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: 64-47
Today’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 we have two of them today with José Berríos and Jon Gray. As of now, they are both still on the Minnesota Twins and Colorado Rockies, but they really shouldn’t make their starts.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I’m hoping we see Trevor Rogers return from the IL tomorrow and I’d feel just fine starting him against the Yankees, even if they just acquired Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. Rogers has done enough all year to earn your trust.
- Let’s hope Aaron Nola can keep up the dominance as he faces the Pirates. Everything was cooking last time and I want to enjoy living every day like it’s Nola day again.
- The second tier is massive as we have non-aces getting solid matchups. Germán Márquez and Alex Wood have a difficult evening ahead of them, but their skill sets have shown the ability to dominate regardless of opponent. I’d let them both fly.
- It gets a bit tough to discern who to go with after Wood, as Kyle Hendricks is coming off a rough outing but faced a depleted Nationals offense, while John Means hasn’t been himself as of late but could step it up in his third start back from the IL. Go with your gut if you need to make a decision and start them all where you can.
- Kyle Muller is Saturday’s streaming pick of the day and I’d love to roll with him against the Brewers. His breakers speak to a high ceiling and he’s pumping mid-90s heaters with ease. I expect him to take a step forward or two in the closing two months of the year and Milwaukee is a good place to get started.
- Nathan Eovaldi is tasked with an improved Rays offense, though his secondaries have shown up plenty more than taken a vacation, pushing me in favor of starting him where I roster him.
- In the third tier, it’s unclear if the Nationals will start Josiah Gray on regular rest on Saturday, but they dang well should. Gray’s 95 mph heater + two stellar breakers speak for a legit arm to roster in 12-teamers and a date against the Cubs is awfully tantalizing. There’s a question of command and longevity in this one, plus the whole “changing scenery” thing that may fluster him a bit in his first start for a new team. I’m leaning start.
- I really hope Triston McKenzie can repeat the “BSB” he showcased last time out against the ChiSox, though the floor is awfully scary. Good luck.
- The final tier doesn’t hold a lot of excitement. We shouldn’t rule out Merrill Kelly or Ryan Yarbrough having success against elite offenses, though. Each has overcome their matchup before and may do it again.
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