Welcome to this week’s two-start pitcher rankings!
My rankings have four tiers: Set and Forget, Probably Start, Questionable, and Avoid. Set and Forget starters are simply that; get them in your lineup and don’t think twice. The Probably Start tier includes players with the mix of skill and matchups that make them almost certainly two-start plays, but not without some elevated risk compared to the top tier. Questionable starters are those best-suited for daily lineup leagues where you can bench them against the tougher of their two opponents. Finally, we have the Avoid tier, which includes two-start SPs who should remain on your bench or the wire.
As a friendly reminder, the projected starters are just that, projections and subject to change.
Set and Forget
- There are a few easy decisions at the top this week, led by Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins’ ace has logged eight quality starts in his ten trips to the mound in 2022. For those who pointed to Alcantara’s strikeout rate when debating if he could ascend to the upper echelon of starters, his 77 Ks on the year put him in the top-10 of the league.
- Nathan Eovaldi comes with an asterisk this week given some injury uncertainty. Eovaldi had reduced fastball velocity in his last start, which has since been attributed to a hip injury. Eovaldi returned to Boston to have the hip tightness examined by team doctors, but is still expected to take the hill on Tuesday. If he’s healthy, Eovaldi and his 22.2% K-BB% are automatic starts.
- Alex Wood had a rough start to the season, but has started to turn things around in June. His 4.23 ERA is likely a result of some bad luck, as Wood has largely looked like the same version of himself as 2021. He’s only rostered in 52% of Yahoo leagues and, if he happens to be available in your league, now is the time to jump back on board. Wood gets a tantalizing set of matchups and is primed for a big week ahead.
- Despite reduced velocity, Shane Bieber has produced the numbers of a fantasy ace. A 2.91 ERA supported by a 15.1% SwSt% has largely disguised the fact that Bieber’s extremely hittable fastball will likely lead to some volatility moving forward. Bieber’s recent stretch of dominance has been aided by a cushy schedule over the last month, a trend that will change next week. A trip to Colorado and Los Angeles could lead to a rude awakening for Bieber’s ratios. There’s more risk than you’d like for a two-start week, but Bieber should be in your lineup.
- Zach Eflin has yet to show any sign of consistency in 2022, yet he’s likely the top streaming two-start pitching option this week. Eflin’s ability to limit both walks and hard contact may pay dividends against a pair of weak opponents. The risk is evident, but Eflin could provide value this week, especially with the Phillies on an absolute tear.
- For those unwilling to take a chance on Eflin, Alex Faedo enters the week as a reasonable yet unspectacular option. Faedo has struggled with some inconsistency of his own, particularly with his slider. If he has his signature pitch working, it could be enough to succeed against two lineups who have disappointed throughout the year.
- Miles Mikolas (PIT), Merrill Kelly (CIN), and Corey Kluber (@BAL) are best suited as starts in the weaker of their two matchups. In weekly leagues, Mikolas and Kelly are likely worth the added risk.
- Yusei Kikuchi, Dane Dunning, and Johnny Cueto all have one below-average opponent where they could make for a favorable stream. There are better options in 12-teamers, but may be worth some consideration in the deepest of leagues.