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: 86-68
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have many strong options in the top tier, though I understand some are hesitant with Trevor Rogers as he hasn’t gone five frames in a considerable amount of time. The good news: The stuff is still there and he’s tossed over 80 pitches in each of his last two starts. The ceiling is too high and I don’t believe the floor is as low as his recent stretch would suggest as he faces the Nationals.
- Despite the tough draw against the Giants, you have to start Joe Musgrove as he’s embraced his curveball. The ability is too dang good.
- The second tier kicks off with two popular waiver wire adds – Ranger Suárez and Cal Quantrill. I don’t see both as fantastic plays for 2022, but who cares, this is September and you should be starting both.
- I debated for a while about Néstor Cortes Jr.’s spot and settled on a spot above Tanner Houck and Tylor Megill. I’m skeptical that his stuff speaks to his current hot streak and battling the Orioles in Camden as a lefty is no small feat.
- Speaking of Tylor Megill, he’s my streaming pick of the day after earning double-digit whiffs with his four-seamer against the Yankees. The Cardinals are an easier matchup and despite the changeup eluding him last time, as long as he has that heater, he should work for your teams.
- I hope Tanner Houck can come through against the Mariners and go at least five frames, though we haven’t seen his slider dominate for a good while. It’s worth the chance and let’s hope it comes through.
- The third tier features Vladimir Gutiérrez, who should be a strong play against the Pirates, but has stumbled against weak opponents lately due to a loss in fastball command. I’m a little worried it spells a rough September journey for Vlad, bumping him down from the Probably Start group.
- Other streaming options include both Alec Mills and Griffin Jax, both against middling offenses. Mills has been shockingly steady as a “Toby” and could push six frames against the Phillies, while Jax is a bit more of a strikeout upside play, featuring a whiff-heavy slider that could tally the punchouts against Cleveland.
- In the bottom tier, it’s not easy to bench Marco Gonzales given his second half, but the Red Sox are a scary lineup and push that floor far below our comfort level.
- There’s some outside consideration for Josh Rogers, simply because he went 6.2 frames in his last start and now faces the Marlins. The sheer possibility of going six frames against a weak team grants him the #21 rank.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is short but sweet on Thursday. Tyler Mahle heads to Pittsburgh on the road, far away from his detested home field and ready to take on one of the weakest offenses in the majors.
- Meanwhile, Ian Anderson displayed the best curveball of his career last time out (over 50% CSW!) and has a cushy matchup against “Rockie Road”. If he still has his curveball through September, he may be one of the best draft discounts next year.
- The second tier features Framber Valdez despite his stumble against the Angels last week. He’s still a safe play against the pedestrian Rangers crew and you should be anticipating a clean rebound.
- Carlos Hernández has carved innings across the last eight weeks and is worth the gamble against a dangerous Athletics squad. His strikeouts are a bit volatile and let’s hope he can be more of the 6-8 punchouts pitcher instead of the “HAISTBMBWT?!” character.
- It’s a tough call with both Germán Márquez and Jordan Montgomery as each has given managers pause as of late. “The Bear” has accrued just eight frames across his last two starts but should be able to rebound in a revenge matchup against the Orioles. Márquez was great last time out despite his slider and curveball not at their peaks and could step up in Atlanta.
- The streaming pick today lies in the third tier with Reynaldo López as he squares off against the Angels. I haven’t been incredibly impressed with his arsenal as of late, but the Angels are as weak as any lineup these days, and ReyLó could earn a cheap Win for your clubs.
- Are we starting Kyle Hendricks against the Phillies? After multiple disasters, Hendricks survived the Giants but doesn’t seem out of the woods yet. It’s your call here.
- In the bottom tier, you could do worse than Paul Blackburn against the mediocre Royals bats. He’s essentially a “Toby” who could pull off a Win with the Athletics on his side.
- Otherwise, there really isn’t anything to chase. Maybe Alex Cobb in his return against the White Sox…? That’s a clear “Still ILL” but if his splitter is back and paired with first pitch curveballs, things could be okay.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)
Carlos Hernandez Start moved to today!