Baseball season is here, which means it's time to maximize your innings and start grabbing pitchers with two starts this week. Week 1 is the toughest week to find under-the-radar options, since every team is trotting out their top starters to begin the week.
The staggered schedule makes things harder as some teams won't even be repeating their starters until the second week begins. Don't worry though, there are still some quality arms out there. Every good fantasy owner knows that there is always value to be found if you search hard enough. Here are the top two-start pitchers to stream for Week 1.
Note: I will be selecting starting pitchers who are owned in 50% or less of Yahoo! leagues.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Under the Radar Two-Start SP Streamers - Week 1
Ervin Santana (SP, MIN) – owned in 27.1% of Yahoo! leagues
Projected starts: vs. KC, @CHW
Ervin Santana, the Twins opening day starter, is this week’s go-to guy for two-start streamers. Santana is coming off a very strong second half in 2016 where he put up a 2.65 ERA in 88.1 innings, including an 8.35 K/9. Santana gets two easy opponents this week, starting on Monday against the Royals, who were just 28th in wOBA against righties last year. Santana comes with even more upside in his second start against the White Sox, who have a dumpster fire of a lineup. If Santana is able to sustain his second half performance from last year, he will carve up these lineups and provide great value as a two-start streamer.
Tyler Anderson (SP, COL) – owned in 11.4% of Yahoo! leagues
Projected starts: @MIL, vs. LAD
Normally it’s an awful idea to ever recommend a pitcher with a start in Coors, but Tyler Anderson and teammate Jon Gray have proven to be a rare breed of pitcher who can survive the high altitude by feeding off a steady diet of groundballs and strikeouts. Anderson, the less recognized of the two, was able to keep a 3.00 ERA at home last season with a 3.51 FIP and 3.56 xFIP supporting him. His first matchup in Milwaukee might actually more dangerous than his start at home, as the Brewers crushed lefties last year with a .331 wOBA and play in the ultra-hitter-friendly environment of Miller Park. But if Anderson can survive Coors, he can survive Miller too, and the Brewers were a strikeout machine, K-ing 24.7% of the time versus southpaws. Back home, Anderson gets the Dodgers, who were dead last in wOBA vs L in 2016 by a huge margin. While they have been able to improve their lefty-hitting capabilities with the additions of Franklin Gutierrez and Logan Forsythe, the notoriously bad LA lineup shouldn’t be a big threat to Anderson.
Ricky Nolasco (SP, LAA) – owned in 6.3% of Yahoo! leagues
Projected starts: @OAK, vs. SEA
Not the ideal Opening Day starter, Ricky Nolasco nonetheless has two good matchups this week against Oakland and Seattle. It’s important to start with that, because Ricky Nolasco is not a good pitcher. He has a particularly good first matchup in Oakland, one of the best pitchers’ parks in the entire league. The A’s put up a paltry .302 wOBA against righties in 2016, so Nolasco should have little trouble with them. The Mariners pose more of a threat with their improved lineup from last year, although Nolasco’s home park should help suppress their offense. By using Nolasco, you run the risk of him completely melting down, but it’s tough to pass up a start in Oakland.
Jeremy Hellickson (SP, PHI) – owned in 28.8% of Yahoo! leagues
Projected starts: @CIN, vs. WAS
Continuing with the theme of pitchers with one good and one bad start this week, Jeremy Hellickson gets Cincinnati and Washington – can you guess which one is which? Hellickson had a solid 2016 campaign with a 3.71 ERA and improved metrics such as a 2.14 BB/9 and 3.42 K/BB, landing him his second opening day start with Philadelphia. His start against the Reds, who were in the middle of the pack against righties, should go well, and Hellickson is likely to earn a win against Scott Feldman. The Nationals are a much scarier matchup, but if Hellickson is able to scrape by at home in his second start, he will provide positive value overall for the week.
Patrick Corbin (SP, ARI) – owned in 3.7% of Yahoo! leagues
Projected starts: vs. SF, vs. CLE
Patrick Corbin is coming off an abysmal season, yet still carries a bit of upside as the Diamondbacks' second starter. He was once a hyped-up sleeper after a fantastic 2015 return from Tommy John surgery, but fell apart in 2016. Because of his remaining potential and decent matchups, Corbin is a plausible play this week. The Giants were ineffective against lefties last year and did little to remedy that this offseason. The defending American League champion Indians aren’t as scary as they seem, as they were only league average against southpaws in 2016 and are without Jason Kipnis. If you’re a believer in the talent and willing to take on the risk, Corbin could reward you this week.