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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 16 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jul 16, 2021

As you all know, I believe in being upfront here, and I believe in transparency.

This week’s goal with my two columns was to get them out Wednesday to give you plenty of time to prepare for the first week after the All-Star break.

But rotations weren’t announced on Wednesday.

Or Thursday.

Or Friday a couple of hours before the games. 

In what should have been a huge list, comprised of multiple two-start pitchers for the extended week, we, instead, have a shorter list with the uncertainty around multiple rotations.

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 afternoon.

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Don’t Think Twice

Widely-Rostered Options

N/A

In the Danger Zone

Michael Pineda (7/20 @CHW, 7/25 vs. LAA)
Pineda started the season off on a strong note for fantasy managers. Still, he’s been terrible in June and July, with a combined 8.19 ERA and 4.71 xFIP as he just stopped striking people out, resulting in opponents hitting .417 against him. Now all he has to do is go up against the White Sox and Shohei Ohtani. Easy task, eh?

Dallas Keuchel (7/19 vs. MIN, 7/24 @MIL)
After being knocked around by the Tigers (yes, you read that right), Keuchel rebounded nicely in his last outing against the Orioles. He’s had up-and-down results this season, and even when he is good, he doesn’t strike anyone out. He’s an easy fade this week.

Nick Pivetta (7/19 @TOR, 7/24 vs. NYY)
Pivetta was hit hard his last time out against the Phillies, this coming after his seven-inning scoreless outing against Oakland. He’s a hard sit this week despite the strikeout upside as he has to go to Buffalo and face New York at home in what should be high-scoring affairs. 

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

Triston McKenzie (7/20 @HOU, 7/25 @TB)
Just. Throw. Strikes. That’s really what it comes down to for McKenzie. We saw the upside that he possessed last season, but it would be ideal to have a larger sample this year before recommending him – especially given the matchups. He’s a watch list guy for now.

Tarik Skubal (7/19 vs. TEX, 7/24 @KC)
Shockingly, Skubal isn’t rostered in more leagues than he is. He’s taken huge steps forward with his strikeout to walk rate, and he has two fantastic matchups against the Rangers and Royals. Start him with confidence. 

Jameson Taillon (7/20 vs. PHI, 7/25 @BOS)
The good news is that Taillon has looked excellent in four of his last five outings, but the bad news is that he’s already thrown 82.2 innings. He threw a combined 37.1 innings in 2019 and 2020, so you have to wonder if he’ll be under a maintenance plan moving forward.

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

Dane Dunning (7/20 @DET, 7/25 @HOU)
Fun fact – Dunning hasn’t pitched six innings since May 20. You’re not expecting high volume from him or extraordinary strikeout numbers, either. If you’re looking for ERA and WHIP help, though, he’s a nice, safe option in deeper leagues.

Ross Stripling (7/19 vs. BOS, 7/25 @NYM)
Again, you wouldn’t have to use Stripling here with the tough matchups in an ideal situation. But if you’re in a deeper points league, he shouldn’t net a negative return for you.

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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