Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 6/24-6/30
When Rich Hill left Wednesday’s game, the worst was immediately thought. He does, after all, have quite the injury history, and at 39 years old, you can’t expect a quick recovery from a forearm strain. The Dodgers placed him on the injured list, and while Julio Urias started Thursday’s game, it’s not quite clear if he or Ross Stripling will replace Hill in the rotation going forward.
See, in the past couple of years, the Dodgers have made ample use of the 10-day injured list by giving their pitchers regular trips there. The thought was they’d continue to do that this year, which would make both Urias and Stripling appealing. I had Stripling as a top-35 pitcher in the preseason because I felt he would make at least 20 starts despite needing injuries to start the year in the rotation.
It hasn’t worked out that way, as the Dodgers pitchers have recently remained healthy and fantastic … until Wednesday.
With Hill, who was scheduled to have two starts next week at Arizona and Colorado, on the IL and Kenta Maeda’s yearly contract-manipulation situation, there’s hope for Urias and Stripling yet to contribute not just as streamers, but as mainstays to your roster.
Like I do every week, I’ll break the pitchers down the two-start pitchers 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.
Let’s take a look at those pitchers scheduled to make two starts for the upcoming week, as projected on CBS as of Friday morning.
Don’t Think Twice
Max Scherzer (6/25 @MIA, 6/30 @DET)
Gerrit Cole (6/25 vs. PIT, 6/30 vs. SEA)
Zack Greinke (6/24 vs. LAD, 6/29 @SF)
Clayton Kershaw (6/24 @ARI, 6/29 @COL)
Widely Owned Options
Zach Eflin (6/24 vs. NYM, 6/29 @MIA)
After getting smacked around by Milwaukee May 26, Eflin has been on a roll. He’s put up three straight quality starts, and he has two plus matchups on the board this week.
Lucas Giolito (6/24 @BOS, 6/30 vs. MIN)
Giolito is human after all. He gave up six earned runs against the Cubs Wednesday night, thanks in part to a grand slam by Willson Contreras. He’s been an ace all season, but he could be a buy-low candidate after this upcoming week with Boston and Minnesota on the schedule. If he struggles, there will be people who say, “Ha, I knew he wasn’t good. Same old Giolito.” Don’t be friends with those people.
Blake Snell (6/25 @MIN, 6/30 vs. TEX)
Speaking of blowing up, Snell couldn’t escape the first inning against the Yankees on Wednesday. There’s reason to be concerned, but you are still rolling him out there even with two subpar matchups. If he struggles again after this week, we may have to take a closer look at where we rank him.
Robbie Ray (6/25 vs. LAD, 6/30 @SF)
What’s been great about Ray as of late is that he’s going deeper into games. He has gone at least six innings in each of his last four starts. As tough as the Dodgers are, the Giants are equally as bad. He should finish with positive value.
Kyle Gibson (6/25 vs. TB, 6/30 @CHW)
Gibson was smacked around Wednesday night by Boston, making it two dreadful starts in his last three outings. Sandwiched between, of course, was an eight-inning, two-hit shutout against the Royals. I’m still rolling with him, especially in a two-start week.
In the Danger Zone
Jake Arrieta (6/25 vs. NYM, 6/30 @MIA)
If there’s a week where you’re going to start Arrieta, this is this one. He’s been fine in his last two outings, but he’s still just a guy. This week, he’s just a guy who’s OK to stream.
Jon Lester (6/24 vs. ATL, 6/29 @CIN)
My main concern with Lester is that he has to face the red-hot Braves. I’m rolling him out there, but I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
Zach Davies (6/25 vs. SEA, 6/30 vs. PIT)
No one is excited about Davies. No one. Usually, I’d have him in the last section, but with the high-powered Milwaukee offense behind him and two easy matchups on the schedule, I’m OK using if you need two starts.
Julio Teheran (6/24 @CHC, 6/29 @NYM)
Wait, what’s that? Teheran got beat up his last time out? I never, ever saw that coming. Don’t be fooled by his season-long line. Teheran is still just an average pitcher at best. Only nine pitchers, including Davies, have a worse SIERA. I’m avoiding him and trying to sell while he still has some value.
Jon Gray (6/24 @SF, 6/29 vs. LAD)
At the Giants? Great! Home against the Dodgers? Oh no.
Andrew Heaney (6/25 vs. CIN, 6/30 vs. OAK)
I’m trying to trade for Heaney if I can. Yes, he has injury concerns, but the swing-and-miss stuff is great. I’m trusting him this week.
Max Fried (6/25 @CHC, 6/30 @NYM)
It was a fun few weeks for Fried to start the season, but he’s bringing his 6.53 June ERA into a two-start week with a game at Wrigley Field. Outside of points leagues, where Fried can be used as a relief pitcher, there’s no real reason to start him.
Streamers Owned in Under 50% of Leagues
Marco Gonzales (6/25 @MIL, 6/30 @HOU)
Steven Matz (6/24 @PHI, 6/29 vs. ATL)
Chris Bassitt (6/25 @STL, 6/30 @LAA)
Trevor Richards (6/25 vs. WAS, 6/30 vs. PHI)
Trevor Williams (6/25 @HOU, 6/30 @MIL)
If you’re a regular reader of my material, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m going to highlight Richards here. There’s something in the water in Miami, and the Marlins are doing a phenomenal job with their pitching staff. Richards bounced back from a rough outing with a nice showing Wednesday against St. Louis. He should be at least 70 percent owned.
Streamers Owned in Under 25% of Leagues
Brad Keller (6/24 @CLE, 6/30 @TOR)
Adam Plutko (6/24 vs. KC, 6/30 @BAL)
I mean, I don’t want to start either of these guys. Plutko has fantastic matchups, but he’s not a good pitcher. Keller just got rocked Wednesday against Seattle. If you’re in a points league and can use Keller as a reliever, I’m OK with rolling the dice in a desperate situation.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Aaron Sanchez (6/24 @NYY, 6/30 vs. KC)
Drew Pomeranz (6/24 vs. COL, 6/29 vs. ARI)
Jeff Hoffman (6/25 @SF, 6/30 vs. LAD)