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:

But since none of you actually care, here’s all you need to know about it: FIP “measures what a player’s ERA would look like over a given period of time if the pitcher were to have experienced league average results on balls in play and league average timing.” So, when you see a SP with a low ERA and a high FIP, regression is certainly coming down the track (cough Cole Hamels cough). Flip it, though, and you have a buy-low candidate (Wei-Yen Chen). And if someone in your league is stupid enough to sell their DFP stock, take advantage fast, because he carries a K/9 on par with the game’s top closers, isn’t walking many batters (2.49 BB/9), and has a FIP less than half his ERA.

So, no…the sky isn’t falling in Boston. And if it is, it’s because my Hawks are about to send the Celtics packing in Round 1. No alarms needed with Price. For some others, though, it’s time to take a long look in the mirror and channel your inner Jackie Moon:

Pitchers are listed in order by rank. And categorized by Jackie Moon gifs. You’re welcome.

(Aces) – The greatest ever. Send it to certain friends and they’ll be lol’ing in the middle of their meetings. To others and they’ll be pissed. But then they won’t know how to respond. Jackie Moon just delivered the boom in a way simple text never could. I prefer to view this on the positive side of things. Always. And this gif is exactly what every SP in this top tier will do to their opposing lineups: mow ’em down.

 Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9 Clayton Kershaw (LAD) MIA, SD 1.50/2.21 9.00/0.90 Noah Syndergaard (NYM) CIN, SF 0.90/0.74 13.05/1.80 Danny Salazar (CLE) @MIN, @PHI 1.47/2.88 11.29/4.42 David Price (BOS) @ATL, NYY 7.06/3.13 13.29/2.49 Chris Sale (CWS) @TOR, @BAL 1.80/2.57 7.80/0.90 Madison Bumgarner (SF) SD, @NYM 3.91/4.52 11.35/3.31 Zack Greinke (ARI) STL, COL 5.25/3.58 8.25/2.25 Gerrit Cole (PIT) @COL, CIN 2.70/1.84 8.64/2.16

(Good Starts) – Can’t go wrong with the Rick Barry. It’s not sexy, but solid. It works. It’s reliable. Just like the names below. Not as sexy as the names above, but as reliable as it gets. Good lookin’ out SBNation.

 Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9 Jordan Zimmermann (DET) OAK, @MIN 0.00/2.42 6.98/2.79 Garrett Richards (LAA) KC, @TEX 3.00/3.29 9.38/3.38 Carlos Martinez (STL) @ARI, WSH 2.70/3.79 7.20/3.15 Ian Kennedy (KC) @LAA, @SEA 1.35/2.49 9.45/2.25 Taijuan Walker (SEA) HOU, KC 1.50/2.71 7.50/1.00 Raisel Iglesias (CIN) @NYM, @PIT 3.09/2.91 8.49/1.93 Cole Hamels (TEX) NYY, LAA 2.52/5.08 8.28/3.96

(Why Can’t I Sit You?) – These guys should bring a little sunshine to your life this week. Well, should is the key word. Please, oh, please Chris Archer, remember how to pitch.

 Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9 Kyle Hendricks (CHC) MIL, ATL 4.00/2.60 7.50/1.50 Vincent Velasquez (PHI) @WSH, CLE 0.93/2.01 13.5/1.40 Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) @LAD, @MIL 4.91/3.20 7.85/1.47 Jaime Garcia (STL) @ARI, WSH 2.70/1.64 11.70/3.60 Chris Archer (TB) BAL, TOR 7.32/5.74 13.27/5.03

(One Good/One Bad) – On one hand, that’s a bad a** punt. On the other, it’s a basketball. That’s a tech, FT for the other team, loss of possession, and that ball’s probably lost. Guys like Porcello and Ross (if he makes the start) are primed for an awesome first outing, but have a tough weekend ahead of them. On the flip, Nelson and Stripling could have a strong second start, but that first could be a doozy.

 Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9 Rick Porcello (BOS) @ATL, NYY 4.66/4.70 11.17/1.40 Joe Ross (WSH) PHI, @STL 0.54/2.92 5.40/2.70 Ross Stripling (LAD) MIA, SD 2.65/2.75 6.88/3.71 Jimmy Nelson (MIL) @CHC, MIA 3.46/5.73 6.58/3.46 Drew Pomeranz (SD) @SF, @LAD 2.04/2.47 12.74/4.58 R.A. Dickey (TOR) CWS, @TB 6.10/3.28 8.27/4.35

(Avoid) – Yes they will. Or, rather than your house…your team. While I actually like Rich Hill, and he fits the criteria of someone to target from the descriptions up top, I hate those matchups. Same could be said for Ubaldo, Eovaldi and Teher…haha, I almost wrote Julio Teheran in there. Ugh. As @JB wrote to me in an email, ‘He blows.’

 Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9 Rich Hill (OAK) @DET, HOU 3.32/2.72 13.74/4.26 Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) @TB, CWS 3.71/3.63 10.59/4.24 Chris Tillman (BAL) @TB, CWS 4.42/3.26 7.36/2.95 Kendall Graveman (OAK) @DET, HOU 2.04/3.83 7.64/3.06 Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) @TEX, @BOS 6.11/4.00 11.21/1.53 Julio Teheran (ATL) BOS, @CHC 5.64/4.92 6.85/3.22 Tom Koehler (MIA) @LAD, @MIL 4.80/4.11 7.20/4.20 Tommy Milone (MIN) CLE, DET 5.87/5.65 7.04/2.35 Matthew Wisler (ATL) BOS, @CHC 3.10/4.12 7.08/1.77 Chad Bettis (COL) PIT, @ARI 3.33/4.48 7.03/2.22 Jorge De La Rosa (COL) PIT, @ARI 9.87/5.12 11.94/4.67 Shelby Miller (ARI) STL, COL 8.59/8.36 6.14/6.75 Jeff Locke (PIT) @COL, CIN 7.24/6.77 4.61/8.65 Doug Fister (HOU) @SEA, @OAK 5.94/5.02 4.86/2.16 John Danks (CWS) @TOR, @BAL 6.23/5.46 6.23/4.67 Mike Pelfrey (DET) OAK, @MIN 6.14/6.18 4.91/7.36

All players listed are projected for two starts, and this list is subject to changes after the article is posted.

Good luck with Week 4, and leave those thoughts in the comments! Check back next weekend for Week 5, you jive turkeys!

## 50 Responses (Jump straight to the comment form)

Either pomerance or hec. santiago over velasquez or pineada for my last 2 sp spots?

• @Adam: For this week, or for your roster? For your roster I’d take Vincent and Pineda over Santiago and Pomeranz. For this week I’m not opposed to a two-start Pomeranz over Pineda, but Velasquez is the best option here. Santiago won’t keep up solid stats.

2. Noam says:

Looks like Kevin Gausman will be coming back and having a two start week. What are your thoughts on him?

• @Noam: I like Gausman, but I don’t trust him yet. And the projection is still for Ubaldo/Tillman to get the two-starts for the O’s.

Luis Severino or Matt Wisler?

4. Arnie says:

Morning [email protected]:
Very informative article. Thoughts on dropping McHugh for HSantiago?

• @Arnie: Santiago’s going to regress soon. And hard. He has a .192 BABIP against him, but his career number is .268. The hits will come. McHugh’s a big product of misfortune. Only 59.5% of runners are being left on base against him, and that should improve further to 70%+. The BABIP against him? .455! Sheesh! A 7.56 ERA is brutal, but the FIP is 2.85. He’s about to swing better…on a much better team.

5. Robert says:

I think finegan is a double starter

• @Robert: He throws Tuesday, but they’re off Thursday, meaning his second one would most likely come the following Monday.

6. Timothy Taylor says:

Off topic question. I was offered papi and Kang for Corey Seager? I do not have any other SS. Is Kang good enough to leave myself exposed at SS for a few weeks?

• @Timothy Taylor: Who would you drop to make the move, since you likely can’t auto Kang to the DL. If you can drop someone that doesn’t matter, then pick up a SS in the interim, I’d probably do it. That’s a blind answer, though. Who is your DH right now? What cats do you go for? In a vacuum, I’d do it. Ortiz and Seager were similar value coming into the year, and Ortiz will end up with better numbers. Once Kang is back he and Seager could actually finish quite close to each other.

• Timothy Taylor says:

@[email protected]: thanks dude! Let me give you some more context. It’s a 5(OBP, hr, sb, RBI, run) x 5 (k, era, whip, save, Qs) Roto league. It’s yahoo so Ortiz is 1B eligible and I have freeman and park there now. I was gonna sweeten the pot maybe and give him Iwakuma (who I do not value very much) so the trade would be even (roster wise) so I won’t have to drop anyone.

