The fantasy baseball two-start pitchers top tier is filled with an even dozen arms that will prove useful if you are fortunate enough to have one or more of them on your roster and are wise enough to plug them into your fantasy baseball rotation for the week six action. Not more than a handful of middle tier options, following a trend we have experienced to open the 2024 season. Another trend that would be happily ended, there are a whole boatload of tier three pitchers to avoid using even for streaming purposes for the most part. Fortunately, speaking of streaming, there are plenty of single trip to bump hurlers to consider picking up for their lone start to wind up this week’s article.

 Start 'em If You Own 'em 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Yu Darvish@ CHC vs. LAD 
 SDShota ImanagaLandon Knack
 Mon, 5/6, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:10 PM 
Shota Imanagavs. SD @ PIT 
 CHCYu DarvishMitch Keller
 Mon, 5/6, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:35 PM 
Triston McKenzievs. DET @ CHW 
 CLEJack FlahertyMike Soroka
 Mon, 5/6, 6:10 PM Sat, 5/11, 7:10 PM 
Seth Lugovs. MIL @ LAA 
 KCColin ReaPatrick Sandoval
 Tue, 5/7, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:07 PM 
Tyler Anderson@ PIT vs. KC 
 LAAMitch KellerCole Ragans
 Mon, 5/6, 6:40 PM Sat, 5/11, 9:38 PM 
Simeon Woods Richardsonvs. SEA @ TOR 
 MINLuis CastilloJose Berrios
 Mon, 5/6, 7:40 PM Sat, 5/11, 3:07 PM 
Luis Gilvs. HOU @ TB 
 NYYJustin VerlanderTyler Alexander
 Tue, 5/7, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:40 PM 
Luis Castillo@ MIN vs. OAK 
 SEASimeon Woods RichardsonJoe Boyle
 Mon, 5/6, 7:40 PM Sat, 5/11, 9:40 PM 
Justin Verlander@ NYY @ DET 
 HOULuis GilJack Flaherty
 Tue, 5/7, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:40 PM 
Kyle Harrison@ COL vs. CIN 
 SFDakota HudsonNick Martinez
 Tue, 5/7, 8:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:05 PM 
Miles Mikolasvs. NYM @ MIL 
 STLAdrian HouserColin Rea
 Tue, 5/7, 7:45 PM Sun, 5/12, 2:10 PM 
Jack Flaherty@ CLE vs. HOU 
 DETTriston McKenzieJustin Verlander
 Mon, 5/6, 6:10 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:40 PM 

As noted above, these are the pitchers you should rely upon for both their times atop the mound this scoring period. Will one of these pitchers not pitch like an ace in one of their outings? Certainly that is possible but the better course of action is to trust these arms in your rotation as dual-start pitchers.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Colin Rea@ KC vs. STL 
 MILSeth LugoMiles Mikolas
 Tue, 5/7, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 2:10 PM 
Bailey Obervs. SEA @ TOR 
 MINEmerson HancockChris Bassitt
 Tue, 5/7, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:37 PM 
Andrew Heaney@ OAK @ COL 
 TEXAlex WoodDakota Hudson
 Mon, 5/6, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 3:10 PM 
Roddery Munoz@ LAD vs. PHI 
 MIALandon KnackRanger Suarez
 Mon, 5/6, 10:10 PM Sat, 5/11, 4:10 PM 
Emerson Hancock@ MIN vs. OAK 
 SEABailey OberAlex Wood
 Tue, 5/7, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:10 PM 
Patrick Sandoval@ PIT vs. KC 
 LAAQuinn PriesterSeth Lugo
 Tue, 5/7, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:07 PM 

Rea features attractive ratio stats (2.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP through 33.2 IP), which would be even more appealing had he not stumbled badly in two of his six starts, where he allowed eight earned tallies. He is a below-average strikeout producer and demonstrates average control, so perhaps not the ideal two-start option, with the opening salvo at Kansas City being the game to sit him on the bench, and employ his skills at home when the Cardinals come calling.

