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: 92-77
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Only a few guys at the top today and it’s a little dicier than usual. First, you have the clear plays in Robbie Ray and Lance McCullers facing tough teams in the Yankees and Rays, but you have no choice. Start them and don’t think twice.
- Then Ian Anderson gets the middling Phillies and should be fine, while Shane Bieber makes his second start against the pedestrian Royals offense. He pitched three stellar innings against the ChiSox and I don’t see why he can’t go five frames here. If you have Bieber, start him.
- The second tier is small but gets to the point. I was tempted to throw Joe Ryan into the top tier with a date against the Tigers, though he doesn’t pack a whole more than a low 90s heater that has gotten great results thus far. I hope it can last for one more start.
- It looks like we’ll see Rich Hill against the Marlins after all and I’d feel comfortable sending him out there against the depleted lineup.
- In the third tier, Alex Cobb and Glenn Otto are both low-rostered arms I’d consider if I needed an extra start or two. Only one has the chance for a Win in their head-to-head matchup, but each could provide strikeouts and decent ratios along the way. Cobb has a bit more of a volume ceiling, making him the better play. With Tylor Megill getting scratched, Cobb has become the Streaming Pick of the Day.
- Tony Gonsolin is also someone to consider after five successful innings against the Sneks. He was limited to just 68 pitches, though, and it was his first taste of production for a good while. Let’s hope he can keep the momentum up for one more game.
- In the final tier, I wonder if Edward Cabrera can finally have his breakout start as he faces the average Mets lineup. He certainly throws hard enough to do so, but things haven’t quite clicked yet. Maybe Thursday is Edward’s day.
- For those in deep leagues, Miguel Yajure, Scott Kazmir, and Justin Steele all have the chance to go five frames and steal a Win against weak opponents. I don’t love their abilities, but a “Birthday Party” could be in order.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is pretty clear as you have five aces + Ranger Suárez, who has taken full advantage of the easiest schedule in the league. You won’t be able to find a manager not starting him against the Marlins.
- There were times that Huascar Ynoa facing the Mets would have returned a placement in the top tier, but he’s been struggling with his heater across the last few weeks. I’d still start him against the struggling Mets, though I recognize the lower floor than we’d like.
- Continuing in the second tier, Marco Gonzales will be starting instead of Tyler Anderson as Tyler tossed a short start earlier in the week. Marco is a “Toby” and fully prepared to take down the Angels and you should feel safe with this start.
- Anthony DeSclafani has had a rough schedule in September and he should feel relieved to see the recent struggles of the San Diego offense. He should be able to hint at his first-half magic in Oracle Park.
- In the third tier, Joe Musgrove faces the Giants for the third time in four starts and hasn’t looked like a proper ace in a good while. It’s a coin flip if he’ll be able to be his best self here.
- Sean Manaea dominated the Astros last time out, though he’s been a “Cherry Bomb” through the full month and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to replicate in Houston.
- Speaking of “Cherry Bomb” arms, our streaming pick of the day is Eli Morgan, whose opponents have little bearing on his performance. If he has his fastball command working, this should go well, but if it teeters on acceptable, even the Rangers can make his day miserable.
- It’s been a wonderful story watching Néstor Cortes Jr. excel in the Yankee rotation, but he’s stumbled a bit lately and now has a date with the excellent Rays offense. Take caution here.
- It’s great to see Dakota Hudson get more time on the bump for the Cardinals, though it’s unclear how long he’ll be able to go in this one. He may not make it a full five frames against the Cubs, while the quality of inning should be good enough to take the chance.
- And finally, Eric Lauer has been as hot as anyone, but now gets a challenge in the Dodgers offense. That’s as dangerous of a play you’ll see on Friday.
- In the final tier, Spencer Howard finally tossed more than 60 pitches last time out and could go somewhat deep into this game against Cleveland. I’m skeptical his secondaries are in a good place, though, and I’d like to watch this from a safe distance.
- We’ll likely only get another small glimpse of Noah Syndergaard, and there’s a chance Tylor Megill follows after Thor’s expected one frame of work. Sadly, Megill isn’t in a great place with his repertoire and I’d avoid him against Atlanta.
Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)