Alright Head-to-Headers and Weekly League players. This is more than likely the most important week of your season. You’re either kicking off the first round of playoff match-ups or you’re grinding out the last week trying to get that ever elusive playoff birth. Not to worry my peeps, the Legendary Lifshitz is back and ready to drop some two start pitcher science on y’all. In fact I’ll be taking over as your captain from here on out and into 2015. That’s right! I’m your 2015 Two Start Huckleberry! Think of me as the top prospect getting called up for roster expansions with an eye on the starting job next year. You know like Xander Bogaerts but less of a disappointment. Unless you’re my third grade teacher Ms. Schultz. Then I’m more of a disappointment. What can I say the women had high hopes.

As for the roster of Double dippers, it’s not bad. Lots of good streamers and ton of middle of the road options. I’ll try and focus a little more on the arms with lower ownership levels, knowing those are the guys you’ll be looking to for the extra counting stats to put you over the top. This is one of the most fun times to be a fantasy baseball manager. This is for those digging through the wavier wire looking for that streamer to get you into the dance, or that spot starter to help you lock down that swing category to get you into the next round of the playoffs, or even the roto owner looking to capitalize on the less savvy owners who hit their innings limits this week. May you use this as your guide good sirs! Unless you’re in a league with me, then I hope all your pitchers get shelled. Sorry but I’m in it to win it no matter the cost!

Must start

David Price @CLE vs. SF

Price is the only man I’m giving the checkers “King Me!” this week. Homie has a 9.91 K/9 to go with a 1.33 BB/9 and he’s pitching for a contender in September. Hopefully he rights the ship after going full on “Crap on the walls” mode on Wednesday. BTW someone actually crapped on the walls at my work this week….no joke! No word on whether or not it was my Tiger fan boss. Oh Detroit sports fan, how I pity thy.

Tier 1

Corey Kluber vs. DET, vs. CHI
Cole Hamels @ ATL, @ WAS
Drew Smyly vs. BOS, vs. BAL
Tyson Ross vs. ARI, @COL
Julio Teheran vs. PHI, @ MIA

This is a funny tier and I imagine someone is going to kill me for totally avoiding Wainwright, I’ll touch on that in greater detail below. I considered Kluber for the Must Start tier but his matchups are tough. He’s pretty much matchup proof but I could still see a rough one against either team. Let’s also be clear Kluber rough is very different from Allen Webster rough. Kluber rough is 6 IP, 3 runs, and 5 K’s. Or every start Jon Neise has ever made. I thought about dropping Teheran to the top of the next tier but didn’t. I like his matchups at home against the Phillies and his road start against the Marlins. Miami is good at home but not good enough that it scares me off Teheran next weekend. Smyly has been lights out (1.50 era/ .69 WHIP, .192 wOBA against, 7.25 k/9, 1.75 bb/9) since the move to Tampa, and let me be the first to say (not the first at all) I can’t wait to draft him next year. Tyson Ross gets one home start against a bad D-Backs team which is great and a dreaded road start in Coors. I thought about dropping him down but then I thought about the Rockies. They are getting closer and closer to the yuck side of Meh and I’d be shocked if he gets shelled. Ross’ home road ERA split is serious with a 1.92 at Petco and 3.44 away. The thing is you’d take his 3.44 road ERA as the full season ERA from your third starter any day of the week. He’s just 1999 Pedro Martinez at home.

Tier 2

Adam Wainwright vs. PIT, @ MIL
Gerrit Cole @ STL, @CHC
Henderson Alvarez vs. NYM, vs. ATL
James Paxton @ Oak, @ Tex
Mat Latos @ BAL, vs. NYM
Phil Hughes @ BAL, vs. LAA
Yovani Gallardo @CHC, vs. STL

This is a good Tier 2 and I could easily see three or even four of these guys out performing the players in the tiers above. But I calls’em as I sees’em. Also I will be offering three free pillow whacks (we keep it gentle at Razzball) to the first person who tells me Paxton was sent down to the minors. He’ll be up, and make both starts it was a roster move when an eye toward Monday’s expansion. I’d like to also advise anyone that sees him hit the wire this weekend put in a claim. As for his matchups this week, you don’t love the Oakland start but you should love the Rangers start. I thought I had to throw that out there. Phil Hughes was crushing until the 7th in his last start and has done enough all season to get a vote of confidence this week despite facing two very scary offenses. Now onto Wainwright, let’s be clear he’s not bad and truthfully I almost flip flopped him with Teheran. His last start was atrocious, and his ERA in August was 5.17. Then he talks about having a dead arm issue. If you believe it’s in the past I have a bridge to sell you! (You: Which one? Me: Anyone you want I own them all.. You: Whoa!) Either way he’s still Adam Wainwright, and I’m not going to bury him until a few more stinkers. I’ll just passively make my protest by dropping him down from his usual place in the top two tiers.

