After a one-week hiatus, we’re back to take a look at next week’s double start options in an effort to influence your decision making and steer you towards fantasy immortality.
In all rotisserie scoring leagues, the difference between winning your league and finishing out of the money can come down to the most miniscule of stats at the end of the season. You should be doing everything in your power to scratch and claw your way to the accumulation of as many total stats as you can get your hands on over the marathon of the baseball season.
Adding well-timed double starters is one of the most highly effective strategies for doing this. If played correctly, you add valuable wins and strikeouts to your team without sacrificing damage to your ratios. Make sure to check out the player notes at the bottom, where you’ll glean valuable insight and nuggets of information which highlight the best and worst plays of the period.
Each and every Thursday throughout the season, the following week’s double start options will be listed below. They are listed in the order of my own personal preference and how they would be used in my own lineups.
The top tier of guys should be in your lineup regardless of who they are pitching against. You drafted them to be the core of your rotation, and they need to pitch for you. Occasionally, starters with terrific matchups in both starts will find their way into this group.
In deeper mixed leagues, the second tier of guys should most likely find a place in your rotation as well. In shallower leagues, perhaps you could play the matchups with this group.
The bottom tier of pitchers listed should be on your bench or started with extreme caution. Don’t say that you or your ratios weren’t given proper warning.
Disclaimer: Many things can change between Thursday and Monday, including rainouts, injuries, juggling of rotations, etc. This information has been provided to the best of my knowledge and ability as of Thursday afternoon.
Start your Aces
R.A. Dickey: vs. Orioles (Arrieta), vs. Yankees (Sabathia)
Matt Cain: @ Angels (Williams), @ Athletics (Milone)
Clay Buchholz: vs. Marlins (Buehrle), vs. Braves (Minor)
Jake Peavy: vs. Cubs (Garza), vs. Brewers (Wolf)
Lance Lynn: @ Tigers (Porcello), @ Royals (Hochevar)
David Price: @ Nationals (Wang), @ Phillies (Hamels)
C.C. Sabathia: vs. Braves (Minor), @ Mets (Dickey)
Cole Hamels: vs. Rockies ( Outman ), vs. Rays (Price)
Matt Garza: @ White Sox (Peavy), @ Diamondbacks (Miley)
Play the Matchups
Tommy Milone: vs. Dodgers (Harang), vs. Giants (Cain)
Wade Miley: vs. Mariners (Noesi), vs. Tigers (Porcello)
Jerome Williams: vs. Giants (Cain), vs. Dodgers (Harang)
Aaron Harang: @ Athletics (Milone), @ Angels (Williams)
Chien-Ming Wang: vs. Rays (Price), @ Orioles (Arrieta)
J.A. Happ: vs. Royals (Hochevar), vs. Indians (Lowe)
Mark Buehrle: @ Red Sox (Buchholz), vs. Blue Jays (Alvarez)
Mike Leake: @ Indians (Lowe), vs. Twins (Walters)
Matt Harrison: @ Padres (Marquis), vs. Rockies (Outman)
Luke Hochevar: @ Astros (Happ), vs. Cardinals (Lynn)
Kevin Correia: vs. Twins (Walters), vs. Tigers (Porcello)
Jason Marquis: vs. Rangers (Harrison), vs. Mariners (Noesi)
On the Pine
Henderson Alvarez: @ Brewers (Wolf), @ Marlins (Buehrle)
Rick Porcello: vs. Cardinals (Lynn), vs. Pirates (Correia)
Jake Arrieta: @ Mets (Dickey), vs. Nationals (Wang)
Hector Noesi: @ Diamondbacks (Miley), @ Padres (Marquis)
Mike Minor: @ Yankees (Sabathia), @ Red Sox (Buchholz)
Derek Lowe: vs. Reds (Leake), @ Astros (Happ)
P.J. Walters: @ Pirates (Correia), @ Reds (Leake)
Josh Outman: @ Phillies (Hamels), @ Rangers (Harrison)
Randy Wolf: vs. Blue Jays (Alvarez), @ White Sox (Peavy)
Is there a better pitcher in all of baseball at the moment than Robert Alan Dickey? Aside from one poor start early in the season in the rain @ Atlanta, he’s been absolutely brilliant. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last four starts (32 1/3 innings) while striking out 39 and walking 3 in that span. He’s won seven consecutive decisions, and sits at 10-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 0.94 WHIP on the season. It’s about time the 37-year-old knuckleballer started getting the respect that he rightly deserves.
