Welcome to another week of two-start pitchers sports fans. The fantasy playoffs are right in front of us, so it’s time to hunker down and put our best lineups out there. With that said, a few MLB notes to get to. The Yankees winning streak finally ended, courtesy of the A’s. The Yanks also in turn ended the Braves win streak earlier in the week with a series sweep on them. Also, the Pitcher Shohei Ohtani became the first Angels player in their history to record 40 Home Runs and 20 Stolen Bases in the same season. A feat that will most likely solidify his chances to win the AL MVP. I still hold out hope for Vladdy personally. Let’s move to the injury news.

Injury-related news this week is scarce, but there are a few things happening so let’s talk about them. Dakota Hudson pitched a rehab appearance for the Cardinals Single-A affiliate. He’s been out since last September with Tommy John Surgery, monitor him, as he could be an interesting waiver pickup for teams deep in the playoffs this year. Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session, his return is not yet clear. Corey Kluber is set to start Monday after missing the last couple of months. Freddy Peralta could return to the Brewers rotations as soon as September 3rd according to sources. And lastly, Kenta Maeda will have season-ending elbow surgery and Tommy John is not out of the question. That’s the injury news now let’s get to the rankings.

MUST STARTS

1. Walker Buehler LAD: (8/30 vs ATL)(9/5 @ SF)
– The Favorite for the NL Cy Young now. Buehler has been incredible all year. He’s had only two starts all year where he’s allowed more than 3 runs, and 23 of his 26 starts have been QS. He’s got two tough matchups here, but that shouldn’t matter at all he’s the consensus #1.

2. Zack Wheeler PHI: (8/30 @ WAS)(9/5 @ MIA)
– Wheeler was my Cy Young favorite, but he’s allowed 15 ER in his last 3 starts. Those stats are misleading though as he did dominate for most of the game in all 3 of those starts and got bit badly at the end of each one. Wheeler still leads the MLB in strikeouts and innings pitched and is easily having the best year of his career. I expect pure dominance from him this week against two inferior opponents.

3. Brandon Woodruff MIL: (8/31 @ SF)(9/5 vs STL)
– Woodruff rounds out my top 3 candidates for Cy Young that all happen to be going this week. Sporting a .189 BAA and a ridiculous 0.93 WHIP, Woodruff is a dude. A dude, that won’t disappoint your fantasy team.

4. Corbin Burnes MIL: (8/30 @ SF)(9/4 vs STL)
– Will he make 2 starts this week? He should since he goes Monday. But no matter what you’re starting him.

5. Robbie Ray TOR: (8/30 vs BAL)(9/5 vs OAK)
– Ray has arguably had his two best starts of the season in each of his last two starts. He went 8 IP with 1 ER and 11 Ks and 7 IP with 1 ER and a whopping 14 Ks. Truly a breakout year for Ray and he’s pitching the best baseball of his career right now.

6. Luis Castillo CIN: (8/30 vs STL)(9/5 vs DET)
– The Reds are in the thick of the playoff race, and Castillo is showing up for it. We all know how bad he was to start the year. Those woes are far away in the rearview mirror and we’re seeing the guy we all knew Castillo was. Not bad matchups this week to boot.

7. Luis Garcia HOU: (8/30 @ SEA)(9/5 @ SD)
– Garcia is a damn good pitcher, I thoroughly enjoy watching him pitch. He’s sporting a .217 BAA and a 1.09 WHIP. Truly impressive numbers for such a young pitcher. He’s got great matchups this week on top of it. The Padres seem to be spiraling right now so this is a good time to run into them.

8. Chris Sale BOS: (8/31 @ TB)(9/5 vs CLE)
– Boy has Sale looked dominant in his 3 starts since his return from Tommy John. It does feel a little early to have him in the must-start category after such a long layoff. But the results can’t be argued with, and I’m all in on him.

QUESTIONABLES

9. German Marquez COL: (8/31 @ TEX)(9/5 vs ATL)
– Marquez has really been struggling of late. However, I like the start at Texas for him a lot. On the flipside, Atlanta has been hot. I’m taking my chances on him this week and starting him though.

10. Alex Wood SF: (8/31 vs MIL)(9/5 vs LAD)
– Both of these matchups are at home which bodes well for Wood. However, These are two tough teams to pitch well against right now. With that said, Wood has been pitching pretty well for his last three starts. We should be starting him this week with lower than normal expectations though.

11. Charlie Morton ATL: (8/30 @ LAD)(9/4 @ COL)
– Chuck has pitched really well this year. But, I hate these matchups for him. Both are away, one against the red hot Dodgers and the other against the above-average at home Rockies. It could be a tough week for Chuckie.

