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 rostership rate under 50% in Yahoo 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
- Spencer Strider will be the first pitcher I’d take in fantasy drafts heading into next year, but Brandon Woodruff takes the top spot this week as he avoids a trip to Philly and gets the Marlins instead.
- As is the case with previous weeks, a few pitchers who wouldn’t qualify as in the top tier due to recent performance or upcoming matcups are elevated due to a shallow pool of reliable arms at this stage of the season. Case in point, Logan Gilbert (vs LAD), Chris Bassitt (vs TEX), and Joe Ryan (reduced velocity in his last start) make the cut when they otherwise my find themselves at the top of tier two. You’re starting them without question, but you won’t be surprised if at least one of their starts doesn’t go according to plan.
- José Quintana and Clarke Schmidt get the nod in tier two over a group of more household names in the Questionable Tier who have struggled. They may not have the high-end outcomes that the names below have shown, but they’ve demonstrated a much safer floor. Schmidt is this week’s Two Start Streamer of the Week. He should be able to take full particular advantage of the road matchup at PNC Park while holding his own against a merely average Red Sox lineup.
- A resurgent season for James Paxton is beginning to come crashing down with a continued dip in velocity and and ERA that has steadily climbed. It’s preferable to bench, but in deeper leagues reasonable alternatives to fill out your lineup may be few and far between.
- It’s tough to figure out what is going on with Carlos Rodón in what has become a lost season after looking like a surefire ace the last two years. He’s not advisable to start against Boston, but might make sense at the Pirates. It’s no sure thing, however, as he was just lit up by the Tigers. As for Dylan Cease, it’s impossible to trust he’ll be able to take care of business, even against poor lineups. He’s tallied just one quality start since the beginning of August. Cease currently makes the most sense to start in rotisserie leagues where you’re willing to sacrifice ratios to make up ground in strikeouts.
- You can likely start Dean Kremer against both the Cardinals and the Rays. Nathan Eovaldi through Taijuan Walker are all best suited as one-start streamers in daily leagues.
- The Dodgers haven’t yet been able to fix Lance Lynn. His 2.25 HR/9 amongst qualified SPs is worst in the majors while his 6.09 ERA trails only Jordan Lyles. He can’t be relied on if you’re still in the fantasy playoffs.
- Pedro Avila and Zack Littell are both coming off excellent results, but you shouldn’t expect similar outings next week.
Two-Start Streamer of the Week Record: 6-7.
Featured Image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photo by Cliff Welch & Leslie Plaza Johnson /con Sportswire