Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/15

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Hey everyone,

It’s another Friday, and it’s another blog-only week for my two-start pitcher series. Let’s get to it.

Standard mixed leagues

Jeff Samardzija (vs. PIT, vs. NYM)

Heading into the season, who would’ve thought that pitching Samardzija in a two-start week in August would be far from a no-brainer? Well, the veteran righty has been far from consistent during his first season with the Giants. Samardzija’s recent results are particularly troubling, as he’s notched just one quality start across his last nine outings. Also of concern is his strikeout rate, which has steadily declined over the past few years. But Samardzija is coming off a stellar performance on Wednesday in which he held the Marlins scoreless over 5 2/3 innings, and next week’s matchups are promising. The Mets and Pirates rank among the bottom three teams in the NL in both runs scored and OPS since the All-Star break. Starting Samardzija next week is a risk worth taking.

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon (@ARI, @SF)

The usually reliable Colon struggled in July, registering a 5.51 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over six starts. August has been a different story, however, as the ageless righty has allowed a combined two runs through two starts this month spanning 13 2/3 innings. Next week, Colon will face the same Diamondbacks squad that he dominated on Wednesday (7 IP, 1 ER, 8 K) before traveling to San Francisco to pitch against a Giants team that ranks 14th in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. Owners should not hesitate to start him.

Robbie Ray (vs. NYM, @SD)

Although Ray has been a consistent source of strikeouts this season (11.0 K/9), his overall performance from one start to the next has been entirely unpredictable. But the Diamondbacks southpaw is coming off a very impressive outing against the Mets on Wednesday (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and will get to face the Mets again next week. As for his matchup on the road against the Padres, San Diego ranks 12th in the NL in OPS and Ray’s road ERA is 3.80, this compared to his 5.40 ERA at home.

Deeper mixed leagues

Drew Smyly (vs. SD, vs. TEX)

Like Ray, Smyly has had little difficulty posting high strikeout totals this year (9.0 K/9). But the Rays lefty owns a disappointing 5.04 ERA through 22 starts, allowing more than a hit per inning in the process. On the bright side, however, Smyly boasts a 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over his last four starts, so perhaps he has finally found his groove. Next week’s matchup against the Rangers is a dangerous one, as Texas ranks 4th in the AL in runs scored this season. And the Rangers recently beefed up their offense with the trade deadline additions of Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy. But the upgraded lineup ranks only 7th in the AL in runs scored so far in August. The Padres, meanwhile, rank 24th in the Majors in OPS this season. Smyly is certainly an intriguing two-start option for those in deeper formats.

Brandon Finnegan (vs. MIA, vs. LAD)

While Finnegan still has plenty of work to do in the control department (4.5 BB/9 this season), the 23-year-old is fresh off his third straight quality start. The Marlins and Dodgers both rank among the top eight teams in the Majors in runs scored since the All-Star break, so Finnegan will be challenged next week. But his strong recent pitching should not be discounted, and Finnegan limited the Dodgers to just one run over eight innings in a May 23rd outing in Los Angeles.

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Two start Samardzija a better bet than one start Carlos Martinez?

I’d stick with Martinez.


Robbie Ray, Drew Smyly, Matt Moore, best 2 start streamer for next week?

I like Ray. Favorable matchups and even if he isn’t great, at least you know you’re getting the K’s.



I am curious if I can get both your input and also possibly cory to give his input as well on this question. It’s unreal to seriously consider this right now I know but…if the season was over today and you had to decide on 5 keepers from the following players who would they be?
10 team roto 7×7 with extra cats being ks and tb on offense and losses and qs for pitching.
Our lineup has the following.
C, 1B, 2B, SS, IF, 3B, OF,OF,OF,UT

players are


all input is appreciated. Thank you again.


Miggy, Trout, Bryant, Arenado, Scherzer, but you have plenty of time to think about this! Things can change between now and then.


So I’ve won the number 1 seed in my league but OF is my weak spot and now with Stanton done wondering if Austin will get regular PT. Souza is available also as well. I hope Pollock will come back for playoffs I could move Bryant to OF and stick Cuthbert to CI. Would you drop L Martin or Mazara. Will drop Hicks. Thx

I’d simply drop Hicks and pick up Austin. And yes, I think he will get enough PT to make a fantasy impact.


Well since needing some OF help I may of given up a bit much with trading Bogaerts for JD Martinez but like the power I lost with Stanton and Hoping Bregman or J Polanco can fill some of the void. Plus Bogaerts hasn’t done much for a bit what you think of the trade?

On paper, you gave up a little too much. That said, at this point in the season especially, trades need to be judged with league context in mind. Gaining points or holding onto points in the standings should be the guide, not necessarily overall player value. So in that respect, this might work out for you just fine.


Austin or CF prospect of Houston

I’d lean towards Austin, but sometimes it’s simply a guessing game deciding among these prospects. Sometimes you just have to get lucky!


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