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: 67-49
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Atop today’s ranks are Lance Lynn and Corbin Burnes, who need no introduction, but Germán Márquez sneaks in at #3 as he hosts the Marlins in Coors. His slider has been that good and he should be able to succeed despite the elevation.
- Chris Bassitt and Wade Miley are somewhat similar arms, each facing poor lineups in the Rangers and Pirates. Start them without hesitation.
- In the second tier, we have many big names and tough opponents. John Means, Patrick Sandoval, Trevor Rogers, Alek Manoah, and Marcus Stroman were dealt a tough hand for Friday, but their respective ceilings make the gamble a risk you have to take. Let’s hope we go 60% success rates here.
- Among the mix is Kyle Muller, who gets a shot to cruise against the depleted Nationals squad. I’d keep rolling with Muller until he gives us good reason not to.
- Tier 3 begins with Kyle Gibson, who took a step forward last time out in his audition for the Phillies as he featured an exceptional changeup. Let’s hope it sticks against the Mets and this wasn’t a one time thing.
- I wasn’t impressed with what I saw from David Price last time out and the Angels could give him a tough time, though Price’s cross-town rivals haven’t been quite as blazing hot lately as they were earlier in the summer.
- Kyle Hendricks has been steady over the last two months, though he’s stumbled at times and the ChiSox are a tough obstacle to avoid.
- I’m shocked to see Mike Minor rostered it over 25% of leagues, but this may be a start you want him for. His velocity was up a touch last time out with great secondaries and he could follow “The Cardinal Rule” effectively.
- The streaming pick of the day is Cal Quantrill, who has returned a Quality Start in three of his last four and gets the Tigers here. I don’t love this in the slightest, but I recognize it could work as some “Vargas Rule” this.
- Is Nathan Eovaldi able to survive the massive Jays bats? It’s a close call and in tight matchups, I’d consider being conservative here.
- In the final tier, I’m excited to see Deivi García possibly get the ball for the Yankees with Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery on the shelf with COVID. He’s had a major HR problem in the minors as of late, though, and this start is best to avoid. Too much risk here.
- He’s a “Toby” at best and I still don’t want to trust Matt Manning on a given night, even if it’s Cleveland. There isn’t enough upside to justify the danger.
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