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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 20 (Aug. 24-30)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 20, including Charlie Morton, Nathan Karns and Derek Holland.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

My results

35-40 (105 starts, 57 quality starts)
4.44 ERA
6.54 K/9
2.63 BB/9
1.32 WHIP


Jacob deGrom: Mon-@PHI (Morgan), Sat-BOS (Rodriguez)
Corey Kluber: Mon-@CHC (Lester), Sun-LAA (Weaver
Jake Arrieta: Tue-@SF (Cain), Sun-@LAD (Wood)
Stephen Strasburg: Tue-SD (Shields), Sun-MIA (Hand)
Jon Lester: Mon-CLE (Kluber), Sat-@LAD (Latos)
Dallas Keuchel: Mon-@NYY (Eovaldi), Sun-@MIN (Santana)
Noah Syndergaard: Tue-@PHI (Williams), Sun-BOS (Kelly)
Hisashi Iwakuma: Mon-OAK (Doubront), Sat-@CWS (Samardzija)

Tier 1

Jaime Garcia: Tue-@ARI (Corbin), Sun-@SF (Cain)
Nathan Karns: Tue-MIN (Santana), Sun-KC (Duffy)
James Shields: Tue-@WSH (Strasburg), Sun-@PHI (Williams)
Lance Lynn: Mon-@ARI (Ray), Sat-@SF (Leake)
Patrick Corbin: Tue-STL (Garcia), Sun-OAK (TBD)
Julio Teheran: Mon-COL (De La Rosa), Sun-NYY (Eovaldi)
Charlie Morton: Tue-@MIA (Hand), Sun-COL (De La Rosa)
Jose Quintana: Tue-BOS (Miley), Sun-SEA (Montgomery)

Tier 2

Nathan Eovaldi: Mon-HOU (Keuchel), Sun-@ATL (Teheran)
Alex Wood: Tue-@CIN (Lamb), Sun-CHC (Arrieta)
Jeff Samardzija: Mon-BOS (Kelly), Sat-SEA (Iwakuma)
Ubaldo Jimenez: Mon-@KC (Guthrie), Sat-@TEX (Hamels)
Derek Holland: Tue-TOR (Buehrle), Sun-BAL (Gonzalez)
Robbie Ray: Mon-STL (Lynn), Sat-OAK (Graveman)
Mark Buehrle: Tue-@TEX (Holland), Sun-DET (Simon)
Jered Weaver: Tue-@DET (Simon), Sun-@CLE (Kluber)

Tier 3

Ervin Santana: Tue-@TB (Karns), Sun-HOU (Keuchel)
J.A. Happ: Mon-@MIA (Koehler), Sat-COL (Hale)
John Lamb: Tue-LAD (Wood), Sun-@MIL (Peralta)
Miguel Gonzalez: Tue-@KC (Duffy), Sun-@TEX (Holland)
Mike Montgomery: Tue-OAK (Chavez), Sun-@CWS (Quintana)
Adam Morgan: Mon-NYM (deGrom), Sat-SD (Rea)

Not this week

Matt Cain: Tue-CHC (Arrieta), Sun-STL (Garcia)
Jorge De La Rosa: Mon-@ATL (Teheran), Sun-@PIT (Morton)
Danny Duffy: Tue-BAL (Gonzalez), Sun-@TB (Karns)
Jeremy Guthrie: Mon-BAL (Jimenez), Sat-@TB (Odorizzi)
Brad Hand: Tue-PIT (Morton), Sun-@WSH (Strasburg)
Buck Farmer: Mon-@CIN (Sampson), Sat-@TOR (Hutchison)
Wily Peralta: Tue-@CLE (Tomlin), Sun-CIN (Lamb)
Joe Kelly: Mon-@CWS (Samardzija), Sun-@NYM (Syndergaard)
Tom Koehler: Mon-PIT (Happ), Sat-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Keyvius Sampson: Mon-DET (Farmer), Sat-@MIL (Garza)
Alfredo Simon: Tue-LAA (Weaver), Sun-@TOR (Buehrle)
Jerome Williams: Tue-NYM (Syndergaard), Sun-SD (Shields)

My Week 20 Picks

Charlie Morton (@MIA, COL)

If you need a two-start filler in Week 20, look no further than Charlie "Chuck" Morton. The veteran right-hander gets an extra juicy matchup against the Marlins in Miami to start the week, followed by a less favorable, but manageable start against the Rockies in Pittsburgh. Miami ranks dead last against right-handed pitchers in terms of both wOBA and wRC+, and he gets to face the fighting flopping fish in Miami. The Rockies, on the other hand, are first in wOBA but middle of the pack (15th, to be exact) in terms of wRC+. The key here is Morton gets to face Colorado in Pittsburgh, where he owns a 2.82 ERA in 51 innings, compared to a 5.48 ERA in 44 1/3 innings away from PNC Park. It's not all about the matchups, either; in the second half, Morton has seen his strikeout rate jump from 13.6 percent to 21.9 percent. The truth is probably somewhere in between (he owns a career 15.8 percent strikeout rate), but you're not chasing strikeouts with Morton, anyway. Since his last start in June, Morton has thrown at least six innings in eight of ten starts with five of the quality variety.

Nathan Karns (MIN, KC)

Karns is someone who has flied under the radar for most of the season ­- owned in just 30 percent of ESPN leagues (playing in Tampa doesn't help, I guess). You've seen his name mentioned here - and many other places, for sure - once before  (Week 16), and he provided two strong starts, picking up a win and finishing one out shy of two quality starts. Karns gets both Week 20 starts at home, where he owns a 4.04 ERA and .260/.333/.422 slash line against. Those numbers aren't fantastic, but he's been a bit unlucky. He's been able to keep his ERA below 3.50 with 23.4 percent strikeout rate, thanks in large part to his changeup. Eno Sarris of FanGraphs talked all about that here. He'll get the Twins and Royals; neither of which offense really scares you. Outside of a start against Rangers on Aug.14 where Karns walked five, he's been able to keep the walk total down for the most part. And both Minnesota and Kansas City rank in the bottom third in that category against RHP. He might not go deep enough to give you a quality start each time out, but the upside is certainly there with more than eight strikeouts per nine innings. These matchups are middle of the road, but Karns has proven to be a worthwhile streamer before.

Derek Holland (TOR, BAL)

There's a good chance your league mates forgot Holland existed. The 28-year-old southpaw made one start on April 10 before exiting with a bum shoulder. On Aug. 19, he made a successful return by holding down the Mariners over 6 1/3 innings - allowing two runs on eight hits, no walks and six strikeouts. That Holland came back in his first start and lasted more than six innings while showing great command is very encouraging for the rest of 2015. The matchups aren't really in his favor this week, but he's a pitcher who has been very effective when healthy - like in 2013 when he went 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a 189/64 K/BB ratio in 213 innings. He can be a difference maker down the stretch and into the fantasy playoffs.

Stats from