Not so many middle tier starting pitchers to consider this week, but a full slate of top tier aces to plug into your lineups this scoring period. Not to worry, there are plenty of arms to populate the bottom group, although a couple or three could be considered for streaming usage. Being a full month into the current season also allows for the analysis to stop relying on tiny sample sizes, although the samples are still fairly limited, so surprises will continue to pop up. 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.

 Start 'em If You Own 'em 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Joe Ryan@ CHW @ CLE 
 MINMichael KopechCal Quantrill
 Tue, 5/2, 7:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:40 PM 
Zac Gallen@ TEX vs. WAS 
 ARIJon GrayMacKenzie Gore
 Tue, 5/2, 8:05 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:10 PM 
Sandy Alcantaravs. ATL @ CHC 
 MIAKyle WrightHayden Wesneski
 Tue, 5/2, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 2:20 PM 
Logan Gilbert@ OAK vs. HOU 
 SEAMason MillerLuis Garcia
 Tue, 5/2, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:10 PM 
Kodai Sengavs. ATL vs. COL 
 NYMBryce ElderAustin Gomber
 Mon, 5/1, 1:10 PM Sat, 5/6, 4:10 PM 
Bryce Elder@ NYM vs. BAL 
 ATLKodai SengaKyle Bradish
 Mon, 5/1, 1:10 PM Sat, 5/6, 7:15 PM 
Kyle Wright@ MIA vs. BAL 
 ATLSandy AlcantaraTyler Wells
 Tue, 5/2, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 11:35 AM 
Luis Garciavs. SF @ SEA 
 HOURoss StriplingLogan Gilbert
 Mon, 5/1, 8:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:10 PM 
Blake Snellvs. CIN vs. LAD 
 SDLuke WeaverTony Gonsolin
 Mon, 5/1, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 7:08 PM 
Yusei Kikuchi@ BOS @ PIT 
 TORTanner HouckRoansy Contreras
 Tue, 5/2, 7:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:35 PM 
Jose Berrios@ BOS @ PIT 
 TORCorey KluberJohan Oviedo
 Mon, 5/1, 7:10 PM Sat, 5/6, 6:35 PM 
MacKenzie Gorevs. CHC @ ARI 
 WASDrew SmylyZac Gallen
 Mon, 5/1, 7:05 PM Sat, 5/6, 8:10 PM 
Drew Smyly@ WAS vs. MIA 
 CHCMacKenzie GoreBryan Hoeing
 Mon, 5/1, 7:05 PM Sat, 5/6, 2:20 PM 
Tony Gonsolinvs. PHI @ SD 
 LADTaijuan WalkerBlake Snell
 Mon, 5/1, 10:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 7:08 PM 

There are a full bunch of top-level arms to plug into your fantasy rotations and let them work their magic (for the most part, as baseball can be a cruel mistress with our expectations at times). For the most part, these aces will yield positive results if you are fortunate enough to have one or more of these pitchers on your roster(s). Smyly is here because of his general overall performance this season, not just the flirtation with perfection. Gonsolin will require some patience as he works to build up his game endurance following early season ankle troubles, but if he is sitting on your waiver wire, the suggestion is to act quickly to add him to your arsenal.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Roansy Contreras@ TB vs. TOR 
 PITJosh FlemingYusei Kikuchi
 Tue, 5/2, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:35 PM 
Domingo Germanvs. CLE @ TB 
 NYYCal QuantrillJosh Fleming
 Mon, 5/1, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:40 PM 
Ryan Feltnervs. MIL @ NYM 
 COLEric LauerJoey Lucchesi
 Tue, 5/2, 8:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:40 PM 
Tyler Wells@ KC @ ATL 
 BALRyan YarbroughKyle Wright
 Tue, 5/2, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 11:35 AM 
Joey Lucchesi@ DET vs. COL 
 NYMMichael LorenzenRyan Feltner
 Tue, 5/2, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:40 PM 
Hayden Wesneski@ WAS vs. MIA 
 CHCTrevor WilliamsSandy Alcantara
 Tue, 5/2, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/7, 2:20 PM 
Eric Lauer@ COL @ SF 
 MILRyan FeltnerRoss Stripling
 Tue, 5/2, 8:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:05 PM 

Contreras has dealt three consecutive quality starts since getting lit up by Houston in his second start. His lack of control is inflating his WHIP to an unsightly 1.34 on the season. To his credit, not one of his pitches has left the park this season, a definite positive aspect to his game through five starts. He has a couple of tough matchups in Week 5, but his team is no pushover these days, either.

