Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 8/31-9/6
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 Friday morning.
Don’t Think Twice
- Clayton Kershaw (9/1 vs. ARI, 9/6 vs. COL)
- Sonny Gray (9/1 vs. STL, 9/6 @PIT)
- Jacob deGrom (9/1 @BAL, 9/6 vs. PHI)
- Shane Bieber (8/31 @KC, 9/6 vs. MIL)
- Gerrit Cole (8/31 vs. TB, 9/5 @BAL)
- Dinelson Lamet (9/2 @LAA, 9/6 @OAK)
- Patrick Corbin (9/1 @PHI, 9/5 @ATL)
- Aaron Nola (8/31 vs. WAS, 9/5 @NYM)
- José Berríos (8/31 vs. CHW, 9/6 vs. DET)
- Max Fried (8/31 @BOS, 9/5 vs. WAS)
Tyler Glasnow (8/31 @NYY, 9/6 vs. MIA)
Glasnow has been up and down this season, as the walks have really hurt him. But he showed what he’s capable of when he struck out 13 Orioles. That’s why you aren’t sitting him – even against the Yankees.
Masahiro Tanaka (9/1 vs. TB, 9/6 @BAL)
Tanaka made quick work of the Braves last week, and more importantly, he threw 71 pitches. You should expect around 80-90 going forward, which makes him usable in most leagues.
Cristian Javier (9/1 vs. TEX, 9/5 @LAA)
The rookie has been solid, walking fewer batters than expected, while limiting the damage from the opposition. He gets the same Angels that he faced Tuesday on the backend of a two-start week. With the Astros offense backing him, you’re starting him in most two-start weeks.
Marco Gonzales (8/31 @LAA, 9/6 vs. TEX)
Gonzales has been quietly – and surprisingly – solid this year for the Mariners. He’s not just eating innings, either, as he has nearly a strikeout per inning. The Angels aren’t hitting this year, so this is a nice setup for him to succeed.
In the Danger Zone
Sean Manaea (9/1 @SEA, 9/6 vs. SD)
Manaea was supposed to get the Astros on Sunday, but he was pushed back, making him a two-start pitcher this week. The matchup against Seattle is nice, but you need him to really put together a great showing with San Diego on the backend of the two-start week.
Jon Lester (9/1 @PIT, 9/6 vs. STL)
The Pirates are terrible, and we saw that against the White Sox, as they were no-hit. Credit to Lucas Giolito, though, who could have no-hit a number of teams that night. They alone make Lester worth using this week, not to mention a Cardinals team that’s hitting just .228 against lefties this season.
Brad Keller (8/31 vs. CLE, 9/5 vs. CHW)
Keller was fantastic this season… until he was lit up by the Cardinals to the tune of five runs in four-plus innings. The strikeouts were still OK, which is encouraging, but he runs into a tough Chicago offense after he goes head-to-head with Shane Bieber on Monday. Yeesh.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Kwang Hyun Kim (9/1 @CIN, 9/6 @CHC)
Kim has been phenomenal in the rotation for the Cardinals, and it’s surprising his rostership number is so low. Expect that to climb on the cusp of a two-start week, even if the matchups leave a lot to be desired in those ballparks.
Dakota Hudson (8/31 @CIN, 9/5 @CHC)
Like Kim, Hudson has been pretty solid in the rotation, with a 3.32 ERA. He’s not going to rack up the strikeouts, as that’s just not his game. But when the sinker is working, he’ll return solid value. He’ll need that sinker to work in a road game in Cincinnati.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Spencer Howard (9/1 vs. WAS, 9/6 @NYM)
A couple of tough inter-division matchups – especially the Mets, who lead baseball in average against righties – for the rookie, who was pulled early from his last start due to a blister. What’s encouraging, for the short time he was in there (3.2 IP), was that he only allowed a run in Coors Field east, aka Buffalo.
Chad Kuhl (9/1 vs. CHC, 9/6 vs. CIN)
I got a text Thursday night, telling me “nice call on Kuhl” from my streamer’s column. While it’s true, he went six innings allowing just one run, he also walked four to just one strikeout. You can’t expect wins from him, but he’s worth using for a two-start week in deeper leagues.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Germán Márquez (8/31 vs. SD, 9/6 @LAD)
With one home and one away game, Marquez is usually “In the Danger Zone” tier. But with that home game against the Padres and the road game against the Dodgers, it’s an easy call this week. You’re sitting him.
- Kyle Gibson (9/1 @HOU, 9/6 @SEA)
- Brandon Bielak (9/2 vs. TEX, 9/6 @LAA)
- Trevor Williams (8/31 @MIL, 9/4 vs. CIN)
- Alex Young (9/1 @LAD, 9/6 @SF)
- Asher Wojciechowski (8/31 @TOR, 9/5 vs. NYY)
- Erick Fedde (8/31 @PHI, 9/4 @ATL)
- Jake Junis (9/1 vs. CLE, 9/6 vs. CHW)
- Julian Merryweather (8/31 vs. BAL, 9/5 @BOS)
- Robbie Erlin (9/1 @BOS, 9/6 vs. WAS)
- Colten Brewer (9/1 vs. ATL, 9/6 vs. TOR)
- Kyle Hart (8/31 vs. ATL, 9/5 vs. TOR)
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