Now that the season is winding down, you should be grinding the two-start pitchers to give you an advantage over your competition.
Each week, I will be giving you a breakdown of the two-start options for your fantasy leagues broken up into the following tiers:
- Must Start: The guys that you have to start because of their talent and/or matchups.
- Should Start: These are the guys that are rostered in most formats and probably should be in your lineup.
- Here We Go: Pitchers that you are probably starting in most formats but have some level of risk to them.
- Feeling Lucky: Pitchers that are available in less than 25% of leagues that are risky but viable in deeper formats.
- Desperate Measures: Pitchers you shouldn’t use unless you have no other choice.
These are projected two-start pitchers and are subject to change.
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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers
Tyler Glasnow at MIN, at BAL
Chris Bassitt vs TEX, vs BOS
Hyun Jin Ryu vs TEX, vs BOS
Sonny Gray vs TB, at CHW
Framber Valdez vs OAK, at KC
Logan Gilbert vs LAA, vs LAD
Spencer Strider at PHI, at MIA
Brandon Woodruff vs MIA, vs WAS
Freddy Peralta vs MIA, vs WAS
Joe Ryan vs TB, at CHW
Jose Quintana vs ARI, vs CIN
Max Scherzer (SP – TEX) at TOR, at CLE
I know Scherzer got blown up in his last outing, but there is no shame in that since it was versus an extremely hot Houston club. Prior to that outing, he had a 2.21 ERA and a .85 WHIP with 47 strikeouts in 36.2 innings since being traded to the Rangers. He should be in the Must Start tier, but I wanted to assuage people’s fear of him after his last start.
Dean Kremer (SP – BAL) vs STL, vs TB
Kremer has quietly had a really good second half, throwing 56.2 innings with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with 47 strikeouts. While the matchups aren’t great, they are both at home, where he has done his best work this season. I originally had him a tier lower but moved him up because of the lack of really great options this week.
Alex Cobb (SP – SF) vs CLE, at COL
Cobb has been up and down since the break, but his stuff has looked better lately, and he recently was one out away from a no-hitter versus a good Reds offense. While he is throwing one of these starts in Colorado, I am less afraid of him there because he doesn’t rely heavily on breaking pitches, which is what is most affected in the Colorado thin air. The other matchup against Cleveland is fantastic as well, so I would roll with him in just about every format.
Here We Go
Dylan Cease (SP – CWS) vs KC, vs MIN
There is no way around it. Cease has been truly awful this season, posting a 4.98 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 153.2 innings pitched this season, and some of his worst work has been over his last four outings. However, he gets a ton of strikeouts, and these are nice matchups, so if you are win-seeking or in need of strikeouts, you may need to roll with him here.
Zack Littell (RP,SP – TB) at MIN, at BAL
Littell has been a bit maddening as of late, posting three straight bad outings before cruising through the hottest team in baseball, the Mariners, in his last start. The problem is he is very hittable, which makes him very difficult to trust. That being said, I am not overly afraid of the Twins lineup, and while the Orioles are a good offense, pitching in Baltimore is a good place to protect him from the home runs that can be an issue. I would use him in all deeper formats and some shallower ones as well, especially if you are win-seeking or don’t really need the strikeouts.
Charlie Morton (SP – ATL) at PHI, at MIA
I think some people would wonder why Morton is not higher, considering his elite 3.38 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 151.2 innings pitched this season. However, he has a 1.38 WHIP, and the underlying numbers point out that he has been extremely lucky in the ERA department. He has a tough matchup with Philadelphia and a decent one in Miami, but if you are hurting in WHIP at all, it might be best to stay away.
Jordan Wicks (SP – CHC) at COL, at ARI
Wicks has been fantastic thus far, and if he wasn’t going to Colorado, I would probably have him as a Should Start. However, there is a reason we avoid Colorado starts, and it is because they can be so disastrous. In deeper leagues, you may not have many options, but in most shallower formats, you should probably skip this one.
Nathan Eovaldi (SP – TEX) at TOR, at CLE
Eovaldi is back and he did not look great in his first start off the IL. However, he was facing an extremely hot Rangers squad, so maybe he will improve this time out. He is facing a bad Cleveland offense and a Toronto offense that has underperformed. This one isn’t for shallow leagues, but in 12-team and 15-team mixed leagues, he is definitely in play.
Kyle Gibson (SP – BAL) vs STL, vs TB
Need wins? Kyle Gibson has got you. He is tied with Chris Bassitt for the American League lead in wins and is pitching both these starts at home. Don’t care about wins? Don’t start Kyle Gibson.
James Paxton (SP – BOS) vs NYY, at TOR
I am pretty worried about Paxton and how he has pitched recently. It seems like he has just run out of gas after so many innings this year in relation to how many he has thrown in recent seasons due to injury. I get chasing wins or his early season success, but you should probably avoid this one outside of really deep leagues.
Braxton Garrett (SP – MIA) at MIL, vs ATL
I love Garrett, but he has struggled at times versus really good teams. He gets the Braves at the end of this two-step, and while I think the first half warrants consideration, the Braves have been the scariest offense to go up against this season, and he was already destroyed by them earlier in the season.