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Two-Start Pitchers: Week One (7/23-8/2)

Welcome back, everyone! Baseball season is officially here, and I am pumped! Week one is finally here and that means it is time for two-start pitchers. With this week being 11 days, there are a lot of two-start options. I have broken them down and placed them into four different tiers. The tiers will be; must-start, should-start, questionable, and sit. Things are rapidly changing, so a few of these starts may change, especially with week one being 11 days.

It is also important to note that just because a starting pitcher will make two starts does not make that pitcher more valuable than a single start pitcher. In a weekly head-to-head league, two bad starts will likely cost you in the ratio categories. This weekly article will help you find the best two-start pitchers to help you succeed.

Each tier will have a chart breaking down each pitcher’s two starts for the week. It will feature that teams 2019 hitting wOBA against that particular pitcher’s hardiness. So for Justin Verlander, both teams he faces for this coming week’s wOBA will be list against right-handed pitchers. The same applies to left-handed pitchers. The chart is categorized by teams, not ranking. The west coast teams are at the top of the table and work to the east coast.

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Two-Start Pitcher’s Tier Description:

Must-Start: These pitchers are no doubters for the week. Most of these two-start pitchers should be started every time they pitch.

Should-Start: Two-start pitchers in the should-start tier are good options for the week but may have some hesitations for different reasons.

Questionable: Two-start pitchers in this tier may be used for deeper leagues but should most likely not be started.

Sit: Do not start these pitchers.

*Reminder that this article was published Wednesday morning, starters for the following week are subject to change.

Must Start

PitcherStart 1wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)Start 2wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)
Justin Verlander(RHP)Seattle.310Los Angeles Dodgers.326
Zack Greinke(RHP)Seattle .310@Los Angeles Angels.317
Clayton Kershaw(LHP)San Francisco .294@Houston .363
Walker Buehler(RHP)@Houston.351@Arizona .308
Chris Paddack(RHP)Arizona .308@San Francisco.295
Lucas Giolito(RHP)Minnesota.341@Cleveland.316
Mike Clevinger(RHP)Kansas City.303@Minnesota.342
Shane Bieber(RHP)Kansas City.303Chicago White Sox.301
Jose Berrios(RHP)@Chicago White Sox.300Cleveland.316
Frankie Montas(RHP)Los Angeles Angels.317Colorado.323
Corey Kluber(RHP)Colorado.323@San Francisco.295
Yu Darvish(RHP)Milwaukee.322@Cincinnati.312
Sony Gray(RHP)Detroit.285Chicago Cubs.333
Luis Castillo(RHP)Detroit.285Chicago Cubs.333
Trevor Bauer(RHP)Detroit.285@Detroit.285
Brandon Woodruff(RHP)@Chicago Cubs.333@Pittsburgh.322
Jack Flaherty(RHP)Pittsburgh.322@Milwaukee.322
Gerit Cole(RHP)@Washington.332@Philadelphia .310
James Paxton(LHP)@Washington.347Philadelphia.326
Charlie Morton(RHP)Toronto.309@Atlanta.333
Blake Snell(LHP)Toronto.312@Baltimore.310
Tyler Glasnow(RHP)Atlanta.333@Baltimore.307
Jacob deGrom(RHP)Atlanta.333Boston.342
Aaron Nola(RHP)Miami.288@New York Yankees.343
Max Scherzer(RHP)New York Yankees.343Toronto.308
Stephen Strasburg(RHP)New York Yankees.343@Toronto.308
Patrick Corbin(LHP)New York Yankees.355@Miami.289
  • Most of these two-start pitchers in the must-start category will be pitchers that you should start almost every time out. You likely spent a high draft pick on these guys.
  • Justin Verlander gets a tough visit from the Dodgers, his second start out. He will get a nice tune-up against the Mariners before facing the Dodgers.
  • Walker Buehler will have a tough first matchup against the Astros. It is unlikely he goes deep into the game, but he is still a must-start option.
  • Trevor Bauer gets to face Detroit twice, once at home and once on the road. This is Bauer’s chance to start the season hot.
  • The Indians duo of Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber have favorable matchups to begin the year. Bieber gets Kansas City and the White Sox at home. Clevinger gets Kansas at home and Minnesota on the road. The Twins have a monster lineup, but Clevinger should put them to the test.
  • The Nationals top three of Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin all get the Yankees to begin the year. It is not an easy matchup against one of the best lineups in baseball, but they are still must-start options.
  • How will Blake Snell’s elbow hold up? We will get to see against an intriguing Blue Jays lineup and then the Orioles in his second outing.
  • Corey Kluber gets the Rockies at home and San Francisco on the road to start. What version of Kluber will we get? In these favorable matchups, let’s hope Kluber starts strong.

