Two-Start Pitchers for Week 17 (July 29 - August 4)

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Alex Kantecki ranks the two-start pitchers for Week 17 and recommends a few worth using, including Felix Doubront, Wei-Yin Chen, Zack Wheeler and Scott Kazmir.

This week, my two-start streamers feature a trio of American League lefties and one National League rookie, but I wish I could recommend a more obscure Tampa Bay two-starter than the universally-owned David Price. Following Chris Archer's complete game shutout against the Yankees on Saturday, Rays starters have compiled a pretty 1.92 ERA in July. The next closest team: Arizona, with a 2.85 ERA (h/t to @jasoncollette). Holy cow! Keep throwing those Tampa starters.

Start!

David Price: Mon-@BOS (Doubront), Sun-SF (Zito)
Jered Weaver: Mon-@TEX (Garza), Sat-TOR (Rogers)
Derek Holland: Tue-LAA (Wilson), Sun-@OAK (Griffin)
Ervin Santana: Tue-@MIN (Pelfrey), Sun-@NYM (Wheeler)
John Lackey: Tue-SEA (Saunders), Sun-ARI (Kennedy)
Francisco Liriano: Mon-STL (Westbrook), Sat-COL (De La Rosa)
Matt Garza: Mon-LAA (Weaver), Sat-@OAK (Parker)
A.J. Burnett: Tue-STL, (Lynn), Sun-COL (Nicasio)
Mike Leake: Mon-@SD (O'Sullivan), Sun-STL (Lynn)
C.J. Wilson: Tue-@TEX (Holland), Sun-TOR (Buehrle)

Pretty, pretty good

Jeff Samardzija: Mon-MIL (Lohse), Sat-LAD (Capuano)
Kyle Lohse: Mon-@CHC (Samardzija), Sun-WSH (Jordan)
Felix Doubront: Mon-TB (Price), Sat-ARI (Corbin)
A.J. Griffin: Mon-TOR (Rogers), Sun-TEX (Holland)
Wei-Yin Chen: Tue-HOU (Norris), Sun-SEA (Saunders)
Jake Peavy: Tue-@CLE (Kazmir), Sun-@DET (Porcello)
Zack Wheeler: Tue-@MIA (Eovaldi), Sun-KC (Santana)
Ricky Nolasco: Tue-NYY (Pettitte), Sun-@CHC (Villanueva)
Scott Kazmir: Tue-CWS (Peavy), Sun-@MIA (Eovaldi)
Jacob Turner: Mon-NYM (Hefner), Sat-CLE (McAllister)
Zach McAllister: Mon-CWS (Danks), Sat-@MIA (Turner)
Jorge De La Rosa: Mon-@ATL (Beachy), Sat-@PIT (Liriano)
Esmil Rogers: Mon-@OAK (Griffin), Sat-@LAA (Weaver)

Play the matchups

Lance Lynn: *Tue-@PIT, (Burnett), Sun-@CIN (Leake)
Brandon Workman: *Tue-SEA (Saunders), Sun-ARI (Kennedy)
Nate Eovaldi: *Tue-NYM (Wheeler), Sun-CLE (Kazmir)
John Lannan: *Tue-SF (Zito), Sun-ATL (Wood)
Jeremy Hefner: *Mon-@MIA (Turner), Sat-KC (Chen)

Not this week

Brandon Beachy: Mon-COL (De La Rosa), Sat-@PHI (Pettibone)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-@OAK (Straily), Sun-@LAA (Wilson)
John Danks: Mon-@CLE (McAllister), Sat-@DET (Scherzer)
Ian Kennedy: Tue-@TB (Hellickson), Sun-@BOS (Lackey)
Juan Nicasio: Tue-@ATL (Wood), Sun-@PIT (Burnett)
Bud Norris: Tue-@BAL (Chen), Sun-@MIN (Pelfrey)
Sean O'Sullivan: Mon-CIN (Leake), Sun-NYY (Hughes)
Mike Pelfrey: Tue-KC (Santana), Sun-HOU (Norris)
Joe Saunders: Tue-@BOS (Lackey), Sun-@BAL (Chen)
Carlos Villanueva: Tue-MIL (Gallardo), Sun-LAD (Nolasco)
Jake Westbrook: Mon-@PIT (Liriano), Sat-@CIN (Cingrani)
Alex Wood: Tue-COL (Nicasio), Sun-@PHI (Lannan)
Barry Zito: Tue-@PHI (Lannan), Sun-@TB (Price)

