A new king has been crowned! Shane Bieber is on some other ish right now. He has thrown at least 6 innings in all of his starts this year – he’s won 6 of those 7 starts. He’s first in K/9 among qualified starters, 12th best in BB/9, 3rd in WHIP, tied for first in ERA. Oh and he’s facing the 24th and 28th ranked offenses vs. righties. This might be the best two-start week of all time so he’s earned that #1 spot over Gerrit Cole. Plus in my hunt for a clever article headline has lead me to find out that his surname is derived from the German word beber which means beaver — the animal best known for chewing up wood. Bats are made of wood. Bieber has been chewing up wood! 

This week is going to be wild with reschedulings due to the protests and the hurricane cancellations. If you notice things changing — just drop a question in the comments and I’ll answer.

Tier 1: This area is reserved for your Gerrit Cole’s, your Jacob deGrom’s, your Patrick Corbin’s when he is facing two weak opponents. 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. 


Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
1 Shane Bieber CLE R 1.35 @KC 0.700 MIL 0.614
2 Gerrit Cole NYY R 3.51 @BAL 0.737 PHI 0.782
3 Aaron Nola PHI R 3.00 WAS 0.717 @NYM 0.801
4 Lucas Giolito CHW R 3.09 @MIN 0.754 @KC 0.700
5 Max Fried ATL L 1.35 @BOS 0.771 WAS 0.887
6 Patrick Corbin WAS L 3.82 @PHI 0.835 @ATL 0.605
7 Hyun-Jin Ryu TOR L 3.19 @MIA 0.650 @BOS 0.771



  • Hyun-Jin Ryu (@MIA, @BOS): After allowing 8 runs in his first two “regular-season-but-still-kind-of-spring-training” starts. In his four since he’s held opponents to 3 runs. Ryu already limited the Marlins to 1 ER in 6 innings on August 11th so that should be another easy W. Boston is obviously a bit tougher–but still–Ryu has rediscovered last year’s Cy Young stuff and shouldn’t have too much of a problem. 
  • Max Fried (@BOS, WAS): Speaking of Cy Young awards — one of the NL front-runners, Fried has a tough draw vs the Nationals who have the second-best OPS vs lefties. But the kid has been so good so far this year that I’m not worried. You wish there’d be more K’s — but the ratios and being undefeated so far is great to see. 



  • Lucas Giolito (@MIN): Hate is a strong word, but it will be interesting to see how Giolito follows up a no-hitter. Well in his opening start of the season the Twins roughed up Giolito for 7 ER in 3.2 IP. This is a much tougher test than the league-worst Pirates, but the Twins actually have a 25.5% K/rate as a team vs. righties so maybe he can still notch a third straight 13-K game. 


Tier 2: Now we’re getting interesting! 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. 


Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
8 Tyler Glasnow TBR R 5.14 @NYY 0.812 MIA 0.704
9 Jose Berrios MIN R 4.75 CHW 0.765 DET 0.683
10 Julio Urias LAD L 3.67 ARI 0.603 COL 0.787
11 Marco Gonzales SEA L 3.63 @LAA 0.617 TEX 0.654
12 Dallas Keuchel CHW L 2.70 @MIN 0.686 @KC 0.757
13 Chris Paddack SDP R 5.15 @COL 0.741 @OAK 0.737
14 Ian Anderson ATL R 1.50 @BOS 0.722 WAS 0.717



  • Marco Gonzales (@LAA, TEX): Gonzales is such a nice SP5 to own on your team. He’s a modern-day guy ranked one spot beneath him — Dallas Keuchel. He won’t really ever strike out more than 8 guys a game, won’t really ever walk more than 2 guys a game, and somehow keeps hitters off balance all game. He doesn’t even throw a fastball for Pete Alonso’s sake! Yet, as you see above, Gonzales gets the 24th and 26th ranked teams against left-handed starters. 
  • Ian Anderson (@BOS, WAS): Tier 2 for a guy with 6 major league innings?! Yeaaaa but it was 6 innings vs. the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees! Take a minute to look at Anderson’s minor league stats: 377+ innings, 10.7 K/9, 2.91 ERA. The Red Sox and Nationals are in the bottom-half of offenses against righties so this could be two more QS for the 22-year-old. 



  • Chris Paddack (@COL): The league leader in HRs allowed heading to the league-leading stadium in HRs allowed? What could go wrong? 


Tier 3: 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. 


Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
15 Adrian Houser MIL R 4.36 PIT 0.567 @CLE 0.696
16 Sean Manaea OAK L 5.64 @SEA 0.602 SDP 0.770
17 Cristian Javier HOU R 3.77 TEX 0.607 @LAA 0.785
18 Brad Keller KCR R 2.08 CLE 0.696 CHW 0.765
19 Dakota Hudson STL R 3.32 @CIN 0.717 @CHC 0.773
20 Jon Lester CHC L 4.55 @PIT 0.756 STL 0.688
21 Chad Kuhl PIT R 2.52 CHC 0.773 CIN 0.717
22 German Marquez COL R 4.50 SDP 0.829 @LAD 0.861



  • Adrian Houser (PIT): Pirates are the worst offensive team in the league and by the time Monday’s start rolls around after the trading deadline they might be even worse. Houser was every fantasy expert’s sleeper darling heading into 2020, but so far he’s been about a league-average starting pitcher. Cleveland also hasn’t been that great against righties, but they at least don’t have 3 players in their lineup hitting under .200. 
  • Sean Manaea (@SEA): Manaea has seemingly fixed the hitch in his giddy-up. In his first four starts, he pitched 15 innings total and allowed 15 ERs. That’s not what you wannaea see. His last three starts he’s gone 15.1 innings and allowed only 4 ERs. I’m not starting any pitcher against the Padres in the Slam Diego era. However, the Mariners? They have the second-worst offense against left-handed pitchers and the fourth-worst K/rate. Hello! Yumyumyumyumyumyum. 


  • German Marquez (SDP, @LAD): Slam Diego in Colorado? The best team against right-handed pitching AND the 5th-best team at home? Hardest pass. 


Tier 4: Starting these players will be a true test of your bravery! Bad numbers, bad opponents, bad attitudes, bad dudes, bat times for you. It’s sometimes hard to even rank this tier, because I don’t want to rank who is going to let up the most runs in a given week. 


Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
23 Spencer Howard PHI R 6.17 WAS 0.717 @NYM 0.801
24 Erick Fedde WAS R 3.57 @PHI 0.782 @ATL 0.827
25 Alex Young ARI L 4.70 @LAD 0.663 @SF 0.805
26 Asher Wojciechowski BAL R 5.13 @TOR 0.762 NYY 0.812
27 Trevor Williams PIT R 5.34 @MIL 0.614 CIN 0.717
28 Kyle Hart BOS L 13.00 ATL 0.605 TOR 0.789
29 Kolby Allard TEX L 6.50 @HOU 0.856 @SEA 0.602
30 Zack Godley BOS R 7.29 ATL 0.827 TOR 0.762
31 Matt Harvey KCR R 11.12 CLE 0.698 CHW 0.765



  • Kolby Allard (@SEA): I like for the same reasons I mentioned above in the Manaea blurb. There’s just fewer vowels this time.  
  • Trevor Williams (@MIL): Williams walked into his last start with a respectable 3.70 ERA, but walked out with a 5.34 ERA. The White Sox will do that to ya. Williams could rebound in a start against the Brewers who have the 3rd worst OPS vs right-handed pitchers and the 3rd worst OPS at their home stadium. 


  • The rest.