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MLB Fantasy Advice: 2 Start Pitchers Week Three

Week three gives way to far more intriguing match-ups than sure bet aces with 2 starts. The last two weeks have seen a majority of ace caliber pitchers getting 2 starts. Now we roll around to some young arms and improving veterans getting a chance to double up on points. Just because they aren’t considered “ace” caliber doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on multiple starts, early season success, or good match-up play. This week offers very little in “sure thing” 2 start starting pitching.

As in previous weeks, I’ll tier these groups and offer insight on any hidden value plays. These projected starts are not a lock and are subject to change due to rain outs, injury, performance issues, or managerial whims in accordance to each player’s actual major league team. I only offer my opinion on the match-ups, there are no guarantees on the actual starts.

Set and Forget…

  • Max Scherzer – (4/18 @ ATL-Mike Foltynewicz; 4/22 @ NYM-Zack Wheeler)
  • Yu Darvish – (4/18 @ OAK-Jesse Hahn; 4/23 vs. KC-Jason Hammel)
  • Michael Fulmer – (4/18 @ TB-Matt Andriese; 4/23 @ MIN-Phil Hughes)
  • Marcus Stroman – (4/18 vs. BOS-Eduardo Rodriguez; 4/23 @ LAA-Ricky Nolasco)

There are very few stud pitchers going this week that would fall into this category. Scherzer and Darvish are obvious choices. Fulmer has two good starts under his belt and two good winnable match-ups this week. Stroman may be a stretch but has pitched very well for a struggling Toronto club.

Good Solid Options…

  • [the_ad id=”384″]Ivan Nova – (4/17 @ STL-Lance Lynn; 4/23 vs. NYY-Jordan Montgomery)
  • Robbie Ray – (4/17 @ LAD-Brandon McCarthy; 4/22 vs. LAD-Alex Wood)
  • Derek Holland – (4/17 @ NYY-Jordan Montgomery; 4/23 vs. CLE-Josh Tomlin)
  • Brandon McCarthy – (4/17 vs. ARI-Robbie Ray; 4/23 @ ARI-Shelby Miller)
  • Mike Leake – (4/18 vs. PIT-Chad Kuhl; 4/23 @ MIL-Jimmy Nelson)
  • Phil Hughes – (4/18 vs. CLE-Josh Tomlin; 4/23 vs. DET-Michael Fulmer)
  • John Lackey – (4/17 vs. MIL-Chase Anderson; 4/23 @ CIN-Amir Garrett)
  • Danny Salazar – (4/17 @ MIN-Kyle Gibson; 4/22 @ CHW-James Shields)

In a soft week such as this one, any solid option will give you a leg up on the competition if you can get two starts. All of the starters here offer decent upside in a 2 start week. Nova has been solid since joining the Pirates. Ray is a tough lefty facing Dodgers twice who have trouble against lefties. Holland, McCarthy, and Leake give this list a nostalgic feel, but all three are pitching well this spring. I am not usually a Hughes fan, but his spring has been good. Lackey is always going to be tough and has two good games. Salazar must pitch well on the road twice, but can always put up big numbers.

There Is A Lot To Like Here…

  • Zack Wheeler – (4/18 vs. PHI-Clay Buchholz; 4/23 vs. WAS-Max Scherzer)
  • Amir Garrett – (4/18 vs. BAL-Ubaldo Jimenez; 4/23 vs. CHC-John Lackey)
  • Joe Musgrove – (4/17 vs. LAA-Jesse Chavez; 4/22 @ TB-Blake Snell)
  • Eduardo Rodriguez* – (4/18 @ TOR-Marcus Stroman; 4/23 @ BAL-Ubaldo Jimenez)
  • Chase Anderson – (4/17 @ CHC-John Lackey; 4/22 vs. STL-Lance Lynn)
  • Jimmy Nelson – (4/18 @ CHC-Brett Anderson; 4/23 vs. STL-Mike Leake)
  • Lance Lynn – (4/17 vs. PIT-Ivan Nova; 4/22 @ MIL-Chase Anderson)
  • Shelby Miller – (4/18 @ SD-Zach Lee; 4/23 vs. LAD-Brandon McCarthy)

This middle group represents some upside pitchers who are maybe a bit young or coming back from injury. Wheeler is actually a bit of both and so far so good. Garrett has been somewhat of a surprise coming from prospect to success so quick. Musgrove must improve command, but has two very winnable games. Rodriguez* was placed on paternity leave and will miss one start. Most likely replaced by Brian Johnson, who would not offer the same amount of interest. Anderson and Nelson have come up big for the Brew Crew here in the early going and look to have some sustainability. Lynn is working his way back from T.J. surgery and has shown glimpses of his old self. Everyone seems to be down on Miller and rightfully so, but a home game against Padres could be a positive step.

