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: 46-34
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a weak day for pitching with just four arms in the top tier for Thursday. Chris Bassitt gets the call as the third best option as he hopes to continue his glorious run with a luscious matchup against the Rangers. I don’t see a world where you’re not starting him.
- The same goes for Luis Garcia, who gets a cushy date with the Tigers. His slider and cutter have been fantastic and should propel him to success.
- In the second tier, Alek Manoah faces the Orioles and should be started by managers. He’s currently appealing his five-game suspension and I’m guessing he’ll start this game, then take the mini-vacation, pushing back his next outing by a day.
- Joe Ross is the streaming pick of the day as he squares off against Miami. The Marlins are not a team to fear and Ross has displayed the ability to carve six innings constantly. I’m all for this (just don’t go 0/36 whiffs on sliders again!).
- Jameson Taillon kicks off the third tier as he’s set to face the Royals. In better times, this would be a Tier 2 – or even Tier 1 – play, but with Taillon’s struggles with his secondaries, he’s a dangerous option on any given day. Let’s hope he can give us that start on Thursday.
- It may be weird to see Brad Keller and Cody Poteet above the final tier, but hear me out. Keller had 95 mph velocity against the Red Sox and could power through the inconsistent Yankee bats. Poteet is now in his post-Still ILL outing and could return 5-6 innings of quality for those in need. It’s a slightly higher floor than Pivetta and Allard, granting him the third-tier spot.
- Speaking of Nick Pivetta, he’s the best play in the final tier as he could bring the BSB against the Rays. Tampa Bay has gotten better offensively (It’s Wanderfull) and Pivetta’s volatility is nothing to ignore.
- Kolby Allard has been shockingly decent across his last four starts, holding offenses to 2 ER or fewer in each of them. I don’t buy it for the long haul and it very well may stop with Oakland, but I’m not ignoring the chance above the other…unattractive options.
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