Fantasy Baseball Two Start Pitchers for Week 3

Gearing up for week 3, which pitchers should you start and which should you sit?  Here is our list of 2 start pitchers for fantasy baseball 2012 – week 3.  There are a couple of surprises on this list, any questions about your lineup?  Hit up our forums to ask the community for the best start and sit advice around.

Tier 1

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Starting pitcher Jer...

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Starting pitcher Jered Weaver #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and pitching coach Mike Butcher #23 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim speak on the mound with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim infield during the ninth inning of their game against the Minnesota Twins on May 28, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Twins defeated the Angels in ten innings. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Ian Kennedy – Arizona Diamondbacks  (4/17/12) vs. PIT – Jeff Karstens   (4/22/12) vs. ATL Randall Delgado

Kennedy draws 2 home starts against the Pirates and Braves, he is a must start in all formats for week 3, and a good bet to win both games this week.

Dan Haren – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (4/17/12) vs. OAK    (4/22/12) vs. BAL Wei-Yin Chen

Haren has 2 home starts against 2 lousy offenses in the A’s and Baltimore, should be a great week for Haren in Anaheim.

Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers   (4/16/12) @ KC Danny Duffy   (4/21/12) vs TEX  Neftali Feliz 

Verlander has tough matchups against 2 solid offenses in the Royals and Rangers.  He remains a must-start no matter who he faces.

Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (4/16/12) vs. OAK Brandon McCarthy   (4/21/12) vs. BAL Jake Arrieta

Just like his teammate Haren, Weaver is a must-start option against two weak offenses

Roy Halladay – Philadelphia Phillies   (4/16/12) @ SF  Tim Lincecum   (4/21/12)  @ SD Roy Halladay

Halladay is a must-start option no matter who he faces.  2 road games in pitchers ballparks should only help Halladay, he just needs a little bit of run support and this will be a two win week for the ace.

Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals   (4/16/12)  vs. HOU  Kyle Weiland   (4/21/12) vs. MIA  Anibal Sanchez

Two very winnable games for Strasburg this week at home vs the Astros and Marlins.

C.C. Sabathia – New York Yankees   (4/17/12) vs. MIN  Francisco Liriano   (4/22/12) @BOS Daniel Bard

The Twins game looks awfully juicy to CC, while the Boston game probably won’t go as smoothly, but he is still a must start in all formats.

Tier 2

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Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants   (4/16/12) vs. PHI   Roy Halladay   (4/22/12) @ NYM  Dillon Gee

Lincecum slips to the second tier with his ERA at 12+, however he should still be active in most formats as the Phillies are without most their star hitters, and the Mets have a soft lineup in 2012.

Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers   (4/17/12) vs. LAD  Chad Billingsley   (4/22/12) vs. COL  Jeremy Guthrie

Gallardo will more than likely come out of this week 1-1 as he has two average matchups against hot and cold teams.

James Shields – Tampa Bay Rays   (4/16/12) @BOS   Daniel Bard   (4/21/12) vs. MIN   Carl Pavano

Many owners consider Shields a must start tier 1 pitcher, but his career averages are more suited to the second tier and that is where he is slotted for week 3.

Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves   (4/16/12) vs. NYM   Dillon Gee   (4/21/12) @ ARI   Joe Saunders

Hanson is quickly establishing himself as an elite option in the game, and he is a second tier starter in week 3.

Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals   (4/17/12)  vs. HOU   Wandy Rodriguez   (4/22/12)   vs. MIA

Gonzalez gets 2 home starts in week 3 against struggling teams in the Astros and Marlins, he is a surprise tier 2 starter for week 3.

Chad Billingsley – Los Angeles Dodgers   (4/17/12) @ MIL   Yovani Gallardo   (4/22/12) @ HOU   Wandy Rodriguez

Bilingsley has looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball through his first 2 starts, and has achieved near must-start status for week 3 of fantasy baseball 2012.  He receives a big bump up into the second tier, and if he keeps dominating, he could become a tier 1 starter shortly.

Ryan Dempster – Chicago Cubs   (4/17/12) @ MIA   Josh Johnson    (4/22/12)   vs. CIN   Johnny Cueto

Dempster has looked extremely good in the early going in 2012, recording more than a strikeout per inning.  Even with the shoddy Cubs offense backing him up, he is a tier 2 starter in week 3.

