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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 15 (July 20-26)

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Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 15, including Ian Kennedy, Kendall Graveman and Brandon Beachy.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It's a strange week/scoring period, as some sites include this weekend's games as part of the Week 15 slate (I'm looking at you ESPN). I don't, and I'll be presenting you with the two-starters for the standard seven-day week from Monday ‘til Sunday. The last two weeks of results have been kind, and I've managed to lower my ERA down to 4.50. Week 15 is a little more challenging to pick and choose two-starters, as pitchers I'd normally recommend in past weeks like Brett Anderson, Kyle Gibson and Wei-Yen Chen are wisely being scooped up and are owned in more than 30 percent of ESPN leagues. We'll just have to dig a little deeper.

Happy Second Half!

My results so far

23-33 (76 starts, 40 quality starts)
4.50 ERA (on the nose!)
6.45 K/9
2.41 BB/9
1.32 WHIP

Start!

Jacob deGrom: Tue-@WSH (TBD), Sun-LAD (Anderson)
Gerrit Cole: Tue-KC (Vargas), Sun-WSH (TBD)
Matt Harvey: Mon-WSH (Gonzalez), Sat-LAD (Beachy)

Tier 1

Carlos Martinez: Tue-@CWS (Rodon), Sun-ATL (Wisler)
Danny Salazar: Tue-@MIL (Garza), Sun-CWS (Rodon)
Brett Anderson: Tue-@ATL (Wood), Sun-@NYM (deGrom)
A.J. Burnett: Mon-@KC (Ventura), Sat-WSH (Gonzalez)
Taijuan Walker: Tue-@DET (TBD), Sun-TOR (Buehrle)

Tier 2

Gio Gonzalez: Mon-NYM (Harvey), Sat-@PIT (Burnett)
Andrew Heaney: Mon-BOS (Wright), Sun-TEX (TBA)
Ian Kennedy: Mon-SF (Hudson), Sat-MIA (Latos)
Kyle Gibson: Tue-@LAA (Shoemaker), Sun-NYY (Eovaldi)
Wei-Yin Chen: Tue-@NYY (Eovaldi), Sun-@TB (Moore)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-@OAK (Graveman), Sun-@SEA (Walker)
Mat Latos: Mon-@ARI (De La Rosa), Sat-@SD (Kennedy)
Kendall Graveman: Tue-TOR (Buehrle), Sun-@SF (Hudson)

Tier 3

Brandon Beachy: Mon-@ATL (Wisler), Sat-@NYM (Harvey)
Matt Wisler: Mon-LAD (Beachy), Sun-@STL (Martinez)
Carlos Rodon: Tue-STL (Martinez), Sun-@CLE (Salazar)
Rubby De La Rosa: Mon-MIA (Latos), Sat-MIL (Jungmann)
Matt Moore: Mon-@PHI (TBD), Sun-BAL (Chen)
Yordano Ventura: Mon-PIT (Burnett), Sun-HOU (TBD)
Odrisamer Despaigne: Tue-SF (Heston), Sun-MIA (Phelps)
Tim Hudson: Mon-@SD (Kennedy), Sun-OAK (Graveman)
David Phelps: Tue-@ARI (Hellickson), Sun-@SD (Despaigne)
Nathan Eovaldi: Tue-BAL (Chen), Sun-@MIN (Gibson)
Brian Johnson: Tue-@HOU (TBD), Sun-DET (TBD)

Not this week

Matt Garza: Tue-CLE (Salazar), Sun-@ARI (Hellickson)
J.A. Happ: Mon-@DET (Simon), Sat-TOR (Estrada)
Jeremy Hellickson: Tue-MIA (Phelps), Sun-MIL (Garza)
Michael Lorenzen: Mon-CHC (Richard), Sun-@COL (Rusin)
Clayton Richard: Mon-@CIN (Lorenzen), Sun-PHI (TBD)
Wandy Rodriguez: Mon-@COL (Rusin), Sun-@LAA (TBD)
Chris Rusin: Mon-TEX (Rodriguez), Sun-CIN (Lorenzen)
Alfredo Simon: Mon-SEA (Happ), Sat-@BOS (Wright)

My Week 15 Picks

Ian Kennedy, Padres (SF, MIA)
2015: 4-9, 4.91 ERA, 2.92 K/BB, 1.33 WHIP, 5.45 FIP

Going with Kennedy this week is a roll of the dice; it could very well be a make-or-break seven days for 30-year-old right-hander, who is likely on his way out of San Diego by the July 31 trade deadline. On the surface, Kennedy appears to be just a bad-luck pitcher year with a solid 2.92 K/BB ratio, but that's simply not the case. Kennedy's BABIP is .284 and he's allowed a ridiculous 20 home runs in 16 starts, including five taters in his last three starts. The Giants and Marlins - Kennedy's Week 15 opponents - rank in the bottom third in homers (22nd and 23rd respectively), however, so the Padre pitcher has that working in his favor. Kennedy still has the tools to be an effective starter in the second half, and two favorable starts at home in Week 15 could tilt his season in that direction.

Kendall Graveman, Athletics (TOR, @SF)
2015: 6-5, 3.38 ERA, 1.89 K/BB, 1.37 WHIP, 4.21 FIP

Graveman will have to earn it in Week 15 with a difficult Game 1 matchup against the Blue Jays, but he finishes the week with a cushier start against the Giants in San Francisco. On the plus side, Graveman gets Toronto at O.co Coliseum this week; otherwise, I'd be very hesitant to recommend him in a two-start week. Since rejoining Oakland's rotation in late May, Graveman has recorded a 2.13 ERA, including an impressive streak of seven quality starts that recently ended against the Indians in Cleveland. The 24-year-old right-hander owns a 4.21 FIP and 4.25 xFIP, and he's projected to post a 4.32 ERA (by ZiPS) the rest of the way. There are signs for regression to be fair, but I think he can post a sub-4 ERA in the second half and be worthy of owning in 12-teamers.

Brandon Beachy, Dodgers (@ATL, @NYM)
2015: 0-1, 6.75 ERA, 0.67 K/BB, 2.00 WHIP, 4.31 FIP

Yeah, so it wasn't an impressive 2015 debut from Beachy, who only lasted four innings against the Brew Crew before the All-Star break, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out a pair. But with his first start post Tommy John out of the way, I feel confident enough to give the 28-year-old right-hander a look in a two-start week in which he faces his former mates, the Braves, and the Mets. Atlanta and New York rank 23rd and 28th, respectively, in terms of weighted on-base average (wOBA). Matt Wisler, Beachy's opposing mound mate on Monday, is also intriguing, but both the Dodgers and Cardinals thrive against right-handed pitching and I'm less inclined to give the rookie the nod.

Stats from FanGraphs.com