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Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Favorable Schedule

David Regan

David Regan is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner, including the 2015 Baseball Article of the Year.

For the week Aug. 16-22

Disclaimer: Rankings are based on information through Friday evening. We will update this piece with comments at the bottom of the article as new information becomes available but recommend keeping up to date with the latest player news.

Always appreciate comments on the rankings, and I expect some disagreement. I'd love to explain the rankings in more detail if you have specific questions, and if there's something in particular that you disagree with, feel free to comment below with your reasoning.


Start 'Em

1.Johan Santana - @HOU, @PIT
2.Tommy Hanson - LAD, @CHC
3.Clayton Kershaw - COL, CIN
4.Adam Wainwright - MIL
5.Roy Oswalt - SF, WAS
6.Roy Halladay - WAS
7.Tim Lincecum - @STL
8.Ubaldo Jimenez - @ARI
9.Chad Billingsley - @ATL, CIN
10.Tim Hudson - WAS
11.Josh Johnson - @PIT
12.Chris Carpenter - SF
13.Wandy Rodriguez - NYM, @FLA
14.Ricky Nolasco - @PIT, HOU
15.Cole Hamels - SF
16.Dan Hudson - CIN, COL
17.Stephen Strasburg - @PHI
18.Mat Latos - @CHC
19.Matt Cain - @PHI
20.Ryan Dempster - ATL
21.Bronson Arroyo - @ARI, @LAD
22.Brett Myers - NYM
23.Yovani Gallardo - SD
24.Jair Jurrjens - @CHC
25.Mike Minor - WAS, @CHC
26.Anibal Sanchez - HOU
27.Tom Gorzelanny - SD, ATL
28.Jon Niese - @HOU, @PIT
29.Vicente Padilla - CIN
30.Edinson Volquez - @ARI
31.Hiroki Kuroda - COL
32.Ted Lilly - COL
33.Jon Garland - @CHC, @MIL
34.Madison Bumgarner - @STL
35.Johnny Cueto - @LAD
36.Derek Lowe - WAS
37.Mike Pelfrey - @PIT
38.R.A. Dickey - @HOU
39.Joe Blanton - SF
40.James McDonald - FLA, NYM
41.Jamie Garcia - MIL
42.Ian Kennedy - COL
43.Jeff Francis - @LAD, @ARI
44.Jorge De La Rosa - @LAD
45.Barry Zito - @PHI, @STL


46.Jake Westbrook - SF
47.Clayton Richard - @CHC
48.Joe Saunders - CIN
49.Jonathan Sanchez - @PHI
50.Zach Duke - FLA, NYM
51.Barry Enright - COL
52.J.A. Happ - NYM, @FLA
53.Chris Volstad - @PIT, HOU
54.Carlos Zambrano - SD
55.Sean West - @PIT
56.David Bush - @STL
57.Livan Hernandez - @ATL
58.Randy Wolf - @STL
59.Thomas Diamond - SD
60.Bud Norris - @FLA
61.Manny Parra - SD
62.Kyle Kendrick - WAS
63.Paul Maholm - FLA
64.Kyle Lohse - SF

Extreme Caution Advised

65.Homer Bailey - @LAD
66.Ross Ohlendorf - FLA
67.Rodrigo Lopez - CIN
68.Jason Hammel - @LAD
69.Wade LeBlanc - @MIL
70.Kevin Correia - @CHC, @MIL
71.Pat Misch - @HOU
72.John Lannan - @ATL
73.Jason Marquis - @PHI
74.Scott Olsen - @ATL, @PHI
75.Randy Wells - SD, ATL
76.Mike Leake - @ARI
77.Chris Narveson - SD
78.Jeffrey Karstens - NYM
79.Esmil Rogers - @ARI
80.Nelson Figueroa - NYM

Two-Start Starters:

Tommy Hanson
Mike Minor
Chris Volstad
Ricky Nolasco
Jonathon Niese
Johan Santana
Roy Oswalt
Scott Olsen – TENTATIVE
Tom Gorzelanny
Randy Wells
Bronson Arroyo
J.A. Happ
Wandy Rodriguez
Randy Wolf – TENTATIVE
James McDonald
Zach Duke
Dan Hudson
Jeff Francis
Chad Billingsley
Clayton Kershaw
Kevin Correia
Jon Garland
Barry Zito

