Two-Start Pitchers: Week 2 4/18-4/24 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)
If you were looking for the Week One two-start pitchers article and couldn’t find it, that wasn’t on you. That wasn’t on FantasyPros, either.
It was on me.
I made a gut call and decided to not write a two-start piece for the opening week of baseball. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to — it was because there was so much unknown still as far as rotations went.
Anything that I would have produced would have been guesswork, and it would have hurt you more than it helped you.
But now we are ready to go. There will be tweaks here and there (we put this out on Fridays to give you extra time to prepare for the week ahead), but we feel pretty good about the projected upcoming rotations.
Each week, you can find a breakdown of the two-start pitchers for the upcoming week, who you should start, and why.
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 evening.
Don’t Think Twice
- Max Scherzer (SP – NYM) (4/19 vs. SF, 4/24 @ARI)
- Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY) (4/19 @DET, 4/24 vs. CLE)
- Adam Wainwright (SP – STL) (4/19 @MIA, 4/24 @CIN)
- Robbie Ray (SP – SEA) (4/19 s. TEX, 4/24 vs. KC)
- Shane Bieber (SP – CLE) (4/18 vs. CHW, 4/23 @NYY)
- Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD) (4/18 vs. ATL, 4/24 @SD)
- Logan Webb (SP – SF) (4/19 @NYM, 4/24 @WAS)
- Frankie Montas (SP – OAK) (4/18 vs. BAL, 4/23 vs. TEX)
- Shane McClanahan (SP – TB) (4/18 @CHC, 4/24 vs. BOS)
- Tylor Megill (SP – NYM) (4/18 vs. SF, 4/23 @ARI)
Sean Manaea (SP – SD) (4/18 vs. CIN, 4/24 vs. LAD)
Admittedly, this is bias shining through. Manaea should be in the top tier, but I’m sticking to my “we need three starts of data before deciding actual changes,” so I’m keeping Manaea in the area I had him heading into the season. He’s looked good so far for the Padres, but I feel OK having him here in the suggested start tier despite having the Dodgers on the schedule.
Nathan Eovaldi (SP – BOS) (4/19 vs. TOR, 4/23 @TB)
I’m not an Eovaldi fan, but if he had two better matchups, he’d be a Tier One pitcher. Even with losing Danny Jansen (C – TOR) and Teoscar Hernandez (OF – TOR), we’ve seen just how dangerous the Jays’ offense can be. That alone would give me pause, and add to it the Rays matchup and I’m probably fading Eovaldi this week.
Kyle Hendricks (SP – CHC) (4/18 vs. TB, 4/23 vs. PIT)
One good start for Hendricks, and one bad start for Hendricks. It’s almost like he’s, well, Kyle Hendricks. The margin for error has always been small for a pitcher with his profile, and the Pirates made him pay last time out. Yes, those Pirates. He gets those Pirates again in what should be a bounceback performance, but his first matchup of the week against the Rays gives me pause.
Luis Garcia (SP – HOU) (4/18 vs. LAA, 4/24 vs. TOR)
It’s a matchups problem for me for this week. The Angels, if healthy, are a top 10 offense and the Jays are a top 2 offense in baseball. I’d proceed with caution.
Alex Cobb (SP – SF) (4/18 @NYM, 4/23 @WAS)
All board the Cobb hype train. He’s my pick for this year’s Robbie Ray, and he was off to a good start to the season by maintaining his increased velocity that he had in the spring. Both of these matchups are OK enough for me to pull the trigger on him this week.
Eduardo Rodriguez (SP – DET) (4/19 vs. NYY, 4/24 vs. COL)
It’s been a slow start for Rodriguez so far, but I’m still in on him going forward. The Yankees matchup is less than ideal, but at least it’s at home.
Jesus Luzardo (SP,RP – MIA) (4/19 vs. STL, 4/24 @ATL)
I keep reminding myself it’s early, but Luzardo’s first start was so, so promising. Increased velocity, increased usage of his secondaries, and he changed the shape of his pitches. All things you love to see.
In the Danger Zone
Aaron Nola (SP – PHI) (4/18 @COL, 4/24 vs. MIL)
Those who drafted Nola are going to be disappointed in general this season, but my rule of thumb is if a pitcher has a start in Colorado, he automatically gets bumped down a tier. When the second is against Milwaukee, he enters the danger zone.
Triston McKenzie (SP – CLE) (4/19 vs. CHW, 4/24 @NYY)
I love the upside for McKenzie, and he had his stuff working in his first start of the season. But these are two really tough matchups for him to navigate. I’d rather have him on my bench this week.
Huascar Ynoa (SP – ATL) (4/18 @LAD, 4/24 vs. MIA)
The stuff is electric, but consistency is key for Ynoa. If he had a better first matchup, I’d consider streaming him.
Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN) (4/18 @SDP, 4/24 vs. STL)
So the results in his first start weren’t exactly what you want, but the Stuff+ numbers were very, very good. Be patient with the rookie.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Merrill Kelly (SP – ARI) (4/19 @WAS, 4/24 vs. NYM)
Kelly has carried over his increased velocity from the spring, as well as more movement on his pitches. He’s a streamer right now but I have my eye on him in 12-team leagues.
Yusei Kikuchi (SP – TOR) (4/19 @BOS, 4/23 @HOU)
Kikuchi’s first start was… weird. He was lucky to escape major damage in the first inning before settling down a bit. He’s using his slider more, which is his best pitch, but it allowed a lot of loud contact. These are two tough matchups for him, so I’d rather leave him on my bench unless I’m in a 15-team league.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Josiah Gray (SP – WSH) (4/18 vs. ARI, 4/23 vs. SF)
I’m OK with Gray this week, who has had one good and one bad start so far. The Arizona matchup puts him in the starting area despite a tough matchup against the Giants.
Justin Steele (SP, RP – CHC) (4/19 vs. TBR, 4/24 vs. PIT)
Steele has been impressive and was a popular deep sleeper heading into the season. Tampa is a tough matchup, but the Pirates, despite their early-season numbers, should allow him to net a positive return on the week.
Cole Irvin (SP – OAK) (4/19 vs. BAL, 4/24 vs. TEX)
I don’t love the pitcher, but I love the matchups.
Dane Dunning (SP – TEX) (4/19 @SEA, 4/24 @OAK)
I can’t quit Dunning. I love the slider, and the Oakland matchup is a plus-plus matchup for any pitcher.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- Dallas Keuchel (SP – CWS) (4/18 @CLE, 4/23 @MIN)
- Dylan Bundy (SP – MIN) (4/18 @BOS, 4/24 vs. CHW)
- Zach Thompson (SP,RP – PIT) (4/18 @MIL, 4/23 @CHC)
- J.T. Brubaker (SP – PIT) (4/19 @MIL, 4/24 @CHC)
- Rich Hill (SP – BOS) (4/18 vs. MIN, 4/23 @TBR)
- Daniel Lynch (SP – KC) (4/19 vs. MIN, 4/24 @SEA)
- Caleb Smith (SP,RP – ARI) (4/18 @WAS, 4/23 vs. NYM)
- Chad Kuhl (SP,RP – COL) (4/18 vs. PHI, 4/24 @DET)
- Joan Adon (SP – WSH) (4/19 vs. ARI, 4/24 vs. SF)
- Spenser Watkins (SP,RP – BAL) (4/18 @OAK, 4/23 @LAA)
- Jimmy Lambert (SP – CWS) (4/19 @CLE, 4/24 @MIN)
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