I had Dane Dunning listed as a two-start pitcher last week, but I guess that didn’t happen for whatever reason. However, he was the headlining player of that article, and he’s back again for this week! Way back then I wrote: “I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.” Well, he did allow a HR to the Twins last week, but still only held them to that 1 ER over 7 innings while tying his season-high with 7 K’s. JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU. So what about these Indians? They’re only hitting .230 against righties with a .373 slugging percentage. The ingredients are there for another delicious recipe for success from Dunning. I’m a little less optimistic about his start against the Cubs, although they have been middle of the road against righties with their third-highest K/rate against them. Take the risk if you can afford it. 


Tier 1: “I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it.”


Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Jacob deGrom NYM R 2.09 TB 0.756 @WAS 0.718
Gerrit Cole NYY R 3.00 @TOR 0.762 MIA 0.682
Shane Bieber CLE R 1.74 CWS 0.770 PIT 0.593

It’s the three best pitchers in the league. I won’t be accepting any questions. 


Tier 2: “There’s always money in the banana stand.” 


Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Lucas Giolito CWS R 3.53 @CLE 0.698 CHC 0.756
Aaron Nola PHI R 2.92 @WAS 0.718 @TB 0.756
Brandon Woodruff MIL R 3.45 @CIN 0.720 @STL 0.703
Zack Wheeler PHI R 2.62 @WAS 0.718 @TB 0.756
Dylan Bundy LAA R 3.12 TEX 0.633 @LAD 0.834
Dustin May LAD R 2.68 OAK 0.728 LAA 0.786


Just like there’s always money in these guys! 


Two-Start Stud: 

  • Brandon Woodruff (@CIN, @STL): The biggest knock on Woodruff heading into September was his inability to pitch late into games. Well in his last two starts he’s pitched a pair of 7 inning games. One of those 7 inning starts was against the Cardinals when he allowed only 3 ERs with 5 Ks. In his two starts against Cincinnati, he’s thrown 10 innings, allowing only 4 ERs with 13 Ks. On top of all that hands-on data – the Cardinals and the Reds have both been in the bottom half of the league against righties. 


Just One: 

  • Dylan Bundy (TEX): I obviously don’t love Dylan Bundy against the Dodgers in LA, however, Bundy held his first opponent this week, the Rangers, to 7.1 IP. with 12 K’s and only 5 baserunners on September 10th. I guess it doesn’t hurt that the Rangers are only ranked above the Pirates in most offensive categories vs. righties. All it took was Bundy escaping Baltimore for him to become who we all knew he could be. 


Tier 3: “Her?”


Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
German Marquez COL R 4.33 @SF 0.772 @ARI 0.702
Aaron Civale CLE R 3.80 CWS 0.770 PIT 0.593
Lance McCullers HOU R 4.87 @SEA 0.733 @TEX 0.633
Masahiro Tanaka NYY R 3.27 @TOR 0.762 MIA 0.682
Sean Manaea OAK L 4.50 @LAD 0.729 SEA 0.614
Marco Gonzales SEA L 3.49 HOU 0.741 @OAK 0.724
Zach Davies SD R 2.69 LAA 0.786 @SF 0.772
Brady Singer KC R 4.14 STL 0.703 DET 0.671
Dane Dunning CWS R 2.33 @CLE 0.698 CHC 0.756
Adam Wainwright STL R 2.87 @KC 0.706 MIL 0.678
Jon Lester CHC L 4.91 @PIT 0.760 @CWS 0.915
Kyle Freeland COL L 3.75 @SF 0.839 @ARI 0.630
Keegan Akin BAL L 3.38 @BOS 0.793 @TOR 0.761
Brett Anderson MIL L 4.38 @CIN 0.690 @STL 0.734


Two Start Studs:

