Alright Head-to-Headers and Weekly League players. This is more than likely the most important week of your season. You’re either kicking off the first round of playoff match-ups or you’re grinding out the last week trying to get that ever elusive playoff birth. Not to worry my peeps, the Legendary Lifshitz is back and ready to drop some two start pitcher science on y’all. In fact I’ll be taking over as your captain from here on out and into 2015. That’s right! I’m your 2015 Two Start Huckleberry! Think of me as the top prospect getting called up for roster expansions with an eye on the starting job next year. You know like Xander Bogaerts but less of a disappointment. Unless you’re my third grade teacher Ms. Schultz. Then I’m more of a disappointment. What can I say the women had high hopes.
As for the roster of Double dippers, it’s not bad. Lots of good streamers and ton of middle of the road options. I’ll try and focus a little more on the arms with lower ownership levels, knowing those are the guys you’ll be looking to for the extra counting stats to put you over the top. This is one of the most fun times to be a fantasy baseball manager. This is for those digging through the wavier wire looking for that streamer to get you into the dance, or that spot starter to help you lock down that swing category to get you into the next round of the playoffs, or even the roto owner looking to capitalize on the less savvy owners who hit their innings limits this week. May you use this as your guide good sirs! Unless you’re in a league with me, then I hope all your pitchers get shelled. Sorry but I’m in it to win it no matter the cost!
David Price @CLE vs. SF
Price is the only man I’m giving the checkers “King Me!” this week. Homie has a 9.91 K/9 to go with a 1.33 BB/9 and he’s pitching for a contender in September. Hopefully he rights the ship after going full on “Crap on the walls” mode on Wednesday. BTW someone actually crapped on the walls at my work this week….no joke! No word on whether or not it was my Tiger fan boss. Oh Detroit sports fan, how I pity thy.
Corey Kluber vs. DET, vs. CHI
Cole Hamels @ ATL, @ WAS
Drew Smyly vs. BOS, vs. BAL
Tyson Ross vs. ARI, @COL
Julio Teheran vs. PHI, @ MIA
This is a funny tier and I imagine someone is going to kill me for totally avoiding Wainwright, I’ll touch on that in greater detail below. I considered Kluber for the Must Start tier but his matchups are tough. He’s pretty much matchup proof but I could still see a rough one against either team. Let’s also be clear Kluber rough is very different from Allen Webster rough. Kluber rough is 6 IP, 3 runs, and 5 K’s. Or every start Jon Neise has ever made. I thought about dropping Teheran to the top of the next tier but didn’t. I like his matchups at home against the Phillies and his road start against the Marlins. Miami is good at home but not good enough that it scares me off Teheran next weekend. Smyly has been lights out (1.50 era/ .69 WHIP, .192 wOBA against, 7.25 k/9, 1.75 bb/9) since the move to Tampa, and let me be the first to say (not the first at all) I can’t wait to draft him next year. Tyson Ross gets one home start against a bad D-Backs team which is great and a dreaded road start in Coors. I thought about dropping him down but then I thought about the Rockies. They are getting closer and closer to the yuck side of Meh and I’d be shocked if he gets shelled. Ross’ home road ERA split is serious with a 1.92 at Petco and 3.44 away. The thing is you’d take his 3.44 road ERA as the full season ERA from your third starter any day of the week. He’s just 1999 Pedro Martinez at home.
Adam Wainwright vs. PIT, @ MIL
Gerrit Cole @ STL, @CHC
Henderson Alvarez vs. NYM, vs. ATL
James Paxton @ Oak, @ Tex
Mat Latos @ BAL, vs. NYM
Phil Hughes @ BAL, vs. LAA
Yovani Gallardo @CHC, vs. STL
This is a good Tier 2 and I could easily see three or even four of these guys out performing the players in the tiers above. But I calls’em as I sees’em. Also I will be offering three free pillow whacks (we keep it gentle at Razzball) to the first person who tells me Paxton was sent down to the minors. He’ll be up, and make both starts it was a roster move when an eye toward Monday’s expansion. I’d like to also advise anyone that sees him hit the wire this weekend put in a claim. As for his matchups this week, you don’t love the Oakland start but you should love the Rangers start. I thought I had to throw that out there. Phil Hughes was crushing until the 7th in his last start and has done enough all season to get a vote of confidence this week despite facing two very scary offenses. Now onto Wainwright, let’s be clear he’s not bad and truthfully I almost flip flopped him with Teheran. His last start was atrocious, and his ERA in August was 5.17. Then he talks about having a dead arm issue. If you believe it’s in the past I have a bridge to sell you! (You: Which one? Me: Anyone you want I own them all.. You: Whoa!) Either way he’s still Adam Wainwright, and I’m not going to bury him until a few more stinkers. I’ll just passively make my protest by dropping him down from his usual place in the top two tiers.
Tim Hudson @COL,
Yordano Ventura vs. TEX, @ NYY
Lance Lynn vs. PIT, @ MIL
Carlos Carrasco vs. DET, vs. CHW
Gio Gonzalez @ LAD, vs PHI
Wade Miley @SD, @ LAD
Kevin Gausman vs. MIN, @ TB
Zack Wheeler @ MIA, @ CIN
An interesting bunch, well other than Tim Hudson he’s boring and probably a tier too low but I like him at the top being boring, but good boring. This is also probably the first tier of streamers, and then there’s Gio Gonzalez who is just devolving into a liquid in front of our eyes. I like Zack Wheeler’s matchups, I’d like them better at Metco but streamers can’t be choosers! Or then again maybe that’s exactly what we are? I love the Wade Miley @ Petco start but I’m a little weary of his visit to Chavez Ravine….Yordano Ventura has been better, kind of? His BB/9 was out of control in August (5.11) but his ERA was nice (2.92) with a K/9 of 8.39. He gets my trust against Texas but I’m a touch weary of his start in the Bronx. Gausman is in the same situation as the aforementioned Paxton he’ll be back on Monday. He has two okay matchups, I just don’t know what to expect.
R.A. Dickey @ TB, @ BOS
Hector Santiago @ HOU, @ MIN
Jimmy Nelson @ CHC, vs. STL
Odrisamer Despaigne vs. ARI, @ COL
I don’t know what to think with Dickey. Seriously? Like what do I do? Will he have two good starts with some K’s? Will he drop a bomb on my team and allow 5 runs? Hmmmm..Hector Santiago is here because he can’t get out of the 6th most days. Though his numbers aren’t bad. Jimmy is still young and volatile, but stream away. As for Odrisamer Despaigne, he could be a sneaky good play this week. The home start against Arizona is nice and I’m a little nervous about the Colorado one.
Tier 5 – Oh Yeah You Still Exist Tier
Roberto Hernanadez vs. WAS, vs. ARI
Jeremy Hellickson vs. TOR, vs. BAL
Jason Hammel vs. SEA, vs. HOU
Bud Norris vs. CIN, @ TB
Joe Kelly @ NYY, vs. TOR
Roenis Elias @ OAK, @ TEX
Trevor Cahill @ SD, @ LAD
Any of these guys could be streamed. Good. Luck. With. That
Tier 6 – Hot Garbage and Other Oddities
Franklin Morales vs. SF, vs. SD
Shane Greene vs. BOS, vs. KC
Jacob Turner vs. MIL, vs. PIT
Tommy Milone vs. CHW, vs. LAA
Rubby De La Rosa @ TB, vs. TOR
Nick Tepesch @ KC, vs. SEA
Colby Lewis @ KC, vs. SEA
Yuck! You’re only starting these guys when you’re punting ratios. Play on playa!
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