Fantasy Baseball 2-start pitcher rankings: Streaming will prove difficult in Week 14

Kyle Gibson headlines two-start streaming options for fantasy baseball managers in Week 14. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)
Kyle Gibson headlines two-start streaming options for fantasy baseball managers in Week 14. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

The first week of July offers a weak group of two-start streamers that includes a few low-ceiling, low-floor options (Kyle Gibson, Sean Manaea, Zack Littell) and a quartet of boom-or-bust youngsters (Simeon Woods Richardson, Hayden Wesneski, José Soriano, Spencer Arrighetti). On the hitting side, the Brewers are by far the best place to look for streamers in the coming days.

Gibson is coming off his worst start of the season, when he allowed four runs on four hits and five walks across four innings against Atlanta. For now, we can look past one poor outing and give the right-hander credit for posting a 3.70 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP across 15 starts. With two matchups this week and offenses that rank among the bottom-7 in OPS, Gibson can be started in virtually all leagues.

Woods Richardson hasn’t put his best foot forward of late, allowing nine runs and eight walks across 15.1 innings during his past three starts. And he can’t blame his matchups during that stretch, as he faced two teams (Oakland, Tampa Bay) who rank among the bottom-8 in OPS. Still, he has posted a 3.41 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP across 13 starts, which is good enough to get him into 12-team roto lineups for a week with one favorable matchup (Tigers) and a difficult one (Astros).

Manaea is the poster boy for a boring streamer. He averages five innings per start, strikes out a batter per inning, plays on an average team, and produces ratios (3.89 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) that do not significantly move the needle in either direction during limited fantasy usage. He can be streamed this week in 12-team roto leagues and head-to-head formats for two matchups against teams that rank in the bottom-7 in OPS.

Wesneski shifted from the bullpen to the rotation when he allowed three runs across four innings against the Giants on June 26. The long ball (two homers) ruined his outing, but the right-hander deserves some recognition for being able to strike out seven batters. Overall, Wesneski has plenty of potential and could be someone who becomes a roster mainstay in deeper formats. For now, he’s a solid one-week streamer who will benefit from the absence of Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber when he takes on a productive Phillies lineup.

Soriano returns from a short stay on the IL just in time for a two-start week that includes matchups against a pair of teams that rank among the bottom-10 in OPS. The right-hander is unlikely to rack up whiffs (7.5 K/9 rate) and could be on a lower pitch count for his initial outing, but his season-long ratios (3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) show that he could be more than a one-week streamer in deeper formats.

Arrighetti is coming off the best of his 14 career MLB starts, when he struck out 10 batters across seven shutout innings in a favorable home matchup against the Rockies. He will now take his 6.34 road ERA into a midlevel matchup against the Blue Jays (18th in OPS) and a difficult matchup with the Twins (7th in OPS). The right-hander’s ability to rack up whiffs (10.4 K/9 rate) adds to his potential of being a game-changer in head-to-head leagues.

After enduring some rough outings in the first half of June, Littell has righted the ship by logging an 11:3 K:BB while allowing four runs across 10 innings during his past two starts. He can be used in head-to-head leagues and deep roto formats this week for a pair of midlevel matchups. The Royals and Rangers have not played their best baseball of late, as both clubs were among the bottom-10 in June OPS.

After throwing one relief inning in his MLB debut on June 24, Mercado is set to take over the rotation spot that was vacated when Spencer Turnbull landed on the IL. The right-hander owns unremarkable career numbers in the minors, but he took a step forward by producing a 1.71 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP across 47.1 innings in Triple-A this year. He is someone to consider in head-to-head points leagues but isn’t ready to join rosters in other formats.

After struggling to collect strikeouts in his initial three starts, Peterson fanned 14 batters in his past two outings. Overall, the lefty has logged a 20:13 K:BB ratio that is not strong enough to be considered in anything but the deepest of formats. His one saving grace this week is that his disaster potential is limited by virtue of facing two of baseball’s weaker lineups.

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

We are set to see fireworks in Colorado when Milwaukee brings an offense that ranks seventh in runs scored into a four-game series at Coors Field against a pitching staff with a 5.60 ERA. Many of the best Brewers are already widely rostered, but Joey Ortiz (40%) and Sal Frelick (14%) can be added by those who need temporary help. Ortiz has not started the past three games due to neck soreness but is expected to return for this series. Also, Jackson Chourio and Rhys Hoskins should be given the benefit of the doubt by managers who may not always keep those players in the active lineup.

Houston is an excellent volume play for the next four days, as they are one of few teams with four games on their schedule. They will face a solid group of starters in Toronto, but they could thrive late in games against a bullpen that is riddled with injuries and sits 28th in baseball with a 4.74 ERA. Mauricio Dubón (11%) plays regularly and brings four-position eligibility that makes him easy to fit into lineups. Jake Meyers (11%) is another good option.