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: 64-46
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- In the second tier, I’m happy to give Kwang Hyun Kim some love as he’s fanned seven in two of his last three starts. He gets the lowly Guardians and should continue his successful 2021 journey.
- I have my concerns about Anthony DeSclafani and Yusei Kikuchi as they face strong squads in the Dodgers and Astros (respectively. Again.). Tony Disco is facing the Dodgers for the fifth time and has produced just once, while Kikuchi had to rely on a changeup last time out instead of his patented cutter/slider mix. I wonder if he has it in him to excel against Houston.
- It may be difficult to start Zach Plesac after his pedestrian outings since his return from the IL, but you should follow “The Cardinal Rule” and throw him out there.
- Lastly, there’s Jake Odorizzi, who wasn’t able to capitalize against the Rangers over the weekend. I expect him to rebound against the Mariners and make this worthwhile.
- In the third tier, let’s all collectively cross our fingers for Blake Snell to have a smooth start against the Athletics. Baseball is better with more legit aces.
- It may shock you, but Tylor Megill has a 2.10 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 30 frames as a big leaguer. His changeup has boasted a 23% SwStr rate and could continue his march against Atlanta.
- We have some other intriguing plays in the third tier. Andrew Heaney gets a taste of Rockie Road and could be more Cherry than Bomb, Madison Bumgarner gets the Rangers, but I’m worried about his fastball sitting under 90 mph in each of his last two starts, and Patrick Corbin may be returning to form as his heater sat 94 mph in his last outing.
- There’s one more option in the third tier, our streaming pick of the day. I’m not thrilled about Tanner Houck going against the Jays, but his slider is elite and could give them a rough day at the park.
- In the final tier, there aren’t many decent options for deep streams. I wouldn’t want to spin the wheel with J.A. Happ against the Tigers as he’s been burned by them before + Detroit has performed well over the last month.
- Jordan Holloway has a touch of electricity in that repertoire and there’s a small chance it comes out against a middling Orioles crew.
- I think we can all recognize that the Wily Peralta ride has come to a full stop, right? Please nod in agreement.
- There’s always a chance Zach Davies whips up some magic in his changeup/sinker combination but I sure as h*ck don’t want to bank on it against the Reds.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Among the clear aces is Frankie Montas, who is on an absolute tear as of late, making him a must-start even if he is going against a solid Angels club. Just start him.
- I know, it feels weird not seeing Freddy Peralta in this tier, especially when he’s facing the Pirates, but he was limited in his last start and will likely continue to be moving forward, making him susceptible to a mediocre line given the lack of volume. It’s not fun in the slightest.
- Staying in the second tier, Taijuan Walker has had a rough pair of outings but should be able to bounce back against a decent Atlanta offense. His strikeout numbers have fallen dramatically and I am a little worried for the second half, though he’s worth the gamble here.
- David Price tossed just under 80 pitches last time out and could eclipse the number for the first time against the Giants. I wouldn’t say his stuff is close to his premier days, but there’s enough in his utility belt to make it work.
- In the third tier, I’m still terrified of Hyun Jin Ryu and his missing changeup and a date with the Red Sox makes his situation even tougher. It’s a risk/reward play and up to you to make the call.
- On the other side of the ball is Eduardo Rodriguez who is pitching for the first time since leaving early with migraine symptoms. The Jays are no fun, either, though his previous starts came with the best fastball command he’s had since 2019. Something to consider.
- Don’t overlook Alex Cobb against the Athletics if you can swing it (25% rostership rate) as his splitter (aka The Thing) has been on for weeks.
- The streaming pick of the day was a tough call between Chad Kuhl and Luis Patiño, but I ultimately went with Kuhl for a touch higher floor. He’s tossing 50% sliders these days and will likely go a bit deeper into the game than Patiño.
- In the final tier, Casey Mize will likely continue to be limited and the Orioles as he hasn’t thrown five full innings since the end of June (albeit, he was able to go 79 pitches last start in 4.2 frames). I don’t see enough of a ceiling here to chase.
- There’s a chance Vince Velasquez pulls it off against the Nationals, but let’s be honest. The only time you should consider VV is against the Marlins. You’ll live a happier life with that rule in place.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)