Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was back in theaters this weekend to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Remember how excited people were for its release? There were people who camped out for weeks in order to be first in line to see it. The wait for Star Wars to return to the theater had been a long one. But now, it was back! And then they saw it.

I remember trying so hard to convince myself it was good. It was Star Wars! Of course it was great! But it wasn’t. I, and so many others, just didn’t want to accept that, sure, Star Wars was back. But it wasn’t what we hoped it would be.

On Monday, Walker Buehler will be back on a big league mound. People have been waiting a long time to see it. Remember how good he was? He was so good! And now he’s back! People can’t wait to get him back in their lineups. But…should they?

I was there on opening weekend of The Phantom Menace. And, in the one league, I had him stashed, I’ll probably have Buehler in my lineup. However, this was his second Tommy John surgery, and those have a history of being harder to come back from than the first one. Additionally, the preview we’ve gotten in the minors hasn’t inspired a ton of confidence that greatness is on its way. Maybe he’ll come out on Monday and be the ace we remember. But don’t be shocked if the results are more of a menace to your team than a new hope.


What follows are our projections at time of writing as to who will be making two-starts this week, but weather, injuries, and secretive team management mean they are just that: projections. To stay as up-to-date as possible, consult Rudy Gamble’s invaluable Streamonator.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Must Start)

They are kings of the cookie world for a reason. A warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie just makes you feel happy. Sort of like getting to set your rosters knowing you get two starts this week from these guys.

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Luis Castillo, Sea @MIN OAK
Cole Ragans, KC Mil @LAA
Shoto Imanaga, CHC SD @PIT
Bailey Ober, Min SEA @TOR
Justin Verlander, Hou @NYY @DET


Sugar Cookies (Should Start)

They’re fine. You could certainly do worse than having these guys in your lineup, but don’t expect it to be remarkable.

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Jack Flaherty, Det @CLE HOU
Zac Gallen, Ari @CIN @BAL
Seth Lugo, KC MIL @LAA
Triston McKenzie, Cle DET @CWS
Luis Gil, NYY Hou @TB
  • Gallen is only this low for two reasons. First, he didn’t make a start at all this last week due to a balky hamstring. It’s probably fine, but seeing him get through a start without any sort of reaggravation would make me feel better. Second, pitching in Cincinnati and against the Orioles is less than ideal. You’re still starting him, obviously, but there’s just enough going on for me to put him a tier down from his normal heights.
  • I (and Streamontor) admittedly have McKenzie higher than you’d expect from someone who’s only really had one good start so far. But do you see those matchups?


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Could Start)

These aren’t for everyone. These are the pitchers that may be a pleasant surprise, or they could ruin your week. Tread lightly.

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Walker Buehler, LAD MIA @SD
Yu Darvish, SD @CHC LAD
Mitch Keller, Pit LAA CHC
Tyler Anderson, LAA @PIT KC
Kyle Harrison, SF @COL CIN
Colin Rea, Mil @KC STL
Logan T. Allen, Cle DET @CWS
Emerson Hancock, Sea @MIN OAK
  • Keller has been pretty awful this season. But he’s also one of those guys who could turn it around and start producing tasty results on any given outing. The question is, are you willing to take that chance that it will happen this outing?
  • While I am significantly lower on Keller than Streamontor is this week, I’m significantly higher than it on Tyler Anderson. I acknowledge it would be a risky play based on his underlying numbers, which aren’t very good. But he’s also been getting results so far, and those matchups aren’t terribly imposing. He’s in this tier for a reason, but I don’t hate the idea of using him.
  • Besides the matchups, I don’t know why Streamonator likes Allen as much as it does this week, having him significantly higher than I do. His actual performance so far has been ugly, and the numbers back it up. However, his last outing was decent and those matchups are enticing.


Fortune Cookies (Do Not Start)

Yeah, they’re technically cookies. Hold on, what does that little slip of paper say? “Bad times are heading your way.” Oh. Okay, then.

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Patrick Sandoval, LAA @PIT KC
Andrew Heaney, Tex @OAK @COL
Sean Manaea, NYM @STL ATL
Kyle Gibson, StL NYM @MIL
Miles Mikolas, StL NYM @MIL
Simeon Woods-Richardson, Min SEA @TOR
Roddery Munoz, Mia @LAD PHI
Bryse Wilson, Mil @KC STL
Tyler Alexander, TB CWS NYY
Nick Martinez, Cin ARI @SF
Alex Wood, Oak TEX @SEA
Chris Flexen, CWS @TB CLE
Mike Soroka, CWS @TB CLE
Mitch White, SF @PHI CIN
Dakota Hudson, Col SF TEX
  • With Christian Scott being added to the rotation this weekend, and to this point no announcement of anyone being moved to the bullpen, Manaea may only make one start this week. That might actually be preferable if you’re in a position of needing to use him, because it’s always better to not rely on a middling pitcher against the Braves. You’d really prefer to not use him at all right now, though.
  • It might be Mitch White who gets a shot in the Giants’ rotation. It might be Sean Hjelle. It’s not clear at the time of writing. Whoever it is, you don’t want to use them.