Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 9/2-9/8
With us using the rostership numbers from Yahoo, it’s important to note that this upcoming week marks the start of the playoffs in standard Yahoo head-to-head leagues.
I’ll keep ranking players in different tiers, but the time for taking chances on players is over. Unless you are positive that you will get a net-positive return on a fringe two-start guy, you need to avoid them. I’d rather lose by not starting Mitch Keller than have him be the reason that I lost. If you’re an underdog, it changes things a bit, but don’t go too heavy on fringe guys. They could bury you even more.
Let’s get to it to help you get a jump.
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-Rostered Options – Players rostered 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 Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues – These guys should live on the waiver wire, but you can start them this week.
- Streamers Rostered 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 8 p.m. August 29
Don’t Think Twice
Gerrit Cole (9/2 @MIL, 9/8 vs. SEA)
Mike Clevinger (9/3 vs. CHW, 9/8 @MIN)
Walker Buehler (9/2 vs. COL, 9/8 vs. SF)
Noah Syndergaard (9/2 @WAS, 9/8 vs. PHI)
Jack Flaherty (9/2 vs. SF, 9/7 @PIT)
Max Scherzer (9/2 vs. NYM, 9/7 @ATL)
Jose Berrios (9/3 @BOS, 9/8 vs. CLE)
Kyle Hendricks (9/2 vs. SEA, 9/8 @MIL)
Lance Lynn (9/3 @NYY, 9/8 @BAL)
Lynn is coming off of three lackluster starts, and while Baltimore makes him intriguing, running him out there against the Yankees is just something I can’t do in a weekly lineup league. The negatives outweigh the positives for me here.
Mike Soroka (9/2 vs. TOR, 9/8 vs. WAS)
Since the beginning of July, Soroka has 46 strikeouts in 63 innings. The strikeouts, which weren’t ever a big part of his game, have gone down. That said, Soroka has still had the results for fantasy managers. My hope is that Soroka makes the Blue Jays start and gets pushed back to avoid the red-hot Nationals, making him a one-start pitcher to preserve his innings. I’m starting him with confidence either way.
Masahiro Tanaka (9/2 vs. TEX, 9/8 @BOS)
It’s all about the splitter for Tanaka, which has been absent this year. He said it’s because of the new baseball, which could make him a big value in draft season. For this upcoming week, though, I’m benching him with his matchups.
Ryan Yarbrough (9/2 vs. BAL, 9/7 vs. TOR)
Yarbrough looked fantastic against the Astros this week, and while he rarely goes more than six innings (six times in 23 appearances), he provides the results. Baltimore and Toronto are fantastic matchups, and even better at home for Yarbrough. I’m starting him, and I’m thrilled to start him as a reliever in a points league.
In the Danger Zone
Jeff Samardzija (9/2 @STL, 9/7 @LAD)
Samardzija has been the pitcher that we hoped he would be in 2018. He’s been a consistent No. 4 for your fantasy rotation. I’m nervous to start him outside of Oracle Park, though, especially with a date against the Dodgers. I’d prefer to sit him if possible.
Cal Quantrill (9/2 @ARI, 9/8 vs. COL)
Quantrill was lit up his last time out by the Dodgers, which is understandable. But was he as good as his recent run suggests? He doesn’t strike a lot of guys out or generate a lot of swings and misses. I want to call it a mirage, despite the pedigree, but I feel really good about these matchups in a non-quality start league.
Adrian Houser (9/2 vs. HOU, 9/8 vs. CHC)
Houser expects to make his next start after leaving with a hip injury Tuesday night. He won’t be making a start for me, and he shouldn’t be for you. He is up against the Astros and Cubs at home. Woof.
Jake Junis (9/3 vs. DET, 9/8 @MIA)
Junis has struggled in his past two outings, but can you ask for better matchups than Detroit and Miami? I’m willing to get cute here and start the widely-available (80 percent) Junis in my playoffs.
Streamers Rostered in Less Than 50% of Leagues
Aaron Civale (9/2 vs. CHW, 9/7 @MIN)
Tanner Roark (9/3 vs. LAA, 9/8 vs. DET)
Anthony DeSclafani (9/2 vs. PHI, 9/7 vs. ARI)
Alex Wood (9/3 vs. PHI, 9/8 vs. ARI)
It’s the curse of this time of year that a lot of these guys are rostered in fewer than 50 percent of leagues. The Indians have something with Civale, as he’s looked really, really impressive. He’s my favorite of this bunch, even with the dastardly Twins on the schedule.
Streamers Rostered in Less Than 25% of Leagues
Trent Thornton (9/3 @ATL, 9/8 @TB)
Sandy Alcantara (9/3 @PIT, 9/8 vs. KC)
Vince Velasquez (9/3 @CIN, 9/8 @NYM)
This is another batch of pitchers that I don’t mind. My favorite pitcher here is Thornton, but for next week, it’s Alcantara with the Royals and Pirates on the schedule. Wins will be hard to get for him, but I’m expecting positive value returned even if he loses both games.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Rick Porcello (9/3 vs. MIN, 9/8 vs. NYY)
Mitch Keller (9/3 vs. MIA, 9/8 vs. STL)
Asher Wojciechowski (9/2 @TB, 9/7 vs. TEX)
Justus Sheffield (9/2 @CHC, 9/8 @HOU)
Ariel Jurado (9/2 @NYY, 9/7 @BAL)
Dereck Rodriguez (9/3 @STL, 9/8 @LAD)
Drew Smyly (9/2 @CIN, 9/7 @NYM)
Daniel Norris (9/3 @KC, 9/8 @OAK)
Peter Lambert (9/2 @LAD, 9/8 @SD)
Ross Detwiler (9/2 @CLE, 9/7 vs. LAA)
Patrick Sandoval (9/3 @OAK, 9/8 @CHW)
Mike Leake (9/2 vs. SD, 9/8 @CIN)
Dylan Cease (9/3 @CLE, 9/8 vs. LAA)
Jacob Waguespack (9/3 @ATL, 9/7 @TB)