Bleacher Report: Weekly two-start pitchers

It’s time to look at the potential two-start options for the upcoming fantasy week. If I have someone rated as a three, four or five-star option, they’re someone I’d definitely use.

A two-star option is someone who’s a borderline play, but I’d strongly lean against it unless I have no other options. The one-star options are an “absolutely not” scenario.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at the players available to you this week.

Five-Star Options

None

Four-Star Options

Cliff Lee – Cleveland Indians – @ Tor, @ Sea

Three-Star Options

Derek Lowe – Atlanta Braves – vs. SF, @ Mil

Dallas Braden – Oakland Athletics – vs. Min, @ NYY

Gavin Floyd – Chicago White Sox – vs. TB, @ Det

Kevin Millwood – Texas Rangers – vs. Bos, @ KC

Max Scherzer – Arizona Diamondbacks – @ Col, vs. Pit

Nick Blackburn – Minnesota Twins – @ Oak, @ LAA

Doug Davis – Arizona Diamondbacks – @ Col, vs. Pit

Ted Lilly – Chicago Cubs – @ Phi, vs. Cin

Two-Star Options

Ervin Santana – Los Angeles Angels – @ KC, vs. Min

Andy Pettitte – New York Yankees – vs. Bal, vs. Oak

David Price – Tampa Bay Rays – @ CWS, @ Tor

Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves – vs. SF, @ Mil

John Smoltz – Boston Red Sox – @ Tex, vs. Bal

Gil Meche – Kansas City Royals – vs. LAA, vs. Tex

John Lannan – Washington Nationals – vs. NYM, vs. SD

Kyle Lohse – St. Louis Cardinals – @ Hou, @ Phi

Armando Galarraga – Detroit Tigers – vs. Sea, vs. CWS

Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies – vs. Ari, vs. SF

Jonathan Sanchez – San Francisco Giants – @ Atl, @ Col

Jeff Niemann – Tampa Bay Rays – @ CWS, @ Tor

One-Star Options

Jamie Moyer – Philadelphia Phillies – vs. CHC, vs. Stl

Scott Olsen – Washington Nationals – vs. NYM, vs. SD

Chad Gaudin – San Diego Padres – vs. Fla, @ Was

Ross Ohlendorf – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Mil, @ Ari

Todd Wellemeyer – St. Louis Cardinals – @ Hou, @ Phi

Livan Hernandez – New York Mets – @ Was, @ Hou

Ryan Sadowski – San Francisco Giants – @ Atl, @ Col

Brian Moehler – Houston Astros – vs. Stl, vs. NYM

Garrett Olson – Seattle Mariners – @ Det, vs. Cle

Micah Owings – Cincinnati Reds – @ LAD, @ CHC

Clayton Richard – Chicago White Sox – vs. TB, @ Det

Gio Gonzalez – Oakland Athletics – vs. Min, @ NYY

Virgil Vasquez – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Mil, @ Ari

David Hernandez – Baltimore Orioles – @ NYY, @ Bos

Jeff Weaver – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Cin, vs. Fla

Anthony Swarzak – Minnesota Twins – @ Oak, @ LAA

Sean O’Sullivan – Los Angeles Angels – @ KC, vs. Min

Rodrigo Lopez – Philadelphia Phillies – vs. CHC, vs. Stl

Josh Banks – San Diego Padres – vs. Fla, @ Was

Mike Burns – Milwaukee Brewers – @ Pit, vs. Atl

Sergio Mitre – New York Yankees – vs. Bal, vs. Oak

Brett Cecil – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Cle, vs. TB

Scheduling Notes

The Marlins have yet to announce their Monday starter. The first start comes in San Diego, but the second in Los Angeles. With that second start, it’s not going to matter who it is. I wouldn’t bother with him anyway.

Thoughts

Does one strong start against the A’s return someone to being a must start option? Given Ervin Santana’s 6.70 ERA and 1.70 WHIP, far from it. While the Royals are a decent matchup for him (though, look at what they did to James Shields last night), the Twins pose a serious threat. I know we all want to hope he’s finally turned the corner, but that’s far from a guarantee. He’s a serious risk, especially when you consider that last year was his one true top-notch MLB season. I’m not suggesting he’s not a good option long-term, but until he shows consistency in ’09 (and that he can duplicate his 2008 success), I’m going to be weary.

We can repeat the paragraph on Santana, with a few tweaks, and it applies just the same for Jonathan Sanchez. While he was just one error short of a perfect game his last time out, what else has he done to make you think he’s going to continue to pitch well? I can’t bank on him being unhittable every time out, especially since he has a 5.07 career ERA and 1.51 WHIP. It’s going to take a lot more than this one start to convince me to use him.

David Price and Tommy Hanson can be put into a similar category. They’ve been impressive (at least at times for Price), but they’re both young pitchers, which means they’re likely to be inconsistent. Depending on your other options, they’re usable, but you really need to be careful. Price has struggled with his control, and Hanson allowed six runs over six innings in a previous start against the Brewers.

John Smoltz could be a three-star option, but has only averaged five innings over his first four starts this season. Even with the Red Sox lineup, that’s a tough formula to score victories.

I’m leaving Ted Lilly as a three-star option, despite being pushed back to Monday because of knee problems (though, they haven’t stopped him from performing) and getting a tough matchup in Philadelphia. He’s been too good to lower his ranking, but if you have tremendous other options, I certainly could see benching him because of the risk.

Which two-start pitchers do you like for next week? Who are you trying to avoid?

This article was originally published on Rotoprofessor.com.

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