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

Before a big test, my high school history teacher would always announce that it would “separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.” Since he liked to be known as Chief, and he called everyone he liked Chief, I’m assuming that this meant that the “Chiefs” were the good guys. Then again, Chief also liked to transport himself back to ‘Nam sometimes, stalking around the classroom looking for “Charlie.” The weirdest thing? I’m not even sure he was in ‘Nam.

Anywho, this legendary teacher from my youth came to mind as I was writing this week’s Two Startapalooza because at Week 4, we’re starting to be able to separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.

As in, it’s obvious that Darvish, King Felix and James Shields are still Chiefs. Yordano Ventura and Julio Teheran are looking like Chiefs. Cliff Lee, who was starting to look a little Duke-ish to me, is still pretty much a Chief. David Price, a surefire Chief a few years ago, is very much a Duke right now.

It’s becoming a lot easier to fill out the Third Tier and Don’t Starts, because we know who is a Duke and who is not. And to get in the Must Start category, you are most certainly a Chief or you have two starts against the Astros next week.

Aight, Chief, let’s get to it.

Must Start

Felix Hernandez (HOU, TEX), Yu Darvish (@OAK, @SEA), Adam Wainwright (@NYM, PIT), James Shields (@CLE,@BAL), Chris Sale (@DET,TB), Julio Teheran (MIA, CIN), Masahiro Tanaka (@BOS, LAA)

After looking over the stats and gamelogs for these dudes and having some alone time with myself, it’s obvious that they are on another level. They’re all Chiefs! Especially the first three, who have matchups that range from favorable to excellent.

First Tier
Hyun-Jin Ryu (PHI, COL), Johnny Cueto (@PIT, @ATL), Jose Fernandez (@ATL,@NYM), Andrew Cashner (@MIL, @WAS), Justin Verlander (CWS,@MIN), Cliff Lee (@LAD,@ARZ), Zack Greinke(PHI,COL).

This is still a pretty sick bunch of pitchers right here. Ryu has been a beast except for one mound crapping. Cueto is looking phenomenal and on the verge of Must Start territory. If he dominates in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, I’m sold. Don’t love Cashner’s matchups, and I’d really like to see Pineda go more than six.

Second Tier

Mike Leake (@PIT, @ATL), Wily Peralta (SD,CHC), Jon Lester (NYY,@TOR), Clay Buchholz (BAL,@TOR), Garrett Richards(@WAS,@NYY), Anibal Sanchez (CWS,@MIN), Tanner Roark (LAA, SD), Jason Hammel (ARZ,@MIL), Edinson Volquez (CIN,@STL), Travis Wood (ARZ,@MIL), John Danks (@DET,TB), Francisco Liriano (CIN,@STL), Dillon Gee (STL, MIA), Scott Feldman (@SEA, OAK), R.A. Dickey (BAL, BOS)

Personally I’ve got more of a stiffy for Leake than I do Wily, and I’m actually not so sure why I have Wood here, because he always pitches real well for seven innings and then the wheels come off before his manager realizes it. Who the hell is Rick Renteria anyway? Whatever happened to Edgar? Oh and by the way, I’m giving Dickey one more chance to stick it to me and then he’s down in Third Tier hell. Danks, but no Danks.

Third Tier

Tom Koehler (@ATL,@NYM), Paul Maholm (PHI, COL), Taylor Jordan (LAA, SD), Tyler Lyons (@NYM,PIT), Jenrry Mejia (STL, MIA), Zack McAllister (KC,@SF), Jeremy Guthrie (@CLE,@BAL),  Ian Kennedy(@MIL, @WAS), Dallas Keuchel (@SEA, OAK), Miguel Gonzalez (@BOS, KC), Jake Odorizzi (MIN, @CWS), Tommy Milone (TEX, @HOU), Dan Straily (TEX, @HOU), Jorge De La Rosa (SF,@LAD), Ryan Vogelsong (@COL, CLE)

Don’t get suckered into using either of the A’s here. Yes, Oakland’s park is favorable toward pitchers, but it’s against the Rangers. And, yes, Houston sucks, but Houston has some hitters (George Springer, sleeping giant Chris Carter, Jason Castro …) and Milone and Straily have not been throwing well. Meanwhile: Koehler has actually been pretty solid for the Marlins, and if his name wasn’t a faucet manufacturer and he didn’t have a look that said, “Yeah, I play for the Marlins, do you have to put my name on this?” I’d rank him higher. I could see him doing OK in New York but Evan Gattis and company are gonna tee off on him in Atlanta.

Don’t start

Danny Salazar (KC,@SF), Mike Pelfrey (@TB,DET), Bronson Arroyo (@CHC, PHI), Brandon McCarthy (@CHC, PHI)

Look, don’t freak out about Salazar being down here with the likes of Pelfrey. I’m not saying he won’t be great someday, maybe even this year. Alls I’m sayin’ is if you own him, give you and your nerves a break this week and sit him out. When he gets right, get him back in there. Meanwhile: Do the Diamondbacks have the worst staff in the history of baseball? Never start a Diamondbacks pitcher, ever. Or at least not this year.

