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Week 4 Pitching Forecaster

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Fantasy Week 4 (April 22-28) is a pretty good week for two-start pitchers, but not neccesarily those that you can find on waivers or even on your bench.

There are no fewer than 18 pitchers due for two starts who are already active in at least 60 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com. That number grows to just 23 for pitchers who are owned in at least 60 percent of our leagues. If you're hoping to pick up Ross Detwiler, Derek Holland or Tony Cingrani for their two-start weeks, chances are someone already has him.

The quality of the two-start pitchers who are more widely available is lacking for the most part. A few, including Patrick Corbin and Phil Hughes, are worth a claim, and one pitcher with an ownership rate below 30 percent -- Bartolo Colon -- could also help out owners in standard mixed leagues. Otherwise, your best option for the last spot in your rotation is probably a one-start pitcher.

Even with the lack of good waiver options, there are still 28 two-start pitchers on this week's top 70. Here's how those top options for standard mixed leagues stack up for the coming scoring period, along with the lowdown on several two-start options you may be considering for a variety of formats.

My Top 70 Starting Pitchers for Week 4
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2
1 Cole Hamels PIT (Locke) @NYM (Niese)
2 Felix Hernandez @HOU (Peacock) LAA (Blanton)
3 Clayton Kershaw @NYM (Niese) MIL (Gallardo)
4 David Price NYY (Hughes) @CHW (Quintana)
5 R.A. Dickey @BAL (Gonzalez) @NYY (Hughes)
6 CC Sabathia @TB (Moore) TOR (Happ)
7 Max Scherzer KC (Davis) ATL (Minor)
8 Cliff Lee PIT (McDonald) N/A
9 Justin Verlander KC (Mendoza) N/A
10 Stephen Strasburg STL (Garcia) N/A
11 Adam Wainwright @WAS (Detwiler) N/A
12 Chris Sale CLE (Kluber) N/A
13 Mat Latos CHC (Samardzija) N/A
14 Matt Cain ARI (Corbin) N/A
15 Madison Bumgarner ARI (Kennedy) N/A
16 Gio Gonzalez CIN (Arroyo) N/A
17 Jake Peavy TB (Hellickson) N/A
18 Yu Darvish @LAA (Hanson) N/A
19 Hisashi Iwakuma @HOU (Norris) LAA (Vargas)
20 Josh Johnson @NYY (Nova) N/A
21 Shelby Miller @WAS (Haren) PIT (Locke)
22 James Shields @DET (Sanchez) N/A
23 Matt Moore NYY (Sabathia) @CHW (Axelrod)
24 Yovani Gallardo @SD (Richard) @LAD (Kershaw)
25 Brandon Morrow @BAL (Britton) N/A
26 Ian Kennedy @SF (Bumgarner) N/A
27 A.J. Griffin @BOS (Doubront) BAL (Jurrjens)
28 Jordan Zimmermann CIN (Bailey) N/A
29 Matt Harvey LAD (Lilly) N/A
30 Kris Medlen @DET (Fister) N/A
31 Alexi Ogando @LAA (Vargas) @MIN (Correia)
32 Kyle Lohse @SD (Marquis) @LAD (Fife)
33 Ryan Vogelsong ARI (Miley) @SD (Richard)
34 Anibal Sanchez KC (Shields) N/A
35 Jon Lester OAK (Anderson) N/A
36 Lance Lynn PIT (Sanchez) N/A
37 Derek Holland @LAA (Blanton) @MIN (Diamond)
38 Doug Fister ATL (Medlen) N/A
39 Jeff Samardzija @CIN (Latos) N/A
40 Ross Detwiler STL (Wainwright) CIN (Cingrani)
41 Brett Anderson @BOS (Buchholz) N/A
42 Marco Estrada @SD (Volquez) N/A
43 A.J. Burnett @PHI (Pettibone) @STL (Westbrook)
44 Jonathon Niese LAD (Kershaw) PHI (Hamels)
45 Paul Maholm @DET (Porcello) N/A
46 Ryan Dempster HOU (Bedard) N/A
47 Mike Minor @COL (Francis) @DET (Scherzer)
48 Tony Cingrani CHC (Villanueva) @WAS (Detwiler)
49 Wade Miley @SF (Vogelsong) COL (Francis)
50 Roy Halladay PIT (Rodriguez) N/A
51 Justin Masterson @CHW (Axelrod) @KC (Davis)
52 Patrick Corbin @SF (Cain) COL (Garland)
53 Clay Buchholz HOU (Humber) N/A
54 Hiroki Kuroda TOR (Buehrle) N/A
55 Homer Bailey @WAS (Zimmermann) N/A
56 Tim Hudson @COL (Pomeranz) N/A
57 Hyun-Jin Ryu @NYM (Hefner) N/A
58 Jaime Garcia @WAS (Strasburg) N/A
59 Alex Cobb NYY (Pettitte) N/A
60 Phil Hughes @TB (Price) TOR (Dickey)
61 Andy Pettitte @TB (Cobb) N/A
62 C.J. Wilson @SEA (Harang) N/A
63 Wade Davis @DET (Scherzer) CLE (Masterson)
64 Jason Vargas TEX (Ogando) @SEA (Iwakuma)
65 Josh Beckett MIL (Peralta) N/A
66 Jose Fernandez @MIN (Pelfrey) N/A
67 Jason Hammel @OAK (Parker) N/A
68 Bartolo Colon @BOS (Aceves) BAL (Tillman)
69 Tim Lincecum @SD (Stults) N/A
70 Clayton Richard MIL (Gallardo) SF (Vogelsong)

