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: 51-38
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It looks like Lance Lynn gets the top spot as he could carve up innings against the Tigers today. Hard to find a better floor.
- Max Scherzer and Zack Wheeler each have their work cut out for them, but their ceilings and 2021 campaigns are just too good to hesitate.
- A start in Seattle for Kyle Gibson looks to be more of the same dominance we’ve seen for the first three months of the year. Let him eat.
- Taijuan Walker gets the bump to the top tier as he faces the Yankees. I can see some asking for a second-tier label, but with the way he’s pitched all year, we’re comfortably slotting him in for Friday’s lineups.
- The second tier features our Gal, Zac Gallen as he faces the Giants once again. He hasn’t had his secondary pitches locked in since coming off the IL and I’ll be watching closely in hopes of their return.
- Despite a major step back in his last outing, I’m still starting Chris Paddack against the decent Phillies offense. Let’s bank on the blip instead of the descension.
- I know, Alex Wood just had a great start and now against the Sneks, you want him in that second tier. Sadly, that game didn’t feature his elite slider, a pitch that’s been on vacation for multiple weeks. I’m worried Wood just doesn’t have enough in the utility belt to make it worth your time.
- Casey Mize has been on a roll, but the tough challenges will continue against the White Sox. I’m holding my breath like the rest of you.
- Today’s streaming pick is Griffin Canning as he squares up against Baltimore. His slider and curveball aren’t always present and hopefully one of his breakers and/or his changeup can step up against a middling offense.
- Drew Smyly is the backup streaming pick with a date against the Marlins. I’d try to avoid this one if I could as Smyly just doesn’t have the elite repertoire he once hinted.
- In the final tier, Adrian Houser gets the Pirates and I’m not sold he can provide value in 12-teamers. His WHIP has been detrimental, he rarely strikes out more than four, and he couldn’t handle Rockie Road last time out. Consider this only in deeper leagues.
- I’m excited to watch Luis Patiño get his chance in the Rays rotation and while he should be stretched out, we just don’t know how the Rays will use him. In concert with enduring an elite Jays offense, it’s best to pick up Patiño and leave him on the bench.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Yu Darvish is the obvious #1 play as he should continue his 2021 dominance against the Phillies. That cutter and arsenal depth is just too good.
- Yes, I’m still ranking Gerrit Cole high in the rankings despite the spin rates and stuttering performance as of late. His stuff and command are still excellent and look for him to dominate a middling Mets crew.
- Look at Jake Odorizzi, claiming the #5 spot on the ranks as he gets a date with Cleveland. He’s featuring elevated four-seamers like the good ole days and is stretched out long enough to go six frames at this point for a winning club. It’s what you want.
- Tarik Skubal and Shane McClanahan brings similar skill sets to the table – great stuff with a touch of polish left to add – and each face strong opponents. I’m leaning Skubal with his long track record of success and volume this year, though I’m willing to take the chance with both despite the difficulty.
- A few weeks ago I’d have been more confident in Marcus Stroman, but he is dealing with hip soreness as has yet to get back on track. He’s due for a rebound against the Yankees, though.
- Dallas Keuchel has had rough patches this year, but you have to start him against the Tigers, at least for the solid chance at a Win (stupid Skubal).
- The streaming pick of the day goes to Kyle Muller, a risky play as he’s only made two starts this season. I’m conflicted here as he does get the Marlins and his stuff speaks to a climb up the ranks, but we have to consider the incredibly small sample of success, his questionable command, and how the Marlins have actually messed up some quality pitchers as of late. I’m still a fan, but it’s not a clear-cut play.
- Ross Stripling is likely another popular play and sadly I’m concerned as his secondary pitches have only succeeded in one start this season – his evening against the Yankees three starts ago. It could come crashing down against the Rays.
- I’m excited about Zach Thompson’s stuff, but Atlanta is no joke, even if Ronald Acuña is dealing with a barking back. Here’s to hoping he steps up regardless of the matchup.
- Alex Cobb was once a streaming option and could be a desperate one if it’s a bleak weekend ahead. His splitter has been frequently on point, though his arsenal has done little to support it. Let’s hope he can make it work.
- In the final tier, Eric Lauer and Jordan Lyles are outside shots at capitalizing against weak offenses. We’ve seen both stumble even when granted these advantages in the past, but they are serviceable throws of the dice if needed.
- The same goes for Kyle Freeland, who has had a moment of bliss lately and gets a Cardinals offense that has struggled more than any squad out there.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)