With Opening Week almost in the books, it's time to start looking ahead to Week 2. Last week's edition of two-start pitchers was littered with studs from top to bottom with every team's No. 1 -- and in some cases their No. 2's -- taking the mound twice. This week thins out much quicker at the top, but there are still some nice two-starters buried below if you find yourself in need of a little help. Through Saturday's games, my recommended two-starters from Week 1 (Jon Niese, Jason Hammel, Hisashi Iwakuma and Ricky Nolasco) have spun five quality starts in six chances. Not bad.
On to the ranks...
- Gio Gonzalez: Tue-CWS (Peavy), Sun-ATL (Maholm)
- Madison Bumgarner: Mon-COL (De La Rosa), Sat-@CHC (Jackson)
- Mat Latos: Mon-@STL (Garcia), Sun-@PIT (Rodriguez)
- Jake Peavy: Tue-@WSH (Gonzalez), Sun-@CLE (Myers)
- Matt Harvey: Mon-@PHI (Halladay), Sun-@MIN (Correia)
- Brandon Morrow: Tue-@DET (Sanchez), Sun-@KC (Santana)
- C.J. Wilson (LAA): Tue-OAK (Parker), Sun-HOU (Harrell)
- Anibal Sanchez: Tue-TOR (Morrow), Sun-@OAK (Parker)
- Jaime Garcia (STL): Mon-CIN (Latos), Sun-MIL (Estrada)
- Jarrod Parker (OAK): Tue-@LAA (Wilson), Sun-DET (Sanchez)
- Alexi Ogando (TEX): Mon-TB (Hellickson), Sat-@SEA (Saunders)
- Hiroki Kuroda (NYY): Mon-@CLE (Jimenez), Sat-BAL (Hammel)
- Edwin Jackson (CHC): Mon-MIL (Estrada), Sat-SF (Bumgarner)
- Josh Beckett (LAD): Tue-@SD (Richard), Sun-@ARI (Cahill)
- Trevor Cahill (ARI): Mon-PIT (Rodriguez), Sun-LAD (Beckett)
- Paul Maholm (ATL): Mon-@MIA (Slowey), Sun-@WSH (Gonzalez)
- Roy Halladay (PHI): Mon-NYM (Harvey), Sun-@MIA (Slowey)
- Andy Pettitte (NYY): Tue-@CLE (Myers), Sun-BAL (Chen)
- Jeremy Hellickson (TB): Mon-@TEX (Ogando), Sun-@BOS (Buchholz)
- Clay Buchholz (BOS): Mon-BAL (Chen), Sun-TB (Hellickson)
- Marco Estrada (MIL): Mon-@CHC (Jackson), Sun-@STL (Garcia)
- Wandy Rodriguez (PIT): Mon-@ARI (Cahill), Sun-CIN (Latos)
- Travis Wood (CHC): Tue-MIL (Peralta), Sun-SF (Lincecum)
- Tim Lincecum (SF): Tue-COL (Nicasio), Sun-@CHC (Wood)
- Brandon Maurer (SEA): Tue-HOU (Humber), Sun-TEX (Tepesch)
- Ubaldo Jimenez (CLE): Mon-NYY (Kuroda), Sat-CWS (Sale)
- Ervin Santana (KC): Mon-MIN (Correia), Sun-TOR (Morrow)
- Jorge De La Rosa (COL): Mon-@SF (Bumgarner), Sun-@SD (Richard)
- Wei-Yen Chen (BAL): Mon-@BOS (Buchholz), Sun-@NYY (Pettitte)
- Brett Myers (CLE): Tue-NYY (Pettitte), Sun-CWS (Peavy)
- Joe Saunders (SEA): Mon-HOU (Harrell), Sat-TEX (Ogando)
- Kevin Correia (MIN): Mon-@KC (Santana), Sun-NYM (Harvey)
- Kevin Slowey (MIA): Mon-ATL (Maholm), Sun-PHI (Halladay)
- Nick Tepesch (TEX): Tue-TB (Carmona), Sun-@SEA (Maurer)
- Clayton Richard (SD): Tue-LAD (Beckett), Sun-COL (De La Rosa)
My Two-Start Picks
Marco Estrada: Mon-@CHC (Jackson), Sun-@STL (Garcia)
Estrada gave up four runs on nine hits -- including two home runs -- in his first start of the year against the Rockies, but the righty struck out eight and didn't issue a single walk in the effort. Estrada, who had a 25.4-percent K-rate in 2012, should again pile up the strikeouts against the Cubs, a team that's struck out 24.9 percent of the time in the early going (fifth highest rate in the league). There's a very good chance Estrada picks up the W against the Cubs and opposing starter Edwin Jackson, who struggled a bit in his Cubs' debut, on Monday. Estrada gets the Cardinals in St. Louis in his second start, and I wouldn't be afraid to use him in that spot, either, as the Cardinals' .354 slugging percentage is currently the 20th worst mark in the league. Estrada is still available in 20 percent of ESPN Leagues.
Andy Pettitte (NYY): Tue-@CLE (Myers), Sun-BAL (Chen)
The old man's still got it. One of the few bright spots for the Yankees in an otherwise forgettable first week has been Pettitte, who stopped a two-game skid and prevented a three-game sweep at the hands of the rival Red Sox by going eight innings and allowing one run on eight hits, three strikeouts and one walk. It wasn't exactly a dominating performance, but Pettitte, 40, clearly has some gas left in the tank and he's still worth using in the right matchup. One of those matchups comes on Tuesday against Brett Meyers and the Indians. Through five games, the Indians have a .218-batting average with 15 runs scored. Things get a lot trickier against the O's on Sunday, and I suggest leaving Pettitte on the bench for that one. He's still available in 75 percent of ESPN leagues.
Travis Wood (CHC): Tue-MIL (Peralta), Sun-SF (Lincecum)
Wood picked up the win on Thursday against the Pirates, throwing six innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and two walks. In Week 2, he gets two favorable home starts at Wrigley, starting with the Brewers. In six career starts against Milwaukee, Wood is 3-2 with 3.40 ERA. So far, the Brewers have struggled to produce much offense with a hobbled Ryan Braun, scoring 15 runs in five games. Opposing Wood will be Wily Peralta, who was wild and ineffective in his first start of the year. On Sunday, Wood gets another home start against Lincecum and the Giants, a team that's scored 12 runs in five games with a .210-batting average (sixth worst in the league). Wood is available in 99 percent of ESPN leagues, and I think he gets out of Week 2 with at least one more win.
Brandon Maurer (SEA): Tue-HOU (Humber), Sun-TEX (Tepesch)
Maurer appeared to be a bit rattled in his big league debut on Thursday, giving up six runs on eight hits on the road against the Athletics. There were a couple of encouraging signs from the 22-year old, however, as he did last six innings without issuing any free passes. In his second career start, Maurer gets the Astros, a team that has already struck out 60 times to go along with a team batting average of .202. If Maurer struggles in that one, don't bother using him against the Rangers on Sunday. But I think Maurer bounces back nicely against the 'Stros.
Alex Kantecki is a contributor at Fake Teams, Big Leagues Mag, Dobber Baseball and Vigilante Baseball. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotodealer.