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: 55-40
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s going to be a wonderful matchup of Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer in San Diego and if you roster either or both, have no hesitation. Duh.
- Sandy Alcántara gets the Dodgers and I can sense your hesitation – the Dodgers lit him up and pushed him out after two frames. Keep the faith and trust the skills of upper-90s heat with two strong secondaries.
- In the second tier, Tarik Skubal gets the Twins and puts managers at risk. He has been a bit volatile this season, though the ceiling is too high to ignore. I’m starting him everywhere I have him rostered.
- I didn’t expect to place Jordan Montgomery so high, but it’s the Mariners and his changeup and curveball could work well in his favor. I’m not in love with it, but it’s a start that should be made.
- JT Brubaker is still a very capable pitcher and the Mets are middle of the pack offensively. Coffee Cakes’ slider is certainly good enough to provide dividends to those who trust him.
- It was wonderful to see Adbert Alzolay have his slider for the first time since his blister injury and while the Phils have the ability to ruin a pitcher’s evening, Alzolay looks be on the right path moving forward.
- Opposite Montgomery is Logan Gilbert, who has leaned heavily on his excellent heater. The changeup and slider are still coming along but if just one shows up, this can go in his favor.
- Zach Eflin is far from a sexy start, though he’s fully capable of volume against a tame Cubs offense.
- The questionable starts are few and lead with Zach Plesac, who could be out of this tier in future starts. He’s returning from the IL and will likely throw around 60 pitches, limiting his ability to take advantage of a mediocre Royals squad. It’s unclear if his few innings will be of enough quality to justify a start.
- Frankie Montas has seen better days and a date with the Astros is a bit terrifying. There’s a chance his bowling-ball fastballs make quick work and allow him to cruise through six frames, though you’d be wise to proceed with caution.
- Like Plesac, Danny Duffy is likely to be limited as he faces Cleveland. It’s unknown what his pitch count will be, but the Royals have made it clear that they want to limit Duffy to keep him on the field. Still sporting 94+ mph makes Duffy a tantalizing option, it’s just a question of volume.
- And finally, there’s our reluctant streaming pick of the day, J.A. Happ as he’s a southpaw against the Tigers. Detroit has been better lately with Grossman and Baddoo performing well, making this far from a lock. There are likely better streams to make later in the week.
- The final tier is awfully short, but if you’re in need of a desperate start, Jake Faria vs. Chi Chi González could work for both arms and neither offense is exceptional and both could go at least five frames. Just a thought.
- Adrian Houser is fresh off a solid outing against the Pirates, but I wouldn’t chance it against a strong Reds crew.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at Charlie Morton, claiming the top spot over the struggling Gerrit Cole as they face offenses on the opposite sides of the spectrum. Here’s to both arms succeeding and instilling confidence for their fantasy managers everywhere.
- I was tempted to put Kyle Hendricks and Marcus Stroman in the Auto-Start tier as well as they have fantastic matchups, but Hendricks isn’t quite the rock we want at the moment and Stroman has been incredibly shaky since his hip injury a few weeks ago.
- Continuing in the second tier is Shane McClanahan against the Jays who may bring hesitation, but performed well in his previous outing and certainly has the stuff to do so again.
- I know it’s been incredibly frustrating rostering Blake Snell this year, but he gets Rockie Road and could capitalize once again.
- After a fantastic outing against the Dodgers, you’d be hard-pressed to find a fantasy manager not interested in start Joe Ross in Oracle Park. Let’s hope the slider and heater get whiffs again.
- Has Kenta Maeda figured it out? Maybe? He’s fresh off his best start of the season where he had his slider and splitter working, but it was just one outing. The Tigers present a comfortable stage to perform again and I’ll be monitoring closely.
- There are a pair of Toby arms at the end of the second tier as they face weak opponents. Wade Miley is chasing the Spider-Man award as he gets the Brewers and Cole Irvin should make easy work of the Rangers. Let them fly.
- In the third tier, Ross Stripling leads the way as he faces the Rays. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen from his secondaries this year, though he has been good enough to warrant your attention against an average Rays squad.
- Jake Odorizzi is down here as I’m worried about the Yankee offense heating up. If he had a decent matchup, he would be in the second tier.
- The streaming pick of the day is Alex Cobb against the Mariners in hopes that his Splitter can lead the way with curveballs landing for called strikes and heaters…surviving.
- Speaking of surviving, Zach Thompson did just that last weekend against Atlanta and could do it a second time.
- The fourth and final tier is a long one and I can imagine some taking chances heading into the weekend. Dallas Keuchel has been demoted after failing to succeed against weak opponents as of late + the Orioles are a strong crew against southpaws.
- Max Kranick and Logan Webb could each be called upon for Friday’s games and carry some intrigue. Kranick pitched no-hit ball in his brief call-up against the Cardinals and may be able to withstand the Mets bats while Webb is returning from the IL in a Still ILL situation, but could have his slider and/or changeup to lead the charge.
- I haven’t seen enough from Eli Morgan or Caleb Smith to make me confident in their outings, while Marco Gonzales and Matt Manning have been all kinds of disappointing. I imagine many in this tier will succeed – including someone of these four – but the odds aren’t in your favor.
- Lastly, David Price could be getting stretched out as a starter. Given the lack of information on his pitch count and questionable ability out of the pen, I’d avoid this until further notice.
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