Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 20 (2021)
The Field of Dreams game was really cool. I never saw the movie, but even I could appreciate the opening and the overall atmosphere that MLB set up.
It was also a perfect game to attract a national audience – speaking strictly from the on-field play and how the game ended with a Tim Anderson walk-off homer.
The gimmick itself, of course, got fans to turn in, and while it was a cool visual and MLB played it off perfectly, it was also relying on a move that was more than 30 years old to attract new viewers. You know, the younger demographic that it wants to attract.
It’s great seeing MLB experimenting with new ideas, but there are other ways to attract younger viewers that don’t include partnering with the ever-problematic Barstool Sports.
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 afternoon.
Don’t Think Twice
- Corbin Burnes (8/17 @STL, 8/22 vs. WAS)
- Chris Bassitt (8/17 @CHW, 8/22 vs. SF)
- Kevin Gausman (8/16 vs. NYM, 8/22 @OAK)
- Julio Urías (8/18 vs. PIT, 8/12 vs. NYM)
- Adam Wainwright (8/17 vs. MIL, 8/22 vs. PIT)
- Sandy Alcantara (8/16 vs. ATL, 8/22 @CHC)
- Nathan Eovaldi (8/17 @NYY, 8/22 vs. TEX)
Marcus Stroman (8/17 @SF, 8/22 @LAD)
I drafted Stroman everywhere this year because I wanted someone who gave me consistent floor innings in a year where those would be hard to find. Stroman is the only Mets starter not to land on the IL so far. I hate the matchups, but like always, it’s Marcus Stroman, no matter what.
Wade Miley (8/16 vs. CHC, 8/21 vs. MIA)
Miley was roughed up his last time out, but have you seen the lineups that the Cubs and Marlins are rolling out these days?
Cal Quantrill (8/16 @MIN, 8/22 vs. LAA)
I was as skeptical as the next person with how Quantrill has performed lately. The SIERA was sky-high, but it’s been lowered over his last two starts. The Twins and Angels don’t scare me, so I will reluctantly start him in a standard league this week.
In the Danger Zone
Frankie Montas (8/16 @CHW, 8/21 vs. SF)
Montas now has thrown six straight quality starts, and he’s really finding his groove when fantasy managers need him to the most. The bad part is that he faces the best team in baseball in the Giants and a red-hot White Sox team that is absolutely crushing the ball right now. I like him more in points leagues or deeper standard leagues.
John Means (8/17 @TB, 8/22 vs. ATL)
Means held the Rays in check the last time he squared off against them, and he seemed to be finding his early-season groove again after coming off the IL. But he was just tagged by the Tigers to the tune of six runs. I like both of these offenses more than Detroit’s (yes, they’ve been good, Tigers fans), so I’m leery.
Framber Valdez (8/17 @KC, 8/22 vs. SEA)
At any other point in the season, Framber would be in the next tier up. But he’s struggled mightily since July. Even in his good outings, he’s having control issues. I love these matchups for him in a get-right week, but even great matchups can be hindered by bad control.
Kyle Gibson (8/17 @ARI, 8/22 @SD)
I wrote that Gibson no longer mattered for fantasy after his trade to the Philadelphia, given the worse ballpark, struggles through June and July, and terrible infield defense. In his first two starts, I was proven wrong. I’m still skeptical, and I hate the San Diego matchup, but you can use him in points leagues or 12-team leagues if you’re chasing starts with the Arizona matchup.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
David Price (8/16 vs. PIT, 8/21 vs. NYM)
If you’re banking on a win here, don’t start Price. We can’t trust the volume from him. But if you just want solid numbers and aren’t under a starts cap, he’s a good choice.
Touki Toussaint (8/16 @MIA, 8/22 @BAL)
I really, really want Toussaint to keep up his play moving forward and parlay it into a rotation spot for 2022. I want to see more whiffs and fewer walks, but the matchups are absolutely ideal this week for Toussaint to have a big week. He’s our streamer of the week.
Jake Odorizzi (8/16 @KC, 8/21 vs. SEA)
Odorizzi just can’t make it three times through the order. We saw that in 2019 with Minnesota, and Houston fans are seeing it now. I’m still streaming him here against two plus-matchups.
Tarik Skubal (8/17 vs. LAA, 8/22 @TOR)
I like Skubal as much as the next person, and I’ve loved seeing the turnaround from his early-season struggles. I’m worried about A. an innings cap and B. going against the Blue Jays in Toronto. I’d reserve him for points leagues only.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Justin Steele (8/16 @CIN, 8/22 vs. KC)
This is reserved for deep leagues only, but if Steele can keep the ball on the ground in Cincinnati as he did early in his first start, he could come out ahead on the week with a nice matchup against the Royals to end his week.
Griffin Jax (8/16 vs. CLE, 8/21 @NYY)
You hate to see the home runs allowed by Jax, but you absolutely love to see the 10 strikeouts he achieved against the White Sox. The Cleveland matchup is good, but he could run into trouble against the Yankees if the home run issues continue.
Carlos Hernández (8/16 vs. HOU, 8/22 @CLE)
Hernández has pretty quietly been really good for the past month-plus. I don’t trust him enough to use in standard leagues yet with the Astros on the table, but I’m fine deploying him in 15-team leagues and points leagues.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- Dallas Keuchel (8/16 vs. OAK, 8/21 @TB)
- Reynaldo López (8/17 vs. OAK, 8/22 @TB)
- Wil Crowe (8/16 @LAD, 8/22 @STL)
- Antonio Senzatela (8/16 vs. SD, 8/22 vs. ARI)
- Bailey Ober (8/17 vs. CLE, 8/22 @NYY)
- Spencer Howard (8/17 vs. SEA, 8/22 @BOS)
- José Suárez (8/16 @NYY, 8/22 @CLE)
- Matt Harvey (8/16 @TB, 8/21 vs. ATL)
- Ryan Weathers (8/16 @COL, 8/22 vs. PHI)
- Tyler Anderson (8/17 @TEX, 8/22 @HOU)
- Josh Fleming (8/17 vs. BAL, 8/22 vs. CHW)
- Merrill Kelly (8/17 vs. PHI, 8/22 @COL)
- Andrew Heaney (8/17 vs. BOS, 8/22 vs. MIN)
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