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: 41-28
Today’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 has a date with the Twins and I can understand wanting to bench him, though his ceiling grants 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have aces and kings in this one, with Dylan Cease and Rich Hill benefitting from a pair of fantastic matchups. Hill falls just below Cease given the recent strength of the Orioles lineup, but both should be started regardless.
- Marcus Stroman has a difficult day ahead against the Padres, though he’s certainly proven himself to be a reliable arm through the year. I’m still starting him everywhere I have him rostered.
- In the second tier, Wade Miley leads the way as he’s proven to be a stable arm week-to-week, especially in a matchup like Rockie Road. He doesn’t carry the same strikeout upside as those in Tier 1, pushing him down a peg.
- Luis Garcia has been on fire and even against a solid Twins lineup, he should be placed in your lineup with confidence. That slider & cutter is just too good.
- Alex Cobb allowed a crooked number to the Mariners, but was perfect in six of his seven frames last time out. He’s in a good place and should succeed against the Sneks.
- It hasn’t been the season I envisioned for Jameson Taillon thus far, though his four-seamer is still performing at a high level. The Phillies aren’t a powerhouse, making a clear path for production.
- In the third tier, Caleb Smith is our streaming pick of the day as he held a 92+ mph fastball in his previous outing. There’s still work to be done with his slider and changeup (combined for 1/29 whiffs last time out!) and he could take another step forward here against the Angels. At the very least, the fastball velocity should keep this floor decently high.
- Joe Ross has been a fascinating arm as of late, earning a King Cole one start only to go 0/37 slider whiffs in his following outing. Who is the true Ross? Likely the not-CSW King version, but still decent enough to consider against the Giants.
- In the final tier, I’m staying away from the Jays/Red Sox matchup as Steven Matz and Nick Pivetta have floors too low for me to take the gamble.
- Don’t ignore the possibility that Jackson Kowar could redeem himself from a shaky MLB debut. It may not be over 80 pitches, but there is a chance he pulls it off against the A’s.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)