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, there are my streaming picks of the day, and please keep in mind that I am forced to pick a streamer every day. Those highlighted in Green are in the second tier and I’d roll with them everywhere. The most common are those in Yellow in the third tier and should be decent if you’re searching for something on a given day. Finally, those are Red are those I really don’t want to start (they are labeled as “Do Not Start”, after all) but have no other choice. Don’t stream these guys until you are truly desperate. A streaming pick is 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: 63-45
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Tier one has little excitement, but the games themselves look great, including Yu Darvish possibly steamrolling the Marlins lineup. That should be an absolute blast of an afternoon.
- I know Sonny Gray wasn’t at his best last start, but you have to follow “The Cardinal Rule” and let him fly.
- Alex Wood is back in full form and gets a date with the Pirates, making him the top play of tier two. I was even tempted to vault him into the top tier given his slider whiffs + 92/93 mph velocity last time out.
- I wonder if the Tigers will begin limiting Tarik Skubal tomorrow. I sure hope not and I can’t make these rankings with that assumption.
- I know it hasn’t been great for Aaron Nola as of late, but Atlanta is missing Ronald Acuña and I truly don’t believe Nola is destined to be detrimental for you in the second half. Your trust will be rewarded over the last two months.
- John Means wasn’t at his best when he returned from the IL, but the Nationals aren’t scary enough to hold him back. The odds of a step forward are greater than a catastrophic day.
- In the third tier, we have the battle of the overcast skies with J. Gray facing J. Gray. Josiah Gray is my streaming pick of the day as his stuff was legit in his debut and the damage came on some poorly commanded pitches that should be corrected now that he has his feet under him.
- Meanwhile, Jon Gray has survived the Dodgers in Coors and is still sitting 95/96 mph. He’s got this.
- I can’t say I’m enjoying much else of this tier. Touki Toussaint did well in his return last week, but his fastball command is a legit question. Triston McKenzie’s fastball is still a tick above his season average, but he had two ticks last week and I wonder if it’ll fade completely against the Rays.
- The most interesting arm here is Caleb Smith, who finally – FINALLY – showcased slider and changeup whiffs in his last start, propelling him to a Gallows Pole. It’s a risky play, but if he can retain that ability against the Cubs, this could very much work. This is your sneaky high risk/reward Sunday play.
- In the bottom tier, Ross Stripling has been all kinds of concerning and hasn’t had his secondaries this season save for one outing weeks ago. I can see some taking the chance, I personally think it’s too dangerous.
- I’m excited to see Daniel Lynch return to the majors and face the Tigers and I wouldn’t rule out a successful game. There’s less pressure in his return to the show and his stuff is legitimate. Hopefully he’s ironed out some of his command issues.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Just two arms in the top tier as Shohei Ohtani gets Rockie Road and hopefully puts on a…great performance.
- And if you’ve been ignoring Luis Garcia’s incredible 2021, you may be shocked he’s in the top tier. He gets the Mariners and should be in line for a quality outing.
- The second tier has a few popular names, though Wade Miley is likely the most “I don’t know him well but he’s cruising in fantasy and I guess I’m starting him” guy. His cutter has been fantastic as he makes a play for Spider-Man and the Cubs don’t pose much of a threat.
- I was thrilled to see Marcus Stroman have his slider working as good as ever against the Reds last time out and hopefully it’s back for more against Atlanta on Monday.
- It’s been wonderful watching Dallas Keuchel perform at his peak across his last couple of starts and the Royals should outline another day of success…still I recognize that the ceiling and floor are lower than the tier two options, making him the premier tier three arm.
- The streaming pick of the day is Kyle Muller as he faces the slightly above average Mets crew in a doubleheader. Muller’s breakers are wonderful and if he can take that next step with command, he’ll be blazing through the second half. There’s some risk here if the heater can’t find the zone well, but I’d take the chance to start my weeks.
- In the final tier, Nick Pivetta could pull it off against the Jays, though I’d only take the gamble if I thought I needed to desperately chase strikeouts for the week. The Jays are too dang good.
- Last outing saw Matt Manning take a small step forward against the Rangers, but I wouldn’t expect it to continue against the Twins, even if Nelson Cruz has moved to Florida.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)