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
- There’s a bit more skepticism than usual in the top tier for Sunday, though Yu Darvish should steamroll the Mariners. It’s rough over there, sorry Seattle fans.
- At the bottom, Zack Wheeler, Freddy Peralta, and Zach Plesac each have difficult situations, though I’m rolling all of them out there on my squads. Wheeler’s fastball is elite, Peralta’s success relies on his own command and less of the circumstance, and Plesac is in a better place than he was in April with a solid curveball added to his mix.
- In the second tier, Luis Castillo leads off as he gets the weak Brewers lineup. Castillo did just fan eleven and is likely getting the green light from managers everywhere, though I understand if you want a proper strong ratio start before you put your full faith back in Castillo.
- Patrick Corbin likely needs to grant the same encouragement after taking a step back last time out. I think his repertoire is still looking miles better than it did in the opening month, though, and he should capitalize against the Orioles.
- It’s a long questionable tier and Dylan Bundy just manages to squeak into the tier above. I know we’re concerned given his recent performances, but I think his starts against the Dodgers and Red Sox were blips, not the beginning of a trend.
- Sean Manaea pitches opposite Heaney and while his velocity was a tick lower last time out, we don’t know if it will stay that low for a second straight outing. The Angels are without Mike Trout, making this an easier pill to swallow.
- There are a few starters who would normally be in the second tier but bring anxiety with their opponents. Anthony DeSclafani will have to endure the mighty Dodgers and I’m not sure his fastball/slider approach is enough.
- This also includes Jameson Taillon who has struggled to keep his ERA down through the season as he faces the White Sox. I know it bothers many to hear that I’m still in the camp that believes he’ll be developing through the year, and I understand if you’d rather play it safe by benching him here.
- JT Brubaker (aka Coffee Cakes) was cruising through the season before last week’s stumble and now has a date with Atlanta. Proceed with caution, though know Brubaker, he could soar through the afternoon.
- I haven’t felt comfortable starting Eduardo Rodriguez as of late as his fastball/changeup/cutter approach hasn’t been in sync. The Phillies are a boom or bust offense and could make this a rough day for Eduardo.
- Today’s streamer, if you can believe it, is Cody Poteet, who has the luxury of facing the stripped Mets offense. He’s gone five frames in each of his first two starts and has enough in the repertoire to grant a decent ERA and WHIP.
- Casey Mize is slightly preferred as he gets the Royals, though don’t forget the floor he brings as he doesn’t have a whiff pitch when his splitter isn’t working…which is often.
- In the final tier, Taylor Widener is a man of intrigue, but he’s heading into deadly Coors and should be avoided.
- J.A. Happ has a great matchup against Cleveland, but his ceiling is too low to justify the lava-filled floor that can demolish your week.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a short Monday with a confident Tier 1. John Means struggled last time out and some may have hesitation against the Twins, but don’t overthink this. He’s still phenomenal.
- Blake Snell hasn’t been consistent enough to earn his AGA label, but after steamrolling the Rockies + getting the Brewers now, I don’t see a scenario where you hold him on the bench.
- It hasn’t been the smoothest season for Frankie Montas thus far as I wait for his slider and splitter to look like their 2019 selves once again. The Mariners are a gift and could help Montas get the confidence back in those pitches.
- Yusei Kikuchi is on the other side and while he gets a tougher matchup, he’s in a better place than Montas with a fantastic heater + a cutter and slider that each earn strikes. Let him loose.
- Spencer Turnbull gets the bump to the second tier after throwing a no-hitter and featuring a heavy four-seamer/slider approach. With Franmil Reyes on the IL, Cleveland is even weaker than before, opening up another solid play for Turnbull.
- With Turnbull now out of the running, the streaming pick turns to David Peterson as he hosts Rockie Road. I’d also consider Austin Gomber on the other side as both of these offenses will struggle to put runs on the board.
- The final tier today is better than most, with a couple of deep options. Matt Shoemaker could have his slider/splitter against the Orioles, while Sam Hentges‘ stuff could develop against the Tigers – he is a southpaw, after all.
- Finally, you don’t want to start pitchers in Dunedin and Ross Stripling vs. Ryan Yarbrough could turn into a slugfest. I wouldn’t put myself in the middle of that game.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)