Can you smell that? Can you? It’s the smell of a brand spanking new baseball season about to begin and with it, the smell of popcorn, fully chewed Redman, hot dog-flavored water, and gun powder. Why gun powder? MURICA! That’s why! What are you a bunch of red commies that hate freedom? No?!?! Good! Now that we’ve established your patriotism, let’s move on to our first two-start pitcher post of the young season. As I did at the end of 2014, when I took over this ship, I’ll break down all of the starters into a few tiers based on quality of the pitcher and then of course their matchups. To back up just why I’m placing each pitcher into a particular tier, I’ll provide stats on the pitcher and the lineups they’re facing. Considering the only data I have at this point in the season to go on will be last year’s numbers…and what good are those? I’m going to skip this step and just do my rankings and usual blurbs per tier. After all, it is Week 1, and much like a toilet in a unisex bathroom, we’re dealing with everyone’s 1’s and 2’s. Plus, we have plenty of tools to help you figure this stuff out… So sit back, relax, catch ya contact, sip ya cog-ni-ac, and feel free to share your perspective in the comments. I didn’t think the last part about laundering money applied.
Shameless Plug Alert!!!! When you’re done here, head on over to Razzball Soccer and catch all the goodies that Smokey and I are providing for Fantasy Premier League!! Do it!
In the spirit of me writing this just a few hours after taking my two children to Disneyworld for the first time we’ll be naming each tier after rides from the park.
Space Mountain (Must Start): This is the tops of tops, the classic, the aces of bases. You’re starting these Kings and you’re not thinking twice. I don’t know about you but I’m walking around with a raging Scherzer in my pants at the thought of Max doing his dirt in the NL East. I own this handsome devil everywhere and I’m hoping to see the first 300+ K season since Wild Hogs Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did it back in 2002. Awwww 2002 was a simpler time I had more hair and a lot of Ecko clothing.
Clayton Kershaw, LAD: (vs. SD, @Ari); Felix Hernandez, SEA: (vs. LAA, @Oak); Max Scherzer, Was: (vs. NYM, @Phi); Madison Bumgarner, SF: (@Ari, @SD); Corey Kluber, Cle: (@Hou, vs. Det); David Price, Det: (vs. Min, @Cle)
Splash Mountain (Great Start): Due to this being the first week of the season we have a ton of great options in this tier. A lot of pitchers looking to prove themselves with a bevy of off-season questions marks surrounding them as well. Questions like does Cole Hamels prefer Jiff or did the spokespeople tell him to? Is Sonny Gray really the illegitimate son of one Mr. Albright? Will Gray’s BB/9 begin to hurt him? Will Teheran’s ERA regress toward his xFIP in the mid to high three’s? Is Monsanto a shell company for Dr. Evil? All this and more this week on Baseball!
Johnny Cueto, Cin: (vs. Pit, vs. Stl); Cole Hamels, Phi: (vs. Bos, vs. Was); Jeff Samardzija, CWS: (@KC, vs. Min); Julio Teheran, Atl: (@Mia, vs. NYM); Sonny Gray, Oak: (vs. Tex, vs. Sea); James Shields, SD: (@LAD, vs. SF); Masahiro Tanaka, NYY: (vs. Tor, vs. Bos); Jon Lester, CHC: (vs. Stl, @Col), Adam Wainwright, Stl: (@CHC, @Cin)
Thunder Mountain (Good Starts): These are the gents that have me on edge. Are they good starts? Are they meh? Does it matter? Y’all a bunch of fantasy number two’s! I like Alvarez’s starts this week at home vs. two sub-par lineups. If it wasn’t for his 4.78 career K/9 I’d love this guy. He’s a stud with the ratios. This tier also houses my man crush Phil “Too Good For My Home” Hughes. I say this because he hated Target last year posting a 4.25 in the Twin Cities, and a 2.78 away from it. He gets two road starts this week (Yay!), but against two strong lineups (nah!).
Pirates of the Caribbean (Meh Starts): So quick story, in a frantic attempt to escape the heat, and shield our little fair skinned brood from the strong rays of the Florida sun. I pulled my wife and two kids into the Pirates of the Caribbean. My son is four and this was perfect for him, but I was not thinking of how wildly inappropriate it was for my 20 month old daughter…ehhhh…So now my sweet angel has been exposed to the plights of the people of the 18th and 19th century Caribbean and their pirate problem. I mean drunkenness, skeletons, swords, wench slavery, and general crime. This stuff never hurt any one right? Right? Well there’s upside, maybe I toughened her up, and in that spirit all of these pitchers have some upside. Ventura could put it all together and be a pitcher in the ilk of those in the first two tiers. Weaver could keep it together for another season and offer some upside collecting wins. Archer is just underrated. Tillman could continue his dominance from last year’s second half. Liriano is always a risk/reward type. Hahn is a guy many drafted in the later rounds hoping he can put it together and be a stalwart for the backend of your rotation. Drew Hutchison is a favorite around here and you don’t have to look any further than the K/9 to know why. The last two are familiar names to fantasy players everywhere as they both look to regain some relevance.
Yordano Ventura, KC: (vs. CWS, @LAA); Jeff Weaver, LAA: (@Sea, vs. KC); Chris Archer, TB: (vs. Bal, @Mia); Chris Tillman, Bal: (@TB, vs. Tor); Francisco Liriano, Pit: (@Cin, @Mil); Drew Hutchison, Tor: (@NYY, @Bal); Jesse Hahn, Oak: (vs. Tex, vs. Sea); Clay Buchholz, Bos: (@Phi, @NYY); Jake Peavy, SF: (@Ari, @SD)
Hall Of Presidents (Stay Away): Have you guys been to the Hall of Presidents? Sooooo boring!
Kyle Loshe, Mil: (vs. Col, vs. Pit); Yovani Gallardo, Tex: (@Oak, vs. Hou); Josh Collmenter, Ari: (vs. SF, vs. LAD); Bartolo Colon, NYM: (@Was, @Atl); Colby Lewis, Tex: (@Oak, vs. Hou); Kyle Kendrick, Col: (@Mil, vs. CHC); Jordan Lyles, Col: (@Mil, vs. CHC)