Week 3 is here! With the offense down, there should be a lot of usable pitchers, right?
Well, not really. It’s becoming harder and harder to find reliable pitchers to use in your lineups, and as we saw with the likes of Patrick Corbin (SP – WSH) Friday night, offenses can still get going against bad arms.
We’re going to try to find those gems for you for the upcoming week with some two-start pitching tiers.
Each week, you can find a breakdown of the two-start pitchers for the upcoming week, with who you should start and why.
Like I do every week, I’ll break the pitchers down the two-start pitchers into six categories:
- Don’t Think Twice – These are your aces that you start no matter what.
- Widely-Rostered Options – Players rostered in the majority of leagues who should provide a positive return.
- In the Danger Zone – It’s a dice roll to start them given matchups or other factors.
- Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues – These guys should live on the waiver wire, but you can start them this week.
- Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues – Same as above but applied to deeper leagues.
- Not Unless You’re Desperate – I don’t recommend these guys unless you’re swinging for the fences.
Let’s take a look at those pitchers scheduled to make two starts for the upcoming week, as projected on CBS as of Saturday afternoon.
Don’t Think Twice
- Max Scherzer (SP – NYM) (4/25 @STL, 5/1 vs. PHI)
- Shane Bieber (SP – CLE) (4/25 @LAA, 4/30 @OAK)
- Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL) (4/25 vs. SF, 4/30 vs. CHC)
- Carlos Rodon (SP – SF) (4/25 @MIL, 5/1 vs. WAS)
- Brandon Woodruff (SP – MIL) (4/26 @PIT, 5/1 vs. CHC)
- Walker Buehler (SP – LAD) (4/25 @ARI, 5/1 vs. DET)
- Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA) (4/26 @WAS, 5/1 vs. SEA)
- Kevin Gausman (SP – TOR) (4/26 vs. BOS, 5/1 vs. HOU)
- Nathan Eovaldi (SP – BOS) (4/25 @TOR, 4/30 @BAL)
- Joe Musgrove (SP–SD) (4/26 @CIN, 5/1 @PIT)
- Jose Berrios (SP – TOR) (4/25 vs. BOS, 4/30 vs. HOU)
- Framber Valdez (SP–HOU) (4/25 @TEX, 4/30 @TOR)
- Max Fried (SP – ATL) (4/26 @CHC, 5/1 @TEX)
- Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA) (4/26 @TB, 5/1 @MIA)
Luis Severino (SP,RP – NYY) (4/26 vs. BAL, 5/1 @KC)
I faded Severino hard in the draft season due to his extended injury history. So far, he’s been really, really solid for the Yankees and for fantasy managers alike. His pitch mix of him has changed since the last time we saw him fully healthy, so we are still learning what kind of pitcher he is now. But the results have been great early on, and he gets two good matchups for the upcoming week. Lock him in.
Triston McKenzie (SP – CLE) (4/26 @LAA, 5/1 @OAK)
It’s always about control – or lack thereof – for McKenzie, which we saw his last time out. When McKenzie is on, he’s hard to square up. But he is far too inconsistent with his control and command of him on a start-by-start basis to have faith in positive results. Having Oakland on the backend of his double-dip makes me feel more confident in streaming him this week.
In the Danger Zone
Merrill Kelly (SP – ARI) (4/25 vs. LAD, 4/30 @STL)
Kelly received some late-camp buzz thanks to the increased velocity that he showed in Spring Training. He came out firing in his first start, averaging 93.1 on his four-seam fastball. But over his last two starts, we’ve seen the velocity decrease a bit. His last time out of him, he was down to 91.5 on the pitch. I’m not panicking yet, but these also aren’t cake matchups, either.
Kyle Gibson (SP – PHI) (4/25 vs. COL, 4/30 @NYM)
That first start for Gibson was fun, wasn’t it? But he’s reminded us who he is – and he that’s an average at best pitcher. I like the Rockies on the road, but the Mets matchup gives me some pause. I’m streaming in deeper leagues but benching in 12-teamers.
