An 8.90 K/9? Who does Clayton Kershaw think he is…Madison Bumgarner? (Ooo, shots fired). Now, obviously this is all in jest, even the title, because King Kershaw is the model of consistency when it comes to fantasy baseball, and the only pitcher even remotely worth considering within the top 15 picks. So, here we are in the middle of May and Kershaw’s once again dominating to the tune of a 7-2 record, a 2.15 ERA and 7.75 K/BB ratio. Why the focus, then?

Last season it was a 15.64 K/BB ratio with a 1.69 ERA and a 10.39 K/9. A whole ‘mother stratosphere. But let’s not get it twisted: nothing’s wrong with the Dodgers ace. He still holds a .205 BAA, is inducing more soft contact than last year, and is maintaining that precious velocity across all his pitches (or enough of a gap in velo to make him so dangerous). No, if anything the problem is what we saw out of him last year. Did you take Kershaw in the 1st round this year? Good for you, but the chasm between him and the next best pitchers just isn’t as expansive as we saw in 2016. This version of Kershaw is the normal version of Kershaw that’s consistent with what we’ve seen with him across his entire career. And yes, it’s one of the most impressive careers in history, even at 29 years old.

It’s the difference betwixt (it’s just more enjoyable to write that) him and the others that is significant in the conversation. In the Two-Start asks this week you’ll see a bevy of strong options up there alongside the undisputed. To wrap it up, nothing’s wrong with Clayton Kershaw, he’s just back to normal and a few others are still doing they’re just-behind-him-thing.

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

THE BEST

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Clayton Kershaw LAD STL, CHC 2.15/2.89 8.90/1.15
Zack Greinke ARI CHW, @MIL 3.09/3.34 10.18/1.78
Dallas Keuchel HOU DET, BAL 1.84/3.27 7.63/1.98
Lance McCullers HOU DET, BAL 2.65/3.07 9.94/2.48
Carlos Carrasco CLE @CIN, KC 2.60/3.23 9.00/1.90
Michael Fulmer DET @HOU, @CHW 2.72/3.24 7.81/2.21
Gerrit Cole PIT @ATL, NYM 2.84/3.51 7.89/1.89
Jon Lester CHC SF, @LAD 3.57/3.47 9.17/3.57

THE REPLICAS

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Michael Pineda NYY KC, OAK 3.42/4.09 10.46/1.52
Kyle Hendricks CHC SF, @LAD 3.35/4.33 7.49/3.55
Danny Duffy KC @NYY, @CLE 2.97/3.07 7.02/2.97
Johnny Cueto SF @CHC, ATL 4.50/3.91 8.07/2.48

THE STANDARDS

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Jason Vargas KC @NYY, @CLE 2.03/2.48 7.95/1.85
Jake Odorizzi TB LAA, @MIN 3.16/4.57 7.05/1.76
Ervin Santana MIN @BAL, TB 2.07/4.36 6.49/3.69
Rick Porcello BOS TEX, SEA 4.23/3.94 9.43/1.95
Alex Cobb TB LAA, @MIN 3.67/3.97 6.07/2.24
Lance Lynn STL @LAD, @COL 2.78/5.02 7.94/3.34

THE KNOCKOFFS

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Matt Garza MIL TOR, ARI 2.43/3.47 6.67/1.82
Matt Shoemaker LAA @TB, @MIA 4.47/5.00 8.94/3.58
Jordan Montgomery NYY KC, OAK 4.81/3.92 8.47/1.42
Mike Foltynewicz ATL PIT, @SF 4.10/4.76 691/2.59
JC Ramirez LAA @TB, @MIA 3.97/3.85 7.36/2.25
Christian Bergman SEA @WAS, @BOS 2.25/3.38 6.75/2.55
Jerad Eickhoff PHI COL, CIN 4.53/4.04 8.47/3.55
Miguel Gonzalez CHW @ARI, @DET 4.29/2.58 5.36/3.40
Scott Feldman CIN CLE, @PHI 4.29/4.13 6.79/3.58
Daniel Norris DET @HOU, @CHW 4.81/4.03 8.16/4.40
Julio Teheran ATL PIT, @SF 5.47/5.26 6.57/4.20
Matt Harvey NYM SD, @PIT 5.56/6.41 6.15/4.37

