DOUBLE DIPPIN': June 17-23

There are a lot of two-start options this week, with 21 teams set to play a full seven game slate. Adrian Sampson (pictured above) had a hiccup last time out, but has been pitching well lately, and is still available in 22 percent of NFBC 15-teamers. We'll go more in depth on his matchups below, as well as Ryan Yarbrough (available in 25 percent), Brett Anderson (64 percent), and more. For a look at all of the matchups for the week, check out our 8-day scan.


Strong 2-start options

  SP Rating1 Opp1 Rating2 Opp2 Week Rating
  Justin Verlander 3.04 @CIN 2.42 @NYY 2.73
  Clayton Kershaw 2.32 vSF 2.20 vCOL 2.26
  Brandon Woodruff 1.78 @SD 1.42 vCIN 1.60
  Joey Lucchesi 1.54 vMIL 1.47 @PIT 1.51
  Kenta Maeda 1.63 vSF 1.16 vCOL 1.40
  Jose Berrios 0.82 vBOS 1.86 @KC 1.34
  Lance Lynn 0.79 vCLE 1.79 vCHW 1.29
  Jacob deGrom 1.32 @ATL 1.23 @CHC 1.28
  Zack Greinke 1.1 vCOL 1.32 vSF 1.21
  Michael Pineda 0.18 vBOS 1.58 @KC 0.88
  Jack Flaherty 0.99 vMIA 0.64 vLAA 0.82
  Wade Miley 0.73 @CIN 0.87 @NYY 0.80
  Michael Soroka 0.73 vNYM 0.85 @WAS 0.79
  Patrick Corbin 0.63 vPHI 0.93 vATL 0.78
  Cole Hamels 0.96 vCHW 0.48 vNYM 0.72
  Miles Mikolas 1 vMIA 0.44 vLAA 0.72
  Masahiro Tanaka 0.95 vTAM 0.45 vHOU 0.70
  Zack Wheeler 0.42 @ATL 0.85 @CHC 0.64
  Luis Castillo 0.32 vHOU 0.78 @MIL 0.55


Home runs have again been an issue for Michael Pineda (RHP, MIN) this season, but he hasn't allowed one in any of his last three starts, and has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in seven straight outings. He'll face a stiff test at home against the Red Sox, a team that ranks 7th in wRC+ and 9th in ISO against RHP. The Royals, meanwhile, rank 17th and 19th, respectively, in those categories, though the 50 homers they have hit vs righties is 4th lowest in the league. The first start is scary for the homer-prone Pineda, but he should be worth rolling with in most formats. 


Judgment calls

  SP Rating1 Opp1 Rating2 Opp2 Week Rating
  Tyler Skaggs 0.34 @TOR 0.60 @STL 0.47
  Felix Pena 0.59 @TOR 0.30 @STL 0.45
  Yonny Chirinos -0.01 @NYY 0.77 @OAK 0.38
  Zach Plesac 0.13 @TEX 0.57 vDET 0.35
  Zach Eflin 0.24 @WAS 0.38 vMIA 0.31
  Adrian Sampson -0.29 vCLE 0.72 vCHW 0.22
  Joe Musgrove 0.45 vDET -0.14 vSD 0.16
  Brett Anderson 0.31 vBAL -0.03 vTAM 0.14
  Mike Fiers 0.48 vBAL -0.28 vTAM 0.10
  Ryan Yarbrough 0.27 @NYY -0.25 @OAK 0.01
  Danny Duffy 0.52 @SEA -0.64 vMIN -0.06
  J.A. Happ 0.49 vTAM -0.62 vHOU -0.07
  Rick Porcello -0.6 @MIN 0.25 vTOR -0.18
  Jordan Yamamoto -0.18 @STL -0.21 @PHI -0.20
  Yusei Kikuchi -0.05 vKC -0.38 vBAL -0.22
  Daniel Norris 0.13 @PIT -0.56 @CLE -0.22
  Jake Arrieta -0.53 @WAS 0.09 vMIA -0.22
  Marcus Stroman -0.26 vLAA -0.28 @BOS -0.27
  Michael Clevinger -0.47 @TEX -0.15 vDET -0.31


Tyler Skaggs (LHP, LAA) has been a little shaky lately, with 12 ER allowed across 16 IP in his last three starts. He stands a strong chance of rebounding in his first start of the week, against a Toronto team that is 25th in wRC+ vs southpaws. The Cardinals await over the weekend, and they rank 15th in wRC+ against lefties, with the 4th highest Eye ratio. All told, Skaggs should be safe to deploy, despite his recent struggles.

