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: 86-71
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Would you rather start Corbin Burnes or Max Scherzer? Honestly, it doesn’t matter, but there is an idea that Burnes will toss fewer pitches after his 115 pitch affair last week. Something to think about.
- There’s another tough call with Charlie Morton vs. Adam Wainwright and ultimately I went with Morton’s fastball/curveball over Waino’s hook and sinker + cutter. Awfully close though, just start them both because duh.
- In the second tier, Aaron Nola has been far from the man you want him to be, but his ceiling is too high to deny him a start. He has been one of the unluckier pitches around as well and should rebound at some point before the season ends.
- Alex Wood is returning from COVID to make his start against Atlanta, potentially reducing his volume on Saturday. I’d expect five frames of quality, but you should weigh it in your decisions.
- Leading off in the third tier is Sonny Gray as he faces the Dodgers in Cincinnati. It’s far from an ideal matchup and despite Gray’s success as of late, I have legit concerns this could be a rocky affair.
- Yes, Yu Darvish is here as his command from start-to-start is as volatile as it gets. The man is a Cherry Bomb and could be well worth the risk against the Cardinals.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Luis Gil, who went six full frames against the Twins earlier in the week. He had a rough first frame but recovered to salvage the start for trusting managers and has a decent shot at excelling against the weak Cleveland crew.
- Another arm to consider is Daulton Jefferies as he makes the start against the Angels. He’s essentially a Toby and could capitalize against a pedestrian Angels lineup.
- In the bottom tier, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting Aaron Civale against the Yankees. He hasn’t found his groove yet and the Yankees have the bats to exploit mistake pitches.
- We have five starters all with excellent matchups but carry rocky track records – Bryse Wilson, Patrick Corbin, Ryan Yarbrough, Edward Cabrera, and Kris Bubic. I imagine at least one of these will come through but good luck figuring out which one.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- On the Sunday of many playoff fantasy matchups, many aces are here to carry you to the next round. Frankie Montas stumbled in his last outing, but his splitter and slider were both present and against the Angels, he should propel many to another week of games.
- Shane McClanahan is returning for the Rays and faces an average Detroit lineup. I wouldn’t expect six frames, but he’s a clear start for those rostering him. I imagine the floor to be high in this one.
- Are getting skipped on Friday, Shohei Ohtani is good to go for a Sunday start against the Athletics. I’d roll him out there everywhere with confidence.
- Despite a date with the Giants, Max Fried is performing so well with his curveball that I wouldn’t have hesitation sticking him in my lineups.
- In the second tier, Clayton Kershaw has a tough draw in Cincinnati but is likely to come out on top. Don’t overthink it.
- I know it’s a shock, but if you have Eric Lauer, you’re clearly starting him against the weak Cubs crew. Lauer has cruised in the second half and should be a solid bet for a successful Sunday.
- In the third tier, I’d start Logan Gilbert wherever I could. His fastball was excellent against the Red Sox last time out (he earned a Gallows Pole!), though his slider wasn’t quite the exceptional offering we’ve seen. The sweeper may not be back in form against the Royals, but the chance his heater is dominant makes this a worthwhile option.
- I’m conflicted about both Wade Miley and Anthony DeSclafani against their tough NL West opponents. Miley is fresh off a troubling outing and the Dodgers are, well, the Dodgers, while Tony Disco isn’t exactly his first-half self + Atlanta can rough up mistake pitches. I’m leaning start for both, but it’s close.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Paolo Espino after he carved up the Marlins line up and gets a comfortable matchup in Rockie Road. Streaming has been awfully difficult in the month of September and let’s hope this one pulls through for us on the day we need it.
- Are we starting Zac Gallen and Kyle Gibson on Sunday? Gallen has a tough challenge against the Astros and is still searching for his changeup and cutter of old, while Gibson just allowed four earned runs to the Cubs. The Cubs! I’m a little more in favor of Gibson as it came with seven punchouts and the Mets are not nearly as terrifying as the Houston bats, but both are highly questionable here.
- In the final tier, it’s risk-city with Jackson Kowar, Joe Ryan and Eli Morgan being the three best Hail-Mary options. Kowar was horrific in his last outing, but has showed some promise in his return to the majors, Ryan has looked great but now gets the Jays instead of the Cubs on Monday as we originally thought, and Morgan is a Cherry Bomb with little indication of how he’ll perform.
- Please note: Dillon Peters was a popular choice for Sunday against the Marlins and has since been pushed to Monday against the Reds. Womp womp.
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