Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 23 (9/10 – 9/16)

Nick Pollack looks at every two-start pitcher for Week 23, telling you which to start and which to bench.

(Photo by Keith Gillett/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

Justin Verlander (@DET, ARI)

German Marquez (ARI, @SFG)

J.A. Happ (@MIN, TOR)

Corey Kluber (@TBR, DET)

Chris Sale (TOR, NYM)

  • Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander should always be started.
  • New York has been a great landing spot for J.A. Happ in the second half, and facing the Jays and Twins gives owners the easy green light.
  • There should be zero consideration regarding starting or benching German Marquez these days. Do it.
  • It’s just going to be a “Two Inning Start” for Sale as he’s activated on Tuesday against the Jays, though it’s still worth it considering the matchup against the Mets on Sunday. And who knows, maybe he’ll give you 6 Ks on Tuesday.

Probably Start

Alex Wood (@CIN, @STL)

Jose Quintana (MIL, CIN)

Tanner Roark (@PHI, @ATL)

Mike Minor (@LAA, @SDP)

Jake Arrieta (WSH, MIA)

Dereck Rodriguez (ATL, COL)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (@CIN, @STL)

Zack Greinke (@COL, @HOU)

Zack Wheeler (MIA, @BOS)

Miles Mikolas (PIT, LAD)

  • Lots of sturdy options here, including Miles Mikolas, Alex Woodand Jake Arrieta each having a somewhat neutral schedule.
  • Poor Zack Greinkegetting a two-start week but having dates in Coors and Houston. I think he’s still startable in both parks, but there is more risk than I’d like.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu hasn’t injured himself yet, which means you should be rolling with him through Week 23.
  • Even with a date in Boston, you should still be throwing Zack Wheeler out there for the full week. He’s so hot right now.
  • Mike Minor is an excellent discount option this week, facing the Padres and Angels. It’s been a phenomenal 2.5 months from the Texas southpaw and it could continue a little longer.
  • I wouldn’t overthink starting Dereck Rodriguez and Tanner Roark this week, even if they each get one possibly tough start against the Braves.
  • Does Jose Quintana deserve a spot in the second tier? Maybe not, but he’s been better recently while he has a decent chance at a quality pair of starts.


Wade Miley (@CHC, PIT)

Jakob Junis (CHW, MIN)

Lucas Giolito (@KCR, @BAL)

Joe Musgrove (@STL, @MIL)

Zack Godley (@COL, @HOU)

Jaime Barria (TEX, SEA)

Kyle Gibson (NYY, @KCR)

Jose Urena (@NYM, @PHI)

  • Interesting choices here. Wade Miley is the biggest question mark as he’s been on an absurd stretch this season – 2.12 ERA and 1.8 WHIP in 12 starts! – but it’s a bit of a TEEs and the Cubs are no jokes.
  • Both Jaime Barria and Jose Urena can be considered decent streaming options for those in need.
  • I detest the ROS schedule for Joe Musgrove as it begins to ramp up this week, pushing him down to the third tier.
  • Like his teammate Greinke, Zack Godley is forced to face Coors + the Astros this week, though he can still be considered for those in dire need of punchouts.
  • I considered placing Jakob Junis in the second tier given his recent success and poor lineups this week, though his floor is still as low as it has been all season. One of the better plays in this tier, though.
  • Lucas Giolito looked terrible in his last outing and I have some hesitations with his recent approach, forcing me to give a little warning prior to what should be a solid two-start week.
  • Kyle Gibson is forced to face the Yankees, pulling him down from the second tier.



Francisco Liriano (HOU, @CLE)

Cody Reed (LAD, @CHC)

Jason Vargas (MIA, @BOS)

Adam Wainwright (PIT, LAD)

Daniel Mengden (@BAL, @TBR)

Andrew Cashner (OAK, CHW)

Antonio Senzatela (ARI, @SFG)

Brad Keller (CHW, MIN)

Marco Gonzales (SDP, @LAA)

  • I don’t think I’d find myself starting any of these pitches on a given night save for Marco Gonzales, who is returning from the DL following a horrid stretch. Too much risk everywhere here.


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.

7 responses to “Ranking Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 23 (9/10 – 9/16)”

  1. Jim says:

    Roark looked pretty bad in his last start, almost cost me my Playoff matchup tbh. I know it’s a nice matchup but other options on the wire are Heaney and Matz. I’m leaning Matz believe it or not.

  2. Nick says:

    I thought Trevor Richards was two starts? Tues v Mets, Sun v Phillies.

  3. Jeff says:

    Mariners’ Wade the White is slated for two starts–the hapless Pads and the no-lefty-hitting Halos.

  4. Kevin says:

    A little surprised you’re so high on Sale… Cora said he will add 1 inning per start…. we’re looking at 5 innings this week with no chance of a W.
    Sale or Osuna in points league?

  5. Paul says:

    Aren’t Mike Fiers and Trevor Williams (following today’s rain out) in line for two starts?

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