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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 3 (April 20-26)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 3, including A.J. Burnett, Brett Anderson and Anthony DeSclafani.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

My Week 2 picks (Brandon McCarthy, James Paxton, Danny Duffy) have so far produced an ugly 5.95 ERA, but I'm sticking by my choices. For what it's worth, the small sample size has also produced a 1.10 WHIP. Besides, I'm sure my FIP is looking really good right now. McCarthy got tagged for five runs in seven innings against the Mariners, but he did so with 10 strikeouts. The problem was four home runs, giving him six home runs allowed in his first two starts. Today, he needs to keep the ball down against the Rockies. Paxton was roughed up a bit by the Angels, allowing five runs in in 6 1/3 innings, but he gets the Rangers at home today. Duffy so far has the lone win of the bunch, as he tamed the punchless Twins offense on the road.


Jake Arrieta: Mon-@PIT (Burnett), Sat-@CIN (DeSclafani)
Gio Gonzalez: Tue-STL (Lynn), Sun-@MIA (Haren)
Carlos Carrasco: Mon-@CWS (Danks), Sun-@DET (TBD)
Lance Lynn: Tue-@WSH (Gonzalez), Sun-@MIL (Fiers)
Chris Archer: Tue-BOS (Miley), Sun-TOR (Buehrle)
Hisashi Iwakuma: Mon-HOU (Peacock), Sun-MIN (Gibson)

Tier 1

A.J. Burnett: Mon-CHC (Arrieta), Sat-@ARI (De La Rosa)
Drew Pomeranz: Tue-@LAA (Santiago), Sun-HOU (Peacock)
Mike Fiers: Tue-CIN (Marquis), Sun-STL (Lynn)
Francisco Liriano: Tue-CHC (Wood), Sun-@ARI (Hellickson)
Matt Shoemaker: Mon-OAK (Graveman), Sat-TEX (Detwiler)

Tier 2

Brett Anderson: Tue-@SF (Lincecum), Sun-@SD (Morrow)
Anthony DeSclafani: Mon-@MIL (Peralta), Sat-CHC (Arrieta)
Edinson Volquez: Mon-MIN (Gibson), Sat-@CWS (Danks)
Nathan Eovaldi: Tue-@DET (Lobstein), Sun-NYM (Niese)
Dan Haren: Tue-@PHI (Williams), Sun-WSH (Gonzalez)
Alfredo Simon (DET) -- Mon-NYY (Sabathia), Sat-CLE (House)
Jonathon Niese: Tue-ATL (Cahill), Sun-@NYY (Eovaldi)

Tier 3

CC Sabathia: Mon-@DET (Simon), Sat-NYM (Harvey)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-BAL (Norris), Sun-@TB (Archer)
Jason Vargas: Tue-MIN (Milone), Sun-@CWS (Noesi)
Brandon Morrow: Tue-@COL (Matzek), Sun-LAD (Anderson)
Travis Wood: Tue-@PIT (Liriano), Sun-@CIN (Marquis)
Wily Peralta: Mon-CIN (DeSclafani), Sat-STL (Wainwright)
Hector Santiago: Tue-OAK (Pomeranz), Sun-TEX (Martinez)
Kendall Graveman: Mon-@LAA (Shoemaker), Sat-HOU (Feldman)
Trevor Cahill: Tue-@NYM (Niese), Sun-@PHI (Williams)
Brad Peacock: Mon-@SEA (Iwakuma), Sun-@OAK (Pomeranz)

Not this week

John Danks: Mon-CLE (Carrasco), Sat-KC (Volquez)
Jorge De La Rosa: Mon-SD (Despaigne), Sat-SF (Hudson)
Kyle Gibson: Mon-@KC (Volquez), Sun-@SEA (Iwakuma)
Miguel Gonzalez: Mon-@BOS (Masterson), Sat-BOS (Masterson)
Tim Lincecum: Tue-LAD (Anderson), Sun-@COL (Matzek)
Jason Marquis: Tue-@MIL (Fiers), Sun-CHC (Wood)
Nick Martinez: Tue-@ARI (Anderson), Sun-@LAA (Santiago)
Justin Masterson: Mon-BAL (Gonzalez), Sat-@BAL (Gonzalez)
Tyler Matzek: Tue-SD (Morrow), Sun-SF (Lincecum)
Wade Miley: Tue-@TB (Archer), Sun-@BAL (Norris)
Hector Noesi: Tue-CLE (Bauer), Sun-KC (Vargas)
Bud Norris: Tue-@TOR (Buehrle), Sun-BOS (Miley)
Jerome Williams: Tue-MIA (Haren), Sun-ATL (Cahill)

My Week 3 Picks

A.J. Burnett, Pirates (CHC, @ARI)

I sat Burnett against the red-hot Tigers this week and missed his last quality start (6.2IP, 7H, 1ER, 2BB, 8K). This week, the 38-year-old right-hander gets a pair of National League opponents and I'll be using Burnett with confidence in both starts. So far, Burnett has a 2.25 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 15/3 K/BB ratio in two starts. While he doesn't have a win, he's been a tough luck loser in both starts. Burnett didn't have the greatest season in Philadelphia a year ago, but now that he's in Pittsburgh on a better defensive team in a pitcher-friendlier ballpark, he needs to be owned in the majority of 12-team formats. And, currently, he's available in over 70 percent of leagues. His velocity is down, but he's generated a 63.3 percent groundball rate in the early going. The Diamondbacks have surprisingly been a good offense thus far, scoring 54 runs (sixth best in the league), while Chicago has been hit and miss with 36. We're still waiting to see what kind of effect Kris Bryant has on the Cubs offense, but it's better to get him early than late.

Brett Anderson, Dodgers (@SF, @SD)

We all know Anderson can't stay healthy, so why not use him when we know he is? Anderson gets a pair of road starts in Week 3, starting with the offensively challenged Giants, who rank near the bottom of the barrel with 30 runs. Anderson won't get you a ton of strikeouts, but he's been very efficient in his first two starts with only two walks in 11 innings. Last year, when healthy, Anderson was very effective for the Rockies, posting a 2.91 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 29/13 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings. He's owned in just one percent of ESPN leagues, and I can see him crawling to two wins and/or quality starts in a favorable week for the 27-year-old lefty.

Anthony DeSclafani, Reds (@MIL, CHC)

There's still time to get on the DeSclafani bandwagon, as he's owned in just in 16.5 percent of leagues. While I think the fun will eventually end, I'm confident that he can shut down his two National League opponents in Week 3. The Brewers without Carlos Gomez are an entirely different offense, and he's already shown the ability to shut down the Cubs, allowing no runs on two hits with five strikeouts and two walks against Chicago on April 14. So far, the 25-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 11/3 K/BB ratio in 13 innings. The only thing that worries my long term is that he's basically a two-pitch pitcher (fastball, slider), and I could see the league catching up to him in time.