Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 5 (2021)
We’re a calendar month into the season now, and while it’s still too early to panic on most players, we finally have a somewhat decent sample to use to look at trends.
I try to be transparent in this space with my analysis, so I wanted to say my apologies for missing the past couple of weeks. I’ve been dealing with a concussion for the past two months, and I needed to take some time to disconnect and avoid the additional screen time and work. I’m almost on the other side, though, so I’m excited to get back to discussing pitchers each week here.
Each week, you can find a breakdown of the two-start pitchers for the upcoming week, and 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 the above, but for 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
- Jacob deGrom (5/3 @STL, 5/8 vs. ARI)
- Aaron Nola (5/4 vs. MIL, 5/9 @ATL)
- Tyler Glasnow (5/3 @LAA, 5/8 @OAK)
- Zack Greinke (5/4 @NYY, 5/9 vs. TOR)
- Walker Buehler (5/3 @CHC, 5/9 @LAA)
- Kenta Maeda (5/3 vs. TEX, 5/8 @DET)
Carlos Rodon (5/4 @CIN, 5/9 @KC)
One person I’ve been totally wrong on this year is Rodon. His velocity is up, and he struck out 12 batters his last time out. He isn’t in sit-and-forget territory yet, but you’re starting him until he gives you a reason not to.
Aaron Civale (5/3 @KC, 5/8 vs. CIN)
If wins are a category in your league, you’re happy that Civale has four. They are pretty pointless, though, but his K/BB rate looks good, and he is showing signs of a breakout that many thought was coming.
Steven Matz (5/3 @OAK, 5/8 @HOU)
I’m not doing the Dennis Green “He is who we thought he was” meme yet, but I’m hesitant to fully buy in on Matz. I’m fine streaming him for two starts if you need him, but I don’t care for the matchups.
In the Danger Zone
Kyle Hendricks (5/3 vs. LAD, 5/9 vs. PIT)
It’s weird having Hendricks here, but he has gotten absolutely rocked so far this year. It’s been a tough year for the soft-tossing control pitchers, and while the Pirates matchup is great, I can’t roll him out there when he’s getting crushed left and right against the Dodgers.
German Marquez (5/3 vs. SF, 5/9 @STL)
You know the drill with Rockies pitchers when they’re pitching at home.
Frankie Montas (5/3 vs. TOR, 5/9 vs. TB)
It’s two tough matchups here for Montas as the Blue Jays start to get healthy. I’d like to see more consistency with his splitter usage, as we saw from him last time out.
Chris Paddack (5/3 vs. PIT, 5/9 @SF)
The matchups are saving Paddack this week, though he does get the red-hot Giants. I’m starting him, but I don’t feel confident in it.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Domingo German (5/4 vs. HOU, 5/9 vs. WAS)
He has strung together back-to-back good starts, earning himself a bit of trust in a two-start week.
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 also think he can return positive value against Baltimore.
Kwang-Hyun Kim (5/4 vs. NYM, 5/9 vs. COL)
Kim has showcased his elite control since returning from the IL, and he gets the Rockies out of Colorado. What’s not to love?
Kyle Gibson (5/4 @MIN, 5/9 vs. SEA)
I know the Twins are struggling right now, but I’m still afraid of them as an opponent, as they have a top 10 wRC+. I don’t trust Gibson in a two-start week outside of a points league.
Huascar Ynoa (5/4 @WAS, 5/9 vs. PHI)
Keep throwing that slider and keep racking up those strikeouts, Huascar. He has only made one bad start out of his five on the season. Line him up for the two-start week.
Dane Dunning (5/3 @MIN, 5/8 vs. SEA)
See Gibson, Kyle. I do trust Dunning more, though.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
J.A. Happ (5/4 vs. TEX, 5/9 @DET)
Happ was a deep sleeper within the industry this year, and he is returning value for those who took a flier on him. He has two fantastic matchups this week. If he comes out on the positive side from both, I’m looking to flip him for value.
Carlos Martinez (5/3 vs. NYM, 5/8 vs. COL)
He has looked OK as a starter so far, but he has a ways to go to earn the trust of fantasy managers, as is reflected by his rostership numbers. I love the Colorado matchup this week, so I’m probably starting him.
Jake Junis (5/3 vs. CLE, 5/8 vs. CHW)
Outside of one rough start against the Rays, Junis has been solid for managers this year. I don’t love the White Sox matchup, but I also trust Junis more than Tony La Russa.
Adrian Houser (5/3 @PHI, 5/8 @MIA)
Houser has limited the damage against him in all his starts this year, which is a welcome sight after his 2020 campaign. The matchup against Miami in Miami makes me want to start him with confidence.
Tyler Anderson (5/3 @SD, 5/9 @CHC)
Anderson has been pretty good so far, but it’s also really tough to buy into it. This is a desperation play only for deep leagues.
Shane McClanahan (5/4 @LAA, 5/9 @OAK)
Listen, he was lights out against the A’s. The movement on his pitches, the sequencing, and the repeated delivery were all there in his debut. He only went four innings, and there are massive concerns about his ability to stick long term as a starter, but as long as Tampa is rolling him out there, you’re starting him. The stuff is electric.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- Casey Mize (5/4 @BOS, 5/9 vs. MIN)
- Mike Minor (5/4 vs. CLE, 5/9 vs. CHW)
- Eric Lauer (5/4 @PHI, 5/9 @MIA)
- Vince Velasquez (5/3 vs. MIL, 5/8 @ATL)
- Daniel Castano (5/4 vs. ARI, 5/9 vs. MIL)
- Erick Fedde (5/4 vs. ATL, 5/9 @NYY)
- Aaron Sanchez (5/3 @COL, 5/9 vs. SD)
Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.