Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 21 (8/27 – 9/2)

Nick Pollack looks at every two-start pitcher for Week 21, telling you which to start and which to bench.

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Every Friday I look at every projected two-start pitcher for the week ahead and detail my thoughts about rolling with them on your roster. There are four tiers: Definitely, Probably, Questionable, Bench. Definitely Start features starters that are no doubters for the week ahead followed by Probably Start with pitchers that look like good plays but may create a hesitation or two. Players labeled as Questionable are for deeper leagues or have one-of-two outings that should be skipped. Pitchers under Bench should be avoided despite their two starts in the week ahead.

Note: This article was written Friday afternoon, estimating probable starters through the week. These are subject to change.

Definitely Start

Jon Gray (@LAA, @SDP)

Masahiro Tanaka (CHW, DET)

Noah Syndergaard (@CHC, @SFG)

Patrick Corbin (@SFG, @LAD)

Charlie Morton (OAK, LAA)

Carlos Carrasco (MIN, TBR)

  • Pretty standard choices per usual here, with a few guys outside the Top 15 getting some love. Jon Gray heads out of Coors + two solid matchups with his hot stretch makes for a no-brainer, while Masahiro Tanaka’s pair of poor lineups equates to a good chance at two Wins and solid production.

Probably Start

Jon Lester (NYM, @PHI)

Stephen Strasburg (@PHI, MIL)

Junior Guerra (@CIN, @WSH)

Lance Lynn (CHW, DET)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (@TEX, ARI)

Clay Buchholz (@SFG, @LAD)

Cole Hamels (NYM, @PHI)

  • I debated raising a few into the top tier here. Cole Hamels has been fantastic in his five starts with the Cubs and against the Mets and Phillies, this should go very well for owners. I also considered raising Stephen Strasburgthough he may need one more start to get back into his groove.
  • Hamels’ teammate Jon Lester hasn’t been the lockdown #3 starter we wanted from him this season, but he should benefit you against the same teams.
  • Lance Lynn is a surprising jump into Tier 2, yet he’s been on fire with the Yankees and gets two of the worst offenses around. It’s hard to say no to that.
  • As long as Hyun-Jin Ryu is on the mound and not facing elite offenses, he should be started, making his week against the Rangers and Diamondbacks a clear Tier 2 play.
  • I could see Junior Guerra as a Tier 3 play and ultimately I elevated him as the Reds and Nationals aren’t scary enough for me to reconsider starts both times out.
  • Clay Buchholz is due for regression, but not enough for me to deny him two starts as he’s been cruising.


Dylan Bundy (TOR, @KCR)

Sam Gaviglio (@BAL, @MIA)

Carlos Rodon (@NYY, BOS)

Zach Eflin (WSH, CHC)

Kyle Gibson (@CLE, @TEX)

Julio Teheran (TBR, PIT)

Brian Johnson (MIA, @CHW)

Jacob Nix (SEA, COL)

Trevor Cahill (@HOU, SEA)

Ivan Nova (@STL, @ATL)

Edwin Jackson (@HOU, SEA)

  • There are plenty of discount options here this week. Jacob Nix could give you solid innings against the Rockies on the road and an inconsistent offense in the Mariners. Brian Johnson could steal two Wins against the Marlins and ChiSox. If Sam Gaviglio doesn’t go Sunday and gets the two-start week, he could continue working his slide piece for sneaky strikeout upside.
  • Despite two weak opponents, I still have to keep Dylan Bundy in the third tier as he simply hasn’t been sharp as of late.
  • I don’t like seeing Edwin Jackson or Julio Teheran here, but with Teheran’s middling opponents and EJax’s ridiculous 2018 season, I can see both as better options than those below.
  • Then there’s Trevor Cahill and Kyle GibsonCahill is coming off an outing where he simply didn’t have it and now has a tough matchup against the Astros. Gibson hasn’t looked sharp over the past month and now has a date with the Tribe. There’s obvious upside, but the risk is real.


Francisco Liriano (@KCR, @NYY)

James Shields (@NYY, BOS)

Felix Hernandez (@SDP, @OAK)

  • Just three low-level options this week, easily the lowest of the season. Francisco Liriano simply isn’t a pitcher that should be trusted on any given day. James Shields – aka Jimmy Bucklers – has the toughest week ahead against the Yankees and Red Sox without the talent to suggest that he’ll defy the odds. Felix Hernandez is the most appealing of the group with a date against the Padres, but with his struggles you can’t even depend on him taking advantage of his good fortune.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 21 (8/27 – 9/2)”

  1. Dan says:

    Hi Nick, I recall you mentioning a playoff Sit/Start grid moving forward to help with fantasy playoffs. My playoffs start this upcoming week (Mon 8/27). Is this grid a real thing? As always love your work and listen to your pod religiously.

  2. Al says:

    The final in my league is next week and I’m in it (h2h points league)

    Gotta pick one for my final starter:
    -Gaviglio two starts against bad teams
    -Hot Mike Fiers in the coliseum against Seattle
    -Jose Quintana in Atlanta

    Thanks for helping me get to the finals

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