Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 9 (2021)
Baseball is funny.
As the season approached, Daniel Lynch and Logan Gilbert were revered as fantastic options far more than Alek Manoah.
Hell, Manoah’s own teammate Nate Pearson was considered more of a fantasy star than Manoah.
The scout report on Manoah was that he was a top pitcher who could be an SP3-4 for the fancy.
But his dominant start in Triple-A and against the Yankees in his debut changed the narrative.
Now everyone is on the Manoah train, and rightly so. We have to jump on the prospects that strike right away, especially when it’s in a dominant fashion like Manoah has shown with his three and more throws.
We know what we know until something happens and causes us to recalibrate.
I start Manoah where I can and learn about Lynch, Gilbert and Pearson in dynasty leagues where managers are annoyed that they didn’t start right away.
Baseball is funny.
Each week, you can find a breakdown of the two-start pitchers for the coming week, who you should start with, and why.
As I do every week, I will divide the pitchers of the two-start pitchers into six categories:
- Don’t Think Twice – It’s your strengths that you start no matter what.
- Large roster options – Players registered in the majority of leagues that should provide positive feedback.
- In the Danger Zone – It’s a dice roll to roll them based on matches or other factors.
- Streamers Enrolled In Less Than 50% Of Leagues – These guys should be living on the waiver thread, but you can start them this week.
- Streamers enrolled in less than 25% of leagues – Same as above but applied to deeper leagues.
- 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 who are set to make two starts for the week ahead, as scheduled on CBS starting Friday morning.
Don’t think twice
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Widely listed options
Kyle Hendricks (6/1 v SD, 6/6 @SF)
Hendricks has shown some promising signs after his terrible start to the season. Over the past two weeks, he’s averaged seven innings per start and has a 2.08 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Sure, those starting games against Pittsburgh, Detroit and St. Louis, but it’s a start, right? He’s a bit riskier against two big infractions this week, but I’m still ready to have him play here as a top pitcher.
Marcus Stroman (6/1 @ARI, 6/6 @SD)
I believe I was the best on Stroman of all the workbooks coming into the season based on his new ground and the need for pitchers to go deeper into games. He’s been over six in his last four starts and has reached six innings in six of his nine starts this season. Sign me up for a two-start week, even with San Diego on the schedule.
Domingo Germán (6/1 v VG, 6/6 v BOS)
He’s been simply dominant since returning to the Yankees, and despite his troubling past, we know teams care more about performance than anything. He has a tough schedule this week with two cross-division rivals, but you have to send him with the role he’s played.
Dylan Cease (5/31 @CLE, 6/5 vs. DET)
Cease had 29 swings and misses on Thursday (n / a to @dysthymikey for the note) in what has been a big turnaround since his first starts of the season. This week, he has two teams who are pending no-hitting contenders in Cleveland and Detroit. What are the chances that he throws one? I’m going to put it at +800 and put $ 20 in it.
Chris Paddack (6/1 @CHC, 6/6 v NYM)
Don’t look now, but Paddack looks like Paddack again last month. You’d love to see more strikeouts, but a 1.42 ERA and 0.84 WHIP (!) Are fantastic. He’s almost back in trust territory.
Michael Pineda (6/1 @BAL, 6/6 @KC)
Pineda has been fantastic all year but is sort of only listed in 68% of the leagues. Expect a climb to around 80% after mowing down the Royals and Orioles.
In the danger zone
Stephen Strasburg (6/1 @ATL, 6/6 @PHI)
You know my pitching rule starting in Colorado, right? Well, I am about to grant permanent residency in Strasbourg at this level. Look, he can be awesome, but I’m terrified of throwing him on an outing this year until he proves he’s healthy and his arm is okay. Even then, I will have my reservations.
Nick Pivetta (6/1 @HOU, 6/6 @NYY)
Pivetta is fine, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s still Nick freaking Pivetta. Strikes have been what you really want, but I have to be in a rush to start it this week in a scoring league.
Streamers registered in less than 50% of leagues
Luis Garcia (6/1 v BOS, 6/6 @TOR)
To everyone’s surprise, it’s Garcia who remains in the Astros rotation, at least for now. This might be his last fight, and honestly, outside of the points leagues, it’s tough to pitch him in these clashes.
Johnny Cueto (5/31 v LAA, 6/6 v CHC)
He was rocked his last time against Arizona, but has been a good SP5-SP6 this season. For this level, you will broadcast them in good matches. With Mike Trout, I’m going to use it well this week.
Streamers registered in less than 25% of leagues
Mike Minor (5/31 vs. PIT, 6/6 vs. MIN)
Not only are the Pirates really bad defensively (what were you doing, Will Craig?), But they also can’t hit at all, making this a great place for a two-start minor.
Logan Gilbert (5/31 v OAK, 6/5 @LAA)
His last outing was his best yet, but it’s a low bar to break through. Not everyone can be Alek Manoah, my friends. Gilbert could still use some adjustments in Triple-A, but he gets the same A team he just performed well against, as well as a non-Trout Angels offense. I am ready to start it with 15 teams.
Drew Smyly (5/31 v WAS, 6/5 v LAD)
I felt a sense of confirmation bias when Smyly was rocked against the Red Sox last time out on seven points, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has three consecutive quality starts before this outing. It is listed at 19%, which is lower than I expected. I’m okay with starting it, but this showdown with the Dodgers must scare you at least a little.
Unless you are desperate
- Germán Marquez (6/1 against TEX, 6/6 against OAK)
- Garrett Richards (5/31 @HOU, 6/5 @NYY)
- Dane Dunning (6/1 @COL, 6/6 v VG)
- Merrill Kelly (5/31 v NYM, 6/5 @MIL)
- Vince Velasquez (5/31 @CIN, 6/6 vs. WAS)
- Joe Ross (5/31 @ATL, 6/5 @PHI)
- Trevor Williams (5/31 v SD, 6/5 @SF)
- Jeff Hoffman (5/31 v PHI, 6/5 @STL)
- José Ureña (31/05 @MIL, 6/6 @CHW)
- Jorge Lopez (5/31 against MIN, 6/6 against CLE)
- Wil Crowe (5/31 @KC, 6/6 vs. MIA)
- Matt Peacock (6/1 v NYM, 6/6 @MIL)
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Michael Waterloo is a Featured FantasyPros Writer. To learn more about Michael, check out his archive and follow it @MichaelWaterloo.