7. GFY250 says:

You don’t like Tillman’s start against the Rays? I realize he’s hit or miss with more misses than hits.

• @GFY250: It’s not a bad one. At all. I just don’t trust him. His peripherals are nice, and he’s throwing well so far, but for his career he has a 4.50+ ERA on the road. I’d rather pass totally than risk it.

8. January says:

i need room for a pitcher after I picked up white and Mazara along the way this year…
7×7 league ( obp plus total bases) (holds +k/walk ratio)
My offense is :
C cervelli
1b – abreu
2b – odor
3b – Donaldson
Ss- Seager
Of – Marte, yelich, Mazara
Util – puljos, white
Bench – Dickerson, piscotty, Castro

Who would you drop ? I need the pitching categories . I have tried to trade away hitting for pitching to no avail .

thanks

• @January: I know ya just picked him up, but White’s the worst hitter on this team. Donaldson aint going anywhere in your lineup, and you want to hold onto Castro in case Seager falls off.

9. EazyE says:

Marcus Stromans start was pushed to Monday, makes him a two starter, yeah?

• @EazyE: Very well could. Don’t know if they spot Hutchinson again, since the move was made to limit Stroman’s innings, but he could end up with two. Home vs. the ChiSox on Monday is a nice one.

10. Fungazi says:

Ew Cole @ Col and then against Cincy, the only team he struggles with. Should be a fun week.

11. Chucky says:

My H2H opponent has 2 start pitchers coming out of his ying yang. Need 5 SP. My 2 start SPs are Chen, Stroman, Pomeranz and Odorizzi. Max and Carasco both one start SPs vs Phil, one home, one road. My initial thought is to start both Max and Carasco and start 3 of my 4 two start guys, who? Or I could get cute and force the issue by sitting either Max or Carasco and pencil in all 4 two start guys? Give a guy a break here.

• @Chucky: That is tough. I may sit Pomeranz with the two road starts and go with the other three plus your two aces. Can’t sit Max vs. PHI, regardless of how mediocre he’s been so far.

12. griff says:

Not a pitching question but want to get your take. Which is a better player to own in a dynasty: domingo santana or marcell ozuna?

• @griff: Santana. I worry Ozuna may never ascend. He’s got legit 20-25 HR pop, but there’s more potential right now with Santana, even if it’s because we haven’t seen him fail like we have Ozuna. Both good options, but Santana could turn into a slower George Springer.

13. Wacha Wacha says:

Please pick 2 to start this week at UTIL in my h2h 5×5 obp weekly league.

My options are C Santana (who has NL inter league series… will he sit if no DH?), D Deshields, M Upton jr or dropping one of them for T Shaw, J Lamb, E Nunez, C Beltran.

Thanks!

• @Wacha Wacha: Flocka Flocka. Flame?

I really like Lamb and Shaw, and Lamb’s been really hot, but this is all a big heap of similar value. Even though he’s an OBP gem, I’m low on Santana. And he’s poop so far this year. If one of these plays 7 games, take them. Otherwise, I’d probably choose DeShields and Upton, even though Shaw and Lamb would be great for you, too.

Haha, that may not help. At all.

14. Scott says:

How do you know when a UGA grad has been on a date?

• Scott says:

@[email protected]: There’s tobacco stains running down the outside of the passenger door.

• @Scott: 1) Is that really the best you got? 2) and most importantly, have you ever been to Athens? Haha, you’d change your tune if you had.

15. Wild Thing says:

Great article!

Prospect pitching question. This is a 12 team, \$260 salary cap league, medium depth.

Should I keep Giolito \$7 and Urias \$1 or drop them to pick up Blake Snell \$1 and Alez Reyes \$1. Let me explain. If I keep giolito and urias they have to be signed to contracts March 2017 at a rate of \$5 per year plus current salary. So 3 years on Giolito would be \$22 per year and 3 years on urias would be \$16 for 3 starting next year. Meanwhile, Snell and Reyes would be \$1 next year and then need to be signed to similar deals in March 2018 so they essentially get an extra year of eligibility.

I could also keep Giolito and Urias and drop Benitendi or Berrios both \$1 for this year and next and then signed March 2018.

