For those of us who prefer our fantasy baseball leagues to mirror our fantasy football leagues, there are weekly H2H formats. Sure, H2H is a poorer measure of fantasy skill than rotisserie — weekly snapshots of baseball statistics are hardly indicative of a team’s overall value. But the one-on-one element of H2H provides owners with weekly closure, and adds quite a bit to the competitive nature of the fantasy game. Simply put, H2H is fun. One way to stay ahead in these weekly formats is to maintain a flexible roster and stream two-start pitchers. So every Saturday in-season, we’ll be providing a glimpse at the upcoming week’s two-start landscape.
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. And for a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link. The Steam-o-Nator goes live April 8th.
Clayton Kershaw (SF, PIT); Justin Verlander (MIN, NYY); Jered Weaver (@CIN, @TEX); Matt Cain (@LAD, STL); Felix Hernandez (@OAK, @CWS); David Price (BAL, CLE); Cole Hamels (@ATL, KC); R.A. Dickey (CLE, BOS); CC Sabathia (BOS, @DET); Stephen Strasburg (MIA, @CIN); Adam Wainwright (@ARZ, @SF); Johnny Cueto (LAA, WAS); Ian Kennedy (STL, @ MIL); James Shields (@CWS, @PHI); Yovani Gallardo (COL, ARZ); Chris Sale (KC, SEA); Jon Lester (@NYY, @TOR); Yu Darvish (@HOU, LAA)
- It’s week 1, and clubs typically roll out their rotations from top to bottom to open the year. So, naturally, this group of must-starts is going to be quite a bit deeper than usual. There’s not much to say about this group other than the obvious: start ’em. These are your #1’s and #2’s. You paid a premium for these dudes in your drafts — no reason to leave them on the bench.
- These tier one guys should also be started in all weekly formats for Week 1. I imagine as the season wears on, we’ll find these names sneaking into the must-start category. But this being the inaugural Two Startapalooza, I thought it’d be nice to explain the damn tiers for y’all, rather than cramming everyone into one must-start category.
Justin Masterson (@TOR, @TB); Bud Norris (TEX, OAK); Ricky Nolasco (@WAS, @NYM); Jason Hammel (@TB, MIN); Edinson Volquez (@NYM, @COL); Hisashi Iwakuma (@OAK, @CWS); Jeff Samardzija (@PIT, @ATL); Brett Anderson (SEA, @HOU)
- This is probably the best tier two we’ll see all year. I’m sure some folks would’ve preferred to see Samardzija one tier better, but I’m anticipating some regression this year out of him. A couple nice starts in week 1 will have me reconsidering that sentiment, however. Again, you can feel pretty comfortable using these guys in most weekly formats for week 1, which usually won’t be the case with this second tier going forward. Shallow leaguers, however, might consider leaving one on the bench provided they’re already fully loaded with higher-end two-start options. I also should note that guys like Norris, Nolasco, Masterson, Iwakuma, and Hammel are widely available from waivers.
- This wraps up the list. You can find both Chacin and Worley on the wire in just about any format, but I’d try avoid these two in week 1, unless you’re in the deepest of mixed leagues, NL-Only, or AL-Only. Keep in mind that as the two start talent becomes more varied as we move deeper into the season, we’ll add a final tier consisting of guys you don’t want to start, no matter the circumstance. For now, though, this week 1 crop is conceivably usable from top to bottom.