From Around The Web

  1. Picard56 says:
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    Hamels is going wednesday, not tuesday. And no love for Cliff Lee, second week in a row??? still like ya homie

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Picard56: @Picard56: yea they switched it up. And I got love for Lee man – he’s in the First Tier.

  2. Regan says:
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    Eavoldi and Perez are both available. Would you drop Porcello either?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Regan: Eavoldi

  3. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Greinke’s a two-start pitcher?

    How do the lyrics go…

    “i” before “e”, except after “c”
    or when sounded as “a”
    as in neighbor and weigh
    or if your pitcher’s name is Zach Greinke…

  4. Michael says:
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    A.J. Burnett is @LAD and @ARI

  5. Timm says:
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    Hey there, pick up Johnny cueto or cashner by dropping zach wheeler or Jackie Bradley jr? I’m stacked at pitcher but I like having two start

    • Kiddy League?? says:
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      @Timm:

      You have Z. Wheeler and J. Bradley and not Cueto or Cashner??

      WTF league is that?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Timm: agree with guys below. Drop Bradley for Cueto. I’d have a hard time out and out dropping Wheeler. But I’d probably do it for Cash.

  6. Abdoozy says:
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    you’re in a league that has Cueto available? by all means grab him.

    • Timm says:
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      @Abdoozy:

      Which one to keep, Jackie Bradley jr or zach wheeler

      • Louis says:
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        @Timm: Both are droppable, although Wheeler has more to offer. Drop Bradley

  7. Michael says:
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    Skaggs is also not a two start pitcher. He last pitched 4/16 and is scheduled to pitch 4/22, pushing his next start to Monday, 4/28 against CLE.

    • Michael says:
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      Unless you live in France.

  8. centerfield_ballhawk says:
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    Price looks to be two starts now, as well.

  9. JT says:
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    Thanks for the info! Would you drop Kluber for Martin Perez or ride out the Kluber train? Thanks man!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @JT: Perez

  10. Justin says:
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    Wood or Leake for 2 starts or Samardzija for 1?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Justin: I’m liking Leake right now. He’s pitching like a First Tier guy but I just couldn’t put him up there. Yet

  11. Lville Jim says:
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    A’s got my Kazmir off the hook with a 3 run bottom of the ninth to make Qualls a loser. Jumping around cheering the A’s on in my living room. Thrilled to get out from under a loss. Is this normal or just a sad commentary on my life.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Lville Jim: are you watching along on free TV, MLB package or Gamecast. I feel like it’s only sad if it’s the middle one, like you got package to watch fantasy players haha.

      • Lville Jim says:
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        @Pete Nice: No package, just MLB network. Wife won’t allow the package, she already think I spend entirely too much time in front of my computer monitor.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Lville Jim: we found the issue.

  12. kev says:
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    I have a pitching dilemna. Are any of these people droppable/who should i package in a two for one/please rank them. Also, does anyone know if Jean Segura will start hitting?

    Sonny Gray, Liriano, Teheran, Bucholz, Kazmir, Pineda, Martin Perez, Tony Cingrani

    Thank you.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @kev: Liriano is the most droppable. If you really want to make a move I would package him or Kaz and a top flighter like Gray or Julio and go for the top of the line, like Goldy or Trout.

      • kev says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        thanks. i was between liriano and cingrani, grey is very high on liriano. you really think cingrani will out pitch him this year?

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @kev: grey and last year’s stats are high on him, either that or just pete and espn/yahoo rankings are low on him.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @kev: I mean Liriano has been great, but I Feel like he’s an injury risk.

  13. Lando87 says:
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    Would you trade Wil Myers for Gio Gonzalez straight up?

    My starting pitching is currently led by Teheran, Archer, Samardzija, Liriano and M. Perez.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Lando87: In your situation yes. got some good OF?

  14. Edward says:
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    How legit is dee Gordon? Would you deal RA Dickey for him if your SS was brad miller?

    • Edward says:
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      @Edward: I should add I need SB

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Edward: yea I agree. I’m fed up with Dickey. I’d make that trade out of spite.

  15. Los locos says:
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    You like Hutchinson this week for his start vs Baltimore?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Los locos: yea I’m a big Hutch guy.

  16. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    you appear to have meant to put pineda in first tier, but he’s not there.

  17. Allan says:
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    Hey pete I play in a weekly h2h points league so saves in particular don’t matter, just the points they get you. With that in mind would you rather keep 2 closers in your rp spots or 2 sp’s with rp eligibility?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Allan: I punt saves whenever I can, so if it won’t hurt you by all means do so.

      • Allan says:
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        @Pete Nice: Thanks. The guys I’m looking at slotting in are Drew Smyly, Tyson Ross, Garrett Richards, and possibly Alfredo Simon. Any of those worth using? I could pick up 2 of them.

