Week 10 Pitching Forecaster

Owners enjoyed a bounty of two-start options on waivers a week ago, as every major league team was gearing up for a seven-game week, but now normalcy returns to both the Fantasy and real worlds of baseball.

In Fantasy Week 10 (June 3-9), quality two-start pitchers will be harder to come by, and one-start pitchers whom you may have ignored last time suddenly have value again.

Julio Teheran, Ian Kennedy and Dan Haren are all currently started in 40 percent or fewer of the leagues on CBSSports.com, but all three are advisable starts in standard mixed leagues this coming week, and not just in a borderline, hold-your-nose kind of way. Risk-embracing owners may want to try Scott Kazmir (nine percent activation rate) or Shaun Marcum (12 percent activation rate) in their final rotation spot. Kazmir has been getting strikeouts and pitching with command, but his ERA and WHIP are suffering under the weight of a .362 BABIP that should plummet soon. After a sluggish beginning to his season, Marcum rebounded with strong efforts against the Cardinals, Reds and Braves, prior to dropping a decision to the Marlins.

Then again, if you have Josh Johnson stashed in a DL spot, you likely won't need to go to your bench or waivers to fortify your rotation, as he will make his return from a triceps injury and provide Fantasy owners with a pair of starts. There are also some worthwhile two-start pitchers who may still be on waivers, like Bronson Arroyo and Justin Grimm.

The viable one- and two-start options for standard mixed leagues are included in this week's top 70, and as always, I'll break down the factors to consider with many of the most notable two-start pitchers for a variety of formats.

Monday update: The most impactful change occuring over the weekend was Stephen Strasburg's early exit in Friday's start against the Braves with a lat strain. He has not gone on the disabled list, but there is at least a decent chance that he misses his scheduled start on Thursday versus the Mets. As much of a high-end option as he is, because of the nature of his injury, owners in standard mixed leagues should sit Strasburg this week. On the other hand, Hyun-Jin Ryu (foot) has been downgraded in this week's rankings, but he is still an advisable start.

Also, Alex Cobb, Michael Wacha and Andrew Cashner all lost two-start status over the weekend, but each will still make one start. Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and Tyler Skaggs will likely inherit his two starts.

