2014 Fantasy BaseballAndrew MillerFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Week 2 Pitching Preview

Photo Credit: Eric Fischer

Two-start pitchers


C.J. Wilson Mon at HOU Sun vs. NYM
Gio Gonzalez Tue vs. MIA Sun at ATL
Hiroki Kuroda Mon vs. BAL Sat vs. BOS
John Lackey Mon vs. TEX Sat at NYY
Michael Wacha Mon vs. CIN Sun vs. CHC
Scott Kazmir Mon at MIN Sun at SEA
Tim Hudson Sat vs. ARI Sun vs. COL
Tony Cingrani Mon at STL Sat vs. TB
Homer Bailey Tue at STL Sun vs. TB

Second-tier options

Bartolo Colon Tue at ATL Sun at LAA
Corey Kluber Mon vs. SD Sat at CWS
Ivan Nova Tue vs. BAL Sun vs. BOS
James Paxton Tue vs. LAA Sun vs. OAK
Matt Moore Mon at KC Sun at CIN
Ubaldo Jimenez Mon at NYY Sun vs. TOR

Paxton is owned in just 26 percent of ESPN leagues after limiting the Angels to two hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts in his first 2014 start. The lefty threw four different pitches, with a fastball that averaged over 95 mph. He got multiple whiffs on each pitch with his out-pitch curveball racking up seven whiffs. Kluber had a rough start to the season, but he should rebound fine.

Deep-league options

Dan Haren Tue vs. DET Sun at ARI
Felix Doubront Tue vs. TEX Sun at NYY
Charlie Morton Tue at CHC Sun at MIL
Jason Vargas Mon vs. TB Sun at MIN
Kyle Kendrick Mon vs. MIL Sat vs. MIA
Kyle Lohse Mon at PHI Sun vs. PIT

Morton could be a good play this week. Both Chicago and Milwaukee ranked in the bottom-third in ISO and wOBA, and Morton gets ground balls like they’re going out of style. In weekly leagues both Kendrick and Lohse could be good ways to round out your rotation. Vargas’s matchup at Minnesota is definitely pitcher-friendly.

Keep ’em benched

Mark Buehrle Tue vs. HOU Sun at BAL
Brett Oberholtzer Tue at TOR Sun at TEX
Henderson Alvarez Tue at WSH Sun at PHI
Edwin Jackson Tue vs. PIT Sun at STL
Felipe Paulino Mon at COL Sat vs. CLE
Aaron Harang Tue vs. NYM Sun vs. WSH
Trevor Cahill Tue at SF Sun vs. LAD
Jarred Cosart Mon vs. LAA Sat at TEX
Zach McAllister Tue at SD Sun at CWS
Jordan Lyles Mon vs. CWS Sun at SF
Jose Quintana Tue at COL Sun vs. CLE
Kevin Correia Mon vs. OAK Sun vs. KC

A lot of these guys offer very little upside even with a few attractive opponents. If you’re brave enough to go with someone in this category Harang’s start against the Mets, who have the worst strikeout rate of any team, is one place to start. You could also go with McAllister against the Padres, who rank 29th in ISO and last in wOBA.

