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Pitching Value Meter: One-Start Studs vs. Two-Start Vanillas

Paul Sporer

Paul Sporer

Sporer covers pitching for RotoWire. He also writes for Baseball Prospectus and publishes an annual guide on starting pitcher. In his spare time, he roots for the Tigers.

For the week April 8-14

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Justin Verlander - @OAK
2. Yu Darvish - @SEA
3. David Price - @BOS
4. Felix Hernandez - TEX
5. Jered Weaver - HOU
6. Jake Peavy - @WAS, @CLE
7. Chris Sale - @CLE
8. R.A. Dickey - @KC
9. Jon Lester - TB
10. James Shields - TOR
11. CC Sabathia - BAL
12. C.J. Wilson - OAK, HOU
13. Clay Buchholz - BAL, TB
14. Hiroki Kuroda - @CLE, BAL
15. Andy Pettitte - @CLE, BAL
16. Alexi Ogando - TB, @SEA
17. Anibal Sanchez - TOR, @OAK
18. Brandon Morrow - @DET, @KC
19. Jarrod Parker - @LAA, DET
20. Jeremy Hellickson - @TEX, @BOS
21. Max Scherzer - @OAK
22. Doug Fister - TOR
23. Brett Anderson - DET
24. Jason Hammel - @NYY
25. Matt Moore - @TEX
26. Josh Johnson - @DET
27. Alex Cobb - @BOS
28. Tommy Hanson - HOU
29. Chris Tillman - NYY
30. Jeremy Guthrie - MIN
31. Joe Blanton - OAK
32. Tommy Milone - @LAA
33. A.J. Griffin - @LAA
34. Matt Harrison - @SEA
35. Jason Vargas - OAK
36. Hisashi Iwakuma - TEX
37. Ryan Dempster - BAL
38. Wade Davis - MIN
39. Zach McAllister - NYY
40. Ivan Nova - @CLE
41. Gavin Floyd - @WAS
42. Phil Hughes - @CLE
43. Derek Holland - TB
44. Felix Doubront - BAL
45. Joe Saunders - HOU, TEX
46. Brandon Maurer - HOU, TEX

Notes:
There is a talent split at Cobb and Hanson. It's been a week, but the overwhelming number of free strikeouts against Houston really boosts pitchers, which is why Hanson leads that second cut of start-worthy arms. Normally he'd be lingering near the bottom (if he was a start at all).

The bulk of our two-start pitchers this week are a cut below the super-elite, so I would still prefer a single start from high-dollar Shields or Sabathia over Wilson, despite his prime pair of matchups. The Mariners' Saunders and Maurer are really putting fantasy managers to the test this week with the appetizing Houston starts followed by the dangerous Texas starts, which could erase the good done early in the week. If the Texas starts were in Arlington, I wouldn't have been able to go higher than "Consider" for these two, but since both are at Safeco Field, go ahead and take a chance.

CONSIDER

47. Justin Masterson - CWS
48. Lucas Harrell - LAA
49. Ervin Santana - MIN, TOR
50. Miguel Gonzalez - @BOS
51. John Lackey - TB
52. Rick Porcello - TOR
53. Erik Bedard - @SEA
54. Mark Buehrle - @DET
55. J.A. Happ - @KC

Notes:
Masterson excels against the White Sox over his career with a 2.69 ERA in 97 innings, but they got to him a bit last year with a 4.18 ERA in five starts (two good, two shaky and one awful). I really like Harrell and will continue to keep a close eye on him this year as he could be a bright spot in the darkness of the 2013 Astros. Santana has a Saunders/Maurer situation, but to a lesser extent as Minnesota is better than Houston while Toronto is better than Texas, and his home-run machine tendencies are a terrifying proposition to deal with twice in a single week.

