I like my Two Start Pitcher schedules the same way I like my coffee: robust, and diarrhea inducing. We have a strong slate this week of double dippers, complete with a vast array of crap in Tier 5 and a pleasantly surprising amount of goodness in Tiers 3-4. Tier 1 holds a trio of no-brainers, but Tier 2 is ripe with the scent of potential over-performance! Price, Gonzalez, Hamels, and Stripling all raise their stocks with non-intimidating opponents. Tyler Skaggs is worthy of discussion in Tier 3 as someone who could have been pushed to Tier 2, but despite Boston’s weakness against southpaws, I’m not stoked about that matchup. There are some really interesting names in Tier 4, not the least of which is Reynaldo Lopez. Despite his decent matchups and surface stats, he’s got a lot of red flags under the hood and that keeps him from Tier 3. Have a look at Tier 5 if you want to know who not to start. Let’s have a look at some more two-start options of interest this week.

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Corey Kluber @STL 20th 23 @OAK 8th 22.8
Gerrit Cole TOR 10th 23.7 @TB 21st 22.6
James Paxton (L) @BAL 26th 21.8 KC 22nd 21.3


  • James Paxton (SEA) – Big Maple has found himself in many sticky situations over his past two starts, probably because he excretes so much maple syrup. Things are bound to stick to you big guy, probably get some Goo Gone or something. He has allowed 10 runs over 7.1 innings over his last two starts, and I don’t care. His velocity was fine, leading me to believe he’s not going through some health issue. Those starts were against the Yankees and Red Sox, two of the toughest offenses in the league. His schedule eases up in a big way for this two start week, as he continues his tour of the AL East in Baltimore and then heads home for a date with the lowly Royal(e)s with cheese. Sign me up.


Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Ross Stripling CHC 5th 21.2 COL 22nd 24
J.A. Happ (L) @HOU 2nd 20.5 DET 5th 19.1
David Price (L) LAA 18th 20 @NYY 1st 23.5
Gio Gonzalez (L) @TB 15th 24.2 @PHI 21st 23
Rick Porcello LAA 4th 19.7 @NYY 2nd 23.5
Cole Hamels SD 30th 26.2 CHW 24th 25.1


  • Cole Hamels (TEX) – “Ok, so you’re FIP is 5.13. That don’t impress me much.” Ah, the immortal lyrics of Shania Twain. Who knew she was talking about the FIP of Cole Hamels after 15 starts in the 2018 MLB season. An impressive prognosticator, that woman. Well, Hole Camels has actually been getting quite a few whiffs at 11.6%, and that’s fueling a surprising 8.97 K/9. His control isn’t what it used to be at 3.51 BB/9, and the 46% hard contact rate doesn’t have me too interested in shallow formats for the duration of the season. This week, however, he gets glorious matchups against the whiff happy Padres and White Sox. He’ll give up a couple home runs, but as long as he doesn’t totally crap the bed he’s gonna give you a bunch of strikeouts this week and be a positive value.


Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Jameson Taillon @NYM 18th 21.4 @SD 30th 26.2
Michael Fulmer OAK 8th 22.8 @TOR 10th 23.7
Jon Lester (L) @LAD 13th 21.9 MIN 20th 24.3
Joey Lucchesi (L) @TEX 12th 23.9 PIT 7th 20.3
Zack Godley @MIA 29th 23.5 SF 12th 24.2
Jake Arrieta NYY 2nd 23.5 WSH 19th 21
Kevin Gausman SEA 11th 20.9 LAA 4th 19.7
Kenta Maeda CHC 5th 21.2 COL 22nd 23.6
Tyler Skaggs (L) @BOS 27th 24.8 @BAL 26th 21.8
Kyle Hendricks @LAD 7th 22 MIN 15th 21.6
Freddy Peralta KC 27th 18.2 @CIN 16th 21


  • Freddy Peralta (MIL) – Freddy was supposed to two-step last week, but a rainout in Pittsburgh nixed that plan and now he goes twice this week instead. Hopefully. The matchups are pretty solid, with the Royals and Reds churning out bottom-half of the league production against righties. He definitely burns through his pitch count too quickly with far too many walks, but we saw in his debut that he has significant upside when he’s on (13 K’s @COL). Through three starts, his ERA and every ERA estimator has him at a 2.85 ERA or better, so if he’s out there he’s definitely worthy of your attention this week.


Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Reynaldo Lopez MIN 15th 21.6 @TEX 23rd 25.3
Lance Lynn @CHW 24th 25.1 @CHC 5th 21.2
Felix Hernandez @BAL 28th 25 CLE 6th 21.8
Seth Lugo PIT 14th 19.2 @MIA 29th 23.5
Jake Junis LAA 4th 19.7 @SEA 11th 20.9
Mike Montgomery @LAD 7th 22 MIN 15th 21.6
Jonathan Loaisiga @PHI 17th 26.6 BOS 1st 18.9


  • Seth Lugo (NYM) – I’m tempted to not rank Lugo. Just because it’s the Mets and I feel like somehow they’re going to send him on a train to Chile because he told the medical staff his skin felt chilly after they rubbed Icy Hot on his grundle, somehow thinking that would give him a tighter grip on the ball. Guess I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this time. At least their mascot isn’t launching hot dogs into women’s eyeballs, I guess. Lugo has 18 innings under his belt now as a starter, spanning four starts. His ERA is just 4.00, but he has an obscene 26% K-BB% that has my attention. I’m really not convinced he is a successful long-term starter, since he really only has that huge curveball as a weapon and it doesn’t even garner many whiffs (10%). The Marlins are enticing enough to roll him out in deeper weekly leagues, though.


Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Vince Velasquez NYY 2nd 23.5 WSH 19th 21
Frankie Montas @DET 25th 21.5 CLE 6th 21.8
Paul Blackburn @DET 25th 21.5 CLE 6th 21.8
Shelby Miller @MIA 29th 23.5 SF 12th 24.2
Dan Straily ARI 26th 25 NYM 18th 21.4
Jordan Zimmermann OAK 8th 22.8 @TOR 10th 23.7
Andrew Cashner SEA 11th 20.9 LAA 4th 19.7
Felix Pena @BOS 1st 18.9 @BAL 28th 25
Matt Harvey @ATL 13th 20.6 MIL 9th 24.7
Tyler Mahle @ATL 13th 20.6 MIL 9th 24.7
Derek Holland (L) COL 4th 22 @ARI 6th 24
Nathan Eovaldi WSH 19th 21 HOU 3rd 20.7
John Gant CLE 6th 21.8 ATL 13th 20.6
Chad Bettis @SF 12th 24.2 @LAD 7th 22


  • Vince Velasquez (PHI) – Between the Royale with cheese reference earlier and now Vince “Don’t call me Vincent” Velasquez/Vega, I’m gonna have to fire up some Pulp Fiction this weekend methinks. You might feel like Vincent Vega coming out of the restroom, though, if you fire up Velasquez this week. I like him a lot more than this Tier 5 ranking suggests the rest of the way, with a 3.48 SIERA and 20% K-BB%. That said, he has plenty of blow up potential, especially this week with starts against the Yanks and Nats. I want no part of those offenses in the same week, so he gets cast down into the mucky muck with the other far more deserving Tier 5 residents.

*All starters are probable for two starts as of Friday evening.



You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken