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
- Due to a number of teams with only five games next week and a few others employing a six-man rotation, the two-start landscape is sparse this week. This is abundantly apparent at the top of the rankings with just a pair in the highest tier. Both Zack Wheeler and Shane Bieber have a tougher test over the weekend, but they’ll be in your lineup regardless.
- This week’s tier two arms should all be in your lineup given their established track record, but many have a higher degree of risk next week due to one of their opponents or occasional inconsistency.
- Lance Lynn is the name that stands out amongst the group due to his noted struggles since returning from knee surgery prior to Opening Day. Despite a healthy swinging strike rate, Lynn has looked less effective this season. It’s unclear if Lynn will be able to sustain much success with reduced velocity, but next week shouldn’t be too tall a task even without his best stuff. Detroit has managed a pitiful 75 wRC+ on the season. After offseason splashes for Austin Meadows and Javier Baez, the Tigers rank last in the league in offense. Coming off a quality start in his last outing against the Royals, Lynn has the opportunity to string together three starts in a row feasting against some of the league’s worst competition.
- Those looking for two-start streamers on waivers this week in any 12-team league or larger will likely be sorely disappointed. Yusei Kikuchi is the only starter available on waivers with favorable matchups. However, the erratic command that has hampered Kikuchi throughout his career makes this too risky a play outside of those desperate for innings.
- Marlins’ lefty Braxton Garrett has been a strikeout machine lately, tallying 37 Ks in his last four starts. The catch? Those four starts came against the Reds and Pirates. The Phillies and Braves pose a different type of test as he tries to keep the momentum going. Atlanta is a top-five offense against lefties and, in daily leagues, is a clear bench for Garrett.
- Graham Ashcraft (vs CHC) and James Kaprielian (vs LAA) are uninspiring as one-start streamers but can return decent ratios. Neither play behind a strong supporting cast so, even against a weak opponent, those looking to secure a Win in roto or category leagues may be best served to look elsewhere.
- Keegan Thompson has ideal matchups, particularly against a Washington Nationals lineup that is now a top contender for the worst lineup in baseball. Unfortunately, Thompson’s inconsistency makes this a no-go in 12-teamers. He’s alternated strong outings with disasters, but just three whiffs in his last start are a major red flag. The main differentiator between Thompson and a similarly inconsistent Kikuchi in tier 3 is the team behind him.
- Chad Kuhl has never posted strong ratios and moving to Denver has only made matters worse. With a 6.5% K-BB%, Kuhl is not on the fantasy radar.