Week Two Starting Pitcher Rankings

  1. Yu Darvish – Sun vs. HOU
  2. Jose Fernandez – Fri at PHI
  3. Felix Hernandez – Fri vs. OAK
  4. Adam Wainwright – Sat vs. CHC
  5. Max Scherzer – Tue at LAD
  6. David Price – Fri at CIN
  7. Michael Wacha – Mon vs. CIN, Sun vs. CHC
  8. Scott Kazmir – Mon at MIN, Sun at SEA
  9. Tony Cingrani – Mon at STL, Sat vs. TB
  10. Madison Bumgarner – Fri vs. COL
  11. Chris Sale – Fri vs. CLE
  12. Gio Gonzalez – Tue vs. MIA, Sun at ATL
  13. C.J. Wilson – Mon at HOU, Sun vs. NYM
  14. Homer Bailey – Tue at STL, Sun vs. TB
  15. Justin Verlander – Sun at SD
  16. Stephen Stasburg – Friday at ATL
  17. Anibal Sanchez – Fri at SD
  18. James Shields – Sat at MIN
  19. Cliff Lee – Thu vs. MIL
  20. Sonny Gray – Sat at SEA
  21. Tim Hudson – Tue vs. ARI, Sun vs. COL
  22. John Lackey – Mon vs. TEX, Sat at NYY
  23. Francisco Liriano – Fri at MIL
  24. Gerrit Cole – Thu at CHC
  25. Julio Teheran – Fri vs. WSH
  26. Jordan Zimmermann – Thu vs. MIA
  27. Matt Cain – Sat vs. COL
  28. Hiroki Kuroda – Mon vs. BAL, Sat vs. BOS
  29. Matt Moore – Mon at KC, Sun at CIN
  30. Andrew Cashner – Fri vs. DET
  31. Zack Greinke – Sat at ARI
  32. Danny Salazar – Wed vs. SD
  33. Jeff Samardzija – Fri at STL
  34. Zack Wheeler – Wed at ATL
  35. Alex Cobb  – Sat vs. CIN
  36. Bartolo Colon – Tue at ATL, Sun at LAA
  37. Matt Garza – Wed at PHI
  38. Masahiro Tanaka – Wed vs. BAL
  39. Chris Archer – Tue at KC
  40. Johnny Cueto – Fri vs. TB
  41. Jon Niese – Sat at LAA
  42. Corey Kluber – Mon vs. SD, Sat at CWS
  43. Ubaldo Jimenez – Mon at NYY, Sun vs. TOR
  44. James Paxton – Tue vs. LAA, Sun vs. OAK
  45. Ivan Nova – Tue vs. BAL, Sun vs. BOS
  46. Alex Wood – Sat vs. WSH
  47. Jake Peavy – Wed vs. TEX
  48. Yovani Gallardo – Sat vs. PIT
  49. Justin Masterson – Fri at CWS
  50. Ervin Santana – Wed vs. NYM
  51. Shelby Miller – Wed vs. CIN
  52. Lance Lynn – Tue vs. CIN
  53. Rick Porcello – Sat at SD
  54. Jesse Chavez – Wed at MIN
  55. Jered Weaver – Sat vs. NYM
  56. Tyson Ross – Tue at CLE
  57. Hyun-jin Ryu – Wed vs. DET
  58. R.A. Dickey – Fri at BAL
  59. Hector Santiago – Tue at SEA
  60. Marco Estrada – Thu at PHI
  61. Drew Smyly – Wed at LAD

Feel free to skip: A.J. Burnett Fri vs. MIA, CC Sabathia Fri vs. BOS, Tim Lincecum Wed vs. ARI

 Week Two Streaming Options

*Players available in at least 50 percent of ESPN leagues braves mets padres cubs twins

David Hale – Thu vs. NYM – Hale got multiple whiffs on three different pitches in his first start of the season, and the Mets have the worst strikeout rate in the league.

Brandon Morrow – Wed vs. HOU – Houston ranks 28th in strikeout rate, and Morrow averaged 94 mph on his fastball in his first start, which is right in line with his career velocity. He also induced a ton of ground balls.

Corey Kluber – Mon vs. SD – The Padres rank dead last in wOBA, and Kluber, who gives up a fair amount of fly balls, shouldn’t be hurt from pitching in Petco.

Tyler Skaggs – Friday vs. NYM – Again we’re picking on the Mets. Skaggs dominated in his first start, going eight scoreless Saturday against Houston while striking out five and walking one. More importantly, Skaggs looked very good, mixing his pitches well and introducing a two-seam fastball that was hard to hit, and when it was hit was hit on the ground.

Michael Pineda – Thu vs. BOS – The matchup might be a little scary, but Pineda looked pretty good Saturday against Toronto in his first MLB start since 2011. His slider velocity and whiff rates on his four-seamer and slider – his two most-used pitches Saturday – resembled his 2011 numbers, albeit in a small sample. Pineda’s owned in just 26 percent of ESPN leagues, but that number should skyrocket soon.

Nathan Eovaldi – Sat at PHI – Eovaldi has pitched extremely well in his first two starts, striking out 14 and walking just one batter in 13 innings. He’s inducing ground balls at a good rate, too. The Phillies rank well in runs scored, but it’s in only five games. They have six batters who have struck out at least once a game.

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