Welcome to this week’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
- Since only six teams have seven games this week and a variety of teams are either employing six-man rotations or the occasional spot starter, the list of two-start pitchers is lighter than normal at the top this week. Carlos Rodón has slowed from his torrid early season pace, but he’s far and away the dominant pitcher in this week’s rankings. Another lefty, Nasty Nestor Cortes, goes about his business in an entirely different way than Rodón, but has achieved equally impressive results. In fact, both starters have posted a near identical 30% strikeout rate. Until Cortes proves otherwise, he’s an effortless decision when setting your lineup.
- Kyle Wright’s command has wavered at times over the last few weeks and he hasn’t looked quite as dominant as his phenomenal April. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t need to worry about Wright next week. Two starts in Atlanta against bottom-five offenses create the opportunity for a potentially pristine set of pitching lines.
- Both Cristian Javier and Michael Kopech stumbled in their most recent trip to the mound after twirling a gem one start prior. Both deserve a spot in weekly lineup leagues, but Javier has a slight edge given a more favorable schedule. Kopech has a minuscule 2.20 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, but his peripheral stats suggest a less rosier outlook. The White Sox righty is allowing a high rate of fly balls while also sporting just an 11.1% SwSt% and a concerning 12.8% BB%. A visit from the Dodgers will be Kopech’s biggest test to date.
- After a rocky start to his Rangers tenure, Jon Gray’s twelve strikeout performance against the Rays is enough to vault him into tier 2 against a pair of AL Central lineups that pack little punch. The White Sox lineup is the early leader in the clubhouse for most disappointing in baseball. Despite sky-high expectations, a mix of injury and underperformance have led to a 91 wRC+. Without Tim Anderson as a catalyst, it doesn’t look like a turnaround is imminent. All to say, Gray has an advantageous set of matchups going into next week.
- There are likely few viable streamers with two advantageous starts that are available on waivers this week. Cal Quantrill has been featured in this column for consecutive weeks without making the second start, but is tentatively slated to start on Monday in a seven game week for the Guardians. A 24.3% CSW and 6.4 K-BB% shouldn’t elicit much excitement, but Quantrill has a penchant for posting quality ratios against middling opponents. His teammate, Konnor Pilkinton, has a limited big league track record and poses a higher degree of risk than Quantrill. Given two below average opponents, he could have some sneaky appeal in deep leagues, but it still feels like a shot in the dark.
- Trevor Rogers likely has managers pondering whether they should drop him more than whether they should start him against the Astros. He makes sense against the Nats, but he’s far too volatile to recommend against the Astros.
- Noah Syndergaard has been roughed up in two of his last three starts. Matchups against the Red Sox and Mets won’t do him any favors, but he could be worth starting depending on a) your alternatives and b) your appetite for some ratio risk if he doesn’t rebound.
- Garrett Whitlock through Cole Irvin are best suited as one-start streamers this upcoming week. Of the group, Whitlock and Dakota Hudson are likely your safest bets if you’re in a league where lineups lock weekly.
- There have been moments this season where Brad Keller and Daniel Lynch looked like they’d be viable streamers or at the back end of your fantasy staff. Neither has sustained success thus far in 2022 and, despite a home start against the Orioles, are attractive options this upcoming week. Keller typically works deep into games and generates a ton of groundballs, but you could find higher upside options in a one-start streamer.
- Ross Stripling looks slated to take Hyun Jin Ryu’s spot in the rotation. He hasn’t started a game in about a month, however, and it’s unclear how much leeway he’ll have in his first couple of starts back. Despite a prime set of matchups in pitcher’s parks, Stripling isn’t yet advisable in a 12-team league. In addition, the four starts Stripling made earlier this season were underwhelming.
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)