The second week of the MLB season is lighter on premium two-start pitchers -- I've only got six Strong Plays listed compared to 15 in Week 1 -- but there are plenty of intriguing names that fall into the middle tier. I'm going to focus on two of them below before we dive into your full list and streamers.
* First, let's talk about Toronto's Aaron Sanchez. The 23-year-old was a popular draft sleeper coming off a solid rookie season for the Jays, and he built upon the hype with an excellent spring, in which wrapped up a rotation spot by posting a 1.35 ERA and 19-to-3 K/BB ratio over 20 innings.
His momentum didn't slow down in a sterling season debut. Facing the Rays in Tampa, Sanchez hurled seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks. He faces two tough AL East opponents in the coming week, including the Red Sox at Fenway, but with that Toronto offense behind him, you know he'll have run support. Sanchez is available in around 30 percent of Yahoo leagues.
* Another guy who followed up an spectacular spring with a strong season debut is Juan Nicasio. He was nearly untouchable in March, allowing zero runs with a 24-to-5 K/BB ratio over 15 innings in the Grapefruit League, and his dominance carried over to his first meaningful start. On Wednesday, the right-hander shut down the Cardinals, allowing one run on two hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and zero walks.
Last year, Nicasio took a big step forward in terms of missing bats, with a 10.0 K/9 rate that towered over his career mark, though he mostly did it as a reliever. Now, he's getting a chance to start, and he is flourishing like so many other transplants in the Pittsburgh rotation have done before.
He opens his week with a tough match-up in Detroit, but it's pretty tough to bet against the 29-year-old right now. He is presently owned in only 61 percent of Yahoo leagues.
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Sonny Gray: LAA, KC
Carlos Carrasco: @TB, NYM
Aaron Sanchez: NYY, @BOS
Derek Holland: @SEA, BAL
Hisashi Iwakuma: TEX, @NYY
Michael Pineda: @TOR, SEA
Kyle Gibson: CWS, LAA
Mike Fiers: KC, DET
Collin McHugh: KC, DET
Carlos Rodon: @MIN, @TB
Clay Buchholz: BAL, TOR
At Your Own Risk
Colby Lewis: @SEA, BAL
Matt Moore: CLE, CWS
Chris Young: @HOU, @OAK
Anibal Sanchez: PIT, @HOU
Shane Greene: PIT, @HOU
Yovani Gallardo: @BOS, @TEX
Ubaldo Jimenez: @BOS, @TEX
Nick Tropeano: @OAK, @MIN
Gio Gonzalez: ATL, @PHI
Stephen Strasburg: ATL, @PHI
Jon Lester: CIN, COL
Michael Wacha: MIL, CIN
Andrew Cashner: @PHI, ARI
James Shields: @PHI, ARI
Aaron Nola: SD, WAS
Kenta Maeda: ARI, SF
Juan Nicasio: @DET, MIL
Patrick Corbin: @LAD, @SD
At Your Own Risk
Jeff Samardzija: @COL, @LAD
Jon Niese: @DET, MIL
Charlie Morton: SD, WAS
Taylor Jungmann: @STL, @PIT
Wei-Yin Chen: @NYM, ATL
Tyler Chatwood: SF, @CHC
Brandon Finnegan: @CHC, @STL
Bud Norris: @WAS, @MIA
Jhoulys Chacin: @WAS, @MIA
The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:
Tuesday, April 12th: Kendall Graveman vs. LAA
The 25-year-old showed some nice signs as a rookie last year, and has a 2.60 career ERA in the minors. He's got a favorable tilt here at home against the Halos.
Wednesday, April 13th: Kris Medlen @ HOU
Medlen had his strikeout stuff working this spring. Let's see if he can keep it rolling against a K-prone Houston lineup.
Friday, April 15th: CC Sabathia vs. SEA
The former Cy Young winner has become somewhat of a non-factor in fantasy leagues, but in the right match-ups he's still intriguing. This one at home against the lefty-heavy M's would qualify.
Wednesday, April 13th: Jerad Eickhoff vs. SD
Last year Eickhoff put up a 2.65 ERA in eight starts after being called up by the Phillies in August. He notched 10 strikeouts in each of his final two starts. He's got a nice soft assignment against the Padres.
Thursday, April 14th: Drew Pomeranz @ PHI
The Phillies are bad. Pomeranz is a big lefty with bat-missing stuff.
Friday, April 15th: Tom Koehler vs. ATL
Koehler put up a 3.29 ERA at home in 2015. He'll look to pick up where left off against a weak Braves offense.
6: BOS, CWS, CLE, LAA, MIN, NYY, OAK, SEA, TB, TOR
7: BAL, DET, HOU, KC, TEX
6: ARI, CIN, CHC, COL, LAD, MIA, MIL, NYM, SF, STL
7: ATL, PHI, PIT, SD, WAS
You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:
A.J. Pollock: Out indefinitely (elbow)
Kyle Schwarber: Out indefinitely (ankle)
Cameron Maybin: Returning this week (wrist)
Jarrod Dyson: Returning this week (oblique)
Andrew Heaney: Out until until late April (left flexor muscle strai)
Matt Garza: Out until May (shoulder)
Ben Revere: Out until late April (oblique)