Fantasy Baseball: Two-Start Pitchers for Week 14

Thearon W. Henderson

Alex Kantecki ranks the two-start pitchers for Week 14 and recommends a few worth using, including A.J. Griffin, Bronson Arroyo, Jeremy Hefner and Roberto Hernandez.

So, I guess writing a fictional anecdote about a fake body of water really came back to bite me in the butt last week. Given that my make believe story was about the super frustrating Rick Porcello, I guess I should have seen it coming. Oh, well. At least I put visions of Kate Upton mermaids in your heads.

Even though I totally missed on Porcello, I knocked my remaining three recommendations -- Eric Stults, Kyle Kendrick and Kevin Correia -- out of the park through the first turn (1-1, 21 IP, 2 BB, 12 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP). Then, on Saturday, Stults got knocked around by the Fighting Fish. We're back to a more normal-sized slate of games for Week 14, so I have a lot of potential winners to choose from. Or losers if you're a glass half-empty kind of guy or gal.

Start!
Clayton Kershaw: Tue-@COL (Oswalt), Sun-@SF (Lincecum)
Jordan Zimmermann: Mon-MIL (Gallardo), Sat-SD (Marquis)
Stephen Strasburg: Tue-MIL (Peralta), Sun-SD (Erlin)
Patrick Corbin: Tue-@NYM (Hefner), Sun-COL (Oswalt)
Homer Bailey: Tue-SF (Lincecum), Sun-SEA (Saunders)
Jose Fernandez: Mon-SD (Marquis), Sat-@STL (Kelly)
Kris Medlen: Tue-MIA (Koehler), Sun-@PHI (Hamels)
Lance Lynn: Tue-@LAA (Weaver), Sun-MIA (Koehler)
Doug Fister: Tue-@TOR (Wang), Sun-@CLE (Kazmir)
Cole Hamels: Tue-@PIT (Locke), Sun-ATL (Medlen)
Pretty, pretty good
Yovani Gallardo: Mon-@WSH (Zimmermann), Sat-NYM (Marcum)
Jered Weaver: Tue-STL (Lynn), Sun-BOS (Lackey)
Jeff Locke: Tue-PHI (Hamels), Sun-@CHC (Feldman)
John Lackey: Tue-SD (Erlin), Sun-@LAA (Weaver)
A.J. Griffin: Tue-CHC (Feldman), Sun-@KC (Mendoza)
R.A. Dickey: Mon-DET (Alvarez), Sat-MIN (Diamond)
Scott Feldman: Tue-@OAK (Griffin), Sun-PIT (Locke)
Matt Moore: Mon-@HOU (Keuchel), Sat-CWS (Sale)
Bronson Arroyo: Mon-SF (Kickham), Sat-SEA (Bonderman)
Jeremy Hefner: Tue-ARI (Corbin), Sun-@MIL (Peralta)
Roberto Hernandez: Tue-@HOU (Bedard), Sun-CWS (Danks)
Justin Grimm: Tue-SEA (Saunders), Sun-HOU (Bedard)
Shaun Marcum: Mon-ARI (Miley), Sat-@MIL (Gallardo)
Play the matchups
Samuel Deduno: *Tue-NYY (Hughes), Sun-@TOR (Wang)
Andy Pettitte: *Mon-@MIN (Diamond), Sat-BAL (Tillman)
John Danks: *Tue-BAL (Hammel), Sun-@TB (Hernandez)
Phil Hughes: Tue-*@MIN (Deduno), Sun-BAL (Hammel)
Wade Miley: *Mon-@NYM (Marcum), Sat-COL (Pomeranz)
Scott Kazmir: *Tue-@KC (Mendoza), Sun-DET (Fister)
Tim Lincecum: Tue-@CIN (Bailey), *Sun-LAD (Kershaw)
Dallas Keuchel: *Mon-TB (Moore), Sat-@TEX (Darvish)
Not this week
Jose Alvarez: Mon-@TOR (Dickey), Sat-@CLE (Masterson)
Erik Bedard: Tue-TB (Hernandez), Sun-@TEX (Grimm)
Scott Diamond: Mon-NYY (Pettitte), Sat-@TOR (Dickey)
Robbie Erlin: Tue-@BOS (Lackey), Sun-@WSH (Strasburg)
Jason Hammel: Tue-@CWS (Danks), Sun-@NYY (Hughes)
Michael Kickham: Mon-@CIN (Arroyo), Sat-LAD (Fife)
Tom Koehler: Tue-@ATL (Medlen), Sun-@STL (Lynn)
Jason Marquis: Mon-@MIA (Fernandez), Sat-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Luis Mendoza: Tue-CLE (Kazmir), Sun-OAK (Griffin)
Roy Oswalt: Tue-LAD (Kershaw), Sun-@ARI (Corbin)
Wily Peralta: Tue-@WSH (Strasburg), Sun-NYM (Hefner)
Joe Saunders: Tue-@TEX (Grimm), Sun-@CIN (Bailey)
Chien-Ming Wang: Tue-DET (Fister), Sun-MIN (Deduno)
My picks (Ownership percentages)

