Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 14 (2021)
Sometimes, it’s hard to focus just on fantasy. Especially when you’ve had the week that MLB has had, specifically with the alleged incident in Los Angeles.
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As we head toward the All-Star break, we will be more selective with the arms that we use each week in fantasy. We’re getting to the playoff push time, so we need to ensure that we’re protecting our ratios as much as possible.
If you’re in a points league, or if you’re chasing down teams ahead of you, you should feel comfortable adjusting your strategy a bit. You can take more chances if you need to.
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
- Jacob deGrom (7/6 vs. MIL, 7/11 vs. PIT)
- Corbin Burnes (7/6 @NYM, 7/11 vs. CIN)
- José Berríos (7/6 vs. CHW, 7/11 vs. DET)
- Brandon Woodruff (7/5 @NYM, 7/10 vs. CIN)
- Walker Buehler (7/5 @MIA, 7/10 ARI)
- Aaron Nola (7/5 @CHC, 7/10 @BOS)
- Chris Bassitt (7/6 @HOU, 7/11 @TEX)
- Kevin Gausman (7/5 vs. STL, 7/11 vs. WAS)
- Luis Castillo (7/6 @KC< 7/11 @MIL)
- Joe Musgrove (7/5 vs. WAS, 7/10 vs. COL)
Max Fried (7/5 @PIT, 7/11 @MIA)
I was concerned that Fried would have some limitations as he returns from the IL, but he threw five innings and allowed just two runs against the Mets in his first game back. You could argue that he is a set-and-forget option with the Pirates and Marlins on the schedule. He is the top pitching option in this tier.
Dylan Cease (7/5 @MIN, 7/11 @BAL)
With Cease’s good performance against the same Twins team that he takes on Monday in his last outing, he’s now had four really good showings in his last five starts. While still prone to the occasional blow-up, you have to feel confident in using him with the Twins and Orioles on the calendar.
Pablo López (7/6 vs. LAD, 7/11 vs. ATL)
I struggled with where to put López this week. Typically, he’s a high-end enough pitcher where I want to start him regardless of his opponent. However, he has two really tough matchups against the Dodgers and Atlanta. I’m starting him with the two starts, but if you bench him because of the matchups, it’s totally fair.
In the Danger Zone
Patrick Corbin (7/6 @SD, 7/11 @SF)
Corbin was on quite a roll until he ran into the Dodgers on Thursday night. Things aren’t getting easier for the veteran, as the National League West tour rolls on with games against the Padres and Giants. While Corbin has earned back some trust, I’d err on the side of caution and sit him this week if I have better options — or at least options with better matchups.
Tony Gonsolin (7/6 @MIA, 7/11 vs. ARI)
Gonsolin didn’t start Thursday. Instead, he served as the bulk pitcher against the Nationals. That hurts his value in leagues where you get rewarded for a quality start. If you don’t have quality starts as a category, he’s a good option this week against Miami and Arizona with the increased chance of earning the win if the Dodgers use him in a similar role moving forward.
Rich Hill (7/5 vs. CLE, 7/11 vs. TOR)
Hill has been solid for the Rays, but as NBC Sports Edge notes, he has already thrown more innings this year than he did in either of the past two seasons. Hill is 41, so the Rays may give him some rest before and after the break. I prefer to use him in daily leagues only and just against Cleveland.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Domingo Germán (7/6 @SEA, 7/11 @HOU)
Did you know that May 20 was the last time he worked out of the sixth inning? In fact, he hasn’t made it through five innings since June 6. Stream at your own risk.
Steven Matz (7/6 @BAL, 7/11 @TB)
Matz was limited to only 48 pitches last time out, and his velocity was down after he spent time on the COVID list. The matchup against the Orioles helps him, but you have to wonder if he’ll even pitch long enough to qualify for the win.
Zach Davies (7/5 vs. PHI, 7/10 vs. STL)
Davies’ rollercoaster season continues in 2021, as he was lifted after four innings in his last outing. But, before that, he had three outings out of four starts in which he threw six shutout innings in each game. I’m a sucker for volume, so I’m fine with streaming him here.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Jon Gray (7/6 @ARI, 7/11 @SD)
Gray has allowed only two earned runs in his last 11 innings — including a start at home in Coors Field — and he gets to pitch on the road twice this week. You don’t love the Padres matchup, of course, but you love that it’s not at home.
Kolby Allard (7/5 vs. DET, 7/11 vs. OAK)
Allard threw another quality start his last time out against Oakland, and at 11 percent rostered, he has been a usable option in deeper leagues. I prefer him to Gray as a head-to-head streamer with Detroit on the schedule.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- Mike Minor (7/5 vs. CIN, 7/10 @CLE)
- Vladimir Gutierrez (7/5 @KC, 7/10 @MIL)
- Jake Arrieta (7/6 vs. PHI, 7/11 vs. STL)
- Kwang-Hyun Kim (7/5 @SF, 7/11 @CHC)
- Martin Perez (7/5 @LAA, 7/11 vs. PHI)
- Ryan Weathers (7/6 vs. WAS, 7/11 vs. COL)
- Jon Lester (7/5 @SD, 7/10 @SF)
- Justus Sheffield (7/6 vs. NYY, 7/11 vs. LAA)
- Cal Quantrill (7/5 @TB, 7/10 vs. KC)
- Bailey Ober (7/5 vs. CHW, 7/10 vs. DET)
- Chad Kuhl (7/5 vs. ATL, 7/10 @NYM)
- Logan Allen (7/6 @TB, 7/11 vs. KC)
- Jose Uréña (7/5 @TEX, 7/10 @MIN)
- Wily Peralta (7/6 @TEX, 7/11 @MIN)
- Wil Crowe (7/6 vs. ATL, 7/11 @NYM)
- Riley Smith (7/6 vs. COL, 7/11 @LAD)
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