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: 92-74
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have just five games on Monday and just one member of the top tier in Cal Quantrill. It could be Logan Allen instead, but if it’s Quantrill, you’re going to start him against the Royals. He’s been too dang good.
- The second tier carries just Chris Flexen. Flexen has been plenty better than expected and even against a dangerous Oakland team, I imagine managers are comfortable starting him to kick off the week.
- In the third tier, Germán Márquez hasn’t had his slider and curve for a while, but could find them against a mediocre Nationals crew.
- Cole Irvin hasn’t been the best “Toby” around, failing to capitalize against the Mariners last time out, though he has the ability to make it work. He’ll get a second chance and could get his redemption.
- The final tier starts with the reluctant streamer of the day – Josiah Gray inside Coors. I wouldn’t take this chance, even if he finally got his slider back in his last start. It’s Coors, y’all.
- The Reds are calling up Reiver Sanmartin for his MLB debut against the Pirates. He’s a groundball-heavy slinger with a low 90s heater who has struggled a bit in the minors across the last month. There’s a chance the new setting brings the best out of him against the pedestrian Pirates, though it’s a risky spin of the wheel.
- Instead of Brady Singer, it looks like the Royals are going with Jackson Kowar to kick off their series against Cleveland. There have been moments where everything has come together for Kowar, but his command is far too volatile to trust on a Monday.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s just in time for ace day as we have nine arms in the coveted top tier. Luis Castillo faces the strong White Sox crew and I would laugh in the face of danger. His changeup is back and it’s spectacular. Update: Castillo just went on the Family Emergency List. He may not make this start after all.
- Marcus Stroman is elevated to the top tier as he could go all seven frames of the Marlins doubleheader and carry managers at the start of their fantasy weeks.
- In the second tier, Trevor Rogers and Taijuan Walker are each participating in the Mets/Marlins doubleheader as well and I’d feel comfortable starting both. Walker is sitting 95 mph and should be fine with his heater alone, while Rogers still carries the upside of the first half and has a good chance of reclaiming dominance against the Mets.
- It’s unclear if Joe Ryan will be taken off the bereavement list to start on Tuesday against the Tigers – if he does, you’ll want him in your lineups. Monitor the situation closely.
- After tossing three effective frames last week, I’d anticipate Chris Bassitt to go 4-5 innings of quality here against the Mariners. Not the most overwhelming of starts, but it should help.
- Brady Singer and Aaron Civale will duke it out in Kansas City and I’d be fine slotting both in my lineups. Civale has been rough, but a date with the Royals is the respite he needs and should rebound well.
- In the third tier, the premier “Cherry Bomb” himself Yu Darvish gets the Dodgers and it’s easy to be scared. Darvish’s success relies more on him having his command on a given day, though, and it’s a coin flip if we’ll see him at his peak or his nadir.
- The streaming pick of the day is Alec Mills, who has been a “Toby” all season save for his last outing. Now against the Pirates, you should feel better starting him than last week’s affair with the Twins. Don’t expect the world, but this should help.
- I’m amazed at Drew Rasmussen surviving five innings twice against the Jays and who knows, maybe he can do it a third time against a strong Astros lineup. It’s a capped ceiling though: about five strikeouts and only five frames.
- Don’t overlook Braxton Garrett, who has a 10 strikeout game under his belt. If he starts this, he could provide some sneaky value against a deflated Mets offense.
- In the final tier, I wouldn’t touch Jameson Taillon or Hyun Jin Ryu as the Yankees and Jays battle. Let Godzilla and King Kong fight without taking you as collateral damage.
- Can A.J. Alexy and Mitch Keller take advantage of their weak opponents? I’m not a fan of chasing it, but those in deeper leagues may want to consider them as options for 5+ frames of production.
Photo by Tom Hagerty | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)