I’m just curious: Do Colorado pitchers stink because half of their games are played in the equivalent of the Space Stadium in “Triple Play 2001”, or do they stink because no one wants to pitch there, so the Rockies just end up with the garbage juice at the bottom of the pitching scrap heap? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Either way, the poor, battered Rockies pitchers will get out of Coors next week and into some fun in the sun in San Diego for a series that is the definitive fantasy baseball crossing of the streams: [Jay’s Note: Don’t cross the streams.] Offensive-minded team with horrendous pitchers that play in a batter’s park visit a pitching-minded team with absolutely zero offense in their pitcher’s park.

So what does this mean for fantasy purposes, and specifically Two-Startapalooza purposes?

Well, it means we get to mention an out-and-out schlub like Yohan Flande in the lead of the column, and that will never happen any other time unless he tosses an out-of-nowhere no-no. But Flande just gets a mention, because pitching in Petco is not enough to make him anything more than a dude with a name that sounds like that spongy cake thing no one really likes to eat. But Jordan Lyles, on the other hand, might be worth a play this week. We all know Petco’s the “Power of Love” for crappy MLB pitchers: “Make-a bad one good, make-a wrong one right.” And we know the Padres do their thang to help the fools on the hill look not so foolish wherever they play. Plug those two variables in with Lyles, who has been kind-of OK in three of his last four starts, and he should be good to go. He kept the Braves down in Atlanta, K’ing 6 in 6 IP; he was wild but pitched well in Philly, giving up 2 runs in 5 IP; and delivered the quality-start win against the Cubs at home last Wednesday.

Then there’s the inevitable question: What’s the flip side of the two-start coin for Lyles? Well, it’s the punchless Cincinnati Reds, who are 26th in runs scored and 24th in batting average. They’re coming to Coors, but I wouldn’t let that scare me. WARNING: Note the tier ranking. I’m not recommending Lyles as a must-grab, two-start pitcher. If he’s out there, and you’re feeling a little lucky and/or find yourself in need of a big score as the season rounds the corner toward the finish, go ahead and snag him. But if you’re watching the game, and you see Lyles getting the butt sweats out there on the mound in Petco, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Here’s some more (better) two-start pitchers for the week:

Must Start:

Felix Hernandez (TOR, @DET)

It’s good to be da king. It’s also lonely, at least this week.

First Tier:

Jon Lester (@KC, @ATL), Sonny Gray (@KC, @ATL), Adam Wainwright (@MIA, SD), Jacob deGrom (WSH, CHC)

You don’t have to start them, but I strongly recommend that you do. Gray and deGrom are both gonna have big bounce-back weeks.

Second Tier:

Jesse Hahn (COL, @STL), Hyun-Jin Ryu (@ATL, MIL), Julio Teheran (LAD, OAK), Justin Verlander (@PIT, SEA), Yordano Ventura (OAK, @MIN), Jake Arrieta (MIL, @NYM), Doug Fister (@NYM, PIT), Mat Latos (BOS, @COL), Yovani Gallardo (@CHC, @LAD), Shelby Miller (@MIA, SD), Rick Porcello (@PIT, SEA)

Solid group, should be started, but I wouldn’t nod my head feverishly like Chris Farley as the Partridge Family’s manager in that old “Saturday Night Live” skit. I’m finding it hard to trust Teheran right now, but that could be because he’s been blowing up my team. Also, Hahn is really underrated this week, as he is every week. It’s like fantasy writers are mad at him because he’s on an innings limit.

Third Tier:

Kyle Hendricks (MIL, @NYM), Wily Peralta (@CHC, @LAD), Jonathon Niese (@PHI, CHC), Drew Hutchison (@SEA, @CWS), Tom Koehler (STL, ARI), Collin McHugh (MIN, @BOS), Odrisamer Despaigne (COL, @STL), Jeff Locke (DET, @WSH), Drew Smyly (@TEX, NYY), Dan Haren (@ATL, MIL)

Last week, it was announced that they found some of the remains from the Jonestown Massacre in some bins in an abandoned funeral home in Dover, Delaware. When he saw the news on TV, Locke said, “Those are mine!” On the cereal, I like Hutchison this week. In fact, I’ve liked him all year. Picked him as a sleeper in the Razzball pre-season predictions. Sure, he’s 8-9 with a 4-plus ERA, but he’s had some real gems.

