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.
2021 Streamer Record: 41-27
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Despite getting one of the tough matchups in the tiers, Zack Wheeler lands the #2 spot on Thursday as he’s on as good of a roll as anyone. It’s wild that seven frames are essentially assumed at this point.
- Hyun Jin Ryu and Freddy Peralta slide to the #5/#6 spots as they get the Reds and White Sox. Not the easiest of plays, but they should succeed.
- In the second tier, there’s a notable drop-off in talent, but the offenses are softer on the eyes. Frankie Montas could coast through six frames as his splitter and slider have rebounded lately, while Anthony DeSclafani should be able to relax against the Nationals.
- Then there’s Luis Castillo, who performed well last time out, but it came without the overwhelming changeup and lacked strikeouts. If he can keep the 98 mph velocity and add the slowball whiffs, this could be the return we’ve been waiting for.
- In the third tier, I just cant’ bring myself to consider Zack Greinke as a “Probably Start” as he squares off against the Red Sox. I imagine I’ll be starting him regardless of my hesitations, but those who need to be conservative should be cautious.
- Justus Sheffield is the streaming pick of the day against the Tigers and while it’s far from the worst stream this week (sup, Kowar), I wouldn’t say I’m confident Sheff will be able to pull this one off. Here’s to hoping his slider is as good as we saw last time out.
- Eduardo Rodriguez’s volatility has me concerned as he faces the Astros on Thursday. He did look better with his fastball/changeup approach last time out and it could go either way here.
- In the final tier, I’m sad to see Dallas Keuchel getting a matchup against the Jays and not the Tigers on Friday. Welp, that’s how it goes, sorry Keuchel.
- Chi Chi Gonzalez could be a deep streaming option as he should be able to go 5+ against the Marlins on the road. I obviously don’t love it but you could do worse.
- It is Seattle, but we just don’t know how much of Tyler Alexander we’re going to see, not to mention that his stuff doesn’t speak to an incredibly high ceiling.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day on Thursday, which means we have eleven starters who demand your attention. Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Civale are your atypical guests, though each has a matchup too tantalizing to encourage a bench. You’re starting them because duh.
- Sandy Alcántara has yet to excel against a strong offense (see Dodgers & Blue Jays) and he’ll be put to the test against Atlanta. It’s time for him to overcome this challenge.
- In the second tier, Kyle Hendricks takes the lead as he faces the Cardinals. I haven’t been infatuated with Hendricks’ talent so far this season, though he’ll have a good chance for at least a PQS against a Cardinal lineup that performs plenty worse against right-handers.
- José Urquidy and José Berríos square off in the battle of the Josés and I’m leaning Urquidy as the better play, solely because he’s not facing his own squad. I can understand wanting to bench at least one – if not both – of these arms, though their ceilings grant too much incentive for me to play conservatively.
- You may see the White Sox matchup for Tarik Skubal and shy away, but don’t forget – he faced them last time and fanned eleven with just one run. He’s earned your confidence with his slider coming into form.
- It feels weird picking Justin Dunn as the streaming pick of the day as he returns from the IL, but he missed just one start, faces a mediocre Cleveland lineup, and has shown positive steps forward with his breakers and fastball velocity. Not my favorite pick given we don’t know quite where he’s at, but he’s my favorite of Tier 3.
- Cole Irvin would be the streaming pick if it weren’t for Dunn, as Irvin faces the Royals in O.Co. This has a slightly higher floor, but it comes with a lower ceiling – a.k.a. it’s a smaller room. Play to your needs.
- I don’t love Brady Singer on the other side of Irvin, though he could deposit plenty of sinkers for called strikes and get enough slider whiffs to make this a worthy performance.
- In the final tier, we have two streamable pitchers unfortunately facing each other’s strong offenses in Garrett Richards and Ross Stripling. Both pitchers haven’t reached their potentials and I’d rather be on the outside, hoping they showcase the skills we’re looking for (Richards = a better slider, Stripling = better secondaries).
- Then there’s Merrill Kelly, who had a lovely stretch a few weeks ago and has since come back down to Earth. Hopefully he gives us good reason to consider him for streams once again.
Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)