Reviewing Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 21 (8/21 – 8/28)

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...

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.

Definitely Start

Aaron Nola (MIA, CHC) 

Alex Wood (@PIT, MIL) 

Carlos Carrasco (BOS, KCR)

Marcus Stroman (@TBR, MIN)

Yu Darvish (@PIT, MIL)

  • Pretty straight forward this week. None of the true elites have two-starts and even with Darvish’s low strikeout game or Nola’s recent blip, you better be starting these arms.

Probably Start

Charlie Morton (WSH, @LAA) 

Carlos Rodon (MIN, DET) 

Gerrit Cole (LAD, @CIN) 

Cole Hamels (@LAA, @OAK) 

Danny Duffy (COL, @CLE) 

Eduardo Rodriguez (@CLE, BAL) 

Dan Straily (@PHI, SDP) 

Jacob Faria (TOR, @STL) 

Jon Gray (@KCR, @ATL) 

Lance Lynn (SDP, TBR) 

Mike Clevinger (BOS, KCR) 

  • A lot of our favorite arms are here, but many come with tough matchups that are sure to give hesitation. For example, Charlie Morton is still a good play as the Nationals are reeling from the loss of Bryce Harper
  • Mike Clevinger is a tough call here with a start against Boston ahead, but facing the Royals will mitigate the risk a bit making him a decent option.
  • Even with Cole Hamels taking a major step back last time out, he’s still a good option considering his gets the A’s and Angels.
  • Dan Straily shows up suddenly as he gets the two easiest lineups of any two-start pitcher, making him a good add if leagues have given up on him. Jose Urena is pitching on Tuesday as part of the double header, but considering Straily can’t go on short rest on Saturday, Urena will be forced to Monday next week with Straily pitching Sunday.


Jameson Taillon (LAD, @CIN)

Reynaldo Lopez? (MIN, DET) 

Taijuan Walker (@NYM, SFG) 

Chris Stratton (MIL, @ARI) 

Robbie Ray (@NYM, SFG) 

John Lackey (@CIN, @PHI) 

Tyler Skaggs (TEX, HOU) 

Tanner Roark (@HOU, NYM) 

Mike Foltynewicz (SEA, COL) 

  • The toughest call here was Jameson Taillonwhich came down to facing a hot Reds offense and top tier Dodgers lineup. Simply poor matchups have brought him into the third tier as he hasn’t been pitching at the top of his game.
  • I can see some people wanting to lift Robbie Ray into the next tier, especially with 11 Ks to his name in his rehab start and I wouldn’t have much of a problem with it. The one question is if DLH should be overlooked even if he is facing the weak New York offense.
  • As much as I’d want Taijuan Walker to be elevated to a consistent arm, he simply hasn’t been that way for owners thus far. Still a good option but not as clear cut as the ones in the second tier.
  • Chris Stratton looked great with his Fastball command and Curveball against the Nationals lineup and could take advantage twice next week…but that Arizona start is a bit scary. Proceed with caution.
  • Tyler Skaggs, Tanner Roarkand Mike Foltynewicz are easily the riskiest options here, with Skaggs/Roark each facing the Astros and Folty having two overall sturdy lineups. It’s possible the trio all give you productive starts, but look elsewhere first before chasing these arms.
  • The Chicago White Sox have a double-header on Monday, with Reynaldo Lopez going on Tuesday…though that may not happen considering he left Thursday’s start with soreness in his left side. Whoever takes his place isn’t worth your time if Lopez were to miss this outing.


Clayton Richard (@STL, @MIA) 

Chris Flexen (ARI, @WSH) 

Chris Smith (@BAL, TEX) 

Dillon Gee (@CHW, @TOR) 

Andrew Albers (@ATL, @NYY) 

Homer Bailey (CHC, PIT) 

Jaime Garcia (@DET, SEA) 

Kyle Gibson (@CHW, @TOR) 

Matthew Boyd (NYY, @CHW) 

Mike Pelfrey (MIN, DET)

Rick Porcello (@CLE, BAL) 

Ricky Nolasco (TEX, HOU) 

Robert Gsellman (ARI, @WSH) 

Steven Matz (ARI, @WSH) 

Tyson Ross (@LAA, @OAK) 

Ubaldo Jimenez (OAK, @BOS) 

Zach Davies (@SFG, @LAD) 

  • Some say Matt Boyd is going Tuesday, others Anibal Sanchez, but it doesn’t matter. Don’t start either.
  • I can see people being tempted to chase Zach Davies as he gets the Giants, but facing the Dodgers later in the week makes him an overall bad play.
  • Clayton Richard is coming off another one of his miraculous outings, though you should recall that he’s had more damaging starts than beneficial. Keep that in mind when trusting him twice in a week.
  • There’s a hope in the back of my mind that Rick Porcello could be the best choice of this tier, but it’s just not a smart risk to take.

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.

12 responses to “Reviewing Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 21 (8/21 – 8/28)”

  1. David Colasurdo says:

    Hey Nick, are you still high on Biagini? Now that he will be back. What about a potential spot for Weaver?

  2. My Seven Rizzos says:

    NIck, thoughts on starting Hill tonight @DET?

  3. Mets014 says:

    Does Corbin not line up for 2 starts?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Depends when Ray returns. Looks like it’s Tuesday for now, bumping Corbin to Wednesday.

      • tiwaniuk says:

        It looks like Ray is slated to return Thursday now, with Corbin going Tuesday and Sunday.

        With that being said, would you rather have Corbin (@NYM, vs. SF) or Straily (@PHI, vs. SD) for this two-start week?

  4. Greatest Game says:

    Thoughts on Lamet against Nats this Sunday and going forward for rest of season?

  5. DJ says:

    Need to start 2 of these guys Bauer, Fulmer, Taillon, or C. Anderson. Care most about protecting ratios

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Fulmer definitely.

      If two starts is a big plus, Taillon gets the nod. If not, I think Bauer vs Boston is the best matchup of the other three.

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