German picked up a win in his last trip to the mound, despite dealing up three dingers and allowing six runs (all earned) over 6.0 IP. He continues to rack up swings and misses, striking out eight Twins while limiting the free passes again: five walks over his past 18.1 IP. Opening the scoring period against the visiting Guardians looks promising, although the second time toeing the rubber in Tampa Bay is not as enticing as part of his dual start week.

Feltner has tossed a couple of good games recently, coming one out short against the Phillies from collecting two straight QS. He did not hand out a walk in his last outing, a trend he needs to reinforce to push down a severely inflated WHIP (1.48). The strikeout production is a positive, with a 9.7 K/9 through his 25.0 IP on the season. As with most Colorado arms, the first appearance in Week 5 is a potential concern as he tosses the ball at Coors Field against visiting Brewers, but the second game in New York facing the host Mets is a better potential matchup.

Wells collected his first victory of the season, holding the Red Sox to two earned tallies over 5.2 IP, coming just short of accumulating his second QS in a row. He continues to demonstrate superb control (0.9 BB/9 through 29.0 IP), although his K rate is less than stellar at 7.1 K/9 on the season. He did amass seven whiffs against the BoSox, not known for their free-swinging ways this season. He has two road contests coming up this week, which is actually a situation that plays to his strengths.

Lucchesi is coming off Tommy John surgery (TJS), but also has a couple of decent matchups this week, with the second start against the visiting Rockies looking especially tasty. His ratio stats are enticing through limited action (two starts) sitting at 2.19 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, but the expectations are that he will trend toward his career averages (4.17 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), which while not eye-popping are still back of the fantasy rotation useful.

Wesneski is a project for the Cubs, as the team appears willing to exercise patience with the second-year righthander as he mixes impressive outings with less than stellar efforts on the bump. Improving his dominance and control to replicate his 2022 results at the MLB level would help to cement his position in the rotation when Jameson Taillon and Kyle Hendricks return to action. His two matchups would look better if he did not open the week on the road against Washington, but still not terrible matchups overall, if he can develop a more consistent approach while toeing the rubber.

Lauer is dealing with a torn fingernail suffered in his most recent trip to the hill, a contest where he lasted just 3.0 IP while allowing four earned runs. That does not actually sound like a strong sale pitch, but he was coming off back-to-back QS where he allowed just three earned tallies over 13.2 IP while putting up a respectable 9:3 K/BB ratio. He has been quite the road warrior this season to date, so two road contests are not a negative in Week 5.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Taijuan Walker@ LAD vs. BOS 
 PHITony GonsolinTanner Houck
 Mon, 5/1, 10:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:35 PM 
Tanner Houckvs. TOR @ PHI 
 BOSYusei KikuchiTaijuan Walker
 Tue, 5/2, 7:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:35 PM 
Steven Matzvs. LAA vs. DET 
 STLGriffin CanningMichael Lorenzen
 Tue, 5/2, 7:45 PM Sun, 5/7, 2:15 PM 
Mason Millervs. SEA @ KC 
 OAKLogan GilbertRyan Yarbrough
 Tue, 5/2, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 2:10 PM 
Cal Quantrill@ NYY vs. MIN 
 CLEDomingo GermanJoe Ryan
 Mon, 5/1, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:40 PM 
Michael Kopechvs. MIN @ CIN 
 CHWJoe RyanLuke Weaver
 Tue, 5/2, 7:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:10 PM 
Corey Klubervs. TOR @ PHI 
 BOSJose BerriosBailey Falter
 Mon, 5/1, 7:10 PM Sat, 5/6, 7:15 PM 
Ross Stripling@ HOU vs. MIL 
 SFLuis GarciaEric Lauer
 Mon, 5/1, 8:10 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:05 PM 
Michael Lorenzenvs. NYM @ STL 
 DETJoey LucchesiSteven Matz
 Tue, 5/2, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 2:15 PM 
Luke Weaver@ SD vs. CHW 
 CINBlake SnellMichael Kopech
 Mon, 5/1, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 4:10 PM 
Josh Flemingvs. PIT vs. NYY 
 TBRoansy ContrerasDomingo German
 Tue, 5/2, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 1:40 PM 
Ryan Yarbroughvs. BAL vs. OAK 
 KCTyler WellsMason Miller
 Tue, 5/2, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/7, 2:10 PM 

