It’s time to look at the potential two-start options for the upcoming fantasy week.  If I have some rated as a three, four or five-star option, and they are all players I would definitely use.  A two-star option is someone who is borderline, but I’d strongly lean against it unless I have no other options.  The one-star options are an absolute no.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at the players available to you this week—

Five-Star Options:

  • Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers – @ CHC, vs. Hou
  • Roy Halladay – Philadelphia Phillies – @ Fla, vs. NYM

Four-Star Options:

  • Trevor Cahill – Oakland Athletics – vs. KC, vs. Tex
  • Jaime Garcia – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Hou, @ Fla
  • Tim Hudson – Atlanta Braves – vs. NYM, vs. SF
  • Mat Latos – San Diego Padres – @ LAD, @ Ari
  • Colby Lewis – Texas Rangers – @ Sea, @ Oak
  • Carl Pavano – Minnesota Twins – @ TB, @ Cle
  • David Price – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Min, @ Tor
  • Johan Santana – New York Mets – @ Atl, @ Phi

Three-Star Options:

  • Mark Buehrle – Chicago White Sox – @ Det, @ Bal
  • A.J. Burnett – New York Yankees – vs. Tor, vs. Bos
  • Hiroki Kuroda – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. SD, vs. Was
  • John Lackey – Boston Red Sox – vs. Cle, @ NYY
  • Brett Myers – Houston Astros – @ Stl, @ Mil
  • Jeff Niemann – Tampa Bay Rays – vs. Min, @ Tor
  • Vicente Padilla – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. SD, vs. Was
  • Clayton Richard – San Diego Padres – @ LAD, @ Ari
  • Jonathan Sanchez – San Francisco Giants – @ Col, @ Atl

Two-Star Options:

  • Josh Beckett – Boston Red Sox – vs. Cle, @ NYY
  • Fausto Carmona – Cleveland Indians – @ Bos, vs. Min
  • Livan Hernandez – Washington Nationals – @ Ari, @ LAD
  • Derek Lowe – Atlanta Braves – vs. NYM, vs. SF
  • Brandon Morrow – Toronto Blue Jays – @ NYY, vs. TB
  • Joe Saunders – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. Was, vs. SD
  • Jason Vargas – Seattle Mariners – vs. Tex, vs. KC
  • Travis Wood – Cincinnati Reds – @ Pit, @ CHC

One-Star Options:

  • Brian Bannister – Kansas City Royals – @ Oak, @ Sea
  • Trevor Bell – Los Angeles Angels – @ Bal, @ Det
  • Jeremy Bonderman – Detroit Tigers – vs. CWS, vs. LAA
  • Aaron Cook – Colorado Rockies – vs. SF, @ Pit
  • Brian Duensing – Minnesota Twins – @ TB, @ Cle
  • Jeremy Guthrie – Baltimore Orioles – vs. LAA, vs. CWS
  • Paul Maholm – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Cin, vs. Col
  • Ross Ohlendorf – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Cin, vs. Col
  • Scott Olsen – Washington Nationals – @ Ari, @ LAD
  • Alex Sanabia – Florida Marlins – vs. Phi, vs. Stl

Scheduling Notes:

  • The Indians have not yet announced who will start on Tuesday, but with Boston and Minnesota on the schedule, whoever it is won’t hold fantasy appeal.
  • With all their trading, it’s not yet known who Arizona’s second two-start pitcher will be.  One is Joe Saunders, after that, it’s a guessing game.
  • The Ted Lilly trade has left a void in the Cubs rotation and we’re not sure yet who will take the ball on Monday.


  • While Trevor Cahill as a four-star option may look odd, especially with a match-up against the Rangers at the end of the week,  the numbers can’t be ignored.  He is sporting a 2.93 ERA and 1.01 WHIP on the year.  If that wasn’t enough, against the Rangers he is 5-1 with a 1.83 ERA over his career.  That success isn’t just in prior years, either, as he is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three starts against them this season.
  • Both Josh Beckett and John Lackey have been considered four-star options in the past, but both have red flags hanging over them, most notably a match-up with the Yankees in Yankees Stadium.  With the addition of Lance Berkman, there are no holes in the lineup, knocking most pitchers down a tier or two when they have to face them.  Beckett is also freshly off the DL and has struggled against the Yankees (10.43 ERA in three starts this year) and has walked 10 over 12.2 innings since returning.  The starts against the Indians earlier in the week certainly helps.  Lackey has fewer red flags, having pitched well against the Yankees earlier in the year (six shutout innings) and has given up only 4 earned over his last 22.1 innings.
  • Joe Saunders moves to the NL and gets favorable match-ups right off the bat.  He actually pitched well in his debut, in Philadelphia no less, but is far from a stud given his strikeout upside and his struggles earlier in the season in Los Angeles.
  • Travis Wood has pitched well in his six starts, but he’s benefited from a .239 BABIP.  He’s got a big crash coming, sooner or later, making him a gamble despite the match-ups.
  • Yes, Ross Ohlendorf has potential, but he was struck in the head during his last start.  While he’s expected to make his start, you never know how he’ll react.  Plus, he has a 1.48 WHIP, so it’s not like he’s been dynamite.

What are your thoughts?  Who have I ranked too high?  Who do you think will outperform my rankings?

Make sure to check out our extremely early 2011 rankings:


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