My Top 70 Starting Pitchers for Week 10
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2
1 Felix Hernandez CHW (Peavy) NYY (Phelps)
2 Clayton Kershaw SD (Marquis) N/A
3 Justin Verlander CLE (Jimenez) N/A
4 Anibal Sanchez TB (Moore) CLE (Masterson)
5 Jake Peavy @SEA (Hernandez) OAK (Griffin)
6 Cole Hamels MIA (Turner) N/A
7 Cliff Lee @MIL (Fiers) N/A
8 Adam Wainwright @CIN (Leake) N/A
9 Matt Moore @DET (Sanchez) BAL (Tillman)
10 Jordan Zimmermann NYM (Hefner) MIN (Deduno)
11 Madison Bumgarner @ARI (Cahill) N/A
12 Jered Weaver CHC (Feldman) N/A
13 Matt Harvey MIA (Fernandez) N/A
14 Yu Darvish @TOR (Ortiz) N/A
15 Jeff Samardzija PIT (Gomez) N/A
16 Johnny Cueto COL (Garland) N/A
17 Matt Cain @ARI (Corbin) N/A
18 James Shields MIN (Pelfrey) N/A
19 Max Scherzer TB (Hernandez) N/A
20 A.J. Burnett @ATL (Medlen) @CHC (Jackson)
21 Mike Minor PIT (Locke) @LAD (Lilly)
22 Chris Sale OAK (Parker) N/A
23 Lance Lynn ARI (Cahill) @CIN (Arroyo)
24 Mat Latos STL (Lyons) N/A
25 Gio Gonzalez MIN (Correia) N/A
26 Shelby Miller ARI (Kennedy) N/A
27 Zack Greinke ATL (Hudson) N/A
28 Justin Masterson @NYY (Pettitte) @DET (Sanchez)
29 Kris Medlen PIT (Burnett) @LAD (Capuano)
30 Doug Fister TB (Cobb) N/A
31 Hisashi Iwakuma CHW (Axelrod) N/A
32 Jon Lester TEX (Holland) N/A
33 A.J. Griffin @MIL (Lohse) @CHW (Peavy)
34 Clay Buchholz LAA (Wilson) N/A
35 Andy Pettitte CLE (Masterson) @SEA (Saunders)
36 Hiroki Kuroda @SEA (Bonderman) N/A
37 CC Sabathia CLE (Kluber) N/A
38 Ryan Dempster TEX (Grimm) LAA (Blanton)
39 C.J. Wilson @BOS (Buchholz) N/A
40 Patrick Corbin SF (Cain) N/A
41 Josh Johnson @SF (Lincecum) TEX (Grimm)
42 Trevor Cahill @STL (Lynn) SF (Bumgarner)
43 Alex Cobb @DET (Fister) N/A
44 Kevin Gausman @TB (Hellickson) N/A
45 Bronson Arroyo COL (Chatwood) STL (Lynn)
46 Dan Haren NYM (Gee) N/A
47 Homer Bailey COL (Nicasio) N/A
48 Derek Holland @BOS (Lester) N/A
49 Hyun-Jin Ryu ATL (Maholm) N/A
50 Ian Kennedy @STL (Miller) N/A
51 Matt Garza @LAA (Vargas) N/A
52 R.A. Dickey @SF (Zito) N/A
53 Julio Teheran PIT (Rodriguez) N/A
54 Jose Fernandez @NYM (Harvey) N/A
55 Dan Straily @CHW (Quintana) N/A
56 Justin Grimm @BOS (Dempster) @TOR (Johnson)
57 Kyle Kendrick MIA (Koehler) @MIL (Estrada)
58 Shaun Marcum @WAS (Strasburg) N/A
59 Scott Kazmir @NYY (Phelps) N/A
60 Marco Estrada OAK (Milone) PHI (Kendrick)
61 Travis Wood PIT (Liriano) N/A
62 Tyler Skaggs @STL (Wacha) SF (Lincecum)
63 Mike Leake STL (Wainwright) N/A
64 Michael Wacha ARI (Skaggs) N/A
65 Paul Maholm @LAD (Ryu) N/A
66 Yovani Gallardo OAK (Colon) N/A
67 Phil Hughes @SEA (Harang) N/A
68 Jason Vargas CHC (Garza) N/A
69 Francisco Liriano @CHC (Wood) N/A
70 Ervin Santana HOU (Lyles) N/A

Two-Start Options to Consider

A.J. Griffin, Athletics (@MIL, @CHW): Griffin is coming off a pair of tough starts on the road, and will continue his nomadic ways with starts at the Brewers and White Sox. Those are a pair of challenging venues, especially for a flyball pitcher, but on the flipside, he also gets flyouts at a high rate. Griffin further limits potential damage by being stingy with walks. While Griffin may not have two of his best starts, he rarely has disastrous ones. With two chances to contribute to your Fantasy rotation, owners should roll him out this week.
This week's rank: 33
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Andy Pettitte, Yankees (CLE, @SEA): Fresh off a strained trapezius that landed him on the disabled list, Pettitte is not the safest option, but aside from his recent injury, he hasn't given Fantasy owners a reason to sit him, now that he's back in the Yankees' rotation. Only one of his eight starts was truly awful, and five of them were downright strong. At the very least, Pettitte should be able to take advantage of a Mariners lineup that has struggled to get hits.
This week's rank: 35
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Most Added Starters (as of 6/3)
Player % change
1. Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals 48
2. Tyler Chatwood, SP, Rockies 42
3. Eric Stults, SP, Dodgers 27
4. Tyler Skaggs, SP, D-Backs 20
5. Bartolo Colon, SP, Athletics 16
6. Mike Leake, SP, Reds 15
7. Justin Grimm, SP, Rangers 14
8. Corey Kluber, SP, Indians 12
9. Jeff Locke, SP, Pirates 11
10. John Lackey, SP, Red Sox 11