My starters right now are JoFer \$22 for 3 years and Salazar \$4 , Matz \$1, Iglesias \$1, Eduardo Rodriguez \$3 and Gausman \$1 all needing to be signed next year.

So buying an extra year for keepers would give me some cap options. Though any of the guys above could be traded.

Also I started the year 2-0 so am playing for this year and Urias and Giolito could really help this year when called up. Plus maybe they are so much better than Snell and Reyes that it’s now worth cutting them for those guys.

Thanks!

• @Wild Thing: Glad you laid out all the details. It goes a long way into actually being able to provide good advice. Well, hopefully good advice, haha.

If you drop Giolito and Urias, are they probably gone? Or could you just try to draft them again next year?

You’re solid at SP. Jose, Salazar, Iglesias and Matz is a solid top 4. All at good values. I would not drop Benitendi or Berrios. The hitter is the gem, and Berrios has a legit shot of being up this year, too. And might be better than Giolito. Here’s what I would do…

Drop Giolito and Urias. Urias is 19. He’s incredible, but so young that even if they brought him up for a pennant chase it wouldn’t be until really late (imo) and it would be limited innings. \$22 for Giolito is a lot. He might be worth that in 2-3 years, but you could buy other SPs that are more proven for cheaper. That’s almost 10% of your \$. For a prospect? What if he turns into Julio Teheran?

Snell could be just as good as him, and you get an extra year. I also think he has just a good of a shot at being called up as Giolito. The suspension for Reyes sucks, but shouldn’t stunt his development. With the Cards rotation situation it wouldn’t surprise me if he came up in the back of the year, too. And most likely stayed with the club.

Good luck with it! Hope this helps! If you can buy Giolito and Urias back at a later date that makes the decision whole lot easier…

• Wild Thing says:

Wow. Thanks! This is SO helpful. If I drop Giolito and Urias. I could try to pick them back up but could get outbid in our free agent auction. What price do you think I should try to by them back for? Basically I would pick up Snell and Reyes for \$1-2 and could then try to drop Snell/Reyes for Giolito and Urias because then I would get each for an extra year. And if I lost them I would still have Snell/Reyes for the extra year versus what I have now. Does that make sense?

• @Wild Thing: If you drop them and pick them back up you get the year back? And they’re kept at whatever value you pick them up for? Also, you can pick up prospects at any time?

I like Urias over Reyes, if it matters.

16. Scooter G says:

Good morning

Which side of this trade would you prefer? Story, Maeda and T Walker or D Price and Andrus in 10 team roto?

• @Scooter G: Ugh. If you’re struggling with volume of pitchers, I’d take the Story side. I like him a lot better than Andrus, even though his regression is going to hurt big time. Walker and Maeda combined give you more stats than Price will, but I wouldn’t trade Price for both of them as a twosome. Pretty fair trade. The believed upside of Story and Walker, or the best player in Price?

In a vacuum, I’d take the Price side. I’m a little scared of Story’s 38% K rate.

17. KR214 says:

Don’t look now but your Hawks have a series on their hands even without Avery Bradley.

• @KR214: You shut your face! Haha, Isaiah went vintage Isaiah Thomas last night. It was awesome to watch. I still think the Hawks could take this in 5. They needed every bit of that IT performance to beat ATL, and that was with sub-par games from both Millsap and Horford.

• KR214 says:

Lol, what a game 4. Milsap was flat out filthy. Not sure how Celts won tonight. Jerebko thought he was Bird, Smart huge. Game 5 in Atlanta all tied up. Hawks probably still win series. They have a good squad.

• @KR214: Hope so. Last night was so freaking true to form for an Atlanta team, tho. 3 game series!

18. Oranje says:

I have Chen and Gausman. Both are slated for 2 starts correct? Regardless, I can only keep one of them because once Gausman comes off the dl then I am over on allotted players on my bench. Who do I drop? Or would you keep both over VMart? Thanks.

• @Oranje: Chen, yes. Gausman still not certain. I’m not high on VMart, but I’d definitely keep Chen. If you can afford to let Gausman sit on the DL this week and see how he does, you can get a better picture of who to drop.

19. True and Correct says:

Scherzer will double unless the mgr. has said otherwise.

20. True and Correct says:

Odorizzi may double since they sent Snell down. Doubt they keep fucking with Erasmo. Though their mgr. is psycho.

21. Johnc says: