Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 17
This time of year can be very dangerous for AL or NL-only owners. Tuesday is MLB’s trade deadline and many players get shipped off to the opposite league. Some fantasy leagues have rules in Only Leagues that if a player is traded to the opposite league, you lose him for the rest of the year. So for instance, Lance Lynn was traded to the Dodgers from the White Sox. If you are in an AL-Only league that employs this rule, you’d lose the services of Lynn…not that he’s been pitching great, but you get the point.
Be mindful of your team if you are in that type of league, because nothing can destroy a fantasy season like losing a valuable player. For instance, over the last few weeks Shohei Ohtani owners, (like me), have been holding our collective breath with the thought of Shohei getting shipped off to an NL team. It seems we are safe since they just traded for Lucas Giolito and presumably holding Ohtani for the entire season. Right now, Juan Soto and Blake Snell owners in NL-Only leagues are dealing with this anxiety, fearing he could wind up in an Orioles or Rays uniform come Wednesday.
With that in mind, here are a couple of starters who will be making two starts this upcoming week. One in the AL and one in the NL. They are each set to pitch Monday. Hopefully they stay on their teams through the deadline, and not have their second start next week be with a different team in the opposite league.
RHP Seth Lugo, San Diego Padres
With all the star power in San Diego and all the money shelled out on their payroll, Lugo is an under the radar guy. He’s only making $7.5M per season, through 2024, before becoming a free agent. For a team looking for a pitcher under team control for at least more than the next couple of months, Lugo could be a desirable addition…so be cautious if you decide to allocate FAAB money towards picking him up.
Despite fairly decent numbers, he’s still available in about 40% of leagues so there’s a chance he’s available in yours. He’s 4-5 in 15 starts with the Padres. He has 79 Ks on the season, nearly striking out a batter per inning and his ratios are very solid. He has fantastic accuracy, only walking 16 batters in 82 innings, which is one of the reasons for his low 1.20 WHIP. And he also has a very solid 3.62 ERA.
RHP J.P. France, Houston Astros
There’s been a ton of chatter to reunite Justin Verlander with the Astros. If that were to be explored, it’s important to see what pieces would end up going back to the Mets. Realistically, France wouldn’t be part of any trade. Mainly for two reasons, he’s pitching too well, and he’s cheap and under team control for years to come. This is his first season with the team, with no service time prior to the 2023 season. He was only paid a $1,000 signing bonus and is under team control for the next six seasons.
He’s been slotted in as the team’s no.4 starter and was a lifesaver for the Astros when they dealt with so many early season injuries to the staff. Luis Garcia, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy are still out, so France’s spot in the rotation is fairly secure at this time. For the season he’s 6-3 in 14 starts. He’s still available in about 25% of leagues. His ratios are rock solid with a 1.22 WHIP and 2.87 ERA. A play for France wouldn’t just be for this week’s two starts. If you’re in a keeper league, this is the kind of pitcher you should be targeting for 2024 and beyond.