For owners in weekly leagues, two-start pitchers are a key to maximizing wins and strikeouts. And oftentimes -- perhaps more often than you'd think -- they can be found on waivers, or even your bench.Let's take a look at the top two-start options heading into Week 19 of the fantasy
For owners in weekly leagues, two-start pitchers are a key to maximizing wins and strikeouts. And oftentimes -- perhaps more often than you'd think -- they can be found on waivers, or even your bench.
Let's take a look at the top two-start options heading into Week 19 of the fantasy baseball season.
J.A. Happ, Blue Jays (vs. Yankees and vs. Pirates)
Given his six-week stay on the DL due to elbow inflammation and his overall inconsistency this season, Happ is available in many mixed leagues. But since allowing seven runs in an outing vs. the Indians on July 23, the Blue Jays southpaw has delivered back-to-back quality starts, the most recent being a dominant performance on Wednesday against the White Sox (7 innings, one earned run, 10 Ks). Don't be surprised if Happ notches two more quality starts next week. Even though the Yankees rank fifth in the Majors in OPS this season, the New York offense has not been as productive in the second half, placing only 21st in OPS since the All-Star break. As for the Pirates, Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored, batting average and OPS. Happ should be started in all league formats.
Dylan Bundy, Orioles (at Angels and at Athletics)
Heading into June, Bundy carried a 2.89 ERA. In 10 outings since, he's managed to record just four quality starts while allowing at least five runs on four occasions. The good news is that the Orioles righty is fresh off one of his best performances of the season -- a victory over the Royals (8 innings, three hits, no earned runs). And both the Angels and the A's rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs, batting average and OPS. Given this, Bundy represents a viable two-start option in the majority of leagues.
Brent Suter, Brewers (at Twins and vs. Reds)
Even after allowing five runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings vs. the Cardinals on Wednesday, Suter still sports an impressive 2.93 ERA across seven appearances as a starter the season. Expect the 27-year-old lefty to get back on track next week, when he matches up against a pair of offenses that have really struggled of late; the Twins and the Reds both rank among the bottom six teams in the Majors in runs scored, batting average and OPS since the All-Star break. Owners in most mixed leagues should feel comfortable starting Suter.
Carsten Sabathia, Yankees (at Blue Jays and vs. Red Sox)
Despite being a pleasant surprise this season, Sabathia has not been quite as effective since returning from a three-week stint on the DL, allowing four runs in three of his five starts. But in the other two outings, the veteran southpaw earned a pair of wins, giving up a combined one run across 11 innings. Sabathia deserves a roster spot in deeper mixed leagues, and he will make for a fine two-start option next week. In two starts vs. the Red Sox this season, the 37-year-old has notched two wins, tossing a combined 14 scoreless innings. Although Sabathia has registered just one quality start in three matchups against the Blue Jays in 2017, he will be facing Toronto on the road, he has posted a 2.29 ERA across 10 starts away from Yankee Stadium this season.
Parker Bridwell, Angels (vs. Orioles and at Mariners)
With a thin big league track record and pedestrian strikeout rate, Bridwell has fantasy appeal that is limited to deeper mixed leagues and American League-only formats for now. But there's no denying that the 26-year-old righty has been exceptional in his first Major League starting opportunity, having allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his eight outings. Bridwell does not have an easy schedule next week -- he struggled against the M's on June 30, and the O's lead the AL in runs scored since the All-Star break -- but the hurler has been strong enough on the season overall to still be considered for his upcoming two-start stanza.
Zach Steinhorn is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com.