Someone, please explain to me how the Major League Baseball season already has 12 weeks in the books. This week will round out June and take us into July, where both the MLB season and everyone’s fantasy seasons get a little more heated. At this rate, a lot of fantasy teams, specifically in dynasty leagues, may be out of the race and looking to start preparing for next year. Just like Major League teams, they may be looking to ship off some immediate value to teams in return for prospects and young players with upside. What better value is there than starting pitchers making two starts in the upcoming week? Here’s a look at some of those two-start pitchers.
For more help setting this week’s lineups check out Eric Cross’ Waiver Wire Pickups.
Two-Start Pitchers for Week of June 25
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Saturday, June 23 and are subject to change. Weather, injuries, or Sergio Romo could throw a wrench into our plans at any time.
It’s simple. These are the two-start pitchers you should slot into your roster and not worry about them. These are the guys that have a pair of favorable matchups, are hot of late, or are just plain studs.
- Gerrit Cole – 6/25 vs TOR, 6/30 @ TB
- Mike Clevinger – 6/25 @ STL, 7/01 @ OAK
- Charlie Morton – 6/26 vs. TOR, 7/01 @ TB
- David Price – 6/26 vs. LAA, 7/01 @ NYY
- Jon Lester – 6/25 @ LAD, 6/30 vs. MIN
- James Paxton – 6/26 @ BAL, 7/01 vs. KC
- Ross Stripling – 6/26 vs. CHC, 7/01 vs. COL
Plenty of familiar faces make-up this week’s list. The one standout would have to be Ross Stripling, who has been spectacular since making the move back to the starting role. Since May 19, Stripling has started seven games and has won six of them. All but one has been a quality start and he’s struck out 54 batters with a 1.85 ERA in 43.2 innings.
Mike Clevinger reminds me of Jay (of Silent Bob fame) ?♂️ pic.twitter.com/0XeALDLSA7
— Brett Kruschke ✞ (@bkru) June 20, 2018
There’s no doubt that these guys could go out there and keep opposing hitters at bay. They’re the kind of guys you can lean on to give you six quality innings. They’re solid, safe bets and should be relied on to put forth respectable outings.
- Gio Gonzalez – 6/25 @ TB, 7/01 @ PHI: Gonzalez had been a mainstay in the no-brainers category for much of the first half of the season. In his last four starts though, he’s run into somewhat of a rough patch. He’s pitched into the sixth inning just once, has given up 13 runs in 18.1 innings and has struck out just 13 batters. Gonzalez has gone through these patches before and always comes out fine. No need to get worried anytime soon.
- J.A. Happ – 6/25 @ HOU, 7/01 vs. DET: Happ is coming off of his longest outing of the season, recording an out in the ninth against the Braves last Wednesday and earning his ninth win of the season. He’s been great this season but faces a tough pair of matchups this week. Happ gets Houston and Detroit, who both rank in the Top-3 in average against lefties.
- Jameson Taillon – 6/25 @ NYM, 7/01 @ SD: I feel like a broken record when talking about Taillon. He’s not flashy, doesn’t play anyone away, but will give you a solid outing more times than not. Over his last six starts, his K/9 has crept up a bit and he’s pitching deeper into games. Taillon also draws the Mets and Padres this week, two mouthwatering matchups for his fantasy owners.
- Cole Hamels – 6/25 vs. SD, 7/01 vs. CWS: Like Taillon, Hamels isn’t going to throw crazy numbers up on the board. He will give you length though, as he has completed six innings in 11 of his last 12 starts. Also like Taillon, Hamels gets two very favorable matchups in the Padres and White Sox who rank 25th and 28th, respectively in average versus lefties.
- Zack Godley – 6/26 @ MIA, 7/01 vs. SF: In Godley, we have another beneficiary of two favorable matchups. Not only does he get the Marlins and Giants but he’s also riding the high of a hot streak. In his last three starts, Godley has allowed six runs and has struck out 21 in 18.2 innings.
