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

Up until now, Two-Startapoola 2014 has kind of resembled a post-taco feast fart party, where you’re trying in vain to wave away the pervasive stench cluttering up the lower tiers but that cloud of doom just won’t move.

But this week there is absolutely no shame in being down in the lower Second Tier or even the Third Tier.

Former aces who had fallen on hard times, like Yovani Gallardo and Josh Beckett, finally have their shtuff together, some of the pitchers who sucked earlier in the year (Brandon McCarthy, Jake Odorizzi) have gotten way better, and the Twins finally set their rotation so they don’t have the same guy pitching twice in the same week. Which means at least one less garbage starter in the system. You think Ron Gardenhire had us fantasy geeks in mind when he set up his real-life Twinkie pitching lineup this week? Me neither.

Anyways, have yourself a look-see at what the fantasy gods have sent down for us…

Must start

Masahiro Tanaka (@CHC, @CWS), Steven Strasburg (CIN, @PIT)

The Razzball tech guys sent me a ToS warning because I tried to submit this post with Hitomi Tanaka as a Must Start instead of Masahiro Tanaka. Whoops! Maybe I just had a few big, awesome things on my mind, like the pair of softie matchups Masahiro has this week, or the three double-digit strikeout games he has on the year, or his most recent start, a four-hit shutout of the crosstown New York Mess.

First Tier

Hisashi Iwakuma (@TEX, HOU), Adam Wainwright (ARI, @CIN), Justin Verlander (@CLE, TEX), Julio Teheran (MIL, COL), Wily Peralta (@ATL, @MIA), Corey Kluber (DET, @BAL)

It’s all about Japan this week baby! Iwakuma has been outstanding, and with a few more dominant outings he’ll be up at the top with his fellow countryman. The Texas start has me a little worried, but with two straight games throwing blanks for eight innings – including a start where he grounded the Royals, literally, by inducing 14 dribblers to five fly balls – he should be fine in Arlington. Peralta has been on a strikeout roll, so can you imagine the breeze coming out of Atlanta on Monday?

Second Tier

Madison Bumgarner (@COL, MIN), Josh Beckett (@NYM, @PHI), Mike Minor (MIL, COL), Drew Pomeranz (@TB, @TOR), Yovani Gallardo (@ATL, @MIA), Drew Smyly (@CLE, TEX), Garrett Richards (HOU, KC), A.J. Burnett (@MIA, LAD), Dallas Keuchel (@LAA, @SEA), Jake Odorizzi (OAK, BOS), Doug Fister (CIN, @PIT), Ian Kennedy (MIN, CHC), Jason Vargas (CWS, @LAA), Tony Cingrani (@WSH, STL)

Pomeranz and Kuechel have been waiver wire darlings over the past week, and rightfully so. Until we see Drew go deep in a game he’s going to feel like the guy who helps you in WHIP and ERA while Keuchel has a better chance for K’s. Neither will get many wins until Pomeranz is fully stretched out and can at least get to the Quality Start mark. If that happens this week, he will fly off shelves everywhere. Smyly has been a little up and down, and I’m just not feeling Cingrani in his first two starts back. We all know Trevor Bauer is starting Tuesday for the Tribe at home against Detroit, but it remains to be seen if he gets both of Danny Salazar’s starts and pitches in Baltimore for the two-start week.

Third Tier

Brandon McCarthy (@STL, @NYM), Francisco Liriano (BAL, WSH), Anthony DeSclafini (PHI, MIL), Rafael Montero (LAD, ARI), Felix Doubront (TOR, @TB), Miguel Gonzalez (@PIT, CLE), Andre Rienzo (@KC, NYY), Scott Feldman (@LAA, @SEA), J.A. Happ (@BOS, OAK), Jake Arrieta (NYY, @SD), Franklin Morales (SF, @ATL)

I know I said he’s improved, but I still don’t like McCarthy as much as most people. You could say the early starts where he got crushed by the Dodgers and Rockies were aberrations, or you could say his great starts against the Phillies and the Padres (in Petco) were the misleading games. Either way you slice it, we’re talking about a dude who is 1-6 with a 5.01 ERA. Who’s psyched about starting Brandon McCarthy this week? Not this guy. And as a long-time follower of the Phils, I find it amusing that Happ is getting some buzz for a few solid but typically short performances. The WHIP’s not scrapin’ 2.00 for nothin’.

Don’t start

Colby Lewis (SEA, @DET), Scott Carroll (@KC, NYY)

I don’t like one and I don’t know the other. I do know they both stink on ice at the moment.

