Fantasy Baseball: The top starting pitchers to stream in Week 3

Garrett Whitlock has two favorable matchups this week, making him worthy of fantasy baseball managers' trust. (Photo by Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)
Garrett Whitlock has two favorable matchups this week, making him worthy of fantasy baseball managers' trust. (Photo by Paul Rutherford/Getty Images) (Paul Rutherford via Getty Images)

Fantasy baseball managers will need to be careful with their two-start pitchers this week, especially in roto leagues. Nearly every potential waiver wire pickup listed below has at least one dangerous matchup, and most of these hurlers have produced mixed results thus far. The outlook for one-start streamers is much more favorable, with plenty of pitchers riding hot streaks into favorable matchups this week. On the hitting side, Boston is a great place to start when looking for short-term additions.

Two-Start Pitchers (listed in order of preference)

Garrett Whitlock, 52% (vs. CLE, @PIT)

Whitlock continues to limit scoring (1.26 ERA) but has been less dominant (8:6 K:BB ratio) in his past two starts. He should be started in every league this week for matchups against a shallow Guardians lineup and a Pirates offense that has thus far overachieved to a small degree.

Seth Lugo, 43% (@CWS, vs. BAL)

Lugo has produced mixed results thus far, with strong ratios (1.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) but a poor K:BB ratio (9:5) across 18.2 innings. His first matchup is so appealing (the White Sox rank last in runs scored) that he should be started in most leagues.

Martín Pérez, 33% (@NYM, vs. BOS)

We have seen this from Pérez before. Last year, he logged a 2.41 ERA in April and a 5.08 mark the rest of the way. And in his career, his two best months in terms of run prevention are April and May. Fantasy managers in 12-team leagues may as well take a chance that he can extend his hot start (1.89 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) for at least one more week.

Reese Olson, 15% (vs. TEX, @MIN)

Olson shut out the Mets for 5.2 innings in his 2024 debut before struggling against the Pirates last time out. His 6:5 K:BB ratio doesn’t inspire much confidence, but he gets to work at his pitcher-friendly home park for his first start and his second outing this week comes against a Twins lineup that ranks 27th in OPS.

Louie Varland, 27% (vs. BAL, @DET)

Better days are likely ahead of Varland, who has dealt with a .385 BABIP while making his two starts against teams (MIL, LAD) who rank among the top three in OPS. His opposing starters this week are Cole Irvin and Casey Mize, which gives him some win potential, too.

Joe Ross, 5% (vs. SD, @STL)

Ross could be a great story this year, as he is off to a decent start (1.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) after missing all of the previous two seasons. He can be streamed in head-to-head leagues for his two starts but is too risky to find his way into roto lineups.

Jon Gray, 20% (@DET, @ATL)

The good news is that Gray has struck out 14 batters in 12.1 innings. But everything else has gone poorly, including allowing seven walks and two homers en route to a 4.38 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP. Those in head-to-head leagues can start him in hopes of 12-15 whiffs, while roto managers should be scared off by the Braves matchup.

Casey Mize, 17% (vs. TEX, @MIN)

After missing most of 2022 and all of 2023, Mize has produced mediocre results this year (4.82 ERA, 1.39 WHIP). He should only be considered in 15-team formats.

One-Start Streamers

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

  • Michael Wacha @CWS (Wednesday, 61)

  • Jared Jones @NYM (Tuesday, 67)

  • Logan Allen vs. OAK (Saturday, 41)

  • Ranger Suárez vs. COL (Tuesday, 54)

  • Spencer Turnbull vs. CWS (Friday, 52)

  • Max Meyer @CHC (Thursday, 50)

  • Zack Littell vs. LAA (Wednesday, 42)

  • Javier Assad vs. MIA (Saturday, 35)

  • Jack Flaherty @MIN (Friday, 47)

  • Paul Blackburn vs. STL (Wednesday, 38)

  • Steven Matz @OAK (Wednesday, 9)

  • Lance Lynn @OAK (Tuesday, 30)

  • Dane Dunning @DET (Wednesday, 22)

  • Keaton Winn @MIA (Wednesday, 2)

  • Tyler Wells vs. MIN (Wednesday, 31)

  • Reynaldo López @HOU (Tuesday, 40)

  • Dean Kremer @KC (Friday, 26)

  • Luis Gil vs. TB (Saturday, 31)

  • J.P. Sears vs. STL (Tuesday, 6)

  • Clarke Schmidt vs. TB (Friday, 19)

  • Sean Manaea @ LAD (Friday, 41)

  • José Quintana vs. PIT (Tuesday, 14)

  • Wade Miley vs. SD (Tuesday, 6)

  • Kenta Maeda vs. TEX (Thursday, 31)

  • Trevor Rogers vs. SF (Wednesday, 4)

  • Ryan Weathers vs. SF (Tuesday, 2)

  • Gavin Stone vs. NYM (Friday, 41)

Favorable Monday-Thursday hitting matchups

Red Sox vs. Guardians: I’m looking for volume in the coming days, as all three recommended teams in this section will play four games in the next four days. Boston is my favorite spot for hitters, as the Red Sox have plenty of left-handed hitters and will face four unremarkable righties. Popular Red Sox such as Tristan Casas and Masataka Yoshida should be in every lineup, while David Hamilton (1%) and Reese McGuire (8%) make sense off the waiver wire.

Giants @ Marlins: The Giants tend to play matchups when setting their lineup, which makes their right-handed hitters interesting sleepers during a series in Miami in which they will face three southpaws. Wilmer Flores (5%) leads the list. And those who normally make tough calls on Matt Chapman and Thairo Estrada will want to have them in the active lineup.

Rays vs. Angels: The Rays may have a bit of trouble with Reid Detmers but should otherwise have smooth sailing in a four-game series at home. José Siri (49%), José Caballero (50%) and Harold Ramírez (6%) are the top Tampa options who are sitting on many waiver wires.