SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/20 & 4/21

Nick Pollack ranks every SP matchup for today and tomorrow.

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

 

  • While Corbin Burnes has the toughest matchup of the lot, with the way he’s pitching it’s hard to deny him the #1 spot when no Top 10 arm is on the bump.
  • I imagine Zac Gallen will be above Hyun-Jin Ryu in future weeks, but for now, he’s likely on a stricter pitch count and slides right underneath Ryu.

 

  • After throwing a no-hitter against Cleveland, can you really deny Carlos Rodon a repeat start?
  • At the tail end of Tier 1, Julio Urias and Zach Plesac should still be started despite a recent hiccup. Urias didn’t pitch as poorly as the line suggested while Plesac is sure to avoid cataclysm in a repeat matchup.

 

  • Tier 2 is short today with Charlie Morton leading the way. Normally he’d be in Tier 1, but with a tough opponent, he’s relegated to the second group. You should still be starting Morton.
  • There’s a question of how much we’ll actually see of Shohei Ohtanibut even if he has a short stint, the quality should be there against the pedestrian Rangers squad.

 

  • We’re continuing to monitor the ramp-up of Jameson Taillon and while I think he should be taking steps forward with each start, he hits an obstacle with Atlanta. I’m leaning start, but I understand those who want to be conservative.
  • For those hesitant to start Jesus Luzardo, I believe Luzardo has the TIARA and should recover in the near future, making his risk likely worth the reward.

 

  • Matt Shoemaker finally gets another start and this could be fruitful as he’s been cruising with sliders. His success could continue against the whiff-heavy Athletics, making him the streaming pick of the day.
  • Yes, I know. You don’t want to start Patrick Corbin and I completely understand if you’re benching him. I don’t think he’s this bad in the long run and at some point, he’ll get it fixed. Maybe it’s against the Cardinals, maybe it’s in a few weeks. Up to you.

 

  • Michael Fulmer was nearly the streaming pick of the day, but more out of a lack of options rather than my own conviction. It’s great to see his velocity spike last time out and his slider is solid, but without the changeup working in his arsenal, I’m worried there isn’t enough for consistent success, even against the lowly Pirates.
  • It’s been a rough year for Marco Gonzales so far and it doesn’t get easier against the Dodgers. It’s not a death sentence, though, and if he has his command back, he can endure the gauntlet of Los Angeles.

 

  • Ending Tier 3 is Jordan Lyleswho gets elevated by an effective new slider. Paired with his big breaker, there’s a chance this works out.
  • Tier 4 has few standouts, and I had to push Jon Gray this far down as he faces the likely healthy Astros inside Coors. Sorry Gray, I’m not a man of danger.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • It’s cool to see Trevor Rogers in the auto-start tier as there’s no denying fantasy managers everywhere are uncomfortably staring at him with sparkles in their eyes. Here’s to his magical start to 2021 carrying through the year.
  • Here’s to Kenta Maeda getting into a rhythm against the Athletics, hopefully showcasing the splitter and slider that made him a stud last season.

 

  • Dinelson Lamet returns! Normally this is a Still ILL but against the Brewers, I trust his quality of innings to help your squads, even if he’ll likely be limited to five frames or fewer.
  • I’m a bit uncomfortable with the rest of the tier, most facing a tough opponent. I think the skillsets of Ian Anderson, Frankie Montasand Aaron Civale make it easy to slot them in for the day.

 

  • We have plenty of interesting options in the third tier. Anthony DeSclafani leads the way after a pair of strong outings, though the Phils are a cut above. Don’t assume he can continue trucking along.
  • I want to start Corey Kluber here, but I think he needs one or two starts to get locked in + Atlanta is a force to be reckoned with, even without Ronald Acuña in the lineup.

 

  • David Peterson is fresh off a ten strikeout game and could keep it going against an inconsistent Cubs lineup, making him the streaming pick of the day. I considered Michael Wacha after his dominance against the Yankees in his place – or even Jakob Junis with his new cutter – but Peterson’s ability is a bit more concrete.
  • Spencer Turnbull is also returning from injury, but his is a clearer Still ILL situation than Lamet’s, even against the Pirates. Proceed with caution.

 

  • In the bottom tier, Garrett Richards leads the way and could have squeaked into the third tier. His slider was missing in his previous start, though, and if it’s not there against the Jays, this could get messy.
  • Zach Davies has not been his 2020 self so far in 2021 and it’s a wait-and-see case against the Mets. No need to put yourself in harm’s way.

 

  • It was a painful start last time out against the Padres for Mitch Kellerwho looked completely lost with his secondary pitches. Even against the Tigers, I wouldn’t take the chance.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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