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Two-Start Pitchers for the Week of May 1

With an incredible rash of injuries and an increasingly inconsistent cast of starting pitchers, maximizing the value we get out of two-start pitchers and streamers may be the single biggest thing you can do to gain an edge over your competition this season.

Each week from here on out, we’ll sort through the projected pool of two-start pitchers and evaluate the various league sizes each pitcher should be started in. Do be aware though that pitching schedules are more fluid than ever. We’ve compared projected starters from various sites and tried to build as accurate a list as possible, but as always please keep an eye on the latest news for changes.

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Two-Start Pitchers for the Week of May 1

There aren’t a ton of ace two-start pitchers going this week. That means a lot of decisions on streaming options. I’ve grouped all the two-start pitchers by the league size that I would feel comfortable starting them in. Your decision will ultimately hinge on how comfortable you are with risk and your team’s standings within the context of the entire league.

I’ve included an overall rank for each pitcher. That rank is only within the pool of two-start pitchers this week, not the pitching population at large.

Start in All League Sizes

Zav Gallen is making a very real argument as a top-5 pitcher in all of baseball. He’s on a 28-inning scoreless streak and I’m starting him every time out.

Sandy Alcantara has not quite been himself and he had his most recent start pushed back due to biceps tendinitis. He pitched well in that start and seems to be a full go. He’s earned enough slack to ignore a few early-season bumps.

I was torn on including Hayden Wesneski, Drew Smyly, and Mason Miller in this section. Wesneski and Smyly have pitched well over their last few starts and the matchups with Washington and Miami are about as good as it gets. There’s certainly risk in starting Mason Miller but in roto leagues that strikeout upside is just too juicy for me to leave on my bench. The Royals have the worst team batting average in baseball and have scored the second-fewest runs, while also striking out the seventh-most times. Meanwhile, the Marines are in the bottom third of baseball in runs scored and have struck out the second-most times in all of baseball.

RnkPLAYERStart #1Opposing PitcherStart #2Opposing Pitcher
1Zac Gallen ARI  RHPMay 2 @  TEXJon GrayMay 7 vs  WASMacKenzie Gore
2Sandy Alcantara MIA  RHPMay 2 vs  ATLKyle WrightMay 7 @  CHCHayden Wesneski
3Joe Ryan MIN  RHPMay 2 @  CWSMichael KopechMay 7 @  CLECal Quantrill
4Logan Gilbert SEA  RHPMay 2 @  OAKMason MillerMay 7 vs  HOULuis Garcia
5Luis Garcia HOU  RHPMay 1 vs  SFRoss StriplingMay 7 @  SEALogan Gilbert
6Kodai Senga NYM  RHPMay 1 vs  ATLBryce ElderMay 6 vs  COLAustin Gomber
7Hayden Wesneski CHC  RHPMay 2 @  WASTrevor WilliamsMay 7 vs  MIASandy Alcantara
8Drew Smyly CHC  LHPMay 1 @  WASMacKenzie GoreMay 6 vs  MIABryan Hoeing
9Mason Miller OAK  RHPMay 2 vs  SEALogan GilbertMay 7 @  KCRyan Yarbrough

Start in 15-Team Mixed Leagues

There’s a ton of volatility in this grouping. Michael Kopech, Blake Snell, and MacKenzie Gore represent three high-octane arms that continue to tantalize us with potential and then drive us crazy with inconsistency. I lean toward starting them in all leagues but if you’re doing well in WHIP and ERA, the risk may not be worth it. Then again if you’re doing well in those categories, these pitchers are not likely to be on your rosters.

One pitcher I do think doesn’t get enough respect is Tyler Wells. He doesn’t have the strikeout upside of the three pitchers mentioned previously but he offers a high degree of safety and the Orioles are suddenly a winning team. Wells takes a 2.79 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP into matchups vs. Kansas City and Atlanta. That Atlanta start is a tough one but Wells has earned my trust and I think he minimizes the damage.

