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: 82-65
Today’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 and his stuff is plenty good enough to rebound. I’m starting him everywhere.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We only have eight games on Thursday, making for an interesting top tier. Cal Quantrill has been on such a good roll that I’d continue starting him despite hitting his first obstacle last time out against the Red Sox.
- Let’s hope Marcus Stroman has his cutter and slider working in this one against Miami – he took a step back last time out, but he’s still a clear play against the fish.
- In the second tier, José Berríos (aka “The Flag”) is set to face the Yankees and there’s inherent risk in the matchup. I’d still starting him given the more-often-helpful-than-harmful nature of Berríos, but I can understand some playing it safe.
- The same goes for Sean Manaea as he faces the ChiSox. Manaea has come roaring back from a poor August to feature his hardest fastball of the season last time out, cruising through the Jays lineup. If he can keep his changeup and curveball down, this will be more of the same.
- It’s a battle between John Means and Carlos Hernández in Baltimore on Thursday and I’m slightly favoring the home starter. Means has upped his fastball velocity and featured a solid breaker and I imagine the changeup will fall into place against a poor Royals crew.
- That said, Hernández has performed well despite facing the White Sox consistently and his 96+ heater with a pair of whiffable breakers should help fantasy managers across the board.
- The third tier once again contains our streaming pick of the day, here in Reynaldo López. His last outing came with much to be desired, boasting just a 21.5% CSW and an underwhelming heater, but he could rebound in a major way with his improved slider. There’s plenty of risk given his lack of volume so far, so proceed with caution.
- I know it’s been a great stretch for Néstor Cortes Jr., but don’t underestimate the Jays lineup. They can make this a regrettable start quickly.
- In the final tier, there’s a part of me that wants to raise Randy Dobnak and Antonio Senzatella into the third tier. Dobnak has shown an ability to get outs on plenty of grounders and could cruise through five against Cleveland. Senzatela does the impossible often and he’s out of Coors now and could have a patented 6+ inning game with three or fewer strikeouts.
- I know Erick Fedde has had some nice starts this year, but don’t trust him unless it’s the Marlins. He gets Atlanta, so that’s a clear avoid.
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