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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 16 (July 27-Aug. 2)

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Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 16, including Kyle Hendricks, Nate Karns and Robbie Ray.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

My results so far

25-34 (80 starts, 42 quality starts)
4.55 ERA
6.54 K/9
2.45 BB/9
1.33 WHIP

Start!

Clayton Kershaw: Tue-OAK (Gray), Sun-LAA (Wilson)
Jose Fernandez: Tue-WSH (Zimmermann), Sun-SD (Shields)
David Price: Tue-@TB (Odorizzi), Sun-@BAL (Jimenez)
Sonny Gray: Tue-@LAD (Kershaw), Sun-CLE (Bauer)
Noah Syndergaard: Tue-SD (Shields), Sun-WSH (Zimmermann)
Masahiro Tanaka: Tue-@TEX (Perez), Sun-@CWS (Samardzija)

Tier 1

Mike Fiers: Tue-@SF (Cain), Sun-CHC (TBD)
Hisashi Iwakuma: Tue-ARI (Zack), Sun-@MIN (Pelfrey)
Lance Lynn: Mon-CIN (Iglesias), Sat-COL (De La Rosa)
Jeff Samardzija: Tue-@BOS (Miley), Sun-NYY (Tanaka)
Jordan Zimmermann: Tue-@MIA (Fernandez), Sun-@NYM (Syndergaard)
Anibal Sanchez: Mon-@TB (Karns), Sat-@BAL (Gausman)
James Shields: Tue-@NYM (Syndergaard), Sun-@MIA (Fernandez)
Kyle Hendricks: Mon-COL (De La Rosa), Sat-@MIL (Lohse)
Julio Teheran: Tue-@BAL (Jimenez), Sun-@PHI (Morgan)
John Lackey: Tue-CIN (Leake), Sun-COL (TBD)

Tier 2

Trevor Bauer: Tue-KC (Young), Sun-@OAK (Gray)
Mike Leake: Tue-@STL (Lackey), Sun-PIT (Morton)
Chris Heston: Mon-MIL (Lohse), Sun-@TEX (Perez)
Nathan Karns: Mon-DET (Sanchez), Sun-@BOS (Miley)
Collin McHugh: Tue-LAA (Wilson), Sun-ARI (Ray)
Edinson Volquez: Mon-@CLE (Anderson), Sat-@TOR (Buehrle)
Robbie Ray: Mon-@SEA (Montgomery), Sun-@HOU (McHugh)
Wade Miley: Tue-CWS (Samardzija), Sun-TB (Karns)
Alex Wood: Mon-@BAL (Gausman), Sat-@PHI (Buchanan)
Ubaldo Jimenez: Tue-ATL (Teheran), Sun-DET (Price)

Tier 3

Ivan Nova: Mon-@TEX (Harrison), Sat-@CWS (Danks)
Cody Anderson: Mon-KC (Volquez), Sat-@OAK (Graveman)
C.J. Wilson: Tue-@HOU (McHugh), Sun-@LAD (Kershaw)
Kevin Gausman: Mon-ATL (Wood), Sat-DET (Sanchez)
Mike Montgomery: Mon-ARI (Ray), Sat-@MIN (Gibson)
Charlie Morton: Tue-@MIN (Pelfrey), Sun-@CIN (Leake)
Mike Pelfrey: Tue-PIT (Morton), Sun-SEA (Iwakuma)
Kyle Lohse: Mon-@SF (Heston), Sat-CHC (Hendricks)

Not this week

John Danks: Mon-@BOS (Kelly), Sat-NYY (Nova)
Jorge De La Rosa: Mon-@CHC (Hendricks), Sat-@STL (Lynn)
Felix Doubront: Tue-PHI (Morgan), Sun-KC (Young)
Matt Harrison: Mon-NYY (Nova), Sat-SF (Hudson)
Raisel Iglesias: Mon-@STL (Lynn), Sat-PIT (Cole)
Joe Kelly: Mon-CWS (Danks), Sat-TB (Moore)
Adam Morgan: Tue-@TOR (Doubront), Sun-ATL (Teheran)
Martin Perez: Tue-NYY (Tanaka), Sun-SF (Heston)
Chris Young: Tue-@CLE (Bauer), Sun-@TOR (Doubront)

My Week 16 Picks

Kyle Hendricks, Cubs (COL, @MIL)
2015: 4-5, 3.66 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 4.65 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP

Hendricks is still available in 70 percent of ESPN leagues despite a stellar 3.23 FIP and 3.31 xFIP. Over the last 30 days, the 25-year-old right-hander has averaged 8.44 strikeouts per nine with a 1.69 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Those numbers are good for the No. 15 starting pitcher over the last calendar month, better than Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez (to name a select few). In Week 16, Hendricks faces the Rockies (at Wrigley Field) and the Brewers (at Miller Park). Both teams rank in the bottom third in terms of wRC+, and, not surprisingly, Colorado is a different team away from Coors Field (.357 wOBA at home; .293 wOBA on the road). Hendricks should be started in all formats in Week 16 as he continues his breakout season.

Nathan Karns, Rays (DET, @BOS)
2015: 5-5, 3.47 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 2.58 K/BB, 1.25 WHIP

Karns isn't a household name, but the Rays 27-year-old right-hander has been a fine No. 3 behind Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi. His matchups on paper might seem scary, but anyone paying close attention knows that the Tigers (without Miggy) and Red Sox have fallen on tough times. Karns is holding opponents to a .232 batting average while striking out more than eight batters per nine innings. While neither Boston nor Detroit is strikeout heavy, this week still shapes up to be a productive one for Karns, who - outside of one blow up start against the Royals on July 9 - has been steady with two runs or fewer in six out of his last seven. If Karns does have one flaw, it's his 3.30 BB/9 rate, but he helps offset it some with the strikeouts and a 43.5 percent groundball rate.

Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks (@SEA, @HOU)
2015: 3-5, 2.72 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 3.33 K/BB, 1.12 WHIP

I'm ready to hop aboard the Robbie Ray train, as the 23-year-old southpaw has shown steady results across 10 starts. While his 2.72 FIP appears on the low side (he has a 3.95 xFIP and a 69 percent strand rate), Ray hasn't hurt himself with the walk and he's producing above-average rates in the strikeout department. One thing that stands out is a 35.1 percent groundball rate, which could mean trouble, especially against the team with the most home runs this year (Houston). The Mariners aren't as prolific against left-handed pitching (.294 wOBA against LHP; .302 against RHP), and Houston still gives you the opportunity to rack up a decent amount of strikeouts (American League worst 24.2 percent strikeout rate). I'm riding the Ray wave in Week 16.

Stats from FanGraphs.com