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: 84-67
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a small top tier with Sandy Alcantara and Adam Wainwright leading the way. It’s pretty obvious you’re starting them here, even after Waino’s tough game against the Dodgers.
- I’m sure some of you want Alek Manoah and Yu Darvish in here as well, but there is some reason for concern. Manoah wasn’t sharp in his last start + the Rays are a strong offense, albeit without Wander Franco in their lineup tomorrow. Darvish recovered well against the Angels, but the Giants are plenty tougher and provide a proper challenge.
- It looks like we’re finally getting the return of Clayton Kershaw as he squares off against the Sneks. Kershaw will likely be limited in some way, but if you have him, you start him. It’s Kershaw.
- I’ve been impressed with Rich Hill as of late and he continues his easy schedule with a chance to follow The Cardinal Rule. Easy call here.
- Jake Odorizzi has taken advantage of great matchups as of late and it continues with another date against the Rangers. There’s no reason to jump off now.
- I know it hasn’t been easy sailing for Eduardo Rodriguez managers, but the Mariners should be an easier night, opening the door for his four-seamer to carry him through 5+ frames.
- In the third tier, I question if we’ve seen enough from Zac Gallen to believe he’ll perform against the Dodgers. He still hasn’t found his old changeup and cutter and I’m not sure his heater + curveball are enough to survive
- Our streaming pick of the day is Paolo Espino as he faces the Marlins. Paolo isn’t one to go incredibly deep into games, but he could earn enough whiffs and strikeouts across five frames against a poor Marlins crew.
- In the bottom tier, Logan Gilbert has been better as of late, but I wouldn’t bank on him stepping up to overcome a start against the mighty Red Sox offense.
- I know Drew Rasmussen throws hard, but the Jays are crushing the ball. There’s too much risk for not enough reward.
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