Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: 9/7-9/13
It’s time to be more selective with our two-start streamers, as we are nearing the playoffs. We can’t afford to roll guys out there who could come through for us. We need to feel pretty good about it. This week, we have 13 guys to talk about who aren’t obvious starts or prominent benches unless you’re desperate.
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
- Max Scherzer (9/7 vs. TB, 9/13 vs ATL)
- Lance Lynn (9/8 vs. LAA, 9/12 vs. OAK)
- Kyle Hendricks (9/7 vs. STL, 9/12 @MIL)
- Zack Wheeler (9/7 @NYM, 9/12 @MIA)
- Zack Greinke (9/8 vs. OAK, 9/13 @LAD)
- Dinelson Lamet (9/7 vs. COL, 9/12 vs. SF)
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (9/7 vs. NYY, 9/12 vs. NYM)
- Mike Clevinger (9/8 vs. COL, 9/13 vs. SF)
- Zac Gallen (9/7 @SF, 9/12 vs. SEA)
Triston McKenzie (9/8 vs. KC, 9/13 @MIN)
Corey Kluber. Trevor Bauer. Mike Clevinger. The returns have been questionable, at best, but an organization can move players like that when you develop pitchers the way Cleveland does. Triston McKenzie is the latest Cleveland starter to take off, but he also had prospect pedigree compared to some of the others, who appeared out of nowhere. He’s given up just three runs and struck out 19 in his first 14 career innings over three starts.
Kwang-Hyun Kim (9/7 @CHC, 9/12 vs. CIN)
Kim isn’t going to give you the strikeouts that you want from a starter, but he’s been steady Eddy so far in the rotation. The matchups leave a lot to be desired, but he’s an excellent floor pitcher to help you in wins, ERA, and WHIP.
Sixto Sanchez (9/8 @ATL, 9/13 vs. PHI)
Over the past few years, the Marlins have traded away Chris Paddack, Luis Castillo, and Zac Gallen. Yet, looking at their system, they still have a plethora of young arms. Sánchez has been lights out since debuting with Miami, striking out 19 batters in as many innings. What’s more encouraging, though, is that Sánchez has only walked one batter in three starts.
Zach Plesac (9/7 vs. KC, 9/12 @MIN)
Plesac returned to the team after a slew of selfish actions, and he returned to the tune of six strikeouts and one run allowed over six innings against the Royals. He faces the same Royals again, which should be more than enough padding for the matchup against the Twins later in the week.
In the Danger Zone
Andrew Heaney (9/8 @TEX, 9/13 @COL)
As good as Mike Clevinger was in his San Diego debut, Heaney was even better, as he shut out the friars over seven innings. You love to see it, of course, but he’s now heading to Colorado in a two-start week. Start with caution.
Frankie Montas (9/7 vs. HOU, 9/12 @TEX)
Montas just hasn’t been the same pitcher this year that we saw in the first half of 2019. Over his last three starts, he’s allowed 18 earned runs in 9.1 innings to the Astros, Angels, and Diamondbacks. Start him only if you are chasing.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Zach Eflin (9/8 vs. BOS, 9/13 @MIA)
On the surface, you see Eflin’s 4.45 ERA, and you shrug. But then you see his FIP, and you see it’s 2.89. Eflin is worth using this week, especially against the Red Sox and Marlins.
Spencer Turnbull (9/8 vs. MIL, 9/12 @CHW)
It’s been a rollercoaster year for Turnbull, and just as he pulls us in, he makes us want to bench him again. The matchups aren’t great, so use him only if you need the innings. But if you are, at all, protecting WHIP, you’re better off benching him, as Turnbull is walking everyone in sight.
Kevin Gausman (9/7 vs. ARI, 9/12 @SD)
For facing the Dodgers and Rockies – in Coors Field – over his last two starts, you’ll take the results from Gausman. He’s the best of this tier this week, even with the San Diego matchup on the backend of his two-start week.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Alec Mills (9/8 vs. CIN, 9/13 @MIL)
The Mills experiment may be over for fantasy managers, as he’s allowed eight earned runs over his last eight innings to the Reds and the Pirates. Yes, even the Pirates had Mills’ number.
Tyler Mahle (9/8 @CHC, 9/13 @STL)
Mahle is somehow only rostered in 18 percent of leagues, despite him dominating the Cubs two starts ago, and holding his own against the Cardinals his last time out. He gets those same two teams this week, too, and he should be streamed in 12-team leagues and larger.
Martín Perez (9/8 @PHI, 9/13 @TB)
Pérez hasn’t been… bad. It’s shocking, of course, but he’s been the ace of the Red Sox staff this year. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Blue Jays his last time out, and he’s alternated pretty good with pretty bad starts over his past four outings. He gets the red-hot Phillies and the first-place Rays this week. IYKYK.
Logan Webb (9/8 @SEA, 9/13 @SD)
This is more of a lottery ticket for those in 15-teamers than anything for context. He’ll need to come through against the Mariners to return a positive value since he faces the Padres on the other end of his two-start week.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- Jordan Montgomery (9/7 @TOR, 9/12 vs. BAL)
- J.A. Happ (9/8 @TOR, 9/13 vs. BAL)
- Jon Gray (9/7 @SD, 9/13 vs. LAA)
- Luke Weaver (9/8 vs. LAD, 9/13 vs. SEA)
- Michael Wacha (9/7 vs. PHI, 9/13 @TOR)
- John Means (9/8 @NYM, 9/13 @NYY)
- Michael Fulmer (9/7 @MIN, 9/11 @CHW)
- Kolby Allard (9/7 @SEA, 9/12 vs. OAK)
- Johan Oviedo (9/8 vs. MIN, 9/13 vs. CIN)
- Robbie Erlin (9/7 vs. MIA, 9/13 @WAS)
- José Urena (9/7 @ATL, 9/12 vs. PHI)
- Kyle Cody (9/9 vs. LAA, 9/13 vs. OAK)
- Matt Harvey (9/7 @CLE, 9/13 vs. PIT)
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