Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/1
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Happy Friday to all,
My two-start pitcher article will be of the blog-only variety this week, so there aren’t any links to click. Everything you need to know is right here. Tough week for two-start pitchers as many of the guys who might be available in your league or sitting on your bench are in line for difficult matchups. But here are five to consider. Note that the stats included are accurate through Wednesday’s games.
Standard mixed leagues
Jon Gray (vs. LAD, vs. MIA)
Overcoming inconsistency can be a challenge for any young pitcher, but if Gray’s recent results are any indication, he is making major strides towards meeting that challenge. The Rockies righty registered a stellar 1.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 8.4 K/9 rate across five July starts, and it would not be surprising to see him carry over his strong July into his first two August outings. The Dodgers and Marlins rank 19th and 21st, respectively, in the Majors in runs scored and Gray pitched well against Miami back on June 17th, tossing six innings of two-run ball.
Matt Moore (vs. KC, vs. MIN)
Aside from a rough May (7.36 ERA), Moore has been a reliable contributor to mixed league squads this season. Since his final June outing, the Rays lefty has taken his game to a new level, posting a 1.99 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over his last six starts. The 27-year-old now heads into a two-start week with a pair of favorable matchups, as the Twins and Royals rank 26th and 28th, respectively, in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. Plus, both of these starts will come at home, where Moore sports a 3.46 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP this season compared to a 4.94 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP on the road.
Archie Bradley (vs. WAS, vs. MIL)
Another former top prospect who is showing steady progress, Bradley boasts a 2.62 ERA over his last four starts. Fresh off a dominant performance on Wednesday in which he limited the Brewers to just one run across seven innings, the Diamondbacks righty heads into a two-start week with one tough matchup followed by one favorable matchup. While the Brewers rank 12th in the NL in runs scored this season, the Nationals place in the top-5 in the Senior Circuit in both runs and OPS. But the Washington offense has not been quite as productive this month, ranking 7th in the NL in runs and 8th in OPS. Overall, Bradley has pitched well enough lately to earn the nod for next week, and his strikeout ability (8.7 K/9 this season) adds to his appeal.
Deeper mixed leagues
Doug Fister (vs. TOR, vs. TEX)
Fister struggled on Tuesday, as the Yankees tagged him for six runs in just 4 2/3 innings. But the Astros righty was coming off a three-start stretch during which he registered a combined 2.25 ERA. The Blue Jays and Rangers both rank in the top-3 in the AL in runs scored, so Fister should only be considered in deeper formats. That said, the 32-year-old veteran has fared well against the Rangers this season, posting a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP through two starts.
Zach Eflin (vs. SF, @SD)
Eflin’s poor outing on Wednesday against the Marlins (5 IP, 7 ER) makes him a risky play for next week. But the 22-year-old rookie was coming off a three-hit shutout, which capped an impressive stretch of six straight quality starts. The Padres rank 26th in the Majors in OPS while the Giants rank 23rd in the Majors in OPS since the All-Star break. For owners in deeper leagues, starting the Phillies righty could be a risk worth taking.