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: 78-59
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Saturday comes with plenty strong outings that should help close gaps in weekly leagues. Adam Wainwright gets the #2 spot as he gets a lovely matchup against the Pirates and I still can’t fully comprehend his ascension this year. That curveball is so dang good.
- Frankie Montas comes in at the bottom of the tier despite facing the strong Yankee lineup. He just earned a “Gallows Pole” against the Giants and is on too good of a roll to sit now.
- In the second tier, Vladimir Gutiérrez gets the top spot as he has a lovely date scheduled with the Marlins. His ROS schedule is cozy and he should cruise through the end.
- The streaming pick of the day is Daniel Lynch as he faces the Mariners after Carlos Hernández pitched in relief Friday evening. Lynch’s fastball command has been plenty better in his second pass in the Royals’ rotation + his slider is a legit whiff pitch. Let him fly.
- In the third tier, I can see some wanting to push both Kyle Gibson and Cal Quantrill into the tier above. Gibson has been a bit better as of late, though there’s still a low floor that brings a level of caution. Quantrill is on a tear, but now gets a challenge in the Red Sox. It’s not a lock for success.
- Néstor Cortes Jr. has been absolutely cruising and the Athletics aren’t a massive threat to stop this train. The wheels can fall off at any point, though, so plan accordingly.
- It’s a nice matchup for Luis Patiño against the Orioles, though he has yet to showcase consistency with his four-seamer and slider. We’ll see if it’ll come out against John Means.
- If you’re looking for another stream, consider Tyler Anderson against the Royals. He’s been playing the “Toby” part incredibly well and may slide into another decently productive outing on Saturday.
- In the bottom tier, Humberto Mejía is fresh off a strong outing but still isn’t to be trusted against the Phillies. But hey, it could happen.
- The same goes for Steven Brault as he has a chance to follow “The Cardinal Rule”. The ceiling is too low to warrant a roll of the dice in standard leagues, though.
Tomorrow’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.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)
If you had the option, who would you start and why? Lynch or Houck?