Fantasy Baseball 2-start pitcher rankings: It's a big week for those going twice

Taj Bradley #45 of the Tampa Bay Rays
Taj Bradley has thus far enjoyed a successful fantasy return. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

After struggling to find playable two-start pitchers last week, managers have too many to choose from this time around. The dozen men listed below are all viable roster additions in head-to-head leagues, and most of them belong in roto lineups as well.

The flip side of a great slate of two-start pitchers is that most of baseball’s worst starters are throwing in the middle of the week, which makes for a poor list of one-start streamers.

Since allowing six runs in his second start of the season, Olson has been on fire. His 2.09 ERA ranks seventh in baseball, and his 0.99 WHIP places 13th. He has already thrown seven innings of one-run ball against a mid-pack Royals lineup and should thrive at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Blue Jays offense that ranks 29th in runs scored.

Bradley rivals Olson in terms of having the most long-term value of anyone on this list. The right-hander had rocky rookie results last year and opened 2024 on the IL but looked great during rehab starts and has posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP across two appearances with the Rays. He could be a fantasy game-changer in two home outings this week.

With 47 strikeouts in 46 innings and solid ratios (3.72 ERA, 1.02 WHIP), Kremer has slightly exceeded expectations. And of course, it helps that he is supported by one of baseball’s best teams. He should have a solid start against the Cardinals (28th in runs scored) and could post dominant numbers against a White Sox offense that is the worst in baseball.

Fedde rides into his two-start week on a high note, having tossed 13 shutout innings in his past two outings. His ability to generate whiffs has varied wildly from one start to the next, but his overall mark of 50 strikeouts in 52 innings is more than acceptable for a two-start pitcher who will open his week with an enticing matchup before wrapping it up against a formidable Orioles offense.

With his second start scheduled for Saturday, Fedde could survive a rainout and still make two appearances.

Stone finds his name fairly high on this list for two reasons. First, he has allowed two or fewer runs in all of his past six starts. And second, he accumulated four wins in those outings, thanks to the support of baseball’s most productive offense. A lack of whiffs prevents the right-hander from climbing any higher, as he has punched out just 29 batters in 44 innings.

Mize’s return after missing nearly two years has gone well (3.50 ERA, 1.19 WHIP). He limits walks and home runs, which makes him a safe streamer for roto leagues, but he lacks upside in all formats due to his poor 6.6 K/9 rate. I ranked him high based on his floor but could see the rationale for taking a chance on players who follow him on this list instead.

After enduring a brief downturn near the beginning of the month, Wacha has allowed four runs (three earned) across his past two starts. Still, his overall statistics (4.71 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) and 44:17 K:BB ratio across 49.2 innings accurately represent someone who is a viable two-start streamer but has little long-term potential. He will face two offenses that have been slightly below average to this point in the season.

The wheels are starting to come off for Lively, who lacks velocity on his fastball and has posted a 7:6 K:BB ratio while allowing six runs across 10.2 innings during his past two starts. Still, Lively has been respectable overall this season (3.06 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) and has reasonable matchups against two mid-pack offenses. He can be included in lineups in deeper formats, whether head-to-head or roto.

Parker is off to a solid start as a major leaguer (3.09 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) but has shown some signs of regression by allowing three homers while striking out six batters during his past two starts. Like Lively, he is a borderline option who makes more sense in deeper leagues.

The quality of this week’s options can be seen by having a pitcher with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP near the bottom of the list. Abbott has enjoyed some good fortune (.245 BABIP) during his effective start to the season, as is evidenced by his 4.82 FIP. But he mainly falls down this list due to a daunting schedule at his hitter-friendly home park against teams that rank seventh (SD) and second (LAD) in runs scored.

One month ago, Detmers owned a 1.19 ERA and seemed to be on the cusp of an outstanding season. But since that time, he has posted an 8.46 ERA while allowing seven homers across five starts. The southpaw has plenty of strikeout potential (56 SO in 50.1 IP), which makes him more of a boom-or-bust option than the two men who preceded him on this list.

Although he struck out just four batters, Weathers enjoyed arguably his best major league start when he tossed eight shutout innings last time out. The left-hander’s results have been all over the map en route to a 3.81 ERA (4.65 FIP), and I see him as a slightly worse boom-or-bust option to Detmers by facing two offenses who rank among the top six in runs scored.

In order, here are the best streamers for the week, with their start date and Yahoo! roster rate in parentheses.

Padres @ Braves, Reds: San Diego’s offense should continue to thrive when they visit Cincinnati’s homer-happy venue. There aren’t any streamers to add from waivers in this lineup, but those who regularly make start-sit decisions with Jackson Merrill (62%) and Luis Campusano (57%) should keep them active.

Dodgers vs. D-backs: Los Angeles doesn’t need any help in the hitting department, but it will continue to be awesome offensively when it faces three Arizona righties who each own an ERA over 4.00. Jason Heyward (1%) is back from the IL and should start all three games. Gavin Lux (10%) is also a deep-league option.