Fourth Tier:

Jordan Lyles (@SD, CIN), T.J. House (ARI, BAL), Josh Collmenter (@CLE, @MIA), Jarred Cosart (STL, ARI), Jeremy Guthrie (OAK, @MIN), Mike Minor (LAD, OAK), Chris Young (TOR, @DET),

Craps, Blackjack, slot machines, the Fourth Tier of Week 20 of Two-Startapalooza. If you split this tier in half you’d have the good, safe bets (Lyles, House) and the not-so-safe bets (Minor, Young).

Fifth Tier:

Joe Kelly (@CIN, HOU), David Buchanan (NYM, @SF) Chris Capuano (@BAL, @TB), Edinson Volquez (DET, @WSH), Colby Lewis (TB, LAA)

Not quite Russian roulette. More like the last straggling chicks at closing time. Buchanan is now the third best pitcher on the Phillies staff, hands down, no question. Read that again and try not to vomit. OK, now clean it up. Actually, he hasn’t been pitching that badly of late, but I see a major embarrassment in the get-away game against the Mets and then another disaster out in San Fran. But hey, at this point you might have pitcher beer goggles on, and if so be my guest, take him home tonight.

Don’t Start:

Yohan Flande (@SD, CIN), Nick Tepesch (TB, LAA), Kevin Correia (@HOU, KC), Jeremy Hellickson (@TEX, NYY), Brad Peacock (MIN, @BOS)

I’m putting Peacock last, not just because he looks like a dopey henchman from the old “Batman” show (Thwap! Pow! Bam!), not just because his name is too dumb to even fall into the Official Razzball Encyclopedia of Phallic Names That Make Us Giggle (Wood, Dickey, Leake, Reddick, etc.), but because he’s that bad. Not even a match-up with the Twins saves him from this fate.

  1. Scooterboy says:

    Hoping to get some needed advice. My team avg has taken a complete nosedive. I was hitting around .280 first overall, now I’m hitting .263 and last in avg. This week I traded Lucas Duda, Kole Calhoun, and Cody Allen for Carlos Gomez and Yan Gomes. I also picked up Jimmy Rollins and dropped Erick Aybar. Please take a look at my team and any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated. I’m in a 5×5 H2H league. Just trying to mold my team for the playoffs. To me the team doesn’t look that bad, but I’ve lost four weeks in a row and avg has been killing me, since in our league avg is the tie breaker. Thanks.

    C Yan Gomes
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    3B Evan Longoria
    SS Jimmy Rollins
    MI Jason Kipnis
    CI Albert Pujols
    OF Ryan Braun
    OF Bryce Harper
    OF Brandon Moss
    OF Alex Gordon
    OF Gregory Polanco
    UT Carlos Gomez
    Bench: Alex Rios, Chris Carter
    DL: Edwin Encarnacion

    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Julio Teheran
    SP Scott Kazmir
    SP Alfredo Simon
    SP Justin Verlander
    SPJake Odorizzi
    SP Sonny Gray
    SP Matt Latos
    SP Lancy Lynn
    RP Trevor Rosenthal
    RP Jake McGee

  2. Al says:

    OPS/QS league, 14 teamer mixed, weekly. I’m a little weak in SP, and thinking I want to sell Pujols. Is Pujols for degrom/laroche cray cray?

    • Jash says:

      @Al: yes

  3. Marcus says:

    Hey pete, drop arrieta for deGrom or Shelby miller? Or hold with arrieta?


    • fausto says:

      Triple play 2001 had giant living room Stadium? Or am I off there? I was trying to buy that game but can’t remember which yr had it.

    • fausto says:

      @Marcus: hold arrieta like your first born child… don’t be fooled by the coors effect from his last start

      • fausto says:

        @fausto: sorry 1st comment for pete regarding Triple Play ’01. I just F3’d sorry.

        • Joe says:

          @fausto: dude would you trade David wright and mat adams for David price?

          • fausto says:

            @Joe:if I needed an ace and had corner depth yes.

