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 10 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 10 of the fantasy baseball season.
Junior Guerra | Brewers | vs. Giants and at D-backs
Since returning from a seven-week disabled-list stay due to a calf strain, Guerra has been outstanding, boasting a 0.77 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP across two starts. The 32-year-old righty was Milwaukee's most reliable starting pitcher for much of last season (9-3, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in 20 starts), so he certainly belongs on most mixed league rosters. As for next week, Guerra should be started in most league formats. The Giants rank last in the NL in both runs scored and OPS, and while the D-backs rank among the top five teams in the Senior Circuit in runs and OPS, Guerra handled the Arizona lineup rather well last week, tossing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
Dan Straily | Marlins | at Cubs and at Pirates
Fresh off a stellar performance against the Phillies on Wednesday, when he gave up just one earned run over 6 2/3 innings while racking up 10 strikeouts, Straily has now allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts. The 28-year-old righty, who sports a solid 3.56 ERA and 1.12 WHIP for the season, now heads into a favorable two-start week, as the Cubs and the Pirates ranked among the bottom five teams in the Majors in batting average and OPS in the month of May. Straily makes for a viable starting option in the vast majority of mixed leagues.
Sean Manaea | Athletics | vs. Blue Jays and at Rays
Having allowed a combined one run over his past two starts (14 IP) to go along with 17 strikeouts, Manaea could be on the verge of taking his big league career to the next level. The young southpaw was dominant in the second half last season, pitching to a 2.67 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 13 appearances (12 starts), so there is clearly a lot to like about him going forward. Owners in all league formats should feel comfortable starting Manaea next week. The Blue Jays rank in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored, batting average and OPS, while the Rays, despite ranking eighth in the Majors in overall OPS, place only 21st in OPS vs. left-handed pitching. The Tampa Bay offense also leads the Majors in strikeouts by a wide margin.
Jaime Garcia | Braves | vs. Phillies and vs. Mets
Wednesday night's strong outing vs. the Angels (7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) marked Garcia's third straight quality start and lowered his season ERA to 3.18. Very quietly, the veteran lefty is piecing together a fine season in his first year with the Braves, which is not overly surprising considering his proven big league track record. The Phillies rank in the bottom third of the Majors in runs, batting average and OPS. The matchup against a Mets club that places 11th in runs is a lot more challenging, but Garcia's impressive recent results along with his favorable first matchup of the week is enough of a reason to give him the starting nod in most formats.
Antonio Senzatela | Rockies | vs. Indians and at Cubs
Senzatela has allowed four earned runs in three of his past four starts, so he's more of a deep-league option for next week. Still, the promising rookie carries a 3.49 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP into this two-start stanza, and he has actually pitched better at Coors Field (5-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) than on the road (2-1, 4.18 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Both the Indians and the Cubs ranked in the bottom third of the Majors in runs scored, batting average and OPS in May, so there's reason to be optimistic about Senzatela.
Zach Steinhorn is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com.