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: 57-40
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have a good amount of aces on Saturday with Walker Buehler leading the way against the Sneks. Lucas Giolito and Gerrit Cole would normally jump ahead, but they have both presented some concern as of late and while I’m obviously starting both, they needed to be given some discipline this time around.
- Despite getting the two easiest matchups in Miami and Rockie Road, I’ve placed Max Fried and Joe Musgrove at the end of the ranks. Both have had bouts of inconsistency this year and aren’t absolute locks to take advantage of their fantastic matchups. I just feel a little more secure in the other options.
- Kicking off the second tier is Anthony DeSclafani, who has done plenty to earn the trust of managers everywhere and now gets a matchup against the average Nationals lineup. Let him fly.
- James Kaprielian is similar to Tony Disco in his availability on the wire turning into fantasy gold and fresh off a fantastic ten strikeout day against Boston, he gets a date with the Rangers. Sign. Me. Up.
- It has been a wild ride for Germán Márquez as he’ll be tested once again as he faces the mighty Padres crew. Given how well his slider and curveball have performed, you have to take the high risk/high reward gamble here.
- Marcus Stroman hasn’t looked great since leaving his game with hip soreness and I’m hoping a day against the Pirates will help calibrate his secondary pitches.
- The streaming pick of the day is Tylor Megill as he pitches in game two of the Mets’ doubleheader. He’s gone five frames with at least seven strikeouts in back-to-back starts and with his fastball/changeup combination, he has a great chance to coast on Saturday.
- The backup pick is the 2% rostered Bailey Ober, who is fresh off steamrolling the Mariners with excellent four-seamer command and a variety of secondaries. The Tigers are nothing to be scared of (especially with Robbie Grossman possibly out as he nurses a jammed finger) and Ober could conduct another stellar performance.
- In the third tier, Ross Stripling has a date against the Rays and I have mixed feelings. The Rays are an average squad, but Stripling has had his secondary pitches working just once across his past month. I hope they can return, but it could be a tough outing if they remain mediocre.
- Zach Davies has a fortunate date against St. Louis as we follow “The Cardinal Rule”. It’s not my favorite, but it seems like a decent option.
- In the final tier, Chris Flexen has performed better than expected and may have earned the eye of fantasy managers, but the Angels are a force to be reckoned with offensively. Be careful.
- I wouldn’t say that I adore Cal Quantrill, though he has a long leash and gets the Royals. There’s a chance he shoves for six frames and I can’t say that about many in this tier. Still, don’t start, of course.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Many aces are ready to go and help win your week on Sunday with clear starts from Brandon Woodruff, Kevin Gausman, and Robbie Ray. Should be a fun day of baseball.
- I’ve included many non-AGA arms here who have given managers enough confidence to take advantage of a poor offense. Luis Castillo still hasn’t had his elite changeup, but 98 mph velocity and an improved slider make him a clear start against the Brewers.
- José Berríos is fresh off his best start of the season and now gets the face the Tigers. Please show us the same curveball as last time, K thx.
- I’ve also included Chris Bassitt and Dylan Cease in the top tier as their ceilings far outweigh the risk of implosion against poor squads.
- In the second tier, Aaron Nola leads the way despite a horrific fifth inning against the Marlins. He had ten strikeouts in the four innings prior and should recover on Sunday despite facing the tough Red Sox.
- Framber Valdez hasn’t been quite the overwhelming arm we saw at the start of his 2021 campaign, but he’s still skilled enough to pull off a proper performance against the Yankees. I’m leaning start here.
- In the third tier, Nick Pivetta is facing the Royals after a day showcasing his ceiling with seven shutout frames and ten strikeouts. If he’s still peppering the top of the zone with fastballs and keeping breakers down, Pivetta can have plenty of success against his former club.
- It looks like Tony Gonsolin is over the 70 pitch mark now, the question is if the Dodgers will let him stretch toward 90 pitch territory. He gets the Sneks and should be worth the gamble.
- It looks like Ryan Weathers is the streaming pick of the day as he just falls within the 20% rostered threshold. I don’t think he’s quite unlocked his potential yet, but Rockie Road does many a pitcher a favor and this could help across the board.
- The bottom three all have tough matchups and could arguably be in the bottom tier – Jon Gray, Jameson Taillon, and Rich Hill. They have a ceiling you may need to chase, but the floors are tough to look at.
- In the final tier, there are some decent desperate options. José Suarez had a nice breaker in his return to the rotation and could excel against the Mariners as he’s likely to go over 80 pitches in this one. Kris Bubic just went 100 pitches and carries intriguing upside when his changeup is on point. And then there’s Kolby Allard who doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table, but did fan nine in his last outing. Maybe there’s something there.
- If you’re in a dire situation, Merrill Kelly could pull something out of a start against the Dodgers. He certainly has a long enough leash for it and when he’s sitting 92/93 with decent cutters and curveballs, good things can happen.
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