With the 2021 season, I’m changing how I’m doing my starting pitcher streamers and daily matchup rankings
Instead of being featured in the SP Roundup, I’ll be highlighting my SP streamer picks for today and tomorrow inside this article, while also introducing four tiers and adding notes to each table.
The four tiers are as follows:
Auto-Start – Just do it. Don’t overthink this, start the man.
Probably Start – I’m likely starting these arms, though I recognize there is more risk than we’d like there to be. Either it’s a tough matchup for a good pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm.
Questionable Start – There are situations where I’d take the chance, either with strong enough upside on the ability side, or a poor offense that a pitcher could take advantage of.
Do Not Start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t do it.
Obviously, there will be circumstances where pitchers should move between teams for your situation specifically and these new tiers should act as a little more help than the straight table from last year.
Please keep in mind that streaming is far from a perfect play. In fact, if they work out over half the time, I’d consider it a success. These matchup rankings & streamer picks are going to be wildly different than the actual results through the year, so please, have sympathy before the scathing comments and tweets. I’m only trying to help!
Make sure to read the notes if you’re wondering why I’m favoring certain pitchers over others – I won’t get to everyone and hopefully I answer what questions you will have.
There is a second table for tomorrow’s starting pitcher matchups as well, helping everyone get a jump on their nightly pickups. Please note that these matchups are subject to change, though, and there will be times when I have the incorrect pitcher going. I thank you for your future understanding.
Finally, I have highlighted in Green my streaming pick of the day – Yellow if I wouldn’t actually want to stream them (I have to pick one every day!) . These are defined as “rostered in 20% or fewer leagues,” which really emphasizes the point that I’d be happy if over 50% of these worked. I could do the whole sub 30/40% rostered, but there’s no fun in that. You can use the rankings to realize who would be those picks, instead.
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Despite allowing 4 ER against the Phillies last time out, I’d still start Ian Anderson everywhere without anxiety. He should be a worthy start through the year save for the toughest of offenses.
- I’m a little worried about Aaron Civale against the White Sox, as he hasn’t quite gotten into the rhythm we anticipated during the off-season. I’m still letting him fly, but there is an argument to be made to be conservative in shallow leagues.
- Yes, I’m starting Patrick Corbin against the Diamondbacks and I think it’s worth the gamble against a mediocre lineup. Keep in mind, his first start was after a disruptive COVID-IL stint + against the mighty Dodgers. With a game under his belt, we should see an improved Corbin.
- Look at Trevor Rogers go, as I can’t justify sitting him even if he faces a dangerous Atlanta squad. He was just too good against the Mets over the weekend.
- Even with his problematic fastball, Chris Paddack has every opportunity to succeed against the Pirates. Here’s to a start that instills confidence moving forward.
- I don’t think I need to convince you to start Sean Manaea against the Tigers, even after they roughed up Zack Greinke and Jake Odorizzi. Don’t overthink it.
- With the double-header yesterday, Justin Dunn makes his start today and that could work in his favor. I can’t help but feel his first outing was a product of nerves and with his increased velocity and improved breaker, this could be a sneaky good start.
- That makes Marco Gonzales the lead of the “Questionable Starts” and I really hope this pans out. He’s held questionable fastball command across his first two games and if he struggles against the Orioles, can you really trust him to turn it around?
- It brought me no happiness to watch Zach Eflin fail to find his curveball last outing, going from a 19% usage to just 8% thrown. This inconsistency has me wondering how often we can trust Eflin and a date with the Mets makes this a harder start to buy into.
- My streaming pick of the day is Bruce Zimmerman, who teeters the line of “solid” and “mediocre”. He’s executed well in two starts against the Red Sox and should be able to capitalize in a comfortable evening against the Mariners.
- I know, it’s the Padres, but Mitch Keller’s fastball was excellent against the Cubs last week. He still needs to refine his slider, but with time, I believe it will come. Don’t rule out another step forward against San Diego.
- Can Tarik Skubal get back on track against Oakland? Here’s to hoping he can find his secondary stuff as his season-long search continues.
- I know many are excited about Jakob Junis‘ new cutter, but I don’t see it as a major shift from the Junis we already knew – he has one great pitch, a 91 mph fastball, and nothing else to support him. I hope to be wrong – maybe his slider returns with the new cutter? – but for now, this is too risky of a play against a powerful Jays crew.
