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: 41-30
Today’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 (he’s opened for today behind Michael Wacha), 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Just two arms sit in the top tier on Monday as Lance Lynn vs. Tyler Glasnow is set to be a wonderful matchup. Start them both.
- The second tier in thin as well, with Sean Manaea, Alex Wood, and Adam Wainwright each with a solid matchup and the talent to take advantage of it. Let’s just hope Wood’s slider is back, Waino has his cutter, and Manaea is throwing at least 91 mph (if not 92/93!).
- The third tier, well that’s where the craziness happens. Kenta Maeda is expected to make his return from the IL and on one hand, I’m excited he got the chance to hit the reset button on the season, especially with a date against the Mariners. On the other, it’s a Still ILL scenario given how long he’s been out for and you may want to play it safe on a Monday.
- The general rules for starting JT Brubaker are “avoid against strong teams, start against average”. The Nationals should qualify for the latter.
- Matthew Boyd hasn’t had his slider all year and now his changeup hasn’t been the overwhelming offering it was in April. He should be fine against the Royals, but a low floor is present.
- The streaming pick of the day is Brad Keller opposite Boyd as the Tigers are a team few fear. Keller has 93/94 velocity and is embracing the breaker these days – this could be a solid option.
- We saw a small step forward for Dylan Bundy last week, though it’s unclear if he can continue his path of redemption against a quality Athletics lineup. It’s a coin flip here.
- It wasn’t the season debut we hoped for from Tony Gonsolin and I anticipate he’ll find his footing with more time. I’d take the chance that his slider feel returns as he faces the middling Phillies.
- I absolutely adore how Austin Gomber has pitched but it’s a hard sell to deal with Coors + the Padres. His stuff has looked great, especially with an emrbace for secondary pitches over fastballs, and this could still work regardless of the opponent.
- Few are happy to see the Jays and Red Sox square off as Nathan Eovaldi and Alek Manoah grant hesitation to fantasy managers everywhere. You may want to play this conservatively.
- In the bottom tier, I think we’re over considering David Peterson for a little bit, while Eric Lauer hints at success with a harder cutter, but it isn’t worth the risk in Cincy.
- Ryan Weathers hasn’t showcased the upside we saw early this season + he heads to Coors. That’s too much to handle.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)