Fantasy Baseball 2-start pitcher rankings: Streaming strategy for Week 9

Cole Irvin is an intriguing two-start option for fantasy baseball managers this week. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Cole Irvin is an intriguing two-start option for fantasy baseball managers this week. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Although the two-start streamer list doesn’t match the bounty from last week, there are still five strong options and a few other arms to consider in deeper fantasy baseball formats. On the hitting side, managers should look to the Cubs and Blue Jays for help over the next four days.

With John Means and Dean Kremer landing on the IL last week, Irvin returns to the rotation and should hold his spot for the foreseeable future. The left-hander stumbled in his most recent outing and lacks strikeout upside, but he benefits from pitching in front of one of baseball’s best teams and has posted stellar ratios (2.90 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) in seven starts. Having two starts at his pitcher-friendly home park propelled Irvin to the top of this list.

Despite dealing with a .342 BABIP that has contributed to a 1.25 WHIP, Littell has combined solid swing-and-miss skills (9.0 K/9) with excellent control to maintain a 3.42 ERA. His start against Oakland has the potential to be a stellar outing, and he should be adequate at an offense-suppressing park against a tough Orioles lineup.

There are reasons to like Stone, namely that he owns a solid 3.60 ERA and has picked up four wins in nine starts by virtue of being supported by an outstanding roster. Additionally, the right-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in all but one of his past seven starts. He would top this list if not for an awful 6.1 K/9 rate that limits his upside.

In three career starts, Gasser has done some great things, including allowing nary a homer and issuing just one free pass. He would be placed at the top of this list is not for a dismal 3.2 K/9 rate. The lack of whiffs caps Gasser’s upside in head-to-head leagues, but he is a safe roto option, as the Cubs have struggled offensively of late and the White Sox are the lowest scoring team in baseball.

Marsh has some similarities to Irvin and Stone, having produced outstanding ratios (2.72 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) despite poor strikeout skills (7.5 K/9). However, he doesn’t rank as high on this list, as his .252 BABIP and 5.7% HR/FB rate are marks that he cannot sustain. His matchups are reasonable, as both opposing lineups are slightly better than average.

Megill enjoyed a respectable return from the IL last Monday when he struck out seven Guardians while allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings. Still, with a challenging matchup against the Dodgers to open the week and a limited 2024 sample size upon which to be judged, Megill is riskier than the men who precede him on this list.

Perhaps it’s caused by the plethora of quality pitching this year, but there remains little fantasy buzz on Criswell, who has logged helpful fantasy stats (2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) and a 34:8 K:BB ratio across 34.2 innings. The righty would climb higher on this list if not for his expected lack of volume after averaging 4.2 innings in his seven starts.

Although Woods-Richardson continues to look outstanding at first glance (2.57 ERA, 1.11 WHIP), a deeper assessment reveals reasons for concern. The right-hander has struck out just five batters in his past three starts, and he has benefited from making most of his outings against baseball’s worst lineups. Woods-Richardson will face a stiffer test this week, when he tangles with two lineups that are among the top-10 in OPS.

Although Parker has yet to dominate the competition (7.6 K/9), he has effectively limited homers and walks en route to producing solid ratios (3.32 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) in his initial seven big league starts. Still, the start in Atlanta against a slumbering-but-potent Braves lineup — now without Ronald Acuña Jr. for the rest of the season — is scary enough to relegate Parker to head-to-head leagues.

Irvin could have an identical paragraph to Parker, as both men suppress walks and homers despite failing to strike many batters out. The Atlanta matchup gives both men too much downside to be considered in roto formats.

In order, here are the best streamers for the week, with their start date and Yahoo roster rate in brackets.

Cubs @ Brewers: Fantasy managers can easily identify the men to stream when Chicago travels to a hitter-friendly park for four games against right-handed starters. Mike Tauchman (19%) has been hitting leadoff against righties, which makes him the best streamer from this club. Lefty slugger Michael Busch (47%) has been cold of late but should be on all four lineup cards.

Blue Jays @ White Sox: An underachieving Blue Jays lineup could fare better than usual when they manage to avoid the only two effective starters on a weak White Sox staff. Danny Jansen (25%) and Davis Schnieder (21%) are the men to stream, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa (3%) deserving a look in deep formats. Also, those who waiver on starting Justin Turner (62%) and Daulton Varsho (65%) should put them in lineups.

Braves vs. Nationals: Hitters on Atlanta are solid volume plays for four home games against a respectable Nats staff that lacks star hurlers. Most of this star-studded lineup is already rostered in every league, but Orlando Arcia (18%) is someone to consider in 12-team formats.