The Double Dip is a new column over at FTN for 2021 fantasy baseball — and it’s meant to highlight pitchers that are making two starts in a week. Some of the plays may be obvious — you don’t need me telling you that when Jacob deGrom is starting twice, a 1,000-word soliloquy highlighting why it’s a good idea to start him. You just do it. 

But volume is key, especially two-start-pitcher volume. This column aims to identify all the two start hurlers, the ones that are no-brainers, the ones that are avoids, and most importantly, focus on the tough-to-call decisions. 

Each week, I’ll do my best to highlight some of those tricky arms, and what could come your way.

All of the two-steppers (32)

  1. Luke Weaver, AZ (at MIA, at NYM)
  2. Huascar Ynoa, ATL (at WAS, vs PHI)
  3. Dean Kremer, BAL (at SEA, vs BOS)
  4. Nick Pivetta, BOS (vs DET, at BAL)
  5. Kyle Hendricks, CHC (vs LAD, vs PIT)
  6. Aaron Civale, CLE (at KC, vs CIN)
  7. Sam Hentges, CLE (at KC, vs CIN)
  8. Casey Mize, DET (at BOS, vs MIN)
  9. Zack Greinke, HOU (at NYY, vs TOR)
  10. Jakob Junis, KC (vs CLE, vs CWS)
  11. Mike Minor, KC (vs CLE, vs CWS)
  12. Shohei Ohtani, LAA (vs TB, vs LAD)
  13. Walker Buehler, LAD (at CHC, at LAA)
  14. Nick Neidert, MIA (vs AZ, vs MIL)
  15. Kenta Maeda, MIN (vs TEX, at DET)
  16. J.A. Happ, MIN (vs TEX, at DET)
  17. Domingo Germán, NYY (vs HOU, vs WAS)
  18. Frankie Montas, OAK (vs TOR, vs TB)
  19. Cole Irvin, OAK (vs TOR, vs TB)
  20. Matt Moore, PHI (vs MIL, at ATL)
  21. Aaron Nola, PHI (vs MIL, at ATL)
  22. Tyler Anderson, PIT (at SD, at CHC)
  23. Justin Dunn, SEA (vs BAL, at TEX)
  24. Aaron Sanchez, SF (at COL, vs SD)
  25. Adam Wainwright, STL (vs NYM, vs COL)
  26. Kwang-hyun Kim, STL (vs NYM, vs COL)
  27. Michael Wacha, TB (at LAA, at OAK)
  28. Dane Dunning, TEX (at MIN, vs SEA)
  29. Kyle Gibson, TEX (at MIN, vs SEA)
  30. Steven Matz, TOR (at OAK, at HOU)
  31. Anthony Kay, TOR (at OAK, at HOU)
  32. Joe Ross, WAS (vs ATL, at NYY)

The no-brainers (18)

This group should definitely be in your starting lineup — whether it’s due to matchup or just sheer brilliance, don’t overthink this one. This is a larger group than regular, mostly due to excellent matchups.

The run-and-hides (4)

This group should only be started out of pure desperation — the volume is nice, and it definitely could end up working out for you, but starting these hurlers is a real gamble. 

  • Luke Weaver, AZ (at MIA, at NYM, 32% roster percentage in NFBC leagues): Weaver has been pretty poor this season, logging a near 5.00 ERA. The upside is a strikeout per inning and a matchup against a Mets offense that isn’t clicking. But, if you get chased early by the road Rockies, I cannot trust you.
  • Sam Hentges, CLE (at KC, vs. CIN, 0%): With Cleveland’s rotation in a bit of disarray, Hentges steps into a vacant spot, but this isn’t likely to be a worthwhile investment. Hentges’ longest outing of the 2021 season is three innings — he’s not likely to be stretched out long enough to garner the win.
  • Matt Moore, PHI (vs. MIL, at ATL, 0%): Coming off an injury, Moore is someone I am not interested in the least. He’s got an ERA pushing 10, and he’s still struggling with his command, as evidenced by his nine walks in 11 innings. Avoid.
  • Anthony Kay, TOR (at OAK, at HOU, 0%): The only thing Kay has going here is that the two matchups are out of Dunedin, FL, and on the road in two pitcher friendly environments. Kay has been a disaster so far this season, and while it’s early, it’s still not enough for me to buy in.

The meat and potatoes (10)

This group is one that takes a bit more thinking — the volume is nice, but the matchup could be tricky. Is it worth taking the risk on a questionable start for what could be some juicy fantasy goodness? Let’s dig in and find out.

