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: 88-72
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The aces are here to help win your league. Alek Manoah is coming off a ridiculous outing against the Rays and could replicate it if his slider is just as filthy.
- Despite Julio Urías getting a date in Coors, I’m starting him everywhere. His ability speaks to surviving and he could tally yet another Win to his near 20-Win season.
- It’s bad luck for Joe Musgrove once again as he has to face the Giants, but his curveball + slider approach is too good for us not to let him fly. He can do this.
- Trevor Rogers hasn’t been his first-half self over the past two months, though his ceiling is worth your time against the Nationals. Let’s hope he calibrates for a solid final two weeks.
- It would seem like Tyler Mahle should be in the top tier…except he’s pitching in Cincinnati. His Home/Road splits are as poor as anyone in the league and it brings a haze over his night against the Pirates.
- Tuesday night’s Red Sox vs. Mets matchup should be beneficial for both starters. Marcus Stroman’s slider and cutter have been fantastic lately, while Eduardo Rodriguez’s four-seamer should be enough to hold off the Mets.
- In the third tier, our streaming pick of the day is Josh Rogers against the Marlins. His slider performed well last time out against Miami and he could do more of the same as that offense is as streamable as it gets.
- Another option to consider is Griffin Jax against the Cubs. Jax’s slider has the potential to push up the strikeout numbers, but be warned: there’s a reason why both Jax and Rogers are in the third tier, not the second. These are not locks. Jax has struggled a bit lately and even an easier opponent could still present danger.
- In the final tier, Drew Rasmussen has been productive over the last month despite featuring a shallow repertoire propelled by a 96+ mph heater. The Rays have been capping him at five frames and even with a solid outing against the Jays last week, I don’t think the reward is worth the risk of throwing him into the fire a second time.
- Daniel Lynch and Alec Mills are both interesting options if you’re chasing something early in the week. Lynch hasn’t come together as I hoped and is safe to avoid, but he’s still getting slider whiffs and his best self would be incredibly helpful for your teams. Meanwhile, Mills is as middling as you’ll find and it’s possible he helps your ratios against the Twins.
- No, I don’t want to start Antonio Senzatela. He gets the Dodgers and it’s Coors. I know his ridiculous stretch right now is helping teams but I just can’t buy into it. You understand.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Take note, Logan Webb could be starting on Wednesday or Thursday right now, with Alex Wood starting the other game. It’s unclear what order they’ll go in as of now. Start them both, regardless.
- Ian Anderson didn’t have the ridiculous curveball in his last start but he should still be a safe play against a questionable Arizona offense.
- Our streaming pick of the day leads off the second tier for a change, with Joe Ryan facing the Cubs. His four-seamer has performed incredibly well and should do a number on Chicago’s weak lineup.
- Luis Garcia has not been his best as of late and even struggled against the Angels just two starts ago. I’m banking on his slider and/or cutter to come through in this one and make it a worthwhile day at the park.
- I debated if Elieser Hernandez belonged in the second or third tier and ultimately placed him above Corey Kluber. Elieser’s slider should propel him at least five innings without destroying your ratios, tacking on a fair amount of strikeouts along the way.
- Y’all know I don’t love Chris Flexen long-term, but this “Vargas Rule” is still alive and well, forcing you to start him against the Athletics this week.
- In the third tier, Cole Irvin is a standard “Toby” and should suit you well against the Mariners. It’s that simple.
- After a horrific outing, I’d bank on Carlos Hernández bouncing back to perform against Cleveland. Let’s hope he can recover some of his fastball command and properly set up those whiff-heavy sliders and curveballs.
- I’d be very hesitant to trust Reynaldo López or Adrian Houser despite their pedestrian opponents. López struggled in his last outing and while he could bring a solid fastball/slider combination for a cheap Win, there is a sizeable risk to consider. Houser had his sinker back for two starts but lost it last time out and now has to face a red-hot Cardinals crew.
- Then there’s Germán Márquez as he’s forced to host the Dodgers inside Coors. I’d be more lenient with his rank if his slider and curve were performing well, but they’ve been underwhelming across the last month. Proceed with heavy caution.
- In the final tier, I urge you to bench Kyle Hendricks against the Twins. It’s been a rough second half for The Professor and only name-value holds him onto most fantasy teams at this point. I won’t ignore the chance he pulls it off here, but you’re better off playing the odds and not taking the risk.
- I really wish Josiah Gray was in a better place at the moment. He’s struggled mightily over the last month, failing to take advantage of a luscious schedule, and I have little faith he can seize this opportunity against the Marlins.
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