Two to tango

Publish date:

Each week, we'll profile the projected two-start pitchers for the upcoming fantasy week. Keep in mind that these are subject to change as managers adjust their rotations over the weekend.

Cliff Lee: vs CWS (Floyd); @ KC (Greinke) -- In 2007, Lee made 20 appearances for the Indians, posting a 6.10 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. Now, he's looking to nail down his 20th win of the season. It just goes to show you how unpredictable this game can be. He holds a 1.71 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over his last four starts and should only solidify his grip on the AL CY Young award over the final month.

Ben Sheets: vs NYM (Santana); vs SD (Reineke) -- Sheets struggled in July, posting a 4.34 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. But he rebounded in August with marks of 2.67 and 1.01. On top of that, he holds a 2.74 ERA this season on the road (3.52 mark at home), where's he's scheduled to make both of his starts in the upcoming week.

Matt Garza: vs NYY (Mussina); @ TOR (Purcey) -- In eight starts since the All-Star break, Garza boasts a 2.75 ERA and 1.15 WHP, including a 1.54 ERA in his last three outings. If that's not enough, consider this: He hurled seven scoreless innings against the Yankees earlier this season, and he's allowed one measly run in 31 innings (four starts) against the Blue Jays this year.

Johan Santana: @ MLW (Sheets); vs PHI (Hamels) -- While the 12 wins this year are somewhat disappointing, Santana has been nothing short of brilliant of late. He's 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in his last four outings, and he hasn't lost a game since late June. The Brewers and Phillies sports two of the top offenses in the National League, but what are you going to do? Sit him?

Cole Hamels: @ WAS (Lannan); @ NYM (Santana) -- Here's the lowdown on Hamels: Since holding a 4.89 ERA in May, he's posted sub-3.00 ERAs in each of the last three months. And in his last four outings, he holds a 1.86 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Hamels hasn't received a ton of run support this year, evidenced by the 11 wins, but he's still a top-five hurler in the National League.

Roy Oswalt: @ CHC (Marquis); @ COL (De La Rosa) -- Oswalt has been on top of his game of late. He's held a 3.00 ERA and 1.15 WHIP since the All-Star break (4.56 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in the first half), and he's posted a 2.10 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in his last four starts. The Cubs sport the best offense in the National League, and pitching in Coors Field is usually not a fun experience, but there's little reason not to have confidence in Oswalt right now.

Mike Mussina: @ TB (Garza); @ SEA (Rowland-Smith) -- Mussina has been as solid as they come this season. He's really thrived since the All-Star break, going 5-1 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in nine second-half starts. Moose is 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in six career starts at SAFECO Field, and he should remain a solid asset the rest of the way as he shoots for his first 20-win campaign.

Randy Johnson: vs STL (Pineiro); @ LAD (Maddux) -- How's this for a second-half surge? In eight starts since the break, the Bit Unit has posted a 1.82 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 53 Ks in 54.1 innings. Johnson will be hard pressed to keep a sub-2.00 second-half ERA for long, but owners should enjoy the ride.

Justin Verlander: vs NYY (Ponson); @ MIN (Baker) -- Verander entered the year as arguably a top 10 fantasy starter. Twenty-eight starts later and he has just 10 wins and a 4.53 ERA. The hard-throwing right-hander does have a 2.41 ERA in his last three starts, but a 1.50 WHIP over that span tells us he's really not over the hump. A 10.13 ERA in two starts against the Twins this year also gives us pause.

Gavin Floyd: @ CLE (Lee); vs LAA (Saunders) -- One of this year's most pleasant surprises, Floyd is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in his last three outings. We've been waiting a long time for his 7.6 H/9 rate to level out, but it just hasn't. Floyd remains a solid option.

Jon Lester: vs BAL (Burres); @ TEX (McCarthy) -- The Blue Jays hammered Lester seven earned runs in just 2.1 innings on Aug. 23. However, he bounced back in his last outing, holding the Bronx Bombers to just one run in 6.2 innings of work. In four starts against Baltimore this season, the lefty is 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

Glen Perkins: @ TOR (Purcey); vs DET (Lambert) -- Perkins has provided the Twins with a much-needed boost since the All-Star break. In eight second-half starts, he's 6-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. And in four combined starts against the Blue Jays and Tigers this season, he holds a 2.36 ERA.