  1. Nate says:
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    What are we thinking of Liriano? I snagged him everywhere because he was ranked so much higher here than yahoo… I don’t disagree that he’s in the third tier but does no one think he will get back to form?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Nate: I wouldn’t call myself a member of the Francisco Liriano fan club. Too inconsistent.

  2. C.O.C says:
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    ESPN has Rafael Montero listed as the starter on Tuesday, which may make him a two-start guy…is this accurate or have they just not updated the pitching schedule? Very important as he pitched decent in his first start since call-up and is relief eligible….

    • C.O.C says:
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      @C.O.C: Scratch that, just realized he’s in the 3rd tier…

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @C.O.C: I just don’t trust Montero that much yet.

  3. Druss says:
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    Hey Pete ,
    I’m new to the Two-Startapalooza world. But if its not too much trouble could you highlight which of the two is a better start for the Third Tier starters. If the first start is favourable I can just drop them after their start in daily leagues.

    Thanks!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Druss: just look at the strength of opponent and ballpark. Arrieta’s start in Petco I’d better than his home start vs NYY. Citi Field is a nice place to pitch, etc.

  4. Zebrahead13 says:
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    Here’s my dilemma this week: I have 5 2-start pitchers (Kluber, Fister, Gallardo, G. Richards, & Odorizzi). Should I bench King Felix (v Hou) to accommodate all 5 2-starters? This will be the 3rd time he’s faced Houston so far and the other two times he hasn’t fared well. FML

    • zach says:
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      @Zebrahead13: Odorizzi vs OAK & BOS or Felix vs HOU? this shouldn’t require a lot of guesswork.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Zebrahead13: @zach: Felix’s one-start vs. the Stros, no Odor.

        • Zebrahead13 says:
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          @Pete Nice: Thanks! Normally this would be a no brainer but F-Her’s stat line this year vs HOU has been less than impressive: 7IP 6R 2ER 4K (L) & 5IP 3R 2ER 6K (ND). Then again benching the King for Odor is just silly talk, right?

  5. Wudaben says:
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    How about Ventura & Bauer?

    • Wudaben says:
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      @Wudaben: Missed your Bauer comment and after digging a bit deeper Ventura may not be a two starter but CBS is showing he is.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Wudaben: I mean, with Bauer, you have to think the Tribe will be conservative with a young pitcher, given all the Tommy Johns. Don’t know yet though. Can’t confirm Ventura as a two-starter.

  6. Jackie Treehorn says:
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    What do you think about Leake? You like Leake? Tell me about Leake.
    Wainwright and Strasburg are on his plate next week
    Gallardo, Vargas and Liriano are free agents.

    Should I make a moove?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jackie Treehorn: I like Leake a lot. I’d give him a roll. I also like Gallardo ROS although I’m sure there’s lots of talk of regression. I see Vargas and Liriano as about the same. Decent but inconsistent.

      • Joesh says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        Where would Leake be on your rankings? Should I run with him or Odorizzi?

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Joesh: Leake

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @Pete Nice: liriano is in same class as vargas now. man that’s odd.

  7. Chris says:
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    I’ve got to pick two from the grab bag for tomorrow. Which two:

    Danks @ Hou. (Peacock)
    Peacock v ChW (Danks)
    Wheeler @ Wash. (Zimmerman)
    Travis Wood v Mil.(Estrada)

    H2H Pts league and I need some serious points. I see what SON says but want your opinion.
    Thanks.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Chris: If you want to shoot for the moon go with Peacock and Wheeler. Big K numbers for Peacock last time out and there’s a chance Wheeler gets his act together. The safer bet is Danks and Wheeler – Danks has been solid and the Stros blow.

  8. Ante GALIC says:
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    Pete!

    Gr8 article as usual. I ate it up and spit it out in less than 1 minute, such is my voracious hunger for your work! Too early to tell, but should I be dropping Cashner yet? Is he the next Dr Freeze victim?

    Thanks,
    Ante

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Ante GALIC: I hate to refer to Murphy’s Law here but mere days before the news broke I got Cash in a four-player swap. I want to waive my entire team and cry. so that’s my roundabout way of saying it don’t look good. but I wouldn’t waive him just yet.

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Pete Nice: Yeah, really! What hath God wraught? What’d I do? But maybe we dodge a collective bullet here, Pete., you, me and all the other Cash owners. Get it? Cash owners, there aren’t too many of us out there most of us carry credit cards nowadays!

