Time to hop over the chalked baseline and join the fantasy baseball game in 2024. We begin the process of examining those starting pitchers who provide a dual start opportunity each week of the season, an important consideration in setting your fantasy rotation on a weekly basis. 




The start of a new season always brings about a unique schedule to boot. Ace pitchers such as Zack Wheeler and Spencer Strider had their Thursday starts pushed to Friday, so we don’t see them toe the rubber twice in the upcoming week. Similarly, Corbin Burnes, Tarik Skubal, Shane Bieber, and others took the mound on Thursday. We are likely waiting another week before our prized stud pitchers provide us with two appearances. 

This article will also take an in-depth glance at the streaming pitcher choices that are on board week by week. Those pitchers are owned in less than 50% of leagues and thus could be available for your roster short-term or for the long haul, potentially, should we discover a diamond in the rough.

 Start 'em If You Own 'em 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Triston McKenzie@ SEA @ MIN 
 CLETBDBailey Ober
 Mon, 4/1, 9:40 PMSun, 4/7, 2:10 PM 
James Paxtonvs. SF @ CHC 
 Mon, 4/1, 10:10 PMSun, 4/7, 2:20 PM
Cristopher Sanchezvs. CIN @ WAS 
 PHIAndrew AbbottTBD
 Mon, 4/1, 6:40 PM Sun, 4/7, 1:35 PM
Michael Wacha@ BAL vs. CHW 
 KCTBDChris Flexen
 Mon, 4/1, 6:35 PMSat, 4/6, 7:10 PM 
Max Meyervs. LAA @ STL 
 MIATBDKyle Gibson
 Mon, 4/1, 6:40 PMSun, 4/7, 2:15 PM 

These are the ace-level pitchers that are taking to the hill twice in the current scoring period. These hurlers are those you plug in to your pitching rotation and let them be for both their times toeing the rubber. 

It matters not the opponent or the venue, these SPs are the best available to employ this week and you should be thanking your lucky stars they are part of your team. Admittedly, this collection is limited this first full week of the season; things will pick up as the season progresses, be assured.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Joe Boylevs. BOS @ DET 
 OAKTanner HouckTBD
 Mon, 4/1, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/7, 1:40 PM
Andrew Abbott@ PHI vs. NYM 
 CINCristopher SanchezSean Manaea
 Mon, 4/1, 6:40 PM Sun, 4/7, 1:40 PM 
MacKenzie Gorevs. PIT vs. PHI 
 WASMarco GonzalesCristopher Sanchez
 Mon, 4/1, 4:05 PM Sun, 4/7, 1:35 PM 
Sean Manaeavs. DET @ CIN 
 NYMTBDAndrew Abbott
 Mon, 4/1, 7:10 PMSun, 4/7, 1:40 PM 
Tanner Houck@ OAK @ LAA 
 BOSJoe BoyleTBD
 Mon, 4/1, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/7, 4:07 PM
Luis Gil@ ARI vs. TOR 
 Mon, 4/1, 9:40 PMSun, 4/7, 1:35 PM

Boyle, a 24-year-old rookie right-hander, was named the fifth starter coming out of spring training, and he was impressive in his short stint with the Oakland Athletics last season, posting a 1.69 ERA and 0.81 WHIP over 16 innings, and a 15:5 K/BB ratio. 

He was less effective this spring, and his propensity to hand out free passes raised its ugly head in the form of 15 walks over 18.1 innings in Cactus League action. His effectiveness depends on limiting the free passes, as he did last year when pitching in the majors.

Abbott did not exactly shine brightly this spring yet finds himself ensconced in the role of fifth starter to open the season for the Reds due to injuries to Nick Lodolo and Brandon Williamson. He was effective as a starter last season, putting up a useful 3.87 ERA over his 21 starts. The WHIP was less than stellar, coming in at 1.32 over his 109.1 innings of work. 

He was more successful overall at home last year, so the second start against the visiting Mets looks to be potentially more attractive among his two starts this coming week. He is a good source for strikeouts, with a 9.9 K/9 to his credit last season.

Gore, a hard-throwing southpaw, has the potential to provide significant strikeout numbers as he develops as a dependable starting option for both the Nationals and his fantasy owners. He is working on a five-pitch repertoire to fool hitters, although he is currently relying mainly on his mid-90s fastball and power slider to generate results whilst on the bump. His first two outings this season are at home, so that is a positive. 

Manaea does not feature as powerful a fastball as Gore but is still able to generate excellent K numbers with his lefty offerings. His last two seasons have seen an inflated set of ratio stats (as opposed to his days with Oakland), but the Mets saw enough to bring him in for a couple of seasons to help stabilize their rotation. 

He likes pitching at home more than taking the ball on the road over the last few seasons, so the first matchup against the visiting Tigers looks more attractive than a trip to The Great American Ballpark in Cincy this coming week, should you not wish to employ his services in both his scheduled trips to the mound.

Houck was extraordinarily effective this spring, posting a stellar 2.40 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over his 15 innings of work in Florida this March. He has been much more of a road warrior the last couple of seasons, so starting out on the West Coast to open the year in Oakland and LA is positive news. He is merely an average K producer but does generate above-average groundballs from opposing offenses. 

Gil joined the Yankee rotation, being recalled from Triple-A after Gerritt Cole was sent to the sidelines with his elbow issues. He is coming off Tommy John surgery (TJS) in May 2022, and has demonstrated that his fastball and slider velocities have resumed their pre-injury levels. 

