Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 9/21-9/27
This is going to be a wild week. Thanks, everyone for reading along in what has been a weird season. This is the last week of the season, so teams may do some unpredictable things as they try to line up their rotations for the playoffs. We’ll go with what we know as of Friday morning.
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
Shane Bieber (9/22 vs. CHW, 9/27 vs. PIT)
Gerrit Cole (9/21 @TOR, 9/26 vs. MIA)
Aaron Nola (9/22 @WAS, 9/27 @TB)
Lucas Giolito (9/21 @CLE, 9/26 vs. CHC)
Jacob deGrom (9/21 vs. TB, 9/26 @WAS)
Dylan Bundy (9/21 vs. TEX, 9/27 @LAD)
Germán Márquez (9/21 @SF, 9/25 @ARI)
Marco Gonzales (9/21 vs. HOU, 9/26 vs. OAK)
Masahiro Tanaka (9/22 @TOR, 9/27 vs. MIA)
Aaron Civale (9/21 vs. CHW, 9/26 vs. PIT)
Zack Wheeler (9/21 @WAS, 9/26 @TB)
Adam Wainwright (9/21 @KC, 9/26 @MIL)
It’s so 2020 that Wainwright would be a useful fantasy option. Yes, he’s old, and yes, he hasn’t been reliable for a few years, but he now has a 2.87 ERA on the season, and he’s only rostered in 75 percent of leagues. Roll him out and feel good about it.
Framber Valdez (9/22 @SEA, 9/27 @TEX)
Valdez, who was rocked in his previous start, allowing eight earned runs against the Angels, mowed down the Rangers Thursday. He gets those same Rangers on the last day of the regular season, which paired with the Mariners on the front-end, makes him an attractive option to use for fantasy purposes.
Lance McCullers (9/21 @SEA, 9/26 @TEX)
McCullers was absolutely lights out his last time out against Texas, striking out eight Rangers in seven innings without allowing a run. He’s been alternating good start with bad start over the past month, but he has two fantastic matchups on the slate for the final week.
In the Danger Zone
Seth Lugo (9/22 vs. TB, 9/27 @WAS)
Lugo’s velocity was way down Thursday, and he was absolutely pummeled by the Phillies as a result. There’s a good chance that he doesn’t pitch again this season, as there have been concerns around his elbow. Mets are gonna Met.
Dustin May (9/22 vs. OAK, 9/27 vs. LAA)
May was already overrated for fantasy purposes, but now the Dodgers used him in an opener situation with him coming into the game in the third inning. Maybe they are saving him for the playoffs, but it’s frustrating as a fantasy manager when trying to set your lineup. Woe is us, I suppose.
Mike Minor (9/22 @LAD, 9/27 vs. SEA)
The good news for Minor is that he gets the same Mariners that he just dominated on the backend of his two-start week. The bad news is that he has to get through the Dodgers Tuesday first. Proceed with caution.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Jon Lester (9/21 @PIT, 9/26 @CHW)
Lester has been serviceable over his past two starts, allowing just two runs in 11 innings. He has a great matchup against the terrible Pirates Monday, but he is scheduled to throw against the White Sox Saturday. We’ll see what the White Sox have to play for at that point, but on paper, it’s an ugly matchup.
Kyle Freeland (9/22 @SF, 9/26 @ARI)
Freeland is the streamer of the week, as he gets two road starts and gets to avoid Colorado. On the year, he has a 2.63 ERA on the road, and a 4.46 ERA at home this year. He’s available in 66 percent of leagues on Yahoo.
Brady Singer (9/22 vs. STL, 9/27 vs. DET)
Make that two back-to-back great starts for the rookie, as he’s struck out 16 and allowed zero runs and three hits over his past 14 innings. If people weren’t in fantasy football mode, he’d be rostered in more than 28 percent of leagues.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Keegan Akin (9/22 @BOS, 9/27 @TOR)
Like last week, we need to have someone in this tier, so let’s go with Akin, who is fresh off a five-inning, no-run, nine-strikeout start against the Braves. He does have to go to Coors Field east, but he should be able to handle the Red Sox to net you positive results for the week if you’re wanting to take a flier.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Josh Fleming (9/21 @NYM, 9/27 vs. PHI)
Caleb Smith (9/22 vs. TEX, 9/27 vs. COL)
Cole Hamels (9/22 vs. MIA, 9/27 vs. BOS)
Kyle Gibson (9/21 @LAA, 9/26 vs HOU)
Austin Voth (9/21 vs. PHI, 9/27 vs. NYM)
Tyler Anderson (9/22 vs. COL, 9/27 vs. SD)
Chase Anderson (9/21 vs. NYY, 9/26 vs. BAL)
Tarik Skubal (9/22 @MIN, 9/27 @KC)
Reynaldo López (9/22 @CLE, 9/27 vs. CHC)
Michael Lorenzen (9/21 vs. MIL, 9/27 @MIN)
Drew Smyly (9/21 vs. COL, 9/26 vs. SD)
Nick Margevicius (9/22 vs. HOU, 9/27 @OAK)
Jordan Lyles (9/22 @ARI, 9/27 vs. HOU)
Touki Toussaint (9/21 vs. MIA, 9/26 vs. BOS)
J.T. Brubaker (9/21 vs. CHC, 9/27 @CLE)
Ryan Castellani (9/23 @SF, 9/27 @ARI)
Mike Kickham (9/22 vs. BAL, 9/25 @ATL)
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