I had Dane Dunning listed as a two-start pitcher last week, but I guess that didn’t happen for whatever reason. However, he was the headlining player of that article, and he’s back again for this week! Way back then I wrote: “I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.” Well, he did allow a HR to the Twins last week, but still only held them to that 1 ER over 7 innings while tying his season-high with 7 K’s. JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU. So what about these Indians? They’re only hitting .230 against righties with a .373 slugging percentage. The ingredients are there for another delicious recipe for success from Dunning. I’m a little less optimistic about his start against the Cubs, although they have been middle of the road against righties with their third-highest K/rate against them. Take the risk if you can afford it. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I was a big Spencer Turnbull believer at the beginning of the season — but now I’m not too sure. And unfortunately, he has no one to blame but himself. He’s got the highest BB/9 in the league with a 5.97 mark. Yee-ikes! How bad is that number? Well since 2000 the worst BB/9 was Matt Clement’s 5.49 in 2000. He ended the season with a 5.14 ERA. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1994 to find someone with a worse BB/9 than Turnbull right now. A young man by the name of Todd Van Poppel of the Oakland Athletics had a 6.87 BB/9. His ERA at the end of that year was 6.09. The Brewers shouldn’t be a tough team — they have the 3rd worst OPS vs righties in the league. However, he faced them his last start and — you guessed it — walked way too many guys (5 in 5 IP) and allowed 5 ERs. He’s never had the best control — but almost 6 per game is unprecedented. In the minors, he hovered around a 3.5 BB/9 mark. Right now he’s at the bottom of his tier and looking down because if you look through some of his previous starts this season when he keeps the walks below 4 he can have some success — but unfortunately, that often isn’t the case. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

“But wait! The season has already begun!” Razzball nation cries out. 

Yes good people — but many teams didn’t announce their starting rotations until yesterday — and some still haven’t! So there’s going to be a bit of extrapolation on my part trying to predict exactly who is going to be starting, on what day, against which team, with what weapon and in what room. The San Francisco Giants for example have a game in a little over 5 hours as I’m writing this and the scheduled starter is that young, fire-balling, lefty from Korea: TBD. 

If you’ve found Razzball you know what to expect from a weekly two-start pitcher column. Every Saturday morning I’ll highlight the starting pitchers who have two starts in an upcoming week and I’ll rank ‘em and tier ‘em. Tier 1 — you can basically ignore reading this section each week. If you need me to tell you to start Gerrit Cole for both games of his two-start week — you don’t deserve Razzball’s content! But tier 2 through 5 is where your money is made, your bread is buttered and your week is won — well maybe not tier 5. Tier 5 is not for the faint of heart. That’s where your money is lost, your bread is burnt and your week is lost. 

As the season progresses I’ll be able to also recommend/reject certain pitchers based on their match-ups and stadiums. Again — for your top tier pitchers, this won’t matter. But German Marquez against the Dodgers in Coors Field? Maybe leave him on your bench for that match-up. Unfortunately, this early in the season, I can make predictions on who I think will be a tough offense to face — the Marlins are atop the NL East standings so who knows what will happen by week 5? 

One last thing to keep in mind — some teams will be implementing bullpen games. I won’t be including these in the two-start rankings. One or two innings pitched does not really constitute a “start” in my eyes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

  • Last week of the regular season. Playoff teams may decide to adjust or sit their starters as they lock up their position and start getting ready for the playoffs. Did my best to recognize the 2 starters as best I could here.
  • There’s still some questions about who will start, but the situations I couldn’t nail down were:
    • Baltimore: Dylan Bundy is in line to start, but there’s a chance that Chandler Sheperd gets a chance in that spot instead.
    • Mariners have Marco Gonzales down to pitch both Sunday and Tuesday. It could be Tommy Milone or Justin Dunn if Marco goes Sunday.
    • The Reds could throw Kevin Gausman as an opener or could let Sonny Gray take the spot on Tuesday.
  • Oakland and San Diego are likely running a 6 man rotation.
  • Cincinnati may run a 6 man rotation, but have to monitor that situation.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

No Doubt

Name Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2
Justin Verlander HOU TB @TOR
Walker Buehler LAD @SD @ARI
Aaron Nola PHI @MIA NYM

I met him at 9:30 club in Washington DC
Where you drink a cold beer and it tastes just like a hoppy ale
N O L A Nola

He walked a batter every now and then
But the 3.02 2nd half ERA and 27% K rate had me wanting Nola
N O L A Nola la-la-la-la Nola

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

No Doubt

Name Team 1st Opp. 2nd Opp.
Shane Bieber CLE @NYM KC
Clayton Kershaw LAD TOR NYY

For the second straight year, the Topps card company struggled to remember which Bieber plays baseball and which one is a pop star. At least Shane seems to take it all in stride, just look at his uniform from last year.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

No Doubt

Player Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2
Gerrit Cole HOU @CHW @OAK
Clayton Kershaw LAD @MIA @ATL

It wasn’t worth the effort to paste Gerrit Cole’s head on the GIF, but you get it, Cole is about to dive straight into a pile of money as he enters free agency next season.

After getting off to a rough start, Cole keeps cruising with a 1.98 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 36% K rate along with a 6.3% BB rate since his May 27th start. He may be getting a little lucky, but you have bigger concerns than whether he should be in your lineup.

Clayton Kershaw has been great this season as well, and performing even better since July started. 1.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and a 32% K rate. As Mark Twain was famously quoted as saying, “Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The back has held up this season and we’re getting a (potentially last) look at vintage Kershaw down the stretch.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

No Doubt

Player Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2
Lucas Giolito CHW @KC @TB
Luis Castillo CIN @CHC STL
Walker Buehler LAD @PHI MIA
Clayton Kershaw LAD @PHI MIA

Donkey Teeth and I have profiled everyone in this grouping, except Kershaw, at some point or another on the podcast. If you want some detailed profiles, go check out those various episodes. Outside of the first week of the season, this is the toughest week to figure out the 2 start pitchers. There’s a lot of educated guessing in here, and hopefully, it helps your preparation. The table at the bottom may end up being more helpful once more starters are announced Monday and Tuesday. Nothing more here, start these guys.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

How nice is it to be back in the baseball grind? After an unpredictable opening week with a stupid amount of injuries, it’s time to build off that momentum and ride down the stream. This week’s streamers are actually much weaker than last weeks and it’ll do some digging to find some good options. While last week’s article was called Week 2 because it was our second article, we’re going to go ahead and call this Week 2, since that’s the case for most of you fantasy owners. With that in mind, let’s get into a couple of two-start streamers. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Welcome folks, to the final 2018 version of Two Startapalooza! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the format, and with any luck I’ve been able to help you out in some way with these posts. The best of times are probably in the past, sadly, because if you need two start pitcher help here in the final week of the season, you’re in tough shape. Not only are a solid chunk of these guys probably going to get shuffled out of their second start, most of the pitchers that are widely available with two starts this week are…not good. Tiers 1 and 2 are where the action is at, but those guys are already owned, so just smoke ’em if you got ’em. Tier 3 does have some names that could be lower owned, like Cole Hamels, Kevin Gausman, or Derek Holland. Tier 4 is about as bad as it’s been all season, and at this point I don’t have to describe Tier 5 other than just to say: mucky muck. As with last week, keep a keen eye on the rotations up until the final minute, because they are apt to change quite a bit. Good luck this week!!

Please, blog, may I have some more?