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Ante GALIC: UPDATE on Cashner via KFFL: he’s encouraged, thinks it’s just inflammation, MRI Monday. http://ow.ly/2GQFsb

  9. Nick says:
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    I already have Posey and Rosario as my catchers, and now some dumbass dropped Lucroy. I don’t think three catchers is a great idea, so I should just stand pat and keep Rosario, right?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Nick: I actually don’t think two catchers is a good idea, but you’re probably using Buster at first. Lucroy had 1B in Yahoo, which is kind of cool. If you need to choose, Lucroy for average, Rosario for power.

  10. Allan says:
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    I have had enough of Homer Bailey’s horseshit. Did he use some of his huge contract money to pay off the fantasy experts? After every awful start they say “oh I would hold him he’s gonna be a top 25 pitcher” and he has one decent start and they’re like “see he’s back on track now” and then he blows the hell up again. Would you pick up Kluber or Wily Peralta to replace him?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Allan: That’s how Dickey was after his Cy Young year. He was horrid but you couldn’t justify dumping him outright. It depends how desperate you are. If you’re down in the standings cut for Kluber. Otherwise set a benchmark, like cut him when his ownership is down in the 80s, or treat him like a little kid and give him one more bad start and that’s it.

  11. LT says:
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    Do I really have to stash Salazar? I have no doubt when he gets called back up he will be better but I am just sick of him. We have a 3 RP max in my league so having Mejia and Britton listed at SP but getting saves is pretty valuable. How long till Salazar gets back?

    • Sniff Test says:
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      @LT: I would drop him at this point.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Sniff Test: @LT: I agree unless you’re in a deep league. 20 teams or so.

  12. Hey oh! says:
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    Got offered Homer Bailey for Rick Porcello. Would you take it?

    • Sniff Test says:
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      @Hey oh!: I wouldn’t.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Hey oh!: nope

      • B says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        I’m curious about the reasoning behind rejecting this offer. I guess you guys are really low on Bailey going forward? When I see a deal like this, 1) do I expect either to keep their levels of performance? If not, then 2) what would I expect them both to finish at (assuming roto)?

        If, for example, you think Porcello will end up 3.50ish and Bailey 4ish, then that gives Bailey an edge going forward given their current production. Add in the Ks and this may be a perfect opporutity to buy low on Bailey and sell high on Porcello.

        Of course, if you aren’t as optimistic about Bailey and pessimistic about Porcello, then that could change the decision. What is your outlook/observation on both going forward?

        • Sniff Test says:
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          @B: it sounds to me like you are asking if Bailey is a good buy low candidate. I think yes, but Porcello is too good to give up for a buy low transaction. If the owner of Bailey is requesting this trade, it’s obvious he is frustrated with his presumed ace. Don’t give up something as good as porcello for him. I’m no expert though just a bored nerd.

          • B says:
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            Thanks. Yeah basically, but I’m also wondering how good is Porcello? Again, I’m looking at production from this day forward, not just what’s already happened. I know you know this, just want to clarify how I’m looking at it. Do you still expect Porcello to be better from now until the end of the season? If so, that’s cool but just wondering why. I don’t get to see games (live abroad) so I’m relying on analysing numbers and reading info.

            For my situation, in a league where I’m a bit weak at SP and low on Ks, I’m tempted to make an offer to the Bailey owner (maybe part of a package). I’m just not sure if Porcello will keep up this solid production (is he 2.91 ERA and .266 BABIP good, though not a great K rate) and if Bailey will be continue to be this bad/inconsistent (can he significantly improve on 5.44 ERA and .348 BABIP)?

            • Sniff Test says:
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              @B: the risk reward isn’t worth it for bailey. Bailey at his best would only be a few spots better than porcello. See. If the Bumgardner owner is frustrated enough to bite on your porcello sell high. It might not work, but the first step to making a sale is making the ask.

              • B says:
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                @Sniff Test:

                There’s no way the Bumgarner owner would even consider it. This is a 20 team league so top pitchers are highly prized. I also know this owner is clued up. Thanks though.

                • Sniff Test says:
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                  @B: maybe cueto or price then.

                  • B says:
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                    @Sniff Test:

                    The same owner has Price.

                    As for Cueto and his 1.25 ERA – I think that would be ambitious trying to buy high with someone worse.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @B: if it was offered to you just reject the deal and pretend it never happened.

  13. CatalinaWineMixer says:
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    What do you think ROS. Eovaldi, Bauer, Odorizzi. I currently have Odorizzi should I add him for one of the others? Bedard is also available.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @CatalinaWineMixer: Eovaldi but that could change Tuesday.

