Primer’s are the best. Aren’t they? Last year I started off by talking about painting the walls of my house. This year it’s the same thing, but with my cabinets. So, let’s give the Two-Start Pitcher Primer a little facelift. Or…a second coat of paint. We’ll pick up with the dilemma of painting yourself or getting someone to do it…

…This left me with one of two choices: pay some stupid amount of money for someone to trash my kitchen, cover everything in little drops of paint splatter and brighten up the house by turning my brown cabinets white, or do it myself. Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor I am not. In fact, I may have married more of a Tim ‘The Toolman’ than I am myself. Wait, haha, don’t take that wrong. My wife’s gorgeous. Maybe I should change the analogy. Ok, what’s the girl’s name who wears the short shorts and works on the show with Tim and Al Borland on ‘Home Improvement’? Heidi? Yeah, that’s what I hitched myself to. I win! And now that I’ve spent 100 words talking about my wife in a fantasy baseball post, let’s get back to the story. Which option did I choose?

Well, six months later my kitchen has white cabinets and my checking account has a lot less money. What was the determining factor? Primer. Freaking primer.

Now before all you handymen laugh me out of Razzball and send more judgment my way than my Southern Baptist grandmother did when she saw my high school girlfriend, let me ‘splain. Painting’s not a fun chore to me, but saving money is. As a result, I thought I’d give it a go with the paint job. Embarking upon the journey of turning my cabinets white, I began one Saturday morning while my aforementioned smokin’ hot wife and kids ran some errands. Major points coming my way, right? Then my wife returned, and rather than some smooches I got disappointment and frustration. Nothing but unhappy body language, because I forgot the primer. Why can’t you start painting brown cabinets white, the same effing color as the PRIMER!?! So, after some laughs and phone calls in came the painter to fix my mess and paint our cabinets with two coats of white…after a coat of primer.

In order to be prepared for the weekly update of which starters can give you two coats of starts you first need a primer. And for the record, I much prefer writing a primer about fantasy baseball with a keyboard than applying one to my cabinets with a brush. Wouldn’t you?!?

You’ve been peppered all kinds of strategy this draft season, but now let’s get you ready to actually win your league during the season. Two-start pitchers refers to starting pitchers that are scheduled to take the bump twice in a weekly period from Monday-Sunday. With a normal 5 day rest between starts, this means you’re looking for pitchers that start Monday or Tuesday, and then come back around during the weekend. While there is value to utilizing this strategy in every format it is primarily beneficial to those of you playing in weekly leagues or leagues where pickups are only allowed weekly. Grabbing a two-start pitcher gives you more opportunity for counting stats with the second start, but read carefully what was just written: an opportunity. There’s no guarantee that a two-start pitcher will bring more value than someone who throws just once, but this primer will explain why, and the weekly updates will give advice on how to navigate those waters during the year. So, let’s start painting!

When examining which two-start pitchers to pick up, you need to look further than just name value or season stats. Many variables go into making the pitcher attractive any given week, such as: Home/Road StartsERA/FIP, and the 9’s.

It’s quite simple: Home starts are overwhelmingly better than road starts the majority of the time, FIP is a truer indicator of future success over ERA, and anything south of a 3:1 K/9:BB/9 isn’t that wonderful. Got it? Good. Ask questions IN THE COMMENTS if ya don’t.  And sign up for the Stream-o-Nator because that ranks every start for every pitcher for every week.

Now, onto the rankings of the Week 1 Two-Start Starters!


Player Opponents
Clayton Kershaw LAD SD, @COL
Madison Bumgarner SF @ARI, @SD
Noah Syndergaard NYM ATL, MIA
Johnny Cueto SF @ARI, @SD
Corey Kluber CLE @TEX, @ARI
Yu Darvish TEX CLE, OAK
Carlos Martinez STL CHC, CIN
Chris Archer TB NYY, TOR
Jon Lester CHC @STl, @MIL



Player Opponents
Stephen Strasburg WAS MIA, @PHI
Danny Duffy KC @MIN, @HOU
Justin Verlander DET @CHW, BOS
Jose Quintana CHW DET, MIN
Dallas Keuchel HOU SEA, KC
Gerrit Cole PIT @BOS, ATL
Kenta Maeda LAD SD, @COL
Rick Porcello BOS PIT, @DET
Sean Manaea OAK LAA, @TEX
Jake Odorizzi TB NYY, TOR
Julio Teheran ATL @NYM, @PIT
Masahiro Tanaka NYY @TB, @BAL
Matt Shoemaker LAA @OAK, SEA



