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Two-Start Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball Week 20 (8/15-8/21)

With less than two months left of the fantasy baseball season, it is now do-or-die time! If you are trailing in wins or strikeouts, two-start pitchers can help move you up the standings. However, please remember that a good one-start pitcher is almost always better than a risky two-start pitcher. Lastly, make sure you consistently check the Fangraphs Starting Pitchers Grid before you make any moves or transactions. Pitching rotations change daily. Let’s take a look at the two-start pitchers for Week 20 (8/15-8/21)!

Must-Start: These pitchers should be started regardless of match-up. They are a must-start in all leagues until further notice.

Should-Start: These pitchers should start in most leagues. This is based on the pedigree of the pitcher and/or favorable matchups.

Risky Business: Only start these pitchers if you are in a deep roto or points league, desperate for counting stats, or feeling lucky.

Must Sit: Do not start these pitchers.

Week 20 Two-Start Pitchers

Must Start

PitcherxERAStart 1wRC+Start 2wRC+
Alek Manoah TOR3.44BAL100@ NYY119
Brandon Woodruff MIL3.32LAD124@ CHC99
Dylan Cease CHW2.60HOU111@ CLE107
Gerrit Cole NYY3.08TB100TOR115
Joe Musgrove SD3.25@ MIA98WAS93
Julio Urias LAD2.79@ MIL87MIA30
Luis Castillo SEA3.29@ LAA95@ OAK79

Dylan Cease has solidified himself as a bonafide ace this season. Cease just recorded his 14th consecutive start with one or zero earned runs allowed. No pitcher in baseball has ever done that. On the season, Cease has a 2.60 xERA with 174 strikeouts in just 128.2 innings. His 33.0 strikeout percentage ranks in the 95th percentile in MLB while his .182 xBA against ranks in the 96th percentile. Next week Cease stays home to take on the Houston Astros and then travels to Cleveland to face the Guardians.

Since joining the Seattle Mariners, Luis Castillo is 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA, giving up only three earned runs in 14.2 innings. Castillo has 15 strikeouts in that time and only five walks. He should continue to flourish outside of the Great American Ball Park and next week he is a “must start.” He travels to Los Angeles to take on the lackluster Angels then heads to northern California to play the abysmal Oakland Athletics.

Should Start

PitcherxERAStart 1wRC+Start 2wRC+
Joe Ryan MIN3.49KC92TEX94
Justin Steele CHC3.65@ WAS92MIL87
Merrill Kelly ARI3.15@ SF99STL108
Nestor Cortes NYY2.79TB104TOR107

The Minnesota Twins are making a strong push for the playoffs and their young gun, Joe Ryan, has been a solid contributor. Ryan is 8-5 with a 3.49 xERA with 93 punchouts in 95.2 innings. Next week Ryan takes on two below-average offenses in the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers.

The Chicago Cubs’, Justin Steele, has two friendly matchups next week. Steele will battle the Washington Nationals on the road and the Milwaukee Brewers at home. Quietly, Steele has a 2.65 xERA and he has done a great job limiting hard contact. Steele’s 33.3 hard hit percentage ranks in the 87th percentile in baseball while his 3.7 barrel percentage against ranks in the 94th percentile. The Fangraphs starting pitcher grid current states Wade Miley will pitch for the Cubs on Sunday but that has not been confirmed. Either way, keep an eye on that matchup if you roster Steele.

Risky Business

PitcherxERAStart 1wRC+Start 2wRC+
Alex Cobb SF4.03ARI91@ COL87
Carlos Carrasco NYM4.06@ ATL104@ PHI99
Freddy Peralta MIL3.18LAD124@ CHC99
Jeffrey Springs TB3.54@ NYY126KC105
Johnny Cueto CHW4.06HOU111@ CLE107
Jose Quintana STL4.03COL104@ ARI92
Jose Urquidy HOU4.53@ CHW95@ ATL104
Josiah Gray WAS4.00CHC99@ SD103
Kyle Wright ATL4.11NYM117HOU111
Marcus Stroman CHC4.41@ WAS93MIL111
Nick Pivetta BOS4.53@ PIT84@ BAL100
Noah Syndergaard PHI4.29@ CIN84NYM117
Sean Manaea SD4.11@ MIA98WAS93
Taijuan Walker NYM4.20@ ATL104@ PHI99

Kyle Wright has a brutal schedule next week as he goes against the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. Even though Wright is 14-5 with 129 strikeouts in 134.2 innings, his ERA indicators suggest regression is coming. His 4.11 xERA is nearly a full point higher than his current 3.14 ERA. Usually, he is a “should start” but his schedule is so tough it’s going to be hard for him to come out unscathed.

At the age of 36, Johnny Cueto has had a renaissance season for the Chicago White Sox. Cueto currently holds a 2.91 ERA and has pitched eight quality starts in a row. Now, I would love to put him as a “should start” as well but his 4.06 xERA suggests a blowup is coming soon. And if it is, next week could be the week as faces the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Guardians on the road.

Must Sit

PitcherxERAStart 1wRC+Start 2wRC+
Aaron Civale CLE4.62DET66CHW95
Cole Ragans TEX5.21OAK85@ MIN104
Dean Kremer BAL4.88@ TOR115BOS97
Drew Hutchison DET5.21@ CLE107LAA95
Glenn Otto TEX5.56OAK79@ MIN113
Jakob Junis SF4.08ARI91@ COL87
James Kaprielian OAK4.78@ TEX94SEA103
JP Sears OAK3.10@ TEX94SEA103
Kris Bubic KC5.46@ MIN104@ TB104
Kyle Bradish BAL5.49@ TOR115BOS97
Kyle Freeland COL4.94@ STL123SF112
Madison Bumgarner ARI5.08@ SF112STL123
Mike Minor CIN4.78PHI99@ PIT84
Mitch Keller PIT4.23BOS97CIN84
Patrick Corbin WAS6.17CHC94@ SD96
Ryan Yarbrough TB4.84@ NYY119KC92
Zack Greinke KC5.28@ MIN113@ TB100
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1 Comment
  1. Mark Gram says

    I believe you need to re-think your placing of Jose Quintana STL in the Risky Business category. His 2 outings since being traded to the Cardinals have been very good…12 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 13 K, going 1-0. He faces Colorado at St. Louis and Arizona at Arizona. A solid “Should-Start” in my mind.

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