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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 7 (May 12-18)

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Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 7, including Tim Lincecum, Tyler Lyons and Mike Leake.

Dustin Bradford

My Week 6 suggestions started out with a bang. Jose Quintana carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Cubs in his first start of the week, before opposing starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija broke it up with a double. Quintana allowed one run over seven innings, but didn't get the win. [Insert sad face] Jonathon Niese and Nate Eovaldi were locked in a pitchers' duel in Miami, combining for 16 strikeouts in 14 innings while allowing a combined three earned runs. But again, neither got the win. Despite a strong start to the week, I'm still in search of my first win with Niese and Robbie Erlin on the bump today. Gotta love baseball.

Results (through Week 5)

15-8 (36 starts)
7.01 K/9
2.07 BB/9
3.31 ERA
1.05 WHIP

Start!

Cliff Lee: Tue-LAA (Santiago), Sun-CIN (Leake)
Felix Hernandez: Mon-TB (Ramos), Sun-@MIN (Nolasco)
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Adam Wainwright: Tue-CHC (Arrieta), Sun-ATL (Floyd)
David Price: Tue-@SEA (Iwakuma), Sun-@LAA (Santiago)
James Shields: Tue-COL (De La Rosa), Sun-BAL (Jimenez)
Jordan Zimmermann: Mon-@ARI (Collmenter), Sun-NYM (Wheeler)

Tier 1

C.J. Wilson: Mon-@TOR (Buehrle), Sat-TB (Ramos)
Gerrit Cole: Tue-@MIL (Estrada), Sun-@NYY (Nuno)
Marco Estrada: Tue-PIT (Cole), Sun-@CHC (Arrieta)
R.A. Dickey: Tue-CLE (Salazar), Sun-@TEX (Lewis)
Jesse Chavez: Mon-CWS (Danks), Sun-@CLE (Salazar)
Andrew Cashner: Tue-@CIN (Leake), Sun-@COL (Nicasio)
Hiroki Kuroda: Mon-NYM (Colon), Sat-PIT (TBD)
Dan Haren: Mon-MIA (Koehler), Sun-@ARI (Arroyo)

Tier 2

Tim Lincecum: Mon-ATL (Floyd), Sat-MIA (Koehler)
Tyler Lyons: Mon-CHC (Wood), Sat-ATL (Harang)
Danny Salazar: Tue-@TOR (Dickey), Sun-OAK (Chavez)
Mike Leake: Tue-SD (Cashner), Sun-@PHI (Lee)
Zack Wheeler: Tue-@NYY (Nuno), Sun-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Ricky Nolasco: Tue-BOS (Doubront), Sun-SEA (Hernandez)
Travis Wood: Mon-@STL (Lyons), Sat-MIL (Garza)
Tom Koehler: Mon-@LAD (Haren), Sat-@SF (Lincecum)

Tier 3

Mark Buehrle: Mon-LAA (Wilson), Sat-@TEX (Ross)
Rick Porcello: Mon-@BAL (Norris), Sun-@BOS (Doubront)
Ubaldo Jimenez: Tue-DET (Smyly), Sun-@KC (Shields)
Felix Doubront: Tue-@MIN (Nolasco), Sun-DET (Porcello)
Bronson Arroyo: Tue-WSH (Strasburg), Sun-LAD (Haren)
Gavin Floyd: Mon-@SF (Lincecum), Sun-@STL (Wainwright)
Colby Lewis: Mon-@HOU (Oberholtzer), Sun-TOR (Dickey)
John Danks: Mon-@OAK (Chavez), Sun-@HOU (Oberholtzer)

Not this week

Jake Arrieta: Tue-@STL (Wainwright), Sun-MIL (Estrada)
Josh Collmenter: Mon-WSH (Zimmermann), Sat-LAD (Kershaw)
Bud Norris: Mon-DET (Porcello), Sat-@KC (Guthrie)
Vidal Nuno: Tue-NYM (Wheeler), Sun-PIT (Cole)
Brett Oberholtzer: Mon-TEX (Lewis), Sun-CWS (Danks)
Cesar Ramos: Mon-@SEA (Hernandez), Sat-@LAA (Wilson)
Hector Santiago: Tue-@PHI (Lee), Sun-TB (Price)
Jacob Turner: Tue-@LAD (Beckett), Sun-@SF (Vogelsong)
Ryan Vogelsong: Tue-ATL (Minor), Sun-MIA (Turner)

My Week 7 Picks

Tim Lincecum, Giants
2014: 2-2, 35.2 IP, 8.83 K/9, 2.78 BB/9, 38.5 GB%, 5.55 ERA, 1.71 WHIP

Long gone are the days where you can start Lincecum with any confidence. Truthfully, you never know what you're going to get from Timmy. This year has been no exception, as the Giants former ace has alternated good and bad starts over his last four turns. But I see the opportunity for a two-win week, as Lincecum gets a pair of favorable home matchups against Gavin Floyd and the Braves and Tom Koehler and the Marlins. Atlanta and Miami rank second and third, respectively, in team strikeout rate, and the Marlins have the second-worst wOBA on the road.  This could be the week Lincecum shines.

Tyler Lyons, Cardinals
2014: 0-2, 21 IP, 9.00 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, 42.1 GB%, 3.43 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

Lyons has gone six innings in each of his first three starts, striking out 18 and allowing seven earned runs (3.50 ERA) on 14 hits. The success of Lyons will buy the Cardinals some time until Joe Kelly and/or Jaime Garcia is ready to return, but the 26-year-old left-hander should be on your short-term radar. Lyons faces the struggling Cubs and Braves in Week 7, who have combined to score just 12 more runs than the Colorado Rockies. He's been a surprising source of strikeouts with a 10.2 percent swinging strike rate. Use him before he's put back in the bullpen.

Mike Leake, Reds
2014: 2-3, 50.1 IP, 5.39 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, 56.7 GB%, 3.40 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

Leake is a key member of the Reds rotation that never gets any love. The right-hander started 31 games and tossed 192-plus innings last season, and he's well on his way to his first 200-inning campaign in 2014. Leake has impressed in his last two outings, holding the Brewers and Red Sox to four earned runs in 15 innings. Unfortunately, his Cincinnati teammates couldn't muster enough offense to earn him a win in either start. Leake is set to face the light-hitting Padres on Tuesday and the Phillies on Sunday. Both teams rank in the bottom third in runs scored. Leake won't provide many strikeouts, but I like his chances for two quality starts in Week 7.