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 non-scenario.

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


Five-Star Options:

  • None


Four-Star Options:

  • Matt Cain—San Francisco Giants @ CHC, @ Col
  • Chris Carpenter—St. Louis Cardinals @ Fla, @ CHC
  • Zack Greinke—Kansas City Royals @ Det, @ Cle
  • Cole Hamels—Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atl, vs. NYM
  • Jered Weaver—Los Angeles Angels vs. Tex, vs. CWS


Three-Star Options:

  • Chad Billingsley—Los Angeles Dodgers vs. SD, @ Ari
  • Trevor Cahill—Oakland Athletics vs. CWS, vs. Tex
  • Fausto Carmona—Cleveland Indians  @ Min, vs. KC
  • Jorge De La Rosa—Colorado Rockies  @ Ari, vs. SF
  • Brian Duensing—Minnesota Twins vs. Cle, @ Det
  • Gavin Floyd—Chicago White Sox @ Oak, @ LAA
  • Matt Garza—Tampa Bay Rays @ NYY, vs. Sea
  • Gio Gonzalez—Oakland Athletics vs. CWS, vs. Tex
  • J.A. Happ—Houston Astros @ Was, @ Pit
  • Phil Hughes—New York Yankees vs. TB, vs. Bos
  • Jair Jurrjens—Atlanta Braves @ Phi, @ Was
  • Colby Lewis—Texas Rangers @ LAA, @ Oak
  • Bud Norris—Houston Astros @ Was, @ Pit
  • James Shields—Tampa Bay Rays @ NYY, vs. Sea

Two-Star Options:

  • Homer Bailey—Cincinnati Reds @ Mil, @ SD
  • Livan Hernandez—Washington Nationals vs. Hou, vs. Atl
  • Derek Holland—Texas Rangers @ LAA, @ Oak
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka—Boston Red Sox vs. Bal, @ NYY
  • Mike Pelfrey—New York Mets @ Fla, @ Phi
  • Clayton Richard—San Diego Padres @ LAD, vs. Cin
  • Jake Westbrook—St. Louis Cardinals @ Pit, @ CHC


One-Star Options:

  • Chris Capuano—Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cin, vs. Fla
  • Bruce Chen—Kansas City Royals @ Det, @ Cle
  • Luke French—Seattle Mariners @ Tor, @ TB
  • Jeanmar Gomez—Cleveland Indians @ Min, vs. KC
  • John Lannan—Washington Nationals vs. Hou, vs. Atl
  • Paul Maholm—Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Stl, vs. Hou
  • Adalberto Mendez—Florida Marlins vs. NYM, @ Mil
  • Ivan Nova—New York Yankees vs. TB, vs. Bos
  • Rick Porcello—Detroit Tigers vs. KC, vs. Min
  • Joe Saunders—Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Col, vs. LAD
  • Chris Volstad—Florida Marlins vs. Stl, @ Mil
  • Randy Wells—Chicago Cubs vs. SF, vs. Stl


Scheduling Notes:

  • The Brewers may go with a six-man rotation this week, leaving either Chris Capuano or Dave Bush without a second start. When you are picking between those two, does it really matter?  Neither should be trusted with your fantasy season on the line.
  • Right now Phil Hughes is penciled in as a two-start option, but there certainly is the chance that the Yankees toy with their rotation in an effort to prepare for the playoffs. He’s usable either way, but just keep that in mind.
  • Could Gio Gonzalez be tiring down the stretch?  One bad start shouldn’t completely deter you (seven ER over two IP), but he did throw only 159.0 innings in 2009. It’s certainly a possibility, and there also is a chance that the A’s opt to push him back given the increase in work (he’s already at 181.2 innings).



  • Fausto Carmona has been pitching exceptionally well of late. While he is just 1-3 over his last 37.1 innings, he’s done that with a 2.41 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 30 K. The start against the Twins may be worrisome, but the way he’s going right now he can certainly be used.
  • Brian Duensing’s control is his greatest asset, by far. In his 10 starts this season, only twice has he walked more than one batter (and one of those was two walks). That’s extremely impressive and certainly helps to justify his success (2.25 ERA as a starter).
  • He’s been impressive against both the Indians (2.61 ERA over 10.1 innings) and Tigers (0.69 ERA over 13.0 innings).
  • I would only use Homer Bailey this week if you were in desperate need of a two-start option. He’s just never proved to be trustworthy, and is coming off a start where he gave up three earned runs over three innings to the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’d consider him nothing more then a low-end two-star option.
  • Jorge De La Rosa is becoming a very good second-half pitcher, isn’t he?  After going 10-2 with a 3.46 ERA in the second half in 2009, he’s gone 5-3 with a 4.00 ERA this year. I know those numbers aren’t too impressive, but they are solid nonetheless. With two favorable match-ups and the Rockies pushing for the playoffs, I’d look for him to excel.
  • Both Bud Norris and J.A. Happ have nice looking match-ups this week, taking on the Nationals and Pirates. That’s about all you can ask for, isn’t it?
  • While Happ is coming off a bad start (five ER over 4.1 IP), he hadn’t allowed more then three earned runs in a start in his prior seven starts.  Norris, meanwhile, has a ton of strikeout potential against the teams who are sixth (Pirates) and 10th (Nationals) in the league in strikeouts. Roll the dice on both of them.
  • Mike Pelfrey has had his ups and downs in 2010, but pitching on the road he is 5-6 with a 5.30 ERA this year. He’s tough to trust with two road starts.
  • Clayton Richard has struggled on the road (4.85 ERA) and has a tough match-up with the Reds. It’s hard to consider him a must-use option.

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

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