Hoo doggy, we’ve got some slim pickins this week. And not like Slim Pickens from Dr. Strangelove, because he’s actually fun. The pickins in Two Startapalooza this week consist mostly of Tier 4 and 5 bottom feeders. Although, now that I think about it, riding with one of those guys is a bit like Slim Pickens riding that bomb to his doom. The top three tiers this week hold a grand total of 10 double dippers, most of which are already owned unless you’re in an extremely shallow league. Even Tier 4 is pretty sketchy this week, though. And not “draw me like one of your French girls” type of sketchy, more like an Etch A Sketch drawing from an elderly woman who’s also working a Shake Weight. There are a few permissible options that we’ll get to, but realize that if you’re in a shallow league you might be better off going with your Single Start Studs over these Double Dipping Ding Dongs. Mmm…Ding Dongs.

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Chris Sale (L) @TB 9th 23.4 ATL 2nd 17.4
Gerrit Cole SF 19th 25 @CLE 11th 23.8
Jose Berrios DET 20th 20.9 @SEA 18th 20.3

 

  • Jose Berrios (MIN) – It’s been a rocky road for Berrios owners so far, albeit with far fewer calories than the ice cream of the same name. In fact, you’ve probably burned through a fair bit of calories shouting at his putrid box scores recently. Between 4/24 and 5/10 (4 GS) he posted an 8.84 ERA with a 1.75 WHIP and 11:8 K:BB ratio over 18.1 innings. His problem appeared to be the curveball, as his whiffs on his biggest pitch were vanishing. He even failed to record a single whiff on 17 curveballs against the Angels on his 5/10 start. He took to the video room and spoke with teammates to see what was going on in his delivery to cause this. He seemed to have gotten away from using his powerful lower half properly, and in his last start it seems to have been corrected. Berrios struck out 10 Cardinals with one walk over 7.1 innings, yielding one lone run on just two hits. That’s about as good as you could ask for. He gets a pair of decent matchups this week against the Tigers and Mariners, who don’t strike out much but aren’t overall overwhelming. Sale and Cole he is not, but he’s a step above Tier 2.

 

Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
J.A. Happ (L) LAA 13th 19 @PHI 10th 22
Nick Pivetta ATL 4th 20.4 TOR 7th 24
Walker Buehler COL 28th 24.5 SD 27th 26.9

 

  • Walker Buehler (LAD) – Not a lot going on here in Tier 2. Happ rounded back into form in his last start after two duds, but his date with the Angels is enough to keep me from pushing him to Tier 1. Pivetta’s 11 strikeout game against the Orioles should finally be enough to convince everyone that he’s legit, but he’s got rough matchups this week. Walker Buehler, on the other hand, has two of the best matchups you could hope for. The Rockies on the road have been very timid this year (27th road wOBA), and you’re streaming everybody you can get your hands on to face the Padres right now. Buehler’s 11.33 K/9 is really inflated if you consider his subpar 8.4% swinging strike rate and 27.6% O-swing%. That said, the Padres have the worst K% against RHP in the league this year at 26.9%, so we could see that strikeout rate hold for another week.

 

Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Miles Mikolas KC 22nd 16.2 @PIT 10th 19.9
Jameson Taillon @CIN 24th 20.5 STL 23rd 23.4
Masahiro Tanaka @TEX 26th 26.4 LAA 8th 20.1
Kevin Gausman @CHW 14th 23.4 @TB 13th 21.4

 

  • Jameson Taillon (PIT) – Taillon had his 5/11 start cut short due to a finger laceration. Everyone on the team got in a line and peed on his finger though, I guess, and he was good to go for his next start against the White Sox. He was just ok. He hasn’t quite been able to take his game to that next level this year like it looked as though he may early on in April, but he’s proven to be a pretty reliable option nevertheless. The Reds and Cardinals should provide little in the way of resistance this week overall, even if he doesn’t get you quite as many strikeouts as you’d like from a Tier 3 starter.

 

Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Luke Weaver KC 22nd 16.2 @PIT 10th 19.9
Chase Anderson ARI 29th 25.3 NYM 9th 22.2
Trevor Cahill SEA 18th 20.3 ATL 4th 20.4
Jeremy Hellickson SD 27th 26.9 @MIA 30th 24.3
Jacob Faria BOS 1st 18.5 BAL 25th 24.5
Mike Minor (L) NYY 8th 23.5 KC 15th 22.8
Zack Wheeler MIA 30th 24.3 @MIL 16th 24.3
Mike Foltynewicz @PHI 17th 26.3 @BOS 1st 18.5

 

  • Jeremy Hellickson (WSH) – I’m going full Admiral Ackbar here – this feels like a trap. Hellickson has a 2.20 ERA over six starts (32.2 IP) with a 0.55 HR/9 compared to his career rate of 1.28. He does have a career-high 48.3% GB% though, and these things could be attributed to him doubling the usage of his curveball from a year ago. The curve is netting 74% grounders and a .188 batting average against, very solid numbers. He’s tossing a career-low 36% fastballs, and so far it’s all worked. He also has two superb matchups with the Padres at home and the Marlins in that gigantic cave they have in Miami. It all lines up just a little too perfectly. It’s too good to be true. Would I stream him if I needed a deep league double dipper? Absolutely. But still, it’s Jeremy frickin Hellickson, and he loves nothing more than blowing up your ratios. Maybe I’m just paranoid.

 

Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Mike Leake @OAK 3rd 23.9 MIN 21st 21.7
German Marquez @LAD 12th 21.6 CIN 24th 20.5
Ian Kennedy @STL 23rd 23.4 @TEX 26th 26.4
Matt Harvey PIT 10th 19.9 @COL 28th 24.5
Hector Santiago (L) BAL 18th 23.5 @DET 6th 16.8
Bartolo Colon NYY 2nd 23.4 KC 22nd 16.2
Matt Koch @MIL 16th 24.3 @OAK 3rd 23.9
Andrew Cashner @CHW 14th 23.4 @TB 13th 21.4
Jason Vargas (L) MIA 20th 20.2 @MIL 29th 20.9
Josh Tomlin @CHC 5th 21.1 HOU 15th 21.6
Jhoulys Chacin ARI 29th 25.3 NYM 9th 22.2

 

  • Ian Kennedy (KC) – I want to like Ian Kennedy, I really do. Mostly because I’m a huge Resident Evil 2 fan, and Leon Kennedy was awesome in that game. They share a last name, you see. Sadly, Ian doesn’t wear a cool leather jacket or shoot zombies. All he does is give up dingers. He’s in the top 20 in MLB in HR/9 at 1.53. This marks the fourth straight year he has had a 1.50+ HR/9, and it’s just really damn hard to be a successful starter when you’re serving up all those long balls. He also has a a 40% hard contact allowed, 13th worst among qualified starters. The Cardinals and Rangers are good matchups, but can he take advantage of them? There’s a reason he’s in Tier 5.

 

All starters are projected for two starts as of Friday evening.

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

  1. Jon says:
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    Robbie Ray, Corbin and Kyle Seager for Max? Keeper league 10 team

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Jon: I’d do that for Max. Seager and Ray are replaceable in a 10 teamer and Max is definitely an upgrade over Corbin.

  2. Alex says:
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    Newcomb is straight dealing. Any concern about innings limit this year or him pitching over his head? Jon gray makes me want to pull my hair out. He’s either awesome or Terrible so far this year no in between

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Alex: Newcomb has been awesome! I’m not too worried about an innings cap since he tossed almost 160 innings last year. I don’t think he’s quite THIS good, but he’s getting good results with his changeup now and throwing it more, which is promising for his long-term outlook. He can be a solid mid-three’s ERA type of starter. Gray will give you gray hairs, but you’ve gotta roll with him.

  3. Fogimon says:
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    Luke Weaver not slated to have 2 starts. He is in line to start Tuesday, and they have a 6 game week.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Fogimon: My schedule goons have him down for two, but it’s not for certain. The Cardinals rotation is a mess these days and they could opt to keep him on regular rest and throw him on Sunday.

  4. JN says:
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    10 Team H2H league – been offered Votto and Zu-Zu-Zunino for Gary Sanchez and Franchy Cordero. Any thought? Thanks.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @JN: Man, that’s tough. If it’s OBP you gotta go with the Votto side, otherwise I think I stick with Sanchez and the Franch for speed. Zunino has never been much for AVG, and Sanchez’s is low right now but it’ll come up.

  5. What are your thoughts on Folty’s first matchup against the Phils on the road?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Max Freeze: I like that start plenty, the Phillies swing at everything. If you can just use him for that start and bench him against Bawston that’s the ideal way to go.

      • Max Freeze says:
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        @Dokken: Thanks Dokken, that was my thought as well. The Boston start could go sideways real quick

  6. iifish Horton Heat says:
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    Is Vince V for real? Vince Velasquez or Luis Gohara ROS?

    • Fogimon says:
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      @iifish Horton Heat: The only way to utilize VV is to start him every game. If you pick and choose, you will end up like me, missing his shutouts and 12 K games, and starting his 2 inning 7ER blowups. Either stay away completely or dive in head first.

      • iifish Horton Heat says:
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        @Fogimon: fogimon that makes sense, and hopefully we get less 7ER blowups and more Special 12K games…

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @iifish Horton Heat: He’s for real insofar as he can be used as a #4/5 fantasy SP and he’s not total trash! He’s got the hard contact way down from last year and he’s limiting the walks, which is great. However, he’s turned into a pretty heavy fly ball pitcher. That’s a good thing in pitchers parks, but harder to get away with in a place like Citizens Bank. He’s gonna be homer prone. I’ll still take him over Gohara, who may or may not remain in the rotation. Also, his velo is down a bit and he still needs a third pitch.

      • iifish Horton Heat says:
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        @Dokken: Dokken, thanks for the thoughtful reply. “not total trash” works for me, especially with a 12k game sprinkeld in here and there! You thoughts on young Lucchesi?

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
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          @iifish Horton Heat: He’s getting by on two pitches mostly, relying on deception. It’s working for now but if I could sell high when he’s back from the DL I would. Hopefully this hip issue doesn’t sideline him too long. It’s hip to be square, but not to be on the DL.

  7. fivehead says:
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    Alas, not heeding Admiral Ackbar’s advice was a trap. No two starts for Hellickson (announced only after wasting that precious pickup on him)

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @fivehead: Ughhhhh sometimes I feel like these rotations are gonna give me an aneurism. Ackbar wins again.

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