Two-Start Dive Bar: June 20-26

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, granddads, stepdads, fathers-in-law, uncles, older brothers, and generally speaking, all the “father figures” out there making people’s lives better by being in them. My family let me sleep in this morning, so I’m in the best possible mood anyone could be in without psilocybin.

What’s on your plate today? Barbeque? Burgers? Pizza? Steak? Frankly, all of the above doesn’t sound bad to me. What’s on our, collective, Two-Start Pitchers plate this week? A surprisingly upbeat group. This is the largest group of pitchers I’ve put on The Top Shelf maybe ever, and the bottom of The Bar Mat has just a few absolutely must not play red flags (though you should still avoid all of them down there).

All in all, you have a lot of good options this week. So let’s… dive right in.

That was a Dad Joke.

Happy Father’s Day.


The bold pitchers below are the most extreme version of each section. The best of the Top Shelf, the safest of the Well, the worst of the Bar Mat.

The Top Shelf

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Gerrit Cole, NYY @TB(MO) HOU(SA)
Shane McClanahan, TB NYY(MO) PIT(SU)
Corbin Burnes, MIL STL(MO) TOR(SA)
Yu Darvish, SD ARI(MO) PHI(SU)
Dylan Cease, CHW TOR(TU) BAL(SU)
Jose Berrios, TOR @CHW(MO) @MIL(SU)
Lance Lynn, CHW TOR(MO) BAL(SA)
Max Fried, ATL SF(MO) LAD(SA)
Jack Flaherty, STL @MIL(TU) CHC(SU)


  • This list shouldn’t surprise too many folks. A lot of very good pitchers have a pair of very good matchups (or one dynamite one, and one so-so)… but let’s face it, if any of these pitchers are on your roster, you aren’t considering benching them, maybe ever. And if they’re not on your roster, they’re certainly on someone else’s in your leagues.


The Well

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Nestor Cortes, NYY @TB(TU) HOU(SU)
Miles Mikolas, STL @MIL(MO) CHC(SA)
Logan Webb, SF @ATL(MO) CIN(SA)
Roansy Contreras, PIT CHC(TU) @TB(SU)
JT Brubaker, PIT CHC(MO) @TB(SA)
Aaron Ashby, MIL STL(TU) TOR(SU)
Spencer Strider, ATL SF(TU) LAD(SU)
Trevor Rogers, MIA @NYM(MO) NYM(SA)
David Peterson, NYM MIA(MO) @MIA(SU)
Tyler Mahle, CIN LAD(TU) @SF(SU)
Jose Urquidy, HOU NYM(TU) @NYY(SU)
Kris Bubic, KC @LAA(MO) OAK(SU)
Caleb Kilian, CHC @PIT(MO) @STL(SA)


  • This must be the first time I’ve recommended two Pirates pitchers in one week, but here we are, and you just have to love JT Brubaker and Roansy Contreras this week. Both the Cubs and Rays are below average in run scoring so far this season, and the Buccos get the Cubbies at home, and go down to the run-supressing confines of the Trop in the week’s second half.


The Bar Mat

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Marco Gonzales, SEA @OAK(TU) @LAA(SU)
Kyle Gibson, PHI @TEX(TU) @SD(SU)
Daniel Castano, MIA COL(TU) NYM(SU)
Zach Davies, ARI @SD(MO) DET(SU)
James Kaprielian, OAK SEA(TU) @KC(SU)
Aaron Civale, CLE @MIN(TU) BOS(SU)
Tony Gonsolin, LAD @CIN(TU) @ATL(SU)
Austin Gomber, COL @MIA(TU) @MIN(SU)
Josh Winckowski, BOS DET(MO) @CLE(SU)
Alex Faedo, DET @BOS(MO) @ARI(SU)
Matt Swarmer, CHC @PIT(TU) @STL(SU)
Erick Fedde, WSH @BAL(TU) @TEX(SU)
Sam Long, SF @ATL(TU) CIN(SU)
Bryan Baker, BAL WSH(TU) @CHW(SU)


  • I’m an A’s fan. This season is killing me, and while some day James Kaprielian should be a regular fixture further up this column, for now, you gotta avoid basically all A’s pitchers and their terrible run support, even when the matchups look great on paper, like this week, as the Mariners and Royals are only slightly less-awful than my beloved Athletics.


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