Kyle Lohse – St. Louis Cardinals   (4/17/12) vs. CIN   Johnny Cueto   (4/22/12)   @ PIT    Erik Bedard

I find it hard to believe I’m bumping Lohse into the second tier, but he is one of the more consistent options in baseball now as he eats up innings and keeps the ball in the park.  Look at him as a second tier pitcher in week 3.

Tier 3

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - APRIL 01:  Josh Johnson #5...

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - APRIL 01: Josh Johnson #55 of the Florida Marlins pitches during opening day against the New York Mets at Sun Life Stadium on April 1, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Josh Johnson – Miami Marlins   (4/17/12)  vs. CHC   Ryan Dempster   (4/22/12)   @ WAS Gio Gonzalez

Johnson has struggled early on this year, and it will probably take him a few more starts to figure things out, if you have better options for week three you might want to hold Johnson out for a week and wait for him to get his stuff back.

Ricky Romero – Toronto Blue Jays   (4/17/12) vs. TB   Jeff Niemann    (4/22/12) @ KC   Danny Duffy

Romero will record strikeouts, but against two decent offenses in the Rays and Royals he is a recommended third tier play for week 3.

Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds   (4/17/12)  @ STL   Kyle Lohse    (4/22/12)  @ CHC   Ryan Dempster

Two road starts for Cueto in week 3 don’t look very favorable.  If you have tier 1 or tier 2 starters, you can bench Cueto for these matchups.

Colby Lewis – Texas Rangers   (4/17/12)  @ BOS   Jon Lester   (4/22/12) @ DET   Drew Smyly

Lewis would usually be a tier 2 starter at worse, but 2 road starts against two of the better offenses in baseball make him a low tier 3 option for the third week of fantasy baseball 2012.

Justin Masterson – Cleveland Indians   (4/17/12) @ SEA   Kevin Millwood   (4/22/12) @ OAK   TBA

Two winnable games for Masterson in week two, but with that Indians offense behind him you never know what to expect.

Brandon McCarthy – Oakland Athletics   (4/16/12) @ LAA   Jered Weaver    (4/21/12)  vs. CLE Ubaldo Jimenez

The ace of the the A’s staff has to face the aces of both the Angels and Indians in week 3 dropping him to a third tier pitcher.

Erik Bedard – Pittsburgh Pirates    (4/16/12) @ ARI   Joe Saunders    (4/22/12) vs. STL   Kyle Lohse

Bedard is still looking to recapture his form he had when pitching for the Orioles, so far he is off to a decent start in 2012, but until the Pirates get some major league ballplayers on their roster, Erik probably won’t be able to move any higher than tier 3.

Jeff Niemann – Tampa Bay Rays   (4/17/12) @ TOR   Ricky Romero   (4/22/12)  vs. MIN   Francisco Liriano

Niemann doesn’t strike out enough batters to move him up to the second tier, but two very winnable games make him a third tier play for week 3.

Joe Saunders – Arizona Diamondbacks   (4/16/12) vs. PIT   Erik Bedard   (4/21/12) vs. ATL   Tommy Hanson

Saunders gets a bump up to the third tier as he draws two home starts against the Pirates and Braves.  The Diamondbacks have been giving their pitchers plenty of offense at home, and Saunders could pick up two wins in the upcoming week.

Instructional Baseball Videos that will help in all aspects of the game!

 

Tier 4

Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins   (4/17/12) @ NYY   CC Sabathia    (4/22/12)   @ TB   Jeff Niemann

Fantasy owners keep waiting for Liriano to return to his rookie year form… and they will still be waiting after week 3.

Wandy Rodriguez – Houston Astros   (4/17/12) @ WAS  Gio Gonzalez   (4/22/12)  vs. LAD   Chad Billingsley

Best pitcher on a horrible team makes it hard to recommend Rodriguez as an option for week 3, only run him out there if you have no better options.

John Danks – Chicago White Sox   (4/17/12)  vs. Wei-Yin Chen   (4/22/12)  @ SEA   Kevin Millwood

Danks got himself a nice shiny new contract extension in 2012, unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be translating into wins or strikeouts.  He is a low tier 4 option for the third week.