Tier 3

Tim Hudson @COL,
Yordano Ventura vs. TEX, @ NYY
Lance Lynn vs. PIT, @ MIL

Carlos Carrasco vs. DET, vs. CHW

Gio Gonzalez @ LAD, vs PHI

Wade Miley @SD, @ LAD
Kevin Gausman vs. MIN, @ TB
Zack Wheeler @ MIA, @ CIN

An interesting bunch, well other than Tim Hudson he’s boring and probably a tier too low but I like him at the top being boring, but good boring. This is also probably the first tier of streamers, and then there’s Gio Gonzalez who is just devolving into a liquid in front of our eyes. I like Zack Wheeler’s matchups, I’d like them better at Metco but streamers can’t be choosers! Or then again maybe that’s exactly what we are? I love the Wade Miley @ Petco start but I’m a little weary of his visit to Chavez Ravine….Yordano Ventura has been better, kind of? His BB/9 was out of control in August (5.11) but his ERA was nice (2.92) with a K/9 of 8.39. He gets my trust against Texas but I’m a touch weary of his start in the Bronx. Gausman is in the same situation as the aforementioned Paxton he’ll be back on Monday. He has two okay matchups, I just don’t know what to expect.

Tier 4

R.A. Dickey @ TB, @ BOS
Hector Santiago @ HOU, @ MIN
Jimmy Nelson @ CHC, vs. STL
Odrisamer Despaigne vs. ARI, @ COL

I don’t know what to think with Dickey. Seriously? Like what do I do? Will he have two good starts with some K’s? Will he drop a bomb on my team and allow 5 runs? Hmmmm..Hector Santiago is here because he can’t get out of the 6th most days. Though his numbers aren’t bad. Jimmy is still young and volatile, but stream away. As for Odrisamer Despaigne, he could be a sneaky good play this week. The home start against Arizona is nice and I’m a little nervous about the Colorado one.

Tier 5  – Oh Yeah You Still Exist Tier

Roberto Hernanadez vs. WAS, vs. ARI
Jeremy Hellickson vs. TOR, vs. BAL
Jason Hammel vs. SEA, vs. HOU
Bud Norris vs. CIN, @ TB
Joe Kelly @ NYY, vs. TOR
Roenis Elias @ OAK, @ TEX
Trevor Cahill @ SD, @ LAD

Any of these guys could be streamed. Good. Luck. With. That

Tier 6 – Hot Garbage and Other Oddities 

Franklin Morales vs. SF, vs. SD
Shane Greene vs. BOS, vs. KC
Jacob Turner vs. MIL, vs. PIT
Tommy Milone vs. CHW, vs. LAA
Rubby De La Rosa @ TB, vs. TOR
Nick Tepesch @ KC, vs. SEA
Colby Lewis @ KC, vs. SEA

Yuck! You’re only starting these guys when you’re punting ratios. Play on playa!

Download Table as CSV
Note: Filters and sorting in the table below apply to the output!

