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: 40-25
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have just six games on Monday, creating the first rankings this season to not have a single pitcher in the “Auto-Start” tier. Wild.
- The closest is Pablo López, who squares off against the Red Sox. I’d be starting him if I had him, but I can understand those who want to play it a little safe on a Monday.
- Adbert Alzolay had little problem against the Padres last time out, though he’s still just in the second tier as the floor is uncomfortably low.
- Despite his recent struggles, Dylan Bundy should be started given the solid matchup + a fair share of poor luck in his last start.
- Nick Pivetta would be the streaming pick of the day…if he weren’t rostered in 66% of leagues (!) as he gets a lovely matchup against the Marlins. His fastball is still at 95 mph and often elevated, paired with breaking balls (hopefully) down. It creates plenty of strikeout upside and I’d consider him in leagues where I need to collect volume against my opponents.
- Ryan Weathers was able to toss over 80 pitches in his last start and could be turning a corner in the Padres’ rotation. His stuff hasn’t quite caught up, though, and this could be a frustrating outing against the Cubs.
- Finally, the actual streaming pick of the day is Jackson Kowar as he makes his MLB debut against the Angels – he’s literally the only one rostered under 20% of leagues. I’d pick him up and wait-and-see how he performs before starting him, though it is fantasy baseball and it’s fun starting a rookie who could sizzle in his debut.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Hey, we have pitchers in Tier 1 again! Shane Bieber and Walker Buehler lead the way as the representatives of the Top 10 starters, squaring off against offenses that shouldn’t put up a huge fight.
- Aaron Nola has had one of the tougher schedules out there and it continues against a solid Atlanta squad, albeit without Marcell Ozuna. You’re starting him if you have him rostered.
- The same goes for both Carlos Rodón and Robbie Ray as they prepare for a fantastic duel Tuesday night. Start both and hope for a low-scoring affair.
- Alex Wood sits in the middle of the tier as he faces the Rangers – his floor is higher than those below him, but his ceiling isn’t close to those above.
- I’m sure some want Framber Valdez in the top tier after steamrolling the Red Sox in his previous start, but it doesn’t feel right elevating him to Tier 1 status so quickly. Start him and we’ll talk about this next time.
- Sonny Gray hasn’t been the sharpest as of late, though the Brew Crew aren’t enough of a deterrent to err on the side of disaster.
- We’re in the dark about how much we’ll see of Dinelson Lamet as he faces the Cubs. I’m wagering he’ll sit around 75 pitches or so, which could hint at five full frames of quality, making him worth your time.
- Michael Pineda had a forearm injury scare, but the Yankees offense is as tumultuous as it gets. Feel free to be cautious, I’m taking the chance in Minnesota.
- Speaking of volatility, Andrew Heaney is as much a Cherry Bomb as they come. Despite getting a relatively good matchup against the Royals, this isn’t a lock at production.
- I wouldn’t say that Jordan Montgomery is a steady arm, either. The Twins could put up some runs against The Bear but the reward is worth the risk.
- Kicking off the third tier is our streaming pick of the day in David Peterson. The Orioles just put up nearly 20 runs, but Tuesday is a new day and Peterson has flexed the talent to fan ten on a given night.
- Matthew Boyd hasn’t found his slider yet, but if his changeup can return, the Mariners are as susceptible as any – Patrick Sandoval just earned 17 whiffs on his changeup on Sunday.
- JT Brubaker (aka Coffee Cakes) is more of a Toby these days and against an elite offense in the Dodgers, he’s likely a sit for your teams. Still, I understand he has a better chance at success than the names in Tier 4, so he’s promoted as a questionable option.
- Closing out the tier is Drew Smyly, who may be able to squeeze some value out of a date with the Phillies. Don’t take this risk if you don’t have to.
- Jordan Lyles has flexed upside with his curveball and slider this year, but we just don’t know when it’ll show up. I’d rather avoid the floor than chase those blissful moments.
- After allowing 10 runs in 0.2 innings, I think it’s best we don’t take a chance on Carlos Martinez for at least one start, even if he is facing Cleveland.
Photo by Tom Hagerty | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)