  18. Balmy Tundrastein says:
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    richards (with those matchups) and danks over mejia, even though he’s at home twice and gets MIA vs one of them?

  19. mpc says:
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    I was offered Pablo, Pineda, and Reddick for my Aramis and KROD. Thoughts? My only other closer is Kimbrel. 14 team head to head. Pablo looks bad and so does reddick until the past two days.

    • My Minor Likes Female Pujols says:
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      @mpc: I’d say hold if you only have one other closer. Most leagues you need atleast 2 to be competitive in that stat cat so I see no put digging yourself into that hole unless you want to punt the catagory then you should trade kimbrel.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @mpc: I like getting Pineda but that looks like someone trying to dump some garbage. Pass.

  20. c0wfunk says:
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    Happy holiday! Pick one to celebrate :)

    Starting to wonder about this Cleveland staff I started the year with 3/5ths of… I already gave up on Salazar (may regret it someday but right now im pretty hapoy I picked up m. Perez for this last awesome start) and am glad to see Masterson put together another good start. Which brings me to Kluber.. After yesterday I think I’m ready to move on.. Would you take peralta over kluber?

    Also, any thoughts on Bauer (yeah another Indian)? Your best guess eta?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @c0wfunk: uep

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @c0wfunk: I mean yep ( too many jelly beans)

  21. ChiliCheeseConey says:
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    Should I start Porcello today against the Angels at home?

  22. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mr Nice: May I cry on your shoulder????

    I will assume by your name and our meaningful and often tender shared comments in the past that you’ll say, yes

    OK. First, there has been wonderful performances by untouted pitchers to start the year. I have been somewhat fortunate in identifying them.

    Buhrule, Feldman, Chavez, Ross, Vargas (who I thought would do well in KC), Oberholtzer (whom I’m in love with) just to name a few.

    I have had bad luck a couple times on ESPN after picking them up though.

    Once or twice, I would write it all off to the failure of my mal-synapsing old decrepit noodle. But, this was at least the 3rd time on a SP – losing count.

    What has occurred is, I have picked up puddle pitchers and placed them on my active roster – only to return to find they are still on my bench. Happened with Vargas this weekend missing his great start, Bummer!!!

    This has happened with other players already on my team’s benches too.

    I think, the problem is coming from using 2 windows at the same time on the same team. Maybe it overrides the change????

    But, there have been other glitches as well with ESPN – The trade system was not working properly last week. We lost 2 days in a trade there due to it. The trade just disappeared after was up for 2 days. It was fishy because, it never prompted me to drop a player to make my team whole – it just went straight to the “trade pending”.

    Feeling abused by the greater cyber-sphere. What should I do, besides grinding away with only one window open. I was ready to end it all this weekend after the Vargas fiasco.

    Sorry to bother you and not my league’s commish. But, Jay Wrong is my commish and he is never to be sober enough to fulfill his obligations.

    Wait a second here! You don’t think It could be Jay Wrong manipulating the league to his advantage, do ya?

    Signed with tender regards; Desperate!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Ghost of the Disappeared: that’s whacked with the glitches but Jay is an upstanding citizen. no way he’d do anything like that. Slim on the other hand….

  23. pitching woes says:
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    Tired of C.J.Wilson, would it be bad to drop for Leake or Vargas?

    • Sixto Lezcano says:
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      @pitching woes: No I wouldn’t just drop. Both of the guys you mentioned are good but try and deal Wilson or find someone else to let go of.

  24. fitz says:
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    Fairly certain Jose Fernandez is a must start Pete!

  25. Allan says:
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    Decided to drop Garret Richards and pick up Alfredo Simon to ride his fire.

    Other moves for the week…Mark Buehrle (yes still available?) and dropped Drew Smyly
    Picking up Colabello and dropping Emilio Bonafacio
    Dropping Chris Owings and pickin up Jesse Chavez.

    Having a tough setting my bats for the week -_-

    • Sixto Lezcano says:
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      @Allan: Those are all great pickups!

  26. Moose says:
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    Kyle Gibson (DET, @TB according to CBS) or Kluber this week?

  27. Adam Jones' Kzone Judgement says:
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    Might be too late for this but need some help on a pick 2 of these 3.

    Cingrani – Pit
    Eovaldi – Atl
    Salazar – KC & SF

    Is Salazar’s two start week worth taking a chance on?

  28. Pete says:
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    Please rank for this coming week: Cole (@STL/Miller), Miller (PIT/Cole), Cingrani (@PIT/Wandy), Porcello (@MIN/Correia), Pineda (@BOS/Lackey), Wood (MIA/JoFer), and Salazar (KC/Shields + @SF/Vogelsong). I’m starting 4 of the 7.

    • Sixto Lezcano says:
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      @Pete: Cole, Cingrani, Pineda, Miller

  29. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    if you did or didn’t intend pineda to be in the first tier, which tier do you intend to have him in it? since he’s not in that one either.

Comments are closed.