Two-Start Pitchers: 8/22-8/28

Previewing two-start pitchers for the upcoming week.

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


  • A number of teams have five games next week, making the two-start pitching ranks noticeably shorter as we barrel ahead towards the stretch run of the regular (and fantasy baseball) season. As has been the case with most pitching rankings over the last decade, ageless wonders Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer find themselves at the top.


  • Quick, without thinking, who has the best record in the American League after the Astros and Yankees? It’s not the Guardians, Rays or Jays… it’s the emergent Seattle Mariners. The Ms have entered a soft landing spot on their schedule, recently wrapping series against the Rangers and Angels with a visit to Oakland coming over the weekend. They’ll follow it up next week with the Nationals and Guardians. The biggest beneficiary will be Robbie Ray who is slated to take the hill twice. Cleveland is putrid against lefties, ranking ahead of only the Marlins with a 80 wRC+. While the Guardians are adept at putting the ball in play against southpaws, they possess little slugging ability. Expect big things from Ray next week.



Probably Start


  • The White Sox and Phillies possess the best matchups of week 19 and, despite inconsistency from all four of these pitchers throughout the year, belong in your lineup. It might be surprising to see Lucas Giolito at the bottom of the quartet, but he’s struggled against mediocre opponents enough times this season to have full confidence.


  • It’s rare to have someone this late into the season pitching to a 2.52 ERA with an elite swinging strikeout rate that is rostered in under 60% of leagues, but this is the case with Jeffrey Springs. He’s rostered at 58% on Yahoo and 33% on ESPN (both as of 8/18) and should be an asset in any 12-team leagues rest of season. Quality starts are a rarity for Springs, but he provides great ratios with a strong 21.2% K-BB%. Curiously enough, Springs is rostered in far fewer leagues than teammate Drew Rasmussen whose ERA and WHIP looks nearly identical. While neither pitches deep into games, Springs has a far better K% and CSW%.





  • In weekly leagues, Jordan Montgomery and Adam Wainwright likely belong in your lineup, even against an Atlanta lineup that is one of the deepest in baseball. If you can only start one of the two Cards, Montgomery is the better option. The Braves may crush lefties, but the move to St. Louis may have unlocked something for Gumby (run support and a better home park at a minimum). Not typically a source for strikeouts, Montgomery has tallied eight in each of his last two starts.


  • In 12-team leagues, the waiver wire doesn’t have any two-start streamers who are particularly intriguing. In fact, I’d hesitate to start any of Justin Steele through Austin Voth in a weekly categories league. Steele might be the most intriguing, but the Red Birds are the best in baseball against LHP with a 126 wRC+. He generates a ton of groundballs so he may find enough BABIP luck to make it work, but I’d advise against it. Eric Lauer (vs CHC) and Nick Lodolo (@WAS) make for high upside one-start streams, however, their downside makes them far more palatable in a points league.


  • Austin Voth makes the cutline for tier three due to his strong performance since mid-July. While the White Sox lineup is merely average, I’d prefer to avoid Voth unless I’m in need of innings next week.






  • Zach Plesac struggled against the Tigers this week, allowing 12 baserunners to the American League’s worst offense. He’s not an option in trips to San Diego or Seattle. Tucker Davidson, on the other hand, impressed in his last outing. Despite earning his first win as a member of the Angels, it’s unlikely he’ll repeat the effort and shouldn’t be trusted for either start.


  • Adam Oller and Zach Logue have the good fortune of seeing the Marlins on the schedule. Miami is one of a handful of lineups that is tempting to stream against regardless of who the starter is, but neither should be on your radar.


Anthony Tucker

Anthony Tucker is a lifelong Yankees fan and a staff manager who writes the weekly two-start pitcher articles. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and convinces himself each fall that this is the year that ND Football ends their title drought.

3 responses to “Two-Start Pitchers: 8/22-8/28”

  1. Chris says:

    What about Edward Cabrera?

  2. Alan2112 says:

    Yeah. I was wondering the same thing.

  3. Anthony Tucker says:

    I would put Edward Cabrera in tier 2, but towards the bottom given the matchup against the Dodgers. I’d have Pablo Lopez in tier 3 given his recent struggles

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