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Two-Start Pitcher Streamers for Week 3


Two weeks in, how's your season going? Are you still hunting the waiver wire or are you already making plans for 2020? Well if you're still reading this, let's assume you're still in the hunt and want to know which two-start pitchers to snag this week.

Before we dive into this week's list, we'll do a quick recap of the first two weeks of the season. If you picked up Steven Matz for the first week you probably did pretty well, as Matz was the clear winner from the Week 1 column with 11 strikeouts while allowing only one earned run on eight hits and four walks. Meanwhile, Derek Holland is in the running to be the standout from the Week 2 column after allowing one run while striking out nine en route to his first win of 2019 against the Padres. Marco Gonzales is another Week 2 standout, allowing just two runs while striking out five to improve to 4-0 on the year against the Royals.

That's what's new with last week's pitchers, now let's take a look at which pitchers to consider picking up and streaming in Week 3 if they are still available in your leagues.

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Week 3 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Brandon Woodruff, MIL - 32% owned

Probable opponents: vs STL, vs LAD

Woodruff has gotten off to a good start in the strikeout department this year, as his 12.0 K/9 (20 strikeouts in 15 innings) is the ninth-highest in the majors among qualified pitchers. His ERA, on the other hand, is less than impressive at 6.00 after allowing eight runs over his last 10 innings. But while he can stand to improve his ERA, Woodruff has only allowed four walks over three starts, and his 5.0 strikeout-to-walk rate is the 19th best rate in the majors.

He will start off next week with a home start against the Cardinals, which has proven to be a middle-of-the-road offense to start the year. The Cardinals just erupted for a season-high 11 runs on Thursday night against the Dodgers, but prior to that onslaught, they had averaged 4.3 runs per game over their previous six games. That start should also be a high-strikeout potential outing for Woodruff, as the Cardinals' 25.7 percent strikeout rate is the ninth-highest in the majors.

The outing against the Dodgers is a risky play, as they have been the second-highest scoring offense in the majors averaging 6.85 runs per game. But the Dodgers have struggled in their series against the Cardinals, where they have averaged 3.0 runs per game while hitting .211 with 38 strikeouts. Woodruff will be a bit of a risky pick this week, but he could pay off pretty nicely for owners willing to take the gamble.

 

Trevor Richards, MIA - 30% owned

Probable opponents: vs CHC, vs WAS

Richards will be a nice addition for owners in leagues that count quality starts, as he has recorded a quality start in each of his three outings this year. He's even coming off six shutout innings against Cincinnati in which he posted seven strikeouts for the second start in a row. And yet he is 0-1 thanks to the non-existent run support from the Marlins offense. Richards was a little wild against the Reds as he allowed five walks after allowing a combined five walks in his first two starts, but he has allowed just four runs over 18 innings this season.

Looking at it realistically, Richards probably won't get you wins this week thanks to the barely functioning Marlins offense. But he could get you quality starts and decent strikeouts. The Nationals have the 10th-highest strikeout rate in the majors at 25.7 percent, while the Cubs are sitting at 22.4 percent. In terms of run-scoring, the Cubs have been all or nothing recently.

Over their last two series, the Cubs have had three games where they scored 10 or more runs and three games where they've been held to two runs. Meanwhile, the Nationals have averaged 10 runs per game since their series finale at the Mets, but prior to that game, they had been averaging 4.9 runs per game. Like Woodruff, Richards will be a risky play this week, but owners in quality-start leagues should definitely look at picking him up.

 

Week 3 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Jake Odorizzi, MIN - 15% owned

Probable opponents: vs TOR, @ BAL

Look hear me out OK? Yes, Odorizzi has thrown only 5 1/3 innings combined over his last two starts. Yes, he has an 11.81 ERA in that span with four strikeouts to seven walks. But those two starts were against the hot bats of the Phillies and the Mets. You know who he has this week? The Toronto ".193 average, 3.0 runs per game" Blue Jays and the Baltimore ".237 average, 4.42 runs per game" Orioles.

Odorizzi started off the season with an 11-strikeout performance against the Indians, who currently have a major-league worst 29.7 percent strikeout rate. But wait, which team has the second-worst strikeout rate you ask? Why that would be the Blue Jays of course with a 28.0 percent rate! After back-to-back bad outings last week, owners should expect Odorizzi to have a very nice bounce-back week against a couple of soft opponents. He might be the best guy in this week's column to own.

 

Mike Minor, TEX - 13% owned

Probable opponents: vs LAA, vs HOU

If you're in a quality start league and Richards has already been added, owners might want to consider Minor this week. After getting roughed up in his first start of the year against the Cubs, Minor has posted back-to-back outings of seven innings pitched and two or fewer runs. Minor will be getting a second crack at the Astros this week after earning his first win of the year against Houston with seven shutout innings and a season-high seven strikeouts on April 3.

The Astros (3.92 runs per game) and the Angels (4.0 runs per game) currently have the 10th and 11th-lowest scoring offenses respectively, with the Angels sitting in the bottom-10 in the league with a .217 average, .304 on-base percentage and .359 slugging percentage. Minor will also get a slight boost playing at home for both of his starts, where he posted a better ERA last season (3.45) than what he put up on the road (5.14). Add Minor this week and ride the hot streak while it lasts.

 

Tyler Mahle, CIN - 8% owned

Probable opponents: @ LAD, @ SDP

Another victim of an anemic offense, Mahle has allowed just one run over 11 innings this season for a minuscule 0.82 ERA but is still without a win in 2019. In his last outing against the Marlins, Mahle allowed one run on two hits and four walks over five innings with seven strikeouts. Mahle will get his first test against a top-10 offense this week in the Dodgers, and that might be enough reason for owners to be skeptical about his value.

Since I already wrote about the Dodgers' offense when talking about Woodruff, let's check out San Diego. The Padres currently have the seventh-lowest scoring offense in the majors — averaging 3.54 runs per game — with the 15th-highest strikeout rate (22.9 percent) and the 10th-lowest batting average (.231). Heading into that game, Mahle is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 11.3 K/9 in two career starts against San Diego.

Similar to Minor, Mahle's splits suggest that he could pitch well this week, except unlike Minor, Mahle's career splits show he's pitched slightly better on the road (3.96 ERA) than at home (4.80). After having only two starts so far against under-performing offenses, Mahle is probably the riskiest play this week as owners face the unknown of how he will fare against the Dodgers. But if you're desperate to find a two-start lottery pick this week, Mahle is your guy and he'll almost certainly be available to grab.

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