Two-Start Pitchers for Week 16 (July 22-28)

Christian Petersen

Alex Kantecki ranks the two-start pitchers for Week 16 and recommends a few worth using, including Dillon Gee, Tyler Skaggs, Tom Gorzelanny and Charlie Morton.

Four days without (meaningful) baseball. That was rough. For the most part, rotations for Week 16 are all set, but there are bound to be a few wrinkles along the way. Matt Garza, for example, is scheduled for two, but those two might not come in a Cubs' uniform. There are also a few TBD's listed below, as not every team's official website has provided all of their probable pitchers for the post All-Star break week. If and when things change, I will update as necessary.

My selections this time around are a little more obscure (<10%), but I back them with two thumbs up and a smile nonetheless. The Week 16 scoring period includes games from July 19-21 in ESPN leagues, but the two-starters listed below are for July 22-28 only. Don't worry; starting in Week 17, ESPN and Yahoo! leagues re-harmonize, and we can all be friends again.

Start!

Max Scherzer: Mon-@CWS (Sale), Sat-PHI (Lee)
Yu Darvish: Mon-NYY (Hughes), Sat-@CLE (Masterson)
Matt Moore: Mon-@BOS (Dempster), Sat-@NYY (Hughes)
Jose Fernandez: Tue-@COL (Chacin), Sun-PIT (Cole)
Chris Sale: Mon-DET (Scherzer), Sat-KC (Davis)
Matt Garza: Mon-@ARI (Skaggs), Sat-@SF (Bumgarner)
Patrick Corbin: Tue-CHC (Wood), Sun-SD (O'Sullivan)
Travis Wood: Tue-@ARI (Corbin), Sun-@SF (Lincecum)
Julio Teheran: Mon-@NYM (Gee), Sat-STL (Kelly)
Shelby Miller: Tue-PHI (Pettibone), Sun-@ATL (Medlen)
Tim Lincecum: Mon-CIN (Arroyo), Sun-CHC (Wood)
Jarrod Parker: Mon-@HOU (Bedard), Sat-LAA (Blanton)

Pretty, pretty good

Jhoulys Chacin: Tue-MIA (Fernandez), Sun-MIL (Hand)
Tony Cingrani: Tue-@SF (Zito), Sun-@LAD (Capuano)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: Mon-@TOR (Johnson), Sat-CIN (Arroyo)
Bronson Arroyo: Mon-@SF (Lincecum), Sat-@LAD (Ryu)
Dillon Gee: Mon-ATL (Teheran), Sat-@WSH (Haren)
Tyler Skaggs: Mon-CHC (Garza), Sat-SD (Cashner)
Gerrit Cole: Tue-@WSH (Jordan), Sun-@MIA (Fernandez)
Josh Johnson: Mon-LAD (Ryu), Sat-HOU (Bedard)
Tom Gorzelanny: Mon-SD (Cashner), Sat-@COL (Pomeranz)
Ivan Nova: Tue-@TEX (Ogando), Sun-TB (Hernandez)
Charlie Morton: Mon-@WSH (Haren), Sat-@MIA (Koehler)
Phil Hughes: Mon-@TEX (Darvish), Sat-TB (Moore)
Alexi Ogando: Tue-NYY (Nova), Sun-@CLE (Jimenez)
Dan Haren: Mon-PIT (Morton), Sat-NYM (Gee)
Tommy Milone: Tue-@HOU (TBD), Sun-LAA (TBD)
Samuel Deduno: Tue-@LAA (TBD), Sun-@SEA (Ramirez)
Taylor Jordan: Tue-PIT (Cole), Sun-NYM (Torres)

Play the matchups

Hector Santiago: Tue-DET (Porcello), *Sun-KC (Chen)
Scott Feldman: *Tue-@KC (Chen), Sun-BOS (Workman)
Kris Medlen: *Tue-@NYM (Torres), Sun-STL (Miller)
Rick Porcello: *Tue-@CWS (Santiago), Sun-PHI (Pettibone)
Ubaldo Jimenez: *Mon-@SEA (Harang), Sun-TEX (Ogando)
Jason Hammel: *Mon-@KC (Davis), Sat-BOS (Dempster)
Bruce Chen: Tue-BAL (Feldman), *Sun-@CWS (Santiago)

