I’m not one to toot my own horn, but TOOT, TOOT. Our picks have been killing it the last two weeks and we’re going to look to build off that momentum here. The funny thing is, I hate this group of streamers. This is probably my least favorite group all season long and I’m not ashamed to say that our hot streak may come to an end with these questionable selections. Our goal here is to stream though and dammitt, we’re gonna stream. With that in mind, let’s get to some of our two-star pitchers… 

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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. 

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And just like that, we enter the cluster**** that is September baseball. Rotations change early and often now with expanded rosters, moving rotation regulars around here and there for extra rest in lieu of spot starters. On top of that, we’ve still got the Rays working their Opener angle, which I’m pretty sure they’re doing just to give me gray hairs (but not Grey’s hairs). Expect to see fewer double dippers the rest of the way because of this. Even this first week is a bit light on two start action, but what we do have is surprisingly acceptable, like hitting on your supervisor after five shots of Jager at the company Christmas party.

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I’m happy to bring you another fanciful week of double dippers here in the wide world of stitchesball. It’s a little bit of a lighter week after a busy week of post All-Star Break action, yet this is another one of the friendliest streaming slates of the season. I said that last week too and I really hope I’m not accidentally turning into an optimist. Tiers 1 and 2 are just about as shallow as you can get, with a lot of mid-level starters getting two turns this time out. Tier 2 is easily the grossest it’s been all season. I didn’t even want to put C-Mart in there, but I felt obligated to at least fill out three names in Tier 2. Tier 3 is where the party’s at this week, baby. They rented an elephant and a clown for the week and gave them both ecstasy so lord knows what’s gonna happen next. You could argue that David Price could have been elevated to Tier 2, but he’s got the Yankees and he gets pounded by them pretty consistently. Tyler Skaggs was borderline too, but a date with Cleveland bumped him down. Tyler Anderson should keep the good times rolling with a pair of decent matchups. Tier 4 is a bit more of a hodgepodge, with guys like Ervin Santana who I am not completely sure what to do with. His fastball velocity is down a whopping three MPH from last year, which is terrifying, but he also gets the Royals in his second start. I’m probably playing it safe and staying away from him for now. Tanner Roark was ridiculously good in his last start, reversing the trend from his previous umpteen starts of being ridiculously bad. I’m not buying it, and he’s still in Tier 5. Honestly, a lot of Tier 5 doesn’t even look that bad this week. Someone punch me in the nuts, I need my pessimism back.

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Get ready for all the feels. Back in the preseason someone, either JB or an emailer, asked Grey on the Razzball Podcast (did you know we had one? Subscribe!) who could be the next Corey Kluber in fantasy baseball, a pitcher that had a high K%, a good minor league trajectory, and displayed something that would trigger a breakout? In 2014 Kluber ascended into Cy Young status, and won many a fantasy league for owners everywhere (this guy included – love you Corey!). It’s the type of question posed every offseason, because finding the diamond in the rough is part of what it takes to really excel in fantasy baseball. The season is so long, there is such a huge accumulation of stats, and there are so many players. If only you can find that special one.

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“Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you.” Woo. Woo. Woo! Welp, I don’t know that even Joltin’ Joe could help the Yanks this year, but across town in Flushing ole Simon and Garfunkel may change their tune, because baseball nation is awaiting the return of one of its aces. New York’s in need of a hero (aren’t they always?), and I’m not talking of the Norse god variety. No, they need someone who speaks them, looks like them, gets them…someone who is them. The Dark Knight himself: Matt Harvey.

In 400+ IP from 2012-2015 his ERA never crept above 2.73, including 2.71 in 189 IP last season after fully recovering from the ol’ TJ surgery. He’s been as dominant as it gets, and should be the anchor of a nasty Mets rotation. But 2016 has been nothing of the sort. Yet. His 4.76 ERA is the ugliest thing in his life these days, because you know he can date whomever he wants in NYC. Just like how Batman always a lady friend stalking him, Harvey’s gotta have strong offerings galore. If only ‘strong offerings’ were also indicative of his pitches in 2016. Despite all other peripherals remaining consistent from years past, his bread and butter, the fastball, dropped a full MPH in velocity. Harvey needs his stuff to return, and fast. Well, to fast? And it needs to be fast, yes, but really it must get to its previous fast. Yeah…that works. And with a little luck, mixed with some well-timed visits from a few special opponents, I believe the Mets Dark Knight will be returning from the ashes soon. Really soon.

A hero is only as good as his villain, and Batman’s had his fair share. However, not all stack up the same, so let’s have some fun with the Week 5 Rankings by categorizing them by the best Batman villains. And no, don’ get confused, we’re not ranking the pitcher’s opponents, but man, when looking those two up against Harvey, his turn around happens now or it may be time to turn in the cape on 2016.

