Well here we are, it’s the final Top 100 before the All-Star Break. It’s been quite the ordeal trying to keep tabs on every starting pitcher in baseball, but I look forward to writing this every week and I hope you enjoy reading it as well. It’s a bit of a wonky weeky with some players temporarily optioned to Triple-A over the break like Freddy Peralta and Shane Bieber. They’ll be back though, so I left them on the list. Unfortunately, Garrett Richards won’t be back, as he’ll go under the knife for Tommy John surgery. On the bright side we got Thor back, along with a couple of other less impactful arms like Trevor Cahill, Masahiro Tanaka, and Brent Suter. We lost Junior Guerra to the DL with a mysterious forearm injury, which is more worrisome than wearing white pants the day after hot chili night. No word yet on how Senior Guerra is taking the news. Enjoy the All-Star Break, everyone!

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With the All-Star Break stealing the next half a week from us, there are obviously no two-start pitchers. So, in place of Two Startapalooza this week, we’re going to take a look back at the first half that was. We’ll take a look at our own fantasy All-Star teams of Studs and Duds and prognosticate whether their production (or lack thereof) will continue in the second half. For the Duds I’m aiming for guys who have sucked without too much of an injury excuse. For the Studs, I’m considering their preseason ADP relative to the production they’ve given you. When I do reference said ADP, it’ll be the Fantrax preseason ADP I’m talking about. There are a ton of guys to get to here, so without further tomfoolery or balderdash, let’s rock.

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For the first time in a long time, we’ve got more impact starters returning than vacating the list. Huzzah! I look for any reason to party, and that’s reason enough for me, baby. Break out the purple drank! Carlos Carrasco spent a little more time on the DL than we expected, but he’s back comfortably inside the top 20. Johnny Cueto and Garrett Richards both return to the top 35. Jeff Samardjiza is even back, unfortunately for his owners. Let’s hope his fingers work on his splitter more than they work on his flowing locks of hair. The list looks a bit weird this week because of the returners. Some of the guys that I tried to jump up the list really didn’t get too far, like if Mario was a real-life plumber trying to leap over a cactus. There aren’t a lot of newcomers of note, so let’s focus this week on risers, fallers, and the real losers who fell off the list.

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Boy, I’m really phoning it in with this week’s article title. Anyway, it’s the last full week before we get a midseason breather for the All Star Break, so it’s a fairly busy one. Tiers 1 and 2 look like more fun than an Alabama Slammahamma. Don’t bother Googling that, I just made it up. It sounds like a real thing though, doesn’t it? Tier 3 isn’t quite the juicy peach we had a week ago, but some options may be on your waiver wire. Tier 4 gives us a bountiful bouquet of bodaciousness, with a vast array of not-horrible starters that have decent matchups. Danny Duffy climbing out of the bottom tier might be optimistic, but his duo of AL Central opponents are enticing. There are even a couple of Tier 5 guys that might be of deep league interest, but…we’ve officially hit the Tommy Milone point in the season. Will he really get two starts? Everyone hopes not. Don’t even talk to me about his minor league numbers, they’re always good. He’s the epitome of a Quad-A pitcher. Even in what would be his second start against the Mets who can’t hit a lick against lefties, I’d rather just run into the corner of a groin-high kitchen table and call it a day.

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What a difference a week makes. A week ago there wasn’t a ton of movement, but this week I felt like an overhaul was in store. We’ll get to the risers and fallers in a little bit, but first there is a bit of scuttlebutt to address. No, not Scuzzlebutt the basket-weaving monster who lives in the mountains of South Park and has Patrick Duffy for a leg and a stick of celery for an arm. SCUTTLEbutt. The largest of which has to be the surprise demotion of Rockies Opening Day starter Jon Gray to Triple-A Albuquerque. Gray had a particularly heinous 5.77 ERA, so bad that Mariska Hargitay had begun poking around Coors Field to keep an eye on things. His FIP, however, is a sterling 3.07 (11th best among qualified starters), and his K-BB% is 21.8% (12th best). You can’t even point to Coors Field as causing his troubles, with a 5.89 road ERA. This looks like incredibly bad luck, but with this demotion clearly the team is focused on something mechanical. It’ll be pretty hard to hang on to him in standard mixers, although he may not be down for too long if they fix what needs a-fixin’ right quick. I’d try to hold him in a bench spot if you can in 15+ team leagues. Elsewhere, there aren’t too many notable promotions, but there are a few new names on the back end to peep.

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Times are grand this week in the wide world of Two Startapalooza! It is a palooza after all, which is the scientific term for pitching party. Can you imagine a carnival full of pitchers playing those games where you throw balls at the bottles and knock them over for prizes? They would win ALL of the giant stuffed bears. ALL OF THE BEARS. Leaving none for the shlubs like me that can’t hit 95 on the gun. How emasculating. All the girls would leave the normal guys and flock to the pitchers. I wonder if girls are still impressed by the really crappy pitchers? I mean, he still made it to the Major Leagues, which is super impressive. Who cares if he’s got a 6.30 career ERA? That man god paid. Speaking of such things, there are pitchers threatening to post a 6+ ERA this week in the bottom of this week’s slate. Tiers 3 and 4 are awash with capable options though, making this a great week for standard mixed league streaming. Let’s break down the options.