THE 8c65e5de808ec301754508366480250c

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Zach Eflin PHI COL, CIN 4.25/4.39 4.50/1.50
Patrick Corbin ARI CHW, @MIL 4.38/4.36 7.36/2.05
Jhoulys Chacin SD @NYM, @WAS 4.61/4.27 7.35/3.08
Josh Tomlin CLE @CIN, KC 6.86/3.75 7.08/0.89
Jacob Turner WAS SEA, SD 3.74/4.19 5.82/3.32
Jose Urena MIA @OAK, LAA 1.91/4.28 4.64/2.45
German Marquez COL @PHI, STL 4.34/3.31 7.45/3.10
Andrew Cashner TEX @BOS, @TOR 2.45/5.09 4.24/4.69
Amir Garrett CIN CLE, @PHI 5.18/5.48 7.43/4.05
Dylan Covey CHW @ARI, @DET 7.64/7.34 5.35/4.06
Tyler Chatwood COL @PHI, STL 5.09/5.22 6.96/4.58
Tyler Glasnow PIT @ATL, NYM 7.43/5.42 9.70/6.29
Jordan Zimmermann DET @HOU, @CHW 6.25/6.06 5.64/2.82
Ty Blach SF @CHC, ATL 4.15/4.48 2.86/2.60
Ubaldo Jimenez BAL MIN, @HOU 6.52/6.76 6.75/5.35

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

Good luck in Week 8! 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…

 

DROP THOSE COMMENTS!

I’ll miss you guys! Handing over the Two-Starts beginning next week.
Follow me on Twitter at @matthayes for far more than just fantasy advice.

 
  1. PED Inc says:
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    Great post! I’m with you on stying away from the pitchers early in leagues where weekly moves are allowed. This year I didn’t draft a pitcher till the fifth with Carrasco. I do have a trade offer pending though I would like to throw at you. A guy has offered me his Kershaw for my Thames, R. Zimmerman. I already have solid CI hitters in the form of Goldy, Lamb, and Myers. Thames and Zim were guys that I didn’t even draft but plucked off the wire. So essentially I could get Kershaw without even using a draft pick much less a top 3 draft pick on him. So what do you think, still too much?
    Thank as always!

    • @PED Inc: Sorry for the delay in replying to you. I’m not opposed to get Kershaw, but I’m hesitant in moving off of Thames. A real believer in him. If there’s a way to partner Zimm with someone else for Kershaw, do it.

      You could still do it with Thames given your lineup, but I’m always hesitant to trade top hitting for pitching.

  2. JR says:
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    Might wanna remove Kuechel, got DL’d today

    • @JR: Yep, a little late on the DL from when I posted this. Sucks, though. He’s been back to his Cy Young form.

  3. Chris says:
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    Thanks [email protected]!
    Any word on Hoskins? is he worth hanging on to or should I drop him from Fat, I mean Matt Adams? Adams just traded to the Braves

    • @Chris: Hoskins is going to be remarkable. Mashing at AAA. Ralph drools over him, too.

      I wouldn’t drop him for Adams. Not a chance.

  4. Scott says:
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    Brad Peacock is starting Monday. Where does he fit in?

    • @Scott: In the bottom column. You could stretch that to the next one up if you need, but I’m not making a big move to get him in.

  5. Star Lord says:
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    The Danny Salazar owner in my league just threw in the towel and dropped him. Do you think he’s worth owning ROS (my pitching is pretty weak—weak enough to be stashing Tyson Ross out of desperation), and should I spend half my FAAB to pick him up? Thanks!

    • @Star Lord: Absolutely grab him. He’s worth a lot, even though he’s not doing well. Not worth half, but I’d spend 15-20% of it on him. I’m just not a proponent of blowing your land on one player unless it’s someone like Moncada coming up.

  6. Joeg414 says:
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    Don’t like Shoe in Tampa ?

    • @Joeg414: The Rays team wOBA is in the top 8 of the MLB. Their lineup doesn’t strike a ton of fear in people, but they’re hot hitting. That’s why the red.

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