Welcome to Week 24’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
- Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodón are two top-10 SPs with potentially less than ideal circumstances for fantasy managers entering next week. Scherzer is returning off the injured list for “left side fatigue.” While his IL stint will be a minimal one, it’s unclear if the Mets will ease Mad Max back into the rotation given their World Series aspirations hinge on the health of their co-aces. Rodón, on the other hand, has surprisingly been the picture of health this season. Unfortunately, he’ll be visiting Coors Field. Despite a couple small drawbacks, they both belong in your fantasy rotations.
- Sonny Gray’s debut season in Minnesota has had ups and downs. While the troughs have been marked by injury and inconsistency, he’s peaking down the stretch. Since August, he’s held a pristine 2.06 ERA with about a strikeout per inning. Now that he’s through the gauntlet of the Twins’ schedule, he’s in prime position to keep it rolling into the next week. Continue starting Gray against the Guardians and Angels. Similarly to Gray, Logan Gilbert has a cushy schedule the rest of the way. He’s far too reliant on his four-seamer to consistently trust against stiff competition, but the Angels and Royals shouldn’t give you any pause.
- Edward Cabrera will assuredly be one of the more popular full-season breakouts entering the 2023 season. While he possesses immense upside, his command remains a work in progress. Start Cabrera against the Cubs and Nationals, even if his potential for earning a Win is diminished by Miami’s inability to score runs.
- Drew Smyly has very quietly been one of the biggest difference makers off waivers in the stretch run of the season. Omitting one disastrous outing against the Cardinals, Smyly has given up just four earned runs in his last seven starts. He’ll look to build upon his second-half surge against a couple of harmless opponents in the Marlins and Pirates. Keep starting Smyly the rest of the way.
- Zack Wheeler is tentatively slated for a return to the Phillies rotation next Tuesday. He’s been one of the game’s most reliable arms over the last three seasons, but it’ll be tough to rely on Wheeler even if he does, in fact, line up for two. Matchups against Toronto and Atlanta in a hitter-friendly ballpark is always a challenge, much less for someone knocking off the rust after a month on the shelf. Wheeler also hasn’t made a rehab start and will almost certainly be limited to around 60 pitches against the Jays. Depending on the depth of your league, you may have a tough decision to make with your SP1 next week.
- Drew Rasmussen, Adam Wainwright, and Merrill Kelly have all been a steady source of quality innings for much of the season. They all, however, face a menacing schedule. You’ll likely start them all in points leagues. In roto/categories, it’ll depend on your category needs.
- If you’ve held out hope all season Mike Clevinger would eventually return to form, matchups against Cardinals and at Colorado should give you the final push to cut bait and look elsewhere.
- Austin Voth would likely be one of the better one-start streaming options against the Tigers, but the Orioles skipped his last start for a one inning relief appearance. The potential that Baltimore further limits his workload makes it likely best to look elsewhere. Teammate Tyler Wells won’t be stretched out enough to make him an appealing floor-play against Detroit.
Questions? Feel free to let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @AnthonyTucker81, and I’ll be happy to talk two-start SPs and more!
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)