- It shocked me to see Jordan Lyles heavily rely on a slider instead of a curveball across his first two starts, for those in deep leagues, there is a shot that it works against the Rays. Avoid in your standard leagues.
|1||Jacob deGrom||vs. PHI|
|2||Lance Lynn||vs. CLE|
|3||Julio Urias||vs. COL|
|4||Ian Anderson||vs. MIA|
|5||Aaron Civale||@ CHW|
|6||Patrick Corbin||vs. ARI|
|7||Trevor Rogers||@ ATL|
|8||Sean Manaea||vs. DET|
|9||Chris Paddack||@ PIT|
|10||Marco Gonzales||@ BAL|
|11||Zach Eflin||@ NYM|
|12||Bruce Zimmermann||vs. SEA|
|13||Michael Pineda||vs. BOS|
|14||Rich Hill||vs. TEX|
|15||Mitch Keller||vs. SDP|
|16||Tarik Skubal||@ OAK|
|17||Justin Dunn||@ BAL|
|18||Garrett Richards||@ MIN|
|Do Not Start|
|19||Jakob Junis||vs. TOR|
|20||Merrill Kelly||@ WSH|
|21||Tanner Roark||@ KCR|
|22||Jordan Lyles||@ TBR|
|23||Matt Harvey||vs. SEA|
|24||Austin Gomber||@ LAD|
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Easy choices for auto-start today with a pair of Top 10 arms in Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler. I mean, duh.
- Kicking off Tier 2 is Frankie Montas, who had a successful rebound last time out and gets the Tigers. Yes, I know how the Tigers just embarrassed the Astros rotation but we can’t start treating Detroit like an above-average offense now, can we?
- Jose Urquidy and Yusei Kikuchi are squaring off and there’s very little discerning the better pick. Urquidy is the safer choice against a meh Mariners squad, though Kikuchi could be facing a depleted Houston squad, allowing his exciting skill set to take over.
- Yes, I’m still starting Drew Smyly despite his disappointing Sunday night performance. The Cubs are struggling and I think his fastball/curveball combination warrants your confidence.
- The streaming pick of the day is Anthony DeSclafani, who looked fantastic against Rockie Road over the weekend. While Miami is a step up from Colorado, it’s not a large enough difference to give hesitation.
- Closing out the tier is Steven Matz as he faces the questionable Royals. While I’m not quite sold for the full season, Matz has looked solid in his first two starts and should bring dividends to faithful managers.
- Tier 3 is filled with options and leads with Andrew Heaney against the Twins. The matchup is rough, but Heaney could make it work if he keeps up his velocity and elevates heaters effectively. It’s as ‘Cherry Bomb” of a start you’ll find.
- It does feel safe going with JT Brubaker against the Brewers but don’t overestimate Coffee Cakes just yet. There’s still a floor that can turn its ugly head here, even if Milwaukee misses Yelich in the lineup.
- Matt Shoemaker has been impressive as he’s learned harder on the slider as of late, though his famous hot streaks have been a product of getting for his splitter, not the breaker. It’s no lock that he comes out unscathed against a solid L.A. offense.
- We just don’t know what we’re going to get from Mike Minor as his velocity has jumped around in April thus far. If he can also get his changeup working again, he’ll succeed against the Jays. If not…you’ll be happy you approached this with caution.
- Zach Davies‘ success has relied on the feel of his changeup, which wasn’t there in his previous outing. A start against Atlanta is banking on a slow ball rebound and it’s unclear if it will return.
- Will Carlos Martinez finally put it all together? Here’s to hoping for 94 mph velocity with sliders and changeups that miss bats once again.
- It’s unclear if Dylan Cease will start against the Red Sox and even if he does, I’m not a fan. His command isn’t fixed and this has massive potential for a blowup.
- It feels weird to type it out, but I can see a scenario where Jose Urena has success against Oakland. I don’t buy it, but it’s a non-zero chance.
|1||Max Scherzer||vs. ARI|
|2||Walker Buehler||@ SDP|
|3||Frankie Montas||vs. DET|
|4||Jose Urquidy||@ SEA|
|5||Yusei Kikuchi||vs. HOU|
|6||Drew Smyly||@ CHC|
|7||Anthony DeSclafani||@ MIA|
|8||Steven Matz||@ KCR|
|9||Andrew Heaney||vs. MIN|
|10||JT Brubaker||@ MIL|
|11||Matt Shoemaker||@ LAA|
|12||Mike Minor||vs. TOR|
|13||Zach Davies||vs. ATL|
|14||Carlos Martinez||@ PHI|
|15||Adrian Houser||vs. PIT|
|16||Mike Foltynewicz||vs. BAL|
|17||Taylor Widener||@ WSH|
|18||Logan Allen||@ CIN|
|19||Jeff Hoffman||vs. CLE|
|20||Nick Pivetta||vs. CHW|
|Do Not Start|
|21||Dylan Cease?||@ BOS|
|22||Chi Chi Gonzalez||vs. NYM|
|23||Michael King||vs. TBR|
|24||Jorge Lopez||@ TEX|
|25||Joey Lucchesi||@ COL|
|26||Michael Wacha||@ NYY|
|27||Jose Urena||@ OAK|
|28||Ryan Weathers||vs. LAD|
|29||Daniel Castano||vs. SFG|
|30||Matt Moore||vs. STL|
Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)