Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitcher Rankings: 4/23 – 4/30
Shout out to Kenyatta Storin for filling in for me while I was out of town. Go give him a follow on the Twitter machine @KenyattaStorin. Below are the projected two-start pitchers for next week. Keep in mind that some rotations could change due to a confluence of factors.
1. Clayton Kershaw (4/25 @SF, 4/30 PHI)
2. Madison Bumgarner (4/25 LAD, 4/30 SD) *Editor update: Bumgarner placed on DL and is out 6-8 weeks
The Dodgers are atrocious against LHP. The Padres are, well, the Padres.
3. Jason Vargas (4/24 @CWS, 4/30 MIN)
Vargas a stud? Well, he’s pitching like one. In 20 2/3 innings, he’s sporting a 10.02 K/9, 0.87 BB/9, 0.44 ERA, 1.98 xFIP, and a 13.4 SwStr%. I broke him down a little bit here. Now, the White Sox are 11th in OPS against lefties and the Twins are 13th. With that said, Vargas is going to regress at some point but, even then, the floor seems relatively high.
4. Amir Garrett (4/24 @MIL, 4/30 @STL)
9.61 K/9 and 12.9% SwStr%. Delicious. 1.37 BB/9. Mmmm mmm mmmm. He makes lefties look foolish and is neutering righties. In addition, he’s been good both on the road and at home. Now, MIL is hot right now and is 3rd in OPS against lefties, but they are also 6th in strikeouts. There’s definitely a chance Garrett could get lit up here, but I’ll side with the young hurler for now. STL just stinks right now.
5. Luis Severino (4/25 @BOS, 4/30 BAL)
I’m reluctant to put Severino in this tier because of the matchups, but he’s been so freaking good that I had to, out of respect. 12.15 K/9 and 0.90 BB/9 is ridonkulous. With that said, he is allowing a .343 wOBA on the road and, although BOS has been cold as of late, they still rank 7th in OPS against righties. BAL is 6th.
6. Chris Archer (4/24 @BAL, 4/30 @TOR)
12.6 SwStr% and 9.59 K/9. The BABIP is also .352 so some positive regression could be in the works. The matchup with BAL could be trouble, as they are 6th in OPS against righties. With that said, Archer can shut down any lineup on any day.
7. Julio Teheran (4/25 @NYM, 4/30 @MIL)
Teheran has a K/9 of only 7.04 and a troubling BB/9 of 4.30. With that said, he’s been much better on the road this year, allowing only a .243 wOBA. NYM are 28th in OPS against RHP and 9th in strikeouts. MIL is 13th in OPS, but are tied with TB with the most strikeouts against RHP.
8. Zack Greinke (4/24 SD, 4/29 COL)
The Rockies are potentially a bad matchup, but they are 27th in OPS against RHP right now. In addition, Greinke has been surprisingly good at home this year (.259 wOBA). SD is 24th in OPS. So far in this young season, righties have been more effective against Greinke (.316 vs .275 wOBA).
9. Dallas Keuchel (4/25 @CLE, 4/30 OAK)
Keuchel is allowing an 18.9% hard contact rate. In addition, the SwStr% is 10.1% and BB/9 is 1.93. CLE and OAK are 21st and 22nd in OPS against LHP.
10. Michael Wacha (4/25 TOR, 4/30 CIN)
Wacha has been great at home, allowing a .242 wOBA in 12 2/3 innings. TOR is last in OPS, while CIN is 11th.
11. Marco Estrada (4/25 @STL, 4/30 TB)
Estrada is truly a marvel. He garners a SwStr% of 12.1% with an 89 mph fastball. He continues to out-pitch the peripherals (3.50 ERA vs 4.39 xFIP). wOBA to both righties and lefties is above .340. With that said, STL is 26th in OPS and should be attacked until further notice. TB is 15th in OPS but 2nd in strikeouts.
12. J.C. Ramirez (4/25 OAK, 4/30 @TEX)
Ramirez has a K/9 of 8.80 and SwStr% of 12.1%. OAK is 8th in OPS against RHP and 19th in strikeouts. Lefties have a .378 wOBA against J.C., so you know the A’s will stack em up. TEX is 19th in OPS and 15th in strikeouts. So far, J.C. is allowing a .346 wOBA on the road.
13. Rick Porcello (4/25 NYY, 4/30 CHC)
I initially slotted Porcello into the Stack Against category, especially since he’s been getting destroyed at home (.415 wOBA) and NYY is 1st in OPS against righties. With that said, he’s still striking guys out and the BABIP is .342. In addition, the xFIP is 3.75 compared to the ugly 5.32 ERA. Plus, the Cubs are 22nd in OPS against righties and 4th in strikeouts.
14. Miguel Gonzalez (4/24 KC, 4/30 @DET)
A true Meh in the matchup department. Gonzalez has a 7.11 K/9, 3.32 BB/9, and doesn’t allow many home runs or much hard contact.
15. Brett Anderson (4/24 @PIT, 4/30 @BOS)
Another Meh. Anderson has a 6.91 K/9 and is a ground ball pitcher.
16. Jordan Zimmermann (4/25 SEA, 4/30 CWS)
Zimmermann stinks. 43.6% hard contact rate, 5.40 K/9, and 3.78 BB/9. With that said, he has pitched a little better at home than on the road, although, that’s not saying much. The reason I didn’t put him in the Stack Against section was because the White Sox are 29th in OPS.
17. Hyun-Jin Ryu (4/24 @SF, 4/29 PHI)
9.98 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, and 12.4 SwStr% look good. But….wOBA across the board (lefties, righties, home, and away) are all above .400. SF is 16th and PHI is 10th in OPS against LHP.