Two-Start Options to Consider

Yovani Gallardo, Brewers (@SD, @LAD): After having trouble deceiving batters over his first three starts, Gallardo got 10 whiffs and six strikeouts in six innings against the Giants on Thursday, two days after being arrested for driving under the influence. With a start against a power-deprived Padres lineup and another against a Dodgers team that is struggling to score runs, Gallardo is worth using this coming week. Just be aware that there is some risk that he will lose the start to the Dodgers if the Brewers decide not to skip Hiram Burgos' spot in the rotation after Thursday's day off.
This week's rank: 24
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Kyle Lohse, Brewers (@SD, @LAD): I keep waiting for Lohse to resume being the pitcher he was prior to 2011, but I may have to wait a little longer. He continues to throw strikes at a freakishly high rate, and ironically, the only home run he has allowed this year was at Busch Stadium, where he allowed all of eight homers last season as a Cardinal. The lack of strikeouts makes Lohse someone you can avoid in one-start weeks, but owners should get him active for these two starts.
This week's rank: 32
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Most Added Starters (as of 4/19)
Player Name % change
1. Tony Cingrani, SP, Reds 48
2. Patrick Corbin, SP, D-Backs 36
3. Jose Quintana, SP, White Sox 31
4. Carlos Villanueva, SP, Cubs 28
5. Ross Detwiler, SP, Nationals 26
6. Wade Davis, SP, Royals 17
7. Jake Westbrook, SP, Cardinals 17
8. Bud Norris, SP, Astros 14
9. Jeremy Guthrie, SP, Royals 13
10. Zach McAllister, SP, Indians 13

Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (ARI, @SD): Vogelsong might scare some owners off, as hitters have batted .301 against him in his first three starts. However, he's been striking out batters at roughly the same pace as last season, but he's allowed a .292 batting average on grounders that is not likely of his doing. Just as he has been for the last two years, Vogelsong is a perfectly safe two-start option.
This week's rank: 33
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Derek Holland, Rangers (@LAA, @MIN): Holland's fast start gives him the appearance of being a safe two-start pitcher, but that won't necessarily be the case all season long. His 1.64 ERA disguises the fact that he still isn't getting many grounders, as his rate is currently hovering under 40 percent. The Angels are a potential threat to Holland's Fantasy health, but they've been slow to crank up their home run power, and Holland has done a good job of avoiding homers at Angel Stadium in the past. He can be trusted this week.
This week's rank: 37
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Ross Detwiler, Nationals (STL, CIN): Detwiler doesn't get many strikeouts, and he has probably been lucky to hold batters to a .167 average on grounders, but he keeps the ball in the park and doesn't hurt himself with walks. It's hard to see benching Detwiler in any two-start weeks for the foreseeable future.
This week's rank: 40
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Tony Cingrani, Reds (CHC, @WAS): Though he wasn't especially efficient in his debut as a major league starter, Cingrani kept the Marlins off balance, notching eight strikeouts in his five innings. Though he could be something of a risk to your team's WHIP due to walks, Cingrani should do a good enough job avoiding hard contact or avoiding contact altogether that he can be activated for his first two-start week.
This week's rank: 48
My take: Solid standard mixed league start

