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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 22 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Aug 27, 2021

It’s time for Week 22, and as we have talked about for the past few weeks, it’s time to get more selective about who we stream each week to protect our ratios and playoff standings.

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

Alex Wood (8/31 vs. MIL, 9/5 vs. LAD)
Has any team gotten more with less than the Giants this year? We are days away from September, and they still have the best record in baseball. It’s remarkable, and their pitching has done its part, too. I hate these matchups for Wood and the Giants, but I’m done doubting them.

Blake Snell (8/30 @ARI, 9/4 vs. HOU)
That Dodgers and Padres game earlier this week was bananas, and the fact that Snell made it into the eighth inning proved especially wild. That’s the longest outing of his career! While all is not forgotten, Snell is on a really nice run since July 22, and it should continue at least against Arizona. 

Taijuan Walker (8/31 vs. MIA, 9/5 @WAS)
People are starting to realize that Walker isn’t the pitcher that he looked like he was in the first half, thanks to the crackdown on pitchers’ substance use. However, he has been serviceable in two of his last three starts, which came against the Dodgers and Giants. Now he gets an easier road against Miami and Washington. I’m starting him.

In the Danger Zone

Germán Márquez (8/31 @TEX, 9/5 vs. ATL)
I wish the matchups were reversed with Texas at home and Atlanta on the road, but we’re stuck with what the schedule makers gave us. I’m only starting him if I need strikeouts.

Charlie Morton (8/31 @LAD, 9/5 @COL)
What a brutal spot for Morton in a big fantasy week. You can’t start him unless you’re in a come-from-behind position.

Zach Plesac (8/31 @KC, 9/5 @BOS)
Was there a bigger whiff this year than Plesac? The Kansas City matchup is fine to use him in, but the Boston matchup makes him more of a points league or 15-teamer player for me this week. 

Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues

Nick Pivetta (8/30 @TB, 9/4 vs. CLE)
His two-start week got pushed back to this week, and I’d much rather have him face the Twins than the Rays. That said, I’m fine with starting him in points leagues or if you really need the extra start for a win and strikeouts.

Josiah Gray (8/30 vs. PHI, 9/4 vs. NYM)
Gray’s ADP is going to be really interesting to keep an eye on next year. If I had to guess, he should probably go somewhere around the 12th round next year, but a strong finish could have him being everyone’s breakout pitcher in 2022.

Chris Flexen (8/30 vs. HOU, 9/5 @ARI)
Steady. Boring. No strikeouts. I’m fine with the floor outcome for a two-start pitcher.

Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues

Edward Cabrera (8/31 @NYM, 9/5 vs. PHI)
What a weird debut for Cabrera, who is slightly over the threshold here, but I wanted to write about him. Sue me. He had a quality start but allowed three earned runs and only struck out two hitters. I love his upside (give me Cabrera over Sixto Sánchez long-term), but we’ve seen rookie pitchers struggle in their first taste of the big leagues. I’ll use him here in 12-team leagues.

Zach Davies (8/31 @MIN, 9/5 vs. PIT)
Davies should be dead to us. He was one of, if not the, biggest whiffs I had this year, as I loved his safe floor. However, he just looked good in two starts against the Marlins and the Rockies, and the Twins and Pirates are equally as bad. I’m going to give Davies one final turn through the rotation in 2021. 

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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