Two-Start Pitchers: Week 9 (May 26-June 1)

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 9, including Drew Hutchison, Jose Quintana and Tanner Roark.

It's a stacked week for two-starters, with Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Sonny Gray all going among many other quality options. My Week 8 picks were mostly hit with a little bit of miss, with Dallas Keuchel coming one out away from back-to-back, complete-game shutouts. Josh Beckett earned the win -- but not a quality start -- in his first turn, and Jason Vargas was pummeled by the White Sox. All three are scheduled to throw today.

Results (through half of Week 8)

19-11 (53 starts)
7.29 K/9
2.22 B/9
3.41 ERA
1.08 WHIP

Start!

Yu Darvish: Tue-@MIN (Hughes), Sun-@WSH (Roark)
Max Scherzer: Mon-@OAK (Milone), Sat-@SEA (Young)
Johnny Cueto: Mon-@LAD (Ryu), Sat-@ARI (McCarthy)
Sonny Gray: Tue-DET (Smyly), Sun-LAA (Weaver)
Michael Wacha: Mon-NYY (Whitley), Sat-SF (Cain)
Zack Greinke: Tue-CIN (Simon), Sun-PIT (Volquez)
Jon Lester: Tue-@ATL (Harang), Sun-TB (Bedard)
Jeff Samardzija: Mon-@SF (Cain), Sun-@MIL (Lohse)
Cole Hamels: Tue-COL (De La Rosa), Sun-NYM (Niese)

First Tier

Drew Smyly: Tue-@OAK (Gray), Sun-@SEA (Elias)
Tyson Ross: Mon-@ARI (McCarthy), Sun-@CWS (Quintana)
Drew Hutchison: Mon-TB (Bedard), Sat-KC (Ventura)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: Mon-CIN (Cueto), Sat-PIT (Cumpton)
Yordano Ventura: Mon-HOU (McHugh), Sat-@TOR (Hutchison)
Lance Lynn: Tue-NYY (Phelps), Sun-SF (Hudson)
Jered Weaver: Tue-@SEA (Elias), Sun-@OAK (Gray)
Matt Cain: Mon-CHC (Samardzija), Sat-@STL (Wacha)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-TB (Cobb), Sun-KC (Guthrie)

Second Tier

Jose Quintana: Mon-CLE (Tomlin), Sun-SD (Ross)
Kyle Lohse: Mon-BAL (Tillman), Sun-CHC (Samardzija)
Jonathon Niese: Tue-PIT (Volquez), Sun-@PHI (Hamels)
Tanner Roark: Mon-MIA (Eovaldi), Sun-TEX (Darvish)
Ervin Santana: Mon-BOS (Buchholz), Sat-@MIA (Wolf)
Tyler Skaggs: Mon-@SEA (Young), Sat-@OAK (Milone)
Alfredo Simon: Tue-@LAD (Greinke), Sun-@ARI (Miley)
Tim Hudson: Tue-CHC (Arrieta), Sun-@STL (Lynn)
Nate Eovaldi: Mon-@WSH (Roark), Sun-ATL (Harang)
Chris Tillman: Mon-@MIL (Lohse), Sat-@HOU (McHugh)

Third Tier

Brandon McCarthy: Mon-SD (Ross), Sat-CIN (Cueto)
Phil Hughes: Tue-TEX (Darvish), Sun-@NYY (Whitley)
Wade Miley: Tue-SD (Stults), Sun-CIN (Simon)
Aaron Harang: Tue-BOS (Lester), Sun-@MIA (Eovaldi)
Scott Feldman: Mon-@KC (Ventura), Sat-BAL (Tillman)
Nick Tepesch: Mon-@MIN (Correia), Sat-@WSH (Fister)
Collin McHugh: Tue-@KC (Guthrie), Sun-BAL (Chen)
Wei-Yin Chen: Tue-@MIL (Garza), Sun-@HOU (Cosart)
Jeremy Guthrie: Tue-HOU (Cosart), Sun-@TOR (Buehrle)

