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: 69-49
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s Walker Buehler and Zack Wheeler leading the charge of the aces on Sunday. Let us all close our eyes and hope they can lead teams to a Sunday victory.
- The bottom of the top tier contains Dylan Cease and Tyler Mahle, two arms well outside of an AGA tag, but carry a high ceiling that can come out against a pair of weak offenses.
- In the second tier, Hyun Jin Ryu has improved as of late, but gets a challenge in the Red Sox. He should be able to keep their offense at bay, but there is some risk here.
- I’m a little scared of the Yusei Kikuchi date with the Yankees as he sat 93.8 mph on his fastball last time out against the Rays and didn’t have his slider and cutter. The Yankees are a volatile crew and this is could be tough.
- The three other options in the second tier are a bit more questionable than usual, as well. Taijuan Walker has been on a tough stretch, though his heater is still coming in hard, even above 95 mph at times. Don’t expect the second half to look just like the first.
- James Kaprielian is returning from the IL and should be okay to take on the Rangers.
- And then there’s Trevor Rogers who hasn’t gone six frames in far too long and has a date in Colorado. This isn’t a slam dunk like in the spring.
- In the third tier, I’ve expected Zach Plesac to come out of his shell since returning from the IL and an afternoon with the Tigers could be the cure.
- Where are we with Kenta Maeda these days? He’s been better with his splitter and slider since his return from the IL, but the Astros are as dangerous as any. Take the gamble if you need it.
- It looks like we’re getting another day with Luis Gil as he squares up against the Mariners and he’s the streaming pick of the day. He featured a hard fastball and a decent slider in his debut last week, though the small sample makes it unclear if he can come through a second time after featuring double-digit walk rates through the minors.
- Kris Bubic has a chance to follow “The Cardinal Rule” and it could work out in St. Louis. As long as that changeup isn’t hung, he can go 5+ innings without much damage.
- In the final tier, I can’t help but be tempted to start Patrick Corbin as he features 93/94 mph velocity + a whiffable slider. It hasn’t come together yet, though, and it’s tough to say Sunday is the day it clicks.
- Yes, Blake Snell is still unstartable even if it’s against the Diamondbacks. He just hasn’t looked right in ages, though he did elect to do the Robbie Ray method last time out with a ton of fastballs in the zone with his breakers taking a backseat. I wonder if that will stick.
- Kyle Freeland is hosting the Marlins in Coors and there are worse desperate plays to make on Sunday. The Marlins strike fear in few and Freeland can shove for six frames at times.
- I wish I could give a better endorsement of Reid Detmers, but considering the questionable command in his debut and a matchup against the mighty Dodgers, it’s easy to decline the southpaw.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We only have five games on Monday but we have our fair share of aces. Luis Castillo gets the top slot as he just earned his AGA label and has a date with Cleveland. Expect dominance.
- The same goes for Joe Musgrove, though I’m not sure about Freddy Peralta and Lucas Gilito. For Peralta, I’m only concerned about how deep into the game he’ll go, while Giolito has been a bit shaky as of late – he didn’t have his slider nor changeup in his last outing. Hopefully they both return.
- The second tier is a short one with Jameson Taillon taking the sole label. He’s arguably a Tier 1 play against the Royals, but that’s rooted in his curveball acting the same as it did in his last start. It was the best we’ve seen of the hook and he’ll have to replicate it if he’s searching for a top tier spot.
- Alec Mills leads the third tier and is our streaming pick of the day. I’m not a fan of Mills and his heavy potential for a “Grave Mistake”, but the Brewers aren’t terrifying and this one could return 5+ frames of production.
- I’m not as excited about Zach Thompson as we were a month ago and the Padres can put up a crooked number easily. Be careful here.
- In the final tier, we have Brady Singer, who has yet to be confirmed but could start Monday against the Yankees. There’s a touch of upside always present, but the floor is awfully low and has me tip-toeing around it whenever possible.
- The last two are Charlie Barnes and Logan Allen, who don’t bring enough to the table to be trusted on your squads. Cool to see Allen back in action, though!
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)
Nick, just curious as to why you listed Zach Thompson as “set and forget” for this week’s two-start pitchers list but listed him as questionable on this list? Thanks.
Because I didn’t write the two-start pitchers :)
I think it’s cool having different perspectives across the site.