clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Two-Start Pitchers: Week 4 (April 27-May 3)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 4, including Joe Kelly, Travis Wood and Jared Cosart.

What are you looking at?
What are you looking at?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett tossed two quality starts in Week 3, allowing a total of two runs against the Cubs and Diamondbacks. Burnett was my most confident pick last week, and his ownership rates should see a dramatic increase going forward. Brett Anderson? Not so much. I thought I could trust the oft-injured pitcher to slow down the Giants. But, instead, he gave up four runs in four innings on nine hits. Luckily, Anderson's two starts in Week 3 are no more. I'll have a hard time trusting him, even in the lightest of matchups.

My third pick, Anthony DeSclafani, continued his strong start to the season against the Brewers, tossing eight shutout innings with five strikeouts. As of Sunday morning, his ESPN ownership climbed all the way to 94.8, a change in 78.3 percent since the start of the week. That was an easy call. He gets the Cubs today in Cincinnati, which should be a more challenging start. You're still riding the hot hand.

My results

5-4 (15 starts, 7 quality starts)
4.84 ERA
1.39 WHIP
6.72 K/9
2.64 BB/9


Clayton Kershaw: Mon-SF (Bumgarner), Sun-ARI (Anderson)
Max Scherzer: Tue-@ATL (Teheran), Sun-@NYM (Gee)
Johnny Cueto: Mon-MIL (Nelson), Sat-@ATL (Stults)
Chris Sale: Tue-@BAL (Tillman), Sun-@MIN (Pelfrey)
Corey Kluber: Mon-KC (Guthrie), Sat-TOR (Sanchez)
David Price: Mon-@MIN (Milone), Sat-@KC (Guthrie)
Madison Bumgarner: Mon-@LAD (Kershaw), Sun-LAA (Weaver)
Cole Hamels: Mon-@STL (Lackey), Sat-@MIA (Haren)
Sonny Gray: Tue-LAA (Weaver), Sun-@TEX (Gallardo)

Tier 2

Jimmy Nelson: Mon-@CIN (Cueto), Sun-@CHC (Hammel)
James Shields: Mon-HOU (McHugh), Sun-COL (Kendrick)
Collin McHugh: Mon-@SD (Shields), Sat-SEA (Walker)
Jeff Samardzija: Mon-@BAL (Jimenez), Sat-@MIN (Milone)
Anibal Sanchez: Tue-@MIN (Pelfrey), Sun-@KC (Ventura)
Michael Wacha: Tue-PHI (McGowan), Sun-PIT (Worley)
John Lackey: Mon-PHI (Hamels), Sat-PIT (Liriano)
Julio Teheran: Tue-WSH (Scherzer), Sun-CIN (Bailey)
Doug Fister: Mon-@ATL (Stults), Sat-@NYM (Niese)

Tier 3

Joe Kelly: Mon-TOR (Sanchez), Sun-NYY (Warren)
Yordano Ventura: Tue-@CLE (House), Sun-DET (Sanchez)
Drew Hutchison: Tue-@BOS (Buchholz), Sun-@CLE (House)
Travis Wood: Mon-PIT (Worley), Sun-MIL (Nelson)
Jered Weaver: Tue-@OAK (Gray), Sun-@SF (Bumgarner)
Jarred Cosart: Mon-NYM (Gee), Sun-PHI (McGowan)
Ubaldo Jimenez: Mon-CWS (Samardzija), Sun-TB (Karns)
Homer Bailey: Tue-MIL (Lohse), Sun-@ATL (Teheran)
Aaron Sanchez: Mon-@BOS (Kelly), Sat-@CLE (Kluber)
Vance Worley: Mon-@CHC (Hammel), Sun-@STL (Wacha)
Taijuan Walker: Mon-@TEX (Gallardo), Sat-@HOU (McHugh)

Not this week

Chase Anderson: Mon-COL (Kendrick), Sun-@LAD (Kershaw)
Yovani Gallardo: Mon-SEA (Walker), Sun-OAK (Gray)
Dillon Gee: Mon-@MIA (Cosart), Sun-WSH (Scherzer)
Jeremy Guthrie: Mon-@CLE (Kluber), Sat-DET (Price)
J.A. Happ: Tue-@TEX (Detwiler), Sun-@HOU (Hernandez)
Roberto Hernandez: Tue-@SD (Ross), Sun-SEA (Happ)
T.J. House (CLE) -- Tue-KC (Ventura), Sun-TOR (Hutchison)
Nathan Karns: Mon-@NYY (Warren), Sun-@BAL (Jimenez)
Kyle Kendrick: Mon-@ARI (Anderson), Sun-@SD (Shields)
Dustin McGowan: Tue-@STL (Wacha), Sun-@MIA (Cosart)
Tommy Milone: Mon-DET (Price), Sat-CWS (Samardzija)
Mike Pelfrey: Tue-DET (Sanchez), Sun-CWS (Sale)
Eric Stults: Mon-WSH (Fister), Sat-CIN (Cueto)
Adam Warren: Mon-TB (Karns), Sun-@BOS (Kelly)

My Week 4 Picks

Joe Kelly, Red Sox (TOR, NYY)

It's not a great week to stream two-starters, at least on paper. Kelly has been the Red Sox best pitcher in the early going, posting a 4.08 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 18/5 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings, including a quality start against the Yankees his last time out. These matchups are scary, but it's hard to ignore the upside of the 26-year-old righty, who's striking out 25 percent of batters so far (up from 15.9 percent). His velocity is up from 94.7 mph to 95.7, and he's pumping in more first-pitch strikes and has generated a career-best 9.9 percent swinging strike rate. Kelly is normally a groundball pitcher, but that number (39.6 percent) is way lower than his career number (51.8 percent). Maybe the best is yet to come for Kelly, who wildly predicted he would win the AL Cy Young. Still available in roughly 80 percent of ESPN leagues, Kelly is someone to take a chance on before it's too late.

Travis Wood, Cubs (PIT, MIL)

Wood is underappreciated outside of Chicago, but he’s been a steady performer since coming over to the north side. Wood owns a 3.24 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 17/6 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings, while holding opponents to a .226 batting average. He only has one quality start in three turns, but has only allowed six earned runs. And one of those starts was in Colorado. Last year, Wood didn’t pitch great, but he didn’t pitch as bad as someone with a 5.03 ERA would indicate. He’s been giving up more fly balls and fewer grounders, but that’s something that should stabilize quickly with his career rates sooner rather than later. Not much has changed here. He’s still throwing in the 88s, but he’s someone you can trust not to blow up on a game-to-game basis. In a week without many great matchups, I’ll take someone like that. And he's got a hell of a beard.

Jarred Cosart, Marlins (NYM, PHI)

For those looking to play ballpark matchups, no one has a sweeter two-start slate than Jared Cosart, who gets NL East rivals New York and Philadelphia in Miami. I normally wouldn't recommend Cosart, but, through three starts, he's showed better control with a six percent walk rate while holding opposing bats to a .222 batting average. He's 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 10/4 K/BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings. Cosart continues to pitch to contact, and his 59.6 percent groundball rate represents a career high. He's give up a pair of home runs already, but that's never been a glaring problem for him in the past. I know the Mets are the hottest team going right now, but a matchup against Dillon Gee isn't insurmountable for the Marlins. Cosart is my dark horse to pick up a pair of wins in Week 4.