Justin Masterson, Indians (@CHW, @KC): Masterson had his worst outing of the year his last time out, but even in a five-inning start, there were bright spots, as he threw strikes, avoided walks and got ground balls. Even in a disappointing 2012 campagin, Masterson went through extended periods of effectiveness, so I'm still not convinced that this recent string of encouraging starts means that Masterson is back to his 2011 form. He has shown enough, though, to be trusted in a two-start week, barring better options on reserves or waivers.
This week's rank: 51
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks (@SF, COL): Corbin has been throwing harder this season, but we didn't see a payoff in terms of swinging strikes and strikeouts until Thursday's start at the Yankees. With the increased velocity, he has also not shown the same degree of control, but Fantasy owners can live with an extra walk or two if he can help with Ks. There is enough uncertainty around Corbin that I would consider him a risky two-start option, but in a week where quality waiver wire options are scarce and Corbin's matchups are decent, he's worth streaming into your rotation for the coming week.
This week's rank: 52
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Phil Hughes, Yankees (@TB, TOR): There's no getting around it; Hughes is going to give up more than his share of homers. There is only the question of whether he can keep the basepaths otherwise clear so that the long balls don't do him in. Fortunately, this week Hughes faces the Rays and Blue Jays, who own two of the three lowest team batting averages in the American League, and he will help his own cause by not issuing many walks. Even so, Hughes is far from a must-start, but he is a reasonable option for filling out the back end of your rotation.
This week's rank: 60
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Wade Davis, Royals (@DET, CLE): Never much of a strikeout pitcher as a starter, Davis has been a pleasant surprise, racking up 15 Ks in his 16 innings. He has also possessed sharper control than in the past. Davis is probably due for some regression in his strikeout and walk rates, but then again, he should also improve upon a 27 percent line drive rate. Even in Rotisserie leagues, where Davis doesn't get a boost from being RP-eligible, he is a useful option for standard mixed league owners with two starts.
This week's rank: 63
My take: Margnial standard mixed league start

Jason Vargas, Angels (TEX, @SEA): Vargas can normally be trusted in pitcher-friendly venues, like last season when he posted a 2.74 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his 14 starts at Safeco Field. It hasn't worked out that way so far this season, as he was hit hard in his last two starts, which were at Minnesota and at home against the A's. The lefty has to demonstrate control in order to succeed, but he's been missing the strike zone too often of late. To give up on Vargas after only three starts would be premature, so if you need to get an extra start into your rotation, Vargas is a decent gamble.
This week's rank: 64
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Bartolo Colon, Athletics (@BOS, BAL): If you need strikeouts, Colon is not the pitcher for you, but if you need innings and WHIP, he's your guy. Colon has not walked a batter over his last four starts, spanning 27 innings and dating back to last August 12 (yes, there was that 50-game suspension sandwiched in there). In fact, he has gone 13 straight starts without walking more than two batters. Great control isn't always enough to earn an active roster spot in a one-start week, but for Colon, it can be in a two-start week.
This week's rank: 68
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

Clayton Richard, Padres (MIL, SF): Richard hasn't had great control so far, but he's getting ground balls and has a pair of home starts. In past years, that has been enough to make it worthwhile to start Richard, and with just two earned runs allowed over 11 innings at PETCO Park this season, it's worth getting the lefty active for the coming week. Also, he shouldn't be impacted by the park's new dimensions much, as they mainly help left-handed hitters.
This week's rank: 70
My take: Marginal standard mixed league start

