Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 4/15-4/21
If you don’t have a dedicated spot already on your roster, this is a great chance to keep a rotating opening for a weekly two-start streamer.
Each week, I’ll look at the pitchers scheduled to make two starts in the upcoming week. They are, of course, subject to change, but we want to get them out for you each Friday to help get ahead of your league when it comes to planning.
I’ll break the pitchers down into six categories:
- Don’t Think Twice – These are your aces that you start no matter what.
- Widely-Owned Options – Players owned in the majority of leagues who should provide a positive return.
- In the Danger Zone – It’s a dice roll to start them given matchups or other factors.
- Streamers Owned in Under 50% of Leagues – These guys should live on the waiver wire, but you can start them this week.
- Streamers Owned in Under 25% of Leagues – Same as above, but applied to deeper leagues.
- Not Unless You’re Desperate – I don’t recommend these guys unless you’re swinging for the fences.
Most pitchers have only made two or three starts at this point in the season, but we are slowly getting more and more data to help set our lineups.
Let’s look at the two-start pitchers for Week 3.
Don’t Think Twice
Noah Syndergaard (4/15 @ PHI, 4/21 @STL)
Trevor Bauer (4/15 @ SEA, 4/21 vs. ATL)
Masahiro Tanaka (4/16 vs. BOS, 4/21 vs. KC)
Aaron Nola (4/15 vs. NYM, 4/20 @ COL)
Stephen Strasburg (4/16 vs. SF, 4/20 @MIA)
Chris Sale (4/15 vs. BAL, 4/21 @ TB)
Three weeks ago, I didn’t think it was possible to have Sale as anything but a set-and-forget pitcher. There are legit concerns, folks, as well as a lot of excuses from the Boston camp. The matchup against Baltimore is about as good as it gets, so he’ll plummet in the rankings if he struggles. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an IL stint coming up.
Luis Castillo (4/15 @ LAD, 4/20 @ SD)
Castillo has looked filthy as of late, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise. He has shown signs of this before, and his changeup is one of the most fun pitches to watch this year. He’s a top-25 pitcher now, but the matchup against the Dodgers will be troubling.
Jack Flaherty (4/15 @ MIL, 4/21 vs. NYM)
Milwaukee has a great offense, but the Mets are 10th in baseball in wOBA against right-handed pitchers. Small sample size, yes, but these are two tough matchups for the sophomore.
Matthew Boyd (4/16 vs. PIT, 4/21 vs. CHW)
It’s been three starts now, so Boyd needs to see his ownership rise to the 80-percent range A two-start week against favorable opponents should get him there.
Joey Lucchesi (4/15 vs. COL, 4/21 vs. CIN)
Lucchesi is continuing the trend of getting good matchups in good environments this year. He doesn’t have a lot of swing-and-miss to his game, but he’ll be an above-average start this week.
Tyler Glasnow (4/16 vs. BAL, 4/21 vs. BOS)
Did you see Glasnow’s performance against the White Sox on Wednesday? He has natural cut on his fastball, which can take him to the next level. The matchup against Boston is scary, but he’ll finish with plus-value with Baltimore as the other game on the docket.
Kenta Maeda (4/16 vs. CIN, 4/21 @ MIL)
The Reds have seemingly found their groove against the Marlins. They still sit in the bottom third of wOBA against righties, but both matchups make me feel a little bit nervous. I like the wins potential with Maeda and Stripling, though.
Yusei Kikuchi (4/15 vs. CLE, 4/20 @ LAA)
Kikuchi has been … fine. He hasn’t been overly impressive or missed bats the way I had hoped for his first time through the league. Both matchups are plus for him this week.
Ross Stripling (4/15 vs. CIN, 4/20 @ MIL)
See Maeda above.
Matt Shoemaker (4/15 @ MIN, 4/20 @ OAK)
It really is all about the splitter for Shoemaker. He’s back to throwing it a lot — 33 percent of the time — and wouldn’t you know it, he’s been good. He can’t keep his 0.92 ERA, but he’s a good streaming option in two good pitcher environments.
