Fantasy Baseball: Two-Start Pitchers for Week 4

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Alex Kantecki ranks the two-start pitchers for Week 4 and recommends a few worth using, including Patrick Corbin, Travis Wood, Bartolo Colon and Ricky Nolasco.

Other than a complete, I'm-so-sorry-for-recommending-him miss from Erik Bedard (.1 IP, 2 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K), my Week 3 recommendations were pretty much a hit. Tommy Milone picked up a win (6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), Chad Billingsley (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) got a quality start after giving up a home to (sigh) opposing starter Erik Stults, and Jake Westbrook was beyond bad in Pittsburgh before the rain washed away his poor outing just like I planned.

Okay, so it wasn't the greatest week, but they all go for a second time today. If Bedard can get through one inning today, we're all winners. I feel a lot more confident in my picks this week, as there were some better matchups to choose from.

Clayton Kershaw: Tue-@NYM (Niese), Sun-MIL (Lohse)
Felix Hernandez: Mon-@HOU (Peacock), Sat-LAA (Blanton)
Jon Lester: Tue-OAK (Colon), Sun-HOU (Norris)
CC Sabathia: Mon-@TB (Moore), Sat-TOR (Happ)
Max Scherzer: Tue-KC (Davis), Sun-ATL (Minor)
Matt Moore: Mon-NYY (Sabathia), Sat-@CWS (Axelrod)
Cole Hamels: Tue-PIT (Locke), Sun-@NYM (Niese)
David Price: Tue-NYY (Hughes), Sun-@CWS (Quintana)
R.A. Dickey: Tue-@BAL (Gonzalez), Sun-@NYY (Hughes)
A.J. Burnett: Mon-@PHI (TBD), Sat-@STL (Westbrook)
Pretty, pretty good
Kyle Lohse: Mon-@SD (Marquis), Sun-@LAD (Kershaw)
Hisashi Iwakuma: Tue-@HOU (Norris), Sun-LAA (Vargas)
Derek Holland: Mon-@LAA (Blanton), Sat-@MIN (Diamond)
Jonathon Niese: Tue-LAD (Kershaw), Sun-PHI (Hamels)
Alexi Ogando: Tue-@LAA (Vargas), Sun-@MIN (Correia)
Ryan Vogelsong: Mon-ARI (Miley), Sun-@SD (Marquis)
Ross Detwiler: Tue-STL (Wainwright), Sun-CIN (Cingrani)
Shelby Miller: Mon-@WSH (Haren), Sun-PIT (Locke)
Wade Miley: Mon-@SF (Vogelsong), Sat-COL (Francis)
Patrick Corbin: Tue-@SF (Cain), Sun-COL (Garland)
Bartolo Colon: Tue-@BOS (Lester), Sun-BAL (Gonzalez)
Travis Wood: Mon-@CIN (Leake), Sat-@MIA (Sanabia)
Mike Minor: Mon-@COL (Francis), Sun-@DET (Scherzer)
Carlos Villanueva: Tue-@CIN (Cingrani), Sun-@MIA (Nolasco)
Ricky Nolasco: Mon-@MIN (Correia), Sun-CHC (Villanueva)
A.J. Griffin: Mon-@BOS (Aceves), Sat-BAL (Tillman)
Play the matchups
Tony Cingrani: Tue-CHC (Villanueva), Sun-@WSH (Detwiler)
Alfredo Aceves: Mon-OAK (Griffin), Sat-HOU (Peacock)
Jose Quintana: Tue-CLE (McAllister), Sun-TB (Price)
Wade Davis: Tue-@DET (Scherzer), Sun-CLE (Masterson)
Chris Tillman: Mon-TOR (Happ), Sat-@OAK (Griffin)
Phil Hughes: Tue-@TB (Price), Sun-TOR (Dickey)
Mike Leake: Mon-CHC (Wood), Sat-@WSH (Haren)
Jason Marquis: Mon-MIL (Lohse), Sun-SF (Vogelsong)
Not this week
Bud Norris: Tue-SEA (Iwakuma), Sun-@BOS (Lester)
Justin Masterson: Mon-@CWS (Axelrod), Sun-@KC (Davis)
J.A. Happ: Mon-@BAL (Tillman), Sat-@NYY (Sabathia)
Jason Vargas: Tue-TEX (Ogando), Sun-@SEA (Iwakuma)
Dan Haren: Mon-STL (Miller), Sat-CIN (Leake)
Jon Garland: Tue-ATL (Teheran), Sun-@ARI (Corbin)
Miguel Gonzalez: Tue-TOR (Dickey), Sun-@OAK (Colon)
Joe Blanton: Mon-TEX (Holland), Sat-@SEA (Hernandez)
Jeff Francis: Mon-ATL (Minor), Sat-@ARI (Miley)
Jeff Locke: Tue-@PHI (Hamels), Sun-@STL (Miller)
Brad Peacock: Mon-SEA (Hernandez), Sat-@BOS (Aceves)

