Welcome to this week’s edition of the 2023 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 Most Likely 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.
Each week, I’ll be selecting my Two-Start Streamer of the Week. The criteria for a streamer will be a roster-rate under 50% in Yahoo or ESPN leagues. The Streamer of the Week will be highlighted in the tables in green. Reach out to me in the PL Discord or on Twitter @AnthonyTucker81 and let me know if you’d grade the weekly streamer as a win or loss.
As a friendly reminder, the projected starters are just that, projections and subject to change.
Set and Forget
- Given their recent performances, it’s likely surprising to see Aaron Nola and Freddy Peralta sit in tier one ahead of a group of established arms below them. Nola’s 2023 struggles are largely the result of what derailed his 2021: the gopher ball and struggles stranding runners. In addition, he’s curiously posting the lowest strikeout rate of his career. It’s hard to find anything of glaring concern and his 3.65 xERA suggests he may have just faced some bad luck.
- As for Peralta, despite the slump he’s been in the last two weeks, he has something other starters don’t: a matchup against the Athletics.
- James Paxton has been a revelation for the Red Sox rotation and fantasy rosters alike since returning from the IL. Both he and rookie Hunter Brown have the fortune of starting against the Guardians. Cleveland is last in the league in homers and should pose little threat. Even with tougher road starts outside of Cleveland (@NYY and @TOR), Pax and Brown should be easy choices to start next week.
- Kyle Gibson is available in over 50% of Yahoo league and is this week’s Two Start Streamer of the Week. Don’t expect much in the way of strikeouts, but the Brewers and Royals create the opportunity for a strong ERA and a potential Win. With that being said, Gibson has a propensity for the volatile outing, so it’s not without risk.
- Blake Snell just turned in the most dominant start of the season, but a trip to Coors Field seems like an easy choice to bench in daily leagues. In weekly leagues, it’s a true toss up.
- Carlos Carrasco is an ideal one-start streamer against Pittsburgh. It’s safest to avoid if possible in Atlanta.
- JP Sears has a low walk rate, 1.07 WHIP, and is a PLV darling. What does he have to show for it? Zero wins on the season pitching behind one of the worst teams in memory. He does have ideal matchups, making him particularly interesting in points leagues.
- Tommy Henry has the Nationals and Tigers and just showed he can handle below-average lineups, blanking the road Rockies over 7 IP. Despite all that, he’s still best to avoid. He walks too many batters, strikes out too few, and has a 25% CSW on the season. Moreover, the Nationals hit lefties well. It might look good on the surface, but you should leave Henry on the wire.
- Nothing in Alek Manoah’s profile is giving us confidence in a return to form anytime soon. With each passing start, it seems more and more likely like a trip to the minors might be the best course for the former Cy Young candidate. Amongst a myriad of poor pitching metrics, what perhaps stands out most is that through 12 games started he’s walked almost as many batters as he has struck out.
Two-Start Streamer of the Week Record: 2-4.