“It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s our problem free…philosophy! Ha Kenta Maeda!”

That’s how the song goes, right? You know, the one by Timon and Pumba in The Lion King? Am I really referencing a Disney movie in a fantasy baseball post? You bet your bottom dollar I am. Just look at em swayin above. That’s swag, son! Truth is, Hakuna Matata or Kenta Maeda, they’ve basically been the same thing in 2016 for fantasy owners of Maeda. Whenever the rookie SP takes the mound good things are surely to come.

However, I, personally, would be looking to sell him high over the next few weeks. Do I think he can’t sustain his pace? Well, perhaps? Listen, you can’t argue with a 2.30 ERA and a 3.71 K/BB ratio, but his batters have a .237 BABIP against him (that’s low), and his peripherals are a little scary. When I think of Maeda more visions of Daisuke Matsuzaka pop into my head than Yu Darvish. I’m afraid that come the summer time we’re going to see hitters figure him out. And when they do, that ERA will balloon, the 89.7% runners left on base number will drop, and the value will decrease. So, how in the world is it all Hakuna Matata? Because this week he pulls the hapless Angels and the Padres…in Petco. It doesn’t get any better than that! Ok, wait…yes it does. It could be the Padres and Braves. That’s alright, though. This is a happy post. And clearly he’s still doing something right! Get the solid starts out of him now while you still can, but after he mows downtime Padres it may be the perfect time to Ha-Kenta Ma-sell high.

Pitchers are listed in order by rank. And, of course…tiered by lions.

‘Aslan‘ (The Best) – Trolling the Lion King post better than anyone ever could, Aslan far and away takes the crown. ‘Is he safe? No, but he’s good.’ The just screams fierce. When you’re the central allegorical character of a seven-book allegorical series of literature you top what any animators may have created int he early 1990’s. It’s Jesus! No one can stop the Lord Almighty. He wins. And if I ever owned a cat, even if it looked like Mr. Bigglesworth, I would totally name it Aslan. Just sayin. Shoot, I may even name my next dog Aslan. It’s that good. Thanks, Clive Staples.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) LAA, @SD 1.74/1.48 11.18/0.58
Madison Bumgarner (SF) @SD, CHC 2.72/3.20 10.87/3.26
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) WSH, MIL 2.53/2.21 10.68/1.75
Max Scherzer (WAS) @NYM, @MIA 4.15/4.23 11.42/2.60
Kenta Maeda (LAD) LAA, @SD 2.30/3.82 7.95/2.51
David Price (BOS) @KC, CLE 6.00/2.53 12.19/2.44
‘Simba‘ (The Replicas) – Was there anything better than watching Simba grow up in The Lion King? He befriended a meerkat and a warthog (don’t call him Mr. Pig), romped and wrestled with his lioness, ‘Nala,’ and avenged his father. Later, he would sire a young lion of his own that would ascend to Disney Junior Channel fame. And for all that…he still ain’t no Aslan.
Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Marcus Stroman (TOR) TB, @MIN 3.54/3.42 6.59/2.41
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @MIL, @SF 3.03/2.48 7.82/1.77
Jaime Garcia (STL) COL, ARI 2.58/2.61 9.53/2.98
Jordan Zimmermann (DET) MIN, TB 1.50/3.43 5.25/2.06
Drew Smyly (TB) @TOR, @DET 3.63/3.41 10.48/1.61

‘Mufasa‘ (The Standards) – Of course he’s the standard. It’s Diddy Lion King. He led the way, striding ahead of his son Simba to show him the way to be king. If only he could have stripped a little faster than the wildebeests. Too soon? It’s a mark on the record that keeps him a tier under what his son would become. Just a tad lower.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Rick Porcello (BOS) @KC, CLE 3.11/3.64 8.94/1.94
Joe Ross (WSH) @NYM, @MIA 2.29/3.04 6.88/2.80
Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) MIA, ATL 4.43/3.59 7.97/1.77
Adam Conley (MIA) @PHI, WAS 3.72/2.48 9.41/3.72
J.A. Happ (TOR) TB, @MIN 2.05/3.92 5.59/2.42
Carlos Rodon (CWS) HOU, KC 4.99/4.33 9.06/3.63