RnkPLAYERStart #1Opposing PitcherStart #2Opposing Pitcher
10Kyle Wright ATL  RHPMay 2 @  MIASandy AlcantaraMay 7 vs  BALTyler Wells
11Bryce Elder ATL  RHPMay 1 @  NYMKodai SengaMay 6 vs  BALKyle Bradish
12Tyler Wells BAL  RHPMay 2 @  KCRyan YarbroughMay 7 @  ATLKyle Wright
13Michael Kopech CHW  RHPMay 2 vs  MINJoe RyanMay 7 @  CINLuke Weaver
14Blake Snell SD  LHPMay 1 vs  CINLuke WeaverMay 7 vs  LADTony Gonsolin
15MacKenzie Gore WAS  LHPMay 1 vs  CHCDrew SmylyMay 7 @  ARIZac Gallen
16Tony Gonsolin LAD  RHPMay 1 vs  PHITaijuan WalkerMay 7 @  SDBlake Snell
17Joey Lucchesi NYM  LHPMay 2 @  DETMichael LorenzenMay 7 vs  COLRyan Feltner
18Domingo German NYY  RHPMay 1 vs  CLECal QuantrillMay 7 @  TBJosh Fleming
19Roansy Contreras PIT  RHPMay 2 @  TBJosh FlemingMay 7 vs  TORYusei Kikuchi
20Steven Matz STL  LHPMay 2 vs  LAAGriffin CanningMay 7 vs  DETMichael Lorenzen

Start in AL- and NL-Only Leagues

I list these pitchers as starts in monoleagues but I’ve got to be honest. I play in a lot of NL- and AL-Only leagues and most of the time I’d rather use middle relievers with good ERAs and WHIPs instead of these potential blow-ups waiting to happen. Please consider your team context when starting these pitchers. Chasing wins is sometimes not worth the pain to the rest of your pitching stats.

RnkPLAYERStart #1Opposing PitcherStart #2Opposing Pitcher
21Jose Berrios TOR  RHPMay 1 @  BOSCorey KluberMay 6 @  PITJohan Oviedo
22Yusei Kikuchi TOR  LHPMay 2 @  BOSTanner HouckMay 7 @  PITRoansy Contreras
23Taijuan Walker PHI  RHPMay 1 @  LADTony GonsolinMay 7 vs  BOSTanner Houck
24Tanner Houck BOS  RHPMay 2 vs  TORYusei KikuchiMay 7 @  PHITaijuan Walker
25Cal Quantrill CLE  RHPMay 1 @  NYYDomingo GermanMay 7 vs  MINJoe Ryan

Are You Crazy?

The heading says it all. There’s just no reason to subject yourself to this kind of abuse. The matchups aren’t good and these pitchers don’t offer enough strikeout upside to offset the huge risk. Use these two-start pitchers at your own peril and don’t blame me when they blow up your ratios and set you back three weeks of solid pitching.

RnkPLAYERStart #1Opposing PitcherStart #2Opposing Pitcher
26Ryan Yarbrough KC  LHPMay 2 vs  BALTyler WellsMay 7 vs  OAKMason Miller
27Corey Kluber BOS  RHPMay 1 vs  TORJose Berrios May 6 @  PHIBailey Falter
28Ross Stripling SF  RHPMay 1 @  HOULuis Garcia May 7 vs  MILEric Lauer
29Luke Weaver CIN  RHPMay 1 @  SDBlake SnellMay 7 vs  CWSMichael Kopech
30Michael Lorenzen DET  RHPMay 2 vs  NYMJoey LucchesiMay 7 @  STLSteven Matz
31Josh Fleming TB  LHPMay 2 vs  PITRoansy ContrerasMay 7 vs  NYYDomingo German
32Eric Lauer MIL  LHPMay 2 @  COLRyan Feltner May 7 @  SFRoss Stripling
33Ryan Feltner COL  RHPMay 2 vs  MILEric LauerMay 7 @  NYMJoey Lucchesi
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