Welcome to this week’s edition of the 2023 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 Most Likely 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.
Each week, I’ll be selecting my Two-Start Streamer of the Week. The criteria for a streamer will be a rostership-rate under 50% in Yahoo or ESPN leagues. The Streamer of the Week will be highlighted in the tables in green. Reach out to me in the PL+ Discord or on Twitter @AnthonyTucker81 and let me know if you’d grade the weekly streamer as a win or loss.
As a friendly reminder, the projected starters are just that, projections and subject to change.
Set and Forget
- Clayton Kershaw is dealing with some shoulder inflammation but has yet to be placed on the IL. Monitor his status before lineups lock on Monday to ensure he’ll be active.
- Blake Snell is known for being inefficient on the mound, but he’s been anything but the last month. He’s rattled off six straight quality starts. When he’s in the zone like this, you have another ace on your staff.
- Prior to the return of Cal Quantrill off the IL, Gavin Williams was lined up for two last week. While a visit from Atlanta isn’t ideal for the rookie, it’s worth the risk in weekly leagues. Despite seven strong innings in his second career start, Williams is still just 40% rostered in Yahoo leagues. He’s this week’s Two Start Streamer of the Week.
- Where have the strikeouts gone for Cristian Javier? After posting a 33% strikeout rate in his first full season as a starter, he’s down to just 22% this year. In fact, he has just six total strikeouts over his last four starts. As a two-pitch pitcher, he may continue to struggle until he can once again get strikes with the slider. In daily leagues, it would be best to err on the side of caution and bench against the first-place Rangers.
- After five sharp rehab appearances, Tarik Skubal is slated to make his season debut against Oakland. While it’s typically best to avoid first starts off the IL, it’s easy to make an exception for the Tigers’ lefty against the A’s. Where available, he makes for a great addition off the wire.
- The upcoming week is filled with higher floor plays, and a number of veteran arms who should give you 5-6 IP with albeit limited upside. From Drew Smyly through Wade Miley, you have options if you’re in need of innings with decent ratios. JP Sears and Dane Dunning both make sense as one-start streamers.
- He may still have a 2.85 ERA on the year, but a ratio-wrecking start against the Mets might just be the clock striking midnight on Julio Teheran’s time on fantasy rosters. He might be able to make it work against the Cubs, but there are better options next week.
- The final chapter in Adam Wainwright’s illustrious career is not shaping up the way any Cardinals fan has hoped for. Over 48.1 IP his walk rate (7.3%) is higher than his swinging strike rate (6.2%). If not for his track record (or any reasonable replacement options in the organization), he might already be out of the team’s rotation.
Two-Start Streamer of the Week Record: 3-4.