Player Opponents
Zack Greinke ARI SF, CLE
Felix Hernandez SEA @HOU, @LAA
Lance McCullers HOU SEA, KC
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA @HOU, @LAA
Ervin Santana MIN KC, @CHW


Player Opponents
Zach Davies MIL COL, CHC
Tyler Anderson COL @MIL, LAD
Jon Gray COL @MIL, LAD
Jeremy Hellickson PHI @CIN, WAS
Marco Estrada TOR @BAL, @TB
Kendall Graveman OAK LAA, @TEX
Patrick Corbin ARI SF, CLE
Jhoulys Chacin SD @LAD, SF
Junior Guerra MIL COL, CHC



Player Opponents
Martin Perez TEX CLE, OAK
Clayton Richard SD @LAD, SF
Ricky Nolasco LAA @OAK, SEA
CC Sabathia NYY @TB, @BAL
Edinson Volquez MIA @WAS, @NYM
Scott Feldman CIN PHI, @STL


Now, it’s Week 1 so we’re filled with aces. Moving forward you’ll see the opponents highlighted in either red or green, representing either a bad matchup or a good one, respectively. And of course, the greatest emoji in the history of emojis makes its triumphant return to the series. Each pitcher will be ranked into one of five tiers. Disagree? GREAT! That’s why we have the COMMENTS section. It’s all highly subjective as my opinion…it’s just the best one. (Wink).

You’ll find more depth beginning next week, but this is just a primer. That’s a good base coat. Good luck in Week 1! Welcome to the 2017 Fantasy Baseball season!



Follow [email protected] on Twitter at @matthayes for far more than just fantasy advice.

  1. Lt says:

    Weekly lineup, h2h 12 team 5×5. Lineups don’t lock till that players game goes off. Playing Tanaka and he was rocked today. Do I pull back on players this week knowing his era/whip got bitchslapped today? Also maybe some help for some stud hitter picks for weekly leagues mixed in? I benched Rendon today for Longo last minute fearing Rendons calf, looks good so far. Thanks man good read.

    • @Lt: You’re making the right plays so far. I wouldn’t hold back in Week 1 because of Tanaka tho. Too many great options throwing to start the year.

      As for hitters, I know it may be a day late but the Top 100 is coming out in the am.

  2. Lt says:

    I had Duffy, Maeda, McCullers, Gausman, bedrosian, Treinan, and Paxton going. Pick up a high end middle reliever and bench one them?

  3. Curtis W. Jones says:

    You starting Hellickson in NFBC style leagues, where pitchers are locked for the week? Currently have him benched for the likes of Salazar at Texas, Ivan Nova vs the Braves, and Joe Ross vs the Phillies.

  4. M says:

    Anyone starting J-Zimm against the ChiSox &. James Shields?

  5. Jerry says:

    Hey, Ma. Liriano, Ivan Nova, or Robbie Ray in a head to head points league. Thanks!

  6. Matthew Bauer says:

    Any reason you don’t have Gausman going for 2 this week? I think he starts Monday. I know they have a choppy first week but Sat would be normal rest, or Sunday at worst. Would be surprised if they kept to strict 5 man (are they that deep/healthy atm?) which would put Gausman going Mon 4/3 & Tues 4/11.

  7. Raider says:

    [email protected] First time in an RCL this year and I have JD already on the DL, ESPN won’t let me add david dahl on there as well. Can you only have one hitter and one pitcher on the dl at a time?

    • Raider says:

      @Raider: Must have been something with my bench, moved stuff around and it got fixed

      • @Raider: Good. Those are two of my four favorite DL stashes to start the year. Pick between them, Price and Desmond.

  8. Milarky says:

    Good stuff! I was a little surprised how low you have Gray, but one of his starts is at home. Thoughts on which three guys to sit in this list for week 1? Since we just did our draft, I can retroactively update my roster as long as it’s before Monday’s starts.

    Gray (@MIL, LAD)
    Nova (ATL)
    Shoemaker (SEA, @OAK)
    Hammel (@MIN)
    D. Norris (@CHW)
    Salazar (@TEX)

    • Milarky says:

      @Milarky: Correction – which TWO guys to sit from that list please!

  9. Eric Karabell says:

    Gsellman is my lock of the week for week 1

  10. Packers says:

    I love the post, however any chance you could post it earlier for our noon lineup lock time for weekly leagues?

    • @Packers: Yes, sorry about that Packers. Week 1 was a little crazy. It will normally post Saturdays around 12PM ET.

      Thanks for reading!

Comments are closed.