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: 66-48
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- There’s a legit duo at the top of Tuesday’s ranks with Zack Wheeler and Walker Buehler Gerrit Cole at the top. Wheeler is under Buehler on The List, but the easier matchup makes him the clear #1 play today.
- Despite facing the Padres, Sean Manaea gets the green light as he just earned his AGA label. His 92/93 mph velocity has been a game-changer and the opponent doesn’t matter moving forward.
- In the second tier, I’m still wondering if Hyun Jin Ryu will have his changeup across the final nine weeks of the season. Regardless, he has Cleveland in his sights and he should be safe there.
- It hasn’t been a pretty stretch for Taijuan Walker, but he gets Miami and it doesn’t seem right to avoid that matchup. Here’s the time for him to rebound.
- I’m a little conflicted with Lance McCullers against the Dodgers, but he’s had his slider and if you’re rostering him, he should be able to help more than hurt.
- Kenta Maeda seems to be on the mend in the second half after a rough start to the season. Pitching in Cincinnati is no easy task, though, so give this one some thought.
- The streaming pick of the day is Luis Patiño, who blew his four-seamer past the Yankees and could do the same against the Mariners. There’s a bit of risk here – was that last outing an anomaly? – but I’d be willing to take the chance against a mediocre lineup.
- Tier 3 brings little joy and leads with Johnny Cueto who should be okay against the Sneks as a “Toby”, but you never really know with him.
- There’s also Zach Plesac as he faces the Jays. We know the ceiling is there for Plesac, but the Jays are one of the premier offenses in baseball. This is dangerous.
- I debated it plenty, but I elevated Adrian Houser to the third tier as he gets the Pirates. He’s handled them well this season and could go 5/6 innings of beneficial ratios.
- It’s weird seeing Madison Bumgarner, Blake Snell, and Patrick Corbin all in the bottom tier, but here we are. Bumgarner is still sitting sub 90 mph and the Giants are a strong offense. Snell hasn’t figured it out yet, and Corbin’s velocity isn’t helping as much as I hoped it would.
- I can’t help but wonder if Braxton Garrett and Kris Bubic have enough of a ceiling to power through a pair of strong lineups. Not the worst desperate plays if you need it.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a large top tier on Wednesday with multiple aces starting for their clubs. Freddy Peralta joins the tier after going six frames last time out and any manager rostering him is sure to let him fly – even if he gets just four frames, the floor is still relatively high. Let’s hope the Brewers are actually pulling back their leash in this one.
- Frankie Montas has been on one h*ck of a roll as he’s allowed 6 ER across his last four starts while racking 37 strikeouts along the way. The Padres are a tough crew, but Montas doesn’t care.
- I’m excited to watch more Shohei Ohtani as he’s confirmed to start on Wednesday against the Rangers. There is slight worry here that his sore thumb has made him a bit out of rhythm, but the Rangers are nothing to fear.
- I elected to push Jameson Taillon into the top tier as well given he was crowned the AL Pitcher of July. He endured tough matchups including Boston Twice + Houston and a date with the Orioles should be plenty smoother.
- It’s tempting to place Jon Gray in the top tier as well as he’s been better in Colorado + the Cubs have few bats that instill terror, though Gray hasn’t been quite as sharp as we saw in early July. Still a solid outing for all fantasy squads.
- Despite striking out eight Dodgers last time out, I’m a little skeptical Zac Gallen can be as sharp this time out against the Giants. His secondaries were far from the fantastic offerings of 2020 and the Giants offense has been swinging a hot bat this season.
- I wonder how long the Mets will allow Carlos Carrasco go for in his second start this season. The Marlins make way for a comfortable evening, the question is how much Carrasco can take advantage.
- I really hope we see Logan Gilbert’s slider take full form against the Rays – he’s been pitching incredibly well over the last month and change, but the Rays can punish him if he’s forced to rely solely on his heater.
- In the third tier, those with Steven Matz are going to start him against Cleveland, even if they made Robbie Ray’s night a bit difficult on Monday. There’s still a mediocre floor below, but I think Matz is worth the shot.
- Even if Casey Mize is allowed to flirt with 90 pitches again, the Red Sox lineup is as dangerous as you’ll find. This is no slam dunk.
- In the bottom tier, there are few names that excite. Paolo Espino has been better than anticipated as of late, but the Phillies are good enough to make this a laborious outing.
- Josh Fleming is today’s reluctant streaming pick of the day as he faces the Mariners. I wouldn’t do this save for a deep AL-Only league. There’s too much risk here.
- We saw Jake Odorizzi fail to take advantage of starts against the Rangers and Mariners, making me doubt he can excel against the Dodgers.
- I’ll hold out hope that one day Carlos Hernandez can put it all together and fully harness his upper 90s velocity. For now, we watch from afar as he faces the ChiSox.
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