Quality starting pitching is essential to winning in fantasy baseball. If you have a pitcher that hasn’t been carrying their weight, consider adding a starting pitcher who will make two starts in Week 23.If the pitcher you consider isn’t at the top of the rankings, there’s often a chance he’ll throw at least one good game out of the two he is probable to start. Pitchers who make two starts generally keep a lower ERA and bring in more strikeouts over the course of a weekly head-to-head matchup. During fantasy baseball playoffs, two start pitchers take on even greater importance.
Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians, an FBD All-Star who is 19-2 with a 2.43 ERA, 145 strikeouts, and a 1.07 WHIP in 185.3 innings, tops our list of two-start fantasy baseball pitchers in Week 23. He takes the mound Monday versus the Chicago White Sox and then Sunday versus the Phillies and Kyle Kendrick. Other “must starts” in Week 23 include:
- Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers (12-7, 3.05, 144, 1.14) FBD All-Star
- Johan Santana, New York Mets (12-7, 2.70, 159, 1.14)
- Mike Mussina, New York Yankees (16-7, 3.41, 115, 1.20)
- Roy Oswalt, Houston Astros (12-9, 4.11, 135, 1.31)
The Sunday Special – A two-start pitcher who will impress you with his starts in Week 23:
- Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins (4-0, 3.12, 48, 1.32). Johnson has made 9 starts since July 10 and is still waiting for his first loss of the season. There has been a lot of fantasy hype surrounding Johnson, and for those of you in an opening round of a three week playoff structure, this is the week to take a chance on Johnson. His four wins have come in his last six starts, and over his previous four trips to the mound, he has logged 50% of his strikeouts. Only once this season has he given up more than 3 earned runs in a start. Johnson takes the mound Monday against Atlanta and Mike Hampton, then Sunday against St. Louis and Adam Wainwright.
Waiver Wire Wonder – A two-start pitcher owned in around 40% of leagues to consider in Week 23:
- Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies (7-7, 5.60, 101, 1.55). De La Rosa has been used on and off as a spot starter all season for the Rockies, but his strikeout total is impressive for a player owned in less than 40% of fantasy baseball leagues. The month of August has been great for De La Rosa – he went 2-1 with 23 strikeouts in around 28 innings. When you take a chance on a relative nobody like De La Rosa, you generally have to take the good with the bad. Strikeouts from De La Rosa are too good to pass up in a weekly “do-or-die” playoff matchup, even if you have to give up some points in ERA. He takes the mound Monday versus San Francisco and Jonathan O. Sanchez, then Sunday against Houston and Roy Oswalt.