Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
I think this was the wrong week to start this column. I’m pretty sure every ace has two starts this week, so this was especially challenging. Every weekend I will post my top two-start pitchers list. A lot will go in to my process including; past performance against opponent, ballpark friendliness, home and road splits, and hot or cold streaks.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners (Matchups HOU, TEX) – Hernandez will be facing the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers this week. He is the clear-cut number one two-start pitcher of the week. The only downside of his two starts is that he will be facing Yu Darvish on Sunday. If you own him he is a must start, but I didn’t have to tell you that.
Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins (Matchups: @ATL, @NYM) – Fernandez is must see TV. He is my favorite pitcher to watch, and he has some favorable matchups this upcoming week. First he will face the Braves on the road, and then will take a trip to Queens to battle the Mets.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers (Matchups: CWS, @MIN) – Verlander was my preseason pick for A.L Cy Young. He will need to turn it up a notch in order to make that a reality. This week he will take the mound at home versus the White Sox, and on the road against the Twins.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies (Matchups: @LAD, ARI) – Lee had a rough start to the year, but he looked pretty good in his last start against Atlanta. This week he will match up against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, both on the road. His career numbers against both teams are exceptional.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox (Matchups: @DET, TB) – Sale is the Felix Hernandez of the AL Central. Talented pitcher on a team that can’t muster up runs in order for him to pick up the win. This week he will take on the Tigers in Detroit, and the anemic Tampa Bay Rays at home.
Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates (Matchups: PIT, @STL) – Yes Liriano made my top five over some big names. His splits against the Reds and Cardinals are phenomenal. Though Liriano got roughed up a bit last week in Cincinnati, he will be facing them at home, in his nice pitcher friendly ballpark. Liriano will also be on the mound in St. Louis, which is another pitcher friendly park. Liriano should be in all your lineups next week.