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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 5 (April 28-May 4)

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Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 5, including Tyson Ross, Tyler Skaggs and Alfredo Simon.

Doug Pensinger

Week 3 was my least productive period yet (hello Brandon Morrow), but so far Week 4 is looking like one of my better stretches. Wily Peralta, Travis Wood and Jason Hammel all picked up victories in their first five turns, with Peralta and Hammel facing off in Milwaukee today. My final streamer, Dillon Gee, was a tough-luck loser in his first start, throwing six innings of two-run ball against the Cardinals. He faces the Marlins later today.

Week 5 is a little starved for two-starters, so I'm going to resist the urge to suggest four streamers and go with a nominal three. Good luck!

Results (through Week 3)

8-4
7.16 K/9
1.91 BB/9
3.28 ERA
0.98 WHIP

Start!

Jose Fernandez: Tue-ATL (Wood), Sun-LAD (Greinke)
Max Scherzer: Tue-@CWS (Quintana), Sun-@KC (Vargas)
Yu Darvish: Mon-OAK (Gray), Sun-@LAA (Skaggs)
Michael Wacha: Mon-MIL (Gallardo), Sun-@CHC (Samardzija)
Madison Bumgarner: Mon-SD (Ross), Sun-@ATL (Wood)

Tier 1

Alex Wood: Tue-@MIA (Fernandez), Sun-SF (Bumgarner)
Zack Greinke: Tue-@MIN (Pelfrey), Sun-@MIA (Fernandez)
Sonny Gray: Mon-@TEX (Darvish), Sun-@BOS (Lackey)
Jeff Samardzija: Mon-@CIN (Simon), Sun-STL (Wacha)
Tony Cingrani: Tue-CHC (Jackson), Sun-MIL (Lohse)
John Lackey: Tue-TB (Bedard), Sun-OAK (Gray)
Justin Masterson: Mon-@LAA (Skaggs), Sun-CWS (Quintana)

Tier 2

CC Sabathia: Tue-SEA (Young), Sun-TB (Bedard)
Tyson Ross: Mon-@SF (Bumgarner), Sun-ARI (Miley)
Kyle Lohse: Tue-@STL (Lynn), Sun-@CIN (Cingrani)
Yovani Gallardo: Mon-@STL (Wacha), Sat-@CIN (Simon)
Tyler Skaggs: Mon-CLE (Masterson), Sun-TEX (Darvish)
Alfredo Simon: Mon-CHC (Samardzija), Sat-MIL (Gallardo)
Jason Vargas: Tue-TOR (McGowan), Sun-DET (Scherzer)
Jose Quintana: Tue-DET (Scherzer), Sun-@CLE (Masterson)

Tier 3

Wade Miley: Mon-COL (Morales), Sun-@SD (Ross)
Jonathon Niese: Tue-@PHI (Hamels), Sun-@COL (Chatwood)
Tyler Chatwood: Tue-@ARI (Bolsinger), Sun-NYM (Niese)

Not this week

Erik Bedard: Tue-@BOS (Lackey), Sun-@NYY (Sabathia
Dustin McGowan: Tue-@KC (Vargas), Sun-@PIT (Volquez)
Franklin Morales: Mon-@ARI (Miley), Sat-NYM (Gee)
Jake Odorizzi: Mon-@CWS (Rienzo), Sat-@NYY (Phelps)
Mike Pelfrey: Tue-LAD (Greinke), Sun-BAL (Gonzalez)
Andre Rienzo: Mon-TB (Odorizzi), Sat-@CLE (Salazar)
Chris Young: Tue-@NYY (Sabathia), Sun-@HOU (McHugh)

My Week 5 Picks

Tyson Ross (@SF, ARI)
2014: 2-3, 31.1 IP, 8.04 K/9, 3.73 BB/9, 52.2 GB%, 3.16 ERA, 1.34 WHIP

After walking nine batters in his first two starts spanning 10-plus innings, Ross has regained control with four walks in his last 21 frames. The 27-year-old right-hander was knocked around in his last start against baseball's best (Brewers), but he gets two favorable starts in pitcher-friendly venues in Week 5. Prior to losing in Milwaukee, Ross shut out the Giants in eight innings of work, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out a season-high nine batters. Ross' second opponent of the week, Arizona, is missing Mark Trumbo and are 23rd in the league with a .296 wOBA. He's still available in over 80 percent of ESPN leagues.

Tyler Skaggs (CLE, TEX)
2014: 2-0, 28 IP, 5.14 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, 58.3 GB%, 3.21 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

Skaggs has rediscovered life in the big leagues with a 92 mph fastball, going 2-0 in his first four starts with the Angels. The 22-year-old southpaw has generated a 58.3 percent groundball rate and is holding opponents to a .225 batting average. He's struck out five batters in a pair of games (his season high), but he's gone at least seven innings in three of four starts, including eight frames in a season-opening victory against the Astros. Week 5 will present a tough test for the young lefty, but it helps that both matchups are at home in Angel Stadium.

Alfredo Simon (CHC, MIL)
2014: 3-1, 27.2 IP, 5.53 K/9, 2.93 BB/9, 51.2 GB%, 1.30 ERA, 0.94 WHIP

Simon is actually owned in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues right now, and while I think his hot start will fade, I don't think this is the week to sit him. The 32-year-old gets a pair of NL Central opponents in Week 5, facing both the bottom of the barrel (Cubs) and the cream of the crop (Brewers). Simon tossed six shutout innings against Chicago two starts ago, and eked out a victory against the Pirates on April 23. He's pounding the zone with 52.2 percent strikes and is producing a nice 51.2 percent ground ball rate. That will come in handy this week when he gets two home starts in Great American Ball Park.