It has been a long time, if ever, where the middle tier consists of so few pitchers worthy of being profiled. Fortunately, there are plenty of top-tier options to rely upon for their two-start production this week. With the limited middle group of arms, though, the bottom set of SPs is expanded this scoring period. Please do not be led down a dark alley due to the limited middle tier hurlers and turn to the scary alternatives in the lower group that will likely damage your ratios and not provide much in the way of counting numbers. Note also that this is a week decidedly bereft of good streaming options to pick up for the odd start. 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
Shane McClanahan@ BAL @ NYY 
 TBKyle GibsonNestor Cortes
 Mon, 5/8, 6:35 PM Sat, 5/13, 1:05 PM 
Zac Gallenvs. MIA vs. SF 
 ARIBraxton GarrettAnthony DeSclafani
 Mon, 5/8, 9:40 PM Sat, 5/13, 8:10 PM 
Freddy Peraltavs. LAD vs. KC 
 MILTony GonsolinJordan Lyles
 Mon, 5/8, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 2:10 PM 
Logan Gilbertvs. TEX @ DET 
 SEAJon GrayMichael Lorenzen
 Mon, 5/8, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:40 PM 
Max Scherzer@ CIN @ WAS 
 NYMLuke WeaverChad Kuhl
 Tue, 5/9, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:35 PM 
Marcus Stromanvs. STL @ MIN 
 CHCMiles MikolasLouie Varland
 Mon, 5/8, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 2:10 PM 
Charlie Mortonvs. BOS @ TOR 
 ATLNick PivettaYusei Kikuchi
 Tue, 5/9, 7:20 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:37 PM 
Logan Webbvs. WAS @ ARI 
 SFPatrick CorbinTBD
 Tue, 5/9, 9:45 PM Sun, 5/14, 4:10 PM
Hunter Brown@ LAA @ CHW 
 HOUPatrick SandovalLucas Giolito
 Mon, 5/8, 9:38 PM Sun, 5/14, 2:10 PM 
Lucas Giolito@ KC vs. HOU 
 CHWJordan LylesHunter Brown
 Tue, 5/9, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 2:10 PM 
Zach Eflin@ BAL @ NYY 
 TBGrayson RodriguezClarke Schmidt
 Tue, 5/9, 6:35 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:35 PM 
Mitch Kellervs. COL @ BAL 
 PITKyle FreelandKyle Gibson
 Mon, 5/8, 6:35 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:35 PM 
Anthony DeSclafanivs. WAS @ ARI 
 SFChad KuhlZac Gallen
 Mon, 5/8, 9:45 PM Sat, 5/13, 8:10 PM 
Tony Gonsolin@ MIL vs. SD 
 LADFreddy PeraltaMichael Wacha
 Mon, 5/8, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 4:10 PM 
Tanner Bibeevs. DET vs. LAA 
 CLEMichael LorenzenJose Suarez
 Mon, 5/8, 6:10 PM Sun, 5/14, 11:35 AM 

These are the starting pitchers that you can trust the most to provide superior fantasy results if you plug them into your rotations and take advantage of both their appearances atop the hill in Week 6. Certainly, a couple of these aces are not pitching up to snuff currently (Scherzer, Stroman) but over the course of the season, these pitchers are those who are worthy of your trust. Plus, at least with Scherzer, the matchups are extra favorable this week.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Nestor Cortesvs. OAK vs. TB 
 NYYJP SearsShane McClanahan
 Mon, 5/8, 7:05 PM Sat, 5/13, 1:05 PM 
Miles Mikolas@ CHC @ BOS 
 STLMarcus StromanTanner Houck
 Mon, 5/8, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 7:10 PM 

Cortes joins the dual start ranks due to his start being pushed back as he recovers from strep throat. The 28-year-old southpaw was uncharacteristically roughed up in his last start, and it will be interesting to see if he can return to previous stingy run allowing ways now that he is over his illness. Two home games on tap, with the first against the A’s, looks mighty tempting.

