If last week left a lot to be desired (also what women tell me), well this week makes up for it. There are more two start pitchers here than you can shake a stick at. Just try it! Try and shake a stick at all these names, it won’t work. You’ll tire by Tier 4, and Tier 5 alone has TWENTY TWO options. They’re stinky options, but options nevertheless. So leave the stick outside. They’re dirty anyway and you don’t vacuum the carpet nearly often enough to make up for that.

Tier 1 is fairly barren, but Tier 2 provides an ample slate of highly owned starters. Tiers 3-4 are meaty this week, so stream away. Caleb Smith has wiggled his way into Tier 3 after some sustained success, and there are a whole bunch of Tier 4 starters who are low owned with nice matchups for your perusal. Jeremy Hellickson is on blister watch and the Cardinals rotation is always a headache, but for the time being they all look like tasty offerings.

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Jacob DeGrom @ATL 11th 20.7 CHC 3rd 20.4
Blake Snell @OAK 5th 23.4 @SEA 15th 20.2
Justin Verlander @NYY 2nd 22.8 BOS 1st 18.5
Charlie Morton @NYY 2nd 22.8 BOS 1st 18.5


  • Astros Pitchers – It’s insane how good the Astros rotation has been. Historically good, in fact, and pacing towards the most WAR in MLB history. This coming week they get tested, and we get to enjoy what should be some damn good baseball. Both Justin Verlander (1.08 ERA) and Charlie Morton (2.04 ERA) line up for two starts, facing the top two offenses against right-handers in the league. Obviously you’re starting them, but be prepared for fantasy disappointment. You know what, even if all four of those starts between those two are busts, you’re so far ahead of the pack with their ERA that you can handle a bad start or two anyway, you greedy jamoche.


Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Jake Arrieta @LAD 14th 21.9 @SF 17th 26
Michael Fulmer LAA 4th 19.8 TOR 16th 24.1
Chris Archer @OAK 5th 23.4 @SEA 15th 20.2
Gio Gonzalez (L) @BAL 16th 23.4 @ATL 1st 17.1
Rick Porcello TOR 16th 24.1 @HOU 6th 21.6
Tyler Skaggs (L) @DET 11th 17.7 TEX 22nd 26.8


  • Jake Arrieta (PHI) – Arrieta has certainly given Phillies fans what they asked for in terms of results, with a 2.45 ERA and 4-2 record through nine starts. Obviously the ERA is great for fantasy purposes too, but things aren’t so shiny under the hood. He’s striking out just 6.14 batters per nine innings, ranking him 80th among qualified starters. His 6.6% swinging strike rate doesn’t indicate that number will be going north any time soon. He’s been additionally fortunate in terms of HR/FB (4.9%) and BABIP (.263), giving him a 4.02 xFIP. He has, however, induced more soft contact than a Barry Manilow album with a 23.5% mark that ranks him 2nd in baseball behind only Justin Verlander. I don’t expect an implosion with two favorable matchups on the docket this week, but with that low strikeout rate you’re looking at more of a #3 fantasy starter.


Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Jon Lester (L) @PIT 3rd 19.5 @NYM 30th 26.7
Mike Clevinger CHW 13th 23.9 @MIN 21st 22.1
Tyson Ross MIA 29th 24.1 CIN 24th 21.5
Caleb Smith (L) @SD 24th 25.5 @ARI 10th 26.4
Kenta Maeda PHI 20th 26.4 @COL 28th 24.6
Dylan Bundy WSH 7th 20.2 NYY 2nd 22.8
David Price (L) TOR 18th 22.5 @HOU 6th 21.6


  • Tyson Ross (SD) – Welcome back from the metaphorical dead, Ty Ross. The metaphorical dead in this case being Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which is nearly a death nail for pitchers. Ross is creeping back into SP2/3 status with his 3.13 ERA (3.76 SIERA) and 9.55 K/9. Ross has never been a great WHIP contributor (career 1.34 WHIP) and has really always been a two-pitch guy, but that slider is money. This year he’s at least working in a cutter to complement his fastball and keep batters off balance, and so far it’s working. It’s not a good pitch by itself with a 12% whiff rate and 43% ground balls (.306 batting average against isn’t fun either), but at least it gives batters something else to look out for. Ross lines up for two of the best matchups you could ask for this week with the Marlins and Reds at home, so fire him up in all formats.


Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Luke Weaver @MIL 8th 24.8 PIT 9th 19.4
Michael Wacha @MIL 8th 24.8 PIT 9th 19.4
Jake Junis MIN 21st 22.1 OAK 5th 23.4
Jeremy Hellickson @BAL 26th 24.8 @ATL 11th 20.7
Kyle Gibson @KC 23rd 17.5 CLE 18th 23.8
Vince Velasquez @LAD 14th 21.9 @SF 17th 25.6
Matt Boyd (L) LAA 19th 20.1 TOR 18th 22.5
Marco Gonzales (L) TEX 22nd 26.8 TB 12th 24.5
Dan Straily @SD 27th 26.4 @ARI 30th 26.5
Luiz Gohara (L) NYM 30th 26.7 WSH 23rd 23.9


  • Dan Straily – Do you like to live dangerously as I do, Mr. Powers? Starting Straily to this point has been like jackhammering around a landmine, but so far you’ve been able to avoid disaster. Straily has just 19 strikeouts and 17 walks in 26 innings. He has a .200 BABIP and 90% strand rate. He has a 49% hard contact rate. His FIP is 6.22. It’s like you began a game in which you asked your child to punch you in the genitals while you continue to dodge and juke so he/she misses. It’s only going to be a matter of time until you get distracted by that burning smell in the kitchen from that Tombstone pizza you forgot you put in the oven a half hour ago and take a shot to the nether regions. Straily has terrific matchups this week by the numbers, but you have to ask yourself…do you feel lucky?


Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Homer Bailey @ARI 30th 26.5 @SD 27th 26.4
Brandon McCarthy NYM 12th 21 WSH 7th 20.2
Tyler Chatwood @PIT 9th 19.4 @NYM 12th 21
Chad Kuhl CHC 3rd 20.4 @STL 19th 23.2
Ivan Nova CHC 3rd 20.4 @STL 19th 23.2
Eric Lauer (L) MIA 26th 20.6 CIN 17th 22.7
Doug Fister @SEA 15th 20.2 @LAA 4th 19.8
Andrew Suarez @COL 28th 24.6 PHI 20th 26.4
Adam Plutko CHW 13th 23.9 @MIN 21st 22.1
Lance Lynn @KC 23rd 17.5 CLE 18th 23.8
Chad Bettis SF 17th 25.6 LAD 14th 21.9
Daniel Gossett TB 10th 21.8 @KC 23rd 17.5
Brent Suter STL 19th 23.2 @CHW 13th 23.9
Steven Matz (L) @ATL 1st 17.1 CHC 9th 21.1
Matt Koch CIN 24th 21.5 MIA 29th 24.1
Aaron Sanchez @BOS 1st 18.5 @DET 22nd 21.1
Felix Hernandez TEX 25th 26 TB 10th 21.8
Dylan Covey @CLE 18th 23.8 MIL 8th 24.8
Domingo German HOU 6th 21.6 @BAL 26th 24.8
Alex Cobb WSH 7th 20.2 NYY 2nd 22.8
CC Sabathia (L) HOU 6th 21.6 @BAL 16th 23.4


  • Matt Koch (ARI) – Don’t ask me how to pronounce his name, I’m just here for the letters and numbers. But it looks dirty. Moving right along, Mr. Koch lines up for favorable starts against the Reds and Marlins at home this week. Solid stuff. However, Koch is in Tier 5 for a reason. Several reasons, really, and they include such things as: a 5.23 K/9! 5.71 FIP! 46.7% hard contact! 6.1% swinging strike rate! Come one, come all and play the dangerous game of “Streaming A Crappy Pitcher In A Two Start Week” hosted by Regin Philbin. I might be tempted here in a deep league, but you can do better in shallow mixers.


All pitchers are scheduled for two starts as of Friday evening.


You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

  1. Stumanji! says:

    Why so little love for Wacha? He seems to be pretty polarizing ’round these here parts. Not saying he’s an ace but he hasn’t let up more than 3 ERs in his last 9 starts (8 of those 1 or 2 ER).

    On second look, it actually seems like the 2-starter contingent is actually very deep this week. I’d feel pretty comfortable with almost all those tier 4 guys.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Stumanji!: It’s incredibly deep this week. Wacha doesn’t have great matchups, hence the Tier 4 ranking. He’s a pretty mediocre starter, nothing more. I am quite certain I’ve had more questions about him than any other pitcher between this and the Top 100 this season, so I’m guessing I’m just the pessimistic one. I went deep on him for last week’s Top 100 SP’s if you wanna check that out for further thoughts.

  2. iifish Horton Heat says:

    Hey Doe Kin,

    What’s your thumbnail on Fernando Romero? I’m in an age 25 (players age…) and under league and if you can land a good young gun, its very worthwhile. What about Return to the East Live ?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @iifish Horton Heat: Return to the East is a master Work!! Romero slightly less so. He’s pitching a bit over his head right now but he’s got good swing and miss stuff. Control has always been his issue and we’re still seeing that, so until he can improve in that regard he’s only a fantasy SP3/4.

  3. Matt says:

    Cahill is now a 2 start next week home against TB and at KC. Where would he rank above?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Matt: Those matchups would be good enough to squeeze him into the back end of Tier 3.

  4. Dave says:

    Differing reports on Castillo. He definitely is not a 2X this week? I normally go with my Tuesday starters but I would have to bench McCullers or Nola and would rather not.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Dave: Just the one start for Castillo this week, roll with McCullers and Nola!

Comments are closed.