Welcome to this week’s edition of the 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 on the wire.
As a friendly reminder, the projected starters are just that, projections, and subject to change.
Set and Forget
- Brandon Woodruff has been overshadowed early on by the epic start of teammate Corbin Burnes, but his April performances shouldn’t go unnoticed. In his last two appearances, both against the Cubs, Woodruff gave up just one earned run over 13 IP. He’ll get a tough Padres lineup and another meeting with the Cubbies, but expect the righty to continue to work deep into games
- You drafted Luis Castillo, and Kenta Maeda to serve as rock solid SP1s. Castillo’s fastball velocity has been disappointing and Maeda has struggled with inefficiency. Don’t panic, it’s still April. Get them into your lineups and wait for them to turn it around.
- Zac Gallen made it through four innings in his 2021 debut. He wasn’t at his sharpest, but still managed to earn 8 Ks. He’ll look to get even more stretched out against two tough lineups in the Reds and Braves.
- There will always be some elevated risk against the Dodgers lineup. Joe Musgrove, however, looks like a different pitcher as a member of the Padres. Despite the tough matchup, he should still be in your weekly lineup lock leagues.
- Neither Kevin Gausman nor Lance McCullers flashed pitching lines that would make you too happy last week. It’s worth noting that Gausman settled down after a rough first inning with a couple gopher balls. McCullers has a trip to Coors and is coming off a start where he couldn’t tame the vaunted Tigers lineup (it’s worth noting, he mentioned he was feeling under the weather). Despite the less than ideal matchups, he has a full arsenal and the potential to get back on track in a two-start week. It’s not without risk, but he belongs in most lineups.
- Dustin May still has his flaws. While he doesn’t get the number of whiffs you’d like, he keeps the ball on the ground and can keep runs off the board. The home matchup against San Diego is some cause for concern, but Wil Myers is banged up and it remains to be seen how Fernando Tatís Jr. will look assuming he is back in the lineup.
- Coming off his no-hitter, Carlos Rodon should be in your lineup against a surging Red Sox lineup. Why? His fastball has reached new heights post-injury recovery. Let’s hope he continues the strong start to the season. The opposing starter in Rodón’s no-no, Zach Plesac, left fantasy managers with more questions than answers. I can understand if you want him on your bench in a rematch against the White Sox or against a Yankee lineup filled with power potential. I’m concerned about the outing, but am willing to chalk it up as an occasional blow-up that most pitchers have.
|Corey Kluber OR Jameson Taillon
- Jesus Luzardo and Chris Paddack are two young starters who haven’t found their footing yet this season. Until they can get back on track, they’re matchup-dependent plays for me. If you’re in daily-lineup leagues, get Luzardo in against the O’s and Paddack in against the Brewers.
- I’d likely shy away from both Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi in their first starts of the week, but will roll them both out against the Mariners.
- After sending down Domingo German, the Yankees haven’t fully set their rotation. As a result, it is unclear which one of Corey Kluber or Jameson Taillon will line up for two starts. Whichever does have the chance for a second start, I think I’d risk it against Cleveland despite less than ideal results in the early going.
- After seeing Brad Keller’s increase in velocity last time out, he becomes a more intriguing option. I’d probably wait-and-see on his first start and send him out against Detroit if the velocity bump sticks around.
- I did not expect to find myself putting Michael Fulmer in the “Questionable” tier, especially this early in the season. The Astros lineup he faced last time out was filled with backups, but he managed to go five and reached 97mph on his way to his first W in 1,035 days. There are better options out there in a 12-teamer, but he does have some minor streaming appeal against a weak Pirates offense. With that being said, the risk is a little too high for me to take the plunge. While the Royals aren’t necessarily a lineup to avoid, I wouldn’t risk it with Fulmer in his second start.
- Joe Ross has had a few strong outcomes in his first two times out. That might be enough to get you to stream him in a rematch against the Cardinals, but the lack of swinging strikes is a cause for concern. I’d let someone else take the risk.
- Tyler Anderson surprised in his last start out against the Padres. Despite the strong performance, I think you can find better options as a one-start streamer in a 12-team league as he’ll certainly be sent back to the wire or your bench for an away start against the Twins.
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)