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This is happening on the other side of my laptop as I sit here writing the Two-Startapalooza…

owierazz

Yes, that is a dog dry-humping Boo the star Pomeranian in stuffed animal form. He does it all the time, but for some reason it seemed profound to me and strangely relevant to this week’s batch of pitchers. [Jay’s Note: Uhhhh. Okay?] Perhaps my dog represents the fantasy gods, and Boo is fantasy owners everywhere, especially those on the playoff bubble in their leagues. No Clayton Kershaw, no Max Scherzer, no David Price, no mega-aces to speak of. Combustible No. 2’s. A lot of mediocrity. Dudes obviously pitching over their heads, and dying to, well, eff you over. And then the looming threat of namby-pamby real-life baseball managers pulling guys early in games to get ready for the real-life playoffs and even scratching top-flight starters with mysterious blisters, hangnails and other assorted bogus injuries in an effort to save them for the postseason. The nerve! But I see two little gifts from these same fantasy gods: Two guys with potential who have good-to-great matchups this week.

First up is Eric Stults, a Hodgepadre with two home starts (Brew Crew and Dodgers) and a nice run going. He’s 3-1 in August with a 1.49 ERA, and only one of those starts was in Petco. Also, he’s only walked two guys in his last three starts, and has the potential to strike guys out on top of that. Then there’s Dillon Gee, who looked like a potential ace out of the gate this year but then missed two months with a back injury. He’s been about as appealing as amusement park food since his return, racking up a 5.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with no wins over the last 30 days. But if you drill down into his last four starts, he hasn’t been that awful. He held down the Giants for the most part on Aug. 4, giving up two runs over 5-plus innings. He then dominated the flat-lining Phillies in Philly. Now I’ll make some excuses. Is there shame in getting a little shaken (4 ER in 5 innings) in a loss to the first-place Nats at home or a road loss to first-place Oakland? This week, Gee welcomes two beatable opponents to Citi Field: The strikeout happy Braves and then those same crappy Phillies. I like Gee and Stults as streamers who won’t “screw you over” (heh) and nothing else. Now let’s see what else we got in the Two-Starter cupboard this week.

Must Start

Madison Bumgarner (COL, MIL), Johnny Cueto (CHC, @PIT)

We got two Woods going this week and one Bumgarner. Ouch! Cueto was on quite a roll until his most recent stinker in St. Louis, but that start against the Cubs is yummy!

First Tier

Tanner Roark (@PHI, @SEA), Alex Cobb (@BAL, BOS), Alex Wood (@NYM, MIA), James Shields (NYY, CLE), Jake Odorizzi (@BAL, BOS)

I don’t get the lack of love for Tanner Roark. If you need wins and peripherals, he won’t let you down.

Second Tier

John Lackey (@PIT, CHC), Jeff Samardzija (@HOU, @LAA), Matt Shoemaker (MIA, OAK)

I also don’t get the lack of love for Matt Shoemaker. Even after Grey professed his love for the man who looks like he’s wearing one of those fake winter beard hats, still no love.

Third Tier

Chris Tillman (TB, MIN), Michael Pineda (@KC, @TOR), Jimmy Nelson (@SD, @SF)

Considering matchups and recent performance, if you have these guys and need to battle to make the playoffs, I’d roll them out there with confidence. I have more faith in Pineda than most, even against the Jays on the road.

Fourth Tier

Dallas Keuchel (OAK, TEX), Francisco Liriano (STL, CIN), Brandon McCarthy (@DET, @TOR), Rick Porcello (NYY, @CWS), Dillon Gee (ATL, PHI), Eric Stults (MIL, LAD), Jose Quintana (CLE, DET), Danny Duffy (MIN, CLE)

These guys I’d stream and wouldn’t blink twice.

Fifth Tier

T.J. House (@CWS, @KC), Roenis Elias (TEX, WSH), Jarred Cosart (@LAA, @ATL), Jake Peavy (COL, MIL), A.J. Burnett (WSH, @NYM), Jason Hammel (@HOU, @LAA), Scott Feldman (OAK, TEX)

These guys I’d stream but would feel kind of eh about it. Burnett sucks, period, end of story and I don’t mind saying it at all. Perhaps my feelings are colored by the fact that I’m a Phillies fan, but I see nothing of interest in a guy who is 6-14 and is only consistent in giving up 4 or more earned runs every time he takes the mound.

Sixth Tier

Bruce Chen (TB, MIN), Clay Buchholz (@TOR, @TB), Jorge De La Rosa (@SF, @ARI)

You are desperate. You must eat the cat poo.

Don’t Start

Wade LeBlanc (MIA, OAK), Ricky Nolasco (@KC, @BAL), Nick Martinez (@SEA, @HOU), Tyler Matzek (@SF, @ARI), J.A. Happ (BOS, NYY)

Garbage, garbage everywhere.

From Around The Web

  1. AJax says:
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    Good stuff, as always. Thanks.

    One-and-done playoffs this week, must-win. It’s a points league, and I need to choose one of these three (current streamer numbers in parens):

    Burnett: WASH (9.7) @NYM (11.5)
    Sonny: @HOU (9.3)
    Ventura: MINN (12.6)

    Sonny is scuffling (last night he looked sharper) and Houston has been hitting. The Twins’ bats are on fire. Buttnett seems like the choice, but he’s been horseshit since mid-July.