Should Start

PitcherStart 1 wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)Start 2wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)
Shohei Ohtani (RHP)@Oakland.323Houston.351
Josh James (RHP)Seattle.310@Los Angeles Angels.317
Lance McCullers (RHP)Seattle.310@Los Angeles Angels.317
Lance Lynn (RHP)Colorado.323@San Francisco .295
Mike Minor (LHP)Colorado.337@San Francisco.294
Sean Manaea (LHP)Los Angeles Angels.315@Seattle.324
Carlos Carrasco (RHP)Kansas City.303@Minnesota .341
Madison Bumgarner (LHP)@San Diego.322@Texas.313
German Marquez (RHP)@Texas.319San Diego.299
Garrett Richards (RHP)Arizona.308@San Francisco.295
Matt Boyd (LHP)@Cincinnati.312Kansas City.298
Kenta Maeda (RHP)@Chicago White Sox.301Cleveland .316
Kyle Hendricks (RHP)Milwaukee .322@Cincinnati.312
Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP)@Tampa Bay.318Washington.347
Mike Soroka (RHP)@New York Mets.320Tampa Bay.321
Max Fried (LHP)@New York Mets.338Tampa Bay.318
Sandy Alcantara (RHP)@Philadelphia .310@Baltimore.307
Caleb Smith (LHP)@Philadelphia.326@Baltimore.310
Robbie Ray (LHP) @San Diego.322Los Angeles Dodgers.326
Zac Gallen (RHP)@San Diego.299Los Angeles Dodgers.344
Ross Stripling (RHP)San Francisco .295@Arizona.308
Alex Wood (LHP)San Francisco .294@Arizona.349
Julio Urias (LHP)San Francisco .294@Arizona.349
  • This tier features two-start pitchers that you should start.
  • Lance McCullers and Josh James both start the season with Seattle and the Angels. These are two pitchers who I have pumped up all Fantasy draft season. James pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen in 2019, and McCullers missed the 2019 season after having Tommy John surgery. These two starts will hopefully set the pace for solid seasons from both starters.
  • Lance Lynn had an incredible 2019 season. He gets two excellent matchups to start the year with Colorado at home and in San Francisco. Lynn is borderline must start for week one.
  • Garrett Richards is severely underrated by many, and he has two favorable matchups to begin the year with Arizona and San Francisco. If he can prove to be healthy, he could be an excellent option moving forward.
  • Popular breakout pick Matt Boyd has a tough matchup in Cincinnati to start the year but then gets Kansas City at home. If Boyd can start strong against the Reds, he can set the tone for an excellent season.
  • The Braves top two starters in Mike Soroka, and Max Fried face solid Mets and Tampa Bay Rays lineups to begin the year. This will be a tough test for the two youngsters who many fantasy players are counting on.
  • There has been much buzz about Robbie Ray’s change in his mechanics. Many have bumped him up Fantasy draft boards. I want to see how he performs in-game. He will be put to the test by the Padres and the Dodgers.
  • Shohei Ohtani will start every Sunday. When he pitches, he has been ace caliber. He gets two tough matchups with Oakland and Houston to begin the year.