A.J. Griffin (35.5% ESPN; 52% Yahoo!)
2013: 6-6, 103.2 IP, 7.03 K/9, 2.17 BB/9, 3.56 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

This week's mandatory Athletics starter is A.J. Griffin, who just tossed his first career shutout on Wednesday, going nine scoreless against the Reds with seven strikeouts, two walks and two hits allowed. It was Griffin's first win in six turns despite pitching with a 3.12 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and a 30:8 K:BB ratio over his last 40 1/3 innings of work. Griffin hasn't allowed more than four runs in any start this season outside of an April 22 game at Boston, and he's put up a goose egg in two of his last five starts (10 runs in 35 innings). The right-hander gets two cookies in Week 14, starting with a home meeting against the Cubs and ending with an away contest against the Royals. Chicago ranks 28th on the road with a .277 wOBA, while Kansas City ranks 28th at home with a .292 wOBA. A.J. Griffin: Your no-brainer, two-start pitcher of the week.

Bronson Arroyo (28.9% ESPN; 42% Yahoo!)
2013: 6-6, 104.2 IP, 4.90 K/9, 1.72 BB/9, 3.61 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Ah, finally. Some new blood to the weekly write up. After pumping up Arroyo's stock in Tuesday's Risers and Fallers, the underappreciated Cincinnati starter got knocked around against the Athletics to the tune of seven runs and seven hits in four innings. The fact that it came on the road in spacious O.co Coliseum won't help the perception of Arroyo, who had gone 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.17 WHIP prior to the meltdown in Oakland. I mentioned in my previous piece how Arroyo had been strangely better at home than on the road this season, and I guess that rang true again on Tuesday. In 68 1/3 home innings, Arroyo is 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA. In 36 1/3 road innings, he's 1-5 with a 5.70 ERA. Arroyo gets two home starts against the Giants and Mariners in Week 14, making him a smart under-the-radar play.

Jeremy Hefner (0.6% ESPN; 3% Yahoo!)
2013: 2-6, 87 IP, 6.72 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, 3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

My No. 3 two-starter for the week came down to Hefner and the Rangers' Justin Grimm, who I'd like to recommend with gusto but can't based on a really rough June (9.00 ERA in 25 innings). Hefner, on the other hand, had a really nice June (1.80 ERA in 30 innings) and plays in the weaker league, so he gets the nod. Over his last 36 innings, Hefner is 2-1 (five quality starts) with a 2.25 ERA, 1.31 WHIP to go along with 28 strikeouts and five walks. The home start versus Arizona worries me more than the away start at Milwaukee, but the righty has been strong at Citi Field with a 2.93 ERA in 40 innings, holding opposing batters to a .242/.305/.405 slash. Hefner doesn't possess big strikeout stuff, but he limits the damage with a respectable walk rate. He's been even better with his control of late and hasn't walked two batters in a game since May 24.

Roberto Hernandez (0.3% ESPN; 2% Yahoo!)
2013: 4-9, 90.1 IP, 7.37 K/9, 2.09 BB/9, 4.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

I've recommended Hernandez in the past and it hasn't always worked out, but the Tampa Bay starter continues to crack my recommendations nonetheless. This week, it doesn't get any better than free-swinging Houston and what-are-you-swinging-at Chicago (the AL version). Hernandez isn't anything special -- he has a slightly below average swinging strike rate (8.2%) that generates a slightly below average K/9 rate (7.37) -- but he continues to pound the ground with a 51.4% GB% and his numbers suggest he's been on the slightly unlucky side of things up until this point. Home runs have been a problem for the right-hander and that's where the uncertainty comes in, especially in Houston. Hernandez has allowed 15 gopher balls in 90 1/3 innings, leading to an inflated 4.98 ERA (4.50 FIP; 3.45 xFIP). Even if he suffers a setback against the Astros, you can at least expect a respectable dose of strikeouts, and the second matchup against a White Sox team that ranks 26th on the road with a .292 wOBA makes it worth the risk for me.

**Drats. Hernandez is no longer a two-starter with the return of David Price. I'd instead take a shot on the Rangers' Grimm based on matchups (Mariners, Astros).**

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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