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: 72-52
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It feels weird giving Sean Manaea the #2 spot after he’s struggled a bit in his last two starts. However, he gets a gift in Texas and I expect Manaea to rebound in a major way. His stuff is still excellent and the Rangers can hit themselves out of success.
- It’s a similar situation for Lucas Giolito, who has been a bit volatile with his slider and changeup. This isn’t the easiest matchup against the Yankees, either, but I anticipate a solid recovery.
- The second tier leads with Steven Matz, who I trust as a “Toby” to take down the Mariners. Startling, I know, but it’s not the strongest tier two we’ve seen and Matz can sneak away with an easy Win.
- Seriously, there are some legit questions here. Eduardo Rodriguez has his fastball command, but the Orioles are strong against southpaws. Aaron Nola’s volatility has been well documented and faces a home-run clubbing Reds crew. And Sonny Gray’s success against Atlanta was fueled by fastballs – not breakers – and I doubt he can replicate that performance without his curveball or slider.
- In the third tier, Jon Gray leads the way as he faces a cruising Giants offense. I’ve learned my lesson starting arms against San Francisco this week and Jonny G way run into some trouble here.
- Triston McKenzie follows as he’s been able to throw strikes with his fastball and breakers lately. It’s risky as we don’t know what his command will look like on a given day, but I’d heavily consider this one in Detroit.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Luis Patiño as he faces the Twins. I’m not in love with this, but Patiño could overwhelm with his heater as long as he can throw his slider for a strike. Let’s hope he can pull it off.
- I debated the order of Zac Gallen and Carlos Carrasco for a good moment, leaning Gallen in the end as he has a higher volume ceiling. Both arms will have their work cut out for them, though, and I’m crossing my fingers we see their best selves.
- It’s been great watching Drew Smyly have his best curveball of the season across the last few weeks, though I can’t help but be anxious after his fastball dipped roughly two ticks in his last game. The Nationals make for a comfortable afternoon, though, and Smyly could produce once again with that glorious hook, despite the lackluster heater.
- Alec Mills isn’t someone to write how about, but he can take down the Marlins….right? They did just rough up Ryan Weathers and Adbert Alzolay, so it’s not an absolute lock as you may think.
- In the final tier, there are few starters who even have the ceiling to push the needle on a desperate Sunday. My favorite option is Kris Bubic, who can follow “The Cardinal Rule” if he’s throwing changeups down in the zone. It’s super risky, but at least there’s a decent shot.
- And fine, I guess J.A. Happ could come through on the other side of the bump. Not the worst idea to hedge your bets and start both of these if all you need is a Win. I wouldn’t suggest the double-start otherwise.
- Is this the day we see Elieser Hernandez return for Miami? I sure hope so, though it’s clearly a “Still ILL” as we don’t know how good his feel is for his slider, nor how long the Marlins will let him pitch.
- And hey, maybe Kolby Allard can whip up some magic for 5-6 innings against a middling Athletics offense. Unlikely, but sure, why not.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Monday is not a fun day for pitching. It makes for a solo top tier of Kevin Gausman against the Mets. Do us proud, Gausman.
- I elected to not feature Frankie Montas here and instead push him to the second tier as he gets a challenge against the White Sox. He’s on a good enough run that I’m starting him fearlessly, but those trying to gauge if he’s worth the play early in the week should note the lower floor than usual.
- I’m amazed to see Cal Quantrill above the 50% rostership rate (and Patrick Sandoval isn’t…?) but it’s a very clear “Vargas Rule” that we hope can be more and he could continue the journey against a slightly above-average Twins crew.
- It’s been a solid year for Wade Miley with a 3.00 ERA and 1.24 WHIP and the weakened Cubs should provide another launching pad for his “Spider-Man” candidacy.
- It was a rain-delayed oddity of an outing for David Price last time out and now he’s been given the gift of the Pirates. It’s no guarantee he’s able to go six frames, let alone five, but he’s a relatively safe play hosting Pittsburgh.
- I don’t love his fastball and splitter, but as long as Touki Toussaint has his curveball, he should make easy work of the Miami offense.
- The legend of Luis Gil could grow on Monday if he’s called upon to start for the pinstripes. The Angels can pack a punch and I’m excited to see if Gil can keep the same command he’s had in his first two outings.
- The third tier features a quartet of pitchers who are sure to make you uneasy. Jake Odorizzi gets the Royals and while he took advantage of a date with “Rockie Road”, Odorrizi is more volatile than I’d like to secure a spot in Monday’s lineup on my teams.
- Today’s streaming pick of the day is Griffin Jax after his phenomenal outing against the ChiSox with ten strikeouts. I have my serious doubts that his slider will hold close to a 43% CSW for the second straight outing. Still, Cleveland is as comfortable as you can hope for and there’s a shot here.
- Braxton Garrett was also considered as the streaming play as he’s turned heads during his few outings. Atlanta does have electricity in their bats, though, and could make for a disaster quickly.
- Despite a decent matchup against Oakland, I wouldn’t hold Dallas Keuchel for this one, though I can imagine those in Quality Start leagues may want to take the chance.
- While most of this tier is absolutely dreadful, José Suarez has a chance of being a bright spot in the Bronx. He has the ability to slide through five or more frames if you’re in dire need of innings.
- It’s been wild to see Carlos Hernández have success against the White Sox and Yankees, and hey, maybe there’s a touch of magic left as he faces the Astros. I sure don’t want to take that gamble, though.
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