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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 2 (April 7-13)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 2, including James Paxton, Tim Hudson and Jason Vargas.

Dilip Vishwanat

Last week's two starters were full of No. 1s. This week? Not so much. Here's a quick recap of my Week 1 recommendations: A couple of "rainouts" in Oakland spoiled Scott Kazmir's two-start status, but he'll try for two more this week. The southpaw spun 7 1/3 innings of shut-out ball in his Oakland debut, allowing just three hits and striking out five for the win. If he's still available in your league, pick him up immediately. Dillon Gee didn't earn the win in either of his Week 1 starts, but he easily could have. He begins the year with a solid 4.50 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. My final two suggestions, Ian Kennedy and Nate Eovaldi, face each other in Miami later today. Kennedy allowed three runs in five innings against the Dodgers, and Eovaldi earned the win against the Rockies, tossing six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts.

As was the case in Week 1, I'll aim for a 30 percent or less ownership for my streaming suggestions below.

*Two-start pitchers are subject to change.


Michael Wacha: Mon-CIN (Cingrani), Sun-CHC (Jackson)
Gio Gonzalez: Tue-MIA (Alvarez), Sun-@ATL (Harang)
Homer Bailey: Tue-@STL (Lynn), Sun-TB (Moore)

First Tier

Scott Kazmir: Mon-@MIN (Correia), Sun-@SEA (Paxton)
C.J. Wilson: Mon-@HOU (Cosart), Sun-NYM (Colon)
Tony Cingrani: Mon-@STL (Wacha), Sat-TB (Cobb)
John Lackey: Mon-TEX (Scheppers), Sat-@NYY (Kuroda)
Matt Moore: Mon-@KC (Vargas), Sun-@CIN (Bailey)
James Paxton: Tue-LAA (Santiago), Sun-OAK (Kazmir)

Second Tier

Corey Kluber: Mon-SD (Ross), Sat-@CWS (Paulino)
Ivan Nova: Tue-BAL (Chen), Sun-BOS (Doubront)
Tim Hudson: Tue-ARI (Cahill), Sun-COL (Lyles)
Hiroki Kuroda: Mon-BAL (Jimenez), Sat-BOS (Lackey)
Jason Vargas: Mon-TB (Moore), Sun-@MIN (Correia)
Jose Quintana: Tue-@COL (Morales), Sun-CLE (McAllister)
Ubaldo Jimenez: Mon-@NYY (Kuroda), Sun-TOR (Buehrle)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-HOU (Oberholtzer), Sun-@BAL (Jimenez)
Kyle Lohse: Mon-@PHI (Kendrick), Sun-PIT (Morton)
Bartolo Colon: Tue-@ATL (Harang), Sun-@LAA (Wilson)

Third Tier

Dan Haren: Tue-DET (Scherzer), Sun-@ARI (Cahill)
Tyson Ross: Mon-@CLE (Kluber), Sun-DET (Verlander)
Aaron Harang: Tue-NYM (Colon), Sun-WSH (Gonzalez)
Trevor Cahill (ARI) -- Tue-@SF (Hudson), Sun-LAD (Haren)
Kyle Kendrick (PHI) -- Mon-MIL (Lohse), Sat-MIA (Eovaldi)
Charlie Morton (PIT) -- Tue-@CHC (Jackson), Sun-@MIL (Lohse)

Not this week

Henderson Alvarez: Tue-@WSH (Gonzalez), Sun-@PHI (TBD)
Kevin Correia: Mon-OAK (Kazmir), Sun-KC (Vargas)
Jarred Cosart: Mon-LAA (Wilson), Sat-@TEX (Martinez)
Felix Doubront: Tue-TEX (Perez), Sun-@NYY (Nova)
Edwin Jackson: Tue-PIT (Morton), Sun-@STL (Wacha)
Jordan Lyles: Mon-CWS (Paulino), Sun-@SF (Hudson)
Zach McAllister: Tue-SD (Erlin), Sun-@CWS (Quintana)
Brett Oberholtzer: Tue-@TOR (Buehrle), Sun-@TEX (Darvish)
Felipe Paulino: Mon-@COL (Lyles), Sat-CLE (Kluber)

My Week 2 Picks

James Paxton, Mariners
2013: 1 W, 1 QS, 11.57 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, 50.0 GB%, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP

After tossing seven shutout innings (two hits, nine strikeouts, two walks) against the Angels in his season debut, Paxton will be a hot pickup. The 25-year-old gets two home starts in spacious Safeco, starting with the Angels on Tuesday and ending with the Athletics on Sunday. Through five major-league starts, the left-hander has a 1.16 ERA and 30-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31 innings. Paxton's success has coincided with an 8.3 percent walk rate, which is significantly better than his minor league numbers. I'd normally exercise more caution with a young starter with only five starts under his belt, but his ability to miss bats and induce ground balls (57.7 percent career) so far is a great recipe for success.

Tim Hudson, Giants
2014: 1 W, 1 QS, 8.22 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, 40.0 GB%, 0.00 ERA, 0.39 WHIP

After spending the previous nine seasons in Atlanta, Hudson's San Francisco debut was a big success. The 38-year-old veteran threw 7 2/3 innings (three hits, seven strikeouts, no walks) without allowing a run in Arizona, and now he gets two home starts against those same Diamondbacks and the Rockies in Week 2. While Hudson shouldn't be counted on for strikeouts, the sinker baller consistently works deep into games and rarely kills your ratios. In 12 career starts against the Diamondbacks, Hudson is 8-1 with a 1.99 ERA. Play the veteran right-hander with confidence.

Jason Vargas, Royals
2014: 0 W, 1QS, 7.71 K/9, 1.29 BB/9, 31.6 GB%, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP

It seems like Vargas has been around forever, but he's still a (relatively) young 31. The left-hander drew a tough matchup at Detroit in his Kansas City debut, but he held Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers to one run in seven innings (five hits, six strikeouts, one walk). Vargas didn't earn the win, but I fully expect him to earn his first Royals' victory in Week 2, specifically in his second matchup against the Twins. The main concern with Vargas is the home run, but his Week 2 assignments against the Rays (home) and Twins (away) shouldn't scare you. In terms of home runs per game in 2013, Kaufmann Stadium and Target Field ranked in the bottom third. He's not a sexy pick, but I think he's a safe one.

Going Deeper

Jose Quintana, White Sox
2014: 0 W, 1 QS, 12.00 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 50 GB%, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

I admit this isn't the best week to start Quintana, but he's someone I've had great luck with streaming in the past. A horrible spring was erased with a quality start in his season debut, as the 25-year-old worked his way in and out of trouble against the Twins. He ended up going six innings, allowing three runs (two earned), five hits and three walks while striking out eight. Quintana collected 17 quality starts a year ago, and he's usually good for seven or so strikeouts (7.38 K/9 in 2013). With a career 34.7 percent fly-ball rate, the daunting task of starting him in Coors Field is lessened, but it's still a risk. I just trust that Quintana can come out the other end without suffering too much whiplash, and I like his chances in his second start against Zach McAllister and the Indians on Sunday.