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Surprise!! Kershaw is back! Again. Hopefully for the last time. We all love Kershaw whether we own him or not (come on, the guy builds houses in third world counties in his off time). Therefore for the good of baseball, Kershaw should be allowed to have a personal masseuse on the field at all times to loosen him up between pitches. Anything that back needs, get that masseuse in there and rub it out. No more DL stints! Someone get me Manfred’s number. Of course, for every give there is a take, and we lost Carlos Carrasco to a nasty comebacker off the elbow. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be gone too long, but he’s off the list this week. Outside of that we had a relatively quiet week for starting pitchers. We lost the likes of Aaron Sanchez and Jose Urena to the DL, but those guys aren’t leaving anyone’s season hanging in the balance. Michael Wacha does appear to be gone for a significant amount of time with an oblique strain though, and that is a more significant loss. Despite the fact that he seemed obscenely overrated by the Razzball community, I didn’t want to see him go. Especially considering he’s being replaced by John Gant. Yay. We’re also in that dead zone before the midseason call ups, so we don’t have too many debuts to discuss this week on the list. Most starters pretty much pitched like you’d expect them to this week as well, so there wasn’t a ton of serious moving and shaking. That makes this sound like a bit of a dance, which I guess it kind of is. I prefer the Mashed Potato, myself. Since there isn’t a ton of movement, I want to touch on some of the guys I haven’t talked about this year in addition to a few newcomers to the list.

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I like my Two Start Pitcher schedules the same way I like my coffee: robust, and diarrhea inducing. We have a strong slate this week of double dippers, complete with a vast array of crap in Tier 5 and a pleasantly surprising amount of goodness in Tiers 3-4. Tier 1 holds a trio of no-brainers, but Tier 2 is ripe with the scent of potential over-performance! Price, Gonzalez, Hamels, and Stripling all raise their stocks with non-intimidating opponents. Tyler Skaggs is worthy of discussion in Tier 3 as someone who could have been pushed to Tier 2, but despite Boston’s weakness against southpaws, I’m not stoked about that matchup. There are some really interesting names in Tier 4, not the least of which is Reynaldo Lopez. Despite his decent matchups and surface stats, he’s got a lot of red flags under the hood and that keeps him from Tier 3. Have a look at Tier 5 if you want to know who not to start. Let’s have a look at some more two-start options of interest this week.

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Whew! It turns out taking a week off from ranking these guys makes for a lot of work the next time out. As you might imagine, there is a bit more moving and shaking than normal this week. Surprise surprise, we’ve also had a slew of injuries that continue to take it’s toll on the top 50. We’ve lost Stephen Strasburg, Walker Buehler, and Garrett Richards most notably, with Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard looking lost for extended periods. The aces that are left continue to dominate though, and Trevor Bauer has worked his way into the top 10. We did get Madison Bumgarner back, but he hasn’t looked very sharp and I’m wondering if he belongs in the top 20 at this point. Carlos Martinez has been killing his owners since his return from the DL himself, yet his upside makes it hard to drop him too hard just yet. On the brighter side of things, Tyler Skaggs, with whom we planted flags several weeks ago, continues to climb the list in glorious fashion. Also, I still have no idea how Ross Stripling is suddenly an ace, but he keeps shoving and I keep ranking him higher. I’d consider selling depending on what you’re getting in return, but I’m probably just enjoying the ride if I have Stripling. Let’s go in depth on a half dozen other Risers, Fallers, and Newcomers of interest this week.

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Don’t be dour, Bauer, the Cole Sale isn’t until tomorrow in Greinke’s DeGrom! Greinke’s DeGrom can be whatever you like it to be, but I like to think it’s a fancy bathroom in the Diamondbacks dugout that only Greinke can use, and it’s bedazzled with copper plating that has his likeness pressed into it. It also features a bidet that only churns out pine tar, because you can never have too good a grip on things. That first sentence does happen to include the names of each starter from this week’s Tier 1 by the way, what a coincidence! We’ve got a nice chunk of nine guys between the first two tiers, but alas Tier 3 is weak with just four names. Tiers 4 and 5 are where the real action is as this week, making it a less than desirable streaming week. The likes of Caleb Smith and Marco Gonzales have been plenty useful this season, but bad matchups push each of them to Tier 4. Good luck trying to guess which Sonny Gray you’re going to get, the Sonny or the Gray, and mediocre matchups keep him dwelling in Tier 4 as well. Out of the mucky muck of Tier 5 you could perhaps cast your lot with “The Coors Kielbasa” German Marquez, but doubling up in Coors Field isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Here’s a look at some of the other notable two-start pitchers this week.

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