J.A. Happ, Blue Jays (@BAL, @NYY): Happ got more whiffs and grounders last season, but the progress didn't show up in his results because of a .234 BABIP on flyballs that was more than 100 points above the major league norm. So he's due for a rebound and standard mixed league viability this year, right? Well, maybe not, as Happ has been wilder so far this season, and he continues to have issues with stranding runners. Especially with a couple of potentially tough matchups in hand, let's wait and see how Happ fares before trusting him in a 12-team mixed league.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Jose Quintana, White Sox (CLE, TB): Back-to-back scoreless starts. Notable upticks in his strikeout and swinging strikes rates. These have made for an intriguing April for Quintana, but let's not forget his first start of the year, when he got shellacked at home by the Mariners. No American League park comes close to U.S. Cellular Field as a launching pad, and Quintana has a 4.54 career ERA there, albeit in 69 1/3 innings. A successful Week 4 would help to strengthen Quintana's resume, but for now, he is still too risky of a proposition with two home starts.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Dan Haren, Nationals (STL, CIN): Unfortunately for Haren's owners, he has picked up where he left off last season, as his fastball is getting hammered over the wall with regularity. Maybe in a week where Haren wasn't facing two dangerous lineups, you could give him another chance, but there is just too much potential for disaster this time.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Travis Wood, Cubs (@CIN, @MIA): Even though he is a flyball pitcher, Travis Wood has been able to avoid homers in some venues. Great American Ball Park is not among them, and as a Red, he made 13 starts and two relief appearances there. Wood should have no problem handling the Marlins, but his start in Cincinnati should be enough to deter owners in standard mixed leagues from using him.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Carlos Villanueva, Cubs (@CIN, @MIA): Villanueva did show some promise as a strikeout pitcher in 16 starts last season, but a high homer rate left him with a 4.50 ERA in those outings. He's already yielded three home runs in his three starts to date this year, but he's been able to maintain a 1.29 ERA with help from a .192 BABIP. That won't last, and as with Wood, he has a strong chance of having his week ruined by the Reds.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: Deeper mixed league start

Bud Norris, Astros (SEA, @BOS): Thanks to an unsustainable .231 BABIP, Norris performed well through his first three starts, but in his last outing at Oakland, Norris' luck ran out. He is too prone to walks and homers to be trusted in mixed leagues unless he is facing weak lineups. He may be able to handle the Mariners, but the Red Sox could be real trouble for Air Bud.
This week's rank: N/A
My take: AL-only start

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Peter Moylan 'doing fantastic' in return from Tommy John
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:42 pm ET) Free-agent pitcher Peter Moylan indicated Friday that he's "doing fantastic" in his return from his second Tommy John surgery, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"I’m doing fantastic, mate. Dropped 35 pounds," Moylan said. “My goal is to be 100 percent by end of spring. Ball is coming out great, though. Probably have to throw for some teams right around the start of spring to gauge interest, but there have already been some nibbles, which is encouraging."

Moylan underwent the procedure last March after receiving a non-roster invitation from the Astros. He's throwing from about 70 percent strength off a mound and in the process of deciding whether to sign a a deal in the near future or after the season begins. He hopes to resume pitching in the big leagues by midseason at the earliest.

Moylan has made 309 appearances since debuting in 2006, compiling a 21-9 record, 2.80 ERA and 213:121 K:BB ratio in 276 innings.


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by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:42 pm ET) Braves starting pitcher Shelby Miller had an up-and-down season with the Cardinals in 2014. He began the season by going 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA before going 2-7 with a 5.11 ERA over his next 16 appearances (15 starts).

Miller, however, was able to finish the season on a high note, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and .190 opponents' batting average over his final seven starts. Miller attributes his success down the stretch to incorporating a sinker into his repertoire, per FOX Sports South.

"I said I'm going to throw some of these, and we'll see where it's at," Miller said of a conversation he had with catcher A.J. Pierzynski before an Aug. 23 start against the Phillies. "It felt good so we just went with it. I started throwing it literally within three days. It's a good pitch that I picked up quick.

