The user’s guide to two-start pitchers, Week 21

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National League

Cookie Monster
Matt Cain -- at HOU, vs. CHC
Stephen Strasburg -- at MIA, vs. STL
Wade Miley -- vs. CIN, vs. LAD

It's going to be a fun Rookie of the Year chase between Miley and Todd Frazier, unless Dusty Baker pulls the plug on his candidate.

The Amazing Mumford
Paul Maholm -- at SD, vs. PHI
Yovani Gallardo -- at CHC, vs PIT
Kyle Lohse -- at PIT, at WAS
Bronson Arroyo -- at ARI, at HOU
A.J. Burnett -- STL, at MIL

Maholm has worked into the seventh inning over eight straight starts, and seven of them were quality turns (the odd start was an acceptable four-run outing). Great play, Atlanta. … Arroyo isn't the most trustworthy arm in general, but we have to pick on the Astros whenever we can.

Oscar the Grouch
Jake Westbrook -- at PIT, at WAS
Tyler Skaggs -- vs. CIN, at LAD
Vance Worley -- vs. NYM, at ATL
Marco Estrada -- at CHC, vs. PIT

Westbrook matches up with Strasburg on the weekend, which pushes him down a level. That said, Westbrook has been a very steady pitcher since the beginning of June.

Cranky Bert
Josh Beckett -- at COL, vs. ARI
Travis Wood -- vs. MIL, vs. SF
Chris Young -- at PHI, at MIA
Casey Kelly -- vs. ATL, at COL

Beckett might be worth a grab in medium and deep mixers, but you can't trust him in Colorado. The Rockies can't hit on the road, but they're still formidable in the thin air.

Tickle Me Elmo
Bud Norris -- vs. SF, vs. CIN
Joe Blanton -- at COL, vs. ARI
Jeff Francis -- vs. LAD, vs. SD
Justin Germano -- vs. MIL, vs. SF

American League

Van Morrison
Felix Hernandez -- at MIN, vs. LAA
Justin Verlander -- at KC, vs. CHW
Chris Sale -- at BAL, at DET
Jered Weaver -- vs. BOS, at SEA

The only thing keeping Sale from the Cy Young argument is a low innings count. His fastball, slider and change are all plus pitches for him. … The Tigers have flipped Verlander and Anibal Sanchez in the rotation, which lines up Verlander to work in the Chicago series.

Van Halen
David Price -- at TEX, at TOR
Clay Buchholz -- at LAA, at OAK
Hisashi Iwakuma -- at MIN, vs. LAA
Brett Anderson -- at CLE, vs. BOS

It's come together nicely for Iwakuma in the rotation. He's a 3.02/1.29 arm as a starter (46 whiffs in 53.2 innings), as opposed to a 4.75/.1.42 option in the bullpen. Eric Wedge didn't help the cause early on, with an inconsistent usage pattern.

Van Hagar
Derek Holland -- vs. TB, at CLE
Zach McAllister -- vs. OAK, vs. TEX
Scott Diamond -- vs. SEA, at KC
Tommy Milone -- at CLE, vs. BOS
David Phelps -- vs. TOR, vs. BAL
James Shields -- at TEX, at TOR

Shields actually has better numbers away from the catwalk this year, but he's heading to a pair of run-scoring amusement parks (the red light has been flashing in Arlington all summer, crooked numbers almost every night).

Van Benschoten
Francisco Liriano -- at BAL, at DET
Wei-Yin Chen -- vs. CHW, at NYY
Luke Hochevar -- at BOS, vs. MIN
Chris Tillman -- vs. CHW, at NYY
J. A. Happ -- at NYY, vs. TB
Daisuke Matsuzaka -- vs. KC, at OAK
Miguel Gonzalez -- vs. CHW, at NYY
Liam Hendriks -- vs. SEA, at KC
Luis Mendoza -- vs. DET, vs. MIN
Aaron Laffey -- at NYY, vs. TB
Roberto Hernandez -- vs. OAK, vs. TEX

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