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
- Pretty easy choices for auto-starts here. I was a bit tempted to slot Tyler Glasnow above Clayton Kershaw after Glasnow’s pure dominance on opening day, though we can’t assume Glasnow’s slider is going to be that overwhelming in all his future starts now and Kershaw had to deal with Coors.
- You know me, I’m most excited to watch Sandy Alcantara a second time (sorry Max Scherzer). Here’s hoping we see consistent sliders and 93 mph changeups.
- I think the biggest question in Tier 2 is if James Paxton can be trusted against the White Sox. Given his performance in the spring, I have to believe he’s more like this pre-2020 self, making him a clear play despite the rough matchup.
- My Streaming Pick of the Day is J.A. Happ against the Tigers. He has a fantastic offense behind him and should be able to deal with Detroit’s questionable offense.
- I know we’re all excited about both Freddy Peralta and Adbert Alzolay getting their first starts this season, though each carries a creaky floor. Peralta wasn’t particularly command-focused during Thursday’s extended relief appearance and Alzolay isn’t quite a finished product yet. It’ll be a fun matchup to watch as they square off, though you may want to wait one more week before letting them fly.
- Yes, that’s Wade Miley, who has a glorious schedule and could take advantage of the Pirates lineup without Ke’Bryan Hayes. A possible sneaky play for a Win or QS.
- Lots of interesting starters with poor matchups in the bottom tier, including Casey Mize and Dane Dunning. There will be days that we target them in fantasy, that doesn’t mean you have to today.
|1||Gerrit Cole||vs. BAL|
|2||Lucas Giolito||@ SEA|
|3||Yu Darvish||vs. SFG|
|4||Max Scherzer||vs. ATL|
|5||Clayton Kershaw||@ OAK|
|6||Tyler Glasnow||@ BOS|
|7||Zack Greinke||@ LAA|
|8||Sandy Alcantara||vs. STL|
|9||Dylan Bundy||vs. HOU|
|10||Marcus Stroman||@ PHI|
|11||Drew Smyly||@ WSH|
|12||James Paxton||vs. CHW|
|13||J.A. Happ||@ DET|
|14||Freddy Peralta||@ CHC|
|15||German Marquez||vs. ARI|
|16||Chris Bassitt||vs. LAD|
|17||Wade Miley||vs. PIT|
|18||Adbert Alzolay||vs. MIL|
|19||Dean Kremer||@ NYY|
|Do Not Start|
|20||Dane Dunning||vs. TOR|
|21||Casey Mize||vs. MIN|
|22||John Gant||@ MIA|
|23||Tanner Roark||@ TEX|
|24||Martin Perez||vs. TBR|
|25||Trevor Cahill||@ CIN|
|26||Chase Anderson||vs. NYM|
|27||Luke Weaver||@ COL|
|28||Aaron Sanchez||@ SDP|
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day, which means we have plenty of auto-starts on the bill. The order of these auto-starts is certainly a cause for debate, but honestly, it doesn’t really matter. Just start them.
- Yes, Jameson Taillon gets added at the end as even if he pitches under five frames, they should be of quality against a poor Orioles lineup.
- It may be a surprise to see Stephen Strasburg in the second tier, but his questionable end to the spring creates a situation where you may want to see him make one start before trusting in him like a proper ace. Throw in the Atlanta offense and it’s a reasonable decision to let Strasburg ease into his 2021 campaign.
- I feel better about Dallas Keuchel against the Mariners than I do the latter four inside this tier, all of whom would be auto-starts if they weren’t facing excellent offenses. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to push Luzardo or Means into the third tier.
- Speaking of the third tier, it’s a quartet of arms with blegh matchups. Nathan Eovaldi is the clear winner as the Rays aren’t incredibly intimidating and he’s the most comfortable arm of the lot.
- I’m reluctantly choosing Justin Dunn as the streaming pick of the day as theresimply isn’t a better option. I heavily debated between Peterson and Dunn and in the end, I went with Dunn since it’s a RHP against Chicago (with no Tim Anderson or Eloy Jimenez) + Dunn showed increased velocity in the spring. Note: I’ve changed the color-coding so Yellow = hesitant stream, Green = normal stream.
- In the bottom tier, I would consider Madison Bumgarner but it’s Coors. Don’t play games with Coors.
- It’s rough at the end here, and as much as I want Chad Kuhl to be great now that he has a proper starting role, the Reds are dangerous and his fastball isn’t what it used to be.
|1||Shane Bieber||vs. KCR|
|2||Aaron Nola||vs. NYM|
|3||Trevor Bauer||@ OAK|
|4||Kenta Maeda||@ DET|
|5||Luis Castillo||vs. PIT|
|6||Jack Flaherty||@ MIA|
|7||Blake Snell||vs. SFG|
|8||Brandon Woodruff||@ CHC|
|9||Hyun Jin Ryu||@ TEX|
|10||Max Fried||@ WSH|
|11||Pablo Lopez||vs. STL|
|12||Kyle Hendricks||vs. MIL|
|13||Jameson Taillon||vs. BAL|
|14||Stephen Strasburg||vs. ATL|
|15||Dallas Keuchel||@ SEA|
|16||John Means||@ NYY|
|17||Jesus Luzardo||vs. LAD|
|18||Kevin Gausman||@ SDP|
|19||Ryan Yarbrough||@ BOS|
|20||Nathan Eovaldi||vs. TBR|
|21||Matthew Boyd||vs. MIN|
|22||Justin Dunn||vs. CHW|
|23||David Peterson||@ PHI|
|Do Not Start|
|24||Chad Kuhl||@ CIN|
|25||Madison Bumgarner||@ COL|
|26||Kyle Gibson||vs. TOR|
|27||Carlos Hernandez||@ CLE|
|28||Antonio Senzatela||vs. ARI|
|29||Erick Fedde||vs. ATL|
|30||Huascar Ynoa||@ WSH|
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)