Ober is another SP that has been hurt by a couple of poor outings, but has pitched well in his other four times atop the bump. He is a better K option than the hurler featured above, and has above-average control as shown by his 2.0 BB/9 rate over 31.2 IP to date. Facing the Mariners at home is a plus, so there is less of an incentive to sit him in either of these Week 6 starts.

Heaney has accumulated an 0-4 record, but certainly has pitched better than those results show in four of his six outings, where he has allowed three or fewer earned runs to opponents. He has two road games against struggling teams, and his home/road splits over the last few seasons indicate that pitching as a visitor is a plus for him. Perhaps one or both of these favorable matchups will see him notch something in the win column.

Munoz was struggling mightily at Triple-A before getting called up to join the Marlin rotation as an injury stopgap. He picked up a win and a quality start (QS) against the visiting Rockies, and has whiffed seven in each of his starts for Miami. He does not have ideal matchups in store this coming scoring period, so his unexpected MLB success may be short lived, but he is demonstrating a hot hand so far to be sure.

Hancock, the rookie Seattle righthander, after twirling three consecutive QS, unraveled in his last time toeing the rubber, allowing five runs (one earned), contributing on one unearned run due to his own throwing error. He has been consistent over his last four outings, racking up four Ks in each contest. His time in the rotation may be interrupted due to Bryan Woo getting set to return to action in the near future, so use him now while he continues to work to push his ERA down to a manageable level.

Sandoval could easily be relegated to the bottom tier, but his strikeout rate can be of use in certain league formats. Of course, a 1-5 record can be a huge detriment in some leagues as well. The Angels are struggling, especially with Mike Trout out of action, so this week’s action is better suited to a single streaming start in Pittsburgh instead of rolling the dice on a end of the week start against the Royals, even at home.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Tyler Alexandervs. CHW vs. NYY 
 TBMike SorokaLuis Gil
 Mon, 5/6, 6:50 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:40 PM 
Alex Woodvs. TEX @ SEA 
 OAKAndrew HeaneyEmerson Hancock
 Mon, 5/6, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:10 PM 
Dakota Hudsonvs. SF vs. TEX 
 COLKyle HarrisonAndrew Heaney
 Tue, 5/7, 8:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 3:10 PM 
Michael Soroka@ TB vs. CLE 
 CHWTyler AlexanderTriston McKenzie
 Mon, 5/6, 6:50 PM Sat, 5/11, 7:10 PM 
Mitch Kellervs. LAA vs. CHC 
 PITTyler AndersonShota Imanaga
 Mon, 5/6, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:35 PM 
Logan Allenvs. DET @ CHW 
 CLEKenta MaedaChris Flexen
 Tue, 5/7, 6:10 PM Sun, 5/12, 2:10 PM 
Steven Matzvs. NYM @ MIL 
 STLJose ButtoFreddy Peralta
 Mon, 5/6, 7:45 PM Sat, 5/11, 7:15 PM 
Cole Ragansvs. MIL @ LAA 
 KCFreddy PeraltaTyler Anderson
 Mon, 5/6, 7:40 PM Sat, 5/11, 9:38 PM 
Chris Flexen@ TB vs. CLE 
 CHWZach EflinLogan Taylor Allen
 Tue, 5/7, 6:50 PM Sun, 5/12, 2:10 PM 
Chris Bassitt@ PHI vs. MIN 
 TORSpencer TurnbullBailey Ober
 Tue, 5/7, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 1:37 PM 
Nick Martinezvs. ARI @ SF 
 CINJordan MontgomeryKyle Harrison
 Tue, 5/7, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/12, 4:05 PM 

There are a few bottom tier arms that could potentially be useful for streaming purposes this week. Those facing the struggling teams, such as the Angels or White Sox for example, such as Alexander, Ragans or Keller might be worth taking a flier on, but be advised that they have fallen into the bottom group because the risk tends to outweigh any potential value.

Potential Streaming Options for Week 6

There is no promise that each game day will provide a streaming option. First of all, the pitcher must be available in at least 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:

Jose Butto, New York Mets @ St. Louis Cardinals

Butto notched another QS against the Cubs (his third this season), while taking the loss due to facing the impressive Cub rookie hurler Shota Imanaga. The young righthander features an appealing 2.57 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while racking up better than a K per inning over his five starts. 

