It’s good to be back, baby!! After a week’s hiatus (hey, sometimes life gets in the way of this fantasy bidness) we’re back to partying. It’s Two Startapalooza, after all! I’ve gotta say, it’s a pretty interesting week of double dippers. Tiers 1 and 2 take up nine nearly universally owned starters, but Tiers 3 and 4 are totally preggo with exciting streaming options. Those Tiers went out to lunch at Golden Corral and decided to take the rest of the day off from work and see how many chicken legs they can shove down their gullets instead. Don’t act like you haven’t done that before. Tier 4 is awash with more recent pop-up guys like Ryan Borucki, Andrew Suarez, Brad Keller, and even…hey! It’s Tommy Milone! What a time to be alive. I won’t speak of Tier 5 because those names are unspeakably ugly.

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Jacob DeGrom @NYY 5th 22.6 @PHI 19th 25.7
Justin Verlander COL 17th 23.2 @OAK 7th 21.8
Clayton Kershaw (L) SF 21st 21.2 @SEA 15th 20
Zack Greinke @TEX 12th 25.3 @SD 29th 25.7
Luis Severino NYM 22nd 21.6 TOR 8th 23
  • Luis Severino, NYY – Sevvy is the easy conversational piece here with the other aces residing in No Doubt Must Startville. Coming off a disgusting five-start stretch in which he allowed 23 runs over 25 innings, Severino made the most out of a cake matchup with the ChiSox. He did give up three earned, but went seven innings with no walks and 8 K’s. His changeup has left him recently, so he only tossed it 7% of the time in favor of 41% sliders. It worked to great effect with 25% whiffs on the slider, but bear in mind the Pale Hose are THE whiff-happiest team in all of the land. I want to see him get his confidence back in the changeup, and maybe with what should be a good matchup with the Mets on the docket he’ll try to work it in more there. You’re starting him everywhere.

Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Madison Bumgarner (L) @LAD 23rd 22.2 @CIN 5th 21.1
Rick Porcello @PHI 19th 25.7 TB 21st 22.1
Mike Clevinger @CIN 14th 21.3 BAL 25th 24
J.A. Happ TB 21st 22.1 TOR 8th 22.9
  • Mike Clevinger, CLE – Clevinger has to be the best starting pitcher you haven’t heard a thing about all season. He has long whippy hair, sweet tats, and a weird herky-jerky delivery (that’s the scouting term, I’m pretty sure), so you’d think the kids of Cleveland would be buying up posters of him like hot cakes. His 3.34 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with nearly a strikeout per inning and solid control leave little else to be desired. The matchup against Baltimore alone is enough to vault him into Tier 2, but he gets a second start in Cinci to boot. As a relatively high fly ball pitcher you might worry a bit about pitching in Great American Small Park, but his 2.69 road ERA is enough to assuage my concerns.

Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Miles Mikolas WSH 10th 20.3 MIL 11th 25.2
Mike Foltynewicz MIA 27th 22.7 COL 17th 23.2
Nick Pivetta BOS 1st 18.7 NYM 22nd 21.6
Jameson Taillon @MIN 15th 21.6 CHC 4th 20.6
Marco Gonzales (L) @OAK 16th 22.5 LAD 23rd 22.2
Andrew Heaney @SD 29th 25.7 @TEX 12th 25.3
Sean Manaea (L) SEA 15th 20 HOU 3rd 20
Gio Gonzalez (L) @STL 12th 21.9 MIA 29th 21
Jose Quintana (L) MIL 19th 20.9 @PIT 17th 21.9
Reynaldo Lopez @DET 30th 22.6 KC 28th 20
  • Reynaldo Lopez, CHW – ReyRey Lo (boy, I was trying to ease into a new nickname for Lopez there and that really didn’t work…back to the drawing board) came up organically during our recording of the Nasty Cast last week as he was amidst his seven inning, one earned performance against the Yankees. Lopez pitched way over his head in the first half, and his 5.13 FIP says he’s got even more regressing left to do from his 4.30 ERA. The 6.3% K-BB% is pitiful to be sure. But…but…he seems to have phased out his curveball, which he hasn’t thrown once in his last two starts. Instead we’re getting more sliders and changeups, which he threw 30 of combined in his last start for a combined 55% whiffs!! That was against the Yankees. So yeah, I’m giving him a look here against two of the worst offenses in baseball.

Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Anibal Sanchez MIA 27th 22.7 COL 17th 23.2
German Marquez @HOU 9th 19.9 @ATL 18th 20.7
Ryan Borucki @KC 28th 20 @NYY 5th 22.6
Brad Keller TOR 8th 22.9 @CHW 23rd 25.7
Jaime Barria @SD 29th 25.7 @TEX 12th 25.3
Tommy Milone @STL 20th 21.8 MIA 27th 22.7
Andrew Suarez (L) @LAD 23rd 22.2 @CIN 5th 21.1
Jake Odorizzi PIT 13th 19.6 DET 30th 22.6
  • Anibal Sanchez, ATL – First things first – keep an eye on his status heading into the next week since he’s a little iffy with a calf injury. He’s got a pair of pretty sweet matchups with the Marlins (27th in wOBA vs righties) and the Rockies at home (Rox are 23rd in team wOBA away from Coors). All season I’ve been waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, meaning Sanchez’s HR/9 to skyrocket. He’s been one of the most homer-prone pitchers in baseball for years, but this season he’s maintained a 1.05 HR/9 thanks to a new cutter. His xFIP is still a bit startling at 3.88, but with these matchups he can potentially fend off the regression one more week.

Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
David Hess NYM 22nd 21.6 @CLE 3rd 19.4
Pablo Lopez @ATL 18th 20.7 @WSH 10th 20.3
Blaine Hardy (L) CHW 22nd 26.2 @MIN 25th 24.1
Heath Filmyer TOR 8th 22.9 @CHW 23rd 25.7
John Gant WSH 10th 20.3 MIL 11th 25.2
Jason Vargas (L) @BAL 28th 21.2 @PHI 24th 23.0
Clayton Richard (L) LAA 27th 21.1 ARI 10th 23.1
Mike Hauschild @KC 28th 20 @NYY 5th 22.6
Jacob Turner CHW 23rd 25.7 @MIN 15th 21.6
  • Blaine Hardy, DET – The mucky muck is particularly murky this week. Jason Vargas has the best matchups, but he’s, you know…Jason Vargas. You’d better have some powerful painkillers if you’re rolling with him. Blaine Hardy isn’t much better, but he at least gets the free-swinging ChiSox and Twinkies this week. He’s a total junkerballer, with an 87 MPH fastball that he is wise enough to throw even less than his slider. It’s not much to go on, but if you’re looking down here, you’re desperate. Desperate times call for Blaine Hardy.

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



You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken.