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: 45-34
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day as Gerrit Cole leads the way despite the concerns about his dropping spin rates. The man is still a fantastic pitcher and gets the Royals. Don’t overthink it.
- I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t wait for Wheeler vs. Scherzer on Tuesday. Scherzer gets a small dip in the matchup, though, as he’s returning from an IL stint and may not have the same typical stamina in his return.
- Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Alcántara each have tough matchups, but are pitching well and deserve your trust regardless. Yes, this is the possible coronation day for Sandy. Let’s wish him well.
- At the bottom of the tier is Tarik Skubal and Kyle Hendricks, who face weak enough teams that they’ve been boosted to the top tier. If you roster them, you’re starting them.
- Kicking off the second tier is Anthony DeSclafani, who has proven himself a sturdy arm as long as he’s not facing the elite offenses. Sure, the Angels have flexed like one lately, but I think they’re still manageable enough for Tony Disco.
- Ross Stripling is the streaming pick of the day as he squares off against the Miami – I’d be picking up wherever I could as he’s getting a luscious schedule ahead and is pitching as well as we’ve seen him.
- I’m worried we may not see more than 75 pitches from Zac Gallen as he faces the Brewers, forcing him out of the top tier. He tossed just 58 in his return from the IL last week.
- The third tier is a small one where Wade Miley gets the Twins. He’s been cruising but the Twins could put up a fight. It’s not as clear of a play as you’d like, especially when there’s potential for a Grave Mistake
- Cole Irvin may be available in some leagues (25% rostership) and makes for a solid option against the Rangers.
- Johan Oviedo turned heads with his seven-inning performance last week and now gets a lovely date with the Tigers. Don’t forget, he was a bit fortunate last week and this could go downhill quickly.
- It’s tough to see Blake Snell in the bottom tier, but fantasy managers will agree – he can’t be trusted against the Dodgers. Let’s hope he can find the zone with breakers and not lose at-bats with his fastball.
- With Brady Singer, keep in mind that the Royals are being cautious with his shoulder – he was limited last start because of it and could see limited time against the Yankees as well.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is packed once again, though we have many legit arms getting dealt tough hands, like Trevor Bauer, Trevor Rogers, and Joe Musgrove. Start them regardless, that’s why they’re aces (mostly, I’m looking at you Musgrove).
- The Giants offense has been more dangerous than we’ve expected, but Shohei Ohtani has found a rhythm across his last month and it’s a clear green light in LA.
- Dylan Cease lost his slider in his previous start against the Astros and it does bring some concern, but after his long period with the pitch, it’s wise to believe he’ll recover the pitch on Wednesday as he faces the weak Pittsburgh crew.
- The Orioles offense has turned heads as of late, though José Urquidy has been stepping up his game as well. I’m starting him everywhere I have him rostered.
- I elected to lead with German Marquez for the second tier as he heads out of Coors for a very cushy matchup in Seattle. These are the starts you roster Marquez for.
- The final name in this mini-tier is James Kaprielian, who has worked well for trusting managers and gets the luxury of facing the Rangers. The good times should keep on coming.
- The third tier is small as well, leading with Rich Hill as he faces the Red Sox. His stuff wasn’t as bad as the 4 ER line would suggest and there’s a chance he pulls it out against the Red Sox.
- Caleb Smith is my reluctant streamer of the day as he was up to 92+ mph last time out. The slider and changeup have yet to show up and it makes me heavily cautious of this outing, but it is the Brewers. This could work.
- I also placed Matt Manning after his MLB debut in the third tier…barely. I see Manning as a decent Toby and the Cardinals aren’t too scary, allowing for a situation where Manning could pump heaters effectively enough to carve up productive innings.
- In the final tier, Justus Sheffield claims the top spot as he hosts Rockie Road in Seattle. Despite the excellent matchup, Sheffield hasn’t proven himself capable to take full advantage, leading me to avoid him as a streaming option where I can.
- I know Erick Fedde has been surprisingly decent as of late, sadly I wouldn’t start him against the Phillies. Not enough reward for the risk.
- The same goes for John Gant, who gets the Tigers and it’s somehow not enough for me to jump on board. There’s too much luck at play with Gant.
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