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: 82-64
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I think we can all agree on the top tier, even with a date in Coors for Logan Webb. That man is cruising like it’s USA and it doesn’t matter who he faces. Just start him.
- Blake Snell certainly deserves a spot in this tier as well considering his run in the second half. As long as he can get breakers in the zone, he will excel.
- The second tier has big names against weak lineups, but plenty of concern. Carlos Carrasco gets the Marlins a second time after stumbling a bit in his last outing. Let’s hope the slider can complement the changeup properly in this one.
- It’s been all kinds of rocky this season for Aaron Nola, yet I’d still start him against the Brewers. The ceiling is too dang high and he should avoid disaster in Milwaukee.
- In the third tier, I don’t love trusting Eduardo Rodriguez on a given day, but his four-seamer is an excellent pitch and only needs decency from his changeup and/or cutter to survive the Rays.
- The streaming pick of the day is Jackson Kowar, who came out firing last time out, tossing six shutout frames against Cleveland. His heater sat 96 mph and the changeup hinted at plus ability. As a right-hander against the Orioles, this could be a strong outing despite pitching in Camden.
- It looks as though Mitch White will be used as the bulk innings guy for the Dodgers today and could be a solid stream as well if you’re chasing a Win. Consider him if you’d rather not take the chance on Kowar.
- Hey, it’s Aaron Civale! I’m excited to see him return to the bump, though I would classify this as a “Still ILL”. We just don’t know what we’re going to get.
- I debated slotting Edward Cabrera in the bottom tier given his lackluster results in his first two starts. I believe his stuff speaks to success, though, and fading him after just two starts is too soon to believe it won’t come. Feel free to bench him if you’d rather wait and see first.
- It was tough placing Logan Gilbert on the bench after having his slider and an extra tick of velocity last time out against the Astros, but after two months of struggling, it’s hard to believe he’s suddenly safe in a repeat matchup against Houston. It’s too risky.
- It’s been fun watching Drew Rasmussen dial up the velocity with 97+, but he doesn’t have a whole lot else in his arsenal to turn him into a legit SP play + the Rays are hesitant to let him go deep into games. I’d be careful leaning on him against the Red Sox.
- Steven Matz and James Kaprielian earned the “Toby” labels this year, but both have difficult matchups in the Yanks & ChiSox, respectively. Don’t chance it.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It looks like Sandy Alcantara gets the #1 nod for Wednesday as he squares off against the Mets. Frankie Montas is of heavy consideration, but the ChiSox pose a larger threat and make for a tougher challenge, while Freddy Peralta’s workload is too much of a question to grant him the top spot.
- Adam Wainwright has performed so well that I’m still starting him regardless of a date with the Dodgers.
- The second tier starts with a controversial choice in Yu Darvish. Yes, he’s been a constant headache since July 1st, but he gets a great matchup against the Angels in a potential marquis matchup against Shohei Ohtani. I think the reward is well worth the risk.
- The Rays / Red Sox game serves two great options for Wednesday…who each have a slightly dangerous floor. Shane McClanahan and Nathan Eovaldi are definitely worth the gamble, but I can see scenarios where one (or even both) falters here.
- At the bottom of the tier, Rich Hill is slated to get the Marlins and after he cruised against the Nationals, it’s hard to resist a possible 5+ inning game in Miami.
- Touki Toussaint gets a decent matchup against the Nationals and while we haven’t seen his overwhelming curveball in a few starts, I’d be starting him where I could – he is rostered in only 24% of leagues, after all.
- It’s an easy schedule for Vladimir Gutiérrez the rest of the way, but he has struggled with his command in his last two starts. Hopefully a date in Wrigley will recalibrate him.
- That last start from Kyle Gibson was devastating against the Marlins. Let’s hope it was just a bump in the road and he can get back on track.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Joe Ryan as he heads to Cleveland. Ryan has a decent skill set and could squeeze 5/6 quality innings here after a solid debut last week.
- I was tempted to place Luis Gil above Ryan as the pick of the day, but I’m scared facing the Jays offense + he doesn’t have a history going deep into games. It’s a riskier play than his current 0.00 ERA would suggest.
- In the bottom tier, those desperate for some innings could consider Luke Weaver against the Rangers. He returned and performed well last week and the Rangers are…not great.
- Jon Gray and Anthony DeSclafani are dueling in Colorado and I want nothing to do with it. Gray is failing to pitch like his July self and his forearm injury is still fresh, while Tony Disco, despite coming off the sole successful outing against the Dodgers all year, is too risky to start inside Coors. We need more than one outing of momentum to lean on him here.
- Are you still considering Dallas Keuchel in your leagues? He’s failed to come through on the “Toby” promise and there are plenty better options, including Matt Manning against a horrid Pirates offense.
- And against Manning is Mitch Keller, who had one of his better starts last time out. Let’s hope he can build off it and succeed against the Tigers. Don’t rule it out.
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8+ era streamer. Bold move Cotton.