My picks

Felix Doubront (16.5% ESPN; 26% Yahoo!)
2013: 7-4, 112 IP, 8.28 K/9, 3.86 BB/9, 3.78 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

With three wins in his last four turns, it's Felix Doubront, not veteran John Lackey, who is the hottest starter going in Boston right now. The 25-year old has tossed five consecutive quality starts and hasn't allowed more than three runs in a single game since May 8th -- a span of 13 starts (including 10 quality starts). A high pitch count has forced him out of a few games early, but he's been far less wild in June (3.25 BB/9) and July (3.04) than in April (5.01) and May (4.50). Over the last 30 days, the southpaw has gone 3-1 and posted a 2.45 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 27 strikeouts and 12 walks in 33 innings. Doubront has already faced Tampa Bay three times this season, giving up just five runs in 19 2/3 innings (2.29 ERA) with 18 strikeouts. While his second matchup against the Diamondbacks represents a new challenge, Arizona has been far more beatable away (24-27) than at home (30-22).

Wei-Yin Chen (11.4% ESPN; 35% Yahoo!)
2013: 5-3, 68 IP, 4.90 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 2.78 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Since coming back from a strained oblique, Wei-Yin Chen has gone 2-0 with three quality starts against the Rangers (2X) and the Royals, posting a 2.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP to go along with 10 strikeouts and five walks in 20 2/3 innings. In 11 starts this season, the Orioles starter has failed to go past five innings just once, and he's only had one start in which he's allowed more than three runs. With a pair of one-run efforts against the Rangers since his return, I feel more than confident in starting Chen against the Astros and Mariners at home, where the lefty has posted a 1.86 ERA and held opponents to a .217/.299/.235 slash.

Zack Wheeler (37.7% ESPN; 39% Yahoo!)
2013: 4-1, 38.2 IP, 7.22 K/9, 4.66 BB/9, 3.72 ERA, 1.42 WHIP

Zack Wheeler is no Matt Harvey, but I'm surprised at the pitch and ditch mentality of the rookie's fantasy owners in recent weeks -- Wheeler's ownership rate has dropped below 50% in both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, making the New Yorker a candidate worth further exploring. Wheeler has won three out of his last four starts, while posting a 2.78 ERA and adding 18 punch outs in 22 2/3 innings. Like Doubront, trouble with the walk has been a regular theme (20 in 38 2/3 innings) for Wheeler, but Miami and Kansas City have two of the most impatient lineups in baseball. It's a smart week to start the rook in all formats.

Scott Kazmir (7.5% ESPN; 17% Yahoo!)
2013: 6-4, 100 IP, 8.10 K/9, 3.15 BB/9, 3.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Coming into the season, Scott Kazmir was a popular comeback player of the year candidate. Injuries and some ups-and-downs have turned away many former believers of the former first-rounder, but Kazmir has tossed five quality starts in seven tries since turning in his shortest outing of the year (2 2/3 innings against the Nationals) on June 15th. In those seven starts, the Indians starter went 3-0 with a 1.60 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 35:12 K:BB ratio in 45 innings. If you still feel uneasy about starting Kazmir, his Week 17 opponents should help swing you in the other direction. The left-hander gets the White Sox (.300 wOBA) at home on Tuesday, followed by the Marlins (.278 wOBA) on the road on Sunday. Chicago and Miami rank 29th and 30th, respectively, in runs scored. It doesn't get any better than that.

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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