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: 56-40
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at Charlie Morton, claiming the top spot of the day over Taijuan Walker. Both have fantastic matchups (Marlins for Morton, Pirates for Walker) and should give managers boosts for the week.
- I was tempted to put Kyle Hendricks in the Auto-Start tier as well as they have fantastic matchups, but Hendricks isn’t quite the rock we want at the moment. It is “The Cardinal Rule”, though, so this should work in your favor.
- 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…if he’s able to start. Monitor his health as he has been ill as of late.
- 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.
- After a rainout yesterday, note that Alek Manoah is starting today against the Rays. It’s not as tasty of a matchup as facing Baltimore, but still well worth your time.
- 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.
- There are whispers that Madison Bumgarner could be making his return today for the Sneks, but it’s a Still ILL as he squares up against the Dodgers. Let’s hope the velocity is there if he makes the appearance.
- Triston McKenzie could also be back today as he gets the Royals in what seems to be a strong matchup for the young Cleveland arm. I’d avoid it given McKenzie’s volatility in the first half this season, though managers looking for some strikeout upside may not have a better choice.
- Marco Gonzales and Matt Manning have been all kinds of disappointing. I imagine many in this tier will succeed, 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have a good amount of aces on Saturday with Walker Buehler leading the way against the Sneks. Lucas Giolito and Gerrit Cole would normally jump ahead, but they have both presented some concern as of late and while I’m obviously starting both, they needed to be given some discipline this time around.
- Despite getting the two easiest matchups in Miami and Rockie Road, I’ve placed Max Fried and Joe Musgrove at the end of the ranks. Both have had bouts of inconsistency this year and aren’t absolute locks to take advantage of their fantastic matchups. I just feel a little more secure in the other options.
- Kicking off the second tier is Anthony DeSclafani, who has done plenty to earn the trust of managers everywhere and now gets a matchup against the average Nationals lineup. Let him fly.
- James Kaprielian is similar to Tony Disco in his availability on the wire turning into fantasy gold and fresh off a fantastic ten strikeout day against Boston, he gets a date with the Rangers. Sign. Me. Up.
- It has been a wild ride for Germán Márquez as he’ll be tested once again as he faces the mighty Padres crew. Given how well his slider and curveball have performed, you have to take the high risk/high reward gamble here.
- Marcus Stroman hasn’t looked great since leaving his game with hip soreness and I’m hoping a day against the Pirates will help calibrate his secondary pitches.
- The streaming pick of the day is Tylor Megill as he pitches in game two of the Mets’ doubleheader. He’s gone five frames with at least seven strikeouts in back-to-back starts and with his fastball/changeup combination, he has a great chance to coast on Saturday.
- The backup pick is the 2% rostered Bailey Ober, who is fresh off steamrolling the Mariners with excellent four-seamer command and a variety of secondaries. The Tigers are nothing to be scared of (especially with Robbie Grossman possibly out as he nurses a jammed finger) and Ober could conduct another stellar performance.
- In the third tier, Ross Stripling has a date against the Rays and I have mixed feelings. The Rays are an average squad, but Stripling has had his secondary pitches working just once across his past month. I hope they can return, but it could be a tough outing if they remain mediocre.
- Zach Davies has a fortunate date against St. Louis as we follow “The Cardinal Rule”. It’s not my favorite, but it seems like a decent option.
- In the final tier, Chris Flexen has performed better than expected and may have earned the eye of fantasy managers, but the Angels are a force to be reckoned with offensively. Be careful.
- I wouldn’t say that I adore Cal Quantrill, though he has a long leash and gets the Royals. There’s a chance he shoves for six frames and I can’t say that about many in this tier. Still, don’t start, of course.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)