Pitcher (RHP/LHP)Start 1wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)Start 2wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)
Griffin Canning (RHP)@Oakland.323Houston.351
Andrew Heaney (LHP)@Oakland.340Seattle.324
Mike Fiers (RHP)Los Angeles Angels .317@Seattle.310
Chris Bassitt (RHP)Los Angeles Angels.317@Seattle.310
Jon Gray (RHP)@Texas.319San Diego.299
Luke Weaver (RHP)@San Diego.299Los Angeles Dodgers.344
Joey Lucceshi (LHP)@San Francisco.294@Colorado.337
Dinelson Lamet (RHP)Arizona.308@Colorado.323
Zach Davies (RHP)Arizona.308@Colorado.323
Johnny Cueto (RHP)@Los Angeles Dodgers.344San Diego.299
Jeff Samardzjia (RHP)@Los Angeles Dodgers.344San Diego.299
Aaron Civale (RHP)Chicago White Sox.301@Minnesota .342
Dallas Keuchel (LHP)Minnesota .361@Kansas City.298
Dylan Cease (RHP)@Cleveland.316@Kansas City.303
Reynaldo Lopez (RHP)Minnesota.342@Kansas City.303
Spencer Turnbull (RHP)@Cincinnati .312Cincinnati.312
Ivan Nova (RHP)@Cincinnati.312Kansas City.303
Danny Duffy (LHP)@Cleveland.325@Detroit.302
Jakob Junis (RHP)@Cleveland.316@Detroit.286
Mike Montgomery (LHP)@Cleveland.325@Chicago White Sox.330
Wade Miley (LHP)Chicago Cubs.318@Detroit.302
Anthony DeSclafani (RHP)Chicago Cubs.333@Detroit.286
Adrian Houser (RHP)@Chicago Cubs.333St. Louis.312
Corbin Burnes (RHP)@Chicago Cubs.333St. Louis.312
Josh Lindblom (RHP)@Pittsburgh.322St. Louis.312
Joe Musgrove (RHP)@St. Louis.312Milwaukee.322
Trevor Williams (RHP)@St. Louis.312@Chicago Cubs.333
Mitch Keller (RHP)Milwaukee.322@Chicago Cubs.333
Adam Wainwright (RHP)Pittsburgh.322@Milwaukee.322
Dakota Hudson (RHP)Pittsburgh.322@Milwaukee.322
Asher Wojciechowski (RHP)@Miami.288Tampa Bay.322
Nathan Eovaldi (RHP)Baltimore.307New York Mets.320
Martin Perez (LHP)Baltimore .310@New York Mets.338
Ryan Yarbrough (LHP)Toronto.312@Atlanta.328
Tanner Roark (RHP)@Tampa Bay.322Washington.332
Jose Urena (RHP)@Philadelphia.310Washington.332
Pablo Lopez (RHP) Baltimore.307Washington.332
Elieser Hernandez (RHP)Baltimore.307Washington .332
Marcus Stroman (RHP)Atlanta .333Boston.342
Rick Procello (RHP)Atlanta.333@Atlanta.333
Jake Arrieta (RHP)Miami.288@New York Yankees.343
Zach Eflin (RHP)Miami.288@Toronto .309
Anibal Sanchez (RHP)Toronto .309@Miami.288
Vince Velasquez (RHP)New York Yankees.343@Toronto .309
  • There are some interesting two-start pitchers in the questionable range. A few of the players are guys I like but want to see how they perform before moving them into the start range. If you have a deep enough rotation to not start these pitchers in week one, it may be best. But there are plenty of pitchers in this range who could be solid performers.
  • Griffin Canning is an intriguing option but is coming off of an injury. He has looked good in summer camp games but has two difficult matchups with the Athletics and the Astros. I would prefer to leave him on my bench for these two outings.
  • Luke Weaver has a great start to the 2019 season before straining his UCL. He has a decent matchup in San Diego before getting the Dodgers at home. If you are in a daily lineup league, start him against the Padres before deciding on whether to start him against the Dodgers.
  • Dinelson Lamet, a popular breakout pick, gets the Diamondbacks at home, but then travels to the dreaded Coors Field. If you can avoid fringe pitchers in Coors Field, it would be a wise move.
  • Aaron Civale is another pitcher I am very high on. The White Sox have a much-improved lineup to test Civale in his first start. Then a trip to Minnesota makes for a tough start to the season.
  • Corbin Burnes has looked stellar in summer camp. He will start the Brewers’ second game against the Cubs.
  •  Mitch Keller is a pitcher worth monitoring. He has starts against the Brewers and the Cubs. Both have solid lineups.
  • Vince Velasquez made Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez look silly by striking them out in a game on Monday. If Wheeler is not ready to start the season due to the birth of his child, Velasquez could get the start Saturday against the Marlins, which would be a massive upgrade from his scheduled first start against the Yankees. If he goes against the Marlins, he might be worth starting.


