Fantasy Baseball: Two-Start Pitchers for Week 10

J. Meric

Alex Kantecki ranks the two-start pitchers for Week 10 and recommends a few worth using, including Kyle Kendrick, A.J. Griffin, Chris Tillman and Ted Lilly.

I don't know about you, but my head just about exploded with all 30 teams playing seven games this past week. It definitely made the two-start pitcher universe a lot more crowded, so I'm happy things are back to normal for Week 10. That also means no more "rivalry" games of San Diego and Seattle and Colorado and Houston. Aw shucks.

Last week's recommendations weren't the best and they weren't the worst. Dan Straily was awesome, Jose Quintana was not, Jorge De La Rosa was quality and Kevin Slowey was squat. I think I just went lazy Dr. Seuss right there. DLR and Slowey both go for a second time today and I love both of their matchups, so feel free to use both starters in all leagues.

Start!
Felix Hernandez: Tue-CWS (Peavy), Sun-NYY (Phelps)
Jordan Zimmermann: Tue-NYM (Hefner), Sun-MIN (Deduno)
Mike Minor: Tue-PIT (Locke), Sun-@LAD (Lilly)
Anibal Sanchez: Tue-TB (Cobb), Sun-CLE (Masterson)
A.J. Burnett: Mon-@ATL (Medlen), Sun-@CHC (Jackson)
Jake Peavy: Tue-@SEA (Hernandez), Sun-OAK (Griffin)
Lance Lynn: Mon-ARI (Cahill), Sat-@CIN (Latos)
Trevor Cahill: Mon-@STL (Lynn), Sat-SF (Bumgarner)
Kris Medlen: Mon-PIT (Burnett), Sat-@LAD (Capuano)
Alex Cobb: Tue-@DET (Sanchez), Sun-BAL (Tillman)
Pretty, pretty good
Michael Wacha: Tue-ARI (McCarthy), Sun-@CIN (Arroyo)
Andy Pettitte: Mon-CLE (Masterson), Sat-@SEA (Saunders)
Kyle Kendrick: Mon-MIA (Koehler), Sat-@MIL (Estrada)
Justin Masterson: Mon-@NYY (Pettitte), Sun-@DET (Sanchez)
R.A. Dickey: Tue-@SF (Lincecum), Sun-TEX (Grimm)
A.J. Griffin: Tue-@MIL (Lohse), Sun-@CWS (Peavy)
Marco Estrada: Mon-OAK (Milone), Sat-PHI (Kendrick)
Chris Tillman: Tue-@HOU (Harrell), Sun-@TB (Cobb)
Andrew Cashner: Tue-@LAD (Lilly), Sun-@COL (Nicasio)
Tommy Milone: Mon-@MIL (Estrada), Sat-@CWS (Danks)
Ted Lilly: Tue-SD (Cashner), Sun-ATL (Minor)
Kyle Lohse: Tue-OAK (Griffin), Sun-PHI (Pettibone)
Play the matchups
Tyler Chatwood: Mon-@CIN (Arroyo), *Sat-SD (Stults)
David Phelps: Tue-CLE (Kazmir), *Sun-@SEA (Hernandez)
Eric Stults: *Mon-@LAD (Capuano), Sat-@COL (Chatwood)
Jonathan Pettibone: *Tue-MIA (Nolasco), Sun-@MIL (Lohse)
Jeremy Hefner: Tue-@WSH (Zimmermann), *Sun-MIA (Koehler)
Joe Saunders: *Mon-CWS (Danks), Sat-NYY (Pettitte)
Tom Koehler: Mon-@PHI (Kendrick), *Sun-@NYM (Hefner)
Not this week
Bronson Arroyo: Mon-COL (Chatwood), Sun-STL (Wacha)
Joe Blanton: Mon-HOU (Bedard), Sun-@BOS (Dempster)
Erik Bedard: Mon-@LAA (Blanton), Sat-@KC (Santana)
Chris Capuano: Mon-SD (Stults), Sat-ATL (Medlen)
John Danks: Mon-@SEA (Saunders), Sat-OAK (Milone)
Samuel Deduno: Tue-@KC (Mendoza), Sun-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Ryan Dempster: Tue-TEX (Grimm), Sun-LAA (Blanton)
Justin Grimm: Tue-@BOS (Dempster), Sun-@TOR (Dickey)
Lucas Harrell: Tue-BAL (Tillman), Sun-@KC (Mendoza)
Tim Lincecum: Tue-TOR (Dickey), Sun-@ARI (McCarthy)
Luis Mendoza: Tue-MIN (Deduno), Sun-HOU (Harrell)
Juan Nicasio: Tue-@CIN (Bailey), Sun-SD (Cashner)
My picks