My Two-Start Picks

Patrick Corbin (11.2% ESPN; 18% Yahoo!)
2013: 2-0, 6.16 K/9, 3.32 BB/9, 1.42 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

Corbin just shut out the new who? look Yankees, tossing seven innings (one earned run) with seven strikeouts and three walks. A lefty start in New York Stadium is money in the bank nowadays, but Corbin has now posted three quality starts in three starts this year (that's a 100 percent conversion rate, folks). His velocity is up is up a full tick (90.6 mph in 2012; 91.5 mph in 2013), and he has a 91.8 percent strand rate. I shouldn't have to tell you that the latter is coming down, but the former should lead to more punch outs. Neither of his matchups this week scares me (at San Francisco; vs. Colorado), and this week probably represents the last time you can get your hands on Corbin before his ownership shoots way, way up.

Travis Wood (6.6% ESPN; 19% Yahoo!),
2013: 1-1, 5.95 K/9, 3.66 BB/9, 1.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Like Mr. Corbin above, Wood has posted a quality start in all three of his outings in 2013. You'd like to see his 13:8 K:BB ratio in 19.2 innings get better in both directions, but the biggest improvement for the 26-year old this season has to be his nonexistent 0.0 percent HR/FB rate. Last year, Wood gave up 25 home runs in 156 innings (a 12.7 percent HR/FB rate), but he has yet to serve up a long ball this season. Wood is basically a two-pitch pitcher (fastball; cutter), and he worked on perfecting his cutter in the offseason with some guy named Clifford Lee. I'm not suggesting that Lee's magic is rubbing off on Wood, but then again, I kind of am. (The two also go duck hunting together, which could explain Wood's new beard.) I'm going to trust the early season results despite a tough matchup Monday in Cincinnati. And, of course, I'll be starting Wood without hesitation for his second start in Miami.

Bartolo Colon (3.3% ESPN; 7% Yahoo!)
2013: 2-0, 4.74 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, 3.32 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

Bartolo Colon is old, overweight and doesn't miss many bats. He's won two of his three starts after coming back from a 50-game ban for testosterone and clearly only plays for the after-game food spread. But what Colon does before inhaling his signature postgame sandwich -- the Colon Buster -- still has fantasy value, even if it isn't pretty. Colon hasn't issued a walk (because he truly hates all forms of walking), and his strikeout rate is a career-low 13.5 percent (because fewer strikeouts equals fewer pitches equals less work). A win against Lester and the Red Sox on Monday might be a lot to ask, but a win against the Orioles at home isn't. He went seven innings (one earned run) against the Tigers in his second start of the year, so neither of his Week 4 matchups should keep you from starting the big man.

Ricky Nolasco (1.3% ESPN; 4% Yahoo!)
2013: 0-2, 5.79 ERA, 2.31 BB/9, 3.86 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

It's all about the matchups for Nolasco here. If I was a betting man, I'd be willing to bet a bunch of popcorn flavored Jelly Belly's that Nolasco would pick up a win in one of his two Week 4 matchups. If I lost that bet, all I'd be losing are the most disgusting jelly beans ever concocted and then inexplicably carried out and produced. So win-win. (Upon reading that back to myself I realize I do not sound sincere, but I assure you I am.) Yes, Nolasco pitches for a crummy team that's going nowhere fast, but he's gone six innings in three of his four starts this season. And in those three starts, he's given up a total of seven runs (a 3.50 ERA) with 12 strikeouts and three walks. Minnesota is 25th in runs scored and Chicago is 28th. It all adds up to a Nolasco win and for me getting rid of hypothetical jelly beans that I don't even like.

Alex Kantecki is a contributor for Fake Teams, Big Leagues Mag, Dobber Baseball and Vigilante Baseball. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotodealer.

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