  14. Sniff Test says:
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    Son likes Jaime Garcia tomorrow, what say you?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Sniff Test: he could be a good add but I’m not too into that start. could be some dongs hit off of him

      • Sniff Test says:
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        @Pete Nice: thanks!

  15. stonepie says:
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    what do you think about my cobb for his marte? i already have jennings who’s a similar player and im looking for more power but i think marte is bout to turn it around.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @stonepie: I wouldn’t. And if you need power why Marte?

  16. junkmastah says:
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    Who to stream tomorrow?

    Peacock vs. CWS
    Nolasco vs. SEA
    Turner @ SF
    Nuno vs. PIT
    Danks @ HOU
    Vogelsong vs. MIA
    Floyd @ STL
    Shoemaker vs. TB
    Nicasio vs. SD

    SON likes Vogelsong, but I can’t trust Miami’s offense…
    Thoughts?

    • Sniff Test says:
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      @junkmastah: I roll with son if it’s a 9 or above. I would try vogelsong because turner is terrible. Good chance for a w.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @junkmastah: Danks is a safe bet and I would have gone with him but Sniff Test gave good advice.

  17. Druss says:
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    Hi Pete ,
    Could you recommend a few pitchers for Holds who have emerged recently ? Its my first time playing in a Holds League. Should I keep churning my Holds pitchers every few weeks or keep the same ones I drafted! Currently I have Fien , McGhee, Gregerson and Thornburg!

    Thanks!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Druss: Wade Davis and Zack Duke have been doing pretty well, and Al Alburquerque is always along the leaders.

  18. Shaggy says:
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    Has McCarthy’s status been changed? Looks like his start against the Mets is the 26th.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Shaggy: I have McCarthy going next Sunday but I’ll check.

  19. Ryan741 says:
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    I need a spot start today in my H2H points league since Leake was bumped for Cingrani. I’m trying to decide between Arroyo and Floyd. Which of those 2 do you prefer? I’m leaning Floyd slightly….

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Ryan741: yea Floyd

  20. Jon says:
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    Hey pete!

    10 tm, h2h points, we start three SP’s; I have a few at two starts- Strasberg, tanaka & mad bum, the third SP I’ve been going w/ is cueto, do I dare move cueto & his 1 start to the bench in favor of mad bums 2 starts? , also in my RP slot I have keuchel

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jon: go with Bum

  21. Mike says:
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    Should I drop Gio Gonzalez for Tony Cingrani?

    Thanks!

    Mike.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Mike: Drop? Don’t you have a DL?

  22. Bobby says:
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    Would you drop Papelbon to add smyly? I would put smyly in the RP slot, yeah I wouldn’t compete with saves but I’d rather have a starting pitcher there especially if he has two starts, thanks pete

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Bobby: If you’re punting saves I guess so. Feels weird just dropping though. Would it be possible to deal Paps?

  23. Steve Stevenson says:
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    If Bauer were confirmed with 2 starts, where would he slot in–back end of tier 2/top of 3?

    Also, in 12-tm 6×6 (OPS & QS) H2H, what level SP would you accept for C Santana or Mesoraco? Meso was dropped when hurt so I grabbed him for value, but now don’t want to carry 2 C, and I’m fine at Santana’s other positions (1B Abreu, 3B E5, Util Ortiz).

    • Steve Stevenson says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: Even with Abreu on DL, I still want to deal a C. Can just shift Ortiz to 1B and move Myers from bench to Util.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Steve Stevenson: I’d put Bauer middle-second tier.

        It’s going to be tough to get anyone to give you anything for Santana right now. Wait until he gets on a run and then deal him. Sell high.

  24. Hulkster says:
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    I have a choice to start ether Odorizzi or Montero (we start one rookie). What makes you rank Odorizzi higher than Montero? A bit more experience? I’m also assuming that I should start neither over Cobb this week?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Hulkster: Yeah Odorizzi’s been on a roll, and I don’t know if I trust Montero yet. And yup, Cobb’s back on Thursday, he looks good to go.

      • Hulkster says:
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        @Pete Nice: Do you start Cobb (vs OAK) over Anibal Sanchez (vs. TEX)?

  25. DiRo says:
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    If you could only start two guys in a standard ESPN league; Anibal Sanchez, Chris Tillman, Jason Hanmel

  26. Joe says:
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    Pete would you play Jason hammel against new York yankees?

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