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: 84-68
Today’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.Update: Rasmussen is going on Tuesday, not Monday, with Ryan Yarbrough likely going today as the bulk guy. Don’t start The Fratty Pirate against the Jays, ya’ll.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier, as always, is straightforward, even with Lucas Giolito returning from the IL. He’s been granted a gift of facing the Angels and should perform well against the weak offense.
- The bottom of the tier contains two consistent arms in Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley against a pair of poor lineups. Let’s hope they come through with their high floors.
- In the second tier, Zack Greinke should be a solid play against the mediocre Rangers crew, while José Berríos brings a bit more concern as he faces the mighty Rays. Still start the man – his ability on a given day matters more than opponent – but I feel your anxiety.
- I’ve raised Triston McKenzie to the second tier despite a date against Minnesota. He’s in a good place at the moment following the BSB as he keeps his breakers down, and managers will be starting him plenty more than finding a place for Triston on the bench.
- In the third tier, I’m excited to watch more Jesús Luzardo as he leans more into his secondary-first approach with sub 40% fastball usage. The Nationals don’t pose a serious threat and this should continue Luzardo’s intriguing storyline for the off-season.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Joe Ryan as he gets another matchup against Cleveland. I’m hoping the shorter seven-inning game doesn’t dampen his chances at a Win, while his four-seamer is performing well enough in the majors to take advantage of a stumbling offense.
- Another pick to consider is Erick Fedde as he faces the Marlins. I rarely recommend Fedde (Don’t Trust The Feddes), but the one exception for Erick has been Miami. Jump in for this one.
- Both Tony Gonsolin and Touki Toussaint provide considerable upside, but neither has pitched four frames as of late. If they are able to push five innings in their games, they could provide dividends.
- In the final tier, it’s hard to get behind Jon Gray after his injury scare and on the road against a tough Atlanta crew. I’d play it safe here and look elsewhere.
- I understand Jackson Kowar just allowed 6 ER to Baltimore, but his stuff looked great and he could even it out against the Athletics. I wouldn’t go for it in standard leagues, but those shooting for ceiling may find it here.
Photo by Tom Hagerty | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)