Welcome to September baseball. Rosters are expanding, teams are pushing for the playoffs, and fantasy owners are fighting toward that championship. With all that goes on in the baseball world at the start of September, one thing remains constant. That is that two-start pitchers could go a long way in determining the outcome of your fantasy week. In some cases, they could even help determine how your season ends. If your team is in the playoffs and looking for a boost, check out these guys making two starts next week.
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 September 3
*As always, keep in mind that these are the probable two-start pitchers as of Saturday, September 1 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.
- Max Scherzer – 9/3 vs. STL, 9/8 vs. CHC
- Jacob deGrom – 9/3 @ LAD, 9/9 vs. PHI
- Mike Clevinger – 9/4 vs. KC, 9/9 @ TOR
- Madison Bumgarner – 9/3 @ COL, 9/9 @ MIL
- Cole Hamels – 9/3 @ MIL, 9/9 @ WAS
- David Price – 9/3 @ ATL, 9/9 vs. HOU
- Mike Foltynewicz – 9/4 vs. BOS, 9/9 @ ARI
The only real question marks on this list are Madison Bumgarner and David Price. Bumgarner gets the tough task of facing both the Rockies and Brewers on the road. While starting pitchers at Coors and Miller Park is never ideal, Bumgarner’s 2.68 ERA in the last two starts are more than enough for me to run him out there both times. Price, on the other hand, is a matter of if he’s healthy. He left his last start after being hit in the wrist with a line drive and has yet to be confirmed for his next start. Of course, monitor his status, but if he’s good to go, he’s a no-brainer.
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.
- Dallas Keuchel 9/3 vs. MIN, 9/9 @ BOS: The days of Dallas Keuchel dominating lineups are behind us, but he’s proved again and again that he can still get the job done. He’s worked into at least the sixth inning in each of his last six starts and allowed three runs or fewer in five of them. Don’t expect him to throw up crazy numbers, but he’ll pay off.
- Jake Arrieta – 9/3 @ MIA, 9/8 @ NYM: Few matchups can make a pitcher feel better than seeing the Marlins and the Mets in the same week. While Arrieta has struggled over his last four starts, what better way to set things straight than with two of the most favorable matchups in baseball? Look past the 14 runs he’s allowed in his past four outings and Arrieta should pay off greatly with two starts this week.
- Alex Wood – 9/3 vs. NYM, 9/9 @ COL: Over his last seven, Wood has posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.21 WHIP across 39.1 innings. Most impressively, he’s given up just one homer over that stretch. While he’s not striking batters out at the same clip he did earlier in the season, he’s inducing ground balls and getting batters out. That’s exactly what you want to bring into Colorado with a matchup against the Rockies.
- Zack Godley – 9/3 vs. SD, 9/9 vs. ATL: Speaking of avoiding the long ball, Godley has excelled at just that. He’s allowed just one since the beginning of July, which should go a long way in keeping guys like Acuna, Albies, and Freeman at bay. After two disappointing starts, Godley bounced back with one of his best performances of the year in his last start. Expect him to keep up the momentum with a matchup against the Padres.
- Trevor Williams – 9/3 vs. CIN, 9/9 vs. MIA – Williams posted a sparkling 1.16 ERA in August and has an even better 0.84 mark in his last seven starts. With two dead-last teams on his schedule in the upcoming week, we could see that number drop even lower.
- Nick Pivetta – 9/4 @ MIA, 9/9 @ NYM
- Trevor Cahill – 9/3 vs. NYY, 9/9 vs. TEX
- Tyler Glasnow – 9/4 @ TOR, 9/9 vs. BAL
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.
- Miles Mikolas – 9/3 @ WAS, 9/8 @ DET: August wasn’t particularly kind to Mikolas. In six starts, Mikolas allowed 14 earned runs and opposing hitters are hitting .289 off of him. His five homers allowed in August is also more than he allowed in the last three months combined. Mikolas has had impressive stretches this year but with your fantasy season on the line, I’d pass on the righty.
- Sean Newcomb – 9/3 vs. BOS, 9/8 @ ARI: After an incredible first couple of months, Newcomb’s season has completely gone off the rails. He was bad in July and even worse in August, posting a 5.06 and 6.75 ERA, respectively. It’s shot his season ERA all the way up to 3.85 and shouldn’t have a chance to get better with two tough matchups ahead of him. Stay clear from Newcomb at this point in the season.
- Gio Gonzalez – 9/4 vs. STL, 9/9 vs. CHC: Like Newcomb, Gonzalez’s second half has been absolutely awful. Over his last 15 starts, Gonzalez has posted a 6.78 ERA. He allowed five homers in August and seemingly stopped striking anyone out. There’s no reason to run Gonzalez out there for one start, let alone two.
- Joey Lucchesi – 9/3 @ ARI, 9/9 @ CIN
- Freddy Peralta – 9/3 vs. CHC, 9/9 vs. SF
- Michael Fulmer – 9/3 @ CWS, vs. STL
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.
- John Grant
- Reynaldo Lopez
- Jake Junis
- Adam Plutko
- Ryan Borucki
- Jose Urena
- Erasmo Ramirez
- Thomas Pannone
- Kohl Stewart
- Odrisamer Despaigne
- Cody Reed
- Ariel Jurado