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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 8 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
May 21, 2021

Sometimes, we have great weeks for two-start pitchers. Other times, we don’t. This upcoming week, we have a ton of aces and pseudo-aces going who should be locked into your lineup. The rest of the field is, well, so-so, but it features three pitchers who have already thrown no-hitters this year.

Remember when pitching was hard to find in fantasy, and we invested a lot of early-round picks on aces? Couldn’t be me.

We have to be mindful of matchups and ballparks still, of course, (which is why Zack Greinke is where he is this week), but I’m feeling more and more comfortable with starting more pitchers each time out until (if?) we see a correction.

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

Zack Greinke (5/25 vs. LAD, 5/30 vs. SD)
The good news is that with the Astros bringing up Tyler Ivey for a spot start this weekend, Greinke now has a two-start week for Week 8. The bad news is that it’s a double-dip against the Dodgers and the Padres. I’m starting him, but I really wish it was against two worse teams.

Zach Eflin (5/24 @MIA, 5/30 @TB)
The peripherals are fantastic for Eflin, and he is striking out a batter per inning so far. He isn’t quite a pitcher who you start no matter what yet, but he is on his way. You have to love the Miami matchup this week, but he’ll face a Tampa Bay team that boasts a red-hot offense. 

Corey Kluber (5/25 vs. TOR, 5/30 @DET)
Kluber actually smiled after throwing a no-hitter. Perhaps he is human after all? The robot will return to the mound, and while he gets the Tigers on the back end of a two-start week, he also has to go against the Blue Jays’ loaded lineup. I’m starting him expecting a return on value.

Frankie Montas (5/24 vs. SEA, 5/29 vs. LAA)
I toyed with the idea of putting Montas in the tier below, just because he’s been so unpredictable all year. But the matchups are too good that Montas gets our trust as a guy that you can start with cautious optimism. If Mike Trout were in the lineup, it would be a different story.

In the Danger Zone

Steven Matz (5/25 @NYY, 5/30 @CLE)
Remember those first few starts of the season for Matz? That was a fun time. Over the past month, he has a 6.67 ERA and 1.72 WHIP. He is still getting the strikeouts, and Cleveland is a good matchup, but that Yankees matchup has to scare you.

Rich Hill (5/24 @TOR, 5/30 vs. PHI)
The Rays have been on fire lately, and Hill has been fantastic over the past month — he boasts a sub-1 ERA and WHIP. The fear here is him pitching in Toronto (AKA Dunedin) in that small park. I’m starting him still, but I am quite nervous about it.

Jake Arrieta (5/25 @PIT, 5/30 vs. CIN)
Let’s pull back the curtain here. I swapped Arrieta between this tier and the very last tier about four times. I’m not buying him as a pitcher, but the matchup against the Pirates combined with how hot the Cubs’ offense has been is making me lean toward him exiting the week with a positive ROI. 

Spencer Turnbull (5/24 vs. CLE, 5/29 vs. NYY)
Another pitcher who is coming off a no-hitter, and he was pretty good in his previous start against Kansas City, too. It’s too bad he doesn’t get to pitch against his own team, right? Well, he at least gets Cleveland, who is still a plus-matchup. The Yankees matchup scares me, but I think that Turnbull will do enough against the Cleveland team to make him worth streaming in 15-team leagues.

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

Cole Irvin (5/25 vs. SEA, 5/30 vs. LAA)
NBC Sports Edge had a nice note about Irvin, where he’s been absolutely bombed by the Astros (13 earned runs in 14.2 innings this year) but has a 1.89 ERA in his starts against every other team. Not bad at all, Cole. He also draws a pair of nice matchups this week, sans Mike Trout, of course. 

Wade Miley (5/25 @WAS, 5/30 @CHC)
Miley had the no-hitter, yes, but he’s also just been pretty solid all year — ignoring the Coors Field start, of course. He won’t wow you, but he’ll give you volume and an ERA around 4.00 or so.

Logan Gilbert (5/25 @OAK, 5/30 vs. TEX)
We went quickly from “I can’t wait for Logan Gilbert to start!” to “Logan Gilbert isn’t ready for the big leagues.” What have you done for me lately, right? Gilbert has struggled with his secondary pitches so far, and he may need more seasoning so that he doesn’t go all Daniel Lynch on all of us. The Texas game should be a get-right game for him, though. But if it doesn’t go well, you could see him return to Triple-A.

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

Justin Dunn (5/24 @OAK, 5/29 vs. TEX)
Aside from a pretty bad start against the Dodgers, Dunn has been solid of late. He has some decent matchups this time around, too — especially with the Rangers on the back end of his week — but the one thing you’d like to see from him is a longer stay in games. He has yet to make it through six innings in any of his starts this year. If he strikes out nine like he did last time out in five-plus innings, though, you’ll take it.

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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