Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 12 (2021)
We have no idea what the pitching landscape will look like going forward for 2021.
Does it sound dramatic? Maybe it is. Maybe all will be normal.
But then again, maybe it won’t. Maybe changing the rules in the middle of the season isn’t the best idea – especially in a season after a shortened season where there were already so many injury concerns.
But then again, maybe not.
Like I do every week, I’ll break the pitchers down the two-start pitchers into six categories:
- Don’t Think Twice – These are the 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
- Gerrit Cole (6/22 vs. KC, 6/27 @BOS)
- Clayton Kershaw (6/22 @SD, 6/27 vs. CHC)
- Aaron Civale (6/21 @ChC, 6/27@MIN)
- Jacob deGrom (6/21 vs. ATL, 6/26 vs. PHI)
- Marcus Stroman (6/22 vs. ATL, 6/27 vs. PHI)
- Julio Urías (6/21 @SD, 6/26 vs. CHC)
- Trevor Rogers (6/22 vs. TOR, 6/27 vs. WAS)
Anthony DeSclafani (6/22 @LAA, 6/27 vs. OAK)
I’m typically not a fan of “if you take away his worst start” because it happened. But – ha – if you take away DeSclafani’s one start against the Dodgers, he’d have a 1.96 ERA and 0.90 WHIP on the season. He’s criminally underrated, and he’s almost in the must-start tier.
Ian Anderson (6/21 @NYM, 6/26 @CIN)
Anderson is in a weird funk, where he’s gone 4, 4, and 4.1 innings in three of his past four starts. It’s not a huge cause for concern, though, and you should feel comfortable rolling him out for his double-dip in Week 12.
Charlie Morton (6/22 @NYM, 6/27 @CIN)
Pulling back the curtain here a bit, but I’m writing this before Morton takes the mound Thursday night. I have a packed weekend, so I’m getting to this column as soon as I can for you so that it drops at its regularly scheduled time. Even Morton, if Morton struggles Thursday, I’m still starting him.
Tyler Mahle (6/21 @MIN, 6/27 vs. ATL)
Mahle has been just so, so good, and he’s a fringe top 35 pitcher for fantasy – almost by default.
Kyle Gibson (6/21 vs. OAK, 6/26 vs. KC)
His status is worth monitoring, as he was hit with a comeback shot in his start against Houston. If all signs are positive, he has a nice set of matchups with the Royals capping off what should be a positive week for the veteran.
Zach Eflin (6/22 vs. WAS, 6/27 @NYM)
Eflin has been a solid floor pitcher this year. He’s around a 4.00 ERA with just about a K per inning. That’s kind of what you want in a streamer – someone who won’t hurt you but will give you solid numbers across the board.
In the Danger Zone
Blake Snell (6/21 vs. LAD, 6/27 vs. ARI)
Is Snell just a guy? I wrote about him in my column at The Athletic, where I described him as, essentially, just an expensive Nick Pivetta. Against the Dodgers this week with how he’s been throwing? No thanks.
Ryan Yarbrough (6/22 vs. BOS, 6/27 vs. LAA)
With the injury to Glasnow, Yarbrough is going to have to step it up more than ever for the Rays. I don’t love the Boston matchup, but I’m still rolling him out there.
Cole Irvin, James Kaprielian (6/22-6-23/ @TEX, 6/26-6/27 @SF)
I’m including both of these guys together here, as the analysis is the same for both. If you’re in a points league, they’re worth using. If you’re in a 15-team league or larger, you can stream them. Anything else, and you shouldn’t start them.
Eduardo Rodríguez (6/22 @TB, 6/27 vs. NYY)
Rodríguez hasn’t made it out of the sixth inning since May 12, and he’s thrown fewer than five innings in four of his past five outings. I’m benching him until he shows us something.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Mike Minor (6/22 @NYY, 6/27 @TEX)
I wanted to have a couple of options for this tier, so Minor essentially appears here by default. I love, love the matchup against the Rangers, so if he can just survive the matchup against New York, he could return value here. Let’s reserve this for deeper leagues.
Tarik Skubal (6/22 vs. STL, 6/27 vs. HOU)
Even with the home run issues for him this year, I’m surprised at the low rostership numbers for Skubal. He’s a high-K guy who has really taken steps forward the past couple of months. I don’t love the matchups here for him, but at least he’s at home.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Ross Stripling (6/22 @MIA, 6/27 vs. BAL)
It wasn’t just that Stripling held the Yankees to two runs Wednesday or that he had nine strikeouts. It’s that he worked into the seventh inning. That’s super encouraging. Stripling also has two great on-paper matchups this week, making him a nice streamer in 12-team leagues.
Jake Odorizzi (6/21 @BAL, 6/27 @DET)
Speaking of nice matchups, Odorizzi edges out Stripling with the Orioles and Tigers on the docket. I lean Stripling still, but I’m OK starting Odorizzi in a 15-teamer.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- Merrill Kelly (6/21 vs. MIL, 6/26 @SD)
- Tyler Anderson (6/22 vs. CHW, 6/27 @STL)
- J.A. Happ (6/21 vs. CIN, 6/27 vs. CLE
- Caleb Smith (6/22 vs. MIL, 6/27 @SD)
- Johan Oviedo (6/22 @DET, 6/27 vs. PIT)
- Jordan Lyles (6/22 vs. OAK, 6/27 vs. KC)
- Keegan Akin (6/21 vs. HOU, 6/26 @TOR)
- Jorge López (6/22 vs. HOU, 6/27 @TOR)
- Paolo Espino (6/22 @PHI, 6/27 @MIA)
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