Ryan Dempster, Red Sox (TEX, LAA): Dempster put in a solid effort against the Phillies on Tuesday, but he continued a troubling trend of a decreasing whiff rate. After inducing swings-and-misses at a 14 percent rate over his first seven games, per Baseball-Reference.com, that rate has fallen to seven percent over his last four starts. Dempster's most recent outing shows that he can be effective, even if he allows more contact, and it's reasonable to expect that his whiff rate will rise given his long-term track record. While Dempster's whiffs and Ks are something to track, he's still a must-start in a two-start week.
This week's rank: 38
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Josh Johnson, Blue Jays (@SF, TEX): Sure, Johnson is a risk in his first starts off the DL, and he wasn't good in his four starts prior to getting shelved. Normally in a two-start week, Johnson would be a top 15 or 20 option, so considering the risk, he falls short of the top 40. Still, he has fallen somewhere between solid and superb in nearly every season in his career, so he's earned some benefit of the doubt in nearly all formats.
This week's rank: 41
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks (@STL, SF): Though Cahill is allowing contact at a higher rate so far this year, he hasn't had to pay the price, as batters are hitting only .267 on balls in play. That's only 10 points below his career mark, so don't look for Cahill to regress much, and meanwhile, the increased contact has enabled him to work more efficiently. He's not the most exciting pitcher, but he's good enough to use in two-start weeks, and in points leagues, his newfound ability to go deeper into games gives him a source of value that may go overlooked.
This week's rank: 42
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Bronson Arroyo, Reds (COL, STL): Arroyo's rate stats are practically a carbon copy of last season's, as he continues to be a supreme control artist. For a contact pitcher, Arroyo is not all that hittable, and the Reds' strong infield defense doesn't hurt his hit rate either. He may not continue to hold opponents to a .196 batting average on grounders, but he should do a good enough job of preventing baserunners and runs to be worth starting.
This week's rank: 45
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Justin Grimm, Rangers (@BOS, @TOR): Even if owners are willing to stomach Grimm's 3.93 ERA, they could still be scared off by his 1.44 WHIP. If anything, Grimm should actually be an asset to your team's WHIP going forward, as you can expect his 24 percent line drive rate to improve and opponents' .263 batting averge on grounders to shrink. Owners can also anticipate that Grimm won't walk many batters and get a decent number of strikeouts. Grimm has had an easy schedule for the most part, but he's handled the Tigers and Diamondbacks, so there's no reason why he can't have success against the Red Sox and Blue Jays.
This week's rank: 56
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Kyle Kendrick, Phillies (MIA, @MIL): Kendrick had been reliable, if not spectacular, this season, as he'd been working deep into games, but he hit a speed bump in recent starts against the Reds and Nationals. After walking eight batters and allowing nine runs in those two outings, Kendrick got back on track in his most recent start against the Red Sox. As a contact pitcher, Kendrick is not an advisable start on a weekly basis, but with a two-start week that includes the floundering Marlins, he's a decent use of a rotation spot.
This week's rank: 57
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Marco Estrada, Brewers (OAK, PHI): After allowing a barrage of homers over his first seven starts, Estrada has yielded just one long ball in his last four outings. While he has a 3.38 ERA over that span, that mark is favorably skewed by a pair of strong starts against the Pirates. Estrada got called strikes on 23 percent of his pitches in those two starts, and the Pirates swing at pitches in the strike zone at a lower rate than any other National League team, according to FanGraphs.com. The Phillies are more aggressive, while the Athletics lead the majors in flyball rate, and neither development works in Estrada's favor. Run him out if you must, but first make sure you've exhausted all your options.
This week's rank: 60
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Tyler Skaggs, Diamondbacks (@STL, SF): After a good, but not great, season at Triple-A Reno in 2012, Skaggs came back strong this season, punching up his strikeout and whiff rates. He has a couple of challenging matchups and could be hurt by the long ball, so in shallower leagues, there are better two-start options. In standard mixed leagues, though, Skaggs is a worthy pickup and start for the coming week.
This week's rank: 62
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Tommy Milone, Athletics (@MIL, @CHW): Milone is coming off two bad starts, both of which were on the road. He's perpetuating a pattern of lopsided home/road splits, and since joining the A's last year, he has been far more vulnerable to home runs away from Oakland. Especially since he will be visiting two very good home run parks, this is a rare two-start week in which you can't afford to start Milone in standard mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Kyle Lohse, Brewers (OAK, PHI): Though he hasn't stopped throwing strikes at phenomenal rates, Lohse is suddenly very hittable. He defied the odds for two-plus seasons by maintaining a sub-.275 BABIP, but in May, he was subject to some long-awaited regression, posting a .354 BABIP. Lohse is unlikely to be as ineffective as he has been for the past month, but the fluctuation in his stats shows how vulnerable he can be on balls in play, given that he doesn't get many strikeouts. He's also more susceptible to homers, now that he is no longer pitching home games at Busch Stadium, so Lohse should no longer be a staple of standard mixed league rotations.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