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I mean, were you expecting a different answer? Why in the balls would that question even be posed? It’s DFP (figure it out). However, in case he’s not on one of your teams, Price carries a 7.06 ERA into next week, which could sound the alarms of some novice fantasy owners. And just in case that’s you, woo-sah kemosabe. Let’s look at why David Price is quite alright…

This will be the first Two-Start Pitcher post to utilize 2016 stats in determining the rank of these double dragons. Almost one month in, and at least three starts down for most starters, there’s enough evidence to gather a solid idea of how pitchers are performing. So, like we talked about in the Two-Start Pitcher Primer, we’re going to look at opponents, ERA, FIP, K/9 and BB/9. And each of them will show the evidence of why certain starters are better than others, in particular, a SP with a 7.00+ ERA.

You want to find SP with high K/9 and low BB/9. That goes without saying. So why did I say it? I don’t know. Moving on. ERA is the standard stat the world uses to determine a pitcher’s value. It’s simple. It’s easy to understand. How to actually calculate it? Not so easy, but not tricky. I’m just an English major that hasn’t taken a math class in 13 years. (Suck it, Georgia Tech nerds!) While ERA matters immensely, especially in fantasy formats, it’s not necessarily the greatest indicator of true performance or future trajectory. Enter Fielding Independent Pitching. Or, FIP. From the Fangraphs vault, here’s the math for FIP:

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No, not a Pirates of the Caribbean reference there. Well, maybe it’s inspired from it. Is that better? But rather than the dreaded undead ship that rises from the abyss of Davey Jones Locker, this Dutchman fills his opponents with dread while letting his luscious locks flow henceforth through the strong winds of the…Flushing skyline? Alright, it stops there (for now). Who we talking about? Noah Syndergaard. Sweet mercy, if he aint the best Mets starter out of their vaunted rotation then I don’t know what everyone else is thinking. Well, this week at least.

One of the best indicators into determining the success of a Two-Start pitcher is examining his opponents. Plurals. Two of ’em. You want the pitcher that doesn’t just slay one dragon in a week, but two of ’em. Double Dragon. Two Dragons. I digress. Or do I? Taking down two opponents isn’t an easy task, but when a top-tier pitcher is served the Phillies and Braves on a silver freaking platter, guess what? Here comes the dragon slayer…if the dragons played are essentially of the AAA variety. Two poopy lineups vs. one mighty SP means the top of the rankings for that blonde behemoth taking the mound for the Mets.

And since we’re talking about the Flying Dutchman, we’ll carry over the precedent set by the Week 2 Two-Start Pitcher Rankings and categorize the tiers through a film franchise: Pirates of the Caribbean! And whaddaya know, it even fits with the amount of tiers we have. Gee whillakers!

In the Two-Start Pitcher Primer we discussed the strategy to finding the best two-start options. Being early in the year it’s difficult to pull statistical data on the opposing team’s lineups, so these rankings will revert to some 2015 stats for the pitchers. Are we really doing that again? Ya dern right. We’re dropping last year’s Park Factors, and staying with the pitcher’s numbers. Waaaay too many invariables to rely upon that number for the third week in April 2016. Also, as this is being written, the White Sox are 8-2. Think that’s a true indicator of future production? (And everyone outside of the Southside said, ‘Uh, no.’) We’ll stick to 2015 one more time.

And don’t worry… even if I used this year’s stats to designate rank, Syndergaard would still be at the top. Dude’s been unhittable.

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In a time long ago, when men were men and athletes freely used performance enhancing drugs to little or no consequences, there was a gameshow. A show that celebrated such athletes both male and female, athletes that invested their time, money, and focus into becoming the most gargantuan human beings they could become. On this show they matched average everyday sclubbs against these well built steroid fueled warriors in feats of strength and agility. What is this show pray-tell? Well of course it’s a little show called American Gladiators. Ever heard of it? No young-ins, I’m not talking about that gross bastardization of a program that was on 7-8 years ago, I’m talking the genuine article. The flag waving, patriotic leotard rocking, testosterone train ride, where the women had high hair and the type of muscles that would have you asking them to open the olive jar. The early 90’s were a simpler time friends.

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Much like Bruce Jenner’s genitals, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

Hey everybody, I hope your 4th went well! Me, I had a great time with some friends, some beer, some family, some more beer, some burgers, some jaeger, some policemen, some angry white guys at the local drunk tank…really couldn’t have asked for anything more! Could you keep it down please, I have a roaring headache! Oooooh right, forgot about that part. Me, I just asked they cook Alka Seltzer directly into my hamburger patty the entire time. Worked like a charm! Sorry to the seagulls my jerk friend fed my leftovers to that day, though…R.I.P. Don’t worry, I got him back for you later by telling him the mentos were Alka Seltzer and fed him some Diet Coke. Exploding living things isn’t funny now is it, Craig! Of course we know now none of this intro is true. I have no friends! But what I do have is an iPhone and people text me on it and one said person is Grey. Yeah, I name dropped, whatevs. He said our friend Pete Nice needed some help for this week 14 on the Two Start Pitcher tip so I said ‘how much?’ and Grey said ‘we won’t charge you to write for us this time’ and I said ‘what a deal!’ and jumped on it like Sugarhill Gang. You see, typically I’m slanging you some DraftKings knowledge here on the Razz but sometimes I like to slang other thangs at you and here’s my chance. So without further ado, here’s my take on week 14 two start pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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