    Please help.
    AJ (no relation)

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @AJax: One thing to consider is how does your league weigh each category, and how many categories are there. AJ will get you K’s. But he walks guys, will give up earned runs and will only get one win at the most, and even that is not likely. If there’s goofy stuff like GIDP and pickoffs, that’s more in AJ’s favor. But if there’s more value on wins, era and whip and cats for CG and or shutouts, I like Sonny.

      • AJax says:
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        @Pete Nice: Thanks, buddy. It’s a standard points league, +1 for a K, -1 for a BB, hit, etc. Wins & QS count, losses count negative. So if Burnett has two mediocre starts, it’s potentially better than one good Sonny Boy start. If Burnett has two horrendous starts, it’s far worse than one bad Sonny Boy start. And so forth.

        If Streamer didn’t like Burnett, it’d be easy to discard him. But I don’t know. I’m struggling. And the waiver wire ain’t got nothin’. The top guy available is Jorge of the Rosa.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @AJax: I love the SON, and usually swear by it, but if you’re basing your decision on its opinion of Burnett, I wouldn’t feel so good about that.

          • AJax says:
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            @Pete Nice: Word. Thanks, friend. Think I’ll go Sonny and hope I don’t get Boo the Pomeranianed.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Haha… Your dog is a Furry!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Grey: Hmm, I did think it was weird that I found him in the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist.

  3. Sky

    Sky says:
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    Should’ve asked Jay to gif that Pom on fake Pom action

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Sky: He’s already signed to Vivid Video. Plus he’s packing some surprising heat down there, and I didn’t want to take Razzball into x-rated land.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @Pete Nice: Looked up Vivid Entertainment on IMDB and saw ‘Tila Tequila 2: Backdoored & Squirting’. Can only imagine what part one held, it sounds riveting. Good luck to your pom in part 3!

  4. Ace Ventura says:
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    Great write up as always Pete. I love to see the rise of Odorrizi this year, dude’s gonna be a stud muffin! Roark has also been reeeeally good.

    Quick shot for the experts: Syndergaard/Kennys or Freddy in a h2h points?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Ace Ventura: I like the Kennys package but what’s the circumstance? Trade?

      • Ace Ventura says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        I’m playing the PO’s this year in a dynasty league. I’d be moving noah/kennys. Just not sure if this is a great sell high for kennys or if I should hang tight with what I got. =)

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Ace Ventura: hang tight

          • Ace Ventura says:
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            @Pete Nice:

            You da man Pete thanks!

  5. Trent says:
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    So, I just lost Garrett Richards for the year and all the good closers in my league are gone. Picked up Mark Melancon but I am not confident that he’s gonna put up any points…is it crazy to stream Hector Noesi for a two-start reliever this week or should I just play it safe and pick up Drew Smyly?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Trent: I would never call Smyly a “safe start” haha. But I’d go with him nonetheless.

  6. Lemmingness says:
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    Weekly points league,

    How would you rank McHugh, Shoemaker, and Paxton RoS?

    Thanks Pete

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Lemmingness: Shoe, McHugh, Paxton

  7. Joe says:
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    Pete should i start cashner and degrom today?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Joe: Sorry I didn’t get to this in time. I’ve been a DeGrom guy but the shoulder is worrisome.

  8. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    How bout Wei Yin Chen? Or however you spell his name? And James Paxton?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @malamoney: Musta missed em.

  9. Jerry says:
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    Hey,
    Cashner, Kennedy, or Odorozzi for rest of season?

    Thanks!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jerry: Odor, Cash, Kennedy

  10. Chris says:
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    I’m about to enter the playoffs next week. I’d like to hold Gregory Polanco but he’s not playing regularly and I need the offense. It’s a keeper league so that makes dropping him worse. Should I drop him for Morse, Ozuna, K. Vargas, Arcia or should I hold for the playoffs in a H2H points league. Thanks.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Chris: Tossup between Ozuna or Kennys first, then Arcia and then Morse. But the answer is yes, dump him.

  11. Tarman Got Him says:
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    Quintana or Tillman ROS? Streamers both?

    DeGrom will turn it around after that start obviously first one off the DL?

    Would you drop Mejia if you own Melancon, Street, Rodon and Chapman and need a stream spot?

    Thanks!!!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Tarman Got Him: Tillman might be someone you hang onto for a bit. I’m worried about DeGrom. and: yes.

  12. Tarman Got Him says:
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    What about Lohse?

    He’s coming off the DL and has favorable matchup’s and I don’t think he’d be activated unless fully healthy?.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Tarman Got Him: Well he might be fully healthy but that doesn’t mean he’ll be great for fantasy – could be on pitch count or handled with kids gloves.

  13. steve staub says:
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    Next week:

    Plouffe or Seager?
    Hanley (coming off DL) or Hardy?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @steve staub: Plouffe, Hanley

      • steve staub says:
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        @Pete Nice: Thanks

Comments are closed.