Marcus Stroman (SP – CHC) (4/26 @ATL, 5/1 @MIL)
My motto has been Marcus Stroman – no matter what. I like him in points leagues this week, but I don’t love the matchups for him. He’s struggled his last two times out, so I think I’d rather bench him this week.
Eduardo Rodriguez (SP – DET) (4/26 @MIN, 5/1 @LAD)
Rodriguez just hasn’t been able to get it going yet. After he likely struggles this week against two offenses I’m high on, I’d look to make some buy-low inquiries on him. Better days are ahead.
Streamers Rostered in Under 50% of Leagues
Miles Mikolas (SP – STL) (4/25 vs. NYM, 4/30 vs. ARI)
It’s hard to find pitchers who will provide volume for you, but Mikolas has thrown 11.2 innings in his last two starts and has allowed just one run over that stretch. The stuff is not overpowering, but if he can hold his own against the Mets with a plus-Arizona matchup on the backend of his week, I like his chances of returning positive value.
Chris Paddack (SP – MIN) (4/26 vs. DET, 5/1 @TB)
Forget the results – which were fine – but Paddack averaged 94 on his fastball his last time out, which is closer to what it was last year before he got hurt. There’s a long way to go for Paddack to be a consistent fantasy starter, but I like the Detroit matchup enough that I’d be OK streaming him in a 15-team league.
Streamers Rostered in Under 25% of Leagues
Zach Eflin (SP – PHI) (4/26 vs. COL, 5/1 @NYM)
Unlike Gibson, I think there’s more to like with Eflin overall. He’s struggled his last two times out against the Rockies in Colorado and against the Marlins, but I like his chance for him to return at least neutral value with the Rockies in Philadelphia this time around.
Jordan Hicks (RP – STL) (4/26 vs. NYM, 5/1 vs. ARI)
The time to buy Hicks is now as the Cardinals continue to stretch him out. You may have to deal with some three-inning outings for a few weeks, but the swing-and-miss stuff is there for him. I’m starting him IF I’m not on a limit of how many starters I have to throw per week.
Michael Lorenzen (RP – LAA) (4/25 vs. CLE, 5/1 @CHW)
One good start, one bad start. One good matchup, one bad matchup. What’s your risk level?
Mitch Keller (SP – PIT) (4/26 vs. MIL, 5/1 vs. SD)
Keller looked good last time out with his velocity and strikeout results against the Brewers. He gets the same Milwaukee team again at home, followed by the Padres. I don’t trust him at all, but in the deepest of leagues where you’re desperate for a two-start option, he’s the best of the rest.
Not Unless You’re Desperate
- German Marquez (SP – COL) (4/26 @PHI, 5/1 vs. CIN)
- Dallas Keuchel (SP – CWS) (4/26 vs. KC, 5/1 vs. LAA)
- Nick Pivetta (SP–BOS) (4/26 @TOR, 5/1 @BAL)
- Zach Davies (SP – ARI) (4/26 vs. LAD, 5/1 @STL)
- Reiver Sanmartin (SP – CIN) (4/26 vs. SD, 5/1 @COL)
- Joan Adon (SP – WSH) (4/26 vs. MIA, 5/1 @SF)
- Jordan Lyles (SP – BAL) (4/26 @NYY, 5/1 vs. BOS)
- Daniel Lynch (SP – KC) (4/26 @CHW, 5/1 vs. NYY)
- Jake Odorizzi (SP – HOU) (4/26 @TEX, 5/1 @TOR)
- Kyle Freeland (SP – COL) (4/25 @PHI, 4/30 vs. CIN)
- Taylor Hearn (SP,RP – TEX) (4/26 vs. HOU, 5/1 vs. ATL)
- Dane Dunning (SP – TEX) (4/25 vs. HOU, 4/30 vs. ATL)
- Josh Fleming (SP,RP – TB (4/26 vs. SEA, 5/1 vs. MIN)
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