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Week 2 Pitching Planner: Uncertainty Everywhere

Week 2 Pitching Planner
Photo Credit: Kevin Schofield

A weekly pitching planner in Fantasy Baseball is an essential tool in setting your lineup. While we all would like to think we know all 150 starting pitchers, the fact of the matter is the constant revolving door at the position makes it impossible to know by heart. For the Week 2 pitching planner, I wanted to kind of explain my process.

A weekly pitching planner is especially important in leagues that set their lineups weekly and not daily. When deciding between a couple of pitchers, it is vital to know which will have two starts for the week or which has the better matchup.

I do still think the Week 2 pitching planner can be helpful in daily-lineup leagues as well. I’m a huge fan of streaming starting pitchers depending on my roster setup. This also is dependent on whether or not there is an add/drop limit.

The vital components of my weekly pitching planner will be matchups (good and bad) along with which pitchers will have two starts in the upcoming week. I will focus on the starting pitchers mostly owned. I will then have another section highlighting which players that are widely available have good matchups for streaming options.

For the Week 2 pitching planner (and I’m calling it Week 2, not Week 3: every league I’m in counted the first week and a half of games as a single week) it is more difficult than the rest of the season. Rotations are still being felt out and we are not sure how good most lineups are just yet.

So let’s get to the Week 2 pitching planner! For the Week 2 pitching planner I will be using ownership percentages from ESPN and the information is up to date as of April 7th.

Week 2 Pitching Planner

Two-Start Pitchers

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Zack Godley and Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona duo each will have two starts this upcoming week, including one against the lowly San Francisco Giants who have scored just 16 runs on the young season. The other matchups are with the Dodgers, who surprisingly enough are also in the bottom fourth of the league in hitting.

These two have started the season really strongly giving up just three earned runs in 20 innings combined with 23 total strikeouts. They are both bordering on matchup-proof.

Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves

Foltynewicz has started the year off throwing gas with a 13.06 K/9 in his first two starts. This week he has a couple of tough matchups with the Cubs and Nationals though, so we will see if his hot streak can continue.

Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

Bundy is rounding into the ace that he was always touted to be. The Oriole has given up just a single run through 13 innings with a 10.38 K/9. The matchups are not the greatest with Toronto and Boston, but Bundy is quickly earning himself a must-start status.

Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

The whole Boston rotation is in a state of flux, but it looks like Sale should get two starts against the Yankees and Orioles.

Tyler Chatwood, Chicago Cubs

Chatwood had a strong quality start with just one earned run in his first outing as a Cub. This week he will get great matchups with the Pirates and Braves on the slate.

Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, Chicago White Sox

Both of the Sox’ pitchers got roughed up in their first outings but have two quality matchups against Tampa Bay and Minnesota.

Cody Reed and Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds

Reed will get his first starts of the year against the Phillies and Cardinals.

Josh Tomlin and Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

The Indians have the Tigers and Blue Jays coming to town without an off day this week.

Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies pair each has a nice home game with the Padres followed by a tough road matchup with Washington.

Francisco Liriano and Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers

Both Tigers started the year with a quality start, but will have their work cut out for them with road matchups against Cleveland and then the Yankees coming to town.

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

I mean it has kind of been overshadowed by the whole World Series title and stuff, but the Astros STILL have not lost when Verlander starts. I’m not sure that is changing with two starts against Minnesota and Texas this week.

Jake Junis and Eric Skoglund, Kansas City Royals

I traded a soon-to-be-dropped Jonathan Lucroy for Junis before the season and I am starting to feel really good about it. This week he gets the Mariners and Angels both at home. It will be Skoglund’s first start of the season on Tuesday.

Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs, Los Angeles Angels

Both Angels’ starters will get the inconsistent Rangers on the road and the lowest scoring team in the league, Kansas City.

Jose Urena, Miami Marlins

Urena has a difficult start against the Mets, and then gets the surprising Pirates that are putting up seven runs a game. I think regression is coming their way though.

Jhoulys Chacin, Milwaukee Brewers

Chacin has road dates against St. Louis and the Mets this week.

Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins

The two Twins have difficult home matchups with the Astros and White Sox.

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

Thor is still rounding into form overall, but he is straight up gassing guys with a 15.3 K/9. He gets the Marlins and Brewers in his two-start Week 2.

Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Severino is showing that he is the ace that was promised, only giving up two earned runs through his first two starts with 14 strikeouts in 13 innings. This week he gets a couple of tough road matchups against Detroit and Boston.

Ben Lively, Philadelphia Phillies

Lively had a decent first start of the year only giving up a couple of runs in almost six innings. He will look to continue that momentum with a couple of great matchups against two of the four worst run-scoring teams, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay.

Ivan Nova, Pittsburgh Pirates

Nova has gotten roughed up in his first two starts to the young season but will  try to turn it around against the Cubs and Marlins this week.

Clayton Richard and Joey Lucchesi, San Diego Padres

The two-start Padres pitchers will go from one extreme (Coors field, great Rockies’ offense) to the other (home against the lowly Giants) in the Week 2 pitching planner.

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

King Felix has had an inconsistent start to the year (zero runs allowed in his first start, eight in his second) but will get a good chance to turn it around against the worst scoring team in the league, Kansas City, and Oakland.

Miles Mikolas and Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals

The two-start Cardinals will face off against Milwaukee at home and at Cincinnati.

Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays

The good news: Archer is striking people out with 14 K’s over his first two starts. The bad news: he has given up four runs in both games. He will try to lower that ERA against the White Sox and in an interleague matchup with Philadelphia.

Doug Fister, Texas Rangers

Doug Fister is the lone Ranger with two starts this week. Fister has looked like his old self in his first couple of starts as a Ranger but has two very difficult outings against the Angels and Astros this week.

J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays

Happ has never been an elite strikeout-guy or anything, but currently has 14 K’s in just ten innings. He will get two chances this week to continue that trend against the Orioles and Indians.

A.J. Cole and Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

The Nationals pair of two-start pitchers has arguably the toughest task in the Week 2 pitching planner. They draw the league-leading in runs scored Braves, and (to me) the toughest lineup in baseball the Rockies.

 

Good Matchups

Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants

As already mentioned, he has a sweet matchup against San Francisco who has scored the second-fewest runs in the league so far.

James Shields, Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

You can do worse than Tampa at home right now to fix a starter up.

Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies

Castillo has had an awful start to the season but the Phillies have scored the fifth-fewest runs so far.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

Ohtani has been mashing at the plate, but let’s not forget his first start was a solid outing as well. Now he gets the lowly Royals who have scored just 14 runs through five games.

James Paxton, Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals

Hopefully Paxton can avoid any bald eagles this week as he faces the worst offense in the league.

Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays

Arrieta’s first start as a Phillie comes in a great matchup with the light-hitting Rays.

 

Bad Matchups

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Brandon McCarthy, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

McCarthy looks like his old self again through two starts, but has given up a couple of bombs already. The Nationals have the third most home runs on the young season.

Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

If possible, I am avoiding starting a pitcher against the Yankees that is a borderline guy at least as far as the Week 2 pitching planner goes.

Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

Hamels escaped some jams on Opening Day against Houston, but don’t count on it again in H-town.

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves

I did not see this as a bad matchup coming into the season.

Streaming Options

German Marquez, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres (13.1% owned)

Marquez had a great start to the year but got batted around against Atlanta this past week. The Padres have been better this year on offense, but they are still a team I will target for streaming options.

J.C. Ramirez, Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals (1.1% owned)

Ramirez was not good in his first start, but it’s the Royals.

Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies (4.4% owned)

I was quite shocked at the low ownership percentage on Bailey. He is my favorite streamer in the Week 2 pitching planner.

Nicholas Pivetta, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds (3.2% owned)

In the opposite dugout, Pivetta is a quality streaming option in what should be a low-scoring series.


That’s it for the Week 2 Pitching Planner. I know it got a little long, but I will work to abbreviate the next installment. Be sure to check out the Week 1 Rookie Report!

Michael Tomlin
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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
Michael Tomlin
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