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2017 Fantasy Baseball: Looking Ahead - Week 4 2-Start Pitchers

Which pitchers are worth plugging into your lineup for their two starts and which players should you avoid? Senior Expert Adam Ronis examines the starting pitchers slated to hit the mound twice in Week 4 of the Fantasy Baseball season.

ACES

GREEN LIGHT

Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) @PHI, vs. PIT

Chen pitched seven hitless innings in his last outing against the Mariners. He has pitched well in two of his three starts and clearly wasn't healthy last season. Chen won't get a lot of strikeouts, but he doesn't walk many either. He has two favorable matchups.

Marco Estrada (TOR) @STL, vs. TB

Estrada has one bad start out of four in which he allowed three home runs. He has pitched 13 scoreless innings over his last two starts. He has a 2.63 ERA and 1.17 WHIP and is striking out a batter per inning.

John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY Sports
Amir Garrett (CIN) @MIL, @STL

Garrett is coming off a 12-strikeout game. The rookie has a 1.83 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He has a 12.9 swinging strike rate and is rolling. There will be struggles eventually.

Zack Greinke (ARI) vs. SD, vs. COL

There were some concerns about Greinke coming into the season, but he has been fine. He has an 11.7 swinging strike rate and he has allowed two earned runs or less in three of his four starts.

Robert Gsellman (NYM) vs. ATL, @WAS

Gsellman is coming off a good start. The Nationals matchup is a difficult one, but Gsellman has a 10.19 K/9 and a 54 percent ground ball rate.

Felix Hernandez (SEA) @DET, @CLE

http://www.scout.com/player/36760-felix-hernandez?s=532

Hernandez has been getting hit, but he has walked one batter in 24.2 innings with a 3.65 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. A .368 BABIP is unlucky and he has a 7.3 K/9. He's not the same pitcher, but he's getting ground balls and inducing weak contact.

Chad Kuhl (PIT) vs. CHC, @MIA

Kuhl has been solid in all three starts and two came on the road in Boston and St. Louis. He has allowed two earned runs or less in each start and after allowing six walks in his first start, he walked one in his last two.

Francisco Liriano (TOR) @STL, vs. TB

Liriano got one out in his first start of the season and allowed five runs and four walks. That left a sour taste in the mouth of many and he was cut in many leagues. That was without Russell Martin. In the next two games with Martin, Liriano pitched 12 innings and allowed two earned runs with a 16:3 K:BB ratio against the Red Sox and Orioles. Liriano is always a risk for a bad start, but I am rolling with him.

Rick Porcello (BOS) vs. NYY, vs. CHC

Porcello is 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and a 23:5 K:BB ratio in 23.2 innings. He has allowed five home runs and a 40.7 percent hard hit rate, but a .342 BABIP and 62.1 percent strand rate have led to some bad luck. One bad outing against the Rays in which he allowed eight hits, eight runs, two walks and four home runs in 4.1 innings is mostly responsible for his poor overall numbers.

Joe Ross (WAS) @COL, vs. NYM

Ross started the season in the minors since the Nationals didn't need a fifth start and he made his season debut this past week. Ross struck out seven in seven innings and allowed three runs with a walk in a win. The start in Coors Field is risky.

Ervin Santana (MIN) @TEX, @KC

Santana is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA, 0.61 WHIP and a 20:8 K:BB ratio in 28 innings. He pitched well last season and is limiting the hard contact. Clearly, he will have a bad outing soon but he's throwing too well to sit.

Luis Severino (NYY) @BOS, vs. BAL

Severino has cut down on the walks and it has led to success. He has a 27:2 K:BB ratio in 20 innings and has looked excellent. The Red Sox start is dicey, but with consecutive double-digit strikeout games, he's difficult to sit.  

Julio Teheran (ATL) @NYM, @MIL

Teheran's numbers are misleading because his last start was a bad one in which he allowed seven runs in four innings against the Nationals. He allowed two earned runs or less in the three other starts. He gets a favorable matchup against a banged up Mets team and the Brewers one is tougher, but they strike out a lot.

Jason Vargas (KC) @CWS, vs. MIN

http://www.scout.com/player/72233-jason-vargas?s=532

Vargas is off to one of the best starts. He is 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. In 20.2 innings, he has allowed 14 hits with a 23:2 K:BB ratio. He has increased his ground ball rate, isn't allowing a lot of hard contact and has a 13.4 swinging strike rate. We know he's not this good, but he has two favorable matchups ahead.

Vincent Velasquez (PHI) vs. MIA, @LAD

Velasquez is a frustrating pitcher because he can look dominant and get hit hard at other times. He has difficulty going deep into games. Velasquez has an 11.4 K/9, 6.0 BB/9 and allowed four home runs in 15 innings. Give him another shot.

Michael Wacha (STL) vs. TOR, vs. CIN

Wacha is off to a good start with a 2.41 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He has a 12.3 swinging strike rate and has two favorable matchups.


RED LIGHT

Brett Anderson (CHC) @PIT, @BOS

Anderson has pitched more than five innings once in three starts. At least he's still healthy, but pitching in Fenway Park can be awful.

Tyler Anderson (COL) vs. WAS, @ARI

A start at home against one of the better offense and a start on the road in a hitters park. No thanks.

Ty Blach (SF) vs. LAD, vs. SD

http://www.scout.com/player/202355-ty-blach?s=532

Blach will fill in for Madison Bumgarner. He didn't have good strikeout rates in the minors. He had a 6.25 K/9 last season at Triple-A, so watch him this week before using him.

Matt Cain (SF) vs. LAD, vs. SD

The 3.31 ERA is misleading. He has a 6.61 K/9, 4.41 BB/9, a 2.45 BABIP and 90.4 percent strand rate. Implosions are coming.

Matt Garza (MIL) vs. CIN, vs. ATL

Garza is coming off the DL to make his season debut. He hasn't been good for a while.

Phil Hughes (MIN) @TEX, vs. KC

Hughes was good in his first start of the season, but that was against the White Sox. He allowed three home runs over his next nine innings against the Tigers and Indians.

© Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) vs. TB, @ NYY

Jimenez is coming off 7.2 scoreless innings against the Reds but allowed five earned runs in 4.1 innings in both of his first starts. He has a 4.96 K/9 and a 3.86 BB/9.

Ricky Nolasco (LAA) vs. TOR, @TEX

Nolasco has a 5.67 K/BB ratio, but has allowed seven home runs in 22.2 innings and a 49.3 percent fly ball rate.

Martin Perez (TEX) vs. MIN, vs. LAA

Perez has pitched six innings once in his four starts. The 3.60 ERA is nice, but a 1.85 WHIP and 5.4 BB/9 indicate dark days ahead.

Josh Tomlin (CLE) vs. HOU, vs. SEA

http://www.scout.com/player/87387-josh-tomlin?s=532

Tomlin had a decent start last time out, but he was terrible in the other two. He rarely gets strikeouts and is prone to home runs. Even a bad White Sox offense scored seven runs off him in 1.2 innings.

Jordan Zimmermann (DET) vs. SEA, vs. CHW

The start against the White Sox is tempting, but Zimmermann allows too much contact. He has a 5.94 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 5.4 K/9, 3.78 BB/9, and a 43.6 percent hard hit rate.


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