SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/4 & 5/5

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

 

  • Jacob deGrom is starting on Tuesday so he is the #1 play. Duh.
  • It’s Nola Day as he faces a Brewers offense that could feature Yelich and/or Cain. Still, you should be starting Aaron Nola with plenty of confidence.

 

  • It’s a small second tier and it’s debatable that it should be smaller with Huascar Ynoa hinting at a promotion to “Auto-Start”. Let’s see him dismantle the Nationals first.
  • The Yankee offense is heating up, but I’d still trust Zack Greinke to pick apart the zone with changeups, sliders, fastballs, and endearingly slow curveballs to keep the Pinstripes off balance.

 

  • With the way that Kyle Gibson has been pitching, I was tempted to slot him in the second tier as he’s in the middle of a Vargas RuleStill, it may be wise to sit him in some cases as the Twins offense doesn’t mess around.
  • It’s unclear who will start for the Padres tomorrow but if it’s Ryan Weathers, I’d consider starting him as his quality of inning should be high enough to warrant a green light.

 

  • The streaming pick of the day was a close one, but I’m leaning Justin Dunn against the Orioles. His increased velocity paired with an improving slider should be enough to grant value to those that let him fly against the Orioles.
  • The other option was Shane McClanahanwho I’m still watching before I sleep each night. The main concern is the Angels offense and the small sample we’ve seen of his success. In concert with a possible short leash from the Rays, it seems a touch riskier than Dunn.

 

  • With the way Alex Wood has been pitching (that slider is fantastic!) I can understand those wanting to still roll with him inside Coors. It’s a tough gamble.
  • I surprised myself and picked up Nick Pivetta for his two starts against the Tigers and Orioles this week. His four-seamer has performed well and hopefully this is the week his curveball and slider find their way to the bottom of the zone with any sort of consistency.

 

  • Despite pitching better than I’ve seen him all year in his previous start, I don’t want to trust Dylan Cease against the Reds. We just don’t know if his rhythm will stick and the Reds will punish him.
  • The same goes for Adbert Alzolay who is embracing a breaker heavy approach, tossing 55% sliders last time out. I love the change, hate the matchup against the Dodgers.

 

  • Domingo German shocked me by pushing his velocity up over two ticks last time out and while I’m hoping he can keep that heater alive, it’ll be tough to pull off another successful performance as he faces the healthy Astros.
  • Despite a great matchup for Mike MinorI’m hesitant to let him fly. He hasn’t come through against weak lineups as of late, featuring sub 92 mph velocity. Be careful.

 

  • There are a lot of arms in the bottom tier, though I doubt many will object. Here’s to hoping Michael Fulmer can find that changeup against the Red Sox, and maybe Jeff Hoffman can work some magic hold backing a strong White Sox crew.

 

Today’s Starting Pitchers


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • It feels great to comfortably slot Pablo Lopez and John Means into the top tier as they’ve each been handed comfortable matchups against the Diamondbacks and Mariners. Expect both to go at least six frames here.
  • The White Sox may have been a team to fear in the past, but with Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez out indefinitely, I feel a bit safer starting Sonny Gray as he eases back into the rotation. After all, he settled in nicely against the Dodgers last week.

 

  • In the second tier, leading off is Freddy Peralta who showed that matchups don’t matter as he silenced the Dodgers bats last time out. As long as he has that fastball command, he should excel.
  • After leaving early due to an injury scare, I’m hoping Marcus Stroman can pick where he left off, with cutter and slider whiffs galore.

 

  • Michael Pineda rebounded with his slider in his previous start and now gets a date with the Rangers. Sign. Me. Up.
  • Even though this start was pushed back slightly, I’d still feel comfortable starting Brady Singer against Cleveland. He should be able to earn outs effectively.

 

  • Even though he has to face a solid Oakland offense, I’d be rolling Robbie Ray as he’s averaging 96 mph on his heater and adapted to throw it with confidence in the zone across his last two starts. This could be one of those classic Ray stretches.
  • I considered pushing Andrew Heaney higher, but his volatile nature depresses his ranks. That innate risk can’t be ignored.

 

  • The third tier kicks off with Max Fried, who returns from the IL and will likely be in the top tiers constantly through the season, but this is a Still ILL scenario, even against Washington. No need to rush things.
  • I’m not in love with any of the remaining options. Ryan Yarbrough should be okay against the Angels but holds a questionable floor. JT Brubaker has performed well, but the Padres are tough. Jordan Montgomery and Chris Bassitt each have difficult matchups, and Dallas Keuchel may struggle in Cincy’s hitter-friendly environment.

 

  • The streaming pick of the day is Martin Perez as he faces the Tigers. Not my favorite stream as Perez doesn’t always take advantage of his opponents, but there’s enough upside with Perez’s affinity for a Quality Start to warrant the stream.
  • It’s hard to trust Luke Weaver after failing to get his command in order, but the Marlins will give him every opportunity to succeed.

 

  • In the final tier, there’s Casey Mize who has improved a touch lately, but shouldn’t be trusted against a powerful Boston squad. No need to take the risk here.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers


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.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    A little speculation here… is today the day where prospect hype begins to reach new levels? It has been FOREVER since we had minor league games and I am super excited about today. Let’s be honest, people lost their minds quite a while back and are slaves to headlines/twitter/etc. If every time a minor leaguer does something abnormal it generates headlines, then hype will be unprecedented. We live in a time where literally everything generates unprecedented attention… people have close to zero decent judgment so they are just going to run with it. I suspect that fantasy sports going forward may revolve around flipping young players for veterans. That has been a great move for years now and I think it might take some leaps forward. The value is going to be as far away from rookies are you can get. I suspect that post-hype players will be a better bet as we have become exponentially shortsighted over the past year.

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