‘Scar‘ (The Knockoffs) – A little good and a little bad. On one hand…he ruled the Pridelands. Clap. Clap. On the other hand, he was such a pure biatch. Simba may sing, ‘Oh, I just can’t wait to be king,’ and invoke something warm in our hearts, but Scar saying those words led to the tragic stampede that scared (yep, intended) my childhood. Ok, he’s just a lotta bad, but these pitchers manage to provide one good start this week.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) @CWS, TEX 5.58/4.04 7.56/3.96
Juan Nicasio (PIT) ATL, COL 4.34/4.14 8.92/3.62
Josh Tomlin (CLE) CIN, @BOS 3.72/3.89 5.90/0.62
Derek Holland (TEX) @OAK, @HOU 6.09/4.12 5.29/3.18
Robbie Ray (ARI) NYY, @STL 4.84/4.40 10.44/4.84
Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) @ARI, @OAK 4.85/4.13 8.44/2.11
Jonathon Niese (PIT) ATL, COL 5.63/6.25 6.52/3.38
Sean Manaea (OAK) TEX, NYY 11.37/7.04 7.11/3.55
Michael Pineda (NYY) @ARI, @OAK 6.28/5.24 9.54/3.03

‘The Cowardly Lion‘ (The Trash) –Yeah, I’m afraid to start any of these guys! Now, read that with the same inflection as Drunk Uncle when talking about his wife. (You’re welcome!) Cowardly is the perfect adverb for this group.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Jose Berrios (MIN) @DET, TOR 6.28/5.96 11.93/5.02
Yordano Ventura (KC) BOS, @CWS 4.62/5.45 6.32/6.81
WIlliams Perez (ATL) @PIT, @PHI 3.54/4.72 4.43/3.54
Phil Hughes (MIN) @DET, TOR 6.44/4.83 6.44/1.98
Aaron Blair (ATL) @PIT, @PHI 4.05/4.70 3.15/4.95
Tyler Wilson (BAL) SEA, @LAA 2.93/4.17 4.40/2.05
John Lamb (CIN) CLE, SEA 1.80/4.20 6.30/3.60
Wade Miley (SEA) @BAL, @CIN 4.91/4.60 6.95/1.84
Colin Rea (SD) SF, LAD 4.24/4.53 6.69/4.02
Matt Shoemaker (LAA) @LAD, BAL 9.12/6.22 6.20/4.01
Chase Anderson (MIL) CHC, @NYM 6.11/5.98 6.88/3.31
Jered Weaver (LAA) @LAD, BAL 6.10/5.42 5.63/2.11
Alfredo Simon (CIN) @CLE, SEA 8.67/7.76 8.00/4.33

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

So, there you have it! Hopefully you can sing a little diddy to make you happy while you insert these two-start guys into your lineups for Week 6! Drop a comment below, and good luck! Check back next weekend for Week 7!

  1. Green machine says:

    Howdy man!

    I see you have price listed as 2 starts but I just see him with one start according to ESPN

  2. Jeremy says:

    Josh Tomlin pitched Friday night. He definitely does not have 2 starts next week.

    • @Jeremy: You’re right. Had that one wrong. He’s scheduled to throw Wednesday now.

  3. Roger Anderson says:

    Joe Ross is now scheduled to pitch on Sunday but only if game 2 today is not rained out.

  4. Ken says:

    In a standard pts league I have nasty Nate, niese, and Wilson. Wilson has looked decent. Can you explain why you like Miley better? the O’s start scares me. If you had to pick 3 guessing you’d say Wilson is odd man out? Thanks!

    • Ken says:

      @Ken: Ha whoops sorry for the Miley better part I misread. But if you could still pick 3 out of the 4.

      • @Ken: I’d throw Niese vs ATL, Eovaldi vs OAK and Wilson vs. LAA tops of your three options.

        • Ken says:

          @[email protected]: was thinking same. Would you sit cole vs col for niese? It’s a weekly lock.

          • @Ken: No. Even in Coors, and only with one start, I’d rather have Cole than Niese with two, and one being the Braves. He’s been really bad, and Cole is really good. Don’t sit your aces for wild card options that depend upon a bad team still hitting bad.

            • Ken says:

              @[email protected]: yeah Cole looked good today finally. Thank God. And ok so start Wilson vs Laa and sea or Niese vs atl and col? Thanks for help!

              • @Ken: Ugh. Tough choice. Neither is wonderful. I have Niese ranked above Wilson, and would take him due to that ATL matchup. Neither SEA nor LAA’s lineups are great, but Trout’s back to being Trout, Pujols is rounding into form and Cron has turned it on with Calhoun. As for SEA, Cano si showing he can be a top 20 hitter again. ATL? Haha, I could probably start at 3B for them right now.

                • Ken says:

                  @[email protected]: Yeah maybe I’ll Be better off just going dickey vs tb or Tillman vs sea and hope for best

  5. Curt C says:

    Keukel and Springer for Betts and Price?

    • fr says:

      @Curt C: betts and price all day.

