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: 84-66
Today’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.It’s Chris Archer today, Patiño tomorrow. I wouldn’t favor Archer against the Tigers.
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.Josiah Gray is going against the Pirates instead and I’m leaning take the chance, despite his last start coming with his worst command of the season. I believe he can rebound against Pittsburgh.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day just in time to save your fantasy playoffs. I have to think Blake Snell has earned your trust by now with his fastball/slider approach, even if it’s against the Dodgers. Let the man eat.
- Sonny Gray isn’t in perfect form, but he can follow “The Cardinal Rule” with his curveball and slider/cutter.
- Are we starting Lance Lynn against the Red Sox? Carlos Rodón did well to hold off an offense dealing with COVID and I think I’d start Lynn where I had him. If there is a pitch count in his IL return, I imagine it won’t be under 80 pitches.
- I know, I know, Aaron Nola has not been kind to your teams. Thing is, his stuff is still there and his history of success speaks to this being a rough patch and not a death sentence. He hosts “Rockie Road” and that should help more than hurt.
- In the third tier, James Kaprielian faces the Rangers for the sixth time and while he hasn’t had disasters against them, he hasn’t excelled, either. You should be fine start him here, but don’t expect the highest of
- It’s tempting to chase Yusei Kikuchi in a start against the Sneks, though he looked off in his last start against Houston. Not a single whiff, a large velocity drop, and overall poor command. There’s a chance he just needed to hit the reset button…or maybe he’s a bit too banged up to recover.
- Our reluctant streaming pick of the day is Bailey Ober, who was limited to just four frames last time out, but won’t be piggy-backing with Michael Pineda this time around, opening the door for 5+ strong against the Royals.
- 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.
- I’d label Taylor Hearn as a “Toby”, and a date against the Athletics is a bit too far out of my comfort zone.
- There’s a chance Bryse Wilson can be his best self and step up against a mediocre Nationals offense. The floor is low, though, so be careful.
- Is this the start that Edward Cabrera becomes the pitcher we expected him to be? Likely not, but hey, it could happen.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)