Adrian Sampson (RHP, TEX) got roughed up by the Red Sox on Thursday, allowing 4 HR and 6 ER in 5 IP, but has shown some promising signs lately. He's allowed 1 ER or less in four of his past six starts, and in his last five, has 34 K, 3 BB, and a 13 percent SwK. Sampson will kick off this week against a Cleveland offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ vs RHP, before facing the White Sox, who are 19th in the category, while owning the 3rd highest K%. He looks like a worthy gamble for this two-step.

Brett Anderson (LHP, OAK) has whiffed just 13 percent of batters faced this season, and boasts an ugly 1.5 Cmd, but he's keeping the ball in the park and mostly avoiding blowups, which has led to a respectable 3.89 ERA. This week, he is set to take on the Orioles and Rays, teams that rank 18th and 13th, respectively, in wRC+ vs lefties. Anderson never offers huge strikeout upside, but double digits for the week is within reach, as Baltimore strikes out at the 7th highest rate vs LHP, while the Rays are at the top of the list. All told, he looks like a reasonable option, even in deeper mixed leagues.

Mike Fiers (RHP, OAK) is never a great option, but his 3.60 ERA at home is more than two runs lower than on the road, and he gets two home starts this week. A 19 percent hit rate at home has certainly helped, but also working in his favor this week is the fact he'll start off against a Baltimore offense that is 25th in wRC+ vs RHP. Over the weekend, he'll square off against a Tampa team that ranks 4th in both wRC+ and ISO vs RHP. That second start is a tough one, but the fact both starts are at home makes Fiers a reasonable mixed league option for the upcoming week.

A 6 IP, 5 ER performance on Thursday pushed the ERA of Ryan Yarbrough (LHP, TAM) up to 5.59 for the season, and considering he already had one month-long demotion to Triple-A, his grip on a rotation spot probably isn't too strong. His skills haven't been all that bad, though (4.13 xERA), and his first matchup of this week is a Yankee offense that is 25th in wRC+ vs southpaws, and one that has surprisingly hit better on the road (.798 OPS vs .759 OPS at home). The recent addition of Edwin Encarnacion adds some right-handed pop to the lineup, and a weekend trip to Oakland will pose a tough challenge for Yarbrough, as the A's rank 4th in wRC+ against lefties, and strike out at the 2nd lowest rate. He's certainly not without risk, but offers a decent chance at a win or two, and 8-10 strikeouts.

The skills of Danny Duffy (LHP, KC) really haven't changed much, as he's currently sporting a 4.38 ERA and 4.66 xERA through nine starts. His first start this week will be against a Seattle offense that ranks 7th in wRC+ vs LHP, with the 6th highest K%, and 3rd in wRC+ vs lefties in June. Without Mitch Haniger and Edwin Encarnacion in the mix, though, the lineup doesn't have a ton of power from the right side. Up next is a Minnesota offense that whiffs at the 6th highest rate vs LHP, but one that owns a league-leading .883 OPS against them. Duffy is probably worth gambling on in weekly leagues, but owners with the luxury of benching him against the Twins may wish to do so.

The Tigers only have five games this week, but it appears Daniel Norris (LHP, DET) may get the call on both Tuesday and Sunday. His fly ball lean has again led to some home run issues, but he's recorded double digit swinging strikes in each of his last four starts. This week, Norris is set to square off against a Pittsburgh team that ranks 28th in wRC+ vs LHP, and maybe a Cleveland team that ranks 24th in the category as well. He is owned in just 19 percent of NFBC 15-team leagues, but may be worth a look.


Weak 2-start options

  SP Rating1 Opp1 Rating2 Opp2 Week Rating
  Anthony DeSclafani -0.68 vHOU -0.48 @MIL -0.58
  Homer Bailey -0.2 @SEA -1.15 vMIN -0.68
  Shaun Anderson -1.09 @LA -0.42 @ARI -0.76
  Gabriel Ynoa -1.03 @OAK -0.55 @SEA -0.79
  Andrew Cashner -1.2 @OAK -0.71 @SEA -0.96
  Erick Fedde -0.72 vPHI -1.52 vATL -1.12
  Elieser Hernandez -1.2 @STL -1.15 @PHI -1.18
  Gerson Bautista -1.19 vKC -1.16 vBAL -1.18
  Tyler Beede -1.55 @LA -0.99 @ARI -1.27
  Jhoulys Chacin -1.14 @SD -1.46 vCIN -1.30
  Edwin Jackson -1.53 vLAA -1.26 @BOS -1.40
  Antonio Senzatela -1.41 @ARI -2.03 @LA -1.72

