Two-Start Pitchers: 8/29-9/4

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


  • Zac Gallen is currently riding a 27.1 scoreless innings streak that will be tested against a Phillies offense that is finally at full strength. While the competition is a step up, Gallen is an automatic start right now. Despite the success, his CSW% on the year is actually the lowest of his young career. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Gallen take another step forward next season if he gets a feel for his entire pitch repertoire, similar to the shortened 2020 season.


  • It turns out the concern over George Kirby’s role in the Seattle rotation after the trade deadline was far overblown. Not only has the rookie kept his spot, he’s thrived. Kirby has gone 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA in four starts since the 8/2 deadline. He’ll get a pair of plus matchups next week and looks poised to take advantage. One thing you can expect with near certainty is that Kirby won’t get himself in trouble with walks. Not only does he have an elite 3.2% walk rate, but the Tigers and Guardians sit in the bottom five of the league at drawing a base on balls.


Probably Start


  • José Berríos has made it impossible to feel comfortable starting him this season, posting numbers that rival his rookie season for the worst of his career. While a 10.7% SwSt% and a penchant for allowing hard contact don’t lead to much confidence, it’s hard to envision benching the Blue Jays’ right-hander against two weak NL Central opponents. Even if Berríos doesn’t take full advantage of his matchups, his supporting cast will likely have him in contention to tally at least one win next week.


  • Frankie Montas hasn’t looked the same since joining the Yankees, losing the feel for his splitter with some lingering concerns about his shoulder injury from July. In fact, in four starts since joining New York, he’s only posted more than two whiffs with the splitter on one occasion. Even without the split-finger, Montas shouldn’t have much trouble with the Angels. The potential for Montas to regain his form is more than enough reason to also start against a middle-of-the-road lineup like Tampa Bay.




  • Andrew Heaney’s most recent performance make him a relatively easy choice to put him in your lineup next week. He falls into tier three, however, due to uncertainty with how the Dodgers will manage him moving forward. It was a surprise to see Heaney throw 91 pitches in his last outing, creating some optimism that maybe he’ll be allowed to work deep into games moving forward. The Dodgers, however, are careful with their pitchers and already looking towards October. Heaney’s upside makes him a near lock in a two-start week, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t provide volume you’d expect.


  • In a week with few two-start streaming options, Cole Irvin stands out as a higher floor play given the matchups. You shouldn’t expect a high strikeout total (even coming off an 11 K performance against the Marlins this week), but Irvin should provide steady ratios against a depleted Nats lineup and a trip to pitcher-friendly Camden Yards. Matt Manning is likely the second best available streamer if Irvin is already claimed. The former first-rounder has posted some recent pitching lines that have reminded Tigers fans why Manning was such a revered pitching prospect. With such a limited track record of success, there’s a feeling that this recent stretch has been a product of a favorable schedule. Proceed with caution and understand the inherent floor if you’re considering Manning next week.


  • We’re well past the part of the season where ADP and season-long value should play a role in which players remain on your roster. As you enter or approach the head-to-head playoffs, matchups and recent performance take precedence. There are few better current examples than Pablo López or Mike Clevinger. López has an unsightly 6.75 ERA since July 31st and, while he got back on track against the A’s this week, he’ll face an entirely different animal when seeing the Dodgers and Braves. He’s only an option in points leagues and can be swapped out for a safer option if any exist on waivers.


  •  It’s important to remember that even if a schedule lines up perfectly for a streamer, they still have to be good enough to execute. Unfortunately for Adrian Houser, there’s little confidence he can take advantage of seeing the Pirates and Diamondbacks. The groundball specialist might receive enough BABIP luck to post a serviceable ERA, but it’s not something you should try and gamble on. Houser is best suited for managers in 15-team roto leagues trying to catch up in Wins.





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.

2 responses to “Two-Start Pitchers: 8/29-9/4”

  1. Anthony Tucker says:

    Forgot to include the Twins: Dylan Bundy & Chris Archer both fall into the avoid tier for me.

    After posting, projected starters were updated with Brady Singer getting the Monday start with Heasley on Sunday. Singer is in tier 2

  2. Rich says:


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