I hope the start of summer finds you well, and your fantasy baseball rotations intact. I hope you don’t have Jack Flaherty and Sonny Gray on your TGFBI team, as I do. I am in my own personal layer of hell this week. That being said, it’s time to identify the top two-start pitchers for the coming week.
Putting my self-pity aside, let’s take a look at some two-start options for the week ahead. I will need to hit on some of these to try and stay afloat in several leagues.
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Two Start Pitchers for the Week of June 14
There are not a plethora of automatic two-start options this week, and you may have a raised eyebrow on Mize being listed here, but listen to my testimony and then decide for yourself.
Lance Lynn vs. Tampa Bay, @ Houston: Lynn has been the ace of the White Sox staff. Where would they be without him as they have been besieged by injuries? HE’s 7-1 with an unbelievable 1.23 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 65.2 innings. Start him without worry.
Freddy Peralta vs. Cincinnati, @ Colorado: What’s not to like? Peralta has become one of the best pitchers in baseball and you should start him without reservations.
Tyler Glasnow @ Chicago White Sox, @ Seattle: Many fantasy players have been waiting for Glasnow to become the ace of the Tampa Bay staff for some time. At 27, he appears to have done that. Glasnow is 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA and a whopping 117 Ks in 84 innings. Automatic start every time.
Casey Mize@ KC, @ Los Angeles Angels: Mize is 3-4 with a 3.44 ERA. He’s got 59 punchouts in 70.1 innings; you wish he had more. Seems pedestrian, but a deeper dive shows a maturing pitcher who is becoming adept at limiting damage. I like these matchups for him this week hence the high rating. Mize does need to work on the home run ball, but I like him this week. Mize was 2-0 with a scant 1.74 ERA in May. This guy literally has five quality pitches and is starting to put it all together.
Sean Manaea vs. Los Angeles Angels, @ NYY: After being beset with injuries for several years, Manaea has become a rock in the Oakland rotation. He’s 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 73 Ks in 75.2 innings. He’s a great stabilizer in fantasy rotations this year, and he’s thrown 15 scoreless innings in June. Roll with him. I am. 🙂
Hyun Jin Ryu vs. New York Yankees, @ Baltimore: Ryu is 5-4 on the year with a 3.34 ERA and is the ace of the Toronto staff. One issue of concern is the lack of strikeouts so far in June; he only has four in two starts. That could be more of a function though of pitching against good offenses (the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros). That said, you drafted Ryu to be a top guy in your rotation, and you should use him as such. He doesn’t throw hard but is incredibly effective when he is on.
Trevor Rogers @ St. Louis, @ Chicago Cubs: The superlatives continue to come down for Rogers, and why not? He’s 7-3 with an unbelievable 2.02 ERA. And the xERA is 2.91, for those who may be wondering about whether this is real or not. It is. The 89 punchouts in 75.2 innings works well, and he’s in the 79th percentile for Ks as well. Ride him without fear.
The middle shelf features some intriguing two-start options that some of you would say fall into the top shelf. Still others of you would say these are rated too highly. However these rankings are mine, and I will tell you why I list them here.
Luis Castillo @ Milwaukee, @ San Diego: There is much hand-wringing on social media about Castillo, and I totally get that; many players drafted him as their number one starter and he has not given those kinds of results. Castillo is a woeful 2-9 with a 6.47 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. Egads, that is brutal! The xERA shows a little different story: 4.03. He is showing signs of braking this skid, as he’s 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA and .69 WHIP in June. Yes, small sample size, but what choice do you have, friends? You drafted him high and if you haven’t traded him you can’t cut him now. Try again. I would be starting him this week. There is simply no way he is this bad.
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Toronto, @ KC: Eovaldi has been the glue holding Boston’s rotation together. He’s 7-3 with a mediocre 4.11 ERA, but his xERA is 3.61. He’s striking guys out too: 70 in 72.1 innings. Keep in mind that Eovaldi is good for a dud here and there, like last week, when he gave up 11 hits and five earned runs. Buyer beware, but if I had him, I would use him.
Marco Gonzales vs. Minnesota, vs. Tampa Bay: I have an unhealthy crush on Marco and I know it. His Statcast page is mostly blue. He’s 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA. Why do I like him when nothing points to him being good or usable right now? I don’t know, call it my gut (which is rotund), but there is no way he is this bad, and I think he’s going to turn it around based on his track record and his cerebral approach to pitching. Good buy low to stabilize the back end of your rotation as a fifth or sixth option for you.
