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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 2 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Apr 9, 2021

Cristian Javier is in line for a potential two-win week.

If you were looking for the Week 1 two-start pitchers article and couldn’t find it, that wasn’t on you. That wasn’t on FantasyPros, either.

It was on me.

I made a gut call and decided not to write a two-start piece for baseball’s opening week. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to – it was because there was so much unknown still as far as rotations went.

Anything that I would have produced would have been guesswork, and it would have hurt you more than it helped you. 

But now we are ready to go. There will be tweaks here and there (we put this out on Fridays to give you extra time to prepare for the week ahead), but we feel pretty good about the projected upcoming rotations.

Each week, you can find a breakdown of the two-start pitchers for the upcoming week, who you should start, and why.

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.

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Don’t Think Twice

Widely-Rostered Options

Cristian Javier (4/13 vs. DET, 4/18 @SEA)
Javier has looked good for practically all but one inning this season, and he has two terrific matchups on the docket for this week. If he can manage his pitch count, he should work through the fifth in line for a potential two-win week.

Pablo López (4/12 @ATL, 4/17 vs. SF)
How great does he look? The Marlins are a must-watch for their starting pitching and starting pitching only. You don’t love the Atlanta matchup, but San Francisco balances it out.

Dallas Keuchel (4/13 vs. CLE, 4/18 @BOS)
He’s allowed seven earned runs so far, but his 44.1 LOB% is a contributor to that, as is the .310 BABIP. He’ll give you that boring volume that he brings each year.

John Means (4/13 vs. SEA, 4/18 @TEX)
Means looks fantastic this season, posting a 0.77 ERA and 2.20 FIP. I’m not scared of either of these offenses in their current forms.

Freddy Peralta (4/12 vs. CHC, 4/18 vs. PIT)
Peralta has been as advertised so far this year – high strikeout rate and high walk rate. He’s had one game as a starter this year, so he’ll get to have a double feature this week against two offenses that are struggling. Fire him up.

Chris Bassitt (4/12 @ARI, 4/18 vs. DET)
I’ve never been much of a Bassitt guy, and he’s always been closer to a streamer for me than a starting option. He just doesn’t excite me, but against an Arizona offense without Ketel Marte and with the Tigers on the backend of the schedule, I’m fine using him this week.

In the Danger Zone

Taijuan Walker (4/13 vs. PHI, 4/18 @COL)
Walker looked good his first time out with his velocity readings. But it’s a good time to remind everyone that if a pitcher has a start in Coors, they’ll always be down on the list.

Ryan Yarbrough (4/13 vs. TEX, 4/18 @NYY)
If someone dropped Yarbrough after his last outing, rush in and put a claim in on him for the long haul. The Yankees matchup has to give you pause in a two-start week, but I’d still start him.

Madison Bumgarner (4/12 vs. OAK, 4/18 vs. WAS)
There’s no real situation where I want to start Bumgarner. 

Matthew Boyd (4/13 @HOU, 4/18 @OAK)
I won’t trust Matthew Boyd. I won’t trust Matthew Boyd. I won’t trust Matthew Boyd. I won’t tru…

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

Casey Mize (4/12 @HOU, 4/17 @OAK)
Mize looked fantastic the first time through the order in his first start of the season, and his velocity looked good, too. There will still be bumps in the road, though, with the young pitcher.

Justus Sheffield (4/12 @BAL, 4/18 vs. HOU)
This is more for those in 15-team leagues or higher. I’m not big on Sheffield, but I think he can return positive value against Baltimore.

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

J.A. Happ (4/12 vs. BOS, 4/17 @LAA)
I’m fine with Happ if you want the extra arm. The matchups don’t scare me too much – especially with Boston at home.

Dane Dunning (4/12 @TB, 4/17 vs. BAL)
Dunning was an interesting late-round flier for draft season, and he has a solid first start against a potent Toronto lineup. I’m fine rolling him out here in a volume play.

Adbert Alzolay (4/12 @MIL, 4/18 vs. ATL)
So the matchups aren’t great (maybe, as far as Milwaukee is concerned), and there’s some upside here with Alzolay, who is fighting to prove that he deserves the final rotation spot.

Wade Miley (4/12 @SF, 4/18 vs. CLE)
This is a matchup-based play only in 15-team leagues.

Kyle Gibson (4/13 @TB, 4/18 vs. BAL)
Gibson is impossible to predict on a start-by-start basis, so the best assumption is that he’ll have one good start and one bad this week.

Aaron Sanchez (4/12 vs. CIN, 4/18 @MIA)
It’s been one start so far, but Sanchez handled the Padres by limiting them to one run on six hits in five innings. He’s on my watchlist in a few leagues, and if I’ll look to pick him up in them if he succeeds in these two starts.

Huascar Ynoa (4/13 vs. MIA, 4/18 @CHC)
This is my favorite deep call of the week. It’s risky, for sure, but I like the matchups and the win potential.

Not Unless You’re Desperate

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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