Don’t expect to find many sure things this week as far as two-start pitchers go. If you’re in a pinch and need all of the starts you can get this week, you’re going to have to dig deep and even look into picking up some streamers. Streamers are usually hit or miss, so I’ll do the best I can in breaking down which ones to go after and which ones to avoid.
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Saturday, May 19 and are subject to change.
It’s simple. These are the two-start guys that 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.
- Chris Sale – 5/22 @ TB, 5/27 vs. ATL
- Gerrit Cole – 5/22 vs. SF, 5/27 @ CLE
- Gio Gonzalez – 5/21 vs. SD, 5/27 @ MIA
- Zack Greinke – 5/21 @ MIL, 5/27 @ OAK
If you’re lucky enough to own one of these four guys, great! Between the way their seasons are going and their favorable matchups, expect big numbers from all four of these guys.
There’s no doubt that these guys could go out there and keep opposing hitters at bay. They’re the kind of guys that 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.
- J.A. Happ – 5/22 vs. LAA, 5/27 @ PHI
- After nine starts, Happ has posted a 4.15 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. The drastic difference in those two numbers can be attributed to his susceptibility to the long ball. Happ has already given up nine homers on the season and faces one of the best home run hitting teams in baseball in the Angels. That being said, when Happ isn’t giving up the long ball, he’s both keeping the ball on the ground and racking up strikeouts. If you can live with the occasional homer, you can trust Happ.
- Walker Buehler – 5/21 vs. COL, 5/27 vs. SD
- After cruising through the first four starts of his career, Buehler had his first hiccup in his last start. It wasn’t terrible, though, as he managed seven strikeouts in just five innings. A couple bounce-back outings should be on their way, as Buehler faces the Rockies and Padres, who currently rank seventh and second, respectively, in strikeouts.
- Miles Mikolas – 5/21 vs. KC, 5/27 @ PIT
- What we said about Mikolas last week holds true this week. While he’s not going to light up the K-counter, Mikolas will give you consistency. He added another quality start — his fifth — last week and has a great chance of doing the same against a Royals team that loves to swing early in the count.
- Jameson Taillon – 5/22 @ CIN, 5/27 vs. STL
- Like Mikolas, don’t look to Taillon to give you a ton of strikeouts. He’s struck out more than five batters just twice this season. Aside from two bad back-to-back outings in which he gave up a combined 12 earned runs in 5.2 innings, Taillon has been reliable. Even with those outings, he’s worked to a 3.97 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 45.1 innings.
- Jose Berrios – 5/21 vs. DET, 5/27 @ SEA
- Look, I won’t blame you if you’re nervous about sending Berrios out there for two starts this week. If you split his first four starts and his next four starts, Berrios has been a completely different pitcher. However, the Berrios from the first four starts came back in his last start, as he allowed just two hits and struck out 10 in 7.1 innings.
- Kevin Gausman – 5/22 @ CWS, 5/27 @ TB
- Try to look past Gausman’s rough start against Boston when deciding to start him this week. Before that, Gausman had posted a 2.14 ERA and is striking out north of six batters per game. Five of his nine starts have been quality starts, and he draws two favorable matchups in the White Sox and Rays.
- Mike Foltynewicz – 5/21 @ PHI, 5/27 @ BOS
- Mike Leake – 5/22 @ OAK, 5/27 vs. MIN
Survive and Thrive
With two starts come two chances to put up big numbers. However, pitchers aren’t always fortunate enough to match up against two weak teams in a week. A lot of times, pitchers will be faced with one easier matchup and one tougher one. If they can so much as survive the tougher one, they have a chance to thrive on the weaker matchup and really help a fantasy team.
- Masahiro Tanaka – 5/21 @ TEX, 5/27 vs. LAA
- After this past week, a lot of us weren’t sure if the Yankees would ever play again. They leave rainy New York to face the Rangers in Arlington, which is a dream come true for Tanaka owners. Unfortunately, by the time the Yankees return home, Tanaka will be met with the Angels, who rank in the top five in baseball in home runs.
- Jake Faria – 5/22 vs. BOS, 5/27 vs. BAL
Medium Risk, High Reward
It’s never a sure thing what you’re going to get from these guys. Their matchups aren’t overly challenging, though, and could allow them to turn in some really solid numbers. There’s always risk with these guys, though, so don’t expect too much.
- Nick Pivetta – 5/21 vs. ATL, 5/27 vs. TOR
- Pivetta has shown at times that he’s on his way to being a top-of-the-rotation guy. In his last outing, he fired seven innings of two-hit ball and struck out 11 against the Orioles. Before that, he held the Giants scoreless for five innings and struck out seven. Though he’s had some problems with the long ball, Pivetta has limited his walks, and it’s helped him work deep into games. There’s going to be some risk involved with the 25-year-old, but if he’s on, he could produce a huge return.
- Jordan Lyles – 5/21 @ WAS, 5/27 @ LAD
- It’s hard to not send someone who carried a perfect game into the eighth in his last start out there for two starts this week. Lyles’ performance wasn’t a fluke by any means, but he’ll be faced with his first real challenge as a starter this week. He’s going up against the Nationals and Dodgers. Both matchups are on the road, and both two teams are nearing full health.
- Trevor Cahill – 5/22 vs. SEA, 5/27 vs. ARI
- James Shields – 5/22 vs. BAL, 5/27 @ DET
Nothing To See Here
Stay away from these guys. 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.
- Zack Wheeler – 5/22 vs. MIA, 5/27 @ MIL
- Chase Anderson – 5/21 vs. ARI, 5/27 vs. NYM
- Trevor Cahill – 5/22 vs. SEA, 5/27 vs. ARI
- Matt Harvey – 5/22 vs. PIT, 5/27 @ COL
- Andrew Cashner – 5/21 @ CHW, 5/26 @ TB
- Ian Kennedy – 5/21 @ STL, 5/26 @ TEX
- Bartolo Colon – 5/21 vs. NYY, 5/26 vs. KC
- German Marquez – 5/21 @ LAD, 5/27 vs. CIN
- Jason Vargas – 5/21 vs. MIA, 5/26 @ MIL
- Doug Fister – 5/22 vs. NYY, 5/27 vs. KC
- Jason Hammel – 5/22 @ STL, 5/27 @ TEX
- Josh Tomlin – 5/22 @ CHC, 5/27 vs. HOU
- Elieser Hernandez – 5/21 @ NYM, 5/27 vs. WAS
- Hector Santiago – 5/21 vs. BAL, 5/26 @ DET
- Ryan Carpenter – 5/21 @ MIN, 5/27 vs. CHW