Two-Start Pitchers: April 9-15, 2012

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws from the mound during spring workouts at Surprise Stadium on February 23, 2012 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Monday marks the first full week of regular season baseball, which means that it's time to keep track of pitchers that make two starts throughout the week. Keeping track of two-start pitchers is especially useful in leagues that have weekly transactions or roster moves, but owners in daily leagues (especially using the head-to-head format) can benefit as well. For example, streaming pitchers daily is not practical in leagues using a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB), but choosing one or two available two-start pitchers every week can push you over the edge in a head-to-head format while allowing you to save up money for other transactions.

Each Sunday evening, I'll list here every pitcher projected to start more than once in a week so that you can maximize your pitching statistics. I've divided them up into tiers based on ownership percentages in Yahoo! leagues, then ranked the pitchers within each tier. While individual skill is obviously a factor in the rankings, matchups and ballparks are just as, if not more, important. Therefore, just because I have a certain pitcher ranked higher than another does not mean I prefer him for a full season; it's simply a recommendation for the week based on how I think they'll do in a small sample size.

I'm going to experiment with a couple of different ideas about how to present this information over the next couple of weeks, and I'm also toying around with the concept of featuring starters pitching on Mondays and Thursdays (traditional travel days). Future editions of this column will feature season-to-date stats, as well as results from the previous several starts, but this week there were only 2 pitchers who had seen any game action so far this season, so the statistics were left out. If there's anything else that you'd like to see, let me know in the comments.

Follow the jump for a rundown of two-start pitchers for the week of April 9-15.

Owned in >90% of Leagues

In most leagues, the pitchers listed here are must-starts. However, in leagues with strict playing time limitations, it doesn't hurt to take a look at the matchups to see if a pitcher is scheduled for a particularly tough week.

Pitcher Team This Week's Schedule Owned (Yahoo!)
Clayton Kershaw LAD T, PIT (Correia); Su, SD (Volquez) 99
Cole Hamels PHI M, MIA (Sanchez); Su, NYM (Pelfrey) 99
Yu Darvish TEX M, SEA (Noesi); Sa, @MIN (TBD)* 98
C.J. Wilson LAA M, @MIN (Blackburn); Sa, @NYY (Hughes) 98
Brandon Beachy ATL M, @HOU (Happ); Su, MIL (Narveson) 91
Matt Moore TB T, @DET (Porcello); Su, @BOS (Doubront) 97


*The Twins have not officially named a fifth starter and Liam Hendriks was recently hospitalized for food poisoning, so the Minnesota rotation is up in the air at this point. It looks as if Texas will face Nick Blackburn on Saturday, but it's hard to say for sure.

Kershaw will top this list almost every team he shows up in this post, but this week should be particularly generous to him as he faces two relatively soft lineups, both at home. He's been quoted as saying that he's fully recovered from the flu that slowed him down last week, so start him without fear. Yu Darvish couldn't have asked for a better schedule to begin his major league career, except that he will make his first start at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Matt Moore has to face two formidable lineups back-to-back.

Owned in 50-90% of Leagues

There's a small amount of risk involved in starting a pitcher in this tier, but unless the matchups are particularly tricky, you should be looking for these guys on your waiver wire in shallower leagues.

Pitcher Team This Week's Schedule Owned (Yahoo!)
Anibal Sanchez MIA M, @PHI (Hamels); Su, HOU (Happ) 87
Neftali Feliz TEX T, SEA (Beavan); Su, @MIN (TBD)* 79
Shaun Marcum MIL M, @CHC (Volstad); Sa, @ATL (Minor) 88
Edwin Jackson WAS M, @NYM (Pelfrey); Sa, CIN (Bailey) 53
Jhoulys Chacin COL M, SF (Zito); Sa, ARI (Collmenter) 63
Chris Sale CWS M, @CLE (Tomlin); Su, DET (Porcello) 59
Trevor Cahill ARI T, @SD (Volquez); Su, @COL (Pomeranz) 58
Edinson Volquez SD T, ARI (Cahill); Su, @LAD (Kershaw) 55


*The Twins have not officially named a fifth starter and Liam Hendriks was recently hospitalized for food poisoning, so the Minnesota rotation is up in the air at this point.

This tier features two relievers making the transition to the rotation in Feliz and Sale. Like his teammate above, Feliz has the luxury of facing two of the AL's weakest lineups as he eases into his new role. Jhoulys Chacin will pitch in Coors Field twice this week. How lucky do you feel?

Owned in 10-50% of Leagues

These are the guys this column is designed for. They're likely to be available in a standard league, but most of the guys featured here should not significantly hurt any of your stats if they lay an egg.

Pitcher Team This Week's Schedule Owned (Yahoo!)
Ivan Nova NYY M, @BAL (Matusz); Su, LAA (Williams/Richards) 47
Rick Porcello DET T, TB (Moore); Su, @CWS (Sale) 14
Mike Leake CIN T, STL (Lohse); Su, @WAS (Detwiler) 17
Henderson Alvarez TOR M, BOS (Doubront), Su, BAL (Matusz) 16


Because of the way the MLB schedule is constructed, most of the two-start pitchers this week comprise the back ends of their respective rotations, leaving this tier rather barren. As the season progresses, the schedules should even out and we'll have a more balanced mix.

Nova has a rather tasty matchup early in the week (though the Orioles are off to a 3-0 start), but then has to face the stacked Angels lineup in his home ballpark later on, making him a more risky play than his ownership percentage might indicate.

Owned in <10% of Leagues

For owners in deep or league-specific leagues or adrenaline junkies only.

Pitcher Team This Week's Schedule Owned (Yahoo!)
Homer Bailey CIN M, STL (Westbrook); Sa, @WAS (Jackson) 7
Chris Narveson MIL T, @CHC (Maholm); Su, @ATL (Beachy) 1
Josh Tomlin CLE M, CWS (Sale); Su, @KC (Mendoza) 5
Tom Milone OAK M, KC (Mendoza); Sa, @SEA (Noesi) 5
Kevin Correia PIT T, @LAD (Kershaw); Su, @SF (Vogelsong) 1
Luis Mendoza KC M, @OAK (Milone); Su, CLE (Tomlin) 4
Ross Detwiler WAS T, @NYM (Gee); Su, CIN (Leake) 1
Chris Volstad CHC M, MIL (Marcum); Sa, @STL (Lynn) 1
Jake Westbrook STL M, @CIN (Bailey); Su, CHC (Maholm) 3
Mike Pelfrey NYM M, WAS (Jackson); Su, @PHI (Hamels) 1
Paul Maholm CHC T, MIL (Narveson); Su, @STL (Westbrook) 1
Felix Doubront BOS M, @TOR (Alvarez); Su, TB (Moore) 4
Barry Zito SF M, @COL (Chacin); Sa, PIT (Morton) 1
Hector Noesi SEA M, @TEX (Darvish); Sa, OAK (Milone) 1
Graham Godfrey OAK T, KC (Duffy); Su, @SEA (Beavan) 0
J.A. Happ HOU M, ATL (Beachy); Su, @MIA (Sanchez) 1
Blake Beavan SEA T, @TEX (Feliz); Su, OAK (Godfrey) 1
Nick Blackburn MIN M, LAA (Wilson); ?, TEX* 1
Brian Matusz BAL M, NYY (Nova); Su, @TOR (Alvarez) 3


*The Twins have not officially named a fifth starter and Liam Hendriks was recently hospitalized for food poisoning, so the Minnesota rotation is up in the air at this point. It's hard to imagine a scenario where Blackburn doesn't start twice this week, and the best guess is that he'll go on Saturday.

Bailey's home ballpark is terrible, and then he has to go face a better than you think Nationals lineup, but at least he'll strike out a couple of guys, which is more than can be said for many of the other guys listed here. 25 year-old Tom Milone gets to face the Mariners lineup after pitching in spacious Kauffman Stadium. I actually think Matusz has a non-zero chance of turning things around in 2012, but those are two salty lineups to be facing at the beginning of the season. Maybe next time.

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