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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 17 (July 21-27)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers for Week 17, including Jake Odorizzi, Jacob deGrom and Danny Salazar.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back baseball, and welcome back to the two-start pitcher column. With the All-Star Game behind us, I'm excited to improve my numbers in the second half. I ended the first half in a slump, going 6-10 combined over the last three weeks; but, hey, who cares about wins, right? Hopefully you're still in the thick of the championship chase. And, if you're not, don't stop playing -- nothing is worse than a dormant owner. And away we go!

Results through Week 16

7.17 K/9
2.46 BB/9
3.51 ERA
1.15 WHIP


Chris Sale: Mon-KC (Guthrie), Sat-@MIN (Johnson)
Julio Teheran: Mon-MIA (Koehler), Sat-SD (Hahn)
Adam Wainwright: Tue-TB (Odorizzi), Sun-@CHC (TBA)
Cliff Lee: Mon-SF (Vogelsong), Sat-ARI (Collmenter)
Scott Kazmir: Tue-HOU (McHugh), Sun-@TEX (Baker)

Tier 1

Hyun-Jin Ryu: Mon-PIT (Volquez), Sun-@SF (Cain)
Mat Latos: Mon-@MIL (Peralta), Sun-WSH (Roark)
Jake Odorizzi: Tue-STL (Wainwright), Sun-BOS (Peavy)
John Lackey: Mon-@TOR (Hutchison), Sat-@TB (Archer)
Rick Porcello: Tue-@ARI (Anderson), Sun-@LAA (Santiago)

Tier 2

Mike Minor: Tue-MIA (TBD), Sun-SD (Stults)
Matt Cain: Tue-@PHI (Hernandez), Sun-LAD (Ryu)
Jacob deGrom: Tue-@SEA (Walker), Sun-@MIL (TBD)
Jonathon Niese: Mon-@SEA (Elias), Sat-@MIL (Peralta)
Danny Salazar: Tue-@MIN (Pino), Sun-@KC (Chen)
Tom Koehler: Mon-@ATL (Teheran), Sat-@HOU (Cosart)

Tier 3

Justin Verlander: Mon-@ARI (Nuno), Sat-@LAA (Shoemaker)
Drew Hutchison: Mon-BOS (Lackey), Sat-@NYY (Greene)
Matt Shoemaker: Mon-BAL (Norris), Sat-DET (Verlander)
Wily Peralta: Mon-CIN (Latos), Sat-NYM (Niese)
Roenis Elias: Mon-NYM (Niese), Sat-BAL (Norris)
Ryan Vogelsong: Mon-@PHI (Lee), Sat-LAD (Kershaw)
Jacob Turner: Tue-@ATL (Minor), Sun-@HOU (McHugh)
Jake Peavy: Tue-@TOR (Happ), Sun-@TB (Odorizzi)
Bud Norris: Mon-@LAA (Shoemaker), Sat-@SEA (Elias)
Jimmy Nelson: Tue-CIN (Bailey), Sun-NYM (deGrom)

Not this week

Scott Carroll: Tue-KC (Chen), Sun-@MIN (TBA)
Bruce Chen: Tue-@CHW (Carroll), Sun-CLE (House)
Miguel Gonzalez: Tue-@LAA (Santiago), Sun-@SEA (TBA)
Shane Greene: Mon-TEX (Mikolas), Sat-TOR (Hutchison)
Jeremy Guthrie: Mon-@CHW (Sale), Sat-CLE (Tomlin)
Roberto Hernandez Tue-SF (Cain), Sun-ARI (Nuno)
T.J. House: Mon-@MIN (Johnson), Sun-@KC (Chen)
Mike Mikolas: Mon-@NYY (Greene), Sat-OAK (Gray)
Franklin Morales: Mon-WAS (Fister), Sun-PIT (Volquez)
Vidal Nuno: Mon-DET (Verlander), Sun-@PHI (Hernandez)
Eric Stults: Tue-@CHC (Hendricks), Sun-@ATL (Minor)
Edinson Volquez: Mon-LAD (Ryu), Sun-@COL (Morales)
Chase Whitley: Tue-TEX (TBA), Sun-TOR (Happ)

My Week 17 Picks

Jake Odorizzi, Rays
2014: 5-8, 101 IP, 10.34 K/9, 3.48 BB/9, 33.9 GB%, 4.01 ERA, 1.34 WHIP

I'm not quite sure what's stopping so many of you from adding Odorizzi, but the 24-year-old right hander with a 26.5 percent strikeout is owned in just 12.3 percent of ESPN leagues as of Sunday morning (and in 26 percent of Yahoo games). Odorizzi hasn't allowed more than three earned runs since giving up a four spot against the Marlins on June 5, going 3-2 with a 2.28 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings over that span. Home starts against the Cardinals and Red Sox are on deck for Odorizzi, who owns a 2.73 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings at Tropicana Field (compared to a 6.10 ERA, 1.70 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings on the road). Odorizzi's 32 percent chase rate is 27th best in baseball, and -- among starters -- only Yu Darvish (11.36 K/9) and Stephen Strasburg (10.77 K/9) have struck out more batters per nine innings.

Jacob deGrom, Mets
2014: 3-5, 73.2 IP, 8.80 K/9, 3.42 BB/9, 41.5 GB%, 3.18 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Little "D" deGrom has made 12 starts for the Mets, allowing three runs or fewer in 10. In his last five starts, the 26-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. While his Week 16 matchups aren't great on paper (at Mariners, at Brewers), deGrom is simply too hot to sit. Entering action on Sunday, Seattle has the ninth-highest strikeout rate as a team (21.2 percent), and deGrom has racked up 27 strikeouts in his last three games combined (with eight or more in each contest). Seattle also employs a left-handed heavy lineup, and deGrom has held lefties to a .234/.325/.260 slash. The breakout starter is owned in about 30 percent of ESPN and Yahoo leagues.

Danny Salazar, Indians
2014: 1-4, 40.2 IP, 10.40 K/9, 3.76 BB/9, 33.3 GB%, 5.53 ERA, 1.62 WHIP

Salazar isn't guaranteed a two-start week, but he'll be activated on Tuesday to face the Twins in Minnesota. His recent minor-league performances haven't all been encouraging (he had five strikeouts and five walks in his last start), but the 24-year-old right-hander has big upside. In 2013, Salazar had a 65:15 K:BB ratio in 52 innings, but ran into trouble with the long ball (seven home runs in 10 starts). He should be given a second start as long as his first one isn't a complete disaster. If so, he'll get a second favorable matchup against the Royals (24th fewest runs since the start of July). Salazar could go one of two ways in Week 17. He's high risk/high reward; if you have room, take the risk.

Statistics from