Weekly Planner: Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke on the mound twice

Sunday May 25th, 2014

The Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer headlines a strong list of two-start pitchers for the week of May 26.
Charles Krup/AP/AP

Get ready for a full week of baseball.

Twenty teams hit the field seven times this week, and those pesky five-game weeks are a thing of the past. Nearly 50 pitchers will take the ball twice this week, including stars Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, Johnny Cueto and Zack Greinke. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to own one of those four, or other two-start guys like Jon Lester, Sonny Gray or Tim Hudson, there are plenty of options worth streaming for both starts this week.

Drew Hutchison remains widely available despite putting together a very strong first two months of the season. He has a 3.45 ERA, 3.12 FIP and 59 strikeouts in 60 innings. Two starts ago, he notched a complete game shutout against the Rangers, and he was very good in his last start against the Red Sox. Hutchison gets the Rays and Royals this week, two teams that have been relatively punchless this year. Tampa Bay is in the bottom-third of the league in slugging percentage and wOBA, and Kansas City ranks 27th in wOBA and 28th in weighted runs created plus.

Drew Smyly has spent most of the year in the Detroit rotation with solid results. In six starts and nine appearances totaling 39 1/3 innings he has a 2.97 ERA, 3.71 FIP and 37 strikeouts. Perhaps because of his movement between the starting five and the bullpen, he is available in more than half of fantasy leagues. He gets to start in the O.co Coliseum in Oakland and Safeco Field in Seattle, two pitcher's parks that should play well to his extreme fly-ball tendencies.

While his teammates get all the attention, Tanner Roark has been a stabilizing presence at the backend of the Washington rotation. He has made nine starts this year, going 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 1.14 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings. He has proved devilishly hard for opponents to hit, posting a 15.2-percent line-drive rate and allowing a .229/.292/.367 slash line. He gets the Marlins and Rangers this week, and though both of those assignments are tough, Roark has been good enough this year to trust in most of his starts.

Hutchison, Smyly and Roark aren't the only pitchers available to stream for two starts this week. Other strong options include Jeff Samardzija, Jon Niese, Scott Feldman, Brandon McCarthy and Roenis Elias. However, Hutchison, Smyly and Roark, as well as Samardzija, Niese and Feldman, deserve even longer looks in most mixed leagues.

Roster trends

Most added

Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians -- Chisenhall has been on a tear of late, going 17-for-33 with a pair of homers and nine RBI in his last 10 games. He's hitting .382/.443/.564 on the year.

Garrett Jones, Marlins -- Jones belted two homers of Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada to give him eight homers this season. He's also hitting .281/.351/.509 with 25 RBI to go with his eight RBI.

Drew Hutchison, Blue Jays -- Hutchison allowed one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Red Sox in his only start last week. He has been quite good this year, though he has largely gone unnoticed. Hutchison has a 3.45 ERA, 3.12 FIP and 59 strikeouts in 60 innings.

Most dropped

Prince Fielder, Rangers -- Fielder's disappointing first year with the Rangers came to an end last week when it was announced that he would need neck surgery and miss the rest of the season.

Shane Victorino, Red Sox -- Victorino hit the DL after straining his hamstring while running out a bunt on Friday. What's worse, it's the same hammy that had him on the DL at the start of the season. There's a good chance he's on the shelf longer than the 15-day minimum.

Juan Francisco, Blue Jays -- Owners have been dropping Francisco frequently in the last few days, but he has actually done well at the plate recently. In his last seven games, he's 6-for-21 with three homers and five RBI. You knew what you were getting into when you grabbed Francisco. This is it.

