In a week where Clayton Kershaw is slated for two starts (pour one out for that first one. It should have been another epic matchup of Madison Bumgarner against King Kershaw, but alas…dirt bikes. Ugh!), the pitcher drawing the most attention, or at least the most reaction like the one above, is from none of other than the guy doing the reaction above! It’s like those Gronk wearing a shirt of Edelman, wearing a shirt of Gronk, wearing a shirt of Edelman things. You’ll get through this. I promise. And no more mention of anything Boston in this post. You have my word. (Still butt hurt about the Super Bowl. Always will be.)

Now, back to the matters at hand. Jason Vargas. Jason freaking Vargas. I was in an AL-Only auction at the end of March. $270 budget, 33 roster spots, 10 teams. Jason Vargas? Thrown out around #300 and went for a cool $2. I mean, who in the I want to cuss right now ever saw this coming? Certainly not ol’ Vargas himself. Why? Because this version of Vargas, the 34 year-old version, is every bit the same version as last 11 years who never held a K/9 north of 7 when pitching more than 12 IP in a year. And yet, here we are in Week 4 and Vargas is the ever-deserving candidate to be highlighted leading into this week, joining the echelon previously only befitted by Kershaw and MadBum.

Paul Sporer at FanGraphs said, “Jason Vargas is pitching out of his mind right now…His velocity has always been underwhelming (~86-88 mph) and it’s on the low end this year at 86.6. Vargas is using essentially the same pitch mix, too…I don’t really know what to make of this.” It’s a fascinating article that shines some light on the deeper stats of Jason’s breakout. Go nerd out for a bit after you finish here, because somewhere between his last healthy season in 2014 and now a beast has emerged. An 87 MPH beast. Can it last? Let’s hope it continues for at least his next two!

(For the record, I nailed the Eric Thames Top 100 and Andrew Triggs Two-Starts highlights last week. That probably means Vargas implodes this week, haha.)

Pitchers are listed in order by rank. Colors represent 8 toughest or 8 easiest opponents according to team wOBA for last 14 days.


Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Clayton Kershaw LAD @SF, PHI 2.54/2.68 10.16/0.64
Chris Archer TB @BAL, @TOR 3.20/1.71 9.59/2.84
Stephen Strasburg WAS @COL, NYM 2.89/2.04 9.32/2.25
Jason Vargas KC @CHW, MIN 0.44/0.98 10.02/0.87


Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Dallas Keuchel HOU @CLE, OAK 0.96/3.00 7.07/1.93
Zack Greinke ARI SD, COL 3.28/3.06 7.30/2.19
Felix Hernandez SEA @DET, @CLE 3.65/4.27 7.30/0.36
Michael Wacha STL TOR, CIN 2.41/3.97 8.20/2.41
Amir Garrett CIN @MIL, @STL 1.83/2.03 9.61/1.37
Luis Severino NYY @BOS, BAL 4.05/3.10 12.15/0.90


Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Julio Teheran ATL @NYM, @MIL 3.52/4.16 7.04/4.30
Joe Ross WAS @COL, NYM 3.86/3.18 9.00/1.26
Wade Miley BAL TB, @NYY 1.89/3.16 11.37/3.79
Marco Estrada TOR @STL, TB 2.63/3.77 9.00/3.38
Chad Kuhl PIT CHC, @MIA 2.60/2.84 7.27/3.63
Rick Porcello BOS NYY, CHC 5.32/4.33 8.75/1.90
Matt Shoemaker LAA OAK, @TEX 4.98/6.26 7.89/3.74
Robert Gsellman NYM ATL, @WAS 5.09/3.46 10.19/3.06
Patrick Corbin ARI SD, COL 3.27/3.80 6.14/2.86
Miguel Gonzalez CHW KC, @DET 2.84/3.79 7.11/3.32
Wei-Yin Chen MIA @PHI, PIT 3.94/4.02 5.63/1.69


Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Francisco Liriano TOR @LAA, TB 5.11/2.90 12.41/5.11
Vince Velasquez PHI MIA, @LAD 7.20/6.03 11.40/6.00
Jesse Hahn OAK @LAA, @HOU 3.00/3.23 7.00/3.50
Clayton Richard SD @ARI, @SF 3.04/4.28 6.08/2.36
Hyun-Jin Ryu LAD @SF, PHI 5.87/6.94 9.98/2.35

THE 8c65e5de808ec301754508366480250c

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Jordan Zimmermann DET SEA, CHW 5.94/3.92 5.40/3.78
Phil Hughes MIN @TEX, @KC 5.40/4.63 6.60/1.80
Brett Anderson CHC @PIT, BOS 4.40/3.31 6.91/3.14
Jhoulys Chacin SD @ARI, @SF 4.70/3.90 5.87/3.13
Ricky Nolasco LAA TOR, @TEX 4.76/5.81 6.75/1.19
Ubaldo Jimenez BAL TB, @NYY 5.51/5.47 4.96/3.86
Josh Tomlin CLE HOU, SEA 11.68/4.44 5.84/1.46
Ty Blach SF LAD, SD 4.76/4.31 3.18/4.76
Tyler Anderson COL WAS, @ARI 7.32/5.54 7.78/3.20
Matt Cain SF LAD, SD 3.31/5.28 6.61/4.41
Tommy Milone MIL CIN, ATL 5.63/4.02 6.75/0.56
Martin Perez TEX MIN, LAA 3.60/4.40 7.20/5.40
Dylan Covey CHW KC, @DET 7.84/7.73 1.74/4.35

All pitchers are projected for two-starts as of Friday night.


Good luck in Week 4! Keep checking back for your weekly lineup needs. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask your questions. On life. On pitchers. On ranks. On…well, just…


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

  1. Lance

    Cousin Vinny says:

    McCarthy, Triggs, or Nelson tomorrow?

    Need W and Ks (H2H 5×5 cats)

  2. Raj says:

    I think Matt Garza is going two starts this week too. Unfortunately, I may have to run either Garza or Hughes out there.

  3. akowale2 says:

    In a keeper league where they’re both the same round who do you like more severino or Velasquez?

  4. David Nadelle says:

    Great write up [email protected]! Trying to plug in my 5th starter for a weekly locked down, pitching heavy, deep stat H2H league…sorry for the messy question:

    Would you two-start any one of Richard, Miley, Kuhl, Hahn, Hughes, or Nolasco over one-starters Gausman (@NYY), Cotton (@HOU), Triggs (@HOU), or Peralta (CIN)?

    • @David Nadelle: Thanks man! Hope this isn’t too late. I’d take the top two-start over any one of the single start guys.

  5. David Nadelle says:

    Forget Peralta above…I’m dropping his a$$…

  6. Need SP Help says:

    What about Graveman they show him as a double starter @LAA & @Hou?

    • @Need SP Help: Yep, missed it. My bad. He’s near the top of the knockoffs for me, though. Not sure I believe in that ERA number.

  7. DonnieB says:

    Can you rank the following for this week. Graveman Corbin Gonzalez

  8. JayP says:

    So after tonight’s start, is maeda droppable in 10 team leagues?

    • @JayP: I wouldn’t drop him yet. He hasn’t been wonderful, but this was a top 25 guy just three weeks ago. He’s gotta fix some stuff, but the HR/FB% has doubled, which is likely an aberration. I’d hold for a little while longer.

  9. Rosscoe says:

    Appreciate your work @Matt.. It’s as sweet as those sweat glistened abs!

Comments are closed.