFS roster or two this evening.

    I wonder if Derek Lilliquist has the same magic as Dave Duncan? Who knows, but if they can get Masterson to harness his stuff and start throwing strikes again he could be a very solid #3. Last year he was a 9 K/9, mid 3 BB/9 guy. There’s obviously something wrong with him this year.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Ralph Lifshitz: guess we got our answer. same ol masterson

  7. Nivk says:
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    Turns out Khris Davis wasn’t in today’s lineup because Roenicke wanted to see Parra start in left, not because of Davis’ calf tightness. Apparently they’ll be splitting time now? I’m thinking of cutting ties, and Marcell Ozuna is available on waivers. Should I make a move? Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nivk: I would, Ozuna gets everyday at bats. Davis is really only a startable option against lefties.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: @Nivk: At this stage of the season I guess you gotta dump.

  8. Mark says:
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    Who are some good RPs with SP eligibility? I’m trying to bring down my ratios by dumping off some crummy SPs. I already have Britton and W. Davis, and am looking to add Maurer, Mejia, and Delgado. Any other suggestions?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Mark: Since he’s been demoted to the pen you can add Jesse Chavez to that list. Don’t know how prominent of a role he’ll have but I’d keep an eye on him.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Mark: mcgowan if you have holds league.

  9. lerryjee says:
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    Am I being overly suspicious or does this reek of collusion:

    Chris Davis, Robbie Cano and Strasburg

    for

    Blackmon, Bonifiacio, Koji U.

    • huggz says:
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      @lerryjee: Yea, that’s horsefeathers. I’d be raising hell if I were in that league.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @huggz: @lerryjee: nuts. sounds like some buddies having some fun.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Pete Nice: yeah, that’s worse than this one that i caused a huge fit over in 20 man dynasty.
          arenado/t.ross/1st round/2nd round (these picks aren’t worth much since teams can keep up to 25 players) for
          betances/a.warren (this owner is simply dumbshit NYY fanboy)

  10. Bye Felicia says:
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    Angels just ruined my fantasy season! The curse of Ernesto! They trade this piece of trash, (for another irrelevant pitcher), He pegs goldy, broken hand, season OVER! Fml

    • BB says:
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      @Bye Felicia: I am feeling you 100%. I feel like my season was cursed by Frieri. After he lost the Angels job the first time, my buddy dropped him right away, and I thought I was very slick picking him up. When he got the job right back, I really thought I was hot shizz, but it turns out that was just the start of my fantasy hell. First, Ermesto took a blow torch to my ratios. I mean he drop a cluster bomb of suck. It is a weekly roster move league, so even though I realize my mistake by Tuesday, I had to watch him pour gasoline on the fire for five extra days. And then, to top it off, after a month of repair work to get my pitching back in order, just when I thought I was clear of him and was ready to make a stretch run for the championship, he comes back and breaks my best player’s hand. FRIERI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      [Postscript: that buddy who I was smugly mocking in my head for his short-sighted drop of Frieri ended up being first in on Doolittle, Britton, and Casilla, scooped each of them up for like $2, and is leading the league in saves by 12. He’s one point behind me in the standings and should now rocket past me. I actually think he deployed Frieri against me as a poison pill.]

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @BB: get out of weekly leagues. they appear to only be for spulunkers/lumberjacks and other types who can only get to interwebs once a week. of course if that actually describes you then i guess there’s nothing that can be done.

  11. Hebrew Hammer says:
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    What is your thoughts on Brett Anderson?

    home against the Cubs and at Arizona

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Hebrew Hammer: Yeah not bad. Cubs are weak. And Arizona’s got no Au Shizz. Still, anyone can be a problem in Denver. I’d put him at the top of the 4th Tier.

  12. Anthony says:
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    Does Minor being skipped mean Wood will go twice next week? Thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Anthony: That off day on 8/7 could throw a wrench in that, someone could move up a day.

  13. Shaggy says:
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    After getting skipped over, Jimmy Nelson getting two starts next week?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Shaggy: I would think so, but watch that blister on the finger!

  14. Guidedbyvoices says:
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    Hey Pete….5×5 league….I’m loaded at SP(Cobb,Yu,Scherzer,Cole,Gausmann,Shields,Roark)
    I need a bat….I was just offered Cargo for Cobb….worth the risk on Cargo for ROS?

    Thanks.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Guidedbyvoices: I don’t think so. you into GbV man?

      • Guidedbyvoices says:
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        @Pete Nice: oh yes….theyre legends.ive seen them live 5 times.so great.

  15. Nick says:
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    Isn’t Lynn a two-start pitcher this week?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Nick: Can’t confirm yet but it does appear that way. I’d just proceed as if.

  16. What’s wrong with Kelly?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Big Papa: nothing, don’t let a few good starts here or ther disguise that this guy wasn’t ever supposed to be a good pitcher.

  17. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    those STL pitchers you mentioned were rehabbed when dave duncan was present. he’s been gone for a while.

  18. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    i’ve never heard TB called a bad park for pitchers before.

  19. goodfold2 says:
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    i would think the utter horribleness of hammel since he arrived at OAK town had more to do with lester aquisition than how shark’s been since he got there.

  20. Chris says:
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    Week one playoffs 10 team keeprr
    5 starters help
    Obvious
    Kershaw
    Strausburg

    Help on 3
    Verlander
    Odorizzi
    Fister
    Beckett
    Gausman
    Paxton

    Or pick up on waiver Dallas, leake and Charlie Morton and drop two guys?

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