# Name Team Week Of $ Start 1 Date Start 1 Opp Start 2 Date Start 2 Opp R%
Alek Manoah TOR 7/4 35.3 7/9 @SEA 7/4 @OAK 100
Carlos Rodon SF 7/4 29.9 7/9 @SD 7/4 @ARI 100
Luis Garcia HOU 7/4 25.2 7/5 KC 7/10 @OAK 100
Max Scherzer NYM 7/4 21.7 7/5 @CIN 7/10 MIA 100
Eric Lauer MIL 7/4 21.3 7/4 CHC 7/10 PIT 99
Sandy Alcantara MIA 7/4 21.3 7/5 LAA 7/10 @NYM 100
Michael Kopech CHW 7/4 20.1 7/5 MIN 7/10 DET 100
Julio Urias LAD 7/4 19.7 7/9 CHC 7/4 COL 100
Yusei Kikuchi TOR 7/4 19.4 7/5 @OAK 7/10 @SEA 82
Johnny Cueto CHW 7/4 16.9 7/9 DET 7/4 MIN 80
Hunter Greene CIN 7/4 15.2 7/9 TB 7/4 NYM 98
Kyle Wright ATL 7/4 14.0 7/9 WSH 7/4 STL 100
Mitch White LAD 7/4 13.9 7/5 COL 7/10 CHC 70
Taijuan Walker NYM 7/4 13.2 7/9 MIA 7/4 @CIN 100
Alex Wood SF 7/4 12.8 7/5 @ARI 7/10 @SD 98
Noah Syndergaard LAA 7/4 12.5 7/5 @MIA 7/10 @BAL 100
Patrick Corbin WSH 7/4 10.8 7/9 @ATL 7/4 MIA 22
Dean Kremer BAL 7/4 10.1 7/9 LAA 7/4 TEX 56
Dane Dunning TEX 7/4 10.0 7/4 @BAL 7/10 MIN 80
Madison Bumgarner ARI 7/4 9.4 7/9 COL 7/4 SF 55
Nick Lodolo CIN 7/4 9.0 7/5 NYM 7/10 TB 91
German Marquez COL 7/4 7.6 7/5 @LAD 7/10 @ARI 33
Jameson Taillon NYY 7/4 6.5 7/5 @PIT 7/10 @BOS 100
Nick Pivetta BOS 7/4 6.5 7/5 TB 7/10 NYY 100
Ian Anderson ATL 7/4 6.4 7/5 STL 7/10 WSH 87
Dylan Bundy MIN 7/4 5.5 7/4 @CHW 7/10 @TEX 16
Zach Plesac CLE 7/4 5.1 7/4 @DET 7/10 @KC 89
Jose Quintana PIT 7/4 5.1 7/5 NYY 7/10 @MIL 24
Chris Flexen SEA 7/4 4.8 7/4 @SD 7/10 TOR 25
Justin Steele CHC 7/4 2.6 7/9 @LAD 7/4 @MIL 15
Alex Faedo DET 7/4 2.2 7/9 @CHW 7/4 CLE 8
Kyle Freeland COL 7/4 0.2 7/9 @ARI 7/4 @LAD 7
Garrett Hill DET 7/4 -0.8 7/4 CLE 7/10 @CHW 0
Austin Voth BAL 7/4 -1.0 7/5 TEX 7/10 LAA 0
Cole Irvin OAK 7/4 -1.1 7/4 TOR 7/10 HOU 19
Zack Greinke KC 7/4 -1.2 7/5 @HOU 7/10 CLE 0
Kyle Hendricks CHC 7/4 -1.2 7/5 @MIL 7/10 @LAD 56
Braxton Garrett MIA 7/4 -1.5 7/9 @NYM 7/4 @WSH 5
Jonathan Heasley KC 7/4 -2.9 7/9 CLE 7/4 @HOU 1
Paolo Espino WSH 7/4 -3.2 7/5 @PHI 7/10 @ATL 0
Andre Pallante STL 7/4 -4.8 7/5 @ATL 7/10 PHI 13
Dakota Hudson STL 7/4 -9.1 7/9 PHI 7/4 @ATL 47
Kyle Nelson ARI 7/4 -10.2 7/5 SF 7/10 COL 0
Jalen Beeks TB 7/4 -10.8 7/4 @BOS 7/10 @CIN 0
Mark Appel PHI 7/4 -15.1 7/5 WSH 7/10 @STL 0
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Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
7 years ago

nice to see you are permanently here.

7 years ago

Congrats, Ralph. I’m pretty excited that only one of my pitchers is on here. Hopefully that means I have a bunch of two-starters next week for my first playoff matchup.

Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Corey
7 years ago

@Corey: Congrats to you too! Nothing better than stacking the box with double dippers in week one of the dance.

Makes up for how bad our Sox have played!

Reply to  Ralph Lifshitz
7 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Every day 2013 seems more and more like some wonderful dream. Back when Xander was the next Trout and I thought Grady Sizemore was dead.

Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Corey
7 years ago

@Corey: I’m not giving up on Xander. He’s only 21 and I think the Drew acquisition was ill-advised. It got in his head a bit but he’ll be back next year, and better for it. I’m excited to see Castillo and Cespedes in the OF next year.

Andy Hawkins Fan Club
Andy Hawkins Fan Club
7 years ago

Sailing into the first round of the playoffs in a shallow H2H league. Rotation is Cueto, Madbum, Lester, Fiers, Lackey, Smyly, Samardzighpxa, and 50 Cent. Carrasco, Stroman, Paxton, Peavy and Cole all available. Would you make any moves?

Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Andy Hawkins Fan Club
7 years ago

@Andy Hawkins Fan Club: 50 Cent? Is this Tehol’s team? If you have something to drop I like Cole, Paxton, and Carrasco. All three are good ROS options.

It hurts me to say but I think we need to forget Stroman for the time being. If the matchup is right (like the Red Sox this past week) he’s startable but I’m not chasing him.

Matt W
Matt W
7 years ago

Why did you not include Minor vs Phils Tueday and at Miamk next Sunday?

Looks like a Tier 1 or 2 option!

Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Matt W
7 years ago

@Matt W: Lol, because he only starts once this week. The Braves are off Thursday, so his second start would be next Monday. Next week I’ll cover him when he is in fact a two start pitcher. The Braves could skip someone in the rotation but I have no knowledge of that.