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: 86-72
Today’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. Max Kranick could be of use, but he has done very little to showcase a ceiling that you’d want to chase here.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at you, still in the running to win your fantasy leagues. Hopefully you’re in luck and have Robbie Ray, Carlos Rodón, or Freddy Peralta to propel you early this week as they are all must starts on Monday.
- Sean Manaea could be seen as one as well, though he hasn’t quite overwhelmed as I would have expected given his 93/94 mph sinker. The Mariners pose a smaller threat than most, though, and Manaea could dominate here.
- Triston McKenzie may be a shock in the second tier, but with the “BSB” approach he’s taken lately, the Royals aren’t enough to fear.
- It’s a battle of John Means and Ranger Suárez in Philly and I’d be fine starting both in this one. Means has a touch more upside while Suárez is a little safer with ratios.
The third tier features Carlos Hernández after his rough outing last week. It’s a shortened seven-inning affair, and I imagine Carlos should be able to rebound for 5+ frames. He tossed 96+ with two solid breakers, after all.Update: It’s now Brady Singer as he comes off the IL and I’d feel fine starting him against Cleveland.
- The streaming pick of the day is Erick Fedde as he faces the Marlins. It’s the only team I’m okay starting Fedde against as he’s taken them down multiple times this season.
- In the final tier, it’s unfortunate that we can’t trust Vladimir Gutiérrez, but his fastball command has pulled him down massively across the past few weeks. I have little faith this will work out.
- Shane Baz is getting the call to the majors, but the Jays are tough and it’s unlikely he goes deep in this one.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)