12. Blake Snell SD: (8/31 @ ARI)(9/5 vs HOU)
– Don’t look now but the former Cy Young winner is finally living up to the hype. He’s been dominant the entire month of August and he gets one more for the cherry on top. The August line? 29.2 IP, 19 H, 7 ER, 10 BB, 44 Ks, 0.98 WHIP and 2.12 ERA. We’ll see if he actually gets the second start but regardless: START HIM.

13. Taijuan Walker NYM: (8/31 vs MIA)(9/5 @ WAS)
– After a rough post-All-star break stretch, Walker has been pitching pretty well lately. These are two good matchups for him to continue that trend. We should be starting him this week.

14. Chris Flexen SEA: (8/30 vs HOU)(9/5 @ ARI)
– Flexen has been reliable all year long. He doesn’t wow you with anything but he keeps hitters off-balance well. We’re starting him.

15. Josiah Gray WAS: (8/30 vs PHI)(9/4 vs NYM)
– Two home games against two NL East opponents here. Gray has looked really good so far and against two offenses that can disappear at times, I expect 2 decent starts here.

16. Touki Toussaint ATL: (8/31 @ LAD)(9/5 @ COL)
– I like Toussaint, I like the way Toussaint has pitched this year. But I’m shy with Charlie Morton this week so you can bet your life I’m hesitant with Touki this week as well. You could do worse, but this doesn’t look on the face to be a good week for Toussaint.

17. Zach Davies CHC: (8/31 @ MIN)(9/5 vs PIT)
– The Cubs suck. Davies is meh. These matchups are nice though and you could do a lot worse than Davies this week.

18. Zach Plesac CLE: (8/31 @ KC)(9/5 @ BOS)
– Plesac is hit or miss this year. When he’s in control of the strike zone he’s very serviceable. When he’s not he gets knocked around. I’d start him in daily leagues only this week. Leaving Boston out of it.

19. Cole Irvin OAK: (8/31 @ DET)(9/5 @ TOR)
– My feelings on Irvin should be known by now. Maybe he has a good game against Detroit, but he’s going to get shelled by the Blue Jays. If I’m wrong, I still won’t change my opinion on this AAA pitcher.

POINTS LEAGUE PLAYS

20. Casey Mize DET: (8/31 vs OAK)(9/5 @ CIN)

21. Corey Kluber NYY: (8/30 @ LAA)(9/5 @ BAL)

22. Ryan Yarbrough TB: (8/31 vs BOS)(9/5 vs MIN)

23. Mike Minor KC: (8/31 vs CLE)(9/5 vs CHW)

24. Nick Pivetta BOS: (8/30 @ TB)(9/4 vs CLE)

25. Johnny Cueto SF: (8/30 vs MIL)(9/4 vs LAD)

26. Tyler Gilbert ARI: (8/30 vs SD)(9/5 vs SEA)

NO THANKS

Patrick Corbin WAS: (8/31 vs PHI)(9/5 vs NYM), Edward Cabrera MIA: (8/31 @ NYM)(9/5 vs PHI), Bailey Ober MIN: (8/30 @ DET)(9/5 @ TB), Drew Rasmussen TB: (8/30 vs BOS)(9/4 vs MIN), Jon Lester STL: (8/30 @ CIN)(9/5 @ MIL), Bret Anderson MIL: (8/31 @ SF)(9/5 vs STL), Spencer Howard TEX: (8/30 vs COL)(9/5 @ LAA), Tyler Alexander DET: (8/30 vs MIN)(9/4 @ CIN), Chris Ellis BAL: (8/30 @ TOR)(9/5 @ NYY)

12 Comments
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NJW
NJW
11 months ago

Trying to find out for a playoff matchup this week…many sites have conflicting information on Taijuan Walker. ESPN fantasy has him not starting until Sunday, September 5th. I don’t find this makes much sense with him last having pitched on 8/25.

Can you confirm anything about Walker? I see you have him listed here but need to make sure he’s actually a 2-start guy if I can.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
11 months ago

Are you sure about Touki? He tossed an inning of relief Sunday. Not sure he can make a start on Tuesday now. I didn’t even realized they were moving him to the bullpen. Is he still a starter?

Jon M
Jon M
Reply to  Harley Earl
11 months ago

Yeah, it does appear that Touki is back in the pen, now that Anderson has returned…

tsaccucci
tsaccucci
11 months ago

I think Gomber has 2 starts(@Tex, Atl). Would you start him?

icefires
icefires
11 months ago

Sale is only getting one start now.

Old School Brother
Old School Brother
11 months ago

Chris paddack?

Sam
Sam
11 months ago

I heard Paddack is coming off the IL for his first start since July 27. Any word on him and where he might land in the double start ranks for this week?

TarmanGotHim
TarmanGotHim
11 months ago

No thanks Edward Cabrera? No kidding.

Julio Urias should get 2 starts @ ATL & @ SF