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Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 6

Going outside the world of fantasy baseball for a moment, can I just say how great it is to be able to go back to games this year? I've managed to get out to a Brewers and a White Sox game this month, I snagged my first ever live ball at a game (an Andres Gimenez ground-rule double), and I've managed to show up on the TV broadcasts twice this year. Just all-in-all between fantasy and real-world games, this season has gotten off to a great start.

But enough about me, you guys want to hear about which two-start streamers you should target in Week 6. Well just hold on a second and we'll get there, but first we'll recap how the past two weeks have gone. Looking at Week 4, you'll be hard-pressed to find a guy you could really call a winner from that column. To be fair, I did say that they would likely be the worst group of two-start streamers I write about this year. If you had to declare a winner it would probably have to be Tyler Anderson, because despite only making one start that week he still had the best overall performance with seven strikeouts while allowing two runs in five innings to earn the win over Detroit. And now Week 5 isn't looking like it'll be a great week either due to injuries and moved starts. Trevor Rogers remains on track to be the best two-start pitcher after recording seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings against the Brewers. And while now neither one is in line to make a second start in Week 5, Adam Wainwright (9 IP, 2 ER, 8 K) and Carlos Martinez (7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, W) both put up solid outings in their lone start.

Now that we got the recap out of the way, let's take a look at who to stream in Week 6.

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Week 6 Streamers — Under 50% Rostered

Kyle Gibson, TEX - 49% rostered

Probable Opponents: @ MIN, vs SEA

Gibson is the first of two pitchers this year to be featured twice as a two-start streamer in this column, and his value has gone up significantly since being featured in the Week 3 column. Looking toward Week 3, Gibson had put up mixed results through his first two starts, allowing five runs in 1/3 inning in his first start against Kansas City and then tossing six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts against Toronto.

Now looking toward Week 6, we can look at his numbers and see that over his last four starts Gibson is 2-0 with a 0.67 ERA and 21.4 percent strikeout rate, as he has pitched at least six innings and allowed one or fewer earned runs in each of those starts. Batters are struggling to make good contact off Gibson so far, with his 5.2 percent barrel rate, 28.1 percent sweet-spot rate, .232 xBA and 32.3 percent hard-hit rate all the best marks he has recorded in the Statcast Era. He's also done a good job getting batters to swing and miss at pitches outside the zone, as he's increased his chase rate (29.2%) while dropping his chase-contact rate (53.1%), which has helped lead him to posting a career-best 29.9 percent whiff rate.

He'll open up the week playing at Target Field against his former teammates, as it'll be the first time he's faced the Twins since joining Texas in 2020. That matchup will be the tougher start of Week 6, as the Twins are middle-of-the-pack with a 23.8 percent strikeout rate, while their .241 average and .409 slugging percentage both rank in the top-10 in the majors. The one slight advantage he'll get over Minnesota is that they have hit slightly worse this season against right-handed pitching (.233 average, .706 OPS) than against left-handed pitching (.258 average, .727 OPS).

Gibson should still have a good performance against Minnesota, and then he'll get a great matchup versus Seattle to close out the week. Seattle's 26.5 percent strikeout rate is the seventh-highest in the majors right now, while their .205 average, .285 on-base percentage and .364 slugging percentage all rank in the bottom-five in baseball. Gibson should be the number one target this week, and after you grab him you should strongly consider keeping him on your roster full-time.

Kwang Hyun Kim, STL - 40% rostered

Probable Opponents: vs NYM, vs COL

After opening the season on the injured list, Kim is now coming off his second start of the year in which he limited the Reds to one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out eight. He looked better on the mound than in his season debut, in which he lasted three innings after allowing three runs on five hits and one walk against the Phillies. Obviously we're dealing with a very small sample size so far with Kim, but he's shown an increase in his whiff rate from 18.3 percent last season to 30.3 percent this year, while his current 27.1 strikeout rate is up from 15.6 percent in 2020 — but again we're dealing with a sample of two starts. However it's not Kim's season numbers that have me intrigued this week, it's the matchups that he'll have while pitching at home that make him an interesting option.