Johnny Cueto won’t appeal his seven-game suspension and will be eligible to return on August 20. Safe to say then that he’ll start sometime during the 8/20-22 series in Los Angeles. … Pat Misch could start for the Mets Saturday (8/14) and again the following week. Misch has a 5.9 K/9 in Triple-A, so not exactly a guy worth emptying your FAAB budget for. … Scott Olsen is scheduled for two starts this week, but with Jordan Zimmerman (Tommy John surgery) nearing a return and Olsen having allowed seven runs while recording just five outs in his last start, Olsen’s status is shaky this week (when isn’t it shaky though?). … It appears Stephen Strasburg’s start this week in Philadelphia will come against Kyle Kendrick. Roy Halladay pitches the day before and Cole Hamels the day after. Too bad, as a Halladay-Strasburg matchup would be fun. The Nationals could still juggle things around perhaps. … I really have no idea how the Reds rotation is going to shape up the rest of the year. Mike Leake appears to be running on fumes, and with Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey due back from injuries in the next week or so, things are getting tight. If I had to guess, Leake gets another couple starts and is shut down, and Bailey and Harang both join the rotation along with Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, and Johnny Cueto. … James McDonald’s second start as a Pirate didn’t go nearly as well as the first, but six strikeouts in 4.2 innings was encouraging. I think he can do well there. … Not even factoring in money, Arizona getting Dan Hudson for Edwin Jackson was an absolute steal. Hudson has a 1.59 ERA in three starts for his new team. Oh, and the White Sox threw in their 2009 second-round pick, David Holmberg, in the deal? Insanity. … He probably won’t pitch enough innings to have much fantasy value, but look for Jordan Lyles to make his big league debut next month at the tender age of 19. With Nelson Figueroa currently slotted into the rotation, there’s certainly a spot open. … This isn’t the Johan Santana of old (just two double-digit strikeout games all year), but with 16.1 shutout innings over his last two starts, we may be looking at a patented huge Santana finish. … Didn’t the Cubs used to have an insanely-deep rotation? Now it’s Ryan Dempster, Tom Gorzelanny (I guess), and a bunch of question marks. Randy Wells had a 3.05 ERA a year ago, but that came with a 5.7 K/9, so his regression to a 4.60 ERA this year shouldn’t be too big a surprise. … Cuban defector Yunesky Maya tossed three scoreless innings in his pro debut for the Nats on Friday. He could find himself in the crowded Nats rotation come September.


Start 'Em

1.Cliff Lee - @TB, @BAL
2.CC Sabathia - DET, SEA
3.Jered Weaver - @BOS, @MIN
4.David Price - TEX, @OAK
5.John Danks - @MIN, @KC
6.Justin Verlander - @NYY, CLE
7.Clay Buchholz - LAA, TOR
8.Brett Anderson - TOR, TB
9.Zack Greinke - CLE, CHW
10.Shaun Marcum - @OAK, @BOS
11.Jon Lester - TOR
12.Dan Haren - @MIN
13.Felix Hernandez - @NYY
14.Max Scherzer - @NYY, CLE
15.Francisco Liriano - CHW
16.Matt Garza - TEX, @OAK
17.Scott Baker - CHW, LAA
18.Brandon Morrow - @OAK
19.Jeremy Hellickson - OAK
20.Edwin Jackson - @KC
21.Trevor Cahill - TB
22.Daisuke Matsuzaka - TOR
23.Colby Lewis - @BAL
24.Philip Hughes - DET
25.James Shields - TEX
26.Mark Buehrle - @MIN
27.Gavin Floyd - @MIN
28.Jeanmar Gomez - @KC
29.Fausto Carmona - @KC
30.Ervin Santana - @BOS
31.Dallas Braden - TOR, TB
32.Andy Pettitte - SEA
33.Gio Gonzalez - TOR
34.C.J. Wilson - @BAL
35.A.J. Burnett - SEA
36.Josh Beckett - LAA
37.John Lackey - LAA


