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The Double Dip: Fantasy baseball 2-start pitchers for the week

MLB Fantasy



Matt Kupferle

Contributor's Page

We’re back again for this week’s fantasy baseball Double Dip — highlighting pitchers making two starts in a week. Some of the plays may be obvious — you don’t need me telling you that when Jacob deGrom is starting twice, a 1,000-word soliloquy highlighting why it’s a good idea to start him. You just do it. 

But volume is key, especially two-start-pitcher volume. This column aims to identify all the two start hurlers, the ones that are no-brainers, the ones that are avoids, and most importantly, focus on the tough-to-call decisions. 

Each week, I’ll do my best to highlight some of those tricky arms and what could come your way.

All of the two-steppers (38)

  1. Riley Smith, AZ (at SF, vs LAD)
  2. Matt Peacock, AZ (at SF, vs LAD)
  3. Tucker Davidson, ATL (vs BOS, vs STL)
  4. Matt Harvey, BAL (at CLE, vs TOR)
  5. Zac Lowther, BAL (at CLE, vs TOR)
  6. Nathan Eovaldi, BOS (vs TOR, at KC)
  7. Zach Davies, CHC (at NYM, vs MIA)
  8. Jake Arrieta, CHC (at NYM, vs MIA)
  9. Vladimir Gutierrez, CIN (at MIL, at SD)
  10. Luis Castillo, CIN (at MIL, at SD)
  11. Jean Carlos Mejia, CLE (vs BAL, at PIT)
  12. Cal Quantrill, CLE (vs BAL, at PIT)
  13. Austin Gomber, COL (vs SD, vs MIL)
  14. Lance Lynn, CHW (vs TB, at HOU)
  15. Dallas Keuchel, CHW (vs TB, at HOU)
  16. Matthew Boyd, DET (at KC, at LAA)
  17. Casey Mize, DET (at KC, at LAA)
  18. Brad Keller, KC (vs DET, vs BOS)
  19. Dylan Bundy, LAA (at OAK, at DET)
  20. Tony Gonsolin, LAD (vs PHI, at AZ)
  21. Eric Lauer, MIL (vs CIN, at COL)
  22. Kenta Maeda, MIN (at SEA, at TEX)
  23. David Peterson, NYM (vs CHC, at WAS)
  24. Taijuan Walker, NYM (vs CHC, at WAS)
  25. Jordan Montgomery, NYY (at TOR, vs OAK)
  26. Sean Manaea, OAK (vs LAA, at NYY)
  27. Spencer Howard, PHI (at LAD, at SF)
  28. Tyler Anderson, PIT (at WAS, vs CLE)
  29. Ryan Weathers, SD (at COL, vs CIN)
  30. Marco Gonzales, SEA (vs MIN, vs TB)
  31. Alex Wood, SF (vs AZ, vs PHI)
  32. Sam Long, SF (vs AZ, vs PHI)
  33. Adam Wainwright, STL (vs MIA, at ATL)
  34. Tyler Glasnow, TB (at CWS, vs SEA)
  35. Alek Manoah, TOR (at BOS, vs NYY)
  36. Hyun-Jin Ryu, TOR (at BOS, vs NYY)
  37. Jon Lester, WAS (vs PIT, vs NYM)
  38. Patrick Corbin, WAS (vs PIT, vs NYM)

The no-brainers (19)

This group should definitely be in your starting lineup — whether it’s due to matchup or just sheer brilliance, don’t overthink this one. This is a larger group than regular, mostly due to excellent matchups.

The run-and-hides (12)

This group should only be started out of pure desperation — the volume is nice, and it definitely could end up working out for you, but starting these hurlers is a real gamble. 

The meat and potatoes (7)

This group is one that takes a bit more thinking — the volume is nice, but the matchup could be tricky. Is it worth taking the risk on a questionable start for what could be some juicy fantasy goodness? Let’s dig in and find out.

And since they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I am going to use a similar rating scale that Clay Link and Todd Zola do over at Rotowire — if I was playing in five fantasy baseball leagues, how many would I feel comfortable starting this hurler? Using that as our barometer, we should be able to appropriately deem the risk and reward that’s available if you choose to start this arm. Keep in mind — your league and team context are always key. I’m using a 12-team NFBC Online Championship format as my primary backdrop.

  • Luis Castillo, CIN (at MIL, at SD, 100%) — THREE LEAGUES OUT OF FIVE: It’s nuts that a guy who had the helium to be in the SP1 conversation this year is on this list, but here we are. But if you believe that the real Luis Castillo is the guy who’s shown up over the last two weeks (16.2 innings pitched, 3.24 ERA, 0.96 WHIP), there’s a reason to believe. Just beware of the San Diego matchup that lurks at the end of the week.
  • Cal Quantrill CLE (vs. BAL, at PIT, 0%) — FOUR: The Cleveland Indians offense has started to wake up, and they are desperate for arms, while working through quite a few injuries. Nothing is juicier this week than this two-step — with Baltimore away from home, and the league’s worst offense in the Pirates (.286 wOBA).
  • Dylan Bundy, LAA (at OAK, at DET, 92%) — TWO: Like Castillo, Bundy has struggled so far this season, and he has really burned season-long fantasy owners with his 6.16 ERA. It’s almost as if last season was a complete and utter mirage. This two-step isn’t easy, either — Oakland ranks in the top-five in baseball in team wOBA, and Detroit has been far better as of late.
  • Spencer Howard, PHI (vs. BAL, at PIT, 4%) — THREE: This is the Philadelphia Phillies of Cal Quantrill. The matchups are outstanding, and with a strong week, Howard can cement his role in the rotation permanently. The relationship between Howard’s ERA (4.61) and FIP (3.22) is easily explainable — his near 30% strikeout rate is juicy, but his 17.2% walk rate is disgusting. 
  • Marco Gonzales, SEA (vs. MIN, vs. TB, 78%) — THREE: This also is really dependent on the amount of risk you are truly willing to swallow. The Twins, despite their woes, have been ripping the cover off the baseball. The Rays are striking out second-most in the league. Marco looked solid coming off the injured-list.
  • Ryan Weathers, SD (at COL, vs. CIN, 71%) — TWO: I like Weathers a ton, but these matchups are horrible. Starting in Denver and then facing one of the league’s best offensive attacks in the Reds, who are starting to get healthy, screams a problem to me. Weathers’ 4.07 FIP shows his mediocrity — he’s been around league average in both strikeout and walk rate as a big leaguer, and I don’t love that and his poor matchups.
  • Sam Long, SF (vs. AZ, vs. PHI, 0%) — FOUR: I will be going heavy on Sam Long bidding, and I will likely be starting him nearly everywhere. He’s an outstanding arm and he flashed his major potential in his debut this week. Now, the matchup against the Rangers was delicious, but in four innings the rookie whiffed seven batters. Yes sir! Long has posted absurd strikeout rates across nearly every stop, and I’m a big believer.
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