"I still need a lot of work with it. I need a lot of work with all my pitches. There's all sorts of ways to get better. But I think that's definitely a pitch that will help me be more efficient and take me deeper into games. That's [the sinker] going to be a huge pitch for me this year that's ultimately going to take me to the next level. Not only that but kind of mixing it all together, becoming more of a complete pitcher more than a thrower."

Miller added he will also begin to work more on his changeup, which he threw just 2.2 percent of the time in 2014, per FanGraphs.com.

"I know [Braves pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] has been known for changeups," Miller said. "A lot of great pitchers have come through this organization, [and] that's a pitch I would love to pick up. I want to be able to throw it more consistently, [and] have a little bit more confidence in it."


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by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:16 pm ET) The Yankees agreed to a minor-league deal with pitcher Scott Baker, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. If Baker makes the major-league roster, he will be paid $1.5 million.

Baker made 25 appearances (eight starts) for the Rangers in 2014, going 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA. He had 55 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings.


Rockies designate Jayson Aquino for assignment
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:24 pm ET) After completing a two-team trade Friday, the Rockies decided to designate Jayson Aquino for assignment, the team announced.

Aquino spent 2014 bouncing around the minor league, pitching in 18 games with a 5.13 ERA in 107 innings pitched. He went 5-10 with 83 strikeouts in stints with both Double-A Tulsa and Class A Modesto.


Report: Red Sox express willingness to trade Edward Mujica
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:22 pm ET) The Red Sox have expressed a willingness to trade reliever Edward Mujica, a source told FOX Sports. The right-handed reliever is set to make $4.75 million in 2015.

Mujica, who was an All-Star with St. Louis in 2013, went 2-4 with a 3.90 ERA and eight saves in his first season with Boston in 2014.


Orioles 1B/OF Steve Pearce agrees to $3.7M salary for 2015
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Pearce is coming off his best season as a major leaguer, batting .293 with a .373 on-base percentage, .556 slugging percentage, .930 OPS, 21 home runs, 26 doubles and 49 RBI in 102 games.


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Tulowitzki, who has been linked to trade rumors involving the Mets this offseason, is under contract through 2020 on a six-year, $118 million deal. He is also recovering from August hip surgery.


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(3:52 pm ET) The Red Sox have agreed to a deal with pitcher Alexi Ogando, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It is a one-year, $1.5 million contract, which includes $1.5 million in bonuses, according to USA Today.

Ogando has been a free agent since being non-tendered by the Rangers in December. Ogando made just 27 relief appearances in 2014 due to an elbow injury. He went 2-3 with a 6.84 ERA.

Ogando, who was an All-Star in 2011, also has experience starting at the major-league level, going 19-12 with a 3.40 ERA in 48 career starts.


Braves trade RPs Hale, Schlosser to Rockies for two minor leaguers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:42 pm ET) The Braves traded pitchers David Hale and Gus Schlosser to the Rockies on Friday in exchange for catchers Jose Briceno and Chris O’Dowd.

Hale went 4-5 with a 3.30 ERA in 45 relief appearances for Atlanta in 2014. He struck out 44 batters and issued 39 walks in 87 1/3 innings.

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(3:31 pm ET) Tigers outfield prospect Steven Moya, who was the MVP of the Eastern League (Double-A) in 2014, is expected to open the season at Triple-A Toledo, per the Detroit Free Press.

"I don't know if I'd say we're buying time for Moya," Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week. "Probably when a guy as talented as Moya is ready, he'll make his way onto a team. I don't think we could absolutely say, trying to win a pennant, trying to win a world championship, you can count on him being 100 percent ready."

The 23-year-old Moya hit .276 with a .555 slugging percentage, .861 OPS, 33 doubles, 35 home runs and 105 RBI in 133 games last season at Double-A. He has a career .251/.444/.739 slash line over six minor-league seasons.

Moya also made a brief appearance in the majors last season, batting .375 (3 for 8) in 11 games.

"I think the development time will be good for him" Dombrowski said. "Could he come up and produce at some time during the year? Yes. He's relatively close."


 
 
 
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