Fantasy Baseball 2014: Full Breakdown of Next Week's 2-Start Pitchers
The first full week of the fantasy baseball season is in full swing. You'll want to keep an eye on the prize and finish the weekend strong, but there is nothing wrong with a peak ahead.
Here’s a breakdown of the two-start pitchers for the week of April 7-13. I used ESPN to generate the list. Starts are subject to change due to weather and injuries. Check for updates according to your league settings to avoid any surprises.
There aren't many options that fall into the "elite" category this week. To qualify, a pitcher has to be an ace who has two starts and favorable matchups.
Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals qualifies this week. He starts off with a home matchup against the Miami Marlins. Gonzalez went 3-0 against the Marlins last year with a sparkling 0.95 ERA. He also faces the Atlanta Braves on the road. Gonzalez dropped all four decisions with the Braves last year, but he still should be penciled into your lineup as a fantasy ace.
Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers is the other ace this week. He has a pair of road games in spacious National League parks. Scherzer faces the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The reigning American League Cy Young should fare well against these National League West foes.
Michael Wacha resides alone in the "near-elite" group. The phenom has a dream matchup against the Chicago Cubs in his second outing.
His first start against the Cincinnati Reds scares me a little, though, as he just faced them Wednesday. Wacha has thrown 16.2 scoreless innings against the Reds over the past two years, which makes me think they could be due.
It's just a hunch that has me keeping him out of the "aces" group, but start him with confidence.
The Good Enough
The following pitchers fall short of the elite category, but they are still viable options. These are the players who act as second or third options in most fantasy rotations.
- C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels: @ Houston Astros, vs. New York Mets
- Dan Haren, Los Angeles Dodgers: vs. Detroit Tigers, @ Arizona Diamondbacks
- Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers: @ Philadelphia Phillies, vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
- Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays: @ Kansas City Royals, @ Cincinnati Reds
- Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants: vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, vs. Colorado Rockies
- Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds: @ St. Louis Cardinals, vs. Tampa Bay Rays
In particular, I like Wilson's start against the Houston Astros and Hudson's pair of home starts.
Cingrani, Haren and Hudson all bring a 0.00 ERA into the new week. Moore is at 3.18 and Lohse is at 3.86, but he racked up eight strikeouts.
All of these pitchers avoid the likes of the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Roll of the Dice
This is a quality group of pitchers, but they have some warts. They are of the "use at your own risk" variety.
- Charlie Morton, Pittsburgh Pirates: @ Chicago Cubs, @ Milwaukee Brewers
- Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees: vs. Baltimore Orioles, vs. Boston Red Sox
- Jarred Cosart, Houston Astros: vs. Los Angeles Angels, @ Texas Rangers
- Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jay: vs. Houston Astros, @ Baltimore Orioles
- Trevor Cahill, Arizona Diamondbacks: @ San Francisco Giants, vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles: @ New York Yankees, vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Morton is worth a look because of his start against the Cubs. He threw six scoreless innings against them Wednesday. He's best used as a streamer in daily leagues. Only use him against the Brewers if your ERA and WHIP aren't at risk.
Kuroda has a tough schedule against the O's and the Red Sox, making him a debatable option.
Cosart threw five scoreless innings against the Yankees, but the Angels and Rangers present a tough pair of games. Same with Jimenez against the Yanks and Blue Jays.
Buehrle has a nice start against the Astros but a tough one against the O's. He should grind out one victory.
Cahill combined to go 3-1 against the Dodgers and Giants last year with a 3.33 ERA.
The 'Do Not Start' Group
Then there are the players that I would recommend avoiding based on their ability and/or their schedule. There are some spot starts in there, but they aren't necessarily pitchers that you would plug into your lineup blindly.
- Aaron Harang, Atlanta Braves: vs. New York Mets, vs. Washington Nationals
- Bartolo Colon, New York Mets: @ Atlanta Braves, @ Los Angeles Angels
- Brett Oberholtzer, Houston Astros: @ Toronto Blue Jays, @ Texas Rangers
- Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians: vs. San Diego Padres, @ Chicago White Sox
- Edwin Jackson, Chicago Cubs: vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, @ St. Louis Cardinals
- Felipe Paulino, Chicago White Sox: @ Colorado Rockies, vs. Cleveland Indians
- Felix Doubront, Boston Red Sox: vs. Texas Rangers, @ New York Yankees
- Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins: @ Washington Nationals, @ Philadelphia Phillies
- Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds: @ St. Louis Cardinals, vs. Tampa Bay Rays
- Ivan Nova, New York Yankees: vs. Baltimore Orioles, vs. Boston Red Sox
- Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies: vs. Milwaukee Brewers, vs. Miami Marlins
- James Paxton, Seattle Mariners: vs. Los Angeles Angels, vs. Oakland A’s
- Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals: vs. Tampa Bay Rays, @ Minnesota Twins
- John Lackey, Boston Red Sox: vs. Texas Rangers, @ New York Yankees
- Jose Quintana, Chicago White Sox: @ Colorado Rockies, vs. Cleveland Indians
- Kevin Correia, Minnesota Twins: vs. Oakland A’s, vs. Kansas City Royals
- Scott Kazmir, Oakland A’s: @ Minnesota Twins, @ Seattle Mariners
- Tanner Scheppers, Texas Rangers: @ Boston Red Sox, vs. Houston Astros
- Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres: @ Cleveland Indians, vs. Detroit Tigers
- Zach McAllister, Cleveland Indians: vs. San Diego Padres, @ Chicago White Sox