Most of the starting pitchers for week 3’s games haven’t even been officially announced yet. Pair this with reports that MLB is warning television stations to get their Big Bang Theory re-runs and copies of Shawshank Redemption loaded up and it’s hard to be optimistic about the season. The chart I’m working off only has 4 starters confirmed so I had to do some diggin’, scratchin’, and prognosticatin’ to try and determine exactly who might be a two-start pitcher for this week. Below, you’ll find 4 tiers below of week 3’s two-starters. They are in order of descending disappointment. That’s not to say you can’t find any one-start gems in the lower tiers, but I just can’t recommend rolling them out for both starts. 

 

Code Green: This area is reserved for your Gerrit Cole’s, your Jacob deGrom’s, your Patrick Corbin’s when he is facing two weak opponents — hey lookie there! I’m not even going to waste the lactic acid in typing about these guys. If you need me to tell you to start Shane Bieber in a two-start week you need more help than I can provide at this cost. 

 

Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Max Scherzer WAS R 3.29 @NYM 0.695 @BAL 0.713
Patrick Corbin WAS L 3.00 @NYM 0.783 @BAL 0.817

 

  • Scherzer’s hamstring injury is obviously something to watch — but is there anyone crazier and tougher in the entire MLB than Scherzer? If he’s even 51% — he’ll be pitching this week. 

 

Code Blue: These are your “not-quite-ready-for-code-green players.” These guys have either been performing really well and I’d still start them regardless of match-up — or have two easy match-ups that I can’t let you pass up their double-dip for this week. 

 

Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Lance McCullers HOU R 9.22 SF 0.711 SEA 0.689
Ryan Yarbrough TBR L 3.78 @BOS 0.863 @TOR 0.516
Dallas Keuchel CHW L 2.55 @DET 0.645 STL 0.485
Randy Dobnak MIN R 0.60 @MIL 0.631 KC 0.700
Tyler Mahle CIN R 1.80 KC 0.700 PIT 0.482
Adrian Houser MIL R 0.75 MIN 0.778 @CHC 0.773
Dustin May LAD R 2.63 SD 0.808 @LAA 0.775
Jon Gray COL R 3.31 ARI 0.673 TEX 0.613

 

  • I see McCullers 14 ER in 13+ IP, but I also see that his FIP is 3 runs lower than his ERA. I also see that he hasn’t pitched since 2018 and we should cut him some slack. Two easier match-ups this week could be a good way for him to regain some form & confidence. Could see some huge K’s especially in that Seattle game — they’ve got a team K/rate of 25.8% — bad for 9th in the league.
  • Yarbrough gets to face the same Red Sox who just touched him for 5 ER in 5 IP. I’m still a big Brough guy and think he can show more of the 5.1 IP, 0 ER that he put up against the Blue Jays in his first start. 
  • Dobnak is your two-start add of the week. He’s only owned in 23.7% of ESPN leagues and has only allowed 1 ER in his three starts this year. You’d like to see more than a 4.8 K/9 — but take that liquid gold ratio and the guaranteed wins from the Twins
  • Dobnak already gone in your super deep league? Then take a look at Mahle. He’s owned in only 6.4% of leagues and gets the Royals who are ranked 18th in wRC+ vs righties and the Pirates who are dead last in that stat. 
  • Houser has been money so far, but he faces his toughest test this week against the Twins (5th in OPS vs righties) and the Cubs (7th.)  That’s not to say he isn’t up to the task — he blanked the 9th ranked team in that stat (the White Sox) over 7 innings in his last start. Houser performs well this week and he might be in Code Green when he gets two starts again in a few weeks. 
  • Jon Gray was actually a better pitcher at Coors Field last year than he was away. And he’s got two favorable match-ups in the Diamondbacks who only have 6 HRs vs righties this year and the Rangers who only have 5. He just might be okay!

 

Code Yellow: Maybe these guys have been underperforming this year — but have one or two cake-walk opponents that I think you could take advantage of. Or someone who is doing well this year — or has done pretty well in the recent past, but is facing a Yankees/Dodgers double dose. Or maybe they just have a case of jaundice and I want to be cheeky. 

 

Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Ross Stripling LAD R 4.00 SD 0.808 @LAA 0.775
Sean Manaea OAK L 8.03 @LAA 0.631 @SF 0.739
Garret Richards SDP R 4.60 @LAD 0.792 @ARI 0.673
Kyle Gibson TEX R 2.45 SEA 0.689 @COL 0.747
Josh Lindblom MIL R 4.15 MIN 0.778 @CHC 0.773
Robbie Ray ARI L 9.45 @COL 0.813 SD 0.653
Alex Cobb BAL R 2.51 @PHI 0.731 WAS 0.562
Logan Webb SFG R 2.13 @HOU 0.766 OAK 0.665
Julio Teheran LAA R 6.75 OAK 0.665 LAD 0.792

 

