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: 66-49
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- There are few locked in plays on Thursday, with Aaron Nola facing the depleted Nationals getting the #1 tag. He’s recovered over the last month and should be able to take full advantage of the “Soto & Friends” lineup.
- It was great to see Sonny Gray bounce back in his last appearance and it should be more of the same against the lowly Pirates.
- I debated if Framber Valdez deserved to be in the top tier or not as the Twins are still missing Nelson Cruz, but I’ve been disappointed with Valdez’s fastball as of late and there is a touch of skepticism that he can come through.
- I can see some pushing Joe Ross into the second tier after a dominant stretch before his injury stint. The results weren’t what we hoped last time out, but the slider was earning whiffs galore and I can see a solid rebound here against the Phillies.
- Sticking in the third tier, Merrill Kelly has been a steady “Toby” for a while and gets a tough matchup against the Giants. I think you’re okay letting him fly, but it’s a low ceiling.
- After a disaster outing, some may be hesitant to start Touki Toussaint. However, he gets St. Louis and you’d be wise to follow “The Cardinal Rule” – Touki should be plenty better this time.
- The streaming pick of the day is shockingly Braxton Garrett, who was able to fan ten in his last start in the bigs. The start was likely an anomaly and the Mets can pack a punch, but the ceiling is clear and he’s the best bet at the sub 20% waiver wire requirement.
- I’m finding it hard to believe in Ross Stripling despite a solid matchup against Cleveland. He hasn’t had his secondaries working in tandem for a while and it frequently leads to a laborious time on the hill. Be careful.
- The final tier is a large one today, filled with back-end starters and poor matchups. We don’t know how much the Yankees will lean on Nestor Cortes as he gets the Mariners and those expecting him to replicate his previous success are likely in for disappointment.
- Yes, Rich Hill gets the Marlins, but he hasn’t been able to go 5/6 innings strong consistently for a long time. There’s simply too much risk without a high enough ceiling.
- Opposite Cortes is Tyler Anderson, who is your standard “Toby” as he faces a strong Yankee lineup. It’s not the start you should consider him for.
- I really hope we get to see the full potential of Daniel Lynch and Triston McKenzie in their respective starts, but it’s way too dangerous starting them against the White Sox and Jays.
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