    • Natty Boh says:

      @Curt C: In a heartbeat. Keuchel is dropable IMO.

      • @Natty Boh: Yeah, goodness. Fast. That’s a quick call. Like when you’re playing poker, holding the nuts (not YOUR nuts) and someone in front of you goes all-in. How fast can you say ‘CALL’? Yeah, that’s how fast I’d accept this. Betts over Springer. Price well over Keuchel.

        However, I wouldn’t drop Keuchel quite yet. His FIP is sitting at 4.04. Not good, but shows that some improvement to the norm is in the cards for him. I think he straightens it out. I’d bench him for now, but not drop him.

  6. Nj all day says:

    Happ has been a stud all season n is a great 2 game starter this week.

    • @Nj all day: Yep, he’s been solid. Worth that contract so far. I’d have him in the lineup, but I’d choose all the names above him first. You’re right, though, he has two great matchups.

  7. John says:

    What is Cole Hamels value? Seems like he has dodged a ton of bullets. His owner is sending out feelers for a bat. Polanco? Odubel? Park?

    • @John: None of the above. Hamels isn’t dodging as many bullets as Neo near the end of the first ‘Matrix’ movie, but it’s close. He’s someone I’m staying away from rather than buying low. Look for a SP with a FIP LOWER than his ERA, not higher like Hamels.

      And if you do go for Hamels, don’t get baited into doing it for one of those three bats you mentioned.

        • John says:


          My staff is so thin with Price, Carrasco, CMart, J Ross, Gaus.
          Relying on the wire a lot until Carlos gets back. Pom, Tillman, Chen, Hill on it now so will scramble again this week.

          • @John: Understandable. I’m having to do the same in an AL-Only league. Difficult, but possible. Be smart with the matchups mostly. Look deeper into wOBA of the teams if needed.

  8. Kenn says:

    I struggle to know when to plug in a good two-start pitcher over a one start ace. Would you start a two-start Zimmerman or Maeda over a one-start Strasburg?

    • @Kenn: I would definitely start Maeda over Strasburg this week. I know Stars has been nothing short of dominant, but those matchups for Maeda are the reason why he’s in the title for the post. He could double up what Strasburg does.

      Typically, roll with your ace. Regardless. Especially if your alternative is someone like J.A. Happ. But this one is too juicy. If you have no other options than benching Stras for Maeda, I’d do it.

  9. dom says:

    hey good stuff. would you rather use a DL stash on Tyson Ross or Severino? is the other droppable in a 10 team league?

    • dom says:

      @dom: and I know Lamb is on your bad list but is he worth a flier in an 18 team league? does he match up decent with Cleveland tomorrow?

      • @dom: 18 team league, sure. Not much isn’t worth a flier there.

        As for the DL, that’s quick and easy. Tyson Ross. Hands down.

  10. Lemmingness says:

    H2H weekly points league,

    Which two do you prefer ROS between Bauer, Andriese, and Finnegan?


    • @Lemmingness: Bauer and Andriese. Finnegan should be good, but he’s on a horrible team and is less likely to put together quality starts.

  11. Dan says:

    How would you rank these pitchers ROS? Jon Gray, Rodon, Corbin, and Eickhoff

      • Dan says:

        @[email protected]: Thanks for the input. Can you elaborate on what you like about Corbin? His peripherals all look pretty bad, and his home park is Coors 2.0.

        • @Dan: I think he has the highest upside of that bunch, even over Rodon. Corbin could be a Top 20ish SP. He’s started the year poorly, but ended last seasons strong, and I think that sample is closer to the real Corbin than the start of this year. His primary problem for 2016 is an elevated HR/9, almost double last year. If that levels out, which is should, he’s back to a 3.80ERA as a floor, but has shown the penchant to get that under 3.50 like he did in 200+ IP in 2013.

          Rodin’s K rate is gorgeous, but he’s yet to harness his command, and I have more faith in Corbin righting the ship than Rodon locking it in.

  12. FilthyRich says:

    Weekly points league with lineups locked on Monday. Need 5 SPs and have Arrieta plus 5 two start SPs on my roster: Maeda, Zimmerman, Smyly, Happ, Eickhoff. Arrieta and Maeda are locks. Which 3 of the other 4 do you like?

    • @FilthyRich: Good problem to have. You have some great options. The pitchers are listed by rank, so I’d sit Happ. Eickhoff gets the nod with his start vs. the Braves, even though Happ has two good matchups, as well. Ceiling higher with Eickhoff, imo.

  13. malamoney

    malamoney says:

    Forgot to give you props on a solid title. Nice work!

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