Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 24 (2021)
Well, did you survive Week 1? Or, when you’re reading this on Friday, is it too close to call? Perhaps your playoffs don’t start until this upcoming week, which, in that case, it’s not a great week for streaming in head-to-head matchups!
But anything can happen, which is why head-to-head is the most thrilling format to play in. There’s a lot of luck involved, yes, but sweating it out with each pitch makes the game a lot of fun.
But then something like Gerrit Cole happens. Lifted after just two innings with a hamstring injury. It doesn’t sound serious, which is great, but unless your staff is loaded, having your ace get hurt in the first week of the playoffs is a major blow.
So is having your star resting.
That’s what Shohei Ohtani managers faced this week, as the all-world slugger sat Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (day off) before taking the mound Friday night. It’s great he’s taking the mound, but those cheat-code offensive stats would have been great.
Playoffs are fun, I tell you. Tons of fun.
Let’s get to it for Week 24.
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.
Don’t Think Twice
Adam Wainwright (9/13 @NYM, 9/19 vs. SD)
Sandy Alcántara (9/13 @WAS, 9/19 vs. PIT)
Logan Webb (9/13 vs. SD, 9/18 vs. ATL)
Frankie Montas (9/14 @KC, 9/19 @LAA)
José Urquidy (9/14 @TEX, 9/19 vs. ARI)
Wade Miley (9/14 @PIT, 9/19 vs. LAD)
After getting knocked around by the Cardinals, Miley returned to, umm, form – 2021 form, at least – by dominating the Cubs over seven innings. He’s close to the top tier, but with the Dodgers on the schedule, I’ll drop him slightly. I’m still using him in all but the shallowest leagues.
Yu Darvish (9/13 @SF, 9/18 @STL)
Ever since the substance crackdown, Darvish has struggled sans a few starts against some bad offenses. He avoids the weekend series against the Dodgers, which is nice, but he has to face the Giants (who I still have trouble believing are this good, but that’s on me) and the Cardinals. I’m starting him, but I’m not confident in him at all.
Eduardo Rodríguez (9/13 @SEA, 9/19 vs. BAL)
He’s been wildly inconsistent all year, but I love the matchups for him this week – even against the potentially playoff-bound Mariners in what is now a huge series between the two teams. The Baltimore matchup should push him into a net positive return regardless.
Anthony DeSclafani (9/14 vs. SD, 9/19 vs. ATL)
I love Disco, and his struggles against the Dodgers have been well documented, as have his numbers against non-Dodger teams. He’s only pitched out of the fifth inning once in his three starts off the injured list, and these aren’t cupcake matchups for him. I’m sitting him in non-points leagues.
In the Danger Zone
Kyle Gibson (9/14 vs. CHC, 9/19 @NYM)
Gibson has been a little better than I thought he would be since moving over to Philadelphia, but not good enough to earn my trust. I like the Cubs matchup and the Mets could net a positive, but I don’t want to trust him in the playoffs.
Zac Gallen (9/13 @LAD, 9/19 @HOU)
Gallen’s ADP is going to be one to watch as we look ahead at 2022 drafts. He should come at a nice discount after a down 2021 year. His two starts here against the Dodgers and Astros could sink that cost even more. At this point, I’m rooting for it.
Jon Gray (9/14 @ATL, 9/19 @WAS)
Not only could the Rockies have traded Gray at the deadline to get something for him, but they activated him after a forearm injury instead of shutting him down. He did, to their credit (their luck?) come back firing with eight strikeouts in five innings against the Giants. You don’t love the Atlanta matchup, but the Nationals one is fine. It’s all about how risk-averse you are. I’m fading him, but I get the desire to start him in a two-start week on the road.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Jake Odorizzi (9/13 @TEX, 9/18 vs. ARI)
Odorizzi lashed out, but then clarified his comments in a statement Thursday. The Astros won’t allow him to pitch a third time through the order, which is exactly what the Twins did, too. You’d like more, of course, but the numbers bear it being a sound strategy. Even in a max of 10 innings next week, you like his chances for taking him two wins against the Rangers and Diamondbacks. Fire him up.
Rich Hill (9/13 vs. STL, 9/19 vs. PHI)
It’s less about performance concerns and more about workload and injury concerns with Hill at this point in the season. The matchups are fine, and he’s pitched at least five innings in four consecutive starts with two eight-strikeout performances mixed in there. I’ll use him in deeper leagues.
Nestor Cortes (9/14 @BAL, 9/19 vs. CLE)
We don’t know if Cortes is getting two starts here, as a lot of that could depend on the health of Cole for next week. If he does make both of these starts, you’re starting him in 12-team leagues and higher. If he doesn’t, you can still get his cool T-shirt at Rotowear.com.
Touki Toussaint (9/14 vs. COL, 9/19 @SF)
His control abandoned him last time out, but he’s mostly had it under, well, control this season. I love the Colorado matchup, but I loathe the Giants one. He’s a points league guy or a 15-teamer guy this week.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Mike Minor (9/14 vs. OAK, 9/19 vs. SEA)
Minor’s two-start week got pushed back a week, but the analysis stays the same here. If you need a floor pitcher who won’t hurt you, go ahead and roll out Minor in deeper leagues.
Joe Ryan (9/14 vs. CLE, 9/19 @TOR)
I hate seeing that Toronto matchup on the schedule – especially in Toronto – but after nearly pitching a perfect game his last time out and with Cleveland on the front-end of his week, I’m going to roll the dice with the rookie to keep up roll he’s been on in 12-team leagues.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
Dallas Keuchel (9/14 vs. LAA, 9/19 @TEX)
Ryan Yarbrough (9/13 @TOR< 9/19 vs. DET)
Logan Gilbert (9/13 vs. BOS, 9/19 @KC)
A.J. Alexy (9/13 vs. HOU, 9/18 vs. CHW)
Wily Peralta (9/14 vs. MIL, 9/19 @TB)
John Gant (9/13 @NYY, 9/18 @TOR)
Sean Nolin (9/13 vs. MIA, 9/19 vs. COL)
Spencer Howard (9/14 vs. HOU, 9/19 vs. CHW)
Adrian Sampson (9/14 @PHI, 9/19 @MIL)
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