Collin McHugh (4/16 @ OAK, 4/21 @ TEX)
So much for the bad spring from McHugh, who has looked solid so far to open the season. I like the A’s offense, but the matchup is at a great ballpark for McHugh. The Rangers, who have the third-highest team K% on the season, should swing and miss enough to help him with strikeouts, too.
In the Danger Zone
Yu Darvish (4/15 @ MIA, 4/21 vs. ARI)
It’s honestly hard to roll Darvish out there right now, which is a shame. I had him poised for a big bounce-back season in 2019, but he’s walking everyone. With Miami on the schedule, though, he’s worth rolling out there for a two-start week.
Robbie Ray 4/16 @ ATL, 4/21 @ CHC)
I don’t love the matchups for Ray at all, but if you’re looking for some strikeouts and can afford to take the hits elsewhere, he’s worth starting.
Brandon Woodruff (4/16 vs. STL, 4/21 vs. LAD)
Freddy Peralta (4/15 vs. STL, 4/20 vs. LAD)
Both Woodruff and Peralta make me nervous here. I trust Woodruff a lot more than one-pitch Freddy, but both guys could take a negative against these offenses or put up two great starts, and I wouldn’t be surprised either way. Both are the definition of a dice roll.
Nick Pivetta (4/16 vs. NYM, 4/21 @ COL)
It’s not time to jump off the Pivetta ship, friends. That .412 BABIP is going to regress, so don’t drop him. However, he’s facing two good offenses, including one in Colorado. I’d sit him this week and if you don’t own him, put in buy-low offers after the Colorado game.
Streamers Owned in Under 50% of Leagues
Trevor Richards (4/15 vs. CHC, 4/21 vs. WAS)
Max Fried (4/16 vs. ARI, 4/21 @ CLE)
Dereck Rodriguez (4/16 @ WAS, 4/21 @ PIT)
Mike Leake (4/16 vs. CLE, 4/21 @ LAA)
Both Richards and Fried are very interesting this week. Richards should have his ownership up around 85 percent after another good outing Wednesday against Cincinnati. He escaped trouble early on but recovered for his third straight good start. The matchups this week are tough, though. Although Fried can’t survive long by striking out under six batters per nine, he has two plus matchups.
Streamers Owned in Under 25% of Leagues
Mike Minor (4/15 vs. LAA, 4/21 vs. HOU)
Jake Odorizzi (4/15 vs. TOR, 4/20 @ BAL)
Aaron Sanchez (4/16 @ MIN, 4/21 @ OAK)
Dylan Bundy (4/16 @ TB, 4/21 vs. MIN)
Reynaldo Lopez (4/16 vs. KC, 4/21 @ DET)
This group doesn’t do much for me, but I’m most confident in Odorizzi and Lopez — neither of whom I’m big fans of in general. Odorizzi has had one great start, one horrible start, and one start where the bullpen couldn’t bail him out. I like the home matchup against Toronto, and while Baltimore is a bad ballpark, they house one of the worst lineups in baseball. He’s a go for me this week. Lopez, on the other hand, has been horrible. But Jason Collette brought up something interesting on Twitter:
i was rather vocal about my dislike for Reynaldo Lopez this year, but these first 3 starts come down to one thing for me: it’s been 44 degrees or colder in each of his starts and windy as heck in 2 of them. I remember from his time in CLT he really disliked pitching in cold
– Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) April 10, 2019
It’s not like it’s going to be super warm next week, but he has two good matchups if you truly need a two-start streamer.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Matt Harvey (4/15 @ TEX, 4/20 vs. SEA)
Tyler Mahle (4/16 @ LAD, 4/21 @ SD)
Jorge Lopez (4/16 @ CHW, 4/21 @ NYY)
Felix Pena (4/16 @ TEX, 4/21 vs. SEA)
Ervin Santana (4/15 vs. KC, 4/20 @ DET)
Dan Straily (4/15 @ BOS, 4/20 vs. MIN)