SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/7 & 4/8

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

 

  • 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 there simply 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.

 

Today’s Starting Pitchers


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • Few aces going today and despite Lance Lynn ranking higher than Corbin Burnes on The List, that’s in favor of the season-long volume. In the short term, give me Burnes’ quality of innings over Lynn’s.
  • Monitor Jose Berrios‘ velocity today – here’s to hoping he can go 95+ mph for the second straight start.

 

  • The second tier is an odd one. I’m leading it with Marco Gonzales though I was very tempted to slot him last as he faces the mighty Twins. Nelson “Boomstick Baby” Cruz is so legit it hurts.
  • Taijuan Walker and Jake Arrieta are both solid options, even if we haven’t seen Walker pitch this year. Arrieta should be able to at least be average against the Pirates. We hope.

 

  • The third tier may be a bit too long today, but there are some intriguing arms that I could see creating some value today. As usual, I generally avoid this tier if I can, save for maybe one or two at the top. Today is no exception as I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Ross Striplingeven as the streaming pick of the day. Here’s to hoping his curveball can nullify Los Angeles’ bats.
  • Cristian Javier threw under 75 pitches in his first game and hopefully he’s given a longer leash against Oakland.

 

  • I can understand someone taking the chance with Jon Gray as he faces the Diamondbacks, but it is in Coors and…yeah, it’s Coors.
  • It’s weird to place Tyler Anderson in this tier but it’s also weird to not have a former Gallows Pole winner not farther up the list. Welcome to the world of Tyler Anderson.

 

  • The most interesting starter at the bottom is Cole Irvinwho just didn’t do enough in his season debut to instill faith in a strong performance against Houston. Maybe he can do more here, but there’s no reason you have to spin that wheel.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers


Photo by Cliff Welch/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.

  • Avatar Don says:

    Looking at the whitesox lineup, are you any more confident in streaming Dunn?

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