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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 25 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4)

Ranking and tiering the two-start pitchers in Week 25, including Kyle Hendricks, Jake Peavy and Roenis Elias.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

My results so far

44-45 (129 starts, 70 quality starts)
4.14 ERA
6.62 K/9
2.63 BB/9
1.30 WHIP


Clayton Kershaw: Tue-@SF (Bumgarner), Sun-SD (Shields)
Madison Bumgarner: Tue-LAD (Kershaw), Sun-COL (Bergman)
Zack Greinke: Mon-@SF (Peavy), Sat-SD (Erlin)
Max Scherzer: Mon-CIN (Finnegan), Sat-@NYM (Harvey)
Masahiro Tanaka: Mon-BOS (Porcello), Sat-@BAL (Tillman)
Cole Hamels: Tue-DET (Verlander), Sun-LAA (Shoemaker)
Corey Kluber: Mon-MIN (Hughes), Sat-BOS (Porcello)

Tier 1

Johnny Cueto: Tue-@CWS (Samardzija), Sun-@MIN (Gibson)
Lance McCullers: Mon-@SEA (Elias), Sun-@ARI (Chacin)
Michael Pineda: Tue-BOS (Miley), Sun-@BAL (Gonzalez)
Marcus Stroman: Tue-@BAL (Gonzalez), Sun-@TB (Andriese)
Marco Estrada: Mon-@BAL (Tillman), Sat-@TB (Archer)
Yordano Ventura: Mon-@CHC (Hendricks), Sat-@MIN (Hughes)
Lance Lynn: Mon-@PIT (Happ), Sun-@ATL (Wisler)

Tier 2

J.A. Happ: Mon-STL (Lynn), Sun-CIN (Simon)
Kyle Hendricks: Mon-KC (Ventura), Sat-@MIL (Wagner)
Rick Porcello: Mon-@NYY (Tanaka), Sat-@CLE (Kluber)
Colby Lewis: Mon-DET (Norris), Sat-LAA (Santiago)
Tanner Roark: Tue-@ATL (Wisler), Sun-@NYM (deGrom)
Roenis Elias: Mon-HOU (McCullers), Sun-OAK (Doubront)
Kyle Gibson: Tue-@CLE (Anderson), Sun-KC (Cueto)
Hector Santiago: Mon-OAK (Doubront), Sat-@TEX (Lewis)
Wade Miley: Tue-@NYY (Pineda), Sun-@CLE (Anderson)

Tier 3

Jake Peavy: Mon-LAD (Greinke), Sat-COL (Rusin)
Phil Hughes: Mon-@CLE (Kluber), Sat-KC (Ventura)
Daniel Norris: Mon-@TEX (Lewis), Sun-@CWS (Johnson)
Matt Shoemaker: Tue-OAK (Bassitt), Sun-@TEX (Hamels)
Dan Haren: Tue-@CIN (Simon), Sun-@MIL (Cravy)
Cody Anderson: Tue-MIN (Gibson), Sun-BOS (Miley)
Miguel Gonzalez: Tue-TOR (Stroman), Sun-NYY (Pineda)

Not this week

Christian Bergman: Tue-@ARI (Ray), Sun-@SF (Bumgarner)
David Buchanan: Tue-NYM (Niese), Sun-MIA (Hand)
Felix Doubront: Mon-@LAA (Santiago), Sun-@SEA (Elias)
Brandon Finnegan: Mon-@WSH (Scherzer), Sat-@PIT (Burnett)
Josh Smith: Tue-CHC (Haren), Sun-@PIT (Happ)
Chris Tillman: Mon-TOR (Estrada), Sat-NYY (Tanaka)
Matt Wisler: Tue-WSH (Roark), Sun-STL (Lynn)

My Week 25 Picks

Kyle Hendricks (KC, @MIL)
2015: 7-7, 4.23 ERA, 3.66 K/BB, 1.21 WHIP

Kyle Hendricks has been hit-and-miss in the second half, but the overall body of work is encouraging. In his first full season (30 starts), the 25-year-old right-hander has posted a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, 5.9 percent walk rate and 51.1 percent walk rate. A low strand rate and an inflated HR/FB rate have pushed Hendrick's ERA north of 4, but a 3.55 FIP, 3.38 xFIP and 3.51 SIERA indicate he's been a much more effective pitcher for the Cubs, who are hoping he can really turn it on as Joe Maddon and co. can use a consistent No. 3 SP behind super ace Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. The groundball pitcher lives on the corner and sometimes needs the call from the home plate umpire to be at his best, but you shouldn't let that discourage you from starting Hendricks for two. Hendricks faces the Royals, who already clinched the AL Central and are in cruise control until October, and the Brewers, who Hendricks last blanked through five frames, finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks in a quality start.

Jake Peavy (LAD, COL)
2015: 7-6, 3.83 ERA, 3.13 K/BB 1.17 WHIP

If you're looking for a "safe" option for Week 25, look no further than Jake Peavy. The Giants veteran righty has gone five innings or more in 15 straight starts since returning from the disabled list in early July, going six innings or more 11 times and recording a total of nine quality starts. Peavy, 34, gets the Dodgers and Rockies in his final two starts of the 2015 season, both coming at home. This year at AT&T Park, he's 5-2 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in in eight starts, allowing only three home runs (11 total) in 47 2/3 innings of work and holding opposing bats to a .399 slugging percentage. Over the last 30 days, Peavy is the No. 16 starting pitcher on the ESPN Player Rater (entering play Friday), and he's 4-0 over his last six turns with a 2.95 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.

Roenis Elias (HOU, OAK)
2015: 5-8, 3.94 ERA, 2.36 K/BB, 1.26 WHIP

Elias returned to the starting rotation last week, tossing 5 1/3 innings of four-hit ball with four walks and six strikeouts against the Royals. Obviously, the walks are a glaring weakness for Elias, who permits 3.27 free passes per nine innings, but he can at least limit the damage/wiggle out of trouble with a respectable 45 percent groundball rate. The Astros lead the American League in strikeouts, and both games during the Week 25 slate for Elias come at home, where he owns a 3.78 ERA and 1.17 WHIP (compared to 4.07 and 1.32, respectively, on the road). He's also limiting opposing bats to a .223/.315/.347 slash line at Safeco Field.

Stats from