Every day of the 2022 baseball season, I’ll be looking at today and tomorrow’s slate of scheduled starting pitchers and ranking their matchups for your fantasy baseball streams.
There’s a lot that goes into this and you can hang out with me on Twitch.tv/pitcherlist to talk about the specific ranks as I make them every weekday morning from 10am – 12pm ET. If you have questions about these ranks, please ask during the morning Twitch AMA. Those are my office hours as I generally don’t answer comments on the site.
There are four tiers to these rankings with 12-teamers in mind (Updated 9/10):
Auto-Start – Just do it. Don’t overthink this, start the man. This includes “if I have them rostered, I’m starting them” pitchers.
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-not-elite pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm. These pitchers have a 50% or greater chance of performing well in my view.
Questionable Start – Think of this tier as “I don’t want to start these pitchers in a vacuum, but you could do worse.” Streamers found in this tier are not pitchers I’m targeting and are only if you are in dire need of one. To play it safe with streaming, just start the Probably Start streamers.
Do Not Start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t do it. Seriously, these pitchers have a very slim chance of success or sometimes none at all.
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 throughout 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. Those in Yellow in the third tier and should be okay if you’re searching for something on a given day, but I don’t recommend streaming unless you’re in need. 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.
(Opener) – Outlines that a pitcher is being opened for that day & the pitcher listed will follow the opener.
As I do my rankings, I thought it would be helpful to showcase a table of how we’re ranking offenses:
I’m sure it’ll change through the year + there are differences to be made about teams vs. LHP or RHP, but it’s a great general table that y’all should keep in mind.
Alright, let’s get to it.
2022 Streamer Record: 99-72
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Can we take a moment to sympathize with Phillies fans as they fight for the final Wild Card spot and now have three games against the Astros?! Poor Aaron Nola makes his final start in Houston and I’m still very much starting him there. So should you.
- Make sure you have Luis Severino in your lineup after the Yankees pushed him a day from Sunday.
- I lowered the ranking of Patrick Sandoval from last week after he wasn’t his best self. I still think you should be starting him without fear, but he’s not as exciting as the others.
- There’s a small temptation to push our streaming pick of the day Bryce Elder into the top tier against the Marlins, but it’s wise to have some caution with inexperienced rookies.
- Speaking of the second tier, Jesús Luzardo still sits in the second spot, even with a start against Atlanta. His curve and heater were great last outing and I think he’s well worth the green light.
- Bailey Ober featured twelve slider whiffs last start and while he’s not getting the Tigers, the White Sox aren’t a massive threat to see if he can repeat it.
- It’s unclear how long the Rays will let Tyler Glasnow pitch after tossing 50 pitches in his return from TJS. He looked like his classic self, though, making this a matter of volume than the opponent.
- I don’t know if Hayden Wesneski is pitching on Monday or Thursday (Wade Miley pitched two innings in relief in just 12 pitches over the weekend), though he’s a probable start on either day against the Reds. I dig his curve plenty.
- In the third tier, Tony Gonsolin is set to return from the IL and I imagine he’ll be limited…but it is Rockie Road. Feel free to play him, I’m going to adhere to Still ILL rules.
- The rest of the tier is heavily questionable. Mitch Keller is on a bit of a hot streak but gets the tougher Cardinal offense, Rich Hill is a Cherry Bomb and don’t let his last start against the Orioles seduce you too heavily, Dean Kremer has been productive, but the Jays are scary, and Martín Pérez isn’t as sharp as his June self.
- In the bottom tier, there’s little to go after. Adrian Martinez has a long enough leash if you’re chasing six frames – you could say the same about José Ureña too, I guess – and maybe Tommy Henry squeezes out production against the Brewers.
- Updates: The big news is Miles Mikolas and José Quintana are splitting the game on Monday – likely three innings each. There’s value for whoever goes second for the Win potential, but yeah. It stinks.
- The Giants and Tigers shuffling around a bit – the Giants going bullpen for the most part (maybe still Shelby Miller getting the bulk?) and the Tigers leaning on Bryan Garcia instead of Garrett Hill. No interest in either, of course.
- It does look like Hayden Wesneski is confirmed, though. Wonderful.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Aces are harder to come by in the final week as teams either shut their studs down for the year to save bullets for 2023 or are preserving them for the playoffs on the horizon. I’m hoping the Giants and Diamondbacks let Carlos Rodón and Zac Gallen get their final starts, while Julio Urías, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole will likely get held back a touch in their final tune-ups before skipping the Wild Card rounds.
- The second tier is small as well. Taijuan Walker should be safe against the Nationals, Jeffrey Springs has been dominant with his changeup, and Marco Gonzales gets the Tigers. Surely he can handle the Tigers, right?
- Jon Gray faces the Yankees and I imagine the Rangers want to help him end the season on a positive note. His velocity has been down a touch in his last two starts, but I’d still let him fly on Tuesday. The opposite goes for Jameson Taillon on the other side – he’s looked better recently and could carry it into his final start of the year.
- The Questionable Start tier…oh my. It starts with Cal Quantrill against a middling Royals squad, followed by our streaming pick of the day, Dakota Hudson. I’m expecting him to go about five frames against the Pirates, as he pitched in relief three frames in his previous start, but started for eight in the one before.
