Spring has returned to the land and with it, so has baseball, both in the form of MLB game action and perhaps of greater import to those reading these pages, fantasy baseball is back in all its glory. That means, that each week in this article, the upcoming week’s slate of two-start pitchers will be profiled and tiered, and those arms that deserve consideration as streaming options will be discussed, as well. 

Please realize that these articles feature most recent rotation information available when the article is written, but that circumstances do change due to weather conditions, injuries and general craziness with managers. If a pitcher listed here as having two starts ends up with one (or perhaps none) in the upcoming week, apologies but this article is meant to provide analysis, it is up to the manager to set the lineups or rotations.

Without further ado, here are this week’s two start pitchers.

Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers


Start 'em If You Own 'em


Starting Pitcher

1st Start/Opponent/Date

2nd Start/Opponent/Date

Nestor Cortesvs. PHI @ BAL 
NYYTaijuan WalkerKyle Bradish
 Mon, 4/3, 7:05 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:35 PM 
George Kirbyvs. LAA @ CLE 
SEAReid DetmersZach Plesac
 Mon, 4/3, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:40 PM 
Freddy Peraltavs. NYM vs. STL 
MILCarlos CarrascoJake Woodford
 Mon, 4/3, 2:10 PM Sun, 4/9, 2:10 PM 
Drew Rasmussen@ WAS vs. OAK 
TBTrevor WilliamsJames Kaprielian
 Mon, 4/3, 7:05 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:10 PM 
Reid Detmers@ SEA vs. TOR 
LAAGeorge KirbyYusei Kikuchi
 Mon, 4/3, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 4:07 PM 
Jon Grayvs. BAL @ CHC 
TEXKyle BradishDrew Smyly
 Mon, 4/3, 8:05 PM Sun, 4/9, 2:20 PM 

The top tier contains those SPs that should generally be inserted into your fantasy rotations and left alone for both their scheduled starts. It does not matter who the opponent is, or the venue where these hurlers are taking the ball and heading to the hill, these pitchers are the ones you should congratulate yourself for selecting in the draft. Admittedly, the slate is a tad light this first full week of action, the opening week schedule being what it is, and most teams having led off with their aces who are unlikely to pitch twice in the ensuing week, but these seven are the best options for dual start production early in the season


Maybe Yes, Maybe No


Starting Pitcher

1st Start/Opponent/Date

2nd Start/Opponent/Date

Charlie Morton@ STL vs. SD 
ATLJake WoodfordMichael Wacha
 Mon, 4/3, 7:45 PM Sat, 4/8, 7:20 PM 
Brady Singervs. TOR @ SF 
KCJose BerriosRoss Stripling
 Mon, 4/3, 7:40 PM Sat, 4/8, 4:05 PM 
Carlos Carrasco@ MIL vs. MIA 
NYMFreddy PeraltaJohnny Cueto
 Mon, 4/3, 2:10 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:40 PM 
Kyle Bradish@ TEX vs. NYY 
BALJon GrayNestor Cortes
 Mon, 4/3, 8:05 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:35 PM 
Michael Kopechvs. SF @ PIT 
CHWTBDJohan Oviedo
 Mon, 4/3, 4:10 PMSun, 4/9, 1:35 PM 
Tyler Mahle@ MIA vs. HOU 
MINJohnny CuetoTBD
 Mon, 4/3, 6:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 2:10 PM
Taijuan Walker@ NYY vs. CIN 
PHINestor CortesConnor Overton
 Mon, 4/3, 7:05 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:05 PM 

These pitchers are not the sort you wind up and let go without any further concerns or thoughts, unlike those in the top tier. The middle group of dual start options are generally worthy of being employed in both their scheduled trips to toe the rubber, but keep an eye on venue and opponent before blindly trusting these hurlers. The potential exists for bumps in the road, thus the second level status.

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves

Morton, as a 39-year-old veteran who has suffered two end-of-season/post-season injuries of the past two years, is likely nearing the end of his productive days as a member of the starting rotation. He still generates tremendous strikeout numbers, but his control has waned with the walk rate rising as he nibbles around the plate instead of dominates the strike zone. 

Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals

Singer could use a third dependable offering as part of his repertoire on the bump, although his sinker/slider combination does generate a fair if not overly impressive number of whiffs from opposing batters. He had limited action this spring, and was not looking overly inspiring in the Cactus league or on the world stage in the WBC. His limited innings pre-season may limit his duration on the hill to open the season, so the counting stats could suffer early on.

Carlos Carrasco, New York Mets

Carrasco is another veteran in his later 30s, but add to his downside an extensive injury history, and he missed a start late in the spring due to “elbow maintenance” which is not encouraging. Still, last season he put together a nice stat line: 15 W, 3.97 ERA, 152:41 K/BB over 152.0 IP. He has been more effective when pitching at home over the past couple of seasons, so the second game at Citi Field against the visiting Marlins shapes up as his best potential outing in Week 2.

Kyle Bradish, Baltimore Orioles

Bradish showed what he was capable of offering as a SP in the second half of 2022, upon his return to the big leagues following a mid-season demotion. He compiled an impressive 3.28 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 71.1 IP. He does lack a truly effective third pitch in his arsenal, which limits his dominance (8.49 K/9 over his major league service). He made the backend of the Baltimore rotation due to others being relegated to the minors and injuries, so he gets an early season audition to show that the end of last season was the real deal.

Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox

Kopech returned to a starting role in 2022, and put up desirable numbers over his 25 starts, posting a useful 3.54 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, certainly valuable ratio stats for a back of the rotation fantasy starter. He relies primarily on his fastball and slider and ideally will develop a third offering to keep hitters off balance. He has been a much better hurler when operating at home, so the first game this week against the visiting Giants looks most promising, but taking on the Pirates is not necessarily any reason to avoid using him in both his scheduled trips to toe the rubber.

Tyler Mahle, Minnesota Twins

Mahle should benefit from his trade to Minnesota, and the fortune of avoiding having to pitch half his games at the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincy. His 2022 was interrupted more than once (three times actually) by injury, which likely played in a role in his less than inspiring stat line, featuring an unattractive 4.40 ERA, although the 1.22 WHIP was not terrible, nor were the 126 Ks over 120.2 IP.

Taijuan Walker, Philadelphia Phillies

Walker signed a four-year deal with the Phillies, so there is hope that he will continue his recent durability as a SP, and has expressed an intent to toss a career high inning total, and to that end he is working with his pitching coach to induce softer contact from opposing batters. He is not a prodigious strikeout producer, last year’s 7.55 K/9 falling below his career 8.08 rate by half a K. 


Not On My Roster


Starting Pitcher

1st Start/Opponent/Date

2nd Start/Opponent/Date

Jose Berrios@ KC @ LAA 
TORBrady SingerTyler Anderson
 Mon, 4/3, 7:40 PM Sat, 4/8, 9:07 PM 
Yusei Kikuchi@ KC @ LAA 
TORTBDReid Detmers
 Tue, 4/4, 7:40 PMSun, 4/9, 4:07 PM 
Matthew Boyd@ HOU vs. BOS 
DETTBDKutter Crawford
 Mon, 4/3, 8:10 PMSun, 4/9, 1:10 PM 
Jake Woodfordvs. ATL @ MIL 
STLCharlie MortonFreddy Peralta
 Mon, 4/3, 7:45 PM Sun, 4/9, 2:10 PM 
Kutter Crawfordvs. PIT @ DET 
BOSJohan OviedoMatthew Boyd
 Mon, 4/3, 7:10 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:10 PM 
Johan Oviedo@ BOS vs. CHW 
PITKutter CrawfordMichael Kopech
 Mon, 4/3, 7:10 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:35 PM 
Trevor Williamsvs. TB @ COL 
WASDrew RasmussenAustin Gomber
 Mon, 4/3, 7:05 PM Sat, 4/8, 8:10 PM 
Connor Overtonvs. CHC @ PHI 
CINDrew SmylyTaijuan Walker
 Mon, 4/3, 6:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:05 PM 
Ryan Feltner@ LAD vs. WAS 
COLRyan PepiotTBD
 Mon, 4/3, 10:10 PM Sun, 4/9, 3:10 PM
Johnny Cuetovs. MIN @ NYM 
MIATyler MahleCarlos Carrasco
 Mon, 4/3, 6:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:40 PM 
Drew Smyly@ CIN vs. TEX 
CHCConnor OvertonJon Gray
 Mon, 4/3, 6:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 2:20 PM 
James Kaprielianvs. CLE @ TB 
OAKZach PlesacDrew Rasmussen
 Mon, 4/3, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:10 PM 
Zach Plesac@ OAK vs. SEA 
CLEJames KaprielianGeorge Kirby
 Mon, 4/3, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 1:40 PM 
Ryne Nelson@ SD vs. LAD 
ARIRyan WeathersRyan Pepiot
 Mon, 4/3, 9:40 PM Sun, 4/9, 5:10 PM

