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Two-Start Pitcher Preview: 7-5-15

The last week before the all-star break, and we are rewarded with some top pitching options going twice before the big game. Chris Sale will have two starts this week to add to his monster strikeout streak, while Sonny Gray is returning from illness to grab another two-start week. There are of course a lot of lower tier guys making two starts, but we have you covered here and will sort through them.

Brett Anderson, LAD (vs. PHI, vs. MIL)

Jake Arrieta, CHC (vs. STL, vs. CWS)

Manny Banuelos, ATL (@ MIL, @ COL)

Chad Bettis, COL (vs. LAA, vs. ATL)

Chad Billingsley, PHI (@ LAD, @ SF)

Mark Buehrle, TOR (@ CWS, @ KC)

A.J. Burnett, PIT (vs. SD, vs. STL)

Carlos Carrasco, CLE (vs. HOU, vs. OAK)

Wei-Yin Chen, BAL (@ MIN, vs. WAS)

Johnny Cueto, CIN (@ WAS, @ MIA)

Anthony DeSclafani, CIN (@ WAS, @ MIA)

Felix Doubront, TOR (@ CWS, @ KC)

Nathan Eovaldi, NYY (vs. OAK, @ BOS)

Doug Fister, WAS (vs. CIN, @ BAL)

Carlos Frias, LAD (vs. PHI, vs. MIL)

Yovani Gallardo, TEX (vs. ARI, vs. SD)

Jaime Garcia, STL (@ CHC, @ PIT)

Sonny Gray, OAK (@ NYY, @ CLE)

Dan Haren, MIA (@ BOS, vs. CIN)

Andrew Heaney, LAA (@ COL, @ SEA)

Chris Heston, SF (vs. NYM, vs. PHI)

Phil Hughes, MIN (vs. BAL, vs. DET)

Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA (vs. DET, vs. LAA)

Dallas Keuchel, HOU (@ CLE, @ TB)

Corey Kluber, CLE (vs. HOU, vs. OAK)

John Lackey, STL (@ CHC, @ PIT)

Jon Lester, CHC (vs. STL, vs. CWS)

Francisco Liriano, PIT (vs. SD, vs. STL)

Kyle Lohse, MIL (vs. ATL, @ LAD)

Matt Moore, TB (@ KC, vs. HOU)

Sean O’Sullivan, PHI (@ LAD, @ SF)

Jose Quintana, CWS (vs. TOR, @ CHC)

Kyle Ryan, DET (@ SEA, @ MIN)

Chris Sale, CWS (vs. TOR, @ CHC)

James Shields, SD (@ PIT, @ TEX)

Alfredo Simon, DET (@ SEA, @ MIN)

Vincent Velasquez, HOU (@ CLE, @ TB)

Edinson Volquez, KC (vs. TB, vs. TOR)

Taijuan Walker, SEA (vs. DET, vs. LAA)

Matt Wisler, ATL (@ MIL, @ COL)

Tier One

We can start with Chris Sale, he will have a tough matchup against Toronto, and then a matchup against the Cubs. While he is winless in his last four stars, he is going on eight starts with double-digit strikeouts. With what he is doing, any other lefty I would sit against Toronto, but not Sale. Sonny Gray was dealing with an illness, which resulted in a scratched start last week. He will have a bit tougher matchups this week, facing the Yankees and the Indians both on the road. He will face a ton of lefties over the two games, and he has allowed a .251 wOBA to lefties this season, with a low 16% line drive rate. He is a true ace, and you trust your true aces. Francisco Liriano is a borderline tier one play, he has his ups and downs, but has two top matchups this week. Cardinals and Padres both rank in the bottom ten in wRC+ against lefties, and have 25% strikeout rates. If Liriano can keep his walks down, he could post a monster week via the strikeout. Corey Kluber and Dallas Keuchel both draw solid matchups this week, and fire them up as usual.

Tier Two

We will start off with Jon Lester, who will face the Cardinals and the White Sox this week. Both are teams who have struggled against lefties, although Lester has not looked dominant. With these teams you have to start Lester this week, and this will be a good week for him to regroup and build some momentum before the all-star break. Taijuan Walker has figured things out, and he will have two quality opponents to showcase how far he as come. He had a 2.36 ERA in June, and threw six scoreless innings in his first July start. He had a 3.23 FIP, and slightly lowered opposing hitters batted ball stats. Matt Moore is going to have two matchups that are tough this week, and he will remain on my bench until he has gotten his feet under him. He takes on Kansas City and Houston, who both are in the top half of the league against left-handed pitching. There are a few guys I am sitting in this tier, Jose Quintana – Toronto and Wei-Yin Chen – Minnesota. Those are two tough opponents for pitchers who are average at best.

Tier Three

There is a lot of deadweight in this tier, but sifting through some guys here there are a few studs with two-start value. Brett Anderson and Chris Heston will have a couple of easy matchups at home. Heston takes on the Mets and the Phillies, both at home, and he makes for a top option tonight. Anderson will face the Phillies and the Brewers at home. Both guys have over-performed in 2015, and while Heston is sort of a newcomer. He will face the same team he threw the no-hitter against, and will have solid upside in both starts. All three teams rank in the bottom ten in wRC+ against right or left handed pitching. The young lefty for the Angels, Andrew Heaney, will head to Coors, which you can sit, but start him against Seattle. Pretty obvious to sit him in Colorado, especially against those right-handed bats. Outside of those names it is a lot of junk this week.