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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 14 (July 6-12)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 14, including Brett Anderson, Vincent Velasquez and Mark Buehrle.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Call it a Fourth of July Miracle – I finally had a good week. My Week 13 results aren't even fully over and it's still my best week in terms of wins and ERA. Through four turns, Kyle Hendricks, Mike Montgomery and Kendall Graveman haven't allowed a run in 29 innings. And, better yet, all four starts have resulted in victories. Hendricks and Montgomery look to keep the good times rolling today against the Marlins and Athletics, respectively.

My results so far

20-30 (69 starts, 34 quality starts)
4.77 ERA
6.63 K/9
2.55 BB/9
1.34 WHIP

Start!

Chris Sale: Mon-TOR (Buehrle), Sat-@CHC (Lester)
Corey Kluber: Tue-HOU (Velasquez), Sun-OAK (Hahn)
Carlos Carrasco: Mon-HOU (Keuchel), Sat-OAK (Gray)
Jake Arrieta: Tue-STL, Gm. 1 (Garcia), Sun-CWS (Quintana)
Johnny Cueto: Tue-@WSH (Scherzer), Sun-@MIA (Haren)
Francisco Liriano: Tue-SD (Ross), Sun-STL (Garcia)
Dallas Keuchel: Mon-@CLE (Carrasco), Sat-@TB (Odorizzi)
Jon Lester: Mon-STL (Lackey), Sat-CWS (Sale)

Tier 1

Taijuan Walker: Mon-DET (Simon), Sat-LAA (Wilson)
A.J. Burnett: Mon-SD (Shields), Sat-STL (Lackey)
Brett Anderson: Tue-PHI (Billingsley), Sun-MIL (Lohse)
Jake Odorizzi: Mon-@KC (Volquez), Sat-HOU (Keuchel)
Jaime Garcia: Tue-@CHC, Gm. 1 (Arrieta), Sun-@PIT (Liriano)
John Lackey: Mon-@CHC (Lester), Sat-@PIT (Burnett)
Jose Quintana: Tue-TOR (TBD), Sun-@CHC (Arrieta)

Tier 2

Chris Heston: Mon-NYM (Niese), Sun-PHI (Billingsley)
Jesse Hahn: Tue-@NYY (Nova), Sun-@CLE (Kluber)
Vincent Velasquez: Tue-@CLE (Kluber), Sun-@TB (Moore)
James Shields: Mon-@PIT (Burnett), Sun-@TEX (Lewis)
Matt Moore: Tue-@KC (Young), Sun-HOU (Velasquez)
Edinson Volquez: Mon-TB (Odorizzi), Sat-TOR (Buehrle)
Mark Buehrle: Mon-@CWS (Sale), Sat-@KC (Volquez)

Tier 3

Andrew Heaney: Tue-@COL (Bettis), Sun-@SEA (Elias)
Phil Hughes: Mon-BAL (Gonzalez), Sun-DET (Ryan)
Doug Fister: Mon-CIN (DeSclafani), Sun-@BAL (Gonzalez)
Dan Haren: Tue-@BOS (Porcello), Sun-CIN (Cueto)
Miguel Gonzalez: Mon-@MIN (Hughes), Sun-WSH (Fister)
Anthony DeSclafani: Mon-@WSH (Fister), Sat-@MIA (Latos)
Ivan Nova : Tue-OAK (Hahn), Sun-@BOS (Rodriguez)
Carlos Frias: Mon-PHI (O'Sullivan), Sat-MIL (Jungmann)
Kyle Lohse: Mon-ATL (Wisler), Sun-@LAD (Anderson)
Chris Young: Tue-TB (Moore), Sun-TOR (TBD)
Alfredo Simon: Mon-@SEA (Walker), Sat-@MIN (Santana)

Not this week

Manny Banuelos: Tue-@MIL (Garza), Sun-@COL (Bettis)
Chad Bettis: Tue-LAA (Heaney), Sun-ATL (Banuelos)
Chad Billingsley: Tue-@LAD (Anderson), Sun-@SF (Heston)
Sean O'Sullivan: Mon-@LAD (Frias), Sat-@SF (Vogelsong)
Kyle Ryan: Tue-@SEA (Elias), Sun-@MIN (Hughes)
Matt Wisler: Mon-@MIL (Lohse), Sat-@COL (De La Rosa)

My Week 14 Picks

Brett Anderson, Dodgers (PHI, MIL)
2015: 5-4, 3.00 ERA, 2.65 K/BB, 1.29 WHIP

Anderson has been on a roll for the Dodgers with three straight wins over the Giants, Marlins and Diamondbacks, allowing five earned runs over his last four starts spanning 28 innings (1.61 ERA). Anderson has even turned in some high strikeout games of late, striking out 10 against Miami and seven against Arizona, increasing his strikeout rate to 17.8 percent. The extreme groundball pitchers (68.4 GB%) gets two favorable starts in Los Angeles against the Phillies and Brewers. Milwaukee can pack a punch with Jonathon Lucroy, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and co., but only the Chicago White Sox rank worse in terms of wOBA against left-handed pitching. Anderson's two starts in Week 14 both come at home, where he owns a 3.09 ERA across 46 2/3 innings. There isn't a more obvious two-start streamer in Week 14. Anderson is owned in just 26.6 percent of ESPN leagues. Anderson should be owned in way more leagues. Make it happen.

Vincent Velasquez, Astros (@CLE, @TB)
2015: 0-0, 4.21 ERA, 2.17 K/BB, 1.32 WHIP

This is one of my more risky picks this year, and a safer option might be to go with Oakland's Jesse Hahn instead. But I've picked him once or twice before, and I'm feeling pretty good after my latest results so let's temp fate. Velasquez hasn't factored into a decision in five starts thus far, posting a 4.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 26/12 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. But after failing to make it past five innings in his first three starts of the year, the 23-year-old right-hander has gone 6 1/3 innings in back-to-back starts against the Yankees and Royals. He'll get the Indians, a middle-of-the-pack offensive team, and the Rays in Week 14, with both starts coming on the road. This one could come back to haunt me if Velasquez's loses control, but I like his second start against the Rays more than I like Hahn's against the Yankees.

Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays (@CWS, @KCR)
2015: 9-4, 3.64 ERA, 2.85 K/BB, 1.19 WHIP

There are some higher upside options for sure, but it's hard to ignore what Buehrle is doing in his age-36 season. The old man's still got it, as he's logged six straight quality starts, allowing eight earned runs over 43 innings (1.67 ERA) with a 27/6 K/BB ratio and a 3-0 record. Buehrle gets a pair of familiar opponents in Week 14, including his old team, the White Sox, and old-time American League Central rival Kansas City. Chicago has the worst offense against southpaws in terms of wOBA, and the Royals were one of the worst offensive teams in June, posting a .299 wOBA (22nd) and scoring 93 runs (25th). Buehrle's impressive run has to end some time, but it won't be because of this week's upcoming matchups.

Stats from FanGraphs.com