Fantasy baseball owners get double the fun with two-start pitchers.
Whether you're looking to pile up the points in a head-to-head league or replenish your strikeout and win totals in a rotisserie league, searching for alluring two-start pitchers is a major part of playing in a league with weekly lineup changes.
What's the only thing better than streaming a hurler with an enticing matchup? That's right, finding a guy with two.
Many of this week's double-dippers are top-notch performers who should always hold a cushy spot in your lineup. Taking the mound twice only eases the decision to start them, but it could be time to call on a few borderline pitchers who have been auditioning for a roster spot.
Clayton Kershaw (@ STL, vs. TB)
Adam Wainwright (vs. LAD, vs. CHC)
Chris Sale (vs. NYY, vs. MIN)
Stephen Strasburg (vs. ATL, vs. PHI)
Mike Minor (@ WAS, vs. MIA)
James Shields (vs. MIN, vs. BOS)
Anibal Sanchez (@ CLE, @ NYY)
Hisashi Iwakuma (vs. TOR, vs. MIL)
Don't get cute; you're starting these guys. Kershaw vs. Wainwright and Strasburg going toe-to-toe with Minor make for intriguing television. Strasburg, Sale and Shields have all been saddled with scarce run support (maybe it's something with pitchers whose last name starts with S), but you know better than to let that cloud your judgment.
The Really, Really Good
Matt Cain (vs. MIL, vs. BAL)
Justin Verlander (@ CLE, @ NYY)
John Lackey (@ HOU, @ KC)
Justin Masterson (vs. DET, vs. LAA)
Jeff Locke (vs. MIA, @ COL)
Verlander's struggles combined with a start at The Bandbox that New York Taxpayers Built are enough to demote him from the ace tier this week. He's not completely out of the woods after walking five Washington Nationals in an otherwise bounce-back effort, but he's Justin Verlander, so you're playing him.
Speaking of slumping aces looking to return to glory, some of Cain's owners probably freaked out when he followed an eight-run pounding against the Los Angeles Dodgers by leaving his next start in the first inning. Crisis averted, as Cain has allowed four runs in his past three starts, striking out 18 batters through 20 innings. Trust Cain despite competing against a tough Baltimore Orioles offense this weekend.
Feeling lucky with Locke? It doesn't get much better than facing the Miami Marlins, but it doesn't get any worse that traveling to Coors Field. Considering his 3.73 FIP and .251 BABIP makes it tough to trust him at Colorado, but chances are you don't have a better option than a two-start pitcher with a 2.36 ERA and increasing propensity for generating strikeouts.
Jose Quintana (vs. NYY, vs. MIN)
Wade Miley (vs. TB, vs. NYM)
R.A. Dickey (@ SEA, vs. OAK)
Corey Kluber (vs. DET, vs. LAA)
Ryan Dempster (@ HOU, @ KC)
Jeremy Hellickson (@ ARI, @ LAD)
Ricky Nolasco (@ STL, vs. TB)
The New York Yankees are not what they used to be, so getting them outside of Yankee Stadium makes this a great week for Quintana, who is posting a solid 3.62 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 7.18 K/9 ratio this season.
Miley has registered a 2.44 ERA over his last 11 starts and gets the New York Mets minus David Wright. Looking at Kluber's 3.25 FIP and 4.40 K/BB rate makes me giddier than a 15-year-old girl at a Taylor Swift concert, so I'd consider him even though one of his starts comes against the mighty Tigers.
Dickey might throw a complete-game shutout, he might surrender six earned runs and he might provide both of those outcomes in the same week. His season has been wildly up and down, but he collected an improved 33 strikeouts to 10 walks during July.
Nolasco is a ticking time bomb, so rolling him out against the St. Louis Cardinals is a risky ordeal.
Deep League Plays
Kyle Kendrick (vs. CHC, @ WAS)
Joe Kelly (vs. LAD, vs. CHC)
Wily Peralta (@ SF, @ SEA)
Martin Perez (@ LAA, @ HOU)
Tyler Chatwood (@ NYM, vs. PIT)
Chad Gaudin (vs. MIL, vs. BAL)
Edwin Jackson (@ PHI, @ STL)
Andy Pettitte (@ CHW, vs. DET)
Jenrry Mejia (vs. COL, @ ARI)
Yes, Kyle Kendrick has two mouth-watering matchups this week, but the Mets and San Francisco Giants have slaughtered him this month. He's too plain to trust in a standard league.
Kelly has a 1.84 ERA in five starts for St. Louis since the Cardinals grow All-Stars on trees. His ownership rate could skyrocket with a strong week. Peralta's momentum quickly faded, but having two lukewarm opponents situates him as an interesting gamble this week.
Chatwood belonged in a higher tier before getting decimated by the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. He still has a 3.15 ERA and 3.34 FIP on the year after allowing seven earned runs, so he's worth a look against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mets.
If Mejia can only tread water against the Marlins, he's only worth using in NL-only leagues with two capable lineups on the horizon.
Henderson Alvarez (@ PIT, @ ATL)
Jeremy Guthrie (vs. MIN, vs. BOS)
Kevin Correia (@ KC, @ CHW)
Tyler Thornburg (@ SF, @ SEA)
Brett Oberholtzer (vs. BOS, vs. TEX)
Jerome Williams (vs. TEX, @ CLE)
Although he has posted a 2.61 ERA through 38 innings, Alvarez needs to strike out some more batters before becoming fantasy relevant. Replacing Yovani Gallardo in Milwaukee's starting rotation, Thornburg tossed six scoreless innings against the Cubs. Oberholtzer, another newbie, just tamed the Orioles in his last outing, but it's too soon to trust either of them. As for the other guys on this list...yuck.