Two-start pitchers

(* indicates pitcher worth streaming for both starts)

1. Max Scherzer

2. Yu Darvish

3. Jeff Samardzija

4. Johnny Cueto

5. Zack Greinke

6. Jon Lester

7. Sonny Gray

8. Tim Hudson

9. Michael Wacha

10. Ervin Santana

11. Yordano Ventura

12. Cole Hamels

13. Tyson Ross

14. Lance Lynn

15. Jered Weaver

16. Hyun-Jin Ryu

17. Kyle Lohse

18. Jose Quintana

19. Nathan Eovaldi*

20. Drew Hutchison*

21. Drew Smyly*

22. Alfredo Simon

23. Tanner Roark*

24. Jon Niese*

25. Chris Tillman

26. Scott Feldman*

27. Aaron Harang

28. Brandon McCarthy*

29. Roenis Elias*

30. Edinson Volquez

31. Tyler Skaggs

32. Jeremy Guthrie

33. Wei-Yin Chen

34. Erik Bedard

35. Jacob DeGrom

36. Clay Buchholz

37. Tommy Milone

38. Jhoulys Chacin

39. Chris Young

40. Collin McHugh

41. Nick Tepesch

42. Josh Tomlin

43. Kyle Kendrick

44. Wade Miley

Teams playing seven games





Red Sox















Blue Jays

Weekday day games

(all times Eastern)


Red Sox @ Braves, 1:00

Pirates @ Mets, 1:10

Marlins @ Nationals, 1:35

Orioles @ Brewers, 2:10

Indians @ White Sox, 2:10

Rangers @ Twins, 2:10

Yankees @ Cardinals, 4:00

Cubs @ Giants, 4:05

Tigers @ A's, 4:05

Angels @ Mariners, 4:10

Rockies @ Phillies, 5:05


Pirates @ Mets, 1:10

Astros @ Royals, 2:10

Cubs @ Giants, 3:45


Rangers @ Twins, 1:10

Tigers @ A's, 3:35

Favorable matchups

Orioles (@ Milwaukee, @ Houston) -- The Orioles play seven games and have decent individual matchups, though they will see Kyle Lohse, Marco Estrada and Dallas Keuchel. Miller Park and Minute Maid Park aren't just stadiums sponsored by one awful and one delicious beverage (you can figure out which is which). They're also two great places to hit.

Astros (@ Kansas City, vs. Baltimore) -- The Astros aren't a great hitting team, but they don't have a ton to fear this week. After Yordano Ventura on Monday, the best pitcher they'll face is Chris Tillman.

Padres (@ Arizona, @ Chicago White Sox) -- Similar to the Astros, the Padres are toward the bottom in most team-wide offensive rankings, but they could have a very good week. Chase Field and U.S. Cellular Field are very comfortable stadiums for hitters, Arizona's rotation has been a wreck, and they won't face Chris Sale.

Blue Jays (vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Kansas City) -- The Blue Jays get to spend the entire week north of the border, which is always a good thing. While they are scheduled to face both James Shields and Yordano Ventura, they have a pretty easy slate when the Rays come to town.

Nationals (vs. Miami, vs. Texas) -- Henderson Alvarez, Tom Koehler, Colby Lewis and Nick Tepesch aren't exactly striking fear in the hearts of many hitters. That's four of the six starters the Nationals face this week.

Unfavorable matchups

Angels (@ Seattle, @ Oakland) -- This is based mainly on where the Angels play this week. Safeco Field and O.co Coliseum are two places hits go to die. The Angels also get Sonny Gray on Sunday.

Reds (@ Los Angeles Dodgers, @ Arizona) -- Despite a favorable weekend, the Reds get an overall weekly ranking of unfavorable since they'll see Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in their trip to Chavez Ravine.

Marlins (@ Washington, vs. Atlanta) -- The Marlins are certain to face Tanner Roark and Jordan Zimmermann, and could also see Stephen Strasburg if the Nationals push their rotation up a day to make up for the injured Gio Gonzalez. They'll also get Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana when the Braves come to town.

A's (vs. Detroit, vs. Los Angeles Angels) -- One of the best teams in the league will have its work cut out for it this week. The A's are scheduled to face Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Garrett Richards and Jered Weaver. Even secondary guys like Drew Smyly and Rick Porcello will be tough.

Giants (vs. Chicago Cubs, @ St. Louis Cardinals) -- Like the A's, the Giants, also one of the majors' best squads, face an imposing slate of pitchers this week. Jeff Samardzija starts for the Cubs on Monday, and the Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn to the mound over the weekend.

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