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: 40-27
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Despite getting one of the tough matchups in the tiers, Zack Wheeler lands the #2 spot on Thursday as he’s on as good of a roll as anyone. It’s wild that seven frames are essentially assumed at this point.
- Hyun Jin Ryu and Freddy Peralta slide to the #5/#6 spots as they get the Reds and White Sox. Not the easiest of plays, but they should succeed.
- In the second tier, there’s a notable drop-off in talent, but the offenses are softer on the eyes. Frankie Montas could coast through six frames as his splitter and slider have rebounded lately, while Anthony DeSclafani should be able to relax against the Nationals.
- Then there’s Luis Castillo, who performed well last time out, but it came without the overwhelming changeup and lacked strikeouts. If he can keep the 98 mph velocity and add the slowball whiffs, this could be the return we’ve been waiting for.
- In the third tier, I just cant’ bring myself to consider Zack Greinke as a “Probably Start” as he squares off against the Red Sox. I imagine I’ll be starting him regardless of my hesitations, but those who need to be conservative should be cautious.
- Justus Sheffield is the streaming pick of the day against the Tigers and while it’s far from the worst stream this week (sup, Kowar), I wouldn’t say I’m confident Sheff will be able to pull this one off. Here’s to hoping his slider is as good as we saw last time out.
- Eduardo Rodriguez‘s volatility has me concerned as he faces the Astros on Thursday. He did look better with his fastball/changeup approach last time out and it could go either way here.
- In the final tier, I’m sad to see Dallas Keuchel getting a matchup against the Jays and not the Tigers on Friday. Welp, that’s how it goes, sorry Keuchel.
- Chi Chi Gonzalez could be a deep streaming option as he should be able to go 5+ against the Marlins on the road. I obviously don’t love it but you could do worse.
- It is Seattle, but we just don’t know how much of Tyler Alexander we’re going to see, not to mention that his stuff doesn’t speak to an incredibly high ceiling.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)