18. Wei-Yin Chen (4/25 @PHI, 4/30 PIT)
Chen is serviceable, but won’t strike out many batters. Plus, he is prone to the occasional a** whooping. PHI is 10th in OPS and PIT is 29th.
19. Robert Gsellman (4/25 ATL, 4/30 @WAS)
Gsellman has nasty stuff. Velocity and movement. The 10.19 K/9 attests to that. With that said, the SwStr% is only 7.5 and he does walk batters (3.06 BB/9). He also has a huge reverse split, as righties crush him (.439 vs .211 wOBA). I like Gsellman, but the matchups this week could prove challenging. ATL is 12th in OPS while WAS is 5th.
20. Kendall Graveman (4/25 @LAA, 4/30 @HOU)
I wanted to put Graveman into the tier above, due to him shutting down the Rangers on the road earlier, but I just couldn’t. HOU is 2nd in OPS against righties. In addition, he’s only striking a 6 batters per nine innings.
21. Vince Velasquez (4/25 MIA, 4/30 @LAD)
11.40 K/9 but 6 BB/9. The upside is so immense, but the matchups this week are mixed. MIA is 10th in OPS while LAD are 3rd. MIA strikes out the 7th-most frequently, but LAD strikeout the 4th-fewest.
22. Matt Cain (4/24 LAD, 4/29 SD)
Cain is not good. 6.61 K/9, 4.41 BB/9, and 1.65 HR/9. The Dodgers will more than likely crush him. The only reason I didn’t put Cain below is that he could have a decent outing against the Padres. Now that I think about it, I should put him below but am too lazy to cut and paste it. Instead, I’d rather write two more sentences to explain why I’m not going to.
23. Martin Perez (4/24 MIN, 4/30 LAA)
Perez has been better at home than on the road, so there’s that. 7.20 K/9 and 5.40 BB/9 are not very good. MIN is 13th in OPS against lefties and LAA is 23rd.
24. Francisco Liriano (4/24 @LAA, 4/29 TB)
The Russian Roulette of MLB. 12.41 K/9 but 5.11 BB/9. ERA of 5.11 but xFIP of 3.15. He will either strike out 10 or give up 10 earned runs in one inning. LAA is 23rd in OPS against lefties and 17th in strikeouts. TB is 8th in OPS but 3rd in strikeouts.
25. Joe Ross (4/24 @COL, 4/29 NYM)
Coors Field. No thank you. The matchup with the Mets is a nice one but….
26. Stephen Strasburg (4/25 @COL, 4/30 NYM)
27. Josh Tomlin (4/25 HOU, 4/30 SEA)
Tomlin has a 40% hard hit rate against him. In addition, both lefties and righties have a .400+ wOBA against him. HOU is 2nd in OPS and SEA 16th.
28. Ricky Nolasco (4/24 TOR, 4/29 @TEX)
Nolasco has a K/9 of 6.75. TOR is currently last in OPS against RHP, but they still have some boppers even without Josh Donaldson. Nolasco is allowing a .435 wOBA to righties this year. TEX is middle-of-the-pack in OPS. Nolasco is equally generous both at home and on the road (.355 wOBA at home and .395 wOBA on the road).
29. Patrick Corbin (4/25 SD, 4/30 COL)
Corbin has the potential to strike out batters, but so far this season, the SwStr% is only 6.1% and the K/9 is only 3.94. The big bug-a-boo is the 3.94 BB/9. He’s effective against righties but lefties have a .353 wOBA against him. He is a little better at home than on the road, but I have some concerns in these two matchups. SD is only 24th in OPS against LHP, but they have some righties with pop. COL is 9th in OPS.
30. Ubaldo Jimenez (4/24 TB, 4/30 @NYY)
Ubaldo and Bartolo Colon are so similar, in that there is no middle ground. They either shut down the opposition or get rickity-rocked. There is no middle ground. I’m going with the latter for next week. Although TB is tied for first in striking out to RHP, Ubaldo only has a 6.9 SwStr% and 4.96 K/9. NYY is 1st in OPS against RHP. Something to note is that righties have been much more effective against him (.365 vs .312 wOBA).
31. Tyler Anderson (4/24 WAS, 4/29 @ARI)
He has to face the Nationals at home. WAS is 1st in OPS against lefties. wOBA all around (lefties, righties, home, and way) are all around the .400 mark.
32. Chris Rusin (4/24 WAS, 4/30 @ARI)
Read Tyler Anderson above. The numbers for Rusin are skewed because he’s been pitching out of the pen. He’s a ground ball pitcher that has the ability to miss bats, so he could have some success. With that said, I’m going to defer to the matchups in this one.
33. Matt Garza (4/24 CIN, 4/30 ATL)
Garza has not thrown a major league inning yet this season, but he’s Matt Garza. CIN and ATL are 11th and 12th in OPS against RHP.
34. Phil Hughes (4/24 @TEX, 4/29 @KC)
All you need to know is that Hughes is allowing a 51.9% hard contact rate.
35. Chad Kuhl (4/24 CHC, 4/30 @MIA)
Kuhl is allowing a .421 wOBA to lefties and .390 wOBA at home. MIA is 10th in OPS against righties and CHC 22nd, but we know the bats they have in that lineup and Kuhl has been bad at home.
36. Jhoulys Chacin (4/24 @ARI, 4/29 @SF)
In 8 1/3 innings on the road, Chacin is allowing a .496 wOBA.
37. Felix Hernandez (4/25 @DET, 4/30 @CLE)
DET is 14th in OPS against righties. CLE is 4th. Felix is allowing a .390 wOBA on the road.