- Michael Fulmer – 6/25 vs. OAK, 6/30 @ TOR: Speaking of hot streaks, Fulmer finds himself on one as well. After back-to-back seven-inning performances, Fulmer pitched well again in his last outing. He looked great through five before surrendering back-to-back homers with two outs in the sixth. Still, he managed to strike out nine and walked just two.
- Mike Foltynewicz – 6/25 vs. CIN, 7/01 @ STL: Foltynewicz is set to come off the disabled list and make his first start back on Monday. Of course, you should keep an eye on him in case plans change. If he does make two starts though, expect the righty to pick up right where he left off.
First half of the season got you down? No worries, head on over to Fantrax and start a second-half league. Remember at Fantrax you can draft 364 days a year… Hey, we have to give the IT drones at least one day off.
Proceed With Caution
It’s never a sure thing what you’re going to get from these two-start pitchers. Their matchups aren’t overly challenging, which could allow them to turn in some really solid numbers. There’s always risk with these guys, though, so don’t expect too much.
- Kyle Hendricks – 6/26 @ LAD, 7/01 vs. MIN: Hendricks hasn’t been the crafty ground-ball pitcher we’ve grown used to the past few years. With a 1.4 HR/9, he’s giving up more homers than he ever has in his career and has almost matched his total from last year. His matchups this week won’t help his cause as he gets an always dangerous Dodgers team and a Twins team who loves to put the ball in the air. Against righties, the Twins have made 540 outs in the air compared to 451 on the ground. Not what you want if you’re Kyle Hendricks.
- Jake Arrieta – 6/26 vs. NYY, 7/01 vs. WAS: Sure, Arrieta has pitched well since joining the Phillies this year. His 3.42 ERA and 1.23 are respectable and enough to feel safe running him out there for two starts in a week. However, this week you shouldn’t be so quick to do so, as he has the tough task of facing the Yankees and Nationals. At 6.2 K/9, his strikeout numbers are at a career-low and he’s given up five homers in his last four starts. I’m not confident Arrieta can do enough this week to justify letting him make two starts this week.
- Vince Velasquez – 6/25 vs. NYY, 6/30 vs. WAS: If you’re not sending Arrieta out against the Yankees and Nationals, there’s no reason to do so with Velasquez. After his last three starts, which includes allowing ten runs to the Brewers, Velasquez’s ERA has skyrocketed towards the 5.00 mark. It is unlikely things will get better this week.
- Felix Hernandez – 6/25 @ BAL, 6/30 vs. KC: If you’re really desperate then sure, give King Felix a shot this week. He’s performed well in three of his last four starts and gets a pair of horrible teams in Baltimore and Kansas City. Don’t expect too much from the grizzled vet but enough is in his favor that he shouldn’t cause too much harm.
- Kenta Maeda – 6/25 vs. CHC, 6/30 vs. COL
- Freddy Peralta – 6/26 vs. KC, 7/01 @ CIN
- Lance Lynn – 6/26 @ CHW, 7/01 @ CHC
- Kevin Gausman – 6/26 vs. SEA, 7/01 vs. LAA
- Jake Junis – 6/25 vs. LAA, 7/01 @ SEA
- Seth Lugo – 6/25 vs. PIT, 6/30 @ MIA
Kyle Hendricks is in Great American Small Park tonight, not great for a pitcher exhibiting some home run issues this year. I wrote about it @BPWrigleyville: https://t.co/qV0KwyqINc
— Josh Cole (@joshuabcole) June 21, 2018
Nothing To See Here
Stay away from these two-start pitchers. I know the thought of two starts in a week is tempting, but it’s more likely these guys put you in the negative than help you.
- Frankie Montas
- Reynaldo Lopez
- Jonathan Loaisiga
- Tyler Mahle
- Chad Bettis
- Joey Lucchesi
- Nathan Eovaldi
- Dan Straily
- Shelby Miller
- Matt Harvey
- Blaine Hardy
- Derek Holland
- Andrew Cashner
- John Lamb
- Felix Pena
You missed Kluber and Verlander. They are pitching Monday