CAUTION

56. Wei-Yin Chen - @BOS, @NYY
57. Ubaldo Jimenez - NYY, CWS
58. Jake Arrieta - @BOS
59. Vance Worley - NYM
60. Brad Peacock - @SEA
61. Luis Mendoza - TOR
62. Philip Humber - @SEA, @LAA
63. Roberto Hernandez - @TEX
64. Dylan Axelrod - @CLE
65. Jose Quintana - @WAS
66. Kevin Correia - @KC, NYM
67. Mike Pelfrey - @KC
68. Liam Hendriks - @KC
69. Pedro Hernandez - NYM

Notes:
Chen won't find himself this low often, but he gives up home runs and is heading to a pair of venues where that weakness can be heavily exploited - even taking New York's muted lineup into account - so I think it is best to pass this week. Meanwhile, the rest of this group is just too inconsistent (Arrieta, Jimenez) or not talented enough (pretty much the rest) to put in your lineup with any measure of trust.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Clayton Kershaw - @ARI
2. Stephen Strasburg - ATL
3. Cole Hamels - @MIA
4. Cliff Lee - NYM
5. Madison Bumgarner - COL, @CHC
6. Gio Gonzalez - CWS, ATL
7. Zack Greinke - @SD
8. Matt Cain - @CHC
9. Kris Medlen - @MIA
10. Jeff Samardzija - SF
11. Johnny Cueto - @PIT
12. Adam Wainwright - MIL
13. Jordan Zimmermann - CWS
14. Ian Kennedy - LAD
15. Paul Maholm - @MIA, @WAS
16. Josh Beckett - @SD, @ARI
17. Matt Harvey - @PHI, @MIN
18. Jaime Garcia - CIN, MIL
19. Edwin Jackson - MIL, SF
20. Mat Latos - @STL, @PIT
21. Trevor Cahill - PIT, LAD
22. Roy Halladay - NYM, @MIA
23. Tim Lincecum - COL, @CHC
24. Jonathon Niese - @MIN
25. Mike Minor - @MIA
26. Homer Bailey - @STL
27. Brandon McCarthy - PIT
28. Wade Miley - PIT
29. Kyle Lohse - @CHC
30. Dillon Gee - @PHI
31. Chad Billingsley - @SD
32. A.J. Burnett - CIN
33. Clayton Richard - LAD, COL
34. Ryan Vogelsong - @CHC
35. Lance Lynn - CIN
36. Dan Haren - CWS
37. Tim Hudson - @WAS
38. Travis Wood - MIL, SF
39. Marco Estrada - @CHC, @STL
40. Jorge De La Rosa - @SF, @SD
41. Kevin Slowey - ATL, PHI
42. Mike Leake - @PIT
43. Hyun-Jin Ryu - @ARI
44. Mike Fiers - @STL
45. Ross Detwiler - ATL
46. James McDonald - @ARI
47. Pat Corbin - LAD
48. Eric Stults - LAD
49. Tyson Ross - COL
50. Jason Marquis - LAD
51. Edinson Volquez - COL
52. John Lannan - @MIA
53. Kyle Kendrick - NYM

Notes:
Halladay and Lincecum still rated ahead of some strong one-start names because despite the growing concern around both, they each have a prime set of matchups to get right with next week. Richard sets himself apart from the second tier of two-start pitchers because he is just a completely different pitcher at home in Petco Park. His ERA is nearly two runs better at 3.25 compared to 5.02 on the road for his career. The rest of Padres crew is at home, too, so now is your chance to take a shot.

CONSIDER

54. Jhoulys Chacin - @SD
55. Juan Nicasio - @SF
56. Jeff Francis - @SF
57. Jon Garland - @SD
58. Wandy Rodriguez - @ARI, CIN
59. Barry Zito - COL
60. Ricky Nolasco - PHI
61. Shelby Miller - MIL
62. Julio Teheran - @WAS
63. Jose Fernandez - PHI

Notes:
I'm nervous about the Colorado staff despite their trips into San Francisco and San Diego. De La Rosa gets both so he made the "Start" list, but the rest are on the fence. The young pups (Miller, Teheran and Fernandez) start this weekend, so we will get our first look at them, including Fernandez's first big league game. They all have major upside that exceeds pitchers like Nolasco and Zito, but they also have major implosion potential given their overwhelming inexperience and a tough slate of matchups.

CAUTION

64. Yovani Gallardo - @STL
65. Carlos Villanueva - SF
66. Alex Sanabia - ATL
67. Bronson Arroyo - @STL
68. Wade LeBlanc - ATL
69. Wily Peralta - @CHC
70. Jake Westbrook - CIN
71. Jeremy Hefner - @PHI
72. Scott Feldman - MIL
73. Jonathan Sanchez - @ARI
74. Jeff Locke - CIN
75. Aaron Laffey - @STL

Notes:
There are a lot of mashing lineups in this list of stay-away starters (CIN, STL, MIL, ATL), which isn't an accident. We saw some nice debuts from the likes of Arroyo, Sanchez, Westbrook and Hefner, but don't let that unduly influence you.

