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: 84-65
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- There are plenty of undisclosed starters for Friday and make sure to keep tabs on updates through Thursday.
- It’s a clear top spot for Robbie Ray against the Orioles, but the #2 spot is up for debate. I eventually landed on Framber Valdez given the high floor against the Angels, but both Tyler Mahle and Shohei Ohtani make great cases as well. Mahle is on the road and could easily follow The Cardinal Rule, while Ohtani has been pitching like a legit ace.
- There are some concerns about Trevor Rogers and Joe Musgrove, but not enough to deny them the start. I’ll cross my fingers for you, though.
- The second tier leads with Ian Anderson, who has not found his groove since returning from the IL. If there’s a team to recalibrate a starter, it’s the Marlins, and hopefully Anderson walks away with a hop in his step.
- The other four options could be in nearly any order. Jordan Montgomery hasn’t been his best lately (the Orioles forced him to throw 4.2 laborious innings), but I trust his changeup and curveball to come through against the Mets.
- The other three options include Carlos Rodón, who isn’t confirmed for Friday, but if he starts, the Red Sox are in his way and could jump on him if his fastball is still sitting comfortably below 95 mph.
- I know it’s been a good run for Marco Gonzales, but the ceiling isn’t as high as the other names + there’s always risk of a blowup, even against the Sneks.
- The third tier is filled with rookies, starting with Tanner Houck against the White Sox. He came through last time out and I hope he takes another step forward here.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Eli Morgan as he squares off against the Brewers. If Eli has his fastball command working, he can coast through six innings with a chunk of strikeouts and it may be worth the dive.
- I still believe in Josiah Gray, though he’s fresh off the worst performance I’ve seen from him in the bigs. The Pirates are a great team to face in an effort to get his feel back, and let’s hope he can bring it.
- The stuff from Daniel Lynch is still great and he could bring his whiff-heavy slider with solid fastball command against the Twins to surprise plenty of managers.
- Don’t overlook a possible decent outing from both Glenn Otto and Paul Blackburn as they square off in Oakland.
- I’m worried about Tylor Megill against the Yankees. He showed a bit of life last time out, but the Yanks are a tough squad to deal with and Megill hasn’t been locked in for a while.
- In the bottom tier, Michael Wacha has been his best self lately and now gets the Tigers. It’s too risky to stick him in the third tier, but those desperate for a start could strike gold.
- Despite facing the Mariners, you should be avoiding Madison Bumgarner as his fastball has sat under 90 mph and catalyzed three straight rough outings. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is filled with your standard studs: Zack Wheeler, Corbin Burnes, Walker Buehler, Charlie Morton, etc. Start them all because duh.
- Luis Garcia slides in at the end despite his recent reluctance to feature his slider prominently in his pitch mix. Let’s hope the sweeper returns to trumpets and riveting enthusiasm.
- It feels weird to have Dylan Cease lead the second tier despite a date with the Red Sox, but his slider has been that good as of late and demands a spot in your lineup. Expect the strikeouts to flow.
- After a long time in purgatory, Hyun Jin Ryu burst out against the Yankees, adding two ticks of velocity to his fastball. It’s unclear if that 92 mph heater will stick around against the Orioles, but I’d take the chance.
- With the way Brady Singer has been earning whiffs across his last three starts, you’d be hard-pressed to find a manager not letting Singer fly against the Twins.
- The Vargas Rule season should continue for Chris Flexen as he faces the lowly Sneks in Seattle on Saturday. He’s worth your time.
- It hasn’t been the season we envisioned for Zach Plesac, but he showed some promise last time out that could act as a foundation for his start against Milwaukee. Don’t rule it out.
- I’m worried about Taijuan Walker’s drop in velocity as he gets the dangerous Yankee offense. This could get ugly.
- Our streaming pick of the day is…Kyle Freeland against the Phils. He’s on the road and could carry his new curveball through five or six frames of success. No, I don’t love this one at all, but it’s the best we’ve got.
- You may be able to grab Luis Patiño for his start against the Tigers. Patiño hit a roadblock against the Twins last time out, but if he has his heater working, he could set down the Tigers with ease.
- In the final tier, no I do not want to start Patrick Corbin despite a date with the Pirates. The ceiling is still there as he is a Werewolf, but it’s not worth the risk.
- With Casey Mize going just 50 pitches last time out, I worry that Detroit will manage his pitch count once again in a date with Tampa Bay. Throw in the difficult offense as well, and you have yourself a clear avoid.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)