Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 8/19-8/25
We’re at the point in the season where you are going to see pitchers get skipped or pushed back a day. Just from a quick glance, Gerrit Cole, Domingo German, Brendan McKay, Joe Ross, John Means, Ivan Nova, and Dillon Peters are all slated two-start pitchers next week who were supposed to make two starts this week.
Welcome to August and September fantasy baseball, folks.
Pitchers getting shut down early with innings concerns will only add to that uncertainty. Stay tuned next week as we dig deeper on some of those arms. For now, let’s do our best to plan ahead for next week.
Like I do every week, I’ll break 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 Friday morning.
Don’t Think Twice
Clayton Kershaw (8/20 vs. TOR, 8/25 vs. NYY)
Stephen Strasburg (8/20 @PIT, 8/25 @CHC)
Shane Bieber (8/20 @NYM, 8/25 vs. KC)
Gerrit Cole (8/19 vs. DET, 8/24 vs. LAA)
Trevor Bauer (8/19 vs. SD, 8/25 @PIT)
Widely Rostered Options
Domingo German (8/20 @OAK, 8/25 @LAD)
It’s going to be interesting to see where German goes in drafts next season. I’ll tell you this: I’ll have very few shares, if any. I imagine his price will be as a top-25 pitcher, and I’m not ready to invest that. As for this season, he’s basically a set-and-forget option, but the Dodgers matchup bumps him down a tier.
Wade Miley (8/20 vs. DET, 8/25 vs. LAA)
Miley has been a trusted starter each and every outing … except for his last time out, when the White Sox took it to him for seven runs (three earned) Wednesday. You’re not benching him, however, especially with these matchups. He still has a high floor and low ceiling.
Mike Minor (8/20 vs. LAA, 8/25 @CHW)
After a disappointing stretch, Minor has put together consecutive great starts to land back in the good graces of fantasy managers. With the Angels and White Sox on the schedule, he should provide a great return next week.
Dallas Keuchel (8/20 vs. MIA, 8/25 @NYM)
It’s been a roll of the dice for each of Keuchel’s starts this year. He gets the Marlins and Mets next week, which are the two teams he’s faced most recently. Against the Mets on Wednesday night, Kuechel went six shutout innings. Against the Marlins last week, he allowed eight earned runs in just 3.2 innings. Good luck if you’re starting him.
Cole Hamels (8/20 vs. SF, 8/25 vs. WAS)
Ouch. Hamels’ return to Philadelphia was anything but brotherly love, as he allowed eight earned runs in just two innings Wednesday night. This is the second straight game where Hamels has gotten shelled. I still trust him, but I’m OK dropping him if he puts up another negative performance in either of these matchups.
Kyle Gibson (8/19 vs. CHW, 8/25 vs. DET)
Gibson is like Lucas Giolito light. He will dominate the poor competition, but he’ll struggle against the good teams. Gibson stumbled against the Brewers on Wednesday night, but luckily, he has two less-than-impressive teams ahead in the White Sox and Tigers. Roll him out there with confidence.
In the Danger Zone
Marco Gonzales (8/19 @TB, 8/24 vs. TOR)
There’s a low ceiling for Gonzales, who’s had an up-and-down season after impressing last year. Like Miles Mikolas, it’s hard to stand out as a fantasy option if you don’t have a ton of strikeouts. In his last outing against Tampa Bay on August 9, though, Gonzales struck out nine Rays. He’ll look for similar luck this week, but we’ve seen that Gonzales’ upside is really, really bad.
Chris Archer (8/20 vs. WAS, 8/25 vs. CIN)
Archer will live in this section until he retires. You’ll get strikeouts each time, but you never know if the rest of the numbers will be good or terrible.
Steven Matz (8/20 vs. CLE, 8/25 vs. ATL)
Matz has scored at least 21.50 points in Yahoo leagues in three out of his past four starts. It’s coincided with the Mets’ hot streak in August, but Matz has also struggled mightily at times this year. His opponents are difficult next week, so I’m benching him.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Brendan McKay (8/19 vs. SEA, 8/24 @BAL)
Brad Keller (8/19 @BAL, 8/25 @CLE)
Dakota Hudson (8/19 vs. MIL, 8/24 vs. COL)
Andrew Heaney (8/20 @TEX, 8/25 @HOU)
John Means (8/19 vs. KC, 8/24 vs. TB)
Nathan Eovaldi (8/20 vs. PHI, 8/25 @SD)
There are a lot of attractive names in this section. McKay and Keller stand out the most for me. McKay has disappointed since his third start and has struggled to get deep into games, which limits his ceiling. But Seattle and Baltimore? It doesn’t get much better than that.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Ivan Nova (8/19 @MIN, 8/24 vs. TEX)
Gio Gonzalez (8/19 @STL, 8/25 vs. ARI)
Trevor Williams (8/19 vs. WAS, 8/24 vs. CIN)
Joe Ross (8/19 @PIT, 8/24 @CHC)
Ross is, by far, my favorite option in this section. The only thing holding him back is whether he has a rotation spot when Max Scherzer comes back. It comes down to him and Anibal Sanchez and, unfortunately, I’d bet on the Nationals going with Sanchez over Ross.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Dillon Peters (8/19 @TEX, 8/24 @HOU)
Eric Lauer (8/19 @CIN, 8/25 vs. BOS)
Dylan Bundy (8/20 vs. KC, 8/25 vs. TB)
Michael Wacha (8/20 vs. MIL, 8/25 vs. COL)
Spencer Turnbull (8/20 @HOU, 8/25 @MIN)
Kyle Freeland (8/20 @ARI, 8/25 @STL)
Kolby Allard (8/19 vs. LAA, 8/24 @CHW)
Elieser Hernandez (8/20 @ATL, 8/25 vs. PHI)
Jalen Beeks (8/20 vs. SEA, 8/25 @BAL)
Edwin Jackson (8/19 @HOU, 8/24 @MIN)
Pedro Payano (8/20 vs. LAA, 8/24 @CHW)
Thomas Pannone (8/20 @LAD, 8/25 @SEA)
Ross Detwiler (8/20 @MIN, 8/25 vs. TEX)