Daniel Bard – Boston Red Sox   (4/16/12) vs. TB   James Shields   (4/22/12) vs. NYY   CC Sabathia

Bard has failed to meet my expectations in the early going as he is struggling with walks, facing the Sox and Yanks in week 3 won’t help matters.  Avoid him unless you absolutely have no better options.

Jake Arrieta – Baltimore Orioles   (4/16/12) @ CHW   Philip Humber   (4/21/12) @ LAA   Jered Weaver

The “ace” of the Orioles staff will probably never climb higher than the 4th tier in my book.

Danny Duffy – Kansas City Royals   (4/16/12) vs. DET   Justin Verlander   (4/22/12) vs. TOR   Ricky Romero

Duffy actually looked pretty good in his first start, facing Verlander and Romero in week 3 will more than likely set him back and he isn’t a recommend play for week 3.

Philip Humber – Chicago White Sox   (4/16/12) vs. BAL   Jake Arrieta   (4/21/12) @ SEA    Blake Beavan

Facing two of the worst teams in the American League bumps Humber up out of the basement for week 3, but not high enough to make him a recommended play.

Carl Pavano – Minnesota Twins   (4/16/12) @ NYY   Freddy Garcia   (4/21/12) @ TB James Shields

Although Pavano was surprisingly effective in 2011, facing the Yanks and Rays in week 3 drops him to a third tier option.

Drew Smyly – Detroit Tigers   (4/17/12) @ KC   Bruce Chen   (4/22/12) vs. TEX   Colby Lewis

We haven’t seen enough of Smyly at the major league level to make him a recommended option yet.  With a few more starts under his belt he could climb the ranks, but for now it is a wait and see approach.

Tier 5

DENVER, CO - APRIL 11:  Manager Jim Tracy #4 o...

DENVER, CO - APRIL 11: Manager Jim Tracy #4 of the Colorado Rockies removes starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie #15 of the Colorado Rockies from the game against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at Coors Field on April 11, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Jeremy Guthrie – Colorado Rockies   (4/16/12) vs. SD   Cory Luebke   (4/22/12) @ MIL   Yovani Gallardo

For everyone who keeps trying to convince me he looked good in his first start, that was against the Astros.  When he faced the Giants the second time around he got lit up in the 4th inning.  He really shouldn’t be active in mixed formats right now.

Wei-Yin Chen – Baltimore Orioles   (4/17/12) @ CHW   John Danks   (4/22/12) @ LAA Dan Haren

Chen will serve up batting practice to the White Sox and Angels this week.  Hope you have some hitters from those teams active to face Chen.  Projected ERA this year? 6.00 +

Randall Delgado – Atlanta Braves   (4/17/12) vs. NYM   Johan Santana   (4/22/12)   @ ARI   Ian Kennedy

Delgado still isn’t high on many fantasy radars, and can be safely left to waivers until he gets some more innings under his belt.

Dillon Gee – New York Mets   (4/16/12) @ ATL   Tommy Hanson   (4/22/12) vs. SF   Tim Lincecum

Gee got a nice little nose job over the offseason, but it didn’t increase his velocity any.  Facing Hanson and Lincecum isn’t improving the prognosis any, steer clear of Gee for now.

Joe Blanton – Philadelphia Phillies   (4/17/12) @ SF   Madison Bumgarner   (4/22/12)   @ SD   TBA

I’m still trying to figure out how Blanton has a job as a starting pitcher at the major league level.  He is the only guy on the Phillies staff not worth owning.

Kevin Millwood – Seattle Mariners   (4/17/12) vs. CLE   Justin Masterson   (4/22/12) vs. CHW   John Danks

Millwood continues to bounce around the majors, but he really shouldn’t be on your fantasy team.

Kyle Weiland – Houston Astros   (4/16/12) @ WAS   Stephen Strasburg   (4/21/12) vs. LAD  Clayton Kershaw

Weiland gets to face 2 of the best pitchers in the game in Strasburg and Kershaw, oh and he pitches for the Astros.  He is probably the worst bet on the board this week, fantasy owners should steer clear.

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K J

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