Kenta Maeda, Detroit Tigers @ Cleveland Guardians

The veteran addition to the Tiger rotation had a rough start to the 2024 season, but is working to push his ERA into more attractive levels. He tossed his second QS of the season at home against the Cardinals and has been ramping up the strikeouts while continuing to demonstrate good control.

Ross Stripling, Oakland Athletics vs Texas Rangers 

The veteran righty has pitched well enough this season to be useful as he works to put his ratio stats into a still more attractive range, and is coming off a quality start victory where he pitched 6.0 shutout innings. He was roughed up by the Rangers on the road in early April, but here gets the opportunity to continue his improved pitching ways at home

Reese Olson, Detroit Tigers @ Cleveland Guardians

Despite tossing a pair of quality starts this campaign, the second-year righty is saddled with an 0-4 record over his five starts. He helps himself with a good strikeout rate (8.3 K/9) and by generating a fine share of ground balls from opposing hitters. Both he and his teammate Maeda profiled above have an opportunity to make a statement to the league by demonstrating to the division leaders they are to be reckoned with as the season progresses.

Mitchell Parker, Washington Nationals vs Baltimore Orioles

Despite handing out three runs in a loss to the host Rangers, Parker still showcases a sub 3.00 ERA (2.53 to be precise) with a useful 1.08 WHIP and a 19:4 K/BB ratio over his 21.1 IP this year. The Orioles are not an optimal matchup, to be certain, but Parker has proven worthy of consideration as a SP in the early going.

Graham Ashcraft, Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Working on a pair of back-to-back quality starts, the third-year right-hander will look to continue dealing while on the bump at home against a sub-.500 opponent in this contest. He has admittedly struggled while pitching at home thus far in 2024, but this is a good opportunity to turn that situation around.

Ben Lively, Cleveland Guardians @ Chicago White Sox

The righty has pitched one QS among his three starts this season, and sports an attractive set of ratio stats with a 2.30 ERA and 0.96 WHIP thus far into the 2024 campaign. A 19:3 K/BB ratio speaks well of his mound skills, as well, and he get to face the less than intimidating Pale Hose offense in this contest.

Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins vs Philadelphia Phillies

Pitching for the nine-win Marlins, it is not surprising that Rogers is winless on the season despite allowing three or fewer earned runs in five of his six starts. He produces average K numbers, and an above-average number of ground balls (51.5% GB rate over his 31.1 IP), and thus has potential here in a game played in his home park, a favorable pitcher’s park.

Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers vs Houston Astros

The 27-year-old right-hander has pitched well, coming back into the rotation strong after missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery recovery, racking up a useful 3.08 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over his five starts. His strong ground ball producing skills offset his less-than-average K production (6.2 K/9).

Kyle Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

Gibson pitches deep into games, and has collected four QS among his six trips to the hill this season. The other two appearances have not been as impressive, opposing offenses generating 11 earned tallies in those two contests. He has been more effective away from St. Louis this season (small sample size, admittedly), and thus a game against the division-leaders in their park is not reason to avoid plugging him into your rotation for a streaming start…or more.

Cole Irvin, Baltimore Orioles vs Arizona Diamondbacks

The veteran southpaw is having a nice run of dominant pitching, winning three consecutive games and rolling up 20.2 IP of scoreless pitching. With his recent string of effective hurling, he has dropped his ERA below 4.00 (3.79). The Diamondbacks are struggling on the road in the early action, so this is a favorable matchup. 

Ryne Nelson, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Baltimore Orioles

The third-year right-hander is due to return to action this weekend after being sidelined with an elbow issue that landed him on the 15-day IL. He was not lighting up the league with his pitching prior to the elbow injury, so take a gander at his outing against the Padres this weekend before plugging him into hour rotation as a streamer.

Cooper Criswell, Boston Red Sox vs Washington Nationals

The righty has tossed 10.0 IP without allowing a run, earned or otherwise, and while his ratios are certainly unsustainable at their current levels (1.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP), he has demonstrated a set of skills that could benefit his fantasy owners willing to trust a still-developing SP, who features excellent control and good ground ball inducing skills.