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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 21 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Aug 20, 2021
Anthony DeSclafani

Week 20. The season has absolutely flown by, especially after not having the full baseball experience last season. 

Week 20 is here already, and we are officially in the home stretch.

Going forward, you’ll see the same column. You’ll see the same recommendations. You’ll also see fewer recommended fringe-streamer options and more caution taken going forward.

Adjust to your league and your standings situation, of course, but we are here to focus on certain categories at this point in the season. The last thing you want is a Ranger Suárez two-start week costing you at the end of the year.

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

Anthony DeSclafani (8/24 @NYM, 8/29 @ATL)
For the first time this season, I was a little bit hesitant putting Disco up this high. He’s been a fantastic, reliable fantasy option this year in non-Dodgers starts. But after coming off a short IL stint, he left his first start back early with an ankle injury. It shouldn’t be anything major, but it’s a situation to monitor going forward as you set your lineups.

Madison Bumgarner (8/24 @PIT, 8/29 @PHI)
Over the past month, Bumgarner has a 1.99 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. It’s not quite vintage MadBum, as he’s not missing any bats or getting any strikeouts, but you can’t argue with the results so far. He has two good matchups, and I feel comfortable enough trusting him to continue his success. This means, of course, that an implosion is coming.

Marco Gonzales (8/23 @OAK, 8/29 vs. KC)
Speaking of turnarounds for a veteran lefty, Gonzales has been a different pitcher in the second half after he was non-rosterable in the first half. He has a 1.87 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP over his last seven starts. I’m riding him again in this two-start week.

In the Danger Zone

Dylan Cease (8/24 @TOR, 8/29 vs. CHC)
We know the book on Cease by now. He can be dominant, or he can look completely lost as he has before this year. I like – love, actually (not the movie) – the Cubs matchup, but man, that Blue Jays matchup is scary. I’m leaning toward starting him since George Springer is on the IL again.

Kyle Hendricks (8/23 vs. COL, 8/29 @CHW)
Like Cease, Hendricks has had a rollercoaster season. Seeing that first matchup against the Rockies outside of Coors Field, though, is so, so enticing. But then you see the matchup against the Southsiders, and it gives you a slight pause. If you need to protect your ratios, I’d bench him this week. If you have some wiggle room, I’d give him the green light.

Alek Manoah (8/23 vs. CHW, 8/28 @DET)
I like and trust Manoah more than Cease and Hendricks, even with his struggles against the Nationals. Manoah was placed on the bereavement list, so let’s understand that sometimes things are going on that are bigger than the game. 

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

Nick Pivetta (8/24 vs. MIN, 8/29 @CLE)
Pivetta was rocked last time out against the Yankees. The season-long numbers are still fine, so I’m also fine with starting him with two decent matchups in 12-team leagues. 

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

J.T. Brubaker (8/24 vs. ARI, 8/29 vs. STL)
Brubaker has been garbage for a while now. In fact, it pretty much aligns with the crackdown on pitchers. Weird how that works, huh? I’m only starting him in deeper leagues (15-teamers) because I like the matchups. He should be dropped in standard leagues and considered a streamer, at best.

Tylor Megill (8/24 vs. SF, 8/29 vs. WAS)
It’s hard streaming a pitcher against the best team in baseball, but Megill has earned my trust. It helps, too, that the Nationals should offset any damage the Giants do to him in his first start of the week. His value for 2022 will be interesting to gauge. 

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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