Usual advice is to avoid all these SPs, no matter the venue or opponent, but certainly some are worthy of streaming usage based on how certain teams are performing early this season. Notably, going against the A’s, Royals, White Sox and Tigers in the AL, or the Reds, Nationals, Cards and Rockies in the senior league could have beneficial results, if you need to plug in a starter due to league format. Overall, though, these arms are simply too costly in terms of ratio stat damage to gamble on limited counting stat production.

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:

Peyton Battenfield (Cleveland Guardians) @ New York Yankees

This is quite possibly the last time the Cleveland rookie righty will be featured here, as he was battered by the Red Sox in his latest start to the tune of four earned tallies on six hits and four walks in 4.2 IP. His once stellar ratios took damage, with his ERA more than doubling to sit at 3.52 now, and his WHIP suffering a significant bloat due to the walks. Granted, small sample size for the righty, With Aaron Civale due to be activated to start Week 5, unless he fares well in Yankee Stadium, look for him to depart the Guardian rotation. That all being said, his first two starts to the season give hope he can tame the Yankee bats in this contest.

Braxton Garrett (Miami Marlins) vs Atlanta Braves

Garrett has been stingy with the runs allowed, but has also been limited in terms of innings pitched in three of his four starts (he has five appearances to date). He gets a home start here, and his ratios recommend his use as a streamer: 2.45 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, although it is not his control that impacts his WHIP but rather the tendency to allow safeties by opposing hitters, allowing better than a hit per inning pitched. He is exceptional at keeping the ball in the park and inducing groundballs (0.41 HR/9, 54.3% GB rate).

Rich Hill (Pittsburgh Pirates) vs Tampa Bay Rays

Hill has been on a hot streak of late, allowing just three earned runs over his last 17.0 IP, although as with Mr. Garrett above, his WHIP is suffering due to a plethora of hits being allowed during his time atop the hill. His control is also not a strong point; thus his WHIP is an unsightly 1.42 heading into May. With the Pirates playing surprisingly winning baseball to open the season, this is not a terrible matchup at home against the top dog in the AL.

Vince Velasquez (Pittsburgh Pirates) vs Toronto Blue Jays

Another Pittsburgh hurler working on a strong streak of action on the hill, coming off three consecutive victories and QS prior to a weekend matchup against the Nationals in the nation’s capital. The veteran righthander has posted an impressive 23:7 K/BB ratio over that stretch. Getting the Blue Jays away from their home park is an advantage, as well.

Noah Davis (Colorado Rockies) @ New York Mets

Davis has only climbed the hill to face opposing offenses away from Coors Field so far this season, and he has been putting forth good results: 0.93 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and no homers allowed over two starts comprising 9.2 IP. He is striking out better than a hitter per frame. He will look to continue his run as a road warrior in the Big Apple in this contest.

Josiah Gray (Washington Nationals) @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Not a lot is going right for the Nationals this season, although the team is playing better than .500 ball on the road, so this contest in the desert has potential for the young righty to build on his first win achieved against the host Mets. He will be taking the ball against the Pirates before this road contest, so predicting a continuing win streak is speculative at best. Despite his 8.1 K/9 rate on the year, he has been erratic with the K production, but given the Diamondback strikeout numbers to date, do not expect loads of whiffs here.

Marco Gonzales (Seattle Mariners) vs Houston Astros

Since his first “nothing to write home about” start to open the season, the veteran southpaw has been pitching effectively, allowing just four earned runs over 16.2 IP. He has dropped his ERA to a useful 3.32 and his WHIP is also of value (1.25). He is not anything great in terms of K production with a 7.1 K/BB on the season to date, and his control sits in questionable range at 2.9 BB/9 through 21.2 starts. 


More Fantasy Baseball Content

MLB Injury Report

Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid

Fantasy Baseball Podcast

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire

MLB Streaks & Trends