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: 92-75
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s Zack Wheeler vs. Charlie Morton and that’s all kinds of fun. Watch that game and start them both – The Phils are 2.5 back from Atlanta and this has all kinds of playoff energy.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have a good amount of aces going for their final (?) start of the season. That question mark is there as Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Nathan Eovaldi, and José Berríos could all be involved in a Game 163 on Monday, adding one bonus outing for the year.
- Alex Wood hasn’t gone six frames in a bit, but this could be his moment as he faces a weak Arizona crew. If you have him on your roster, you’re starting him with ease here.
- The second tier is a short one. Taijuan Walker hasn’t had a sharp September, but he’s throwing 95 mph and gets the Marlins. You want to do this.
- I know, I know. Aaron Nola has been a huge disappointment throughout the year. At the same time, he has 219 strikeouts, and a 1.11 WHIP, which means even if the ERA doesn’t come through, you’re going to get value from this outing against Atlanta.
- The third tier is…a lot. Luis Garcia hasn’t had his slider + cutter combination for a while and may continue to struggle against the Rays. Carlos Rodón will get an outing though I believe it’ll be closer to three frames than five proper. Kyle Hendricks hasn’t been himself and may struggle even against the Pirates. And the list goes on. Welcome to the true tier of coin flips.
- I think you’re relatively safe going with Michael Pineda or Taylor Hearn, though. They don’t carry the same upside as the others above, yet they could go five innings strong against middling lineups. Consider them if you need some volume this week.
- In the final tier Merrill Kelly has the best chance of going 5-6 frames if you need it, though I don’t expect a Win and the ratios likely won’t help enough.
- Miguel Yajure is a deep option as there’s a chance he has enough in the tank to go five against a poor Cubs crew. Something to consider if you’re searching for innings.
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