Two-Start Pitchers: Week 6 (May 5-11)

USA TODAY Sports

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 6, including Nate Eovaldi, Jonathon Niese and Jose Quintana.

There's no shortage of two-start pitchers in Week 6 with over 40 options to choose from (compared to just 30 in Week 5). A couple hot starts fizzled last week, as Martin Perez allowed eight earned runs against the Athletics and Aaron Harang coughed up nine against the Marlins. If you own either arm, you've probably missed your best opportunity to sell high. As luck would have it, both are scheduled for two starts in Week 6. I'm more optimistic about Perez's long-term value, but Harang has a better chance of bouncing back this week with two home starts against the Cardinals and Cubs. Perez, meanwhile, gets the Rockies on the road and the Red Sox at home.

Results (through Week 4)

13-7 (30 starts)
7.26 K/9
1.98 BB/9
3.02 ERA
0.99 WHIP

Updated: Sunday, May 4, 5 p.m. EST.

Start!

Max Scherzer: Mon-HOU (Cosart), Sat-MIN (Gibson)
Clayton Kershaw: Mon-@WSH (Zimmermann), Sat-SF (Cain)
Zack Greinke: Tue-@WSH (TBD), Sun-SF (Hudson)
Scott Kazmir: Mon-SEA (Young), Sun-WSH (Gonzalez)
Jeff Samardzija: Mon-CWS (Quintana), Sat-@ATL (Wood)
Jordan Zimmermann: Mon-LAD (Greinke), Sun-@OAK (Kazmir)
Cole Hamels: Tue-TOR (Huthison), Sun-@NYM (Niese)

Tier 1

Nate Eovaldi: Mon-NYM (Niese), Sat-@SD (Stults)
Yordano Ventura: Mon-@SD (Stults), Sat-@SEA (Young)
Jered Weaver: Mon-NYY (Phelps), Sun-@TOR (Buehrle)
Homer Bailey: Tue-@BOS (Peavy), Sun-COL (Nicasio)
Chris Tillman: Tue-@TB (Archer), Sun-HOU (Oberholtzer)
Shelby Miller: Mon-@ATL (Harang), Sun-@PIT (Volquez)
Matt Cain: Mon-@PIT (TBD), Sat-@LAD (Kershaw)
Tim Hudson: Tue-@PIT (Morton), Sun-@LAD (Greinke)

Tier 2

Matt Garza: Mon-ARI (Bolsinger), Sun-NYY (Phelps)
Chris Archer: Tue-BAL (Tillman), Sun-CLE (TBD)
Jonathon Niese: Mon-@MIA (Eovaldi), Sun-PHI (Hernandez)
Jose Quintana: Mon-@CHC (Samardzija), Sat-ARI (Miley)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-@PHI (Hernandez), Sun-LAA (Weaver)
Aaron Harang: Mon-STL (Miller), Sun-CHC (Jackson)
Drew Hutchison (TOR) -- Mon-@PHI (Kendrick), Sat-LAA (Skaggs)
Martin Perez: Mon-@COL (Lyles), Sat-BOS (Lester)
Robbie Erlin: Tue-KC (Guthrie), Sun-MIA (Alvarez)

Tier 3

Henderson Alvarez: Tue-NYM (Colon), Sun-@SD (Erlin)
David Phelps: Mon-@LAA (Weaver), Sun-@MIL (Garza)
Roenis Elias: Tue-@OAK (Chavez), Sun-KC (Guthrie)
Zach McAllister: Mon-MIN (Gibson), Sat-@TB (Bedard)
Jeremy Guthrie: Tue-@SD (Erlin), Sun-@SEA (Elias)
Edwin Jackson: Tue-CWS (TBD), Sun-@ATL (Harang)
Eric Stults: Mon-KC (Ventura), Sat-MIA (Eovaldi)
Kyle Kendrick: Mon-TOR (Hutchison), Sat-@NYM (Gee)

