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!) – and Red if I really don’t want to start them but have no other choice. 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: 60-44
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It looks like Robbie Ray earns the top spot this week after I lifted him to Tier 2 of The List on Monday. The Red Sox are a strong squad, but Ray has just been that good.
- Kyle Hendricks and Adam Wainwright are pitted against each other on Wednesday and could return a lovely pitching duel as both as well capable of going 6+ strong against their respective clubs.
- Once again, Dylan Cease finds himself alone in the second tier as he faces the Twins. I think the reward is worth the risk with Cease each time he starts, though I recognize a floor that may keep some away.
- I would make Madison Bumgarner the streaming pick of the date but he’s slightly above the 20% rostered threshold. For what it’s worth, Bumgarner does come with some hesitation as his fastball fell below 90 mph in his return from the IL.
- The actual streaming pick of the day becomes Kyle Muller as was pushed back a day, yet again. It’s not my favorite pick and it’s more of an upside play than a solid choice. I’d avoid if I could against the Padres.
- What are we to do with Marcus Stroman and Michael Pineda? That choice is yours as they could give you 5/6 innings of production…or fall flat on their faces.
- I’m thrilled to see Logan Webb get comfortable in the rotation, though he has a tall task ahead and is best left on your bench as he deals with the Dodgers. If you need the upside, he’s the one to look toward.
- On the other side of the coin is Matt Manning, who could give you six boring frames against the Rangers. He’s been all kinds of shaky, though, and I wouldn’t risk if I didn’t have to.
- It’s no fun seeing Chris Paddack in the bottom tier, but given his poor repertoire across the last few weeks, we don’t have much of a choice.
- And hey, that’s Bryse Wilson! I hope he succeeds but it’ll be a difficult challenge as he gets the Padres + we’re in the dark about his usage for the evening.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Few starters are going on Thursday and to be frank, the options aren’t great. The top tier is just three arms long, with Walker Buehler as the clear premier play against the Giants.
- Charlie Morton shouldn’t be overlooked despite a somewhat difficult opponent. He’s been cruising for months and should continue his demolition as he could be auditioning for possible trade candidates.
- The second tier is shakier than I’d like it to be, leading off with Kenta Maeda as he has his true test to determine if his recent success can stick through the second half. If I have him rostered, I’m starting him and cheering heavily, but I understand if you’d rather play it safe.
- Why does Anthony DeSclafani have to face the Dodgers this much? It’s getting out of hand. In the past, I’ve lowered him to the third tier during this matchup, though, I’m raising him to tier this time as his floor hasn’t been so bad to ignore the potential production.
- The final three of the tier should have your eye, even if they’re all scooped up in 30%+ of leagues. Kwang Hyun Kim has silently dominated as of late and the Cubs aren’t much of a deterrent as he faces Adbert Alzolay, who should feast as he follows The Cardinal Rule.
- Then there’s Eduardo Rodriguez who has showcased great four-seamer command across the last month and found his changeup in his previous start against the Yankees. With the NYY lineup hurting, this should be a solid play.
- Kicking off the third tier is Jordan Montgomery, who has undulated all season. His changeup and curveball are whiff machines and there’s a chance they can fully blossom against a dangerous Red Sox lineup. There seems to be one small tweak missing from The Bear to turn him into a dependable arm and he could find it this week.
- Look at all of this risk in the third tier. Zach Thompson didn’t have his best secondaries last time and now has to endure the Padres. Blake Snell gets the Marlins…but it’s Snell and he hasn’t looked great for a while. And who knows what PEAS Andrew Heaney will do against the Twins.
- In the bottom tier, I’m forced to take the streaming pick of the day, Mike Foltynewicz against the Tigers. I don’t like this. At all. The Tigers have made a fool of many starters lately and Folty just got trounced by the Jays. Sure, he could pull it off, but I wouldn’t stream him anywhere.
- The only others to actually consider are Josh Fleming and Cal Quantrill, but neither has flexed legit upside and even Quantrill’s last “good” start wasn’t much to talk about. Just listen to the tier name and do not start these fellas.
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