  4. kc says:

    Thoughts about Tommy Milone?
    Facing Astros and Royals next week

  5. Eye says:

    Where does Milone fall now this coming week? Looks like two pretty good match-ups for him to me. Thanks.

  6. Steeve says:

    For next year, who is the best option: Hahn,deGrom, McHugh, Duffy or Shoemaker?

  7. Hondo says:

    Isn’t Chen getting 2 starts?if so,what tier would he be in?

  8. Michael says:

    It is looking as if T.J. MacFarland will be optioned to AAA, pushing Bud Norris to start Monday, making him a 2 start pitcher. He’s probably a serviceable option with matchups against NYY and CLE. FYI.

  9. Red says:

    Breaking news; mets scratch deGrom from Tuesdays start due to shoulder soreness

  10. Ante GALIC says:

    Hey Pete!

    Nice write-up. SON doesn’t like Latos @ COL and does not REALLY endorse either of Gray’s starts. Would you start ’em both over the likes of any of the following one-starters (SON scores in brackets)?

    From this group, believe Kluber, Cobb, Iwakuma, MadBum and maybe Zimmermann are must-starts.

    Aug 13 Zimmerman (19.6)
    Aug 11+17 Latos (7.8 + -1.5)
    Aug 15 AWood (11.7)
    Aug 13 Kazmir (4.4)
    Aug 13 Bailey (12.2)
    Aug 13 Sanchez (17.3)
    Aug 14 Shields (8.6)
    Aug 15 Cobb (14.8)
    Aug 13 Iwakuma (18.2)
    Aug 15 MadBum (28.3)
    Aug 15 Quintana (9.3)
    Aug 11+16 Teheran (13.5 + 9.6)
    Aug 15 Paxton (-9.7)
    Aug 14 Samardzija (2.3)
    Aug 15 Kluber (20.2)
    Aug 11+16 Gray (-1.0+6.6)
    Aug 14 Liriano (-3.5)
    Aug 13 Santana (12.3)

    So based on the above, questions are as follows.

    League 1: Starting these 5

    Bailey, Homer CIN
    Cobb, Alex TB
    Iwakuma, Hisashi SEA
    Quintana, Jose CHW
    Wood, Alex ATL

    Sitting these 5

    Latos, Mat CIN
    Liriano, Francisco PIT
    Nelson, Jimmy MIL
    Odorizzi, Jake TB
    Paxton, James SEA

    Question 1, Yes or No? Change what?

    League 2: Starting these 5

    Bailey, Homer CIN
    Bumgarner, Madison SF
    Cobb, Alex TB
    Kluber, Corey CLE
    Santana, Ervin ATL

    Sitting these 4

    Gray, Sonny OAK
    Quintana, Jose CHW
    Sanchez, Anibal DET
    Stroman, Marcus TOR

    Question 2, any changes

    League 3:

    Starting these 5

    Bailey, Homer CIN
    Iwakuma, Hisashi SEA
    Shields, James KC
    Teheran, Julio ATL
    Zimmermann, Jordan WAS

    Sitting these 4

    Kazmir, Scott OAK
    Quintana, Jose CHW
    Samardzija, Jeff OAK
    Sanchez, Anibal DET

    Question 3, any changes here?

    Thanks, Pete! Sorry for the long-winded questions.


  11. malamoney

    malamoney says:

    Should Anibal Sanchez be dropped. It’s a keeper league, but wouldn’t be one of my top 5 keepers. I guess the real question is how long until we is pitching again?

  12. nolan ryan says:

    I think you’re wrong on Hahn. I bet he get blown up in one of those two games.

  13. Tim says:

    what about ryan vogelsong?

  14. Tim says:

    What about Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Shoemaker? SON says they have two starts.

  15. DSD says:

    I’m in a national game. #1 in my league; 12th in the division of 250. 100th, or so, overall out of roughly 2,000 teams. And, I’m screwed this week without King Felix (who I hope finally gets lit up!).

    Would you start Gray/Teheran going twice or Sale/Darvish (is he hurt?) going once? I also have the choice of putting in Bumgarner, but he’s been awful at home this year and has hurt me this year (his ERA is 5 + with a 1.5 WHIP in the 90 innings he’s pitched for me) .

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