And since they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I am going to use a similar rating scale that Clay Link and Todd Zola do over at Rotowire — if I was playing in five fantasy baseball leagues, how many would I feel comfortable starting this hurler? Using that as our barometer, we should be able to appropriately deem the risk and reward that’s available if you so choose to start this arm. Keep in mind — your league and team context are always key. I’m using a 12-team NFBC Online Championship format as my primary backdrop.

  • Dean Kremer, BAL (at SEA, vs. BOS, 0%) — ONE LEAGUE OUT OF FIVE: There isn’t much doubting the stuff here — Kremer has showed premium velocity, and in his return to the rotation in his last start against the Yankees, Kremer was dotting 97 MPH consistently. That’s great. However, he was bombed for 10 hits last time and while the Mariners start is tasty, the Boston start is a death trap.
  • Casey Mize, DET (at BOS, vs. MIN, 62%) — TWO: Mize has made some solid gains so far this season, even if the peripherals don’t necessarily reflect it with the 5.06 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. For me, the scarier part here is the matchups, as neither one is particularly breathtaking. I can see taking some risk here but there’s probably more bad than good with Mize.
  • Nick Neidert, MIA (vs. AZ, vs. MIL, 1%) — TWO: With a plethora of injuries to this rotation, including Sixto Sánchez and Elieser Hernandez, Niedert has had an opportunity to grab a rotation spot and run with it — he just hasn’t done it yet. What’s particularly perturbing is the walks — he’s surrendered one per inning of work. He does get to throw both at home, and Arizona is still likely without Ketel Marte’s services for a bit. Milwaukee (27.2% strikeout rate) provides some swing and miss upside potential.
  • Frankie Montas, OAK (vs. TOR, vs. TB, 100%) — THREE: I am a Frankie Montas stan. I can fully admit it. That’s the first step in admitting you have a problem, right? Montas burst on to the scene with a gorgeous split piece that he showcased. But Montas is still struggling to a return to form and the potent Baby Jays await. The upside if he can get through that start? A 26.6% strikeout rate Rays team.
  • Cole Irvin, OAK (vs. TOR, vs. TB, 1%) — THREE: Irvin is not an arm that lights up the radar gun as we are accustomed to seeing. He was rocked in his first two starts before turning a corner, striking out 20 over his last 17.1 innings pitched. With a matchup against the potent Toronto offense, I’m ignoring this one.
  • Tyler Anderson, PIT (at SD, at CHC, 2%) — TWO: The soft-tossing Anderson has been a bit of a positive surprise for the Bucs so far, recording a 3.38 ERA in his first 26.2 IP. The strikeout rate is up (23.6%), although it’s nothing to write home about. The Chicago start? Great. The Padres start? A bit scary.
  • Justin Dunn, SEA (vs. BAL, at TEX, 0%) — ONE: This again feels like we are falling into desperation with Dunn in a grab for some innings. And hey, I get it — I have some fantasy rotations that have been buried so far, so we are looking for any signs of positivity where we can find them. Dunn’s walk rate (15.7%) was something we wanted to believe was an aberration in a shortened 2020 — a near repeat (14.8%) is cause for concern. Stay away.
  • Aaron Sanchez, SF (at COL, vs SD, 23%) — TWO: After not playing last season, Sanchez may have found a niche in the Giants rotation. Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood are reclamation projects that seem to be working in the Bay Area, and Sanchez may be next. The downside? He hasn’t worked past the fifth inning yet in any start, and he gets a start in Coors. Buyer beware for this week.
  • Dane Dunning, TEX (at MIN, vs. SEA, 89%) — TWO: Getting knocked around a bit in his past two starts (five runs to the White Sox, four runs to the Angels), is the shine starting to wane a bit with Dunning? I think it’s just a rough patch. A glorious 50.7% ground-ball rate and excellent command (5.2% walk rate) keeps Dunning out of trouble. Seattle has a 26.5% strikeout rate, so upside abounds.
  • Joe Ross, WAS (vs. ATL, at NYY, 47%) — TWO: I think you may be taking a knife to a gun fight with Ross. While the veteran right-hander did pick up a win in his last start, he was absolutely blasted by these same Braves for 10 runs over 4.1 IP in his previous outing. Nearly a strikeout per inning is tempting, but under the hood we see a 5.70 FIP thanks to a 13.1% barrel rate. Ross is a ticking time bomb.