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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 5 (May 4-10)

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Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 5, including Travis Wood, Jesse Hahn and Jesse Chavez.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Last week Joe Maddon threw a wrench in my two-starter plans, flip-flopping Travis Wood and Jason Hammel right after I wrote about Hammel, who was originally scheduled for two. I quickly re-wrote my post for Wood, and then it turned out Hammel was the one with two starts. This week, Wood is getting two starts (I'm 99.9 percent sure). Both Cubs starters were great this past week, with Wood striking out nine over seven innings in a victory. Jarred Cosart also got me quality start by allowing just two hits over eight innings in a no-decision. Joe Kelly, meanwhile, struck out 10 in six innings but gave up a five spot. Both Cosart and Kelly are on the hill today in a pair of favorable starts against the Phillies and Yankees, respectively.

My results

6-5 (19 starts, 9 quality starts)
4.35 ERA
1.30 WHIP
7.27 K/9
2.76 BB/9

Start!

Clayton Kershaw: Mon-@MIL (Lohse), Sat-@COL (Matzek)
Felix Hernandez: Mon-@LAA (Shoemaker), Sun-OAK (Chavez)
Madison Bumgarner: Mon-SD (Ross), Sat-MIA (Phelps)
Zack Greinke: Tue-@MIL (Garza), Sun-@COL (Kendrick)
Dallas Keuchel: Mon-TEX (Detwiler), Sat-@LAA (Shoemaker)

Tier 1

Jordan Zimmermann: Mon-MIA (Phelps), Sun-ATL (Wood)
Andrew Cashner: Tue-@SF (Vogelsong), Sun-@ARI (Collmenter)
Garrett Richards: Tue-SEA (Paxton), Sun-HOU (Feldman)
Tyson Ross: Mon-@SF (Bumgarner), Sat-@ARI (TBD)
Carlos Martinez: Mon-CHC (Wood), Sat-@PIT (Worley)
Michael Pineda: Tue-@TOR (Norris), Sun-BAL (Norris)

Tier 2

Jake Odorizzi: Mon-@BOS (Buchholz), Sat-TEX (Detwiler)
Drew Smyly: Tue-@BOS (Porcello), Sun-TEX (Rodriguez)
Alex Wood: Mon-PHI (Harang), Sun-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Danny Salazar: Tue-@KC (Guthrie), Sun-MIN (May)
Jeff Samardzija: Tue-DET (Greene), Sun-CIN (Lorenzen)
Travis Wood: Mon-@STL (Martinez), Sat-@MIL (Lohse)
Jesse Hahn: Mon-@MIN (Hughes), Sat-@SEA (Happ)
Matt Shoemaker: Mon-SEA (Hernandez), Sat-HOU (Keuchel)
Phil Hughes: Mon-OAK (Hahn), Sat-@CLE (Bauer)
Aaron Harang: Mon-@ATL (Wood), Sun-NYM (Gee)

Tier 3

Jesse Chavez: Tue-@MIN (May), Sun-@SEA (Hernandez)
Clay Buchholz: Mon-TB (Odorizzi), Sun-@TOR (Dickey)
Kyle Hendricks: Tue-@STL (TBD), Sun-@MIL (Garza)
Shane Greene (DET) -- Tue-@CWS (Samardzija), Sun-KC (Guthrie)
David Phelps: Mon-@WSH (Zimmermann), Sat-@SF (Bumgarner)
Matt Garza: Tue-LAD (Greinke), Sun-CHC (Hendricks)
Scott Feldman: Tue-TEX (Rodriguez), Sun-@LAA (Richards)

Not this week

Josh Collmenter: Tue-@COL (Lyles), Sun-SD (Cashner)
Ross Detwiler: Mon-@HOU (Keuchel), Sat-@TB (Odorizzi)
R.A. Dickey: Mon-NYY (Whitley), Sun-BOS (Buchholz)
Jeremy Guthrie: Tue-CLE (Salazar), Sun-@DET (Greene)
Kyle Kendrick: Mon-ARI (TBD), Sun-LAD (Greinke)
Mat Latos: Tue-@WSH (Strasburg), Sun-@SF (Vogelsong)
Jeff Locke: Tue-CIN (Lorenzen), Sun-STL (TBD)
Kyle Lohse: Mon-LAD (Kershaw), Sat-CHC (Wood)
Michael Lorenzen: Tue-@PIT (Locke), Sun-@CWS (Samardzija)
Trevor May: Tue-OAK (Chavez), Sun-@CLE (Salazar)
Bud Norris: Tue-@NYM (Colon), Sun-@NYY (Pineda)
Wandy Rodriguez: Tue-@HOU (Feldman), Sun-@TB (Smyly)
Ryan Vogelsong: Tue-SD (Cashner), Sun-MIA (Latos)
Chase Whitley: Mon-@TOR (Dickey), Sat-BAL (Chen)

My Week 5 Picks

Travis Wood, Cubs (@STL, @MIL)

I hope your took my advice last week and started Wood even though his two starts turned into one after Joe Maddon flip-flopped Wood and Jason Hammel. Wood is still under owned despite a fantastic pitching line that includes a 3.04 ERA, 10.6 WHIP and 26/6 K/BB ratio in 23 2/3 innings. His velocity is up slightly and he's generated more swings and misses, but the big takeaway We've seen Wood be very good very recently, when he posted a 3.11 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 2013. This Wood has been even better, however, with a career-high 27.7 percent strikeout rate. And while I don't think that level of swing-and-miss stuff will continue, I full buy Wood's fast start. He's a cheap option to round out your staff and he's still available in the majority of leagues. This will probably be the last week to acquire his services on the cheap.through five starts is a 67 percent first-pitch strike rate (up from 57.5).

Jesse Hahn, Athletics (@MIN, @SEA)

Hahn returned on Wednesday from a blister on his pitching hand and had a nice start against the Angels, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings with six strikeouts. Hahn didn't factor in the decision, being removed with 89 pitches, but it was a promising start back heading into a two-start week. In 22 innings, the 25-year-old right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.86 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 11/4 K/BB ratio. His pitch usage has involved a lot more changeups, but we've seen his strikeout rate drop significantly from 22.9 percent to 12.6 percent. Hahn doesn't need to live on the ground playing half of his games in O.co Coliseum, but it's nice to see a 53.6 percent ground ball rate regardless. His value changes dramatically long-term if his strikeout rate doesn't come back up, but, for Week 5, he gets a pair of pitcher-friendly road starts in Minnesota and Seattle. Use that to your advantage.

Jesse Chavez, Athletics (@MIN, @SEA)

It's a perfect week to double dip with the Athletics. Chavez wasn't at his greatest against the Angels, giving up four runs on seven hits, three walks and five strikeouts, but the overall body of work has been good so far. In two starts, Chavez has allowed just eight hits in 11 innings, and his season numbers are a very respectable with a 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and an 18/7 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings. As a starter a year ago, he posted a 3.44 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and a 22.3 percent strikeout rate, compared to a 3.54 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 19.3 percent strikeout rate. His walk rate also was better as a starter (7.7 percent vs. 9.1). With Kendall Graveman sent down and Drew Pomeranz struggling, we could see an extended stay for Chavez. The 31-year-old righty gets to pitch in a pair of favorable parks, so he's worth trotting out for two starts in Week 5. His velocity is up from 91.3 mph to 93.2, according to FanGraphs.com, as is his swinging strike rate.