Fantasy Baseball: 2-start pitcher rankings, streaming tips and more for the first week of April

By | April 2, 2024

Jared Jones number 37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates

The MLB season is in full swing and April’s pitching stats are just as important as the stats that have accumulated over time. This is a tough week to target two-starters because most teams use their fourth or fifth starter at the beginning of the week.

[It’s not too late: Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

Still, there are some solid options. Let’s take a look at the players ready to make a big impact.

Two-starters (listed in order of preference)

Dean Kremer, 17% on the list (vs. KC, @PIT)

Kremer has marginal upside, but deserves credit for producing a 3.25 ERA in the second half of last season. He should register useful ratios in two starts on pitcher-friendly parks against teams that had the lowest 10 offenses last year. And his earning potential is high while working for a talented, growing team.

Tanner Houck, 7% (@OAK, @LAA)

Houck is looking to rebound from a disappointing 2023 season, but he entered that campaign with a healthy career 3.02 ERA over 146 innings. He performed well in spring training (2.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP) and opens the season with one gold matchup (A’s) and a respectable second start.

Reese Olson, 17% (@NYM, vs. OAK)

Olson enters his second season after a solid rookie campaign with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He would have to hold his own in a start at pitcher-friendly Citi Field before he has the potential to shut down an A offense that might be the worst in baseball.

Sean Manaea, 20% (vs. DET, @CIN)

Manaea enjoyed a furious finish to spring training, finishing with a sparkling K:BB ratio of 21:4. He should get off to a favorable start in his pitcher-friendly home park against a Tigers offense that ranked 28th in runs scored last season. But his rough second start in Cincinnati is keeping Manaea from climbing this list.

Max Meyer, 47% (vs. LAA, @STL)

Adding Meyer is a combination volume upside pick. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft could be a useful pitcher during a two-start week, but his placement on this list is also a tip-off to his significant long-term upside. Still, Meyer has no track record and is currently a risk for active use.

Luis Gil, 24% (@ARI, vs. TOR)

Gil entered spring training as an afterthought before emerging as the fifth starter due to an injury to Gerrit Cole and his own strong Grapefruit League results (2.87 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 23 SO in 15.2 IP). His matchups are mediocre, but his upside makes him intriguing in deeper formats.

James Paxton, 21% (vs. SF, @CHC)

After registering mediocre ratios with Boston last year (4.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP), Paxton did nothing of note in spring training. Still, it’s hard to ignore someone who can pile on scent while making two starts for an extremely talented Dodgers team. He’s a no-brainer in 15-team leagues and worth considering in 12-team leagues.

MacKenzie Gore, 44% (vs. PIT, vs. PHI)

Gore is coming off a mediocre spring with some highs (19 SO in 15.1 IP) and some lowlights (5.87 ERA, 1.30 WHIP). He’s a solid volume player for two home starts, but the expectation is that his ratios won’t be helpful.

One-start streamers

In order, here are the week’s top streamers, with their start date and Yahoo roster in brackets:

  • Kenta Maeda vs. Oak (Friday, 46%)

  • Jared Jones vs. BAL (Friday, 33%)

  • Tyler Wells @ PIT (Saturday, 54%)

  • Jack Flaherty vs. OAK (Saturday, 57%)

  • Seth Lugo vs. CWS (Thursday, 17%)

  • Gavin Stone @ CHC (Saturday, 57%)

  • Jordan Hicks vs. SD (Friday, 59%)

  • Reynaldo López @ CWS (Tuesday, 16%)

  • Reid Detmers vs. BOS (Saturday, 23%)

  • Casey Mize @ NYM (Tuesday, 23%)

  • Jose Quintana vs. DET (Wednesday, 17%)

  • Louis Varland @ MIL (Wednesday, 41%)

  • Garrett Whitlock @ LAA (Saturday, 31%)

  • Steven Matz vs. MIA (Saturday, 5%)

  • Erick Fedde @ KC (Friday, 4%)

  • Ranger Suárez @ WSH (Saturday, 32%)

  • Javier Assad vs. COL (Tuesday, 4%)

Favorable matchups Monday through Thursday

—Red Sox @ A’s: Oakland gave up 23 points in three games to the Guardians last weekend and could lead the Majors in points allowed this year. All Boston regulars should be in fantasy lineups, and rookie Ceddanne Rafaela (50%) could be added via waivers.

—Marlins vs. Angels: Miami will face the backend of the Angels rotation and staff ace Patrick Sandoval, who was rocked on opening day. With two southpaws among the three matchups, Tim Anderson (23%) is a strong waiver option. To top it all off, Miami will face Cardinals righty Lance Lynn (5.73 ERA in 2023) on Thursday.

—Pirates at Nationals: The Bucs will face three mediocre Washington starters, including righties Trevor Williams and Josiah Gray, in the final two games of the series. Jack Suwinski (51%) is a must-start player in the five-outfielder format.

—Cardinals @ Padres: The Cardinals are a nice volume game in the coming days as they face three right-handers during their series at Petco Park before taking on Marlins left-hander Ryan Weathers on Thursday. The trio of right-handers makes Brendan Donovan (24%) a viable target. Rookie Victor Scott III (43%) can be added by those looking to steal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *