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.
Tim Lincecum: vs ARI (Davis); @ SD (Young) -- Lincecum allowed five runs in five innings in his last outing, but that doesn't change the fact he's arguably the top hurler in the National League and one of this year's favorites for the Cy Young award. The right-hander held a miniscule 1.27 ERA in August, and he should get things going again this week.
Ryan Dempster: @ STL (Wainwright); @ HOU (Wolf) -- One of 2008's biggest surprises, Dempster continues to impress. He's allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last nine starts. And in four outings against the Astros this year, Dempster is just 1-3, but he sports a 3.12 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
Adam Wainwright: vs CHC (Dempster); @ PIT (Snell) -- In three starts since returning from the disabled list, Wainwright is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He has yet to pitch past the sixth inning since his return, but the Cardinals should start letting him pitch deeper in ballgames over the next week or two. If you had been hesitant to re-insert Wainwright into your starting lineup, it's time to do so.
A.J. Burnett: @ CWS (Danks); @ BOS (Byrd) -- Burnett is 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 post-break starts, and he leads the American League with 201 strikeouts, two shy of his career high. A 3.07 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in two starts against the Red Sox this year gives us additional confidence about the upcoming slate.
Javier Vazquez: vs TOR (Litsch); vs DET (Miner) -- Vazquez posted a 4.61 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in the first half, but he's sported a 3.79 ERA and 1.17 WHIP since the break. The Tigers do have a top-five offense in the American League, but Vazquez remains a reliable option.
Jon Lester: vs TB (Jackson); vs TOR (Litsch) -- Since allowing seven earned runs in 2.1 innings to the Blue Jays on August 23, Lester has allowed just one run in each of his last two starts, proving he's back on track. A 2.87 ERA at Fenway Park, where he'll make both of his starts in the upcoming week, is further proof that he should be in your lineup.
Jered Weaver: vs NYY (Pavano); vs SEA (Washburn) -- Both of Weaver's starts this week come at home, where he typically pitches quite well. However, his track record against both the Yankees (9.00 ERA in two starts) and Mariners (6.94 ERA in two starts) this year should give owners some pause.
Dave Bush: vs CIN (Volquez); @ PHI (Blanton) -- Bush posted sub-4.00 ERAs in June (3.65), July (3.49) and August (2.12). The Mets hit him for six earned runs in five innings in his last start, but he's still been solid more times than not. One concern is that Bush holds a 5.06 ERA in two career outings at Citizens Bank Park, where he's scheduled to visit this week.
Jeremy Guthrie: vs CLE (Sowers); vs MIN (Blackburn) -- Guthrie posted a 1.50 ERA in his first four August starts. However, in his last two outings, the Yankees and Rays hit him for 12 earned runs in 9.2 innings (11.10 ERA). The Orioles skipped Guthrie's last start in order to give him some rest, but the last two starts do make us skeptical about using him this time around.
Oliver Perez: vs WAS (Perez); vs ATL (Campillo) -- Perez holds a 2.92 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Regardless, he's walked five batters in three of his last four outings, which could spell trouble for the enigmatic left-hander.
John Danks: vs TOR (Burnett); vs DET (Lambert) -- Danks' 3.44 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this year have been impressive. However, he's been hit hard of late, holding a 5.31 ERA and 1.97 WHIP over his last four outings. Danks is 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this season, but his recent track record makes him a risky bet.
Greg Maddux: @ SD (Baek); @ COL (Cook) -- On one hand, Maddux holds a 3.35 ERA in 33 career starts at PETCO Park. On the other hand, he sports a 5.65 ERA in 13 career starts at Coors Field. With the veteran right-hander being a bit of a mixed bag this week, you may want to consider other options.
Barry Zito: vs ARI (Petit); @ SD (Baek) -- Zito is coming off an eight-inning, two-run effort in Coors Field, but it's still difficult to recommend the former Cy Young award winner as a safe fantasy option. He allowed five or more runs three times in August, and he holds a 7.40 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks this year. Look elsewhere.
Aaron Cook: @ ATL (Campillo); vs LAD (Maddux) A 3.57 first-half ERA raised expectations, but a 5.50 mark in the second half, including a 7.07 ERA in his last three starts, has pretty much taken him off the fantasy map. Until he shows signs of turning things around, leave him on the pine.
Fausto Carmona: @ BAL (Liz); vs KC (Greinke) -- Since returning from the disabled list, Carmona has been abysmal, holding a 6.39 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in nine starts. He's been decent at times, but he's nothing more than a mid-tier fantasy starter on his best days, so he's not an ideal option.
Edinson Volquez: @ MLW (Bush); @ ARI (Davis) -- Volquez's post-break swoon continues. He holds a 6.38 ERA over his last three starts, and his second-half ERA sits at 4.99. The right-hander can still help out with strikeouts (24 Ks in last 18 innings), but he poses a risk to your ERA and WHIP.
Dana Eveland: @ DET (Rogers); vs TEX (Nippert) -- Since rejoining Oakland's starting five, Eveland is 1-0 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Against two top-five American League offenses, he's risky, but he could be a sneaky option if you're desperate for pitching help.
Anibal Sanchez: @ PHI (Blanton); vs WAS (Lannan) -- Sanchez looked like a fine fantasy option after his initial return from the DL, but his ERA has ballooned to 5.54 after he's allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last three outings. The long-term potential here is still very good, but he's a risky option right now.
Randy Wolf: vs PIT (Ohlendorf); vs CHC (Dempster) -- Wolf has been solid since joining the Astros at the trade deadline, going 3-1 with a 3.80 ERA. And he's been very impressive of late, boasting a 2.14 ERA and 1.05 over his last three starts. On top of that, he's 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in three outings this year at Minute Maid Park, where he's set to make both of his starts in the upcoming week. Lock and load.
Joe Blanton: vs FLA (Sanchez); vs MLW (Bush) -- Blanton has been incredibly ordinary since joining the Phillies (4.34 ERA, 1.47 WHIP). The right-hander has been hit hard in his last two outings (5.59 ERA), and the fact he faces two of the top three home-run teams in the National League at the bandbox that is Citizens Bank Park means he's best left on your bench.
Zach Miner: vs OAK (Gonzalez); @ CWS (Vazquez)Radhames Liz: vs CLE (Carmona); vs MIN (Perkins)Brandon Backe: vs PIT (Snell); vs CHC (Marshall)Jeremy Sowers: @ BAL (Guthrie); vs KC (Bannister)Carl Pavano: @ LAA (Weaver); vs TB (Jackson)Edwin Jackson: @ BOS (Lester); @ NYY (Pavano)Jorge Campillo: vs COL (Cook); @ NYM (Perez)Jesse Litsch: @ CWS (Vazquez); @ BOS (Lester)Kyle Kendrick: vs FLA (Volstad); vs MLW (Suppan)Jeff Suppan: vs CIN (Ramirez); @ PHI (Kendrick)Ian Snell: @ HOU (Backe); vs STL (Wainwright)Jon Garland: vs NYY (Rasner); vs SEA (Hernandez)Dustin Nippert: @ SEA (Hernandez); @ OAK (Eveland)Cha Seung Baek: vs LAD (Maddux); vs SF (Zito)Doug Davis: @ SF (Lincecum); vs CIN (Volquez)
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