Not this week

Mike Bolsinger: Mon-@MIL (Garza), Sun-@CWS (TBD)
Jarred Cosart: Mon-@DET (Scherzer), Sat-@BAL (Gonzalez)
Kyle Gibson: Mon-@CLE (McAllister), Sat-@DET (Scherzer)
Roberto Hernandez: Tue-TOR (Buehrle), Sun-@NYM (Niese)
Jordan Lyles: Mon-TEX (Perez), Sat-@CIN (Simon)
Juan Nicasio: Tue-TEX (Ross), Sun-@CIN (Bailey)
Brett Oberholtzer: Tue-@DET (Ray), Sun-@BAL (Tillman)
Mike Pelfrey: Tue-@CLE (TBD), Sun-@DET (Ray)
Robbie Ross: Tue-@COL (Nicasio), Sun-BOS (Lackey)
Chris Young: Mon-@OAK (Kazmir), Sat-KC (Ventura)

My Week 6 Picks

Nate Eovaldi (NYM, @SD)
2014: 2-1, 38.1 IP, 8.22 K/9, 1.17 BB/9, 55.5 GB%, 2.58 ERA, 1.02 WHIP

Tier 1 starters are normally owned in 100 percent of leagues, but Eovaldi is still available in roughly 60 percent of ESPN and Yahoo leagues. That's insane. Through 38 1/3 innings, the 24-year-old flamethrower has punched out 35 batters and owns the seventh best strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.00) in baseball -- better than teammate Jose Fernandez (6.88). Eovaldi faces the Mets and Padres in Week 6, who are 29th and 30th, respectively, in wOBA. Run to your waiver wire before your mates get there first. The secret won't be out much longer.

Jonathon Niese (@MIA, PHI)
2014: 2-2, 32.2 IP, 6.61 K/9, 2.20 BB/9, 45.3 GB%, 2.20 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

Niese started the season on the disabled list, but I assure you he's now healthy and in a pitching groove. Over his last three turns, the 27-year-old left-hander has recorded two victories and allowed a total of three earned runs in 19 2/3 innings (1.37 ERA), including 15 strikeouts. He hasn't allowed more than three earned in any start, and he's registered four consecutive quality starts. The velocity isn't all the way back, but a pair of nice matchups against National League East opponents should give you enough confidence to start the southpaw in Week 6. The Marlins are no longer a cakewalk, but the Phillies are up and down. Niese is still out there in well about 80 percent of ESPN and Yahoo games.

Jose Quintana (@CHC, ARI)
2014: 1-2, 36 IP, 8.00 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 43.1 GB%, 4.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

"Q" is one of my go-to streamers. He had a quiet breakthrough in 2013, going 9-7 with a 3.51 ERA/3.82 FIP/3.86 xFIP across 200 innings. This year, Quintana is striking out eight batters per nine, but he's been unlucky with a .333 BABIP. I think the best is yet to come for the 25-year-old, who does own a cleaner 3.54 FIP and 3.31 xFIP through his first 36 innings. He's getting more batters to chase outside the strike zone, and his fly ball rate is down from 37.4 percent to 31.2 percent. Chicago leads the American League in runs, so I expect at least one win against the NL's two worst teams in Week 6.

Going Deeper

Robbie Erlin (KC, MIA)
2014: 1-4, 29.1 IP, 7.67 K/9, 2.15 BB/9, 29.5 GB%, 5.83 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

Erlin is coming off four straight losses, but he could have easily won his last start against the Giants (6.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). He's been markedly better at home than on the road, holding opposing bats to a .209/.277/.310 slash line at Petco. I'm banking on a pair of home starts to push the southpaw to a win in Week 6, as the Padres offense is struggling big time. Erlin hasn't pitched as bad as his 5.83 ERA would indicate (3.04 FIP/3.83 xFIP); he's allowed just two home runs in five starts and he owns a solid 3.47 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 29-plus frames. Only the Royals have scored fewer runs than the Astros in the AL, so I expect Erlin's best chance at a victory against Kansas City on Tuesday.

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