I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it explicitly before, but I am an Oakland A’s fan.

I know, I know. Yes, I know the other one.

This has not been an easy season to be an A’s fan. Frankly, what’s happening on the field is so dismal, it’s become far more interesting as an A’s fan to watch what’s happening with the City of Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland, where the team won their last game 23-2.

On the field, of course, they’re 26-54. Worst record in baseball.

Which is why it’s so easy to recommend the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays pitchers who get the A’s as one half of their two-start week coming up. Justin Verlander, Alek Manoah, Luis Garcia, and Yusei Kikuchi are all pitchers you wouldn’t bench this week even if I’d recommended it, but rest assured: they feature quite favorably here.

Let’s dive in, shall we?


The bold pitchers below are the most extreme version of each section. The best of the Top Shelf, the safest of the Well, the worst of the Bar Mat.

The Top Shelf

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Justin Verlander, HOU KC(MO) @OAK(SA)
Alek Manoah, TOR @OAK(MO) @SEA(SA)
Carlos Rodon, SF @ARI(MO) @SD(SA)
Luis Garcia, HOU KC(TU) @OAK(SU)
Michael Kopech, CHW MIN(TU) DET(SU)
Eric Lauer, MIL CHC(MO) PIT(SU)
Sandy Alcantara, MIA LAA(TU) @NYM(SU)
Max Scherzer, NYM @CIN(TU) MIA(SU)



The Well

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Yusei Kikuchi, TOR @OAK(TU) @SEA(SU)
Julio Urias, LAD COL(MO) CHC(SA)
Johnny Cueto, CHW MIN(MO) DET(SA)
Hunter Greene, CIN NYM(MO) TB(SA)
Mitch White, LAD COL(TU) CHC(SU)
Kyle Wright, ATL STL(MO) WSH(SA)
Taijuan Walker, NYM @CIN(MO) MIA(SA)
Alex Wood, SF @ARI(TU) @SD(SU)
Noah Syndergaard, LAA @MIA(TU) @BAL(SU)
Dane Dunning, TEX @BAL(MO) MIN(SU)
Madison Bumgarner, ARI SF(MO) COL(SA)
German Marquez, COL @LAD(TU) @ARI(SU)
Nick Lodolo, CIN NYM(TU) TB(SU)
Patrick Corbin, WSH MIA(MO) @ATL(SA)



The Bar Mat

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Ranger Suarez, PHI WSH(TU) @STL(SU)
Jameson Taillon, NYY @PIT(TU) @BOS(SU)
Dean Kremer, BAL TEX(MO) LAA(SA)
Nick Pivetta, BOS TB(TU) NYY(SU)
Ian Anderson, ATL STL(TU) WSH(SU)
Chris Flexen, SEA @SD(MO) TOR(SU)
Dylan Bundy, MIN @CHW(MO) @TEX(SU)
Zach Plesac, CLE @DET(MO) @KC(SU)
Justin Steele, CHC @MIL(MO) @LAD(SA)
Mitch Keller, PIT NYY(TU) @MIL(SU)
Kyle Freeland, COL @LAD(MO) @ARI(SA)
Kyle Hendricks, CHC @MIL(TU) @LAD(SU)
Zack Greinke, KC @HOU(TU) CLE(SU)
Rony Garcia, DET CLE(TU) @CHW(SU)
Cole Irvin, OAK TOR(MO) HOU(SU)
Michael Wacha, BOS TB(MO) NYY(SA)
Austin Voth, BAL TEX(TU) LAA(SU)
Braxton Garrett, MIA @WSH(MO) @NYM(SA)
Jonathan Heasley, KC @HOU(MO) CLE(SA)
Paolo Espino, WSH @PHI(TU) @ATL(SU)
Andre Pallante, STL @ATL(TU) PHI(SU)
Dakota Hudson, STL @ATL(MO) PHI(SA)
Kyle Nelson, ARI SF(TU) COL(SU)
Jalen Beeks, TB @BOS(MO) @CIN(SU)


  • The Bar Mat is BIG this week. Beware!
  • Everyone from Kyle Hendricks on down is projected to hurt you, not help you, and the rest of this list is probably behind the reasonable choices you have who are getting just one start. Remember that.


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1 month ago

Hi Steve,

after reading your column, i picked up Eric Laurer and waived Dean Kramer? was that a good move?

thanks for a great column!


1 month ago

Late news:

1) Houston announced that Odorizzi is starting for Houston against KC today (Monday) and also that they are going to a 6 man rotation, so that means Odorizzi should also get a start Sunday at Oakland.

Logically that probably ought to land him in The Well.

2) Ranger Suarez has hit the 15 day IL, so you can forget him for the week.