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Two-Start Pitcher Preview: 8-2-15

No shortage of aces this week, and a lot of new faces for some teams making two starts. Alex Wood and Mike Fiers both with two-start weeks for their teams, and both don’t have a real shift of value with their new teams. Both have been average, or slightly above at times, and I expect it to the stay that way.

Jake Arrieta, CHC (@ PIT, vs. SF)

Francisco Liriano, PIT (vs. CHC, vs. LAD)

Chris Bassitt, OAK (vs. BAL, vs. HOU)

Lance McCullers, HOU (@ TEX, @ OAK)

Eddie Butler, COL (vs. SEA, @ WAS)

Shelby Miller, ATL (vs. SF, vs. MIA)

Matt Cain, SF (@ ATL, @ CHC)

Jimmy Nelson, MIL (vs. SD, vs. STL)

Andrew Cashner, SD (@ MIL, vs. PHI)

Justin Nicolino, MIA (vs. NYM, @ ATL)

Jesse Chavez, OAK (vs. BAL, vs. HOU)

Jake Peavy, SF (@ ATL, @ CHC)

Bartolo Colon, NYM (@ MIA, @ TB)

Wily Peralta, MIL (vs. SD, vs. STL)

Patrick Corbin, ARI (@ WAS, vs. CIN)

Rick Porcello, BOS (@ NYY, @ DET)

Anthony DeSclafani, CIN (vs. STL, @ ARI)

Jose Quintana, CWS (vs. TB, @ KC)

Danny Duffy, KC (@ DET, vs. CWS)

Garrett Richards, LAA (vs. CLE, vs. BAL)

Marco Estrada, TOR (vs. MIN, @ NYY)

Tyson Ross, SD (@ MIL, vs. PHI)

Mike Fiers, HOU (@ TEX, @ OAK)

Ervin Santana, MIN (@ TOR, @ CLE)

Doug Fister, WAS (vs. ARI, vs. COL)

Max Scherzer, WAS (vs. ARI, vs. COL)

Mike Foltynewicz, ATL (vs. SF, vs. MIA)

Masahiro Tanaka, NYY (vs. BOS, vs. TOR)

Zack Godley, ARI (@ WAS, vs. CIN)

Chris Tillman, BAL (@ OAK, @ LAA)

Felix Hernandez, SEA (@ COL, vs. TEX)

Justin Verlander, DET (vs. KC, vs. BOS)

Phil Hughes, MIN (@ TOR, @ CLE)

Alex Wood, LAD (@ PHI, @ PIT)

Corey Kluber, CLE (@ LAA, vs. MIN)

John Lackey, STL (@ CIN, @ MIL)

Tom Koehler, MIA (vs. NYM, @ ATL)

Jon Lester, CHC (@ PIT, vs. SF)

Tier One

There is a lot to like in this section this week, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, Francisco Liriano, and many more highlight this tier. You may worry about King Felix in Coors this week, especially coming off a dreadful start at home versus Arizona. I am not too worried, but I don’t think the start will be a clean one. I can see 3-4 earned over 6-7 innings or so, but always a possible blowup chance in Coors. Jon Lester has found his strikeout pitch, with a 30.7% K in July, to go with an ERA under two. I like the matchup against Pittsburgh, but the San Francisco start could be a little rocky. Jake Arrieta and Francisco Liriano both are nothing to worry about as usual, and I believe Liriano is in for a big week. Facing the Cubs and the Dodgers are two matchups with big game upside. One ace I worry about is Masahiro Tanaka, mainly against Toronto. Of course the Blue Jays just added Ben Revere and Troy Tulowitzki to an already powerful offense. Tanaka has faired well of late, but riding FIP’s over five in each start. A blowup is looming.

Tier Two

Patrick Corbin has really figured it out over the last few starts, and has the looks of his pre-surgery self. Not that he has been bad at any point this season, he just has 21 strikeouts in the last three starts, and has allowed four earned runs. I am not worried about his start with Washington, more so his start against Cincinnati later in the week at home. Reds have a solid top of the order, including guys who hit lefties quite well. Not a bench-worthy opponent, but just know the risk. Alex Wood will get two friendly opponents this week, and pitch in nice ballparks. Mike Fiers on the other hand, he will face Texas who scares me a little, but then heads to Oakland. The Texas offense and ballpark could create problems for Fiers. A lot of balls going out there, and Fiers does not have great batted ball stats. Lance McCullers has really shined, and I am firing up for both starts, as he has the same matchups as Fiers. Jose Quintana may be skipped altogether this week, he faces two teams that are tough on left-handed pitching.

Tier Three

Now we move to the big heaping pile of tier three arms, and a few I am staying clear from. Phil Hughes is a solid pass from me this week, Justin Verlander, Ervin Santana, and John Lackey too. There are a few arms I like for at least one start. Tom Koehler has been pitching pretty decent this season, and he gets two soft matchups against the Mets and the Braves. A little risky, given Koehler is not a stable arm, but we have seen him take care of weaker offenses in the past. Even with the hot White Sox offense, I love Danny Duffy against them this week. Chicago has the worst wRC+ against left-handed pitching, and nobody comes close. Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson both face the Padres this week in their first start, and making great streaming options.