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: 41-29
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- With the way Carlos Rodón is hitting 100 mph, a date with the Tigers looks glorious in every way. If he continues with the same dominance, he’ll be inside the Top 15 on Monday as he’s quickly becoming one of the best plays in the game. I just hope the velocity doesn’t crater through the year.
- Despite getting matchups against Boston, Atlanta, and Minnesota, it’s hard to deny Robbie Ray, Pablo López, and Framber Valdez their rightful spots inside the top tier. Valdez has only had two true starts under his belt, but his decimation of Boston twice makes us disregard the Twins matchup entirely.
- Aaron Nola leads off the second tier as he faces the Yankees. He’s been in a rough patch as of late and with the Yankee offense looking better, it makes for a bit more concern than usual. I still believe Nola as a great buy-low target, but I understand some may want to be conservative here.
- It’s been a great ride with Chris Bassitt after his early turmoil and a date with the Royals should come with little hesitation.
- In the third tier, I debated between Logan Gilbert and Patrick Sandoval for the streaming pick of the day, eventually landing on Gilbert. Simply put, it’s a touch safer with a worse offense + Gilbert’s high pitch count and improved slider. Despite earning 32 whiffs last time out, Sandoval has shown a bit more volatility in his approach and there’s a touch more risk. Who knows if the whiffs will come close to returning.
- Josh Fleming is another decent choice, although the Orioles have been plenty better in June & Fleming failed to come through against the Rangers last week.
- Adrian Houser has had an improved curveball across his last two starts and the addition may provide dividends for trusting managers against the Pirates.
- It’s been a “set and forget” season for Michael Pineda thus far, though the Astros are as fearsome as they come. Weigh your options here.
- Bruce Zimmermann has been plenty serviceable lately and the Rays could fail to put up a strong fight. Not the worst option for Sunday.
- I know he’s not the fun arm we saw in September, but Drew Smyly gets a lovely Marlins matchup and could be worth your time.
- In the final tier, I just can’t trust Carlos Martinez to be more helpful than detrimental. You just never know what you’re going to get and the peaks are not worth the valleys.
- Martin Perez and Dane Dunning are traditionally solid streaming choices, but not against the Jays and Dodgers, respecitvely.
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