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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 6 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
May 7, 2021

Another week, another no-hitter. I wish I could say that I watched John Means‘ no-no, but given MLB’s blackout rules, it wasn’t in the cards for me. The Orioles are one of four teams that I’m blacked out from watching, and I live in the middle of Pennsylvania. That means:

No Orioles.
No Nationals.
No Pirates.
No Phillies.

That’s eight teams on most nights that I can’t watch, and other fans have it even worse. For a sport that has a problem growing the game and attracting new fans, it sure doesn’t seem like it wants to fix it anytime soon. Care about your product, MLB, and care about the fans who watch it. 

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 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

Max Fried (5/11 vs. TOR, 5/16 @MIL)
Fried would typically live in the top tier here, but since he’s fresh off the IL and faces the Blue Jays, I’m bumping him down a tier for this week. He looked good in his first start back from injury, so I’m still comfortable starting him this week.

Danny Duffy (5/12 @DET, 5/16 @CHW)
Home runs have been really the only issue for Duffy this season. Luckily, he’ll face Detroit in Detroit, which should help with that. He also gets a mismanaged team by an out-of-touch manager for his second start. I’m looking for the hot streak to continue.

Nathan Eovaldi (5/11 vs. OAK, 5/16 vs. LAA)
Eovaldi has been serviceable so far for fantasy managers this year. I’m not expecting it to last all season, but I’m fine using him in a two-start week. His FIP and xFIP actually show positive regression for his ERA. 

Freddy Peralta (5/11 vs. STL, 5/16 vs. ATL)
He gave up five earned last time out, but four of them came via a grand slam. He has been great this year, and while the Atlanta matchup isn’t the best, he’ll still net plus-positive value on the week.

Alex Wood (5/10 vs. TEX, 5/16 @PIT)
Wood has arguably the two best matchups that a pitcher could ask for this week against Texas and Pittsburgh. He has been a great story so far this year, and after he dominates this week, I’d probably look to flip him. 

Dylan Cease (5/11 vs. MIN, 5/15 vs. KC)
Cease has been two different pitchers this year so far, and the one we’ve seen lately has been lights out. I know Minnesota has struggled, but if Byron Buxton is out, I feel a lot better rolling him out for the double-dip.

In the Danger Zone

Madison Bumgarner (5/11 vs. MIA, 5/16 vs. WAS)
I don’t think Bumgarner is any good anymore, but he does get the Marlins, which is a plus matchup. I’m fine streaming him this week, but I don’t expect dominance. 

Sonny Gray (5/11 @PIT, 5/16 @COL)
Gray went pitch-for-pitch against Dallas Keuchel in his last outing, which was a great pitcher’s duel. He’d be a lot higher if it wasn’t for that Colorado start. He’s a coin flip this week.

Kyle Gibson (5/10 @SF, 5/16 @HOU)
You’ll see me write it every time Gibson appears here — we don’t know what we’re going to get with him. I’m passing on him this week, though, as he faces two good teams.

Chris Bassitt (5/11 @BOS, 5/16 @MIN)
Bassitt is one of the more underrated fantasy players, and he’s pretty boring. Boring wins games, though! Most weeks, he’d be a lock, but I have some pause given the matchups.

Kwang Hyun Kim (5/11 @MIL, 5/16 @SD)
I’m sitting Kim this week with the San Diego matchup. He isn’t dominant enough to make the so-so matchup worth the risk.

Dallas Keuchel (5/12 vs. MIN, 5/16 vs. KC)
Keuchel is a matchup-based play only for me. Both the Twins and Royals are in the bottom half of the league in wRC+ against lefties. That’ll work.

J.T. Brubaker (5/11 vs. CIN, 5/16 vs. SF)
I don’t love the matchups for Brubaker, but he’s at home and has been good in all but one start so far. I slightly lean toward starting him this week knowing very well it can backfire.

Brady Singer (5/11 @DET, 5/15 @CHW)
So far, so good for Singer. I’d like to see more of a third pitch, but I’m more than OK with using him given the matchups this week.

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

J.A. Happ (5/11 @CHW, 5/16 vs. OAK)
We’re all waiting for the bubble to burst for Happ, but until it happens, we can use him in decent matchups. Unfortunately for Happ, the White Sox and A’s are first and sixth in baseball, respectively, in team wRC+ against lefties. 

Robbie Ray (5/11 @ATL, 5/16 vs. PHI)
Ray looks like a new pitcher. He has 23 strikeouts and no walks (!) in his past three starts. 

Jordan Montgomery (5/11 @TB, 5/16 @BAL)
I’m fine with Montgomery as a streamer, especially with the Orioles on the back end of the two-start week.

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

Luis Garcia (5/10 vs. LAA, 5/15 vs. TEX)
On one hand, the strikeouts are great, as is the matchup against the Rangers. On the other hand, Garcia hasn’t gone six innings deep yet this year, and he has only gone five-plus innings twice. If you have unlimited starts, I’m OK using him, but I wouldn’t want to use him in a start-capped league.

Casey Mize (5/11 vs. KC, 5/16 vs. CHC)
The future is bright for Mize still, but he just hasn’t been good yet. You’d like to see the strikeouts be a bigger part of his game. He’s fine in a deeper league with two home starts.

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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