Adam Wainwright vs. Miami, @ Atlanta: At 40 Waino is the ace of a decimated St. Louis staff. He’s 4-5 with a 4.03 ERA with an impressive 67 Ks in 73.2 innings. The xERA supports these results at 3.71. I love that he is still doing it and the curveball is still elite. Use him.
Alek Manoah @ Boston, @ Baltimore: I was able to watch him pitch against my beloved White Sox this week, and I loved what I saw. This guy competes and has terrific stuff. He’s made three starts for the Jays and has 16 strikeouts in 14.1 innings, of course, a very small sample size. But he looks like he belongs and should be in MLB to stay, and if he is somehow on your waiver wire, get him. He will cut down on the walks as the season goes on. Manoah features a four-seam fastball, slider and sinker, with a show-me changeup that will need fine-tuning. But he’s really good and I plan to use him in all of my leagues this week.
Tony Gonsolin vs. Philadelphia, @ Arizona: Many players have been waiting for Gonsolin to come back from the IL, and he’s up and running. However, in his first start back, he gave up five walks in 1.2 innings, despite only allowing one run. Gonsolin is good and will stabilize, and will clearly get run support as he rebuilds the incredible stamina needed to pitch in the big leagues. In leagues where I have him, I am leaning towards sitting him until he shows some consistency and can give me more innings. How lucky do you feel with Gonsolin this week? Favorable matchups could sway you. I am on the fence here and feel like this depends on your roster construction. And on how much you like to gamble…
Matt Boyd @ KC, @ Los Angeles Angels: How I want to believe, I really do. He’s 3-6 with a 3.56 ERA but the strikeouts are down this year. It’s just hard to have too much confidence in him as the inconsistency makes using him a rollercoaster ride that is rife with unsettling problems at times. Not knowing what I am going to get from him always makes me look in other places for help. That said, that is my bias, and you can and should use him if you see fit.
Austin Gomber vs. San Diego, vs. Milwaukee: Since many fantasy players started using the name “Gomber” as a verb, as in “I got Gombered this week,” he’s been very good. He’s 5-5 with a 3.95 ERA and 1.13 WHIP right now. That nine run shellacking was back in April, and ballooned his stat line to 1-3 with a Satan-like 6.65 ERA. Since then he is 4-2 and has chipped the ERA down to a usable number. Let others laugh at you when you use a guy with an ERA under 3.00 and a WHIP under .80 the last six starts. Yes these are tough starts and he is at home in Colorado, which is always an issue. But if you need stats, consider him. I will be using him.
Taijuan Walker vs. Chicago Cubs, @ Washington: Walker gets a double-dip this week. Walker is 5-2 with a 2.07 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts in 61 innings. His .236 WOBA is top five percent in the major leagues. Use him; this is a guy with high pedigree who is healthy and seems to be coming into his own.
Jordan Montgomery @ Toronto, vs. Oakland: He’s 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA and 65 Ks in 65 innings. Montgomery kind of flies under the radar at times, but he’s been quietly good for the Yankees. These are tough matchups this week for him, but you could do worse than use him this week.
Tyler Anderson @ Washington, vs. Cleveland: Yes, he’s 3-6 with a 4.52 ERA. But it may surprise you to know that he has 61 Ks in 67 innings. The ERA may scare you off, but that is largely the result of one very poor outing. So he’s roughly league average and is not being used in many leagues. There are worse options than Anderson, and if you need somebody to eat a few innings for you, this could be an ok week to use him.
Ryan Weathers @ Colorado, vs. Cincinnati: Weathers is 3-2 with a 2.44 ERA and has been a great stopgap option for San Diego. Keep in mind that the xERA paints a little different picture at 5.02. He’s not going to help you much with strikeouts but he could get you wins. Beware that he is pitching in Colorado this week too. This feels fraught with peril to me, but if you need wins, you could do worse than try Weathers.
This week, lower-shelf two-start options are a little more solid than usual. These guys could help you put if things break right for them, and subsequently, you.
Sammy Long vs. Arizona, vs. Philadelphia: In his first start Long struck out seven in 4.1 innings, with one walk and one earned run. Promising results, but only one start. His minor league numbers show us 213 Ks in 178 innings, a 2.83 ERA, and a 1.12 WHIP. Could there be something here? I am not buying in yet but have earmarked him.
