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: 78-60
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Sunday doesn’t come with the same regality as Saturday’s aces, but Tyler Mahle and Dylan Cease should be able to give you both solid ratios and plenty of strikeouts as they’ve been granted phenomenal matchups.
- Zack Greinke isn’t the strongest arm out there, but his consistency is plenty welcome against a poor Texas squad.
- In the second tier, Jordan Montgomery still carries two major whiff pitches in his curveball and changeup and should wield both of them well enough to benefit your lineups on Sunday.
- It hasn’t been the ascension we envisioned for Tanner Houck now that he’s firmly in the Red Sox rotation, but an afternoon in Cleveland could be the bridge we’ve been looking for him to cross.
- In the third tier, we start with three popular names each facing difficult opponents. Ian Anderson and Anthony DeSclafani should be returning from the IL (Tony Disco isn’t confirmed yet) to face each other and both come with the questionable tag as it has vapors of “Still ILL”. Anderson tossed 90 pitches in his latest rehab start with nine strikeouts, but the Giants are a tough draw. Tony Disco has missed minimal time, but hasn’t been his strong self for about a month now. It’s hard to tell if this will work or not.
- Kyle Hendricks normally fits in the second tier as well, but the ChiSox are a rough bunch to endure. I understand some wanting Hendricks even lower on this list due to the low floor.
- The streaming pick of the day should be Mitch White, though he hasn’t been confirmed yet by the Dodgers. He gets “Rockie Road” and brings enough to the table with his breakers and heater to make it worthwhile.
- A popular option lately has been Ranger Suárez, who gets the gift of the Sneks on the road. I’m not the biggest fan of what Ranger brings to the table, but his 93/94 mph heater + plus changeup gives him a good chance for production against Arizona.
- I know Brady Singer is fresh off a phenomenal game against the Astros, but his sinker/slider combo is flighty and gives little assurance for sustained success. Hopefully he has it working against the Mariners.
- It was a “Vargas Rule” from Madison Bumgarner and after the bump in the road against the Pirates paired with a small dip in velocity to 89.3 mph, I have my concerns starting him against the Phillies.
- I looks like Aaron Ashby will get the start against the Twins and as much as I adore Ashby, I question how long the Brewers will allow him to pitch. The same goes for Kwang Hyun Kim against the Pirates, who tossed under 35 pitches in his last rehab start. There is upside in both (higher for Ashby!), but if you need volume, I’d look elsewhere.
- Sadly, Tylor Megill did not have his changeup for his second straight outing in his previous start and it makes me concerned he’ll flounder against the Nationals.
- It was a wonderful ten-strikeout performance against the Marlins, but the Mets are a good enough offense to take advantage of Erick Fedde’s mistakes. Don’t Trust The Feddes.
- In the bottom tier, there is very little to chase, even if you’re desperate. Wil Crowe has shown moments of bliss and could follow “The Cardinal Rule”, but I’d hate to rely on him to win my week.
- Eli Morgan is coming off a rough outing against Texas, but if his fastball and changeup command are there, he has a chance to make it work, even against Boston.
- Matthew Boyd is expected to return in a “Still ILL” start + he gets the Jays. Just sit this out and see what happens.
- We finally got a glimpse of Chris Archer last week after waiting for months…and he was pulled early with a hip issue. I wouldn’t expect him to go long in his Sunday outing.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The week is frontloaded with aces as Zack Wheeler, Robbie Ray, and Corbin Burnes should all help your squads on Monday.
- There’s just one pitcher who could look out of place here: Josiah Gray. His deep repertoire allows him to earn whiffs on all three of his pitches and makes this a clear start against a middling Phillies squad. Don’t overthink it.
- There is no second tier on Monday. Why? Because I don’t change the ranks just so each tier can have a player. Some days it’s like that.
- The third tier doesn’t foster exciting players, but they could help. Johnny Cueto has acted like a proper “Toby” and could do his thing against the Brewers, while Nick Pivetta still carries strikeout upside, but a date with the Rays should have you second-guessing this one. If I rostered Pivetta, I’d weigh my options on the wire.
- The streaming pick of the day is Bailey Ober, who has been doing his best impression of prime Jake Odorizzi with the way he’s peppered four-seamers to the top of the zone. It’s paid off for him multiple times this year, and the Tigers’ bite has been softening over the past week.
- In the bottom tier, Chris Flexen always has a chance to showcase the magic of his 2021 season, but against the Astros, I’d play it safe
- Luis Patiño always carries intriguing upside, but the Red Sox are capable of pouncing on his mistakes. The risk isn’t worth the reward here.
- I’m excited to see both Chris Paddack and Corey Kluber make their returns from the IL on Monday. Both arms could be helpful down the stretch, but these are clear “Still ILL” situations and I’d sit them out as we watch from afar.
- I’m glad Casey Mize is allowed to carry a pitch count above 80 these days, but his innings have not been of quality. The Twins are a dangerous crew and could make this a tough evening for Mize.
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