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
- 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.
- 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.
- I can’t help but wonder if Patrick Corbin can pull it off against the Phillies after sitting 93.8 mph in his last start – that’s three ticks harder than we saw at the beginning of the season.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Yes, we’ve reached a moment in history where Patrick Sandoval is the #3 play of the day, but can you blame me? His changeup and slider are unreal right now and the Athletics are a whiff-heavy offense and I’m excited to see how he performs on Friday.
- After two poor outings, I’d still start Kevin Gausman against the Astros. I know, you’re terrified. Encourage your fellow fantasy player and we can all stay strong together. Gausman should get back in his groove for this one.
- In the second tier, managers should be anticipating Chris Bassitt and Logan Gilbert to rebound after their questionable performances last time out. Give me that wicked slider, Gilbert! The people want it.
- After two stellar outings, I still have long-term concerns about Touki Toussaint, though I’d take the gamble and start him against the Brewers in hopes he can keep the music playing for another few starts.
- It’s the first time I’ve had three question marks for a player in these ranks, and as of now Jon Gray is still on the Colorado Rockies and lined up to start on Friday. He really shouldn’t make this start, though.
- While he hasn’t gone six dominant innings yet, Tony Gonsolin is likely to be worth the plug into your lineup against the mediocre Sneks.
- In the third tier, we kick off with Ryan Weathers, our streaming pick of the day. It’s not the highest upside start as he won’t award you plenty of strikeouts, but Rockie Road mixed with a likely Win as the Rockies fumble to find a starter to replace Gray should return dividends for trusting managers.
- I’m not thrilled about Zach Thompson’s last outing where his overall command was a step back + the Yankees improving their offense with Joey Gallo. Be careful.
- The last three options of the tier could arguably be pushed to the fourth tier, but are still a clear step up. Zac Gallen hasn’t looked right for a while now, though he’s just two games removed from his second IL stint of the year. If he has his stuff working, his opponent (the Dodgers) doesn’t matter.
- Carlos Carrasco is returning from the IL to make his first start of the season…against the Reds. It’s a clear Still ILL, but I understand starting him for the fun of it. It’s fantasy baseball! Have a great time cheering for the pitcher you’ve held onto all year.
- I could have placed Ross Stripling in the bottom tier as his secondaries have been failed to materialize across the last few weeks, but the Royals aren’t that terrifying and he could eke out a Win.
- In the bottom tier, Wil Crowe is still an interesting name as he’s earned whiffs with both his changeup and slider over his last four starts. I wouldn’t do this, but it’s interesting.
- Martín Pérez is my favorite pick down here as he could squeeze a Win against the Rays. Definitely hate it, but consider it if you’re desperate.
- I’m excited to watch Daniel Lynch in the second half, but certainly not against the Jays. Trust him again next time out against St. Louis instead.
Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)