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!). 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: 52-40
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a normal Monday with fewer games, but we still have a fair amount of aces. Trevor Rogers has the biggest challenge pitching opposite Walker Buehler, but he’s done enough to warrant your start regardless of the opponent.
- The second tier is lonely with Dylan Cease hoping to repeat his last performance against the Twins. His slider was improved as the results came with it, and it’s safe to play in favor of a repeat.
- As always, things get interesting in the “Questionable Start” tier. Monday’s streamer is Kwang Hyun Kim, who has gone over the 100 pitch threshold and boasts an improved slider. The Giants have wrecked southpaws a good amount this season, though, and it could be a battle for a worthy line for your fantasy teams.
- Vladimir Gutiérrez could draw the affectionate eyes of managers as he squares off against the Royals. I’m leaning Kim given a slightly higher floor and sturdier track record of volume, though if you fly with Vlad, you may be glad. There’s enough in that arsenal to pull it off.
- If Tylor Megill gets the call for the Mets, there’s a chance he can repeat his eight strikeout performance against a middling Brewers lineup. He hasn’t gone too deep into games, though, presenting a low floor that could start your week poorly.
- Speaking of low floors, Rich Hill has been lying down on his across the last few weeks as he’s been affected by gloopgate as much as anyone. If the Rays are trusting him with the ball against Cleveland, this could still be trouble even against a weak offense.
- I know Kolby Allard has been oddly effective at times through this season and a date against a Detroit crew who have struggled against southpaws may be fruitful. I find myself hesitating to rely on Allard for any start in any circumstance, though.
- Zach Davies isn’t dominating with his changeup as he used to, but he still has flashes of competence that could appear against a slightly above-average Phillies squad.
- I’d avoid Mike Minor and Martín Pérez for Monday given their difficult opponents. There’s a chance both of them can before at their peaks, but it’s not worth it on a Monday. There will be better options throughout the week.
- I’ve seen some hype around José Suarez and on top of my skepticism, he begins his journey in the rotation against the Red Sox. Be patient here.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Save for the one and only Jacob deGrom, there is a bit of turmoil in the top tier. Aaron Nola is fresh off his fifth inning disaster against the Marlins, Carlos Rodón is pumping heat but hurting ratios as of late, and we just don’t know what to think of Luis Castillo yet as he doesn’t have the elite changeup of old.
- Framber Valdez also hasn’t been quite the dominant arm we saw in his first handful of starts, but his floor is too high to deny the start.
- There’s a case to be made for Chris Bassitt to get the nod into the top tier given how well he’s performed, though the Astros pack a serious punch. I’m still starting him, but he’s not as safe as the other options.
- Adam Wainwright has done everything to earn your trust as he heads into Oracle Park. With his curveball and cutter working, this could be yet another seven-inning start of destruction. Good destruction.
- As much as I want to auto-start Pablo López against the Dodgers, I can’t ignore the floor created by essentially being a two-pitch pitcher. I’m taking the chance and be aware of the danger.
- Jon Gray has been on a tear and while he has a history of performing worse on the road, he should be safe against the Sneks.
- The Questionable Starts are always the intriguing ones and it starts with a quartet of popular arms who we don’t quite know how to handle. José Berríos just fizzled against the White Sox and is asked to try again. Shohei Ohtani gave trusting managers a horrific start to their previous week against the Yankees, and Nathan Eovaldi is essentially a Cherry Bomb with his heavy reliance on secondary pitches working each time out. We just don’t know if they’ll be there against a solid Angels crew.
- There’s also Steven Matz, who doesn’t get the easiest matchup as the Orioles perform well against southpaws and is only one start removed from his mini-IL stint. Let’s hope we see the better side of him.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Merrill Kelly as he hosted Rockie Road. He hasn’t been the most consistent of starters, but if he can feature 92 mph with solid cutters, changeups, and curveballs, this should work in our favor.
- It’s awfully tempting to give Johnny Cueto a chance as we follow “The Cardinal Rule” in Oracle Park. Cueto is a bit maddening to roster, but the Cardinals are just that poor of a squad.
- Has Jameson Taillon finally turned the corner? I’m not entirely convinced, especially as his breakers haven’t come with the same deception as we saw in earlier seasons. Still, he gets the lowly Mariners and could be well worth your attention.
- Good luck trying to guess what we’ll see out of Tony Gonsolin. Maybe it’s five innings with his old slider, maybe it’s 3.1 frames without the stellar breaker. We’ll see.
- In the bottom tier is Patrick Corbin, who has hinted at legitimacy as of late and is too much of a risk going up against the mighty Padres. Watch him dominate and make us all swoon once again.
- There are some desperate options if you’re looking for volume, including José Ureña and Brett Anderson. The ceiling is far too low to consider in 12-teamers, but it’s not a bad dart throw for those in need.
Photo by Tom Hagerty | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)