PitcherStart 1wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)Start 2wOBA vs. (RHP/LHP)
Marco Gonzales (LHP)@Houston.363Oakland.340
Yusei Kikuchi (LHP)@Houston .363Oakland.340
Kendall Graveman (RHP)@Houston .351Oakland.322
Justus Sheffield (LHP)@Houston.363Oakland.340
Dylan Bundy (RHP)@Oakland.322Houston.351
Kyle Freeland (LHP)@Texas.313San Diego.322
Kevin Guasman (RHP)@Los Angeles Dodgers.344Texas.319
Drew Smyly (LHP)@Los Angeles Dodgers.326Texas.313
Logan Webb (RHP)San Diego.299Texas.319
Zach Plesac (RHP)Chicago White Sox.301@Minnesota.342
Tyler Alexander (LHP)Kansas City.298Cincinnati.312
Michael Fulmer (RHP)Kansas City.303Cincinnati .312
Jorge Lopez (RHP)@Detroit.286Chicago White Sox.301
Homer Bailey (RHP)St. Louis.312Cleveland.316
Jon Lester (LHP)Milwaukee.328Pittsburgh.289
Tyler Chatwood (RHP)@Cincinnati.312Pittsburgh.310
Alec Mills (RHP)@Cincinnati.312Pittsburgh.310
Steven Brault (LHP) @St. Louis.322@Chicago Cubs.318
Tommy Milone (LHP)@Boston.342Miami.289
Alex Cobb (RHP)@Boston.342Miami .288
Wade LeBlanc (LHP)@Boston.328Tampa Bay.318
Ryan Weber (RHP)Baltimore.307@New York Yankees.343
Brian Johnson (LHP)New York Mets.338@New York Yankees.355
JA Happ (LHP)@Washington.347Boston.328
Matt Shoemaker (RHP)@Tampa Bay.322Philadelphia.310
Trent Thornton (RHP)@Washington.332Philadelphia.310
Sean Newcomb (LHP)@Tampa Bay.318New York Mets .338
Kyle Wright (RHP)@Tampa Bay.322New York Mets.320
Steven Matz (LHP)@Boston.328@Atlanta.328
Michael Wacha (RHP)@Boston.342@Atlanta .333
  • Most of these two-start pitchers are not worth considering starting. A lot of these pitchers may not be rostered in Fantasy leagues, and some have tough matchups.
  • The Mariners have a brutal start to the year with both Houston and Oakland. Both teams smashed left-handed pitching last season, and the Mariners have three lefties scheduled to pitch against both the Astros and Athletics.
  • With John Means still sidelined, Tommy Milone will be the Orioles Opening Day starter against the Red Sox. Tommy Milone against Nathan Eovaldi may go down as one of the most interesting Opening Day pitching matchups ever.
  • The Braves young starters in Sean Newcomb and Kyle Wright have tough matchups with the Mets and the Rays. While I think both can be solid pitchers, I want to see how they perform against Major League action to begin the season.

Be sure to check back every Friday for the weekly two-start pitchers.

For now, be sure to check out Nathan Dokken’s “Top 100 SP for a Shortened Season.”

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