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: 40-26
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at Sean Manaea, earning a spot in the top tier as he faces the Sneks in O.Co. Yes, Arizona is a better squad against left-handers, but not so much better that you’ll deny the Manaea on his hot streak – the man just tossed a CGSHO and sat 93 mph.
- Like a true ace, you’re starting Lance Lynn against the Jays and not thinking twice.
- In the second tier, Kyle Gibson picked up where he left off last week and secures the top spot as he faces the Giants. We’re starting him until he gives us a major reason not to at this point.
- Is this the start where we see Shane McClanahan go six full innings? We can only hope as he gets a delicious matchup against the Nationals.
- The streaming pick of the day is Austin Gomber as he faces the Marlins. His secondary stuff has been fantastic as of late and is getting amplified by sub 30% fastball usage. Let him fly.
- Tony Gonsolin is making his 2021 debut as he slides into the fifth spot of the Dodgers’ rotation. Grab him wherever you can and while it seems like a Still ILL, Gonsolin has been ramping up for a long time in rehab, making it seem like he’s ready for 5+ innings against a struggling offense.
- The final two spots of the second tier may surprise you, but they each have fantastic matchups and are clearly in the lineup where they are rostered. Let’s hope Adam Wainwright gets his cutter back after missing it in the last few starts as he could cruise through the Cleveland lineup in a fury.
- Casey Mize has performed well with his slider as of late and while his splitter hasn’t been consistent, his fastball/slider approach should be enough against the poor Mariners squad.
- In the third tier, I can imagine some using Griffin Canning as a back up streamer. He’s in a weird place at a moment with his secondaries and it’s a coin flip if he can perform, even against a middling Royals offense.
- Zach Eflin leads the way as he faces the Atlanta bats. Even without Ozuna, they still pose a threat and could make this an uncomfortable evening.
- I don’t take the “Questionable” name lightly, as we’re all debating what to do with many in this tier. Do you have faith that Patrick Corbin can do enough to produce against Tampa Bay? Will Alek Manoah and Nathan Eovaldi bring their A-games against the strong ChiSox and Astros lineups? It’s not an easy choice and go with your gut.
- I don’t love putting Chris Flexen and Randy Dobnak at the bottom of this one, but the Yanks are a volatile offense who could flounder against Dobnak’s sinker/slider, while it’s Detroit for Flexen.
- And hey, Tucker Davidson is kinda good! This could work against the Phillies, who are the near definition of an average offense.
- In the final tier, Matt Peacock has a shot at production against the Athletics, not so much of a shot to make it worth the gamble.
- Brad Keller could also be an option if you’re hunting for a Quality Start. I don’t love it, but it’s something to consider.
- Finally, Jake Odorizzi is a bench as he faces the mighty Red Sox lineup for the second time. He showed a step up in ability last time, though, and if he’s still pumping 93 mph in the upper third of the zone, I’d pick him up, regardless of the outcome.
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