  • Brady Singer (STL, DET): At the end of August I would not have recommended Singer. However, with his last two starts he might win AL pitcher of the week: 14 IP, 6 baserunners, 0 ER, 16 Ks. Excuse me? Baking powder? All that from a guy who had a 5.58 ERA going into the game? Tigers have the third-worst OPS vs righties this year. The Cardinals? 9th worst. If he keeps up with whatever adjustments he’s made in his last two starts there’s an opportunity for a championship-winning week from Singer. 
  • Brett Anderson (@CIN, @STL): It’s really interesting to wonder what Brett Anderson could’ve been if he stayed healthy. In the 3 seasons he made over 20 starts his ERAs were: 4.06, 3.69, 3.89. Here’s the deal for this year’s version of Brett Anderson — I honestly don’t know if he’s stayed off the IL this year, but it’s crazy that I can just guess that he probably hasn’t and probably have 75% chance of being right. Anyway – the Reds and Cardinals have not hit lefties well this year. The Reds have the second-worst batting average (.206) and the Cardinals have the 8th worst (.228.) Plus — BONUS FUN FACT — Anderson has pitched well against both of these teams already this year. 
    • August 24th vs CIN: 6 IP, 2 ER
    • September 15th vs STL: 6 IP, 2 ER


Just One: 

  • Kyle Freeland (@ARI): Freeland has been hell-bent on proving that his 6.73 ERA in 2019 was an aberration and so far I’d say he’s been successful. Bad news DBack fans — your team has the second-worst OPS against lefties. More bad news! Freeland already helped cause that low OPS back on August 11th when he held them to 2 ERs in 7 IP. 

Tier 4: “I don’t know what I expected.”  


Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
Kyle Gibson TEX R 5.18 @LAA 0.786 HOU 0.714
Tarik Skubal DET L 6.17 @MIN 0.650 @KC 0.725
Cole Hamels ATL L 8.10 MIA 0.768 BOS 0.793
Anibal Sanchez WAS R 7.38 PHI 0.760 NYM 0.840
Tanner Roark TOR R 6.41 NYY 0.827 BAL 0.759
Trevor Rogers MIA L 6.00 @ATL 0.689 @NYY 0.745
Austin Voth WAS R 7.17 PHI 0.760 NYM 0.840
Jordan Lyles TEX R 7.07 @ARI 0.702 HOU 0.714
Drew Smyly SF L 3.94 COL 0.774 SD 0.768
Trevor Anderson SF L 5.06 COL 0.774 SD 0.768
Josh Fleming TB L 3.47 @NYM 0.785 PHI 0.858
Josh Tomlin ATL R 4.84 MIA 0.682 BOS 0.762
Nick Pivetta BOS R 15.88 BAL 0.759 @ATL 0.857
Carlos Hernandez KC R 3.86 STL 0.703 DET 0.671
Jose Urena MIA R 6.00 @ATL 0.857 @NYY 0.827
Seth Lugo NYM R 4.34 TB 0.756 @WAS 0.718
JT Brubaker PIT R 4.79 CHC 0.756 @CLE 0.698
Chase Anderson TOR R 7.45 NYY 0.827 BAL 0.759


Two-Start Stud-ish:

  • Tarik Skubal (@MIN, @KC): Skubal’s three best starts this year? 
    • August 29th vs MIN: 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners, 2 Ks
    • September 5th @ MIN: 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks. 
    • September 16th vs KC: 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks.
    • He’s had a few stinkers mixed in, but the Twins and Royals are actually in the bottom 10 against lefties this year so I like him for a deep league dice roll!


Just One: 

  • Jordan Lyles (@ARI): Yea Jordan Lyles has been a dumpster fire this year so only consider him if you’re truly desperate. However, in his last start he actually finally had a decent start holding the Astros to 2 ER over 7 innings. In this one, the depleted and disappointing Diamondbacks should put up less of a fight than the Astros — they’re in the bottom 3rd of most offensive categories against righties. Lyles actually faces those same Astros in his second match-up, but they have Alex Bregman back and might do their homework on their former teammate for a revenge game.