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
- Mets fans will be rejoicing next week as co-aces Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are in the rotation together for the first time this season. Fantasy managers should be equally excited with both lining up for two trips to the mound. It’s unclear whether deGrom’s initial workload will be limited, but he’s unquestionably deserving of a lineup spot regardless.
- Yu Darvish and Logan Webb will both be challenged by the league’s best offense but should be up for the challenge. It’s worth noting that despite the polish of his overall pitching line, Darvish has limped to a 4.50 ERA on the road this season. While not ideal, don’t let a trip to Chavez Ravine scare you away from Darvish.
- Kevin Gausman will be happy to turn the page on July. He’ll end the month with a 5.70 ERA and 1.70 WHIP, a far cry from the way he started the season. Those tempted to bench him, however, should likely reconsider. Even with a disastrous last month, he still boasts a stellar 16.7% SwStr rate and 4.3% BB rate. In addition, the current version of the Rays lineup presents a prime opportunity for a “get right” game before facing stiffer competition in Minnesota.
- Two Dodger lefties are worthy of your attention as two-start pitchers this week, and neither of them is named Clayton Kershaw or Julio Urías. Tyler Anderson has quietly been one of, if not the most, productive pitching finds off the waiver wire this season. Andrew Heaney has shown his tantalizing potential in Dodger blue when healthy this year. Neither of the divisional foes they’ll face looks particularly strong offensively, particularly the Giants who are playing their way out of playoff contention. Anderson and Heaney should be poised to provide value this upcoming week pitching for the National League’s best team.
- Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech have both been frustrating over the course of the last few months, albeit with different expectations. The two White Sox right-handers have also experienced bouts of diminished fastball velocity. There’s a strong case for benching both, even in a two-start week. For those willing to put either in their lineup, it’s likely to do more with the opposing lineup they’ll face against Kansas City. The Royals have already dealt Andrew Benintendi and may move Whit Merrifield but have recently activated slugger Salvador Perez. Starting either of your White Sox arms looks like a true toss-up play.
- Braxton Garrett came tumbling back down to earth in his last start at Cincinnati, but there’s reason to believe he can rebound in a rematch in the more spacious confines of his home park. Garrett has shown solid command and has had his slider and sinker working as of late. His schedule makes him an enticing two-start streamer, especially in a points league. By the time he makes his second start against the Cubs, it’s more than likely Chicago will have moved lineup linchpins Willson Contreras and Ian Happ.
- Brady Singer has made some waves in his last two starts, combining for 22 strikeouts against the Rays and Yankees. He makes for a good speculative add, even if sustained success looks dubious. The White Sox and Red Sox have both disappointed this season, but their offenses can catch fire on any given night. Proceed with caution if you’re considering Singer next week.
- Kyle Gibson through Cal Quantrill are all one-start streamer candidates. Gibson becomes especially intriguing if the Nats do the unthinkable and move Juan Soto (in addition to Josh Bell).
- Those expecting Domingo Germán to recapture some of the success and wins that he had in 2019 will likely be disappointed. He’s a prime candidate to move to the bullpen upon a potential trade deadline move for a starter. There are better options available in a 12-teamer.
- Spencer Howard is coming off his best start as a member of the Rangers, but you shouldn’t expect it to continue. The prospect hype surrounding him upon debuting with the Phillies just a few years ago feels like a distant memory. He’s not currently an option in fantasy leagues.
- Matt Manning tentatively lines up for two next week in his return to the big leagues. He ended his rehab with a scoreless outing of 83 pitches, but he still belongs on the waiver wire.