  • I love Stripling overall for this year, but he gets the Padres who touched him for 4 ER in 5.2 IP in his last start. Plus, for this one he’ll be in Dodger Stadium which is more of a HR park than Petco. The Angels are also 6th in wRC+ vs righties this year including Mike Trout who is 5 for 7 with 2 HRs against Stripling. He could be in for a rough week. 
  • Robbie Ray. *Deep breath* Robbie. Ray. 6 HRs in 13.1 IP so far. Pitching in Coors. Yucky. Also: 11 walks in 13.1 IP. facing the Padres who have the 6th best walk rate vs. righties. Double yucky. He isn’t quite in Code Red territory yet — but his leaves are starting to change color.  
  • It’s hard to trust Alex Cobb after his 5.36 ERA in 2018 & 2019 — isn’t it? He hasn’t faced the toughest competition (5.1 IP, 1 ER in Boston; 4 IP, 2 ER vs Tampa; 5 IP, 1 ER vs MIA) but you can’t sweat his technique. The Phillies are a top-10 offense vs righties so far which might be tough one for Cobb, but the Nationals are hitting a third-worst .199 against righties. 
  • Logan Webb is trending in the opposite direction from Robbie Ray. He’s only allowed 3 ERs in his 3 starts this season — sure, none of those starts have gone longer than 5 IP, but that was in his last start so he might be officially stretched out. The Astros match-up isn’t pretty, but he did hold the Dodgers to 1 ER in 4 IP in his first start of the season. Webb was never a top-100 prospect, but did have a 3.36 ERA in 302.1 minor league innings and does a great job keeping the ball in the yard (0.5 HR/9!) in those minor league innings. I’d maybe bench him for game 1 — but start him against the Athletics — it doesn’t hurt that they’ll be playing in his home stadium that is consistently among the best for HRs allowed (from a pitcher’s perspective, of course.) 

 

Code Red: Starting these players will be no Baja Blast! Bad numbers, bad opponents, bad attitudes. I’d rather get shocked with a High Voltage from touching a Live Wire in my Pitch Black basement than put these guys in my lineup. 

 

Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Steven Matz NYM L 5.65 WAS 1.186 @PHI 0.901
Rick Porcello NYM R 6.92 WAS 0.562 @PHI 0.731
Michael Fulmer DET R 13.50 CWS 0.750 CLE 0.564
Martin Perez BOS L 3.45 TB 0.703 @NYY 0.763
Justin Dunn SEA R 6.43 @TEX 0.613 @HOU 0.766
Tyler Alexander DET L 1.17 CWS 0.856 CLE 0.671
Sean Newcomb ATL L 6.57 @PHI 0.901 @MIA 0.918
Trevor Williams PIT R 3.52 @STL 0.704 @CIN 0.708
JT Brubaker PIT R 3.38 @STL 0.704 @CIN 0.708

 

  • As I said in the Alex Cobb blurb above, the Nationals haven’t been good against righties so far. But here’s the rub — Rick Porcello hasn’t been good so far. You can roll the dice on him if you want for this one spot start — but it might get ugly in a hurry if you try to trust him for his second game.
  • The ERA looks tasty on Tyler Alexander — but he’s never been a top-100 prospect and in 550 minor league innings he actually has an ERA close to 4 and allowed 10 H/9. The 9 straight strikeouts were cool, but even that isn’t something he’s shown in the minors (7.5 K/9.) Maybe he stepped in something during the corona-cation, but I think there’s some course correction coming. 
  • I was thinking Sean Newcomb was good — I was thinking wrong so far. And this week it could get worse. He’s facing the #3 best and #2 best offenses against lefties so far. Yea it’s only a few games — but it’s still something to watch. 
  • Trevor Williams looks good so far, but the 4.47 FIP compared to his 3.52 ERA tells me that some correction might be coming soon. The Cardinals and Reds have been middle of the pack against righties so far this year, but that Reds match-up in Cincinnati makes me nervous. My NL MVP pick — Nick Castellanos — could feast on Trevor Williams
 
  1. Kcc26 says:
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    Who’s your cut here in a 12 team H2H? (Have to cut one) Need to start stringing together some wins!

    Weaver, canning, Mahle, stroman, rich hill, Pablo lopez, framber valdez?

    Thanks!!

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry William Klug says:
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      I’m also not big on Weaver — I’m not convinced his injury from last year was 100% dealt with — I think he just wants to avoid a big surgery.
      Hill is injured AGAIN so he could be a cut.
      Last thing I’ll say — unfortunately for this week at least — Mahle is in the pen. I’m not confident that Miley can hold him off — but what if he does? Then you’re down a starter.

  2. fausto

    fausto says:
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    Rich hill then weaver but I still believe in weaver a little bit. He was great last yr and I drafted him as well thinking more of that was coming but covid and pitchers not getting the full ramp up weaver might still come around…rich hill is dead weight

    • fausto

      fausto says:
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      This post is for the guy directly above me..kcc26.

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