Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitcher: Week 13 (2021)
His home run was impressive, no doubt. It didn’t have a huge exit velocity reading on it, but you knew it was gone as soon as he made contact with it. Hell, in 2019, the first ball he hit that he flew out on in his second plate appearance would have been gone.
But what impressed me most about Wander Franco’s debut against the Boston Red Sox was his first plate appearance. He worked the count back in his favor after falling behind 0-2. He took a high ball that was used to set up a backdoor cutter.
But he took the first cutter as a ball. Then, on 2-2, he took another cutter that crept even closer to the plate for another ball. I was half expecting an ump show to tell him, “welcome to the big leagues, kid,” for him taking two pitches that were balls but still close to the zone.
But no, we didn’t get that. He worked the count full and then ultimately worked his way back from an 0-2 count to reach base and ultimately score in his first plate appearance.
In what was an embarrassing day for MLB with Joe Girardi acting like a grade-schooler and Sergio Romo essentially stripping on the field, Franco’s debut is what I’ll choose to remember.
Welcome to the big leagues indeed, kid.
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
- José Berríos (6/29 @CHW, 7/4 @KC)
- Trevor Bauer (6/28 vs. SF vs. 7/4 @WAS)
- Lucas Giolito (6/28 vs. MIN, 7/3 @DET)
- Zack Greinke (6/28 vs. BAL, 7/4 @CLE)
- Trevor Rogers (6/29 @PHI, 7/4 @ATL)
- Kyle Hendricks (6/28 @MIL, 7/4 @CIN)
Anthony DeSclafani (6/28 @LAD, 7/4 @ARI)
DeSclafani went from being a two-start pitcher last week to being a two-start pitcher this week. Besides an earlier start this season against the Dodgers, Disco has been an ace for fantasy purposes. The bad part is that he has to go against the Dodgers again this week. If he can handle them this week, he’s locked in as a top 30 pitcher.
Robbie Ray (6/29 vs. SEA, 7/4 vs. TB)
I’m not buying into Ray as a long-term option in dynasty leagues. You can’t help but start him going forward unless the matchups are really egregious. I don’t like that he’s at home for both starts, but at least one is against the lowly Mariners.
Dylan Cease (6/29 vs. MIN, 7/4 @DET)
Good luck figuring out which Cease you’re going to get week-to-week as the young pitcher continues to battle control issues. He does, at least, get Detroit to close the week, which he’s handled three times so far this season.
Wade Miley (6/28 vs. PHI, 7/3 vs. CHC)
Even with the crackdown on substances, Miley is maintaining his spin rate, and in his last start, he had his highest spin rates on his pitches in his past few starts. That’s super encouraging.
In the Danger Zone
Blake Snell (6/29 @CIN, 7/4 @PHI)
Snell’s been disappointing this year, but he did leave his Dodgers start unscathed. However, he only pitched five innings yet again.
James Kaprielian (6/29 vs. TEX, 7/4 vs. BOS)
While we don’t love the matchup against the Red Sox, the Rangers matchup – who Kaprielian just faced – is too good not to start him. He hasn’t earned full trust yet, but we’ll ride the hot streak while he keeps it up.
Danny Duffy (6/28 @BOS, 7/3 vs. MIN)
Duffy struggled in his return from the IL, which is to be expected. I’d lean toward sitting him with these matchups as he continues to be stretched out.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Jameson Taillon (6/29 vs. LAA, 7/4 vs. NYM)
While the surface numbers have not been there for Taillon, the peripherals hint at better days ahead. Remember, he’s coming off a second Tommy John surgery. It takes time, folks. He’s fine to start in 12-team points leagues or 15-team standard leagues this week.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Mike Foltynewicz (6/29 @OAK, 7/4 @SEA)
It feels ugly to even recommend Folty, but he gets the same Oakland team that he just limited the damage against, and potentially without Mark Canha. That, paired with the Mariners on the backend of his week, makes him a decent streamer in deeper leagues.
Erick Fedde (6/28 vs. NYM, 7/3 vs. LAD)
OK, so you need to semi-desperate to start Fedde with the Dodgers on the schedule, but in three of his past four starts, he hasn’t allowed a run. This is a recommendation for 15-teamers and deeper only.
Matt Manning (6/28 @CLE, 7/4 vs. CHW)
Manning still has prospect pedigree, though it’s taken a big hit over the past year-plus. He hasn’t shown much so far in his cup of coffee that has us excited, but he does, at least, face Cleveland and an injury-plagued White Sox team if you want a flier.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Germán Márquez (6/29 vs. PIT, 7/4 vs. STL)
Caleb Smith (6/28 @CLE, 7/4 vs. CHW)
Dylan Bundy (6/28 @NYY, 7/4 vs. BAL)
Chris Flexen (6/29 @TOR, 7/4 vs. TEX)
Joe Ross (6/29 vs. TB, 7/4 vs. LAD)
Brad Keller (6/29 @BOS, 7/4 vs. MIN)
Carlos Martínez (6/29 vs. ARI, 7/4 @COL)
Garrett Richards (6/28 vs. KC, 7/3 @OAK)
John Gant (6/28 vs. ARI, 7/3 @COL)
Vince Velasquez (6/28 @CIN, 7/3 vs. SD)
Bailey Ober (6/28 @CHW, 7/3 @KC)
Brett Anderson (6/28 vs. CHC, 7/4 @PIT)
Tony Santillan (6/29 vs. SD, 7/4 CHC)
Kyle Freeland (6//28 vs. PIT, 7/3 vs. STL)
Jean-Carlos Mejía (6/29 vs. DET, 7/4 vs. HOU)
Chad Kuhl (6/29 @COL, 7/4 vs. MIL)
Michael King (6/28 vs. LAA, 7/3 vs. NYM)
Chase De Jong (6/28 @COL, 7/3 vs. MIL)
Kyle Wright (6/29 vs. NYM, 7/4 vs. MIA)
Tom Eshelman (6/28 @HOU, 7/4 @LAA)
Elijah Morgan (6/28 vs. DET, 7/3 vs. HOU)
Jerad Eickhoff (6/28 @WAS, 7/3 @NYY)
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