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Two-Start Pitcher Preview: 6-8-15

I am a big fan of the tier two pitchers this week making two starts, and there are plenty of waiver wire pickups with favorable matchups. The usual studs have their two starts this week, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Max Scherzer. There are also a few Cincinnati arms making one-and-done appearances this week against the Phillies. Coors Field is in play this week, so I will warn you down below about who to bench.

Pitchers Team Opponents
Chris Heston Giants @NYM, vs. ARI
Hector Santiago Angels @TB, vs. OAK
Anibal Sanchez Tigers vs. CHC, vs. CLE
Dan Haren Marlins @TOR, vs. COL
Miguel Gonzalez Orioles vs. BOS, vs. NYY
Chad Bettis Rockies vs. STL, @MIA
Mike Bolsinger Dodgers vs. ARI, @SD
Taijuan Walker Mariners @CLE, @HOU
Jimmy Nelson Brewers @PIT, vs. WAS
Nick Martinez Rangers @OAK, vs. MIN
Mike Leake Reds vs. PHI, @CHC
Anthony DeSclafani Reds vs. PHI, @CHC
Marco Estrada Blue Jays vs. MIA, @BOS
Max Scherzer Nationals @NYY, @MIL
Chris Sale White Sox vs. HOU, @TB
Sonny Gray A’s vs. TEX, @LAA
Corey Kluber Indians vs. SEA, @DET
Cole Hamels Phillies @CIN, @PIT
James Shields Padres @ATL, vs. LAD
Shelby Miller Braves vs. SD, @NYM
A.J. Burnett Pirates vs. MIL, vs. PHI
Jon Lester Cubs @DET, vs. CIN
John Lackey Cardinals @COL, vs. KC
Nate Karns Rays vs. LAA, vs. CWS
Mike Foltynewicz Braves vs. SD, @NYM
Lance McCullers Astros @CWS, vs. SEA
Ian Kennedy Padres @ATL, vs. LAD
Phil Hughes Twins vs. KC, @TEX
Rubby De La Rosa Diamondbacks @LAD, @SF
Brad Hand Marlins @TOR, vs. COL
Jason Vargas Royals @MIN, @STL

Tier 1

There are a handful of guys you are starting regardless of the matchup this week. Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Sonny Gray, Cole Hamels, James Shields, and Jon Lester are all guys you should not worry about, and get them in.

Tier 2

Ah, my favorite tier. A.J. Burnett, Shelby Miller, Nate Karns, Lance McCullers, and Mike Foltynewicz are among the two-start starters this week. A.J. Burnett being back with Pittsburgh has done wonders for his numbers. He has a 2.87 FIP, so he is not lucky, and his groundball rate is healthy, at 55.4%. He takes on the Brewers and the Phillies both at home, where he has a 1.69 ERA this season. Milwaukee has just an 82 wRC+ this season against right-handed pitching, while the Phillies have a 67 wRC+. Both teams are in the bottom five in the league, and carry league average strikeout rates or higher. Shelby Miller takes on the Padres at home, and the Mets on the road. He is not a flashy strikeout pitcher, but a guy who will likely have two quality starts in him this week. Both opponents are in the bottom ten in wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Miller, like Burnett, gets the luxury of pitching in a pitcher’s park for both starts. Nate Karns is a guy who has pitched well, but his FIP of 4.39 leads me to believe he is due for a blowup or two soon. I don’t believe that will be this week, given he takes on the Angels and the White Sox both at home. Those are two offenses both in the bottom half, who struggle on the road. Karns has a 22% strikeout rate, 3.63 ERA. Mike Foltynewicz will get the same matchups as Miller, and he has a healthier strikeout rate of 23.7%. His groundball rate is poor, which leaves him a riskier option, but the parks and teams he is pitching in and against, I like his odds. Lance McCullers has been a hot fantasy pickup over the last two weeks. He faces the White Sox and Mariners this week. Two less-threatening lineups. The Mariners have a 23.5% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season, and have been a major disappointment. A tier two guy I am not starting for any starts this week is John Lackey, even as good as he has been. He will head to Colorado for his first start, and then takes on the Royals at home. He has an average groundball rate, and faces two top offenses, well at least in Coors the Rockies are a top offense.

Tier 3

Chris Heston is a guy you can pickup for this week, he faces the Mets on the road, and the Diamondbacks at home. Because he is at home against Arizona, I consider him a two start pitcher this week. He has sizable splits as the season has worn on, as Giants pitchers usually pitch better at home, which is the case with Heston. He has a 20% strikeout rate, and is a groundball pitcher, which will help him out when he is on the road against the Mets. Mike Leake and Anthony DeSclafani both take on the Phillies in their first of two starts, and then the Cubs. I will likely hold off and bench them against the Cubs, but you can fire away at the league’s worse offense. Anibal Sanchez has fallen into the tier 3 category, he has not been very good this season. He has a 5.69 ERA, and is allowing a .338 wOBA. He faces the Cubs and Indians, and they both are teams that can send that ERA even higher. I am not sure how much worth he has in fantasy anymore, because the number of bad starts outweigh the good ones. Rubby De La Rosa and Phil Hughes are my do not starts in the tier 3 section, while Ian Kennedy is my risky starter.