We’re simply working under the assumption that Jake Arrieta will make another couple of starts in the Orioles rotation, yet as of this point nothing has been made official. He looked terrific in a spot start in place of Brian Matusz on Wednesday, but is still very difficult to trust due to his extreme inconsistency.
Clay Buchholz has been an entirely different pitcher over his last four outings, going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 28/6 K/BB ratio in 31 innings. He needs to be active in all formats for a pair of nice matchups at home.
If you own C.C. Sabathia, you’re obviously starting him, but his recent struggles have to be at least mildly concerning.
There are two reasons why Henderson Alvarez resides so low on the list this week. One, is obviously his low strikeout rate is bothersome and he’s starting a pair of games on the road. But also, with the injuries to Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek, there’s no telling just how John Farrell is going to structure his rotation this week. He may elect to use Alvarez on regular rest and summon someone else to take next week’s double. Either way, Alvarez should be avoided if you have better options.
Coming into the season, you could say that my skepticism of Jake Peavy’s ability to have a bounce-back season, and to stay healthy, was quite high. I’ll readily admit my wrong on this front, and recommend that he be an every week start for as long as he remains healthy.
Derek Lowe is not as good as his current numbers indicate. He’s been bombed in two of his last four starts, and that regression will continue this week. If you care about your ratios, look elsewhere for better options.
Luke Hochevar isn’t a world beater, and won’t single-handedly lead you to a fantasy championship. A quick glance at his numbers, and you could understand why he’s unowned in the majority of mixed leagues. His peripherals show he’s actually pitched much better than his inflated ERA would indicate however, and could be a sneaky play this week against the weak hitting Astros and then getting the Cardinals at home. He’s worth a $1 flier if you need strikeouts and don’t have better options.
P.J. Walters is a pretty uninspiring option as well, especially coming off a slaughtering from the Phillies.
Jerome Williams has pitched fairly well to this point, picking up six wins with an ERA around four. Pitching twice at home for a hot Angels team against weaker hitting lineups in the Giants and Dodgers, Williams shouldn’t hurt your ratios and should be able to pick up at least one win on the week. If available, he is highly recommended.
Tommy Milone is my #1 streaming recommendation for this week wherever he is available. After his poor outing against the Rockies in Colorado on Wednesday, it’s possible that a few of his owners may have cut bait. He has a 0.98 ERA at home in the spacious Oakland Coliseum, where he’ll pitch twice this week against inferior offenses. He’s a must own and must start.
Sure, Mike Minor looked improved in his most recent outing, but he runs the risk of losing his spot in the rotation to Kris Medlen as soon as he’s stretched out. Having two starts on the road against the Yankees and Red Sox might be the final nail in his coffin.
Cole Hamels has been uncharacteristically abysmal as of late, allowing 18 earned runs over his last four starts (26 2/3 innings). Can you really consider sitting him for a pair of starts at home though?
Chien-Ming Wang has pitched fairly well since his return to the Nationals rotation, and could be worth a look in deeper formats this week.
Matt Garza is still a stud and should be an every week start, but with his propensity for the long-ball, don’t be surprised if he struggles some pitching in two homer havens.
Mike Leake has pitched much better over the past month and squares off against two weaker pitching opponents. If your ratios are in decent shape, he should be able to find a victory and 10+ K’s on the week. The same can be said for J.A. Happ who battles two weak opponents at home.
Randy Wolf looks like a shell of his former self and shouldn’t be started in any formats at this point.
Wade Miley has many skeptical of his early season results, but after shutting down the potent Rangers offense in Arlington on Wednesday, perhaps it’s time we gave him a little more respect. His matchups line up very nicely this week and he should be active in all leagues.
Josh Outman wouldn’t be a consideration under normal circumstances, but especially so when throwing at Philadelphia and at Texas.
Jason Marquis isn’t a very good major league pitcher. That being said, he does start twice this week at PetCo park. There is value to be had there, and could make for an interesting streaming option.
Matt Cain is coming off of a masterful outing in his perfect game against the Astros on Wednesday, and is lined up extremely nice for his double. He’s been an extremely underrated fantasy commodity for several years now, and it’s nice to see him finally getting some well-deserved recognition.
If you have any rotation related questions that you would like answered, just leave them in the comments below or message me on Twitter @DaveShovein and I’d be more than happy to lend my opinion!