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP, CIN) has allowed just 1 ER in each of his past two starts, lowering his ERA down to 4.43 for the season. He recorded just two punchouts and four swinging strikes against the Indians last time out, though, and will get a couple of tough tests this week, starting with a Houston team that boasts the 2nd lowest K% and 5th highest OPS on the road, and 3rd best wRC+ vs RHP. The Brewers rank 12th in wRC+ and 7th in ISO vs RHP, though they do whiff at the 4th highest rate. DeSclafani sports a 5.16 ERA and 2.0 hr/9 in 17 home starts dating back to last season, and looks like a pretty risky play this week.

Shaun Anderson (RHP, SF) is holding his own so far, with a 3.97 ERA through six starts, but he has struck out just 15 percent of opposing batters, and much of his success probably has to due with making four starts at home, where he's surrendered just one homer. He has allowed just 5 ER in 13 IP on the road, but he has an uninspiring 7/4 K/BB ratio, with 3 HR allowed. Anderson could run into trouble on Tuesday in Dodger Stadium against an offense that ranks 2nd in wRC+ and ISO vs RHP, with the 3rd lowest K%. The Diamondbacks are just 20th in wRC+ vs RHP, but have been much better on the road than at home (.810 OPS vs .724 OPS). Anderson may be a viable streaming option at home, but this doesn't look like a good week to use him.

Since slotting into the rotation in late May, Erick Fedde (RHP, WAS) has posted a respectable 3.81 ERA, but it has come with just 14 K and 10 BB across 26 IP. This week, he'll start off against a Philadelphia offense that ranks 18th in wRC+ vs RHP, and 20th in OPS on the road, with a .710 mark. His weekend start will be against an Atlanta team that slots in at 11th and 13th, respectively, in the categories, along with the 4th lowest K% away from home. While the matchups aren't overly imposing, Fedde's marginal skills make him a tough sell for this two-step.

Elieser Hernandez (RHP, MIA) wasn't good at all in his 32 appearances (six starts) for the Marlins in 2018, but seems to have taken a step forward this year. After recording 45 K against just 6 BB with 4 ER allowed over 29.1 IP in his last 5 AAA starts (with a 2 IP, 2 ER, 0 K relief outing with Miami sandwiched in), he's getting another shot with the big club. Hernandez racked up seven strikeouts and 18 swinging strikes in 5.2 IP against St. Louis, and now is set to face them again Monday. They rank 15th in wRC+ vs RHP, but just 26th in ISO, while the Phillies are 18th and 17th, respectively, in the categories. though they are a much more productive offense at home (.769 OPS vs .716 on road). Hernandez is a wild card with some strikeout upside, but also a significant amount of risk.  


Looking Ahead

Sometimes you have to be a step ahead of the game when looking to acquire a player, so it can help to look ahead a little bit. Here is a list of some pitchers that may be available, at least in some mixed leagues, who as of now, are lined up for a two-start week beginning next Monday, June 24. These are subject to change, but we will go into more depth on some of these matchups in next week's column.

Lg      Pitcher         Team    Opponents
==  ==================  ====  ==============
AL  Chris Bassitt        OAK  at STL, at LAA
AL  Brad Keller           KC  at CLE, at TOR
NL  Merrill Kelly        ARI  vs LA, at SF
NL  Drew Pomeranz         SF  vs COL, vs ARI





There are roughly 150 starting pitchers in MLB rotations at any given time. For different league sizes, we can estimate the number of SP in the useable pool, and then determine the overall ratings that correspond to worst, 25th percentile, median, and 75th percentile SP.      

                 Overall SP Rating
                    SP      by SP league percentile
League size       Pool*     .00    .25    .50    .75
==============    =====    ====   ====   ====   =====
12-team “only”     120     -.73   -.22   +.22   +.74
10-team “only”     110     -.54   -.11   +.30   +.79
20-team mixed      110     -.54   -.11   +.30   +.79
15-team mixed      105     -.46   -.05   +.34   +.82
12-team mixed       80     -.07   +.22   +.55   +.97
10-team mixed       60     +.22   +.46   +.74   +1.12

So if you’re in a 12-team “only” league, the median start should have a rating of about 0.2. The 120th start is around -0.7. In a shallower, 15-team mixed, the median start is 0.34 and a top pitcher +0.82.

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.