Now that the season is ending, 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 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 and will with the season ending this week.
- Kyle Bradish vs WAS, vs BOS
- Michael King at TOR, at KC
- Kevin Gausman vs NYY, vs TB
- George Kirby vs HOU, vs TEX
- Aaron Nola vs PIT, at NYM
- Justin Steele at ATL, at MIL
- Hunter Greene at CLE, at STL
- Mitch Keller at PHI, vs MIA
- Blake Snell at SF, at CHW
- Logan Webb vs SD, vs LAD
Merrill Kelly (SP – ARI) at CHW, vs HOU
Kelly has had a couple of disaster outings over his last five starts, but the other three have been fantastic. There is some risk of a blow-up with him, but considering the Diamondbacks may be fighting for a playoff spot until the last day, Kelly is more likely to get the full two starts than a lot of other guys on this list.
Ryan Pepiot (SP – LAD) at COL, at SF
Pepiot has been great since joining the Dodgers rotation, and there aren’t many matchups that scare me with him right now. While he is going to Coors, Pepiot does not rely heavily on breaking pitches, which are what struggles in Colorado, so he is built better to survive there. There is also some small risk that the Dodgers cut his second start short because they have their playoff spot wrapped up, but I think he can do enough to potentially still qualify for a win versus a floundering Giants team.
Justin Verlander (SP – HOU) at SEA, at ARI
I know Verlander has struggled since returning to Houston, and the Diamondbacks and Mariners are playing well, but I just don’t see how you bench him down the stretch. Maybe this is a bit of name value, and he should be lower, but the Astros will give him run support, and there aren’t a lot of great two-start options because of the season ending.
Here We Go
Kenta Maeda (SP – MIN) vs OAK, at COL
Maeda has been pretty reliable for the most part since returning from the IL outside of two blowups. He has the epitome of a risk/reward two-step, with both teams being awful, but one of them being in Coors field. While I am a little worried about a Coors start, I don’t think the Twins would let him wear a bad outing if he struggles right before the playoffs. I think this one is pretty safe for the most part.
Paul Blackburn (SP – OAK) at MIN, at LAA
Blackburn has pitched fairly well as of late, but because he is stuck on the A’s, he doesn’t get a lot of chances to win games. However, Minnesota has locked in their playoff spot, and the Angels offense is just as bad as the A’s with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani out, so this is one of the better setups he could have. There is always a risk with a guy like Blackburn, but I would roll with him.
Bryce Elder (SP – ATL) vs CHC, vs WAS
Elder doesn’t have the strikeout upside to matter, but what he does have is a great offense behind him. That offense gives him a ton of opportunity to win games, even if he struggles. He has been up and down recently, so I would be careful if I was protecting my ratios. However, if you need a win or two, Elder may be the best option on the entire list.
Alec Marsh (SP – KC) at DET, vs NYY
In spite of not going more than 4.1 innings in any of his last three starts, Marsh has pitched pretty well, and the underlying numbers back it up. While he won’t likely pitch deep into the game, the Royals have given him an opener in his last two outings, which has allowed him to get the win both times. These are both good matchups in good home parks, so I think this is one of my favorite streams for the week.
Adrian Houser (SP – MIL) vs STL, vs CHC
Houser has pitched well after returning from the IL. However, with the Brewers having their playoff spot locked up, they may lose some of their starters over the next week. Houser doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, which limits his upside already, and if he doesn’t go deep enough for a win, then the risk is elevated. I think there is some ratio help here, but if I wanted strikeouts and wins, I would look elsewhere.
- Tanner Houck vs TB, BAL
- Chase Anderson vs LAD, vs MIN
- Zack Thompson at MIL, vs CIN
- Jon Gray at LAA, at SEA
- Martin Perez at LAA, at SEA
- Jose Urena vs ARI, vs SD