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: 82-62
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- At the top of the ranks are my two Cy Young picks this year, Walker Buehler and Robbie Ray. The matchup doesn’t matter, start them both and enjoy.
I know it hasn’t been the best stretch for Zack Wheeler and they just roughed up Kyle Gibson, but you really can’t second-guess starting Wheeler against the Marlins.Update: The Phils pushed Wheeler to Monday, with a bullpen game on Sunday, beginning with Sam Coonrod.
- I elected to have Dylan Cease sit at the bottom of the top tier. He has been a bit volatile through the year, but those that have him rostered are starting him with confidence for Sunday.
- You could say the same about Taijuan Walker as he faces the Nationals, though he hasn’t been as pristine as we’d like over the last month. He is sitting at 95+ mph, though, and should make this worth your while.
- Last time out marked the first stumble for Josiah Gray in his young career and I don’t believe it signifies a tumultuous end to his rookie season. Trust the stuff and start him against the Mets.
- It’s never easy trusting your pitchers in Coors, but with the way Charlie Morton has been chucking the baseball, you gotta trust the man.
- Sunday’s streaming pick is Luis Patiño as he faces the Twins. He’s had back-to-back productive outings against the Red Sox and White Sox (the man has pink sox now) and I’d trust his heater to overwhelm the Twins.
- Yes, Chris Flexen is still somehow a thing and the Sneks aren’t terribly scary. You should be fine giving it another go.
- It’s the second start since the return of both Corey Kluber and Chris Paddack, and I have hesitations for both. Kluber sat sub 90 mph in his first start and hopefully gains a bit of gas in his sophomore start, while Paddack has to endure the mighty Astros bats – The Sherriff may benefit from Houston’s tendency to take plenty of fastballs for strikes, though.
- If you’re hurting for some arms, Taylor Hearn, Tyler Gilbert, and Zach Davies could be the guys you’re looking for. Each have a great matchup ahead and despite their lackluster ceilings, they could be the ticket to a Sunday win.
- In the bottom tier, don’t overlook Wil Crowe against the Cubs as a desperate option. He has the ability to go five productive innings against poor offenses and may make for some last-minute heroics.
- I know Brady Singer just dominated for the second time, but I don’t buy he can take the ChiSox a second time. He’s had these bursts before only to come back down shortly after.
- Lastly, there are three call-ups for today: Ryan Feltner, Janson Junk, and Kutter Crawford. Crawford is replacing Nick Pivetta, who landed on the COVID-IL, and hasn’t impressed in Triple-A. Junk tosses in the low 90s, while Feltner sits mid-to-upper 90s with a high 80s slider for the Rockies. I look for velocity first regarding callups and who knows, maybe there’s some debut magic there.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have some of your standard aces in the top tier, with Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, and Brandon Woodruff ready to kick off your weeks. Zack Wheeler now has the Monday start after getting pushed back on Sunday for a bullpen game in Philly.
- I stuck Sonny Gray at the end with a start against the Cubs + three straight starts of 2 ER combined. You should be completely safe here.
- The second tier is slim and begins with Kevin Gausman as he heads to Coors. His splitter was better last time out, but we’re not completely back to the same standing we were earlier in the year. And hey, this is Coors.
- Tarik Skubal can dominate with a four-seamer and slider + changeup and it’s a safe play against the Pirates.
- The third kicks off with our streaming pick of the day in Bailey Ober. He gets a weak Cleveland offense and has embraced the BSB with high heaters and sliders for strikes. I’m all for taking the chance here for your fantasy playoffs (at the risk of having everywhere yell at me on Twitter for it).
- It’s a tough matchup for Jameson Taillon against the powerful Jays and he’s not at the same level of his incredible July stretch. Proceed with caution.
- It’s been a struggle watching Hyun Jin Ryu across the last few months and who knows, maybe the Bronx is the perfect place for Ryu to turn it around. I’d consider what’s on the wire in all my leagues before trusting this one.
- Kyle Freeland was on a hot streak and then a hip injury ended his last start early. The Giants are a touch draw inside Coors and there’s too much risk surrounding this one, even if his new curveball widens my eyes.
- There are some deeper options that could work out here. Logan Allen and Bryse Wilson don’t have terrible matchups and could provide early value, while Jaime Barria and A.J. Alexy each could survive against frail lineups.
- There’s still upside contained inside Yusei Kikuchi’s repertoire, but I’d rather not take the chance against the mighty Houston bats.
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