Two-Start Pitchers: Week 12 (June 16-22)

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 12, including Jon Niese, Jake Odorizzi and Marcus Stroman.

My Week 11 recommendations might have been my worst yet, but that won't keep me from trying again. Francisco Liriano was a risk going in, I admit, but even I can't predict injuries (although in Liriano's case, the argument is less convincing); Jason Vargas lost his two-start status, but pitched well against the Indians (7 2/3 innings, six hits, three runs, no walks, five strikeouts); Ryan Vogelsong gave up nine runs in 11 innings, falling one inning short of a quality start on Saturday.

Season Results (through Week 11)

26-14
7.01 K/9
2.32 BB/9
3.32 ERA
1.10 WHIP

Start!

Max Scherzer: Tue-KC (Ventura), Sun-@CLE (Tomlin)
Masahiro Tanaka: Tue-TOR (Stroman), Sun-BAL (Chen)
Johnny Cueto: Tue-@PIT (Cumpton), Sun-TOR (Stroman)
Adam Wainwright: Mon-NYM (DeGrom), Sat-PHI (Hamels)

Tier 1

Cole Hamels: Mon-@ATL (Teheran), Sat-@STL (Wainwright)
Julio Teheran: Mon-PHI (Hamels), Sat-@WSH (Fister)
Michael Wacha: Tue-NYM (Niese), Sun-PHI (Kendrick)
Dallas Keuchel: Tue-@WSH (Roark), Sun-@TB (Bedard)
Jon Lester: Tue-MIN (Hughes), Sun-@OAK (Milone)
Tyson Ross: Mon-@SEA (Young), Sat-LAD (Beckett)
Jason Hammel: Mon-@MIA (Koehler), Sun-PIT (Cumpton)

Tier 2

Tanner Roark: Tue-HOU (Keuchel), Sun-ATL (Santana)
Phil Hughes: Tue-@BOS (Lester), Sun-CWS (Danks)
Hyun-Jin Ryu: Mon-COL (Matzek), Sun-@SD (Stults)
Jered Weaver: Tue-@CLE (Tomlin), Sun-TEX (Lewis)
Jonathon Niese: Tue-@STL (Wacha), Sun-@MIA (Turner)
Ervin Santana: Tue-PHI (Kendrick), Sun-@WSH (Roark)
Justin Verlander: Mon-KC (Vargas), Sat-@CLE (Bauer)
Jake Odorizzi: Mon-BAL (Chen), Sat-HOU (Peacock)
Marcus Stroman: Tue-@NYY (Tanaka), Sun-@CIN (Cueto)
Kyle Lohse: Tue-@ARI (Miley), Sun-@COL (TBD)

Tier 3

Trevor Bauer: Mon-LAA (Shoemaker), Sat-DET (Verlander)
Yordano Ventura: Tue-@DET (Scherzer), Sun-SEA (Elias)
Jacob deGrom: Mon-@STL (Wainwright), Sat-@MIA (Koehler)
Drew Pomeranz: Mon-TEX (Lewis), Sat-BOS (De La Rosa)
Wei-Yin Chen: Mon-@TB (Odorizzi), Sun-@NYY (Tanaka)
Jason Vargas: Mon-@DET (Verlander), Sat-SEA (Young)
John Danks: Tue-SF (Cain), Sun-@MIN (Hughes)
Tommy Milone: Tue-TEX (Darvish), Sun-BOS (Lester)
Rubby De La Rosa: Mon-MIN (Correia), Sat-@OAK (Pomeranz)
Wade Miley: Tue-MIL (Lohse), Sun-SF (Bumgarner)
Wily Peralta: Mon-@ARI (McCarthy), Sat-@COL (Nicasio)
Brandon McCarthy: Mon-MIL (Peralta), Sat-SF (Vogelsong)
Roenis Elias: Tue-SD (Stults), Sun-@KC (Ventura)

Not this week

Erik Bedard: Tue-BAL (TBD), Sun-HOU (Keuchel)
Kevin Correia: Mon-@BOS (De La Rosa), Sat-CWS (Rienzo)
Brandon Cumpton: Tue-CIN (Cueto), Sun-@CHC (Hammel)
Kyle Kendrick: Tue-@ATL (Santana), Sun-@STL (Wacha)
Tom Koehler: Mon-CHC (Hammel), Sat-NYM (DeGrom)
Colby Lewis: Mon-@OAK (Pomeranz), Sun-@LAA (Weaver)
Eric Stults: Tue-@SEA (Elias), Sun-LAD (Ryu)
Josh Tomlin: Tue-LAA (Weaver), Sun-DET (Scherzer)
Jacob Turner: Tue-CHC (Samardzija), Sun-NYM (Niese)
Chris Young: Mon-SD (Ross), Sat-@KC (Vargas)

My Week 12 Picks

Jon Niese, Mets
2014: 3-3, 85 IP, 6.56 K/9, 2.33 BB/9, 47 GB%, 2.54 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Niese definitely falls under the underrated umbrella, as I was able to scoop the veteran right-hander off the waiver wire in a competitive experts league this past week. You have to go back to September of last year to find the last time Niese has given up more than three earned runs in a start. Ten of 13 games this year have been quality starts, including three in a row against the Brewers, Giants and Phillies (1.98 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in those three starts). I like to mix in a safe bet every week, and Niese is that guy. Road matchups against the Marlins and Cardinals aren't that great on paper, but they rank 28th and 29th, respectively, in terms of wOBA in June.

Jake Odorizzi, Rays
2014: 2-7, 65 IP, 10.52 K/9, 3.60 BB/9, 37.3 GB%, 4.85 ERA, 1.42 WHIP

Odorizzi was excellent in his last start against the Cardinals, giving up one run on three hits and one walk and striking out five in 7 1/3 innings. Odorizzi was saddled with the tough-luck loss, but he's appeared to turn the corner in the process. Over his last four starts, Odorizzi has walked only three while striking out 24 in 21 2/3 innings. In Week 12, the 24-year-old right-hander faces the Orioles and Astros at Tropicana Field, where he owns a 3.13 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings (compared to a 7.16 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings on the road). Odorizzi has burned me before, but that was before he started showing command. I'm all for second (and third) chances.

Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays
2014: 3-1, 24.1 IP, 7.77 K/9, 1.11 BB/9, 56 GB%, 5.18 ERA, 1.52 WHIP

I've been conducting the Stroman train at Fake Teams since his call-up, and the rookie right-hander has not disappointed. In three games as a starter, the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 17:2 K:BB ratio in 18 innings. Stroman gets two road starts in Week 12, starting with the Yankees on Monday and ending with the Reds on Saturday. Both offenses rank in the bottom third in wOBA, and only San Diego has scored fewer runs than Cincinnati. Stroman has been unlucky thus far, with a .386 BABIP. I do anticipate some uneven performances from the rookie, but the strikeout upside is appealing. He's done everything the right way, from a 56 percent groundball rate to a 2.7 percent walk rate.

Stats from FanGraphs.

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