Welcome to Week 6 of Two Startapalooza! Happy Cinco de Mayo to you, as well. It’s a lesser occasion than the arrival of this post to be sure, but I’m a fan nevertheless. Oftentimes in the past I would participate in “Cinco de Mondo” at my local Taco Del Mar, where on Cinco de Mayo you pay something like $30 for a five pound burrito and if you eat it you get it free. Also you win a sweet pair of burrito zubaz! It is the highest form of glory I can imagine. Sadly, I couldn’t achieve ultimate glory in my pair of attempts. The second year I came close, but there was just too damn much tortilla to chew in 30 minutes. So many sads.

Last week was annoying as my poster boy Sean Newcomb was pushed back a day to accommodate Mike Soroka, thus eliminating his two-start week. The bright side? Not only do we get Soroka in the bigs, we get a double dipper THIS week from Newcomb instead! He even gets the Marlins, so that’s exciting. There are definitely less options overall this week than the past two. Tier 1 and 2 are all guys that are owned, Tier 3 and 4 are small, and Tier 5 you don’t want anything to do with anyway. So we’re a bit limited in actual streaming potential, but regardless of that, here we go!

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Clayton Kershaw (L) ARI 11th 26.6 CIN 12th 24.4
Corey Kluber @MIL 20th 23.4 KC 24th 16.2
Luis Severino BOS 1st 17.4 OAK 2nd 24.3
Carlos Martinez MIN 15th 21.6 @SD 27th 27.4
Aaron Nola SF 25th 24.1 NYM 13th 22.0
Stephen Strasburg @SD 27th 27.4 @ARI 17th 24.1
Jacob DeGrom @CIN 26th 20.4 @PHI 23rd 26.3


  • Luis Severino (NYY) – “Hey, Luis! Great job shutting out the defending World Series champion Astros! 10 K’s, not bad! What’s that, you want a real challenge? Great! I love a kid who wants to push himself. You can have the top two teams against righties in baseball this week, how’s that sound? Perfect. You’re doing great here. Keep it up and we’ll get you a nice corner office with a view in the home dugout.” Obviously you’re still starting him, but Luis Severino has as tough a road as you can imagine this week.
  • Jacob DeGrom (NYM) – As of this very moment that my fingers strike (stroke?) the keys of my board, it’s not set in stone that DeGrom will make both starts this week. He left his last start early with a hyperextended elbow, and at first things looked grim. The Mets medical staff wanted to saw his arm off when he got back to the locker room, wringing their collective hands while spitting tobacco into their “We heart to fix you” spittoon. Eventually their excitement faded as they were told by what I can only imagine was an actual medical doctor that DeGrom would be fine. “Consarn it,” the Mets medical staff lamented, stomping a boot on the floor, “we’re never gonna get to use this here bone saw. Tarnation.” The matchups are juicy if he starts, but keep an eye on his status as we head into Week 6.


Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Blake Snell (L) ATL 1st 16.8 @BAL 14th 24
Dallas Keuchel (L) @OAK 10th 24 TEX 13th 24.7
James Paxton (L) @TOR 8th 20.4 @DET 9th 19.1
Dylan Bundy KC 24th 16.2 TB 18th 22.5
Zack Godley @LAD 11th 21.5 WSH 6th 20.1


  • James Paxton (SEA) – Nothing like seven shutout frames with 16 strikeouts to push some of those bad outings to the back of your mind. You could argue Paxton for Tier 1 based on the strikeouts, but he’s been walking too many batters to give me enough confidence for that. Whether it’s Tier 1 or 2, you’re starting him. He’s been giving up more hard contact than ever at 34%, but that still doesn’t justify a .349 BABIP. His FIP, xFIP, and SIERA are all 3.12 or lower, and with a 35.7% K% he should still be solid against less than ideal matchups against the strikeout-adverse Jays and Tigers.


Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Kyle Hendricks MIA 30th 24.8 CHW 12th 23.4
Michael Fulmer @TEX 22nd 25.1 SEA 9th 20.4
Luis Castillo NYM 13th 22 @LAD 11th 21.5
Jeff Samardzija @PHI 23rd 26.3 @PIT 21st 20.1
Tyson Ross WSH 6th 20.1 STL 16th 22.9
Sean Newcomb (L) @TB 3rd 24 @MIA 17th 20.9
Jon Gray LAA 7th 19.5 MIL 20th 23.4


  • Kyle Hendricks (CHC) – Man, Hendricks has to be the least sexy pitcher in baseball. Dude shows about as much emotion as a tree. He throws 86 MPH. His changeup is just about the only other thing he tosses, 7 MPH slower. Nobody whiffs. But sexiness be damned, he’s effective. Nevermind that 5.34 FIP, focus on the 3.97 xFIP. He’s never been homer-prone, so that 23.5% HR/FB rate will fall. He continues to be a master of inducing soft contact, ranking 7th among qualified starters at 27%. He’s worth starting this week just for the Marlins matchup alone.


Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Drew Pomeranz (L) @NYY 4th 23.4 @TOR 8th 20.4
Fernando Romero @STL 16th 22.9 @LAA 7th 19.5
Homer Bailey NYM 13th 22 @LAD 11th 21.5
Danny Duffy (L) @BAL 14th 24.4 @CLE 15th 18.7
Ivan Nova @CHW 12th 23.4 SF 25th 24.1


  • Fernando Romero (MIN) – A newcomer! No, not a Newcomb-er, he’s in Tier 3. In the perpetual quest for more Fernando’s, the Twins have given Phil Hughes the heave-ho from the rotation and brought up the young Romero. I hope he turns into a dominant starter just so we can call him Alpha Romero. You know, like Alfa Romeo? It’s a car. Get it? Ugh. Nickname potential aside, Romero does have the pieces to be a very good starter in MLB. His fastball, slider, and change all flash plus potential but are inconsistent. He’s also just 6′ tall, and has had issues with walks. He also threw just 125 innings last year in his second season back from Tommy John, so you’re not looking at a workhorse season on the docket. I’d expect him to be pretty inconsistent, but his upside nets him a Tier 4 ranking.


Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Derek Holland (L) @PHI 18th 23.3 @PIT 2nd 18.6
Jarlin Garcia (L) @CHC 24th 22.9 ATL 1st 16.8
Jose Urena @CHC 8th 21.6 ATL 4th 20.4
Wade Miley (L) CLE 15th 18.7 @COL 5th 26.9
Zach Eflin SF 25th 24.1 NYM 13th 22
Clayton Richard (L) WSH 26th 23.9 STL 23rd 22.8
Matt Moore (L) DET 9th 19.1 @HOU 16th 24.8
Jeremy Hellickson @SD 27th 27.4 @ARI 17th 24.1
Jaime Garcia (L) SEA 7th 18.4 BOS 29th 23.8
Brett Anderson (L) HOU 16th 24.8 @NYY 4th 23.4


  • Brett Anderson (OAK) – Well lookee here, Brett Anderson is back with the A’s! Isn’t that fun. He even had a good debut, tossing a QS against the Mariners with 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 5 K’s. Perhaps the most interesting element of that start, however, is the 44% slider usage. Mayhaps he has taken a page out of the Book O’ Sliders like Patrick Corbin and Jake Junis. He got 26% whiffs on it, which is promising. Unfortunately he gets the Astros and Yankees this week, draping a soggy wet blanket over my excitement for him. I’d still snag him and bench him in a deep league, but standard mixed leaguers can look elsewhere for now.

*Starters are projected for two starts as of Friday evening.



You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

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4 years ago

On ESPN, it looks like Kluber is scheduled to start this Tuesday and then not again until next Monday. Are you seeing something different? Thanks.

4 years ago

Are you confident Castillo is over his season-long funk?

The two start appeal is there, but my fear is that he’s going to get blown up in at least one of these two starts.

My alternative this week would be one start from Buehler or Kingham

4 years ago


Curt C
Curt C
4 years ago

Is there a Tier 6?, because I think Stroman has a 2 start week