He has problems with his control, and is essentially a two-pitch starter, which limit his viability until he finds his way and develops as a major league pitcher. He has been a great K producer all along at every level he has played, which gives him value so long as Cole is on the IL, and he remains in the Yankee rotation.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Matt Waldronvs. STL @ SF 
 SDKyle GibsonTBD
 Mon, 4/1, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/7, 4:05 PM
Alec Marsh@ BAL vs. CHW 
 Tue, 4/2, 6:35 PMSun, 4/7, 2:10 PM
Chris Flexenvs. ATL @ KC 
 CHWTBDMichael Wacha
 Mon, 4/1, 2:10 PMSat, 4/6, 7:10 PM 
Marco Gonzales@ WAS vs. BAL 
 Mon, 4/1, 4:05 PMSun, 4/7, 1:35 PM
Kyle Gibson@ SD vs. MIA 
 STLMatt WaldronMax Meyer
 Mon, 4/1, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/7, 2:15 PM 

Not a big company of pitchers to avoid plugging into your rotations this week. The risk of damage to your ratio stats (ERA, WHIP, etc.) is too great with little promise of counting stat (K, W/QS, etc.) benefit to justify inserting them into an active fantasy lineup. Just let them sit on the wire or if you have one or more on your roster, on the bench. 




Streaming Pitcher Options - Week 1

There is no promise that each game day will provide a streaming option. First of all, the pitcher must be available in less than 50% of leagues to be a viable candidate to snag off the wire. Then, the pitchers discussed above are not included as they have a different sort of value, even though some might be available as free agents in your league. 

Plus, some days the matchups and/or venues just do not figure as positive enough factors to favor plugging the arm into your rotation, even for one start. That all being said, here are this week’s best streaming candidates:

Chris Paddack, Minnesota Twins

Paddack offers good strikeout production together with above-average control. The concern is that he is coming off his second Tommy John Surgery and did not toss a huge number of innings when he returned to the field last season, and thus the Twins may limit his time on the hill this season. Therefore, get his pitching results while those are available, such as this contest against the host Brew Crew.

Garrett Crochet, Chicago White Sox

Despite losing on Opening Day, he looked impressive against the visiting Tigers, striking out eight and walking none, allowing just one earned tally over six innings. He gets another home start here, against the Braves who may pose more of an offensive threat that division-rival Detroit, but the early results look promising for the converted reliever southpaw.

Logan Allen, Cleveland Guardians

Allen had a shaky spring, with a 14:11 K/BB ratio and a bloated 5.50 ERA, but the hope is that he builds upon a respectable rookie campaign in his second big-league season. Pitching on the road was not a negative factor in his first season with the Guardians, so despite not having the best matchup here, if he can harness his control, he has potential as a swap-in SP.

Louie Varland, Minnesota Twins

Varland started out as an effective starter for the Twins last season, then faded as a starter, only to become a valuable relief asset for Minnesota. Anthony DeSclafini has a forearm injury and that opens a rotation slot for the 26-year-old righty. He offers better than a strikeout per frame and features better than average control, good assets for a streaming SP option. 

Zack Thompson, St. Louis Cardinals

The 26-year-old left-hander has secured a role in the Cards’ starting rotation due to Sonny Gray’s hamstring issue, and he will be looking to show his worth quickly as Gray is not expected to be on the shelf long term. He had a good spring, collecting 14 strikeouts over his 16 innings, posting an attractive 2.81 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. 

Martin Perez, Pittsburgh Pirates

Perez locked down a rotation slot with a strong spring: one earned run over 15 innings, 16:6 K/BB. He has not demonstrated lock down work as a SP over the last few years, however, posting a season ERA above 4.45 in six of the last seven seasons. Still, strong spring results will potentially morph into strong start to the season, at least this start in Washington.

Zack Littell, Tampa Bay Rays

Another SP coming off a strong spring, Littell also showed some fine results last season for the Rays, posting a useful 4.10 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with a 74:12 K/BB ratio over his limited 90.0 innings. He is a below-average strikeout producer but has excellent control, so he does not hurt himself with unnecessary baserunners. Pitching at Coors Field is not ideal, yet the veteran right-hander is not intimidated by pitching away from his home park.

Jordan Hicks, San Francisco Giants

Hicks has stepped up his performance on the hill as his spring progressed, and he has accumulated an impressive 28 strikeouts over 17 innings. He features a 100-mph fastball, thus the whiff production. His ability to induce groundball from opposing batters plays into his home park tendencies, good news for this particular trip to the bump.

Clarke Schmidt, New York Yankees

Schmidt was a mediocre part of the Yankee rotation last season, but to his credit, he did head to the hill for 32 starts covering 159 innings. His spring results could hint at further development by the youngster, as he has collected a 19:4 K/BB ratio over 17 innings, with a useful 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He has seen better results to date when plying his trade at Yankee Stadium, and that is where this contest takes place.

Nick Martinez, Cincinnati Reds

Martinez has been effective as a starter/reliever for the Padres over the past couple of seasons, posting sub-3.50 ERAs and close to a strikeout per inning. He now heads to a less favorable home park in Cincy, although his capacity for generating grounders from opposing bats should work in his favor. The Reds seem intent on using him as a starter, so he could appear here in the future so long as his ownership level stays low enough.

Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins

Rogers was limited to just four starts in 2023. Held back by injuries but has not been held back at all this spring. He has only tossed 8.2 innings but racked up 10 strikeouts while only handing out two walks during his Grapefruit League action. He is a healthy fixture in the Marlin rotation heading into the season, who offers strikeout production as a streaming option.