38.Brett Cecil - @BOS
39.Ricky Romero - @BOS
40.Andy Sonnanstine - OAK
41.Freddy Garcia - @KC
42.Josh Tomlin - @KC, @DET
43.Kevin Slowey - LAA
44.Carl Pavano - CHW
45.Brian Matusz - TEX
46.Javier Vazquez - DET, SEA
47.Tommy Hunter - @TB
48.Jeremy Guthrie - SEA
49.Dustin Moseley - DET
50.Justin Masterson - @DET
51.Rick Porcello - @NYY
52.Armando Galarraga - CLE
53.Brian Duensing - LAA
54.Vincent Mazzaro - TB
55.Jason Vargas - @NYY
56.Doug Fister - @BAL, @NYY
57.Kevin Millwood - SEA, TEX

Extreme Caution Advised

58.Jake Arrieta - TEX
59.Bradley Bergesen - SEA, TEX
60.Marc Rzepczynski - @OAK
61.Mitch Talbot - @DET
62.Jeremy Bonderman - @NYY
63.Sean O'Sullivan - CHW
64.Brian Bannister - CHW
65.Kyle Davies - CLE
66.Bruce Chen - CLE
67.Scott Kazmir - @BOS
68.Trevor Bell - @MIN
69.David Pauley - @BAL
70.Luke French - @BAL
71.Rich Harden - @TB, @BAL

Two-Start Starters:

Bradley Bergesen – TENTATIVE – maybe the O’s give start #2 to Zach Britton
Kevin Millwood
Clay Buchholz
Javier Vazquez – TENTATIVE – is he hurt?
CC Sabathia
David Price
Matt Garza
Shaun Marcum
John Danks
Josh Tomlin – don’t call him Lily…he hates that
Max Scherzer
Justin Verlander
Zack Greinke
Scott Baker
Jered Weaver
Brett Anderson
Doug Fister
Cliff Lee

The Orioles are toying with going to a six-man rotation in September. This likely means starts for Zach Britton and/or Chris Tillman. It could be both once Bradley Bergeson pitches himself out of the rotation. … Kevin Slowey is dealing with some elbow soreness, but there isn’t a big concern there. Watch his start Sunday against the A’s to be sure about him for this upcoming week, but Slowey did record nine strikeouts in his last outing. … Rich Haren’s next start is in Tampa Bay, and that could be enough to get Derek Holland back in the rotation this week. … Mitch Talbot has a sore back and a 5.0 K/9. Safe to say: avoid. … Marc Rzepczynski has allowed 10 homers in 67 innings in Triple-A, so get your Angels in the lineup this weekend and activate any Oakland players on Wednesday. … It should be interesting to see what happens once Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are both healthy again. One should bump Andy Sonnanstine, but Jeremy Hellickson has a 1.29 ERA in two starts. … Javier Vazquez has a 6.43 ERA in his last five starts and his velocity is way, way down (87.8 mph avg fastball). Dustin Moseley could stick around a bit longer once Andy Pettitte returns this week should Vazquez need some time off. … Jake Arrieta has a 32:37 K:BB, so he’s no lock to start this week should things not go well on Sunday (8/15) against Tampa Bay. … Josh Beckett has won some big playoff games, but 2010 will be the fifth time in eight full seasons that Beckett has not topped 200 innings. He’s also never struck out 200 or more in a season and he has a 6.21 ERA this year after being shelled by the Yankees last time out. That all said, Beckett does have a solid 24:6 K:BB in 25.1 innings since returning from the DL, so I still think a strong finish is a possibility. Edit: this was written before Friday’s ugly start against Texas. Point still stands and I still think he’s a solid buy-low. … David Price has added 1.3 mph to his fastball over last year. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s significant. The Rays may have chosen poorly in drafting Tim Beckham over Buster Posey, but they made the right call with Price #1 overall three years ago. … Hard to argue with 13 wins and a 2.49 ERA from a fantasy perspective, but I’m puzzled by the drop on Clay Buchholz’s strikeout rate – from 8.5 K/9 in 2008 to 6.7 last year and now 6.1 in 2010. Not sure what to make of that, but it bears watching. … Because he has a 5.39 career ERA, I keep expecting Colby Lewis to fall apart. Instead, he has a 2.37 ERA and 24:6 K:BB in 19 innings over his last three starts. At this rate, he has a legitimate shot at 200 strikeouts after entering this year with a career 6.4 K/9. Amazing. … If Jered Weaver makes nine more starts and maintains his per-game strikeout average of 7.3, he’ll finish with 248 whiffs, which would top his career high by a whopping 74.


1.Cliff Lee - @TB, @BAL
2.CC Sabathia - DET, SEA
3.Jered Weaver - @BOS, @MIN
4.David Price - TEX, @OAK
5.John Danks - @MIN, @KC
6.Johan Santana - @HOU, @PIT
7.Justin Verlander - @NYY, CLE
8.Tommy Hanson - LAD, @CHC
9.Clay Buchholz - LAA, TOR
10.Clayton Kershaw - COL, CIN
11.Brett Anderson - TOR, TB
12.Adam Wainwright - MIL
13.Roy Oswalt - SF, WAS
14.Roy Halladay - WAS
15.Zack Greinke - CLE, CHW
16.Tim Lincecum - @STL
17.Ubaldo Jimenez - @ARI
18.Chad Billingsley - @ATL, CIN
19.Shaun Marcum - @OAK, @BOS
20.Tim Hudson - WAS
21.Josh Johnson - @PIT
22.Chris Carpenter - SF
23.Wandy Rodriguez - NYM, @FLA
24.Ricky Nolasco - @PIT, HOU
25.Cole Hamels - SF
26.Dan Hudson - CIN, COL
27.Stephen Strasburg - @PHI
28.Jon Lester - TOR
29.Dan Haren - @MIN
30.Mat Latos - @CHC
31.Felix Hernandez - @NYY
32.Max Scherzer - @NYY, CLE
33.Francisco Liriano - CHW
34.Matt Garza - TEX, @OAK
35.Scott Baker - CHW, LAA
36.Brandon Morrow - @OAK
37.Matt Cain - @PHI
38.Jeremy Hellickson - OAK
39.Ryan Dempster - ATL
40.Bronson Arroyo - @ARI, @LAD
41.Brett Myers - NYM
42.Yovani Gallardo - SD
43.Jair Jurrjens - @CHC
44.Edwin Jackson - @KC
45.Mike Minor - WAS, @CHC
46.Anibal Sanchez - HOU
47.Trevor Cahill - TB
48.Daisuke Matsuzaka - TOR
49.Colby Lewis - @BAL
50.Tom Gorzelanny - SD, ATL
51.Philip Hughes - DET
52.James Shields - TEX
53.Jon Niese - @HOU, @PIT
54.Mark Buehrle - @MIN
55.Gavin Floyd - @MIN
56.Vicente Padilla - CIN
57.Edinson Volquez - @ARI
58.Hiroki Kuroda - COL
59.Ted Lilly - COL
60.Jon Garland - @CHC, @MIL
61.Madison Bumgarner - @STL
62.Jeanmar Gomez - @KC
63.Fausto Carmona - @KC
64.Ervin Santana - @BOS
65.Johnny Cueto - @LAD
66.Derek Lowe - WAS
67.Dallas Braden - TOR, TB
68.Mike Pelfrey - @PIT
69.Andy Pettitte - SEA
70.Gio Gonzalez - TOR
71.C.J. Wilson - @BAL
72.A.J. Burnett - SEA
73.R.A. Dickey - @HOU
74.Joe Blanton - SF
75.James McDonald - FLA, NYM
76.Jamie Garcia - MIL
77.Josh Beckett - LAA
78.Ian Kennedy - COL
79.Jeff Francis - @LAD, @ARI
80.Jorge De La Rosa - @LAD
81.Barry Zito - @PHI, @STL
82.John Lackey – LAA
83.Jake Westbrook - SF
84.Clayton Richard - @CHC
85.Joe Saunders - CIN
86.Brett Cecil - @BOS
87.Ricky Romero - @BOS
88.Jonathan Sanchez - @PHI
89.Andy Sonnanstine - OAK
90.Freddy Garcia - @KC
91.Josh Tomlin - @KC, @DET
92.Zach Duke - FLA, NYM
93.Barry Enright - COL
94.J.A. Happ - NYM, @FLA
95.Kevin Slowey - LAA
96.Chris Volstad - @PIT, HOU
97.Carl Pavano - CHW
98.Brian Matusz - TEX
99.Javier Vazquez - DET, SEA
100.Carlos Zambrano - SD