Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/5

Zach here,

Back with another batch of two-start pitcher notes. I’m taking a conservative approach to many of the closer calls this time, but the good news is that there are several no doubt two-start pitchers for next week that are on virtually all fantasy rosters, so maximizing starts shouldn’t be much of a problem.


Jonathon Niese (@MIA, vs. PHI)

This one might seem obvious, but the fact that Niese is currently owned in just 69 percent of CBS Sportsline leagues boggles my mind. Here’s a guy who sports a 2.20 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 24-to-8 K/BB ratio over his first five starts this year. Yeah, the Marlins and Phillies have actually performed well offensively so far, but Niese is a Pitch or Ditch grad who has historically had success against both teams. He’s registered a 2.98 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in eight starts against the Marlins from 2011 through 2013 and a 3.41 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 12 starts vs. the Phillies over that same span.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers

Jose Quintana (@CHC, vs. ARI)

Quintana has been a quality start machine thus far, racking up five of them in six tries, and he’s showing considerable improvement in the K/BB department. While he’s allowing more hits than he did last year, his .333 BABIP is on the high side. The Cubs rank near the bottom of the NL in both runs scored and batting average while the Diamondbacks are in the middle of the pack. Quintana is likely available in most 12-team mixed leagues, and next week would be a good time to give him a try.

Henderson Alvarez (vs. NYM, @SD)

Don’t expect a whole lot of strikeouts from Alvarez. But what you can expect is a solid ERA and very few walks. He’s allowing well north of a hit per inning so far, which is troubling, but I think that will improve with time. Next week’s matchups are rather tasty, and while Alvarez’s low strikeout rate limits his upside for 12-team mixed league purposes, he’s absolutely worth consideration in deeper mixed leagues and NL-only formats.


Aaron Harang (vs. STL, vs. CHC)

Well, that was a pretty drastic stat correction last night, wasn’t it? As I alluded to in my “All-Value Team for April” post, the window of opportunity to get anything of significance in return for Harang via trade is closing fast. In fact, it might have already closed. Although I wouldn’t drop him just yet, there’s no way I’d feel comfortable starting him next week, despite his two-start status, especially with one of those starts coming against the Cardinals.

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

Martin Perez (@COL, vs. BOS)

I’m still a fan of Perez this year. I still think that he is in store for a breakout season. But like Harang, he suffered through one of those stat correction outings in his last start, and next week’s schedule doesn’t look all that promising. If you’re a Perez owner in a 12-team mixed league, definitely hang onto him. But do me a favor and bench him for this two-start week. You’ll be glad you did.

Zach McAllister (vs. MIN, @TB)

McAllister is among a group of starting pitchers who I’ll be closely monitoring over the next week or two, and he does make for a fine speculative pickup in deeper mixed leagues. But the reality is that he’s coming off two consecutive mediocre outings. The Twins rank near the top of the AL in runs while the Rays offense, despite underachieving so far, ranks 2nd in the Junior Circuit in runs scored at home. For next week at least, I’m playing it safe and benching him in mixed leagues.


What type of stat lines do you think we can expect from Adam Jones and the Panda from here on out?

I’m not concerned about Jones’ pedestrian start and wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up posting a stat line that is very close to last year’s version. I’m more worried about Sandoval, who is striking out more than usual and regressing in pretty much every area. He could very well finish the season outside of the top-12 at the 3B position.


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