It’s time to look at the potential two-start options for the upcoming fantasy week.  If I have someone rated as a three-, four-, or five-star option, they are someone 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 “absolutely not” scenario.

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

Five-Star Option

  • Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – vs. Cin, vs. Ari


Four-Star Options

  • Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves – @ Pit, vs. Stl
  • Dan Haren – Los Angeles Angels – vs. Cle, vs. Sea
  • Tim Hudson – Atlanta Braves – @ Pit, vs. Stl
  • Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – @ SD, @ Hou
  • Mat Latos – San Diego Padres – vs. LAD, vs. SF
  • Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants – @ Ari, @ SD
  • Roy Oswalt – Houston Astros – vs. Fla, @ NYM
  • Wandy Rodriguez – Houston Astros – @ CHC, vs. LAD
  • Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers – vs. CWS, vs. Bal
  • Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – vs. CWS, vs. Bal


Three-Star Options

  • Brett Anderson – Oakland Athletics – vs. Sea, vs. Bos
  • Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds – @ Col, vs. Pit
  • Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers – vs. Stl, vs. CHC
  • Edwin Jackson – Chicago White Sox – @ Det, vs. KC
  • Cliff Lee – Texas Rangers – @ Tor, vs. NYY
  • Shaun Marcum – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Tex, vs. TB
  • Ricky Romero – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Tex, vs. TB
  • Anibal Sanchez – Florida Marlins – @ Phi, @ Was
  • Kevin Slowey – Minnesota Twins – vs. KC, @ Cle

Two-Star Options

  • A.J. Burnett – New York Yankees – vs. Bal, @ Tex
  • Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants – @ Ari, @ SD
  • Tommy Hunter – Texas Rangers – @ Tor, vs. NYY
  • Ian Kennedy – Arizona Diamondbacks – vs. SF, @ Col
  • Jeff Niemann – Tampa Bay Rays – @ Bos, @ Tor
  • Mike Pelfrey – New York Mets – @ Was, vs. Phi
  • Jake Westbrook – St. Louis Cardinals – @ Mil, @ Atl


One-Star Options

  • Jake Arrieta – Baltimore Orioles – @ NYY, @ Det
  • Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians – @ LAA, vs. Min
  • Jhoulys Chacin – Colorado Rockies – vs. Cin, vs. Ari
  • Casey Coleman – Chicago Cubs – vs. Hou, @ Mil
  • Nelson Figueroa – Houston Astros – @ CHC, vs. LAD
  • Aaron Harang – Cincinnati Reds – @ Col, vs. Pit
  • Jeff Karstens – Pittsburgh Pirates – vs. Atl, @ Cin
  • Carlos Monasterios – Los Angeles Dodgers – @ SD, @ Hou
  • Sean O’Sullivan – Kansas City Royals – @ Min, @ CWS
  • Jason Vargas – Seattle Mariners – @ Oak, @ LAA
  • Jordan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals – vs. NYM, vs. Fla


Scheduling Notes

  • Jon Lester, who was scheduled to have two starts this week, may have lost that opportunity due to Friday’s rain out.  Now, the Sox could turn to Tim Wakefield (or someone else) on Wednesday, leaving Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Josh Beckett to go next weekend in Oakland.  It’s a tough break for owners, but Lester remains a must-start option regardless.
  • Freddy Garcia also likely lost his two-start status, but he was only borderline usable to begin with.  No loss really for fantasy owners.
  • The Cardinals will go with either Kyle Lohse or Jeff Suppan on Tuesday, though it doesn’t matter.  Neither should be used outside of deeper NL-only formats.



  • It hasn’t been a one- or two-start hot streak for Max Scherzer.  Over the last 30 days (44.0 innings), he has posted a 1.23 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 40 Ks.  He is certainly a must-use option, especially with the Orioles later in the week.
  • We all know that Dan Haren has not been the pitcher we expected this season, but he has two of the most favorable matchups fantasy owners could ask for.  Hopefully he can finally string together a few good starts in a row, right?  He’s allowed just 1 ER over his last 13 innings.
  • Does one good start from A.J. Burnett make you trust him?  Then again, the start wasn’t that great, allowing three earned runs over six innings of work against Oakland.  While he’s looked good against Texas this season (1.93 ERA over 14.0 innings), that start really has me worried, especially given his recent nosedive.
  • Ian Kennedy has been pitching exceptionally well as of late.  He hasn’t allowed more then three earned runs in his last four starts, including seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out 12 in the process.  While he’s struggled against the Rockies this year (5.06 ERA over three starts), he’s certainly worth the gamble with the way he’s been pitching.  Still, those struggles hold him back from being a three-star option.
  • Mike Pelfrey has a 4.50 ERA against the Phillies in three starts this year.  Despite the start coming at home, it’s hard to consider him a must start option with the matchup looming.
  • Wandy Rodriguez has been among the best pitchers in the game of late.  Over his last eight starts, he has allowed 6 ER over 55.1 innings, only once allowing more then one earned run (two earned runs against the Marlins).  He has rebounded in a big way from his early season struggles, to say the least.
  • Cliff Lee as a three-star option?  His recent struggles and news of a back problem have to have owners worrying, however.  In fact, word is that he may miss his start on Tuesday, so keep that in mind and keep a close eye on the news prior to your roster deadline.
  • At home this year, Mat Latos has a 2.08 ERA.  It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, he’s a tremendous option any time he takes the mound at Petco Park.

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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