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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 17 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jul 23, 2021

There are three weeks where I dread doing this column each year.

And really, there’s nothing we can do about it.

Opening week is terrible because we have no idea what the rotations will be for the most part. We have to sit and wait, which puts us behind.

Then there’s the All-Star Break, where teams use the “competitive advantage” of not naming their rotation until a few hours before their first post-break game starts.

And then there’s this week—the week of the trade deadline.

We have our list of probable pitchers, but with the deadline looming, we are going to see a lot of shifts and changes as the week goes on.

We have it as accurate as possible for now, but be sure to adjust as the week goes on.

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

Germán Márquez (7/26 @LAA, 7/31 @SD)
It feels so great to have Márquez in this section instead of one of the below tiers, as he’s pitching outside of Coors Field all week. The ideal situation for him is to be dealt before the deadline and become the Top 20 pitcher he has the skills to be. Until then, we can at least enjoy a break from Colorado, despite the San Diego matchup.

Luis García (7/26 @SEA, 8/1 @SF)
We’re not talking enough about just how good García has been this year. He’s everything we hoped that Josh James would have been for the past few years. Even with San Francisco on the menu, he’s still a guy you’re starting each week.

Dylan Cease (7/27 @KC, 8/1 vs. CLE)
It’s an interesting dilemma here with Cease in Week 17. On one hand, he’s been absolutely brutal on the road this year. On the other hand, he’s facing the Royals and soon-to-be Guardians, who have team wRC+s of less than 90. I’m going to start Cease and trust the matchups over his splits.

Wade Miley (7/27 @CHC, 8/1 @NYM)
It’s nearly August, so I guess we just kind of have to reluctantly trust Miley at this point, right? There’s nothing sexy about the profile, but he has a 2.72 ERA on the season, with a sub-4 xERA. 

John Means (7/27 vs. MIA, 8/1 @DET)
It’s great to have Means back, even though he struggled in his first outing post-injury. That’s excusable, though. Typically we’d say he has two great matchups on the table, but with the way the Tigers are swinging the back, Means could run into trouble there. I’m still starting him and trusting the season-long numbers.

In the Danger Zone

Dallas Keuchel (7/26 @KC, 7/31 vs. CLE)
Keuchel was pushed back in the rotation, losing his two-start week in Week 15. He now gets the same matchups as Cease does, but without the strikeout potential.

James Kaprielian (7/27 @SD, 8/1 @LAA)
He’s impressed this year, but you have to absolutely hate the Padres matchup.

Blake Snell (7/27 vs. OAK, 8/1 vs. COL)
Blake Snell truthers unite! Snell threw six innings Thursday night, which is great! But, like, it’s also worth noting that we are celebrating a former Cy Young winner making it into the sixth inning. Here’s hoping he continues that down the stretch. 

Andrew Heaney (7/27 vs. COL, 8/1 vs. OAK)
Heaney is coming off a great outing where he had a 37 CSW%. He’s been inconsistent all season, but the Colorado matchup should be a layup for him.

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

Michael Pineda (7/26 vs. DET, 8/1 vs. STL)
After struggling mightily for the past month-plus, Pineda looked solid against the White Sox in his last time out. It could be a get-right game for him as he enters Week 17 with two plus-matchups on paper. 

Adbert Alzolay (7/27 vs. CIN, 8/1 @WAS)
Alzolay took a hard-luck loss against the Cardinals his last time out, but he matched his career-high with eight strikeouts. Half of those came against his slider, which is his key pitch. It’s a nice step forward for the youngster.

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

Tylor Megill (7/27 vs. ATL, 8/1 vs. CIN)
Who needs Jacob deGrom when you have Tylor Megill. Megill has been really good in his 24 innings so far this season. He threw six innings for the first time in his last outing, and he’s quietly a good two-start option this week.

Kyle Muller (7/26 @NYM, 7/31 vs. MIL)
Don’t forget to pick Muller back up, who was recently recalled by Atlanta. The rookie has been impressive in his 19.2 innings so far. He hasn’t made it through six innings yet, but he’s shown nice strikeout potential for 16-teamers.

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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