Mikolas has been working diligently to bring his ratio stats into useful territory, following his disastrous opening trio of appearances this season. His ratios are still ugly, to be honest, with an ERA sitting at 5.79 and a 1.66 WHIP. Looking at his recent game action, though, he is providing decent K production (8.2 K/9 through 37.1 IP) and the control is steady, too, with a 2.2 BB/9 rate to his credit. He is a solid SP option, just not extraordinarily exciting on the bump for fantasy purposes. Two starts on the road push down his attractiveness this two-start week, as well.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Michael Lorenzen@ CLE vs. SEA 
 DETTanner BibeeLogan Gilbert
 Mon, 5/8, 6:10 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:40 PM 
Dylan Cease@ KC vs. HOU 
 CHWZack GreinkeJ.P. France
 Mon, 5/8, 7:40 PM Sat, 5/13, 7:15 PM 
Clarke Schmidtvs. OAK vs. TB 
 NYYDrew RucinskiZach Eflin
 Tue, 5/9, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:35 PM 
Kyle Freeland@ PIT vs. PHI 
 COLMitch KellerTaijuan Walker
 Mon, 5/8, 6:35 PM Sun, 5/14, 3:10 PM 
Jon Gray@ SEA @ OAK 
 TEXLogan GilbertJP Sears
 Mon, 5/8, 9:40 PM Sat, 5/13, 4:07 PM 
Kyle Gibsonvs. TB vs. PIT 
 BALShane McClanahanMitch Keller
 Mon, 5/8, 6:35 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:35 PM 
Andrew Heaney@ SEA @ OAK 
 TEXGeorge KirbyDrew Rucinski
 Tue, 5/9, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 4:07 PM 
Braxton Garrett@ ARI vs. CIN 
 MIAZac GallenLuke Weaver
 Mon, 5/8, 9:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:40 PM 
Michael Wacha@ MIN @ LAD 
 SDLouie VarlandTony Gonsolin
 Tue, 5/9, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 4:10 PM 
Zack Greinkevs. CHW @ MIL 
 KCDylan CeaseAdrian Houser
 Mon, 5/8, 7:40 PM Sat, 5/13, 7:10 PM 
Louie Varlandvs. SD vs. CHC 
 MINMichael WachaMarcus Stroman
 Tue, 5/9, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 2:10 PM 
JP Sears@ NYY vs. TEX 
 OAKNestor CortesJon Gray
 Mon, 5/8, 7:05 PM Sat, 5/13, 4:07 PM 
Jordan Lylesvs. CHW @ MIL 
 KCLucas GiolitoFreddy Peralta
 Tue, 5/9, 7:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 2:10 PM 
Chad Kuhl@ SF vs. NYM 
 WASAnthony DeSclafaniMax Scherzer
 Mon, 5/8, 9:45 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:35 PM 
Drew Rucinski@ NYY vs. TEX 
 OAKClarke SchmidtAndrew Heaney
 Tue, 5/9, 7:05 PM Sun, 5/14, 4:07 PM 
Luke Weavervs. NYM @ MIA 
 CINMax ScherzerBraxton Garrett
 Tue, 5/9, 6:40 PM Sun, 5/14, 1:40 PM 

As noted above, these pitchers are dangerous to rely upon, especially for two starts in a scoring period. If you are desperate for innings, though, targeting those arms that are facing the bottom dwelling teams, especially in favorable pitchers’ venues, could have good results. No guarantees, naturally, but Schmidt at home against the A’s, for example, could have some value.

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:

Rich Hill (Pittsburgh Pirates) vs Colorado Rockies

The 43-year-old veteran has been on a strong streak lately, yielding just four earned tallies over the past five starts (3-1 record over those 23.1 IP). His ERA is still north of 4.00, but he has been determinedly steering it down toward truly useful levels, and he has posted a 19:7 K/BB ratio over those four appearances, as well. Here, he gets the Rockies away from Coors Field, another positive aspect to consider.

Brayan Bello (Boston Red Sox) @ Atlanta Braves

The 23-year-old righty picked up his first win, overmatching the visiting Blue Jays over 5.0 IP where he allowed just two earned runs, although four Blue Jays crossed the plate during his time on the hill. His 19:6 K/BB ratio accumulated over his 17.1 IP in 2023 hint that although heading to Atlanta is not the most preferred matchup, he has some value in terms of strikeout numbers at a minimum.

Bailey Ober (Minnesota Twins) vs San Diego Padres

The righthander has stepped into the Twin rotation to cover for injured starters Kenta Maeda and Tyler Mahle, and has acquitted himself quite well so far in 2023, posting a superb 1.59 ERA and equally attractive WHIP of 1.06 through a small sample size 11.1 IP. He gets to take on the Padres at home, although the San Diego team has played well away from home this season. His peripheral metrics also indicate that he has been riding a lucky wave thus far, so do not bank too heavily of the injury-replacement arm.

Trevor Williams (Washington Nationals) vs New York Mets

The veteran right-hander has pitched effectively in his new home with the Nationals, and has in fact been much more effective at home over his six starts to open the season, so this matchup feeds into his current strengths. His useful ratio stats (3.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) are his selling points, as he is a below average K producer: 6.0 K/9.

Ryan Feltner (Colorado Rockies) vs Philadelphia Phillies

The rookie right-hander is another SP working diligently to reduce his ratio stats from their once inflated values, and has yielded just three earned runs over his last trips to toe the rubber. He is pitching at home here, not his best venue, but then again, the Phillies have not been tremendously effective away from their home ballpark. He strikes out nearly a batter per inning this season, although his control needs some attention.

Feel free also to send any starting pitching or other fantasy baseball questions to 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.


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