We have arrived at the penultimate week of the MLB season. After this, there’s just one more. I’ll be honest, if you’re in H2H, it’s been over a decade since I played that format, so I’m not sure if it’s customary to go down to the wire, or like in fantasy football, the last week is avoided due to pre-playoffs rest or shifting of rotations?

Don’t know. I do know, however, that if you play rotisserie like I do, you go down to the wire. Two weeks left to find a stolen base here, a strikeout there, maybe a couple of home runs, and grab whatever standings points you can right here at the end.

And, if your ratios are good but you need pitcher counting stats (or are in danger of coming in under your IP floor), then these two-start pitchers might be just what you need. And, as usual, I’m here to tell you which to start and which to avoid.

Now, for the second-to-last time in 2023, why don’t you and I dive right in?


Pitchers’ projected starts for the next week are sourced from Rudy Gamble’s Streamonator as of the update at 10:30am Eastern.

The bold pitchers below are the most extreme version of each section. The best of the Top Shelf, the safest of the Well, the worst of the Bar Mat.

The High Point of Reference is the best 1-start pitcher of the week. The Low Point of Reference is the 1-start pitcher at or nearest to the 72nd-ranked SP of the week.

The Top Shelf

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Joe Ryan, MIN @CIN(MO) LAA(SU)
Justin Verlander, HOU BAL(MO) KC(SU)
Zack Wheeler, PHI @ATL(MO) NYM(SA)
Freddy Peralta, MIL @STL(MO) @MIA(SA)
Blake Snell, SD COL(TU) High Point of Reference
Max Fried, ATL PHI(TU) @WSH(SU)
Taj Bradley, TB LAA(TU) TOR(SU)
Jordan Montgomery, TEX BOS(MO) SEA(SU)
Michael Wacha, SD COL(MO) STL(SU)
Eduardo Rodriguez, DET @LAD(MO) @OAK(SA)


  • Blake Snell is so good, and has such a good matchup this week, that he comes in behind just four pitchers who get to go twice.
  • Just Joe Ryan and Justin Verlander– the ageless freakin’ wonder– top the list with the bold treatment this week, so the Top Shelf isn’t quite as rich as it usually is. But there are all still great plays.


The Well

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Emmet Sheehan, LAD DET(MO) SF(SU)
Bryan Woo, SEA @OAK(MO) @TEX(SU)
Braxton Garrett, MIA NYM(MO) MIL(SU)
Paul Blackburn, OAK SEA(TU) DET(SU)
Logan Allen, CLE @KC(TU) BAL(SU)
Clarke Schmidt, NYY TOR(TU) ARI(SU)
Mike Clevinger, CHW @WSH(MO) @BOS(SU)
Yusei Kikuchi, TOR @NYY(TU) @TB(SU)
Alex Cobb, SF @ARI(TU) @LAD(SU)


  • A very light Well this week… if you’re looking to pick up counting stat SGPs without ruining your ratios, the number of choices isn’t fantastic…


The Bar Mat

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Javier Assad, CHC PIT(TU) COL(SU)
Kutter Crawford, BOS @TEX(MO) CHW(SU)
Kyle Wright, ATL PHI(MO) @WSH(SA)
Griffin Canning, LAA @TB(TH) Low Point of Reference
John Means, BAL @HOU(MO) @CLE(SU)
Brady Singer, KC CLE(MO) @HOU(SU)
Patrick Sandoval, LAA @TB(TU) @MIN (SU)
Cristopher Sanchez, PHI @ATL(TU) NYM(SU)
Cal Quantrill, CLE @KC(MO) BAL(SA)
Joey Lucchesi, NYM @MIA(TU) @PHI (SU)
Bailey Falter, PIT @CHC(TU) @CIN(SU)
Drew Rom, STL MIL(TU) @SD(SU)
Joan Adon, WSH CHW(MO) ATL(SU)
Adrian Houser, MIL @STL(TU) @MIA(SU)
Carson Spiers, CIN MIN(MO) PIT(SU)
Jose Butto, NYM @MIA(MO) @PHI (SA)
Adam Wainwright, STL MIL(MO) @SD(SA)


  • …because I mean, LOOK at this Bar Mat! Twelve pitchers poised to provide negative value this week. Yeesh. Avoid anybody below Griffin Canning, for sure, as he and John Means should be worth about the same, and come in right around the 72nd SP of the week.