MEH, Even A Bit Iffy In A 2 Start Week…

  • Blake Snell – (4/17 @ BOS-Steven Wright; 4/22 vs. HOU-Joe Musgrave)
  • Matt Andriese – (4/18 vs. DET-Michael Fulmer; 4/23 vs. HOU-Mike Fiers)
  • Andrew Triggs – (4/17 vs. TEX-A.J. Griffin; 4/22 vs. SEA-Ariel Miranda)
  • Jordan Montgomery – (4/17 vs. CHW-Derek Holland; 4/23 @ PIT-Ivan Nova)
  • Steven Wright – (4/17 vs. TB-Blake Snell; 4/22 @ BAL-TBD)
  • Ricky Nolasco – (4/18 @ HOU-Mike Fiers; 4/23 vs. TOR-Marcus Stroman)
  • Tom Koehler – (4/17 @ SEA-Ariel Miranda; 4/23 @ SD-Zach Lee)
  • Jaime Garcia – (4/17 vs. SD-Jered Weaver; 4/22 @ PHI-Jerad Eickhoff)
  • Jesse Hahn – (4/18 vs. TEX-Yu Darvish; 4/23 vs. SEA-Yovani Gallardo)
  • Mike Foltynewicz – (4/18 vs. WAS-Max Scherzer; 4/23 @ PHI-TBD)
  • Mike Fiers – (4/18 vs. LAA-Ricky Nolasco; 4/23 @ TB-Matt Andriese)

There may be some fantasy intrigue with a few pitchers here, but save it for the deepest of fantasy leagues. There should be better options available to start this week. Snell is a great long-term keeper, but thus far has not shown enough to be a must start SP. Andriese is even farther behind him. In some circles, Triggs is an intriguing pitcher, but I have yet to figure out why. Montgomery is also a potential long-term keeper, but I don’t like the match-ups this week. Save for Folty, I see no other reason to roster these others unless you are in need of pitching depth.

Not Even 2 Starts Interest Me…

  • [the_ad id=”693″]Ubaldo Jimenez – (4/18 @ CIN-Amir Garrett; 4/23 vs. BOS-Eduardo Rodriguez)
  • Jered Weaver – (4/17 @ ATL-Jaime Garcia; 4/22 vs. MIA-Dan Straily)
  • Yovani Gallardo – (4/18 vs. MIA-Wei-Yin Chen; 4/23 @ OAK-Jesse Hahn)
  • Kyle Gibson – (4/17 vs. CLE-Danny Salazar; 4/22 vs. DET-Matt Boyd)
  • A.J. Griffen – (4/17 @ OAK-Andrew Triggs; 4/22 vs. KC-Ian Kennedy)
  • Zach Lee* – (4/18 vs. ARI-Shelby Miller; 4/23 vs. MIA-Tom Koehler)
  • Josh Tomlin – (4/18 @ MIN-Phil Hughes; 4/23 @ CHW-Derek Holland)
  • Ariel Miranda – (4/17 vs. MIA-Tom Koehler; 4/22 @ OAK-Andrew Triggs)
  • Jesse Chavez – (4/17 @ HOU-Joe Musgrove; 4/22 vs. TOR-J.A. Happ)
  • Jason Hammel – (4/18 vs. SF-Matt Cain; 4/23 @ TEX-Yu Darvish)

I honestly feel as though there are a plethora of 1 start pitchers that I would rather go with than risk any of these guys on a 2 start week. There will be a surprise or two out of the group, but I’d prefer to take my chances elsewhere unless I am in the very deepest of leagues. None of these pitchers are worthy of a mention. Lee possibly only gets one start depending on Perdomo’s situation.

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