Spencer Howard @ Los Angeles Dodgers, @ San Francisco: Many are rightfully intrigued by Howard, who is the Phillies’ number one prospect. The major problems right now are the walks and his inconsistency. Not a good week to work on it against two strong NL West opponents. Watch him for a bit and see how he does. I would not use him this week.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Tampa Bay, @ Houston: Keuchel is the kind of guy you love to watch in real life, but doesn’t provide great value to your fantasy team. He limits hard contact but the paltry 13.6 K rate leaves much to be desired. I don’t think I would use him this week with these two tough matchups coming up against two of the AL’s best. Pass for me.
Vladimir Gutierrez @ Milwaukee, @ San Diego: Very quietly, Gutierrez has stepped into the Reds’ rotation and been solid: 2-1, 2.65 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 13 punchouts in 17 innings. He’s not a huge K guy, even going back to his minor league numbers, but looks like he knows how to pitch and can help you control ratios. Plus, with injuries in Cincinnati, he has an opportunity, which is something we always look for with pitchers. Take a chance on him.
Jake Arrieta @ New York Mets, vs. Miami: I sincerely admire Arrieta’s moxie, but I can’t see relying on him in fantasy baseball anymore. Pass for me. He’s 5-6 with a 4.97 ERA and an xERA of 5.74 with limited K potential. Do not inflict harm upon yourself, ok?
Trevor Williams @ New York Mets, vs. Miami: Can’t recommend someone with a 5.36 ERA, even though the xERA is a more usable 4.40, and he has surprising K numbers with 49 in 43.2 innings. The walk rate is high, the barrel rate is in the lowest 3% of MLB. Pass unless you see something here. I see a guy pitching to hard contact.
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Arizona, vs. Philadelphia: I love Tony Disco at the back end of your rotation. Look many fantasy managers may have given up on him after a 10-run pasting in May, but you see that as a buying opportunity. And he’s been pretty good: complete-game shutout last week against Washington, with eight strikeouts. I could see moving him up in the rankings for the week but he’s had some struggles pitching at home, so use caution.
Brad Keller vs. Detroit, vs. Boston: I roster Keller whenever possible and I don’t know why. He’s 6-5 and the ERA is 5.75. He was good in May at 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 33 punchouts in 32.2 innings. But you can’t use him right now if he’s going to be this lousy. Bench him.
Tucker Davidson vs. Boston, vs. St. Louis: Davidson has pitched with some luck so far this year, and the luck runs out against two tough opponents this week. A risky start.
Brett Anderson vs. Cincinnati, @ Colorado: Anderson can be effective at times but that time is not now. A soft-tossing lefty in Colorado? I will pass.
David Peterson vs. Chicago Cubs, @ Washington: I can’t. And I won’t.
The interesting thing about these two start options, with the exception of youngsters Lowther and Peacock, is that all at one time or another were top-shelf options. These were automatic weekly starts for you; how things change. See below.
Dylan Bundy @ Oakland, vs. Detroit: I have to admit that Bundy is on the waiver wire in some of my leagues and I am tempted to pick him up and stash him. He won his first game last week but only had two strikeouts. I would not recommend him until we see better results, which should be coming…right?
Patrick Corbin vs. Pittsburgh, vs. New York Mets: The numbers are unkind and in looking for a silver lining, I found none. A 6.21 ERA, a 6.56 xERA. Three wins, five losses, too many walks, too many hits. Similar to Bundy above, if you have room to stash him and wait, you could do that; he was 3-1 in May and looked more usable. But the 12 home runs thus far and 26 walks scare me away.
Matt Harvey @ Cleveland, vs. Toronto: Harvey said it himself this past week: “I am tired of pitching like sh*t.” As we say at my school, recognition of the problem is the first step. Let someone else figure this out with Harvey. Stay away.
Zac Lowther @ Cleveland, vs. Toronto: You might say, hm, I like the seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings. What you don’t like is seven earned runs in 2.1 innings in his first start. Lowther is an interesting prospect but does not belong on your fantasy team unless you are in a complete rebuild and taking flyers.
Matt Peacock @ San Francisco, vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: No. No. No.
Randy Dobnak @ Seattle, @ Texas: Everybody wants to like the relatable Dobnak. Just like him from afar. As in, very far from your roster.
Cal Quantrill vs. Baltimore, @ Pittsburgh: These are good matchups for a pitcher that would actually pitch like a starter, but Quantrill will not go deep into games and is usually getting piggybacked. If he starts adding some innings to his starts, he could be an option. He’s not this week.
For more great Fantasy Baseball check out Mick Ciallela’s Rest of Season Rankings! Mick was the No. 1 Ranker on FantasyPros.com for the 2020 MLB season.
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