Can you believe this week of fantasy baseball will bring us into September? The season has certainly flown by and whether you’re long out of the race or in a heated fight for a playoff spot, two-start pitchers should be of some importance. In some league, this week represents the last week of the regular season. That means if you’re right on the cusp of a playoff birth, any help you can get will go a long way.
For more help setting this week’s lineups, check out Eric Cross’ Waiver Wire Pickups.
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Two-Start Pitchers for Week of August 27
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Saturday, August 25 and are subject to change.
No-Brainer Two-Start Pitchers
It’s simple. These are the two-start pitchers you should slot into your roster and not worry about. These are the guys that have a pair of favorable matchups, are hot of late, or are just plain studs.
- Gerrit Cole – 8/27 vs. OAK, 9/1 vs. LAA
- Patrick Corbin – 8/27 @ SF, 9/1 @ LAD
- Carlos Carrasco – 8/28 vs. MIN, 9/2 vs. TB
- Charlie Morton – 8/28 vs. OAK, 9/2 vs. LAA
- Noah Syndergaard – 8/27 @ CHC, 9/2 @ SF
- Masahiro Tanaka – 8/28 vs. CHW, 9/2 vs. DET
- Cole Hamels – 8/28 vs. NYM, 9/2 @ PHI
- Jon Lester – 8/27 vs. NYM, 9/1 @ PHI
- Jon Gray – 8/27 @ LAA, 9/2 @ SD
Aside from the usual suspects, there are a couple surprises on the No-Brainers lists this week. Cole Hamels, who had been a huge disappointment to fantasy owners for much of the year, has been a different pitcher since joining Chicago. In his five starts as a Cub, he’s allowed just three runs over 34 innings. The Cubs are loving their acquisition and I’m sure fantasy owners are loving the turnaround as well.
There’s no doubt that these guys could go out there and keep opposing hitters at bay. They’re the kind of pitchers 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.
- Julio Teheran 8/28 vs. TB, 9/2 vs. PIT: The month of August has been very kind to Teheran. In four August starts he’s posted a 2.45 ERA over 25.2 innings and has walked just nine batters compared to 16 in 27.1 innings in July. The hot streak includes two starts away from home, which he has struggled with throughout the season. He’ll get to improve his 3.86 ERA at home with two starts at SunTrust Park.
- Lance Lynn – 8/27 vs. CWS, 9/1 vs. DET: We’re entering September and Lance Lynn can be considered a safe bet to make two starts in a week. Who saw that coming? Since joining the Yankees, Lynn has provided quality innings day in and day out. While he gave up five runs in each of his last two starts, almost all of those runs were the result of one bad inning in each game. Aside from that, Lynn has been a breath of fresh air for the Yanks. With two struggling teams on his plate this week, I like the chances of Lynn avoiding that inning this time around.
- Clay Buchholz – 8/28 @ SF, 9/2 @ LAD: If you were surprised to see Lynn this high, I can’t imagine what you’re thinking after seeing Buchholz here too. To date, he’s posted a 2.25 ERA over 80 innings and is sporting a 1.03 WHIP. He’s been especially hot over his last six starts, working into at least the sixth inning and allowing three earned runs or less in all of them. Even with a tough Dodgers team on his schedule, Buchholz should continue to ride this newfound dominance.
- Thomas Pannone – 8/27 @ BAL, 9/2 @ MIA: You have to take risks in fantasy baseball right? Sure, running a pitcher with just one Major League start out for two starts is a risk. However, that one start was a dominant seven-inning performance in which he held the Orioles hitless for six innings. His next start comes against those same Orioles and he draws the always-terrible Marlins in his second start of the week. You probably won’t see him on this list again this year but why not take the risk?
Proceed With Caution
It’s never a sure thing what you’re going to get from these guys. Their matchups aren’t overly challenging, which could allow them to turn in some really solid numbers. There’s always risk, though, so don’t expect too much.
- Carlos Rodon – 8/27 @ NYY, 9/1 vs. BOS: It hurts me to not pencil in Rodon as a no-brainer with the kind of run he’s been on. In his last seven starts, he’s worked to a 1.60 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 50.2 innings. With one look at his schedule though, you might want to pump the breaks on the talented lefty. Even with the injuries, the Yankees’ have suffered, facing the teams with the two best records in baseball is something to be wary about.
- Trevor Cahill – 8/28 @ HOU, 9/2 vs. SEA: If you are or ever have been an owner of Trevor Cahill, his inconsistencies of late shouldn’t surprise you. His last two starts are a pretty good summation of that. In his last start, he allowed five runs in just five innings against the Twins. However in the start before that, he allowed just one hit and no runs in seven innings against the Astros. While pitching for the hottest team in baseball helps, I’m not too confident with Cahill heading to Houston for another shot at the Astros.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu – 8/28 @ TEX, 9/2 vs. ARI: As is the case with many guys on this part of the list, running them out there for two starts is a gamble. That’s always the case with Ryu, who’s made just two starts since the beginning of May. Could he produce against the Rangers and Diamondbacks? Of course, he can, but that’s assuming he makes both of those starts.
- Stephen Strasburg – 8/27 @ PHI, 9/2 vs. MIL: The best thing I can say about Strasburg is, not yet. In his first start off the disabled list, Strasburg was lit up for five runs over four innings by the Phillies. He clearly has yet to regain his footing, as not pitching for over a month will do that. He gets those Phillies again and it would be wise to not run him out there just yet.
- Kyle Gibson – 8/28 @ CLE, 9/2 @ TEX
- Zach Eflin – 8/27 vs. WAS, 9/2 vs. CHC
- Junior Guerra – 8/28 @ CIN, 9/2 @ WAS
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.
- Ivan Nova
- Edwin Jackson
- Brian Johnson
- Felix Hernandez
- James Shields
- Daniel Poncedeleon
- Sam Gaviglio
- Francisco Liriano
- Jacob Nix
- David Hess
- Casey Kelly
- Odrisamer Despaigne