Happy Aces Week! For many fantasy teams, setting your lineup this week will be a breeze. The schedule lines up just right where many teams are sending their aces to the mound for two starts. If you’re a proud owner of one of these guys, then great! If not, take a look at where to find some value in the way of 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 18
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Saturday, June 16 and are subject to change.
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 – 6/18 vs. TB, 6/24 vs. KC
- Chris Sale – 6/19 @ MIN, 6/24 vs. SEA
- Jacob deGrom – 6/18 @ COL, 6/23 vs. LAD
- Trevor Bauer – 6/18 vs. CHW, 6/23 vs. DET
- Jose Berrios – 6/19 vs. BOS, 6/24 vs. TEX
- Mike Clevinger – 6/19 vs. CHW, 6/24 vs. DET
- Zack Greinke – 6/18 @ LAA, 6/24 @ PIT
- Miles Mikolas – 6/18 @ PHI, 6/23 @ MIL
These guys really need no explanation. Aside from Greinke, all of them own ERA’s in the mid-2.00’s to low-3.00’s. In fact, three of them, (deGrom, Cole, and Mikolas) rank in the top-10 in baseball in the category.
As far as Greinke, the “odd man out” goes, there isn’t enough to be worrying. Sure, Greinke isn’t dominating like he has in the past, but he still has been a huge help to fantasy teams. He owns a 9.68 K/9 and is doing a great job at managing his walks, issuing less than two a game.
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.
- Blake Snell – 6/19 @ HOU, 6/24 vs. NYY: Any other week, Snell would fit right in in the “No-Brainer” category. Unfortunately for him, he draws two of the game’s best offenses in Houston and New York. Before allowing four runs in five innings to the Yankees on Thursday, Snell had been on an impressive stretch. He had allowed just one run in 23.2 innings before Thursday’s outing. I can’t blame you if look at his 2.58 ERA and 1.03 WHIP and send him out there for two starts this week. Just consider his matchups and adjust your expectations accordingly.
- Cole Hamels – 6/18 @ KC, 6/24 @ MIN: Hamels’ 2018 has been, well, less than ideal. He’s walking 3.48 batters per nine and allowing nearly two homers a game. Yet, after 14 starts and 85.1 innings, his ERA sits at a respectable 3.69. Hamels has pitched much better on the road, posting a 2.40 ERA in 41.1 innings. Not only does he get to make two starts away from home this week, but he also draws two of the weakest home-run hitting teams in baseball.
- Jameson Taillon – 6/19 vs. MIL, 6/24 vs. ARI: I feel like a broken record but you know what you’re getting when starting Taillon. He won’t blow anyone away but he can be trusted to give you five or six quality innings without walking many guys or giving up the longball. Sure, the 8.23 K/9 is underwhelming but when you’re in need of an easy points grab, you can trust Taillon.
Survive and Thrive
These two-start pitchers have 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.
- Sonny Gray – 6/18 @ WAS, 6/23 @ TB: It feels good to finally be able to somewhat trust Sonny Gray again. Dating back to May 5, Gray has posted a 3.89 ERA and really had just one terrible outing. In that span, he put together two of his best performances as a Yankee, two eight-inning games against the Royals and Blue Jays. Gray is certainly not back to being the ace we saw in Oakland, but he’s earned back enough trust to send him out for two starts next week.
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.
- Luke Weaver – 6/19 @ PHI, 6/24 @ MIL: Weaver has certainly lost some of the trust he gained out of the gates this season. Over his last four starts, he’s failed to make it past the fifth inning and has allowed 13 earned runs. What’s most concerning is the fact that he hasn’t been striking anyone out. He’s collected just 14 strikeouts over that span and has walked eight.
- Garrett Richards – 6/18 vs. ARI, 6/24 vs. TOR: We’re still holding our breath but it seems Richards has been bitten by the injury bug yet again. He lasted just two innings in his last start before leaving with a hamstring issue. As of now, there’s still no news on Richards’ condition, but as always, keep a close eye on the Angels’ ace. If the Angels trust him enough to send him out there as opposed to the DL, you should too.
- Caleb Smith – 6/18 @ SF, 6/24 @ COL: Smith has surprised us this season, emerging as Miami’s top starter. Now, say what you want about the Marlins, but leading a pitching staff is still something noteworthy. He’s posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 72 innings. However, he’s struggled away from home, posting a 4.41 ERA in 34.2 innings. Both of his starts come on the road this week, including an always-scary matchup against the Rockies at Coors.
- Marco Gonzales – 6/19 @ NYY, 6/24 @ BOS: Don’t get me wrong, Gonzales isn’t this low on the list because he’s incapable of putting together quality outings. His 3.08 ERA has helped him to a 7-3 record on the season, which is undoubtedly something to keep in mind. That being said, no one should have the task of facing the Yankees and Red Sox back-to-back in the same week. Gonzales has that task, making this week a good time to think twice before sending the lefty out there.
- Nick Pivetta – 6/18 vs. STL, 6/24 @ WAS: Make it four straight losses for Pivetta. The young righty has lasted five innings or less in each of his last four starts and has allowed 15 runs on 23 hits. Not what you want. To make matters worse, he has to face the Nationals again, a team he lasted just one inning against on May 4, before they were healthy.
- Dylan Covey – 6/18 @ CLE, 6/23 vs. OAK: Covey has pitched exceptionally well this season, posting a 1.53 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 35.1 innings. In his six starts, he’s put together quality starts in four of them, two of which were against the dangerous Red Sox and Indians. Covey hasn’t proved that he can sustain this pace yet, but keep an eye on the 26-year-old. If he can survive two tough matchups this week, it might be time to start giving him an extended look.
- Carlos Rodon – 6/19 @ CLE, 6/24 vs. OAK
- Tyler Chatwood – 6/18 vs. LAD, 6/23 @ CIN
- Domingo German – 6/19 vs. SEA, 6/23 @ TB
- Mike Montgomery – 6/19 vs. LAD, 6/24 @ CIN
Marco Gonzales, LHP #32
The 26-year-old has been outstanding his last five starts (4-0, 0.81 ERA with 21 hits allowed in 33 1/3 innings) and is 6-1, 2.04 over his last nine outings. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/RKOPLSyQvW
— M’s Game Bot (@MarinersBot) June 13, 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.
- Erick Fedde
- Sal Romano
- Caleb Ferguson
- David Hess
- Dereck Rodriguez
- Eric Lauer
- Jaime Garcia
- Ian Kennedy
- Jhoulys Chacin
- Trevor Williams
- Tyler Anderson
- German Marquez
- Andrew Suarez
- Paul Blackburn
- Jason Vargas