Not this week

Erik Bedard: Mon-@TOR (Hutchison), Sun-@BOS (Lester)
Clay Buchholz: Mon-@ATL (Santana), Sat-TB (Odorizzi)
Jhoulys Chacin: Mon-@PHI (Kendrick), Sun-@CLE (Tomlin)
Kevin Correia: Mon-TEX (Tepesch), Sat-@NYY (Tanaka)
Brandon Cumpton (PIT) -- Mon-@NYM (DeGrom), Sat-@LAD (Ryu)
Jacob deGrom: Mon-PIT (Cumpton), Sat-@PHI (Kendrick)
Roenis Elias: Tue-LAA (Weaver), Sun-DET (Smyly)
Kyle Kendrick: Mon-COL (Chacin), Sat-NYM (DeGrom)
Tommy Milone: Mon-DET (Scherzer), Sat-LAA (Skaggs)
Josh Tomlin: Mon-@CWS (Quintana), Sun-COL (Chacin)
Edinson Volquez: Tue-@NYM (Niese), Sun-@LAD (Greinke)
Chase Whitley: Mon-@STL (Wacha), Sun-MIN (Hughes)
Chris Young: Mon-LAA (Skaggs), Sat-DET (Scherzer)

My Week 9 Picks

Drew Hutchison, Blue Jays
2014: 3-3, 60 IP, 8.85 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, 37.6 GB%, 3.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Hutchison might not be the Blue Jays' best starting pitcher according to the ESPN Player Rater (that honor belongs to 35-year-old Mark Buehrle, who is also in line for two starts in Week 9), but that could very well be the case going forward. The 23-year-old right-hander is two starts removed from a complete-game shutout against the Rangers, and he gets two plus matchups in Week 9 against the Rays and Royals, a pair of teams that are in the bottom third in wOBA on the road. Hutchison has 9+ K/9 potential (currently 59 strikeouts in 60 innings), and his ERA estimators suggest he's more than legit (3.12 FIP, 3.57 xFIP, 3.45 SIERA). Hutchinson, currently a top-50 starter, is still available in more than 90% of ESPN leagues. Get in while you still can. With a little more luck in the win column, he could be a top-35 starter.

Jose Quintana, White Sox
2014: 2-4 61.1 IP, 7.19 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, 46.5 GB%, 3.67 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

Forever my favorite streamer, The Q is a free man in 90% of ESPN leagues and 65% of Yahoo leagues. Quintana is doing 2013 all over again, with a nearly identical 19.2% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate. He's been somewhat unlucky with a .312 BABIP, and I think he'll finish closer to a 3.00 ERA than a 4.00 ERA (he currently owns a 3.09 FIP and 3.37 xFIP). The left-hander doesn't give up many fly balls (28.3%), and that's important in a hitter's environment at U.S. Cellular Field. Cleveland is starting to swing a hot bat, but San Diego, Quintana's second opponent, is last in runs (154) and wOBA (.281). Don't overthink it -- Quintana has six consecutive quality starts, and nine out of ten overall.

Tanner Roark, Nationals
2014: 3-2, 55.1 IP, 6.83 K/9, 2.44 BB/9, 46.3 GB%, 3.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

Gio Gonzalez's injury has further solidified a rotation spot for Roark, and the 27-year-old right-hander has proven himself with six quality starts in his last seven tries, including a complete-game shutout on April 26. More recently, Roark has tamed the Athletics, Mets and Reds, giving up just four runs in 18 2/3 innings (1.93 ERA). The strikeouts are lower than you'd like (42 Ks in 55 1/3 innings), but the Marlins, Roark's first opponent, struggle mightily on the road and lead baseball with a 26% K-rate. The Rangers, Roark's second opponent, just lost their slugging first baseman, Prince Fielder, and have struggled in May, scoring fewer runs than the Astros, Mets and Cubs. The key to Roark's Week 9 value is the venue. He owns a 1.01 ERA at home and 5.65 ERA on the road. And both of his upcoming starts are in Nationals Park, where he's held bats to a .202/.264/.255 slash this season.

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