Josh Johnson: vs ATL (Hampton); @ STL (Pineiro) -- After a lost season in '07, Johnson has returned to his '06 form, when he held a 3.10 ERA. The right-hander has allowed more than three earned runs just once in nine starts this year, and he's coming off a complete game, one-run effort against the Braves. Look for his success to continue as the Marlins try to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Greg Maddux: vs SD (Reineke); vs ARI (Johnson) -- Since joining the Dodgers, Maddux is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in two starts. However, the majority of that damage was done in his August 22 start against the Phillies, when he allowed seven earned runs in 5.1 innings. Maddux has been inconsistent this year, but he's still a solid mid-tier starter and should settle down this week.

Jonathan Sanchez: @ COL (De La Rosa); vs Pit (Snell) -- Sanchez will return from the disabled list after missing the last couple of weeks with a shoulder injury. He is a worthy option if you are in need of strikeouts, but we suggest you leave him on the pine until we're sure that his shoulder is back to 100 percent.

David Purcey: vs MIN (Perkins); vs TB (Garza) -- Purcey has dealt with inconsistency this season, but he's coming off his best outing of the year, an eight-inning, one-run effort against the Rays. And in his last four outings, he holds a 3.38 ERA (albeit with just one win). Purcey remains risky, but he's worth a flyer if you need pitching help.

Manny Parra: vs NYM (Niese); vs SD (Baek) -- Parra is still allowing too many hitters to reach base. He boasts a 1.49 WHIP on the year, and his second-half mark of 1.48 isn't any better. The left-hander is still a decent fantasy hurler, and the fact he holds a 3.04 ERA over his last four starts is encouraging, but the risk here is evident.

Ian Snell: @ CIN (Fogg); @ SF (Sanchez) -- Snell had a string of impressive starts earlier this month, holding a 2.36 ERA in starts against the Phillies, Reds and the Cardinals. However, he went back to his old self against the Cubs on Tuesday, allowing five runs in four innings. Plus, he sports a 7.07 road ERA this year. There's no reason to seriously consider him for fantasy.

Zack Greinke: vs OAK (Gonzalez); vs CLE (Lee) -- Greinke has struggled since the All-Star break, holding a 4.37 ERA and 1.52 WHIP (3.48 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in first half). However, over his last three outings, he's allowed just one run in 17.2 innings of work. Plus, he boasts a 3.11 ERA and 1.20 WHIP at Kauffman Stadium (4.07 ERA, 1.37 WHIP on the road), where he'll make both of his starts in the upcoming week.

Joe Saunders: @ DET (Lambert); @ CWS (Floyd) -- Has Saunders' fairly-tale season come to an end? The recent returns have not been good. On Aug. 22 against the Twins, he allowed six earned runs in 5.1 innings. In his last outing, the light-hitting A's hammered the left-hander for six earned runs in just 1.1 innings. The good news is that he holds a 2.64 ERA on the road, where he'll make his next two starts. But the last two shellings make us nervous.

Chris Lambert: vs LAA (Saunders); @ MIN (Perkins)Chad Reineke: @ LAD (Maddux); @ MLW (Sheets) Mike Hampton: @ FLA (Johnson); vs WAS (Redding) Tim Redding: vs PHI (Kendrick); @ ATL (Hampton)Matt Harrison: vs SEA (Rowland-Smith); vs BOS (Byrd) Paul Byrd: vs BAL (Liz); @ TEX (Harrison) Sidney Ponson: @ DET (Verlander); @ SEA (Silva) Radhames Liz: @ BOS (Byrd); vs OAK (Saarloos) Josh Fogg: vs PIT (Snell); vs CHC (Marquis) Charlie Morton: @ FLA (Sanchez); vs WAS (Lannan) Cha Seung Baek: @ LAD (Kershaw); @ MLW (Parra) Ryan Rowland-Smith: @ TEX (Harrison); vs NYY (Mussina) Brandon McCarthy: vs SEA (Feierabend); vs BOS (Lester)Jorge De La Rosa: vs SF (Sanchez); vs HOU (Oswalt) Joel Pineiro: @ ARI (Johnson); vs FLA (Johnson)