Kyle Kendrick (34.5% ESPN; 47% Yahoo!)
2013: 5-3, 71.2 IP, 5.65 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, 3.27 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Before beating the Red Sox in his last start, Kendrick looked like he lost his early-season mojo with two straight defeats against the Nationals and Reds. Kendrick gave up a combined nine runs in 11 innings in those two starts, striking out three and walking eight in the process. So it was good to see the right-hander settle down against Boston's potent lineup with six innings of two-run ball. He did walk three more batters in that one, but recorded quality start No. 8 (in 11 starts) to move to 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. I don't think Kendrick is a low 3's ERA guy -- his xFIP is 4.34 and his SIERA is 4.49 -- but this is the ideal week to extort two more quality starts from the 28-year old, as he faces the Marlins (wOBA .265) at home and the Brewers (wOBA .314) on the road. I don't have to tell you how terrible Miami's offense is, but you might be surprised to learn that the Brewers are 20th in runs scored. With a cakewalk against the Marlins on Monday, I feel comfortable recommending Kendrick for both starts -- and besides, the Brewers hit lefties better than righties.

A.J. Griffin (44.3% ESPN; 50%)
2013: 5-4, 69 IP, 7.30 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, 4.04 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

We're barely able to use Griffin this week -- as he is owned in exactly 50% of Yahoo! leagues -- but the A's starter gets two starts away from home (sigh) against the Brewers and White Sox. I've briefly hit on Milwaukee above, but it's worth mentioning again that the Brew Crew isn't so great against righties with a team batting average of .249 against the predominantly favored hand (compared to .277 against southpaws). The White Sox, meanwhile, are arguably the league's second worst offense behind bottom-feeding Miami with a team wOBA of .290. I've successful managed to stream any and all starting pitchers against Chicago while their offense is down, and I encourage you to do the same. Griffin has 25 punch outs in his last 24 1/3 innings of work, and both Chicago and Milwaukee are striking out above the league average rate.

Chris Tillman (12.4% ESPN; 33% Yahoo!)
2013: 4-2, 63.1 IP, 7.39 IP, 3.13 BB/9, 4.26 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

One of these seasons, Tillman is going to put it altogether. Then the next year he'll suck again. From start to start, you never know what you're going to get from Baltimore's 25-year old. You can only hope. And this week you can hope for a lot with two exploitable matchups against the strikeout-heavy Astros and an underperforming Rays squad. Tillman has faced Tampa twice already and in all honesty hasn't been tremendous -- he's given up seven runs in 11 innings with 10 strikeouts and three walks -- but the third time is the charm, right? The reason to use Tillman this week is his juicy matchup with Houston, an offense that just let light-throwing, pizza-eating Bartolo Colon strike out nine batters. Houston leads all of baseball with a 25.4% strikeout rate and Tillman's strikeout high for the year is seven. I think he easily surpasses that on Tuesday, maybe in the third inning (not really...well, maybe).

Ted Lilly (1% ESPN; 2% Yahoo!)
2013: 0-2, 19 IP, 7.11 K/9, 3.79 BB/9, 4.26 ERA, 1.53 WHIP

Lilly is my super deep-sleeper for Week 10, as it's rare to find a starting pitcher universally hated the same amount in both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. Lilly's coming-and-going 2013 hasn't helped his ownership percentages, but with two starts under his belt after his latest DL stint, Lilly should be back to throwing like the Lilly of old against the Padres and Braves this week. And that would mean good things for the Dodgers -- a team that really could use something good for a change. Two years ago Lilly was wrapping up his second consecutive 190-inning season, striking out 158 batters over 192 2/3 innings. That's about the best you can expect from the lefty (around seven Ks per nine), but look for his walk numbers to improve as he gets stretched out. A win against San Diego is entirely possible, and a crooked strikeout number against Atlanta could be coming -- current Braves hitters have batted .222 against Lilly.

Alex Kantecki is a fantasy baseball writer for Fake Teams. He also writes the "Closer Chronicle" for Vigilante Baseball every Thursday, ranking and tiering all 30 MLB closers. You can follow Alex on Twitter at @rotodealer.

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