David Phelps, Yankees (CLE, @SEA): Phelps' calling card as a minor leaguer was his strong command, but that has abandoned him this year, and never more dramatically than in his one-out start against the Mets on Wednesday. He has been getting strikeouts at a decent rate since entering the rotation, but with a dearth of swings and misses, his K-rate may be due for a dip. While Phelps has shown that he can string a few good starts together, there's not enough upside here to justify a start in standard mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Ted Lilly, Dodgers (SD, ATL): Lilly's main appeal in Fantasy is his ability to lower your pitching staff's WHIP, but so far he's not helping with an inflated 1.53 mark. With a 65 percent strikes thrown rate, owners shouldn't expect many walks from Lilly. He normally helps owners with low line drive and high popup rates, but those haven't materialized yet. Having made only four starts this year, there's time for Lilly to rediscover his form, but until he does, he's best saved for deeper mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Tyler Chatwood, Rockies (@CIN, SD): Last season, Chatwood showed that he could induce ground balls at the major league level, but he still lacked Fantasy relevance because he couldn't find the plate often enough. This year, he is locating in the zone with much greater regularity, and his improved command is paying off in the form of better strikeout and walk rates, a 2.12 ERA and a respectable 1.28 WHIP. Granted, Chatwood has made only five starts and, at least in terms of ERA, he is likely overperforming. The Reds also pose his toughest challenge to date, but Chatwood is suddenly worth using in deeper mixed leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Chris Tillman, Orioles (@HOU, @TB): Tillman has allowed a staggering 11 home runs over his last 28 2/3 innings. Four of those five starts came at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the other one was at hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, so at least Tillman's venues improve this week. The Astros and Rays are both decent power-hitting teams, so Tillman is still a risk, and he's still too inconsistent to trust.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Tim Lincecum, Giants (TOR, ARI): After showing mild signs of a recovery in April, Lincecum concluded May with a 6.37 ERA. He's actually throwing strikes at an even lower rate than last season, so you never know when he might inflate your team's WHIP with a bundle of walks. The Diamondbacks don't strike out all that much, so you may not even get Ks from Lincecum this week.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

John Danks, White Sox (@SEA, OAK): Danks' first start off the disabled list looked promising on paper, but then again, so do a lot of starts against the Marlins. Versus the Cubs on Wednesday, Danks did not fare well and was out of the game after the fourth inning. His velocity is down and so is his ground ball rate, falling to 36 percent from his typical rates in the mid-40s. Perhaps with more innings, we will see something closer to the Danks of old, but until we see that pitcher, he's best kept stashed or on waivers in the vast majority of leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: AL-only start

Jonathan Pettibone, Phillies (MIA, @MIL): Pettibone isn't flashing the good walk and ground ball rates that he showed in the minors, yet he's managing to find success in Fantasy with a 3-1 record and 3.64 ERA. He hasn't been especially fortunate in terms of run support (4.4 runs per game), but when he ceases to strand nearly four out of every five baserunners, his ERA and win total will suffer. Pettibone's xFIP projects that, with lesser luck, his ERA would be 4.59, and that renders him as merely an option for owners in deeper NL-only leagues.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: NL-only start

Eric Stults, Padres (@LAD, @COL): Stults was very good in May with a 2.66 ERA, but his best starts came against the Marlins, Nationals and Mariners, all of whom rank among the six lowest-scoring teams in the majors. Looking ahead, owners can still expect Stults to be more valuable in Fantasy than Pettibone, especially when he pitches at home, where he has a career 3.45 ERA. Unfortunately, Stults won't pitch at PETCO Park this week, but he will have a start in Colorado. With Pettibone getting to face the Marlins, he's actually a better option than Stults in NL-only leagues for the coming week. That means, despite Stults coming off a dominant 12-strikeout performance against the M's, he should be benched in all but the deepest of leagues for now.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: NL-only start

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Data Analyst

Al Melchior has been playing Fantasy Baseball since 1994, getting his start in the Southern Maryland Anthropomorphic Baseball League (SMABL). He has been writing about Fantasy Baseball since 2000, getting... Full Bio

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