The pitchers included in the bottom tier are not worthy of consideration in many cases for a single start on behalf of your fantasy squad, let alone plugging them in twice. The damage to your ratio stats and the general lack of counting stat value makes them more of a potential problem than an asset so far as effecting your fantasy pitching efforts. Occasionally, one or two of the bottom group will possess potential as a streaming option, that you can grab for one start and then discard, and some of these SPs will develop into middle tier worthy arms over the course of the season (look to Berrios, for example) and those will be discussed here as appropriate, but for this early action, the best approach is to wait and see how they perform for now.

Potential Streaming Options for Week 

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:

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Mitch Keller Pittsburgh Pirates @ BOS Corey Kluber

The 26-year-old righthander does a couple of things real well on the mound as of last season, and that is induce groundballs and correspondingly keep the ball in the park (49.0 % GB, 0.7 HR/9 over 159.0 IP in 2022). Emphasizing those skills should play well in a road game in Boston.

Zack Greinke Kansas City Royals vs TOR Alek Manoah

The veteran righty is not a productive source of Ks at this point in his career, relying more on a propensity to induce soft contact by opposing batters and not dealing up dingers. He offers a useful ERA but without the swings and misses, his WHIP is inflated for fantasy purposes. He has been more effective at home since rejoining the Royals, and that continued in his first start this season despite taking a loss against the visiting Twins.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Dean Kremer Baltimore Orioles vs NYY Clarke Schmidt

Recommending an Oriole starter was just not done a couple of seasons ago, but that changed with the 2022 season. The alterations to the stadium dimensions undoubtedly played a role, and here the fourth year SP gets to ply his trade at Camden Yards where he enjoyed great success last season. Do not use him expecting a boatload of whiffs (a sub-standard 6.25 K/9 over 125.1 IP last year) and be prepared form some negative regression from his superb 3.23 posted in 2022, as his peripherals indicate he may have enjoyed a bit of good luck in 2022. Still, a home start recommends him as a streaming option to open the season.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Justin Steele Chicago Cubs vs TEX Nathan Eovaldi

The young southpaw was shut down by his team when he suffered back issues at the end of August, and the rest seems to have done well by him, judging from the six-shutout innings he twirled in his first start of this season. He offers strikeout rates at better than a K per inning, as well as an advanced ability to both get batters to hit the ball on the ground and not over the fence (51.2 GB% and 0.61 HR/9 over 119.0 IP in 2022). 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Tanner Houck Boston Red Sox @ DET Joey Wentz

Houck looks to be part of the Red Sox rotation, at least for the opening weeks of the season as the team deals with injuries to Garrett Whitlock and James Paxton. He was a stabilizing presence in the bullpen in 2022 and now is called upon to fill the back end of the rotation. Here, he has a road game (where he excelled last season) and it is against the Tigers, who are not likely to strike great fear in any opposing team’s heart.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Seth Lugo San Diego Padres @ ATL TBD

Lugo is being asked to join the San Diego rotation, after toiling exclusively out of the bullpen for the Mets the past two seasons. On the plus side, his results in the spring have been inspiring, with a 2.70 ERA over six starts, and a 17:6 K/BB ratio. Heading to Atlanta, he does dodge a bullet in that the scheduled opposing hurler, Max Fried, will soon hit the IL due to a hamstring issue.

Feel free also to send any starting pitching or other fantasy baseball questions to ia@fantasyalarm.com for a private response to your specific issue. The more detail you can provide about your team and league, including settings (H2H vs roto, points or categories, weekly or daily moves, roster size, league size, etc.) the better the response will be suited to your individual situation. As ever, good luck and Godspeed in all your fantasy endeavors.