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: 57-43
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Like Friday’s ranks, teams have been erratic in solidifying their rotations out of the break, making it tough to create an accurate table. It’s going to be rough this weekend, please don’t hate me.
- Many of the aces we thought were going Friday are starting Saturday and you should feel comfortable starting all of them despite tough matchups. I’m looking at you Brandon Woodruff, Walker Buehler, Gerrit Cole, Lucas Giolito, and Yusei Kikuchi.
- Okay, Kikuchi isn’t an ace yet, but save for one hiccup, he’s been an incredible arm for fantasy teams. It would be tough to hold him back.
- Hyun Jin Ryu is coming off the best start he’s had for a hot moment, though it didn’t come with a pristine changeup. I’m still cautious overall, though he gets the Rangers. This should be fine.
- We’re nearly a month removed from Adbert Alzolay’s blister and he’s stationed in Arizona on Saturday. Trust the fastball and slider to come through.
- In the third tier, Blake Snell kicks off as he’s expected to return from his departure from the rotation with fatigue. The Nationals aren’t the toughest crew, though we’re not sure which side of Snell we’ll get.
- I’m a bit shocked to see Kwang Hyun Kim rise up the rostership rates, but he’s no longer a streaming option for the weekend. The Giants are better against lefties, but seeing Kim whip out a strong changeup in addition to his well-commanded fastball/slider 1-2 punch makes him a considerable play.
- I have Nathan Eovaldi labeled as a Cherry Bomb considering his reliance on secondary pitches to carve out productive innings – a skill he hasn’t displayed much in his career. The Yankees are a bit of a volatile offense in their own right and it could make for a tough start…if there are no more COVID concerns.
- I’ve been digging Jake Odorizzi as he pitches for a winning team and has done well commanding his four-seamer, though the ChiSox should give you pause.
- The streaming pick of the day is Vince Velasquez, who is only trustable when starting against the Marlins. The stars have aligned and there could be free production to be had.
- Opposite Velasquez is Zach Thompson, who has made us all raise an eyebrow with his cutter and breakers as of late, though he has the tougher challenge of facing the Phillies offense. Hopefully he’s fine after his IL stint.
- I considered Tylor Megill as the streaming pick of the day as well, though he hasn’t shown the ability to consistently go deep into games yet and Velasquez has displayed the upside to take care of the Marlins. It’s close, though.
- It’s great to see Zac Gallen return to the Sneks, though we don’t know what his pitch count will look like. I’m guessing it’ll be limited like it was when he first returned, making this a highly questionable play.
- In the final tier, I’d prefer to avoid the gamble of Patrick Corbin having his best stuff as he faces the mighty Padres. This could be rough.
- For a deep play, consider either Brad Keller or Taylor Widener. Keller has a longer leash and has leaned into his slider as of late, while Widener has flexed a strong changeup and slider at times, while sitting 93+. I wonder how long the Sneks will let Widener pitch for, though, and I’d avoid both in standard leagues.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Like Saturday’s ranks, teams have been erratic in solidifying their rotations out of the break, making it tough to create an accurate table. It’s going to be rough this weekend, please don’t hate me.
- We have plenty more aces going on Sunday, though the top half of this tier is certainly different than the bottom half.
- Sonny Gray is returning from his IL stint with a rib injury and should be able to pick up where he left off, while Chris Bassitt cruised through the first half and Pablo López is feeling his fastball/change combination. Not AGA arms, but definitely worth the top tier.
- The second tier features Framber Valdez as he hasn’t had his best sinker command across the last month. The curveball is still elite and he’ll need that heater to get by against the ChiSox.
- Patrick Sandoval and Logan Gilbert square off and are both worthy of your starts. Patrick “The Panada” Sandoval has earned tons of whiffs with changeups and sliders while Gilbert just came into form with his slider. This should be a fun one to watch.
- The third tier is always where the tough choices are made and Zach Plesac is no exception. He tossed under 60 pitches in his return from the IL and it’s difficult to discern if his outing against the Athletics will be worth your time.
- I’ve fawned over Jon Gray and his two tick jump in velocity, but hosting the Dodgers in Coors is as tough as a matchup as you’ll find.
- The streaming pick of the day is J.A. Happ as he gets a gift in the Tigers. Detroit has improved over the last month, but they still struggle against left-handers and Happ can still pull it off.
- Steven Matz is an interesting option against the Rangers, though he certainly wasn’t sharp in each of his two starts since returning from the IL, failing to hit the 70 pitch mark in either. Hopefully this is the moment he takes a step forward.
- I can see some turning to Merrill Kelly against the Cubs as a streaming option as he’s pulled off some valuable outings this season against mediocre teams. It’s no lock but worthy of your consideration.
- I wouldn’t say I’m racing to grab Johnny Cueto off the wire, though he could excel against St. Louis. It is “The Cardinal Rule” after all.
- In the bottom tier, it’s unclear how many pitches David Price and Casey Mize will throw in their respective outings, making them easy arms to avoid over the weekend.
- Let’s hope Mike Foltynewicz can toss yet another Quality Start, but it may be misplaced as Toronto’s offense is as dangerous as any.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)