First off, we can draw from a larger sample size with Kim when we see that he has pitched better in his career at home (1.14 ERA, 0.887 WHIP) than on the road (3.00 ERA, 1.250 WHIP). And this week he'll be facing a pair of teams that have struggled while playing on the road. He'll face the Mets first, as they are a middle-of-the-pack team early this year with a 23.9 percent strikeout rate and .234 average. They're currently doing worse on the road (.231 average, .654 OPS) than at home (.237 average, .687 OPS), however they have managed to do well against left-handed pitching this year — hitting .250 with a .750 OPS against southpaws.

However they also have struck out at a slightly higher rate against lefties (25.4%) than right-handers (23.6%), so that could be a point in favor of Kim in this matchup. But really, it's his second start of the week that managers should be salivating over. The Rockies currently sport a 24.4 percent strikeout rate, and they have one of the worst home-road splits in the majors as they are slashing .199/.266/.294 playing away from Coors Field. Kim is a bit of a risky play this week, but I think the matchups could work out in his favor and make him a solid two-start option.


Week 6 Streamers — Under 25% Rostered

J.A. Happ, MIN - 20% rostered

Probable Opponents: vs TEX, @ DET

After failing to make it through five full innings in his first two starts, Happ has now thrown seven innings and earned the win in each of his last two starts — including a no-hitter bid that went into the eighth inning against the Pirates. The strikeout rate hasn't really been there early on, as his 14.9 percent strikeout rate and 17.6 percent whiff rate are the lowest marks of his career. But what he has been able to do is limit base runners and limit runs.

He'll open up the week with a matchup that should boost his strikeout numbers, as he takes on a Texas Rangers squad that has the second-highest strikeout rate in the majors at 28.6 percent. They also have hit worse against left-handers (.220/.282/.336) than right-handers (.237/.318/.397) this season — another point in Happ's favor.

As if that wasn't a solid enough matchup, he'll finish off the week against the Detroit Tigers and their league-worst 29.6 percent strikeout rate. And like the Rangers, the Tigers have struggled against left-handed pitching, slashing .174/.229/.247 against southpaws. I still like Gibson as the top option this week, but with these matchups Happ is a very close second on this list.

Shane McClanahan, TB - 15% rostered

Probable Opponents: @ LAA, @ OAK

Who doesn't love a good pitching prospect? McClanahan made his regular season debut on Thursday afternoon, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five in four innings of work against the Athletics. It might be a little aggressive to look at him as a two-start streamer after just one start, but he has some great strikeout potential looking at his 31.6 percent strikeout rate over 127 2/3 career innings in the minors, and he recorded a 45.5 percent whiff rate in his start Thursday.

The Angels will be his toughest matchup in Week 6, as their 22.1 percent strikeout rate is the fourth-lowest in the majors, while their .265 average, .321 on-base percentage and .432 slugging percentage each rank in the top-10 in the league. However, the Angels are also doing worse against left-handers (.239/.303/.428) than against right-handers (.275/.328/.433).

If he makes it out of the first start relatively unscathed, McClanahan will get a second crack at an Athletics squad that ranks in the bottom-10 in the league with a .216 average and .304 OBP to go along with a 24.6 percent strikeout rate. He's a wild card this week, but if you're looking for a streaming option in deeper formats he's worth considering as a high-strikeout upside pitcher.

Tyler Anderson, PIT - 6% rostered

Probable Opponents: @ SDP, @ CHC

And now we round out this week's list with our second returning two-start streamer. Anderson has quietly been a solid streaming option to start the year, going 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 23.6 percent strikeout rate through five starts. He's tossed at least five innings while allowing three or fewer runs in each of his starts, and his last time out he earned the quality start by allowing one run in six innings with five strikeouts against the Royals.

He'll be on the road for both starts in Week 6, as he faces the Padres for the second time this year to open things up before making his third start against the Cubs to close out the week. Anderson earned his first win of the year in his previous outing against San Diego, holding the Padres to just one run on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Since that matchup, the Padres have been on a bit of a slump with a .223/.298/.341 triple-slash line in the 13 games since Anderson's outing, while also posting a bloated 26.6 percent strikeout rate in that span.

And then looking at the matchup with Chicago, Anderson will look for better results as he's 0-2 against the Cubs despite limiting them to three runs in five innings each time out. He had plenty of success against them in strikeouts though, with a 26.1 percent strikeout rate in 10 1/3 innings against the Cubs. Maybe I'm crazy putting this much faith into a Pirates pitcher, but I like his potential this week. I'd go so far as to say that managers should grab Anderson and double him up with any of the other two-start streamers on this week's list.

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