Not this week

Joe Blanton: Mon-MIN (Gibson), Sat-@OAK (Parker)
Chris Capuano: Tue-@TOR (Redmond), Sun-CIN (Cingrani)
Andrew Cashner: Mon-@MIL (Gorzelanny), Sat-@ARI (Skaggs)
Wade Davis: Mon-BAL (Hammel), Sat-@CWS (Sale)
Kyle Gibson: Mon-@LAA (Blanton), Sat-@SEA (Harang)
Donovan Hand: Tue-SD (O'Sullivan), Sun-@COL (Chacin)
Aaron Harang: Mon-CLE (Jimenez), Sat-MIN (Gibson)
Roberto Hernandez: Tue-@BOS (Workman), *Sun-@NYY (Nova)
Tom Koehler: Mon-@COL (Pomeranz), Sat-PIT (Morton)
Sean O'Sullivan: Tue-@MIL (Hand), Sun-@ARI (Corbin)
Jonathan Pettibone: Tue-@STL (Miller), Sun-@DET (Porcello)
Drew Pomeranz: Mon-MIA (Koehler), Sat-MIL (Gorzelanny)
Erasmo Ramirez: Tue-CLE (McAllister), Sun-MIN (Deduno)
Todd Redmond: Tue-LAD (Capuano), Sun-HOU (TBD)
Carlos Torres: Tue-ATL (Medlen), Sun-@WSH (Jordan)
Brandon Workman: Tue-TB (Hernandez), Sun-@BAL (Feldman)

My picks

Dillon Gee (3.6% ESPN; 10% Yahoo!)
2013: 7-7, 110.1 IP, 7.26 K/9, 2.61 BB/9, 4.32 ERA, 1.44 WHIP

Dillon Gee continues to be under-owned after being knocked around in April (5.96 ERA) and May (5.46 ERA), but the New Yorker has been a different animal since, posting a 2.86 ERA in eight starts in June and July. While Gee won't be mistaken on the mound for punch-out prodigy Matt Harvey, the right-hander gets the benefit of facing two strikeout happy lineups in Week 16 -- his opponents, the Braves and Nationals, have the second and eighth highest strikeout rate, respectively, in baseball. In three starts, Gee has owned Washington, going 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA against his NL East foes. He has yet to defeat the Braves in three tries, but if not for a hard luck loss against Atlanta on June 17th (8 1/3 innings, two runs), the 27-year old would be running a streak of nine consecutive starts without a loss. With Atlanta banged up and vulnerable, now is the time to trust and start Gee.

Tyler Skaggs (0.8% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
2013: 2-1, 29 IP, 7.76 K/9, 3.10 BB/9, 4.03 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

I'm not high on Tyler Skaggs for the rest of the season, but Week 16 represents a golden opportunity to use him for two starts and then sell-high on the Arizona rookie (assuming all goes well). Since being called up, the 22-year old southpaw has alternated good and bad starts -- he threw eight innings of shutout ball against Rockies on July 5th, followed by 4 1/3 innings of three-run ball against the Dodgers on July 10th. Skaggs gets a pair of favorable home starts against the Cubs and Padres in Week 16, with both offenses ranking in the bottom third in wOBA. The Cubs struggle against lefties, especially, with a .233 team batting average and a 22% strikeout rate. The Padres, meanwhile, have fallen out favor in the NL West and don't figure to give Skaggs much trouble -- prior to the All-Star break, San Diego had lost 18 out of its last 22 games. I like Skaggs' chances.

Tom Gorzelanny (1.3% ESPN; 3% Yahoo!)
2013: 1-3, 52.2 IP, 8.54 K/9, 3.42 BB/9, 1.88 ERA, 1.06 WHIP

The well-traveled Tom Gorzelanny has been magnificent since being thrown into Milwaukee's rotation. In three starts, Gorzo has posted a 0.56 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to go along with a 15 strikeouts and one walk in 16 innings. He has yet to pick up a victory when starting, but the Brewers are getting healthy and should provide their pitchers with a little more run support going forward. The left-hander gets the Padres at home and the Rockies on the road in Week 16, but he's been equally good at home (1.86 ERA) and away (1.90 ERA) this season. He's gone six innings in each of his last two starts, giving up a pair of runs to the Mets and Diamondbacks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. I wouldn't hesitate to use Gorzelanny for both turns in Week 16.

Charlie Morton (2.7% ESPN; 3% Yahoo!)
2013: 1-2, 31 IP, 6.39 K/9, 2.90 BB/9, 3.19 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Charlie "Meh" Morton returned from Tommy John surgery about a month ago, and he's come back throwing harder than ever. In addition to increased velocity (89.9 mph in 2012; 93 in 2013), the 29-year old righty has enjoyed an uptick in strikeouts, from 4.47 K/9 last season to 6.39 K/9 in six starts this season. After failing to go past five innings in his first four turns, Morton has gone six-plus in his last two, giving up six runs (4.15 ERA) with a 10:4 K:BB ratio in 13 innings combined against the Cubs and Mets. Like his last two matchups, Morton's Week 16 opponents feature two of the NL's weaker lineups -- in fact, the Nationals and Marlins are 14th and 15th, respectively, in NL wOBA. That's as good as it gets. Morton could pound the ground (60.4% GB%) to a pair of wins.

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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