- Eric Lauer looked great against Miami, but we’ve seen the peaks and valleys all season & his location was highly suspect.
- Is Jake Odorizzi going to have enough to take advantage of the Marlins? Will Nathan Eovaldi’s velocity still be sub 94 mph and get trounced by the Rays? And can Lucas Giolito limp through another start against the Twins?
- There’s a decent chance Michael Lorenzen can provide value a second time against the Athletics, but it’s another spin of the wheel that will make me down my drink as it rotates.
- After Lorenzen, I see a drop-off in quality. Javier Assad hasn’t impressed me and could allow longballs in Cincy. Eduardo Rodriguez’s stuff was better last time but not nearly as good as we want it to be.
- The legend of Cole Irvin has faded, while Luis Cessa could have his slider working against the Cubs, but the floor is so dang low.
- The final two of the tier are Sean Manaea and Braxton Garrett. Manaea looked great with an opener last start and may be able to take advantage of the Giants…but I don’t expect his slider to carry at 60%+ CSW again.
- As for Braxton Garrett, he gets Atlanta and that’s an incredibly tough matchup. That said, if Atlanta clinches on Monday, he may have an easier lineup to face on Tuesday.
- In the bottom tier, we’re in dire straits, per usual. Mitch White has a middling chance of going five, Ranger Suárez shouldn’t be trusted against the Astros, and Josh Winder has infrequently been a guy we want to start.
- Garrett Hill has surprised us at times and there is some intriguing stuff in Daniel Lynch’s repertoire, but these are desperate dart throws.
- I don’t expect Chris Flexen or Spencer Howard to go very long in their games, though Bryse Wilson and Paolo Espino at least have a shot at five frames.
Wednesday’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I’m giving y’all a bonus day as it’s the final day of the season. I’ll be ranking all three days as one Top 94 SP table for The List later today to help make your final decisions for this week, so I may as way individually rank Wednesday now.
- The thing about Wednesday – we have no idea what teams are going to do. It may the hardest day of the season to anticipate as starters often get scheduled and scratched on the final day to give them a little extra rest into the off-season.
- There are also playoff implications that can affect rotations. For example, I have the Padres, Mets, and Atlanta as TBD – I don’t expect Yu Darvish to pitch for the Padres as he’s likely their Game #1 starter, Max Fried likely won’t have to pitch on Wednesday unless the Mets & Atlanta are tied, while the same goes for Jacob deGrom as the Mets would save him for Friday’s Game #1.
- To that note, Corbin Burnes is fighting for the playoff spot against the Brewers and maaay need to pitch on Wednesday to give Milwaukee a shot. If they’re out of it, I wouldn’t be shocked if they shut him down – or at the very least limit him.
- The rest of Tier 1 is similar. Will Los Angeles let Shohei Ohtani get one more start? Will Houston limit Framber Valdez to save him for the playoffs? And will the Mariners actually start Logan Gilbert if he’s their Sunday Game #3 starter? Don’t rely heavily on these starts.
- The second tier may have more clarity. The Yankees should start Domingo Germán, the Rays will let Drew Rasmussen go with a full Wild Card staff, Alex Cobb will want redemption on his final day, and Aaron Civale seems to be out of a spot in the Wild Card round as well.
- Merrill Kelly doesn’t need to start on Wednesday and the Diamondbacks could elect to start someone else there – though, his final outing was a poor one and Arizona may have sympathy for having a strong final game.
- The Dodgers have already announced that Clayton Kershaw will pitch in an “abbreviated” start on Wednesday against Rockie Road. I’m interpreting that as 40-60 pitches, which could turn into 4-5 frames given that it’s Kershaw. I say if you have him, start him. It’s different from Miles Mikolas and José Quintana from Monday as Kershaw at least has a chance to squeeze more out of it.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Adrian Sampson as he’s slated to face the Reds in Cincy. Do I love it? Not really. Do I acknowledge that he’s the best shot you have at streaming on Wednesday? Absolutely. Good luck.
- Looking at the third tier, keep in mind that there are plenty of “whatever” pitchers going on the last day of the season. It happens all the time.
- It means Graham Ashcraft, Johan Oviedo, and Jordan Lyles are the only ones I think are decently worth your time on Wednesday. Ashcraft hasn’t been great, but it could work against the Cubs, Oviedo has so lovely stuff but the Cardinals just destroyed Roansy and Ortiz, and Lyles has had some magic as of late.
- The bottom tier…let’s try not to put ourselves in a position to go diving into this one on Wednesday. Nick Pivetta and Glenn Otto have rough floors, Bailey Falter gets the Astros, Yusei Kikuchi hasn’t been good in ages, Tyler Alexander has had some odd success and can’t be trusted, Davis Martin had success with his slider last time, but that seemed like a peak, and so on.
- You’re looking for Jack Flaherty and found Andre Pallante. There’s a shot it works, but he may be limited as he isn’t stretched out.
- There’s some hope for Ken Waldichuk, but it’s a very slim shot. The same goes for Louie Varland and Elieser Hernandez. Really, just avoid all of this.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)