SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/19 & 5/20

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 another day of aces with Corbin Burnes leading the way. I’m sure some would want Max Scherzer or Jack Flaherty in that spot instead, though it’s hard to argue against the quality of inning Burnes has put up this year.
  • Here’s to Joe Musgrove getting his groove back in the delicious Rockie Road matchup. Focus on his curveball and changeup CSWs as his slider has been carrying the burden across the past few weeks.

 

  • It’s a close call in Tier 2 with Corey Kluber and Zach Eflin each facing a weak squad and deserving for the top play of the group. Kluber didn’t capitalize in a start against the Orioles where his changeup earned just one whiff in seventeen thrown. Still, his breaker and cutter performed well and I think he should be able to rebound against Texas.
  • Meanwhile, Eflin should perform well against the Marlins, though I wish his curveball was a larger focus inside his arsenal these days.

 

  • Shohei Ohtani is fresh off a ten strikeout game against Houston and gets some well-deserved respite against Cleveland. He could be in a rhythm now and churn another fantastic outing, though the floor of 5+ walks is still present.
  • Is this the day that Charlie Morton turns it around? The Mets certainly give him ample opportunity as they’re banged up with injuries.

 

  • In Tier 3, Ryan Yarbrough may not be the starter as some places are suggesting Rich Hill will get the ball – he’d be slotted at the end of Tier 2. If it is Yarbrough, he could be opened for and provide decent ratios against a meh Orioles crew.
  • Even though he throws 95 mph and gets the Tigers, Logan Gilbert is still not a lock for success. His breakers were a bit erratic and he only tossed 71 pitches in his MLB debut last week. This start should help, but the floor is low, especially with a capped innings ceiling.

 

  • The streaming pick of the day is shockingly Brad Kellerwho gets a lovely date with the Brewers and is throwing his fastball around 94 mph. If he can keep that up, his slider may earn more whiffs at the bottom of the zone, possibly returning a handful of strikeouts with a quality start. Not my favorite stream, though.
  • Some may be more inclined to go with Tarik Skubal instead, but I worry that his splitter isn’t refined and he’ll rely a bit too much on fastballs to get the job done. It’s close, though, and I’d prefer to take my streaming shots with other guys this week.

 

  • In the final tier, we have Wade Miley squaring off against the Giants. While he should be better than his previous evening in Coors, the Giants are great against lefties and will make it difficult for Miley to come close to replicating his no-hitter performance.
  • I’m encouraged by Garrett Richards‘ recent adjustment to throw more four-seamers for strikes, but we haven’t seen the slider return to its previous form yet. It could appear on Wednesday, however the odds are stacked against him as he’s set to pitch in terrifying Dunedin. You don’t want to start pitchers going against that offense in Florida.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • It’s the opposite of ace day here as our auto-starts don’t have a single arm with an AGA label. Some days it’s just how it is.
  • Between Tyler Mahle and Sandy Alcantarait’s a close call who gets the #1 spot, and I’m giving the nod to Alcantara, who I’m not overthinking after dealing with a traumatic inning against the Dodgers last time out. The chances of something like that happening again are very slim as I somehow find a way to speak it into existence now. I’m so sorry.

 

  • Kicking off the second tier is Domingo German, who has been in a rhythm with his curveball and gets the mediocre Rangers crew. Given the lack of strong options to contend in the tier, he’s the clear top choice.
  • Dylan Bundy has been making his managers quiver in their boots, but I think we’re being too hard on a pair of rough outings against the Dodgers and Red Sox. Sure, the Twins aren’t the easiest of lineups to endure, but he should be able to recalibrate and get back on track

 

  • The same goes for Jose Berrios as he is failing to get into a proper groove. His curveball is performing well, but oddly it’s his fastball that has held him back across the last few weeks. I imagine the pitch will return in this start or next.
  • About a day ago, Rich Hill was well under the 20% rostered threshold, but he’s now near 30% given this outing against the Orioles. If you’ve got him, let him fly as he’s allowed to go 100 pitches and is earning whiffs on his 89 mph fastball. You love to see it.

 

  • The streaming pick of the day is Vince Velasquez against the Marlins. His pitch count is high enough and the Marlins are far from a dangerous offense, even with Jazz Chisholm back on the field. I think this one can work well for you and I’d stream him where I could.
  • Luis Garcia is fresh off a successful start against the Rangers and sadly misses a repeat by just one day, though I think his stuff is good enough to provide at least five quality frames against the Athletics. It’s a small margin for error though, pushing him into the third tier.

 

  • I’m not in love with this Drew Smyly start against the Pirates, but he just took down the Brewers and his stuff is good enough to take advantage. There are many from the fourth tier that would escalate above him if they had a decent matchup, to put this in perspective.
  • Griffin Canning is performing better with his breakers and he has had success against strong teams as of late. Still, the Twins provide a decent challenge presenting plenty of hesitation.

 

  • It’s too bad that Steven Matz, Dane Dunningand Cole Irvin all face powerful lineups – all of them would be comfortably placed in the third tier if they had a decent matchup. I’d avoid all of these as the floor is incredibly low.
  • I can see some desperately chasing Dean Kremer or Joe Ross given the matchup but they just don’t provide enough upside to justify their risk.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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