MIXED LEAGUE TOP 100

1. Justin Verlander - @OAK
2. Clayton Kershaw - @ARI
3. Stephen Strasburg - ATL
4. Yu Darvish - @SEA
5. Cole Hamels - @MIA
6. Cliff Lee - NYM
7. Madison Bumgarner - COL, @CHC
8. David Price - @BOS
9. Felix Hernandez - TEX
10. Jered Weaver - HOU
11. Jake Peavy - @WAS, @CLE
12. Gio Gonzalez - CWS, ATL
13. Zack Greinke - @SD
14. Matt Cain - @CHC
15. Kris Medlen - @MIA
16. Jeff Samardzija - SF
17. Johnny Cueto - @PIT
18. Chris Sale - @CLE
19. R.A. Dickey - @KC
20. Adam Wainwright - MIL
21. Jordan Zimmermann - CWS
22. Jon Lester - TB
23. James Shields - TOR
24. CC Sabathia - BAL
25. Ian Kennedy - LAD
26. C.J. Wilson - OAK, HOU
27. Paul Maholm - @MIA, @WAS
28. Josh Beckett - @SD, @ARI
29. Matt Harvey - @PHI, @MIN
30. Jaime Garcia - CIN, MIL
31. Edwin Jackson - MIL, SF
32. Mat Latos - @STL, @PIT
33. Trevor Cahill - PIT, LAD
34. Clay Buchholz - BAL, TB
35. Hiroki Kuroda - @CLE, BAL
36. Andy Pettitte - @CLE, BAL
37. Alexi Ogando - TB, @SEA
38. Anibal Sanchez - TOR, @OAK
39. Brandon Morrow - @DET, @KC
40. Jarrod Parker - @LAA, DET
41. Jeremy Hellickson - @TEX, @BOS
42. Roy Halladay - NYM, @MIA
43. Tim Lincecum - COL, @CHC
44. Jonathon Niese - @MIN
45. Max Scherzer - @OAK
46. Mike Minor - @MIA
47. Doug Fister - TOR
48. Brett Anderson - DET
49. Jason Hammel - @NYY
50. Matt Moore - @TEX
51. Josh Johnson - @DET
52. Alex Cobb - @BOS
53. Tommy Hanson - HOU
54. Homer Bailey - @STL
55. Brandon McCarthy - PIT
56. Wade Miley - PIT
57. Kyle Lohse - @CHC
58. Dillon Gee - @PHI
59. Chad Billingsley - @SD
60. A.J. Burnett - CIN
61. Clayton Richard - LAD, COL
62. Chris Tillman - NYY
63. Jeremy Guthrie - MIN
64. Joe Blanton - OAK
65. Tommy Milone - @LAA
66. A.J. Griffin - @LAA
67. Matt Harrison - @SEA
68. Ryan Vogelsong - @CHC
69. Jason Vargas - OAK
70. Lance Lynn - CIN
71. Dan Haren - CWS
72. Hisashi Iwakuma - TEX
73. Ryan Dempster - BAL
74. Wade Davis - MIN
75. Zach McAllister - NYY
76. Ivan Nova - @CLE
77. Gavin Floyd - @WAS
78. Phil Hughes - @CLE
79. Tim Hudson - @WAS
80. Travis Wood - MIL, SF
81. Marco Estrada - @CHC, @STL
82. Derek Holland - TB
83. Jorge De La Rosa - @SF, @SD
84. Kevin Slowey - ATL, PHI
85. Mike Leake - @PIT
86. Hyun-Jin Ryu - @ARI
87. Mike Fiers - @STL
88. Felix Doubront - BAL
89. Joe Saunders - HOU, TEX
90. Brandon Maurer - HOU, TEX
91. Ross Detwiler - ATL
92. James McDonald - @ARI
93. Pat Corbin - LAD
94. Eric Stults - LAD
95. Tyson Ross - COL
96. Jason Marquis - LAD
97